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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Mike Gehlhausen on October 06, 2008, 10:52:47 AM

Title: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on October 06, 2008, 10:52:47 AM
Quote
57] Therefore, even though the bishop of Rome had the primacy by divine right, yet since he defends godless services and doctrine conflicting with the Gospel, obedience is not due him; yea, it is necessary to resist him as Antichrist. The errors of the Pope are manifest and not trifling.

Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, 57

Is this a doctrinal article of faith or a polemical historical assertion on the part of the Lutheran Confessors? If the latter, was it true then and is it true now?

I have become reinterested in the question of whether Lutherans are to regard the Office of the Papacy as the very Antichrist because an argument has been made that while this was true, it is no longer  true because of such changes as Vatican II and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. While Rome has not repudiated the Council of Trent and its anathemas -- for Rome never admits error;  it simply changes by means of "clarifying" things -- Rome has seemed to seek  a common confession on the matter of the Scriptural teaching of justification, and it has also sought to reach out ecumenically to other Christian confessions.  Furthermore, the mark TPPP, 2 points out that the Pope claims by divine right both swords in both of God's Kingdoms seems to have become obscured at the very least since the Papacy no longer seems to explicitly claim political power. Accordingly, it is argued the Papacy can no longer be surely identified as the Antichrist by the very marks the Tractatus points out from Scripture.

What do you all think?

Mike
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Keith Falk on October 06, 2008, 02:22:07 PM
On this board, of course, you are much more likely to get the "No" votes than "Yes" votes, given the bent of many of the posters.  Also, since half of the responses are No responses (only 1 yes, and the other isn't "yes" or "no") you are more likely to get "No" votes.

Does TPPP refer to the Bishop of Rome at the time it was written?  All who hold the office?  And, if Mike points out, things change (or are clarified) to be more in line with the Reformers protests, then does the condemnation still hold?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 06, 2008, 04:43:44 PM
This approach sounds dangerously close to applying "historical criticism," "contextual criticism" or other aspects of the dreaded "higher" criticism to the Treatise. OOOOOh, don't wanna get involved in that, do we?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 06, 2008, 04:46:53 PM
Popes can say and do things that are "Antichrist", as I fear, I can as well.  Popes have done some pretty boneheaded things in the past, as have Orthodox Lutherans.

Right now, my candidates for Antichrist happen to reside in our country....
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: gcnuss on October 06, 2008, 05:17:52 PM
Popes can say and do things that are "Antichrist", as I fear, I can as well.  Popes have done some pretty boneheaded things in the past, as have Orthodox Lutherans.

Right now, my candidates for Antichrist happen to reside in our country....

If the Pope still had the power to encourage, or insist that, civil rulers burn heretics at the stake, I might be inclined to think of the Papacy
as the anti-Christ.  I will agree that there are candidates far more deserving of the title than either the present Pope or his predecessor.

Peace,
Gary Nuss, STS
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: grabau14 on October 06, 2008, 05:19:09 PM
In the most recent issue of Gottesdienst, the Rev. Fr. Larry Beane (LCMS) has written an excellent article entitled "Is the Papacy Still the Antichrist?"  Fr. Beane's answer isn't "yes."

 Here is the website for the journal  http://www.gottesdienst.org/   It is an excellent liturgical journal.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: pr dtp on October 06, 2008, 05:24:36 PM
In the most recent issue of Gottesdienst, the Rev. Fr. Larry Beane (LCMS) has written an excellent article entiled "Is the Papacy Still the Antichrist?"  Fr. Beane's answer isn't "yes."

 Here is the website for the journal  http://www.gottesdienst.org/   It is an excellent liturgical journal.

As long as the Pope tolerates Trent, and doesn't repeal it (which he can - see the council of Florence) he is.

That doesn't mean he is the only one - indeed - I would say the Mormons are it equally.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 06, 2008, 05:33:38 PM
This approach sounds dangerously close to applying "historical criticism," "contextual criticism" or other aspects of the dreaded "higher" criticism to the Treatise. OOOOOh, don't wanna get involved in that, do we?

Charles,

How come sarcasm sounds so much better when it comes from you and you find it in others usually to be disrespetful?

Dan
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 06, 2008, 05:58:36 PM
Dan Fienan writes:
How come sarcasm sounds so much better when it comes from you and you find it in others usually to be disrespetful? (sic)

I respond:
'Cause I'm better at it. And I love everybody.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: ptmccain on October 06, 2008, 06:03:44 PM
OK, now truly that is a great comeback Charles. A hat-tip to you sir!

 :)
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: racin_jason on October 06, 2008, 06:23:17 PM
(wondering outloud)

I'm curious why Vatican II was included in the the reasoning that the Papacy is no longer the antichrist.
What aspects of the papacy did Vatican II change?

Signed,
Weak on Vatican II
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Erme Wolf on October 06, 2008, 10:32:56 PM
As long as the Pope tolerates Trent, and doesn't repeal it (which he can - see the council of Florence) he is.

That doesn't mean he is the only one - indeed - I would say the Mormons are it equally.

There is a spirit of Antichrist at loose in the Church.

But - with all due respect - you aren't even close.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: grabau14 on October 07, 2008, 10:56:05 AM
Examples of why the pope may no longer be the antichrist from Larry Beane's paper:

One of our confessional reasons for describing the pope as antichrist involves his lack of fraternity with the other bishops: "But now no bishop dares to call the pope 'brother,' as was then customary, but must address him as 'most gracious lord,' as if he were a king or emperor" (SA IV, 1-2, Tappert).  However, in his 2004 work Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way (Grand Central Publishing, 2004), Pope John Paul II offers the book to his "brother bishops" (viii-ix) and his "dear brothers in the episcopate" (216).  He speaks with a humility lacking in the days of Luther: "We bishops all find the presence of our brothers provides us with support expressed through the bonds of prayer and ministry through our witnes, and through sharing the fruit of our pastoral labors" (159-160).  He adds: "I draw great profit from meeting bishops: I could say in all simplicity that from them I learn about the Church.  I do this constantly, because I am always learning new things" (161-162).

He makes reference to the fact that Lutheran pastors  like to use the pope as an easy enemy in the pulpit while ignoring the greater threats as the "emergent movement", Joel Osteen, Oprah, etc...  Also, has the pope stopped the preaching of the Gospel from Lutheran pulpits through the use of force recently?

From his concluding paragraph:

Is the papacy still the antichrist?  I think it is a question worth further inquiry.  It is, I believe, a question that can't be answered with a facile appeal to our Confessions apart from history.  I do believe we put ourselves in grave spiritual danger by assuring ourselves that we are beyond antichrist's grasp because we're not Roman Catholic.  The devil is far too cunning to limit himself to the bureaucracy of only one denomination.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: swbohler on October 07, 2008, 12:47:23 PM
J & S has nailed the reason that the papacy is still the very Antichrist -- because it denies/rejects/damns the teaching of salvation by grace alone, though faith alone.  And calling others "brother" cannot erase that fatal, false, and satanic teaching!
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: grabau14 on October 07, 2008, 01:10:00 PM
Again from Fr. Beane's paper:  Pope Benedict's personal preacher, Fr. Raniero Catalamessa, has preached sermons on grace and faith that were so evangelical, these sermons could be preached in our pulpits.  Benedict did not gag him, order him to recant, or execute him.  To the contrary, this is Benedict's choice for a chaplain.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: swbohler on October 07, 2008, 02:39:07 PM
But the current pope has also continued to uphold the Council of Trent.  When one refuses to repudiate error, one embraces it.  The Roman Catholic Church has an official position -- which the current pope has not, and will not, recanted -- that denies salvation by grace alone, through faith alone.  Simply calling other bishops "brother" or having as chaplain one who may give good sermons does not change that.  The papacy is the very Antichrist.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 07, 2008, 03:13:15 PM
swbohler writes:
The papacy is the very Antichrist.

I muse:
So what then of those who cooperate with this person, say by working with him in opposing abortion or caring for the poor or addressing the immorality of the world? What then of those who honor him through honoring the part of the church he leads or shake his hand when he visits?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: pearson on October 07, 2008, 03:36:47 PM
When one refuses to repudiate error, one embraces it.

This is not so; in fact, it is a logical fallacy.  I can recognize an error held by someone else without either repudiaiting or embracing it.  I recognize that your comment above represents an error, but there is no necessity imposed on me either to repudiate it or to embrace it.   Further, I can repudiate an error held by someone else without ever repudiating the person holding the error. 

Tom Pearson 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: MMH on October 07, 2008, 04:01:27 PM
If we are asking this of the Pope, ought we not ask it of the leaders of other denominations?

I can think of some folks who might fit the bill better Benedict XVI. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 07, 2008, 04:09:36 PM
Matt Hummel writes:
I can think of some folks who might fit the bill better Benedict XVI. 

I comment:
Ah, Matt; but it is The Confessions, The Confessions, The Confessions, THE CONFESSIONS! What they say, without any interpretation, context, or history; that's the deal. That's why we are a "confessional" church.  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: MMH on October 07, 2008, 04:25:31 PM
Matt Hummel writes:
I can think of some folks who might fit the bill better Benedict XVI. 

I comment:
Ah, Matt; but it is The Confessions, The Confessions, The Confessions, THE CONFESSIONS! What they say, without any interpretation, context, or history; that's the deal. That's why we are a "confessional" church.  ;) ;D

My bad! :-[
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 07, 2008, 04:45:50 PM
This may be rank heresy, so be it.  I am having trouble figuring out why it is so important to decide whether the Pope is/was/forever will be the Anti-Christ or not.  I will readily agree that in Luther's day the Popes he dealt with fit many of the characteristics assosciated in the Bible with the Anti-Christ.  Hence the judgements that found their way into the BoC.  Surely I am not being unConfessional to recognize how some past abuses by the Popes and the Roman Catholic Church have been dealt with by that church over the years.  In some ways the papacy that we interact with today is significantly different, and from our point of view, better.  We can also acknowledge the ways in which the RCC have worked to spread the Gospel (which has been and still remains in the RCC, albeit mixed with error), do Christian acts of charity, and attempted to protect the faith from some of the excesses of contemporary culture.  Similarly, I don't think that I am being ungracious when I point out those areas, at times significant, where we disagree, the past errors that have gone uncorrected, and the practices that still tend to distort the pure Gospel message.

In those areas that led to the reformers' judgment that the Pope is the Anti-Christ and that since have been corrected, the judgment no longer applies.  In those areas that led to the reformers' judgment that the Pope is the Anti-Christ that have remained in force within the papacy, the judgment still stands.

I admire the current and recent popes for quite a number of things and feel that they and the RCC have been servants of God's kingdom in those areas.  There still are things that I feel are errors that still need correcting and so I will not be soon going over to Rome.  Our differences and what I understand as errors on their part are just too great for me to undertake the unconditional surrender that I understand swimming the Tiber to entale.

Is it that important for us to decide to label or refrain from labelling the papcy the very Anti-Christ in our day?  Why should it be important?  To me it is more important to recognize error and treat it as such, as well as recognize truth and rejoice in it.  I'm just not convinced that pinning the label on the churchman is all that useful.

Dan
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 07, 2008, 07:12:52 PM
This may be rank heresy, so be it.  I am having trouble figuring out why it is so important to decide whether the Pope is/was/forever will be the Anti-Christ or not.  I will readily agree that in Luther's day the Popes he dealt with fit many of the characteristics assosciated in the Bible with the Anti-Christ.  Hence the judgements that found their way into the BoC.  Surely I am not being unConfessional to recognize how some past abuses by the Popes and the Roman Catholic Church have been dealt with by that church over the years.  In some ways the papacy that we interact with today is significantly different, and from our point of view, better.  We can also acknowledge the ways in which the RCC have worked to spread the Gospel (which has been and still remains in the RCC, albeit mixed with error), do Christian acts of charity, and attempted to protect the faith from some of the excesses of contemporary culture.  Similarly, I don't think that I am being ungracious when I point out those areas, at times significant, where we disagree, the past errors that have gone uncorrected, and the practices that still tend to distort the pure Gospel message.

In those areas that led to the reformers' judgment that the Pope is the Anti-Christ and that since have been corrected, the judgment no longer applies.  In those areas that led to the reformers' judgment that the Pope is the Anti-Christ that have remained in force within the papacy, the judgment still stands.

I admire the current and recent popes for quite a number of things and feel that they and the RCC have been servants of God's kingdom in those areas.  There still are things that I feel are errors that still need correcting and so I will not be soon going over to Rome.  Our differences and what I understand as errors on their part are just too great for me to undertake the unconditional surrender that I understand swimming the Tiber to entale.

Is it that important for us to decide to label or refrain from labelling the papcy the very Anti-Christ in our day?  Why should it be important?  To me it is more important to recognize error and treat it as such, as well as recognize truth and rejoice in it.  I'm just not convinced that pinning the label on the churchman is all that useful.

Dan

The Padre in the Desert adds: AMEN!  Thanks Pr. Fienen
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: loschwitz on October 07, 2008, 09:00:59 PM
Pope endorses Book of Faith

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0805053.htm
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Karl Hess on October 07, 2008, 10:53:15 PM
The papacy pretends to be infallible now, something they did not claim in Luther's day.  Now it is unchangeable dogma.  If anything, the Papacy is more clearly antichrist than it was in Luther's day. 

No matter how many stupid things any protestant group does, they will never be able to be the antichrist.  None of them claim to be infallible, and even if they do, who cares what some Tony Alamo nutjob cultist says?  Mormons are not the antichrist because Joseph Smith did not take his seat in the temple of God.  Instead he denied the Trinity and left the church.  But the pope sits right in the middle of Christendom, is proclaimed infallible, anathematizes the gospel, presumes to let people out of purgatory, and presides over a whole system of religion that obscures Christ and justification.  To proclaim yourself infallible, to act as the Lord of the church but put forth a different system of salvation than the true Lord of the church--that's wanting to be worshipped as God in the midst of the temple of God.

Of course all pastors are tempted this way.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: JoshuaEM on October 07, 2008, 11:20:56 PM
But if we look at a lot of the issues that the reformers tackled as corrollaries to justification by faith, vatican II took care of a lot of these. Melanchthon, in the confessions, acknowledged that the Pope could, and mayhaps should, rule the Western Church by human right. Is there such a thing as infalibility with humility?

Josh
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Samuel_Zumwalt on October 08, 2008, 02:00:03 AM
To avoid breaking the 8th commandment on this one:  I learned in Lutheran/Roman Catholic dialogues that the last ex cathedra pronouncement was in November 1950 when Pius declared the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven was considered to be part of the Catholic faith.  The monsignor/theologian explained to our dialogue group in Dallas TX back in the 80s that ex cathedra pronouncements are always a result of centuries of commonly held belief by the faithful -- rising up from the grassroots.  The same theologian suggested that many of his colleagues wonder if any pope may ever speak ex cathedra again.

Typically, protestants tend to think that papal infallibility is whatever comes out of the pope's mouth on a daily basis or at least from his pastoral letters.  Nay not so.

The Lutheran/Roman Catholic dialogues have produced some good reading for pastors of both traditions.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 08, 2008, 06:12:15 AM
So, Pastor Hess, I guess you are not too friendly with the Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, in your town.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Karl Hess on October 08, 2008, 08:41:11 AM
So, Pastor Hess, I guess you are not too friendly with the Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, in your town.

Actually, I am friendly with them, Charles. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 08, 2008, 09:38:20 AM
And they know you believe their beloved leader is the Anti-Christ? You must tell them, of course, because their souls are in peril. And you must be fervent, persistent and dedicated in winning them away from him.
Tell me how that works these days.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Scott5 on October 08, 2008, 10:44:19 AM
I remain vigilant to false teaching whatever its source.

And charitable in your vigilance I hope, realizing that sometimes folks are pointing to the same thing though utilizing different words, metaphors, examples, etc.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Lutheran_Lay_Leader on October 08, 2008, 05:20:02 PM
Please help me to understand something. Many people in this thread are saying that because the Roman Catholic Church differs in their interpretation of Scripture in a small degree from us Lutherans, that makes the Pope the anti-Christ. So what does that make the followers of Mohammed? If you're going to go looking for an anti-Christ, wouldn't it be someone who started a death cult whose fundamental teaching is nothing but (Sharia) Law?

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 08, 2008, 05:31:43 PM
Mr. Erdner, you will have to read through the concept of the anti-Christ as spoken of in the Lutheran Confessions to grasp what is going on here. "The" anti-Christ is not just some one or some thing that is anti-Christ.
And the confessions definitely speak of the Pope as the anti-Christ.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Karl Hess on October 08, 2008, 05:35:45 PM
And they know you believe their beloved leader is the Anti-Christ? You must tell them, of course, because their souls are in peril. And you must be fervent, persistent and dedicated in winning them away from him.
Tell me how that works these days.

I don't know.  That's not really how I do it.  Kind of like I don't tell people as they first walk into the door of the church that they need to accept that the bible is inerrant and the world was created in 6 days.  Usually, most Lutherans begin with Articles 2, 3, and 4 of the Augustana, and that's how I tend to do it too.  As to how it works--it works as God wants it to work.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Scott5 on October 08, 2008, 07:40:24 PM
Mr. Erdner, you will have to read through the concept of the anti-Christ as spoken of in the Lutheran Confessions to grasp what is going on here. "The" anti-Christ is not just some one or some thing that is anti-Christ.
And the confessions definitely speak of the Pope as the anti-Christ.

Charles is right.  You can't understand this conversation unless you know what the Confessions have to say on the issue (or Luther in multiple locations throughout his corpus).  It is quite complex in that it involves not only understanding the plain sense of the Confessional statements, but their historical context, their goals / intentions by propounding the label, etc.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: pr dtp on October 08, 2008, 08:58:38 PM
Mr. Erdner, you will have to read through the concept of the anti-Christ as spoken of in the Lutheran Confessions to grasp what is going on here. "The" anti-Christ is not just some one or some thing that is anti-Christ.
And the confessions definitely speak of the Pope as the anti-Christ.

Charles is right.  You can't understand this conversation unless you know what the Confessions have to say on the issue (or Luther in multiple locations throughout his corpus).  It is quite complex in that it involves not only understanding the plain sense of the Confessional statements, but their historical context, their goals / intentions by propounding the label, etc.

Not only that, but as we confess the confessions are based on the correct exposition of scripture.

A decent review there helps as well.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 08, 2008, 09:00:47 PM
Mr. Erdner, you will have to read through the concept of the anti-Christ as spoken of in the Lutheran Confessions to grasp what is going on here. "The" anti-Christ is not just some one or some thing that is anti-Christ.
And the confessions definitely speak of the Pope as the anti-Christ.

Charles is right.  You can't understand this conversation unless you know what the Confessions have to say on the issue (or Luther in multiple locations throughout his corpus).  It is quite complex in that it involves not only understanding the plain sense of the Confessional statements, but their historical context, their goals / intentions by propounding the label, etc.

Not only that, but as we confess the confessions are based on the correct exposition of scripture.

A decent review there helps as well.
And many of us believe that the Confessions are historically conditioned, just like scriptures. Not everything in them applies directly to the 21st century.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Scott5 on October 09, 2008, 08:19:01 AM
I must confess I struggle with this. It is certainly true that we should work to discern the meaning of what someone is writing or saying rather than worrying over words and especially twisting them.

An interesting tidbit of information is that in their colloquies with the Roman Catholics, the Lutheran Reformers adjusted the language they used from that in the AC (which was the basis for their discussions, and interestingly enough, they normally used the Variata) in order to arrive at an agreement with their Roman interlocutors.  An example is at Regensburg in 1541 where they even agreed to a re-written statement of the article on justification (though this reformulation was later rejected by the political leaders of both sides).

However, it must be realized that in this sinful world, words can be used to obfuscate as well as to clarify. Furthermore, words mean things, and when that meaning is contextualized away, we end up left with little other than word salad.

Context is indeed critically important in understanding Scripture rightly. However, I believe the more that we move from an attitude in which Scripture is understood to have an objective meaning after studied consideration to a subjective attitude that "this is what Scripture means to me", the more we invite trouble.

Right.  That is why I've had multiple discussions on this forum trying to get at how both the "objective" meaning of words can be understood while maintaining that it's actually people who do the interpreting (the so-called "subjective" side) along with all that their historical situatedness means.  Putting the two poles at odds with each other -- i.e. words as decontextualized signifiers pointing to eternally static and characterizable realities vs. words as meaning whatever seems appropriate to me at the time -- is where the problem lies.  Such an approach inevitably distorts not only what actually occurs in interpretation but also each pole itself.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Team Hesse on October 09, 2008, 09:39:04 AM
Right.  That is why I've had multiple discussions on this forum trying to get at how both the "objective" meaning of words can be understood while maintaining that it's actually people who do the interpreting (the so-called "subjective" side) along with all that their historical situatedness means.  Putting the two poles at odds with each other -- i.e. words as decontextualized signifiers pointing to eternally static and characterizable realities vs. words as meaning whatever seems appropriate to me at the time -- is where the problem lies.  Such an approach inevitably distorts not only what actually occurs in interpretation but also each pole itself.

Count me as one person who hopes and prays you continue to make this point as often and in as many venues as possible.  It takes effort to understand what you're driving at, but much wisdom is found therein.
Lou
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on October 09, 2008, 11:31:59 AM
Please help me to understand something. Many people in this thread are saying that because the Roman Catholic Church differs in their interpretation of Scripture in a small degree from us Lutherans, that makes the Pope the anti-Christ. So what does that make the followers of Mohammed? If you're going to go looking for an anti-Christ, wouldn't it be someone who started a death cult whose fundamental teaching is nothing but (Sharia) Law?

Lots of comments followed this one, focusing on the significance (i.e. sign value) of the confessional use of the term.

But if there's any value in exploring the meaning of I John 2:22 (and I'm not arguing that there is), surely Mr. Erdner brings up a point worth discussing.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 09, 2008, 12:11:29 PM
Right.  That is why I've had multiple discussions on this forum trying to get at how both the "objective" meaning of words can be understood while maintaining that it's actually people who do the interpreting (the so-called "subjective" side) along with all that their historical situatedness means.
What isn't so clear in the above statement is that words often have multiple "objective" meanings. Sometimes the range of meanings can be quite broad, e.g., the word "bar". Sometimes there can just be nuances of differences. Sometimes "objective" meanings take on metaphorical senses within some contexts, e.g., "sleep with" -- does it really mean sleep or sex?

Quote
Putting the two poles at odds with each other -- i.e. words as decontextualized signifiers pointing to eternally static and characterizable realities vs. words as meaning whatever seems appropriate to me at the time -- is where the problem lies.  Such an approach inevitably distorts not only what actually occurs in interpretation but also each pole itself.
Words do not mean whatever we want them to mean, but they create a range of meanings and we need to select from that range what it may mean within the particular context. Often, even in more literal English translations of the NT, one Greek word may be translated in different ways because the context changes the meaning.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: pearson on October 09, 2008, 01:01:25 PM
What isn't so clear in the above statement is that words often have multiple "objective" meanings. Sometimes the range of meanings can be quite broad, e.g., the word "bar". Sometimes there can just be nuances of differences. Sometimes "objective" meanings take on metaphorical senses within some contexts, e.g., "sleep with" -- does it really mean sleep or sex?

Words do not mean whatever we want them to mean, but they create a range of meanings and we need to select from that range what it may mean within the particular context. Often, even in more literal English translations of the NT, one Greek word may be translated in different ways because the context changes the meaning.

All this is quite true.  But it might be misleading, Brian, to use phrases like "we need to select. . .", if such phrases suggest that when multiple meanings for a term occur, then we get to choose which meaning is "right for us."  All of us live within our linguistic environments, and the appropriate "meaning" of a term typically recommends itself in specific situations.  We don't choose our meanings; the linguistic context we inhabit does that job for us.  When multiple meanings of a word exist, the linguistic context indicates to us the meaning that is most suitable to the immediate event.   The same is true, I think, of reading the biblical text (as you suggest): the more we know of the linguistic context of a particular writer, the more likely we are to discover a suitable meaning within a text.

But I confess this stuff ain't easy for me to figure out.  After several years of studying language and metaphor with the likes of Mark Johnson and George Lakoff, I now have no idea what "meaning" actually means (and neither do they).  So much for the benefits of a higher education.  (Yes, yes, Scott, I know:  just read Peirce and all will become clear).

Tom Pearson
 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 09, 2008, 02:46:19 PM
All this is quite true.  But it might be misleading, Brian, to use phrases like "we need to select. . .", if such phrases suggest that when multiple meanings for a term occur, then we get to choose which meaning is "right for us."
The word "need" is unnecessary. We select a meaning that we believe fits the contexts; and there are at least two contexts: that of the text and that of the reader/hearer.

For instance, having grown up in Portland, Oregon, the few times we had snow, it was nearly always the wet, heavy snow. That's all I knew about "snow" until I lived in the midwest and discovered a different type of snow that could be "shoveled" with a broom. So, in my earlier life, I had essentially only one "context" for understanding "snow" in "The snow fell on a cold, winter night." After life in the midwest, I had another, personal context for understanding a different nuance concerning the word "snow".

Quote
All of us live within our linguistic environments, and the appropriate "meaning" of a term typically recommends itself in specific situations.  We don't choose our meanings; the linguistic context we inhabit does that job for us.  When multiple meanings of a word exist, the linguistic context indicates to us the meaning that is most suitable to the immediate event.   The same is true, I think, of reading the biblical text (as you suggest): the more we know of the linguistic context of a particular writer, the more likely we are to discover a suitable meaning within a text.
The linguistic context is certainly a necessary component of defining a word, but one's personal context also comes into play.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Scott5 on October 09, 2008, 07:36:03 PM
(Yes, yes, Scott, I know:  just read Peirce and all will become clear).

Not at all.  Read Peirce through Ochs.  Ricoeur makes some good steps, too, in his discussion of interpretive movements embodied in a dialogic relation between understanding and explication, and Gadamer lays down a helpful ontology even as Habermas points to a way of fixing logics.  But Ochs helps to draw these guys (and lots of other folks like the Rabbis, the Church Fathers, and oh yeah, the Scriptures) together.

http://www.amazon.com/Peirce-Pragmatism-Logic-Scripture-Peter/dp/0521570417/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223595388&sr=8-1

Oh, and if becomes "clear," then you've read them wrong.  Oddly enough, what you're after is vague clarity where pesky things like the laws of the excluded middle and non-contradiction become a bit oogly.  Clear?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: pearson on October 09, 2008, 10:59:34 PM
Oh, and if becomes "clear," then you've read them wrong.  Oddly enough, what you're after is vague clarity where pesky things like the laws of the excluded middle and non-contradiction become a bit oogly.  Clear?

Oh.  Sure.  "Oogly."  Got it.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Scott5 on October 09, 2008, 11:21:32 PM
Oh, and if becomes "clear," then you've read them wrong.  Oddly enough, what you're after is vague clarity where pesky things like the laws of the excluded middle and non-contradiction become a bit oogly.  Clear?

Oh.  Sure.  "Oogly."  Got it.

Tom Pearson

Glad to see you're up with the latest techinical terminology.  ;)   8)
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Weedon on October 10, 2008, 09:45:47 AM
Mike,

Yet to identify the papacy as "the" antichrist is not to identify a "single" antichrist, but a succession of them, no?  So doesn't that still land you with John's "many antichrists"?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Keith Falk on October 10, 2008, 08:02:53 PM
Oh, and if becomes "clear," then you've read them wrong.  Oddly enough, what you're after is vague clarity where pesky things like the laws of the excluded middle and non-contradiction become a bit oogly.  Clear?

Oh.  Sure.  "Oogly."  Got it.

Tom Pearson

Clearly Ph.D studies are not as difficult as I had originally thought if "oogly" passes muster with you two   ;D
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Jeff-MN on October 12, 2008, 01:10:57 PM
what happened to the idea of sola scriptura?

don't read in Holy Scripture anywhere that explicitly states "The papacy is the Anti-Christ".
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on October 13, 2008, 02:28:41 PM
what happened to the idea of sola scriptura?

don't read in Holy Scripture anywhere that explicitly states "The papacy is the Anti-Christ".

In an earlier post I referenced I John 2:22:
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

The "anti-Christ" label during the Reformation was polemic and internal, and did not assert that opponents' monotheism was something other than trinitarian. Even though the Turkish empire was invading Western Europe at the time, it didn't seem to occur to anyone to find out whether there were theological assertions at the root of the intentions for conquest. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on October 25, 2012, 11:36:59 AM
Perhaps it is time to revive this poll.

In 2008, twelve brave souls were willing to confess the Papacy as still being the very Antichrist.

I can reset the poll if anyone thinks our Lutheran confessional beliefs have changed.

Mike
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on October 25, 2012, 02:23:02 PM
Such issues are not best resolved by counting noses.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on October 25, 2012, 02:56:38 PM
Such issues are not best resolved by counting noses.

Agreed.

However, they work well to counter implications such as the following that such a view has become incredibly rare.

I remember reading comments where at least one person still believes the pope (or at least the office of pope) is the anti-Christ.

i also note that two more members have joined with the original twelve which confess this.

Mike
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on October 25, 2012, 04:51:57 PM
I could vote that I thought that Leo X was an anti-christ. I also think he held that role before being seated in the Pope's chair.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2012, 05:23:39 PM
However, they work well to counter implications such as the following that such a view has become incredibly rare.

I remember reading comments where at least one person still believes the pope (or at least the office of pope) is the anti-Christ.


"At least one person" means one or more. Is that statement wrong? Since I couldn't remember all the details of the discussion (or this poll) I wasn't going to pull some number out of my head which would likely be wrong.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: vicarbob on October 25, 2012, 07:55:00 PM
I greatly appreciate the comments of at least two posters who understand that Islam is The Anti-Christ, and Mohammad certainly was its prophet. The invading "Turks" were most certainly about land grab, but were more for "conversion" by the sword. In a secular world so concerned about PC for a Church not to identify the anti-Christ alive and well in the world is not preaching the Gospel of Christ alone.
i minister in a community in which the Muslim population is on the rise, a brand new mosque is being built down the street from us......our building is for sale. At least one prospective buyer was from another mosque who expressed interest in purchasing the church building. He had said that it was not their intention to convert the church into a mosque, but rather to change it into a "cultural center".
It has taken several years of daily greeting by me to our Moslem neighbors to finally receive a heartfelt greeting in return. Offering each other "God's Peace" is a regular exchange. But one incident made me mindful of our differences. A teenager was found attempting to break the glass window of our outside bulletin board. Stopped from further damage by one of our Christian neighbors he asked the youth why he was doing it. The young man pointed to the Lord's Prayer, in Arabic in the shape of a Cross which we have posted. "We" can't allow this to go on and be seen by our people when they pass bye each day".
So no, the current Pope is no anti-Christ, those who deny Jesus as Lord and Savior..............
pax
Bob+
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Eileen Smith on October 25, 2012, 08:04:07 PM
Has anyone on this site had the opportunity to visit Italy and see, in person, Luca Signorelli's "The Antichrist" or, perhaps, even a photo of it?  It is a haunting painting of a figure with a likeness to many of the paintings of Christ, but there is a figure behind him, whispering in his ear and this figure's arm is extended through the alb of the man.  This painting, to me, illustrates evil - as the Antichrist is.  Can anyone really believe this of the Pope.  It saddens me to even think that in this day and age one would have such views. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Tim Schenks on October 27, 2012, 04:09:01 AM
It saddens me to even think that in this day and age one would have such views.

Why wouldn't one still have such views?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Eileen Smith on October 27, 2012, 08:33:48 AM
One definition of the Antichrist is:  one who denies or opposes Christ; specifically : a great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ at his second coming.  I don't think the Pope denies or opposes Christ in any way.  He leads a church that doesn't conform to what we believe as Lutherans - but I cannot, in my lifetime, remember a Pope who denied Christ.  The Pope and priests of the church preach of the Incarnate love of Christ - His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His coming again. 

As well, when I hear the word Antichrist, I always go back to the Signorelli painting. Since I first saw it, I have always thought it as such a powerful statement of all that is evil.  In its simplicity, it makes a profound statement. We see one who not simply opposes or denies Christ, but is evil and manipulates those who are weak away from Christ.



Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: John_Hannah on October 27, 2012, 09:05:40 AM
I glanced at the poll and noticed that the math does not add up. 52 votes have been cast.

Demons in the program?  A sign from God?


Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 27, 2012, 10:00:13 AM
Sad that 17 people still think the pope is the Anti-Christ.
Interesting to see that  21 think the pope never was the Anti-Christ.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on October 27, 2012, 02:43:17 PM
One definition of the Antichrist is:  one who denies or opposes Christ; specifically : a great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ at his second coming.  I don't think the Pope denies or opposes Christ in any way.  He leads a church that doesn't conform to what we believe as Lutherans - but I cannot, in my lifetime, remember a Pope who denied Christ.  The Pope and priests of the church preach of the Incarnate love of Christ - His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His coming again. 

As well, when I hear the word Antichrist, I always go back to the Signorelli painting. Since I first saw it, I have always thought it as such a powerful statement of all that is evil.  In its simplicity, it makes a profound statement. We see one who not simply opposes or denies Christ, but is evil and manipulates those who are weak away from Christ.


That's all well and good except for one thing. The Antichrist will be following Satan, the great Deceiver. I wouldn't expect anyone attempting to promote an evil agenda through deceit and trickery to be upfront and honest about it.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Keith Falk on October 27, 2012, 04:43:17 PM
Is asking "Is the papacy still the very antichrist?" any different from asking "Is the pope still the very antichrist?"  How might the wording difference affect responders?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 27, 2012, 05:37:56 PM
It seems to me that an issue that is raised is whether or not one can say that the pope is not the antichrist and still be faithful to the Lutheran Confessions.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Eileen Smith on October 27, 2012, 09:09:29 PM
That's all well and good except for one thing. The Antichrist will be following Satan, the great Deceiver. I wouldn't expect anyone attempting to promote an evil agenda through deceit and trickery to be upfront and honest about it.


[/quote]

That's the point of the painting.  The figure of the one who is being manipulated is as beautiful as the paintings of Christ; however, another's hand extends through the robe, another voice whispers in his ear.  The painting allows that evil gives the appearance of beauty.

Is asking "Is the papacy still the very antichrist?" any different from asking "Is the pope still the very antichrist?"  How might the wording difference affect responders?

There were Popes who abused their power, authority, and office.  Does that make the papacy the Antichrist?  There are clergy who have abused their power, authority, and office.  Does that make the office of the ordained the antichrist?  No, it doesn't change my mind.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: vicarbob on October 27, 2012, 09:18:50 PM
Can I ask.........Was Mohamed The Anti-Christ and is Islam the greatest thread against Christianity?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 27, 2012, 11:56:50 PM
Can I ask.........Was Mohamed The Anti-Christ and is Islam the greatest thread against Christianity?


Karl Rahner surmised: “The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.”


If true, the greatest threat against Christianity are Christians who fail to live like it.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: vicarbob on October 28, 2012, 06:31:01 PM
Can I ask.........Was Mohamed The Anti-Christ and is Islam the greatest thread against Christianity?
[/quote
Karl Rahner surmised: “The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.”
If true, the greatest threat against Christianity are Christians who fail to live like it.


I agree Brian with what was quoted and your addition. However, that doesn't answer the question I posed.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 29, 2012, 02:20:55 AM
Can I ask.........Was Mohamed The Anti-Christ and is Islam the greatest thread against Christianity?
Karl Rahner surmised: “The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.”
If true, the greatest threat against Christianity are Christians who fail to live like it.

I agree Brian with what was quoted and your addition. However, that doesn't answer the question I posed.


Actually, your question was, "Can I ask?" Since you did ask, you answered it. I figured that my statement that the greatest threat against Christianity are Christians who fail to live like it was an answer concerning the "greatest threat" in your question.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: vicarbob on October 29, 2012, 09:45:13 AM
Thank you Brian...........my bad, I forgot the games people play, like Gilda said on SNL........never mind.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on February 18, 2013, 11:23:50 AM
It appears time to revive this poll.

I reset the counts to zero.  We'll see if the breakdown has changed.

Mike
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Lawrence804 on February 18, 2013, 02:35:38 PM
Papacy has never been the Antichrist. Nonsense in the 1500's, nonsense now.

But there were a lot of awful polemics in the 1500's. Hate and bile from both sides. The Reformation was a very good thing, but there are parts of the story that were tragic indeed.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BrotherBoris on February 19, 2013, 05:08:43 PM
Just a thought here:  Could it perhaps be possible that calling the Papacy the very Antichrist was simply part of the hyperbole of the Reformation?  One of my favorites quotes from Francis Schaeffer is "beware of the habits you learn during controversies."  When one has controversies and arguments and disagreements, passions are raised.  When passions are raised, people can say all sorts of things that they normally would not say. I think its kind of unrealistic to hold modern day Lutherans to some statements the elderly and cranky Luther made in the Schmalkald Articles about the Papacy.  I think it is both wise and prudent to look at the historical circumstances that led Luther to make those statements and place them in their proper context. 

I am not trying to sweep Lutheran and Roman Catholic differences under the rug in the name of some false ecumenism or "feel good" Christianity.  I recognize Lutherans and Roman Catholics have real, legitimate differences in their theology.  It does seem to me, however, that some Lutherans fixate on the Council of Trent to such a degree that they forget that Rome has held other Councils as well.   I do really get tired of the old Lutheran canard of "Rome damned the Gospel" at Trent.  Rome did no such thing.  Let's try to be honest and fair here.  Rome rejected the Lutheran interpretation of the doctrine of justification at Trent.  Rome most certainly did not anathematize the Gospel at Trent because Rome reads from the Holy Gospel at every Mass and confesses the Christ rose from the dead every time they recite the Nicene Creed.  I think a fairer and more objective way to phrase things might be "Lutherans hold to a monergistc view of salvation while Roman Catholics hold to a synergistic view of salvation" and leave it at all.  Throwing around the words "antichrist", "anathema" and "damned the gospel" are simply not helpful.  Can we not develop a new way to speak about those who disagree with us theologically in the 21st century without sounding so tribal, hateful and partisan?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Team Hesse on February 19, 2013, 05:31:41 PM
Sometimes the truth hurts.


The "old cranky Luther" of Smalcald is not where the strongest language against the Papacy is found in the confessions. The much more irenic and peace loving Melanchthon was the author of the "Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope" at the request of John the Steadfast who thought Luther had not been clear enough on this matter.


It is no small matter of bemusement to me that some who will argue vehemently for certain fine points of the Lutheran Confessions (particularly from the FOC) as almost a litmus test for whether one is a Lutheran or not will back-peddle as fast as they can from this particular piece of our confessional heritage. There were arguments among Lutherans over many things in the FOC. The Papacy was not one of the points that the second generation of Lutherans argued about....


Lou
SC
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 28, 2013, 10:38:42 PM
Perhaps it's time to resurrect this thread for those who want to battle this some more.

Dan
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: carlvehse on December 28, 2013, 11:04:05 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 28, 2013, 11:07:40 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 28, 2013, 11:09:54 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;)  ;D
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: LutherMan on December 28, 2013, 11:10:15 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).
Apparently some LCMS'ers at this forum don't hold to a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.
Including some prominent ones...
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 28, 2013, 11:11:00 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) :P


Not ALPB polls?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 28, 2013, 11:14:30 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) :P


Not ALPB polls?

No.  ALPB is definitely hierarchical. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on December 28, 2013, 11:34:56 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) ;D


Though not a partisan or advocate for the ELCA, I've read more than a few posts in here where folks from the LCMS refer to votes taken at large, official gatherings to settle disputes. Granted, there's often the loophole that they only vote on interpreting or implementing doctrine, not the doctrine itself. That strikes me as picayune nitpicking.


If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 28, 2013, 11:57:00 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) ;D


Though not a partisan or advocate for the ELCA, I've read more than a few posts in here where folks from the LCMS refer to votes taken at large, official gatherings to settle disputes. Granted, there's often the loophole that they only vote on interpreting or implementing doctrine, not the doctrine itself. That strikes me as picayune nitpicking.


If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

Since I belong to the ELCA, I picked on the ELCA, in a reply to our friend Brian, who is also an ELCA pastor.  From a comment by John Hannah on another thread, it seems that some in the LCMS have a similar complaint about doctrine being submitted to majority vote.*  But since I do not belong to the LCMS, I did not include them in my attempt a humor.  Furthermore, "only in the _____________" is a familiar figure of speech that most people understand is not to be taken literally. 

*Actually, it seems from what I have read that such a complaint has been around for decades in the LCMS.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 29, 2013, 12:25:01 AM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) :P


Not ALPB polls?

No.  ALPB is definitely hierarchical.


True, I don't remember voting for our all-powerful moderators.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Tim Schenks on December 29, 2013, 02:11:43 AM

If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

I think there are a lot of LCMS congregations who vote on doctrine who are not supposed to. For example, there are congregations who vote to have the Lord's Supper less often, when the Confessions do say that we offer the Supper every Lord's Day. The correct response to voting on doctrine is that you don't vote on it.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on December 29, 2013, 04:32:48 AM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) ;D


Though not a partisan or advocate for the ELCA, I've read more than a few posts in here where folks from the LCMS refer to votes taken at large, official gatherings to settle disputes. Granted, there's often the loophole that they only vote on interpreting or implementing doctrine, not the doctrine itself. That strikes me as picayune nitpicking.


If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

Since I belong to the ELCA, I picked on the ELCA, in a reply to our friend Brian, who is also an ELCA pastor.  From a comment by John Hannah on another thread, it seems that some in the LCMS have a similar complaint about doctrine being submitted to majority vote.*  But since I do not belong to the LCMS, I did not include them in my attempt a humor.  Furthermore, "only in the _____________" is a familiar figure of speech that most people understand is not to be taken literally. 

*Actually, it seems from what I have read that such a complaint has been around for decades in the LCMS.


My apologies. I haven't memorized the denominational affiliations of everyone who participates in here.


It also seems to me that most of the doctrine we all are taught, and that we aren't supposed to vote on, was decided by a vote at some ecumenical council or gathering in the early church. Weren't things like the Nicene Creed decided by a vote of bishops?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 29, 2013, 07:45:16 AM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) :P


Not ALPB polls?

No.  ALPB is definitely hierarchical.


True, I don't remember voting for our all-powerful moderators.

Would anyone really run for that position!
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 29, 2013, 07:49:58 AM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) :P


Not ALPB polls?

No.  ALPB is definitely hierarchical.


True, I don't remember voting for our all-powerful moderators.

I think they get their position through a form of historic succession.   ;) :D
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: swbohler on December 29, 2013, 08:11:49 AM

If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

I think there are a lot of LCMS congregations who vote on doctrine who are not supposed to. For example, there are congregations who vote to have the Lord's Supper less often, when the Confessions do say that we offer the Supper every Lord's Day. The correct response to voting on doctrine is that you don't vote on it.

Mr. Schenks,

The Confessions also say "We keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of the lessons, prayers, vestments, etc."  In fact, that is the very next sentence after the one that says "In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals..."  So, are you wanting to say that those LCMS churches that do not use the "liturgical forms, such as the order of lessons, prayers, vestments, etc." as they did in Melanchthon's experience are not following Lutheran doctrine?  How about the use of German hymns, along with Latin hymns, as he writes is done "among us" in our observation of the Mass?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Tim Schenks on December 29, 2013, 08:49:08 AM

If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

I think there are a lot of LCMS congregations who vote on doctrine who are not supposed to. For example, there are congregations who vote to have the Lord's Supper less often, when the Confessions do say that we offer the Supper every Lord's Day. The correct response to voting on doctrine is that you don't vote on it.

Mr. Schenks,

The Confessions also say "We keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of the lessons, prayers, vestments, etc."  In fact, that is the very next sentence after the one that says "In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals..."  So, are you wanting to say that those LCMS churches that do not use the "liturgical forms, such as the order of lessons, prayers, vestments, etc." as they did in Melanchthon's experience are not following Lutheran doctrine?  How about the use of German hymns, along with Latin hymns, as he writes is done "among us" in our observation of the Mass?

The difference to me would be that Holy Communion is a major doctrinal article in the Confessions. Liturgical forms isn't a Means of Grace and doesn't have entire confessional articles assigned to it.

One should not make changes it offends members of the congregation.  Liturgy is not adiaphora.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 29, 2013, 09:45:19 AM

I think they get their position through a form of historic succession.   ;) :D

Historic, yes. Apostolic, no.  8)
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: swbohler on December 29, 2013, 11:27:16 AM

If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

I think there are a lot of LCMS congregations who vote on doctrine who are not supposed to. For example, there are congregations who vote to have the Lord's Supper less often, when the Confessions do say that we offer the Supper every Lord's Day. The correct response to voting on doctrine is that you don't vote on it.

Mr. Schenks,

The Confessions also say "We keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of the lessons, prayers, vestments, etc."  In fact, that is the very next sentence after the one that says "In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals..."  So, are you wanting to say that those LCMS churches that do not use the "liturgical forms, such as the order of lessons, prayers, vestments, etc." as they did in Melanchthon's experience are not following Lutheran doctrine?  How about the use of German hymns, along with Latin hymns, as he writes is done "among us" in our observation of the Mass?

The difference to me would be that Holy Communion is a major doctrinal article in the Confessions. Liturgical forms isn't a Means of Grace and doesn't have entire confessional articles assigned to it.

One should not make changes it offends members of the congregation.  Liturgy is not adiaphora.

I agree that what the Lord's Supper is and what it does are doctrine.  But you apparently want to make the frequency of its being offered a doctrinal issue (so what about how often it is received by a person?), and I do not understand on waht basis you would do this.  When Melanchthon writes about it being offered every Sunday, how is that any different than his writing in the very next sentence that "our churches" also use certain vestments and order of lessons and the like (none of which, I imagine, most of our churches today use)?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: carlvehse on December 29, 2013, 11:36:50 AM
In his Ninth (November 21, 1884) Evening Lecture (http://lutherantheology.com/uploads/works/walther/LG/lecture-09.html), which dealt with Thesis V of The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel (Trans. W.H.T., Dau, Concordia Publishing House, 1929), C.F.W. Walther wrote: 
Quote
Not quite 400 million of these [1,400 million people on Earth], that is, not quite one-third of the race, profess faith in Christ as the only Savior. Verily, this is an appalling state of affairs, pitiful enough to draw tears from us. However, still more appalling and lamentable is the fact that of these 400 million nominal Christians nearly one-half are still followers of the Pope, the Antichrist.

True, quite a number, in fact, the majority, of those who claim to be Lutherans refuse to believe that the Pope is the Antichrist and the Papacy the antichristian power. With the entire Church of the Reformation and in accord with the confessions of this Church the orthodox American Lutheran Church of our time still in full earnest maintains the position that the Pope is the Antichrist. But that is, at best, regarded as an odd fancy of narrow-minded men, who refuse to keep step with the times.

If you ask why this is so, I answer that it is chiefly because people no longer know what constitutes the Antichrist and the antichristian dominion. People say: “We admit that, especially in the Middle Ages, there were many Popes who were veritable abominations and, even in the view of Romish writers, were swallowed up by hell.” It is admitted that many shocking abominations are still practiced by the Papacy, but this is offset by the reminder that there is not a Church free from errors and even from Judases.

It is furthermore admitted that the Papacy is propagating the most horrible heresies, but over against this the fact is stressed that even the Papacy holds strictly to the three Ecumenical Creeds. For at the opening session and solemn organization of the Council of Trent, in 1545, those three creeds were recited. Our attention is also called to the fact that the Popes believe the Bible of the Old and the New Testament to be the revealed Word of God, God to be triune, and Christ to be God and man in one person and the Savior of the world. We are told: “The papists confess, just as we do, their faith in a future resurrection of the dead, a last Judgment, before which all men will be cited, and a heaven and a hell. Far, then, from being the dominion of Antichrist,” these people say, “the Papacy is rather a powerful dam shutting out the fearful deluge of unbelief that has come down on the Christian Church.”

People see the rule of Antichrist in pantheism, materialism, atheism, socialism, nihilism, anarchism, and other horrible isms to which the modern age has fallen heir.

But why is it that from the aforementioned premises men will draw the conclusion that the Papacy is not the rule of Antichrist and the Pope not the veritable Antichrist? The chief reason is that people fail to consider what it means when the Pope claims to be the viceregent of Christ on earth and the visible head of the entire Christian Church. In order to be this, he must, of course, profess many Christian doctrines. He has to put on a mask, otherwise Antichrist could not possibly exist in the midst of the Christian Church. Moreover, he has to declare war against the enemies of all religions and against the enemies of the Christian religion to support his claim of being the viceregent of Christ. He knows that, when Christ falls, Antichrist, too, must fall. For when He falls whose viceregent the Pope claims to be, there is an end of the viceregency. When the Pope apparently fights for Christ and the Christian Church, he fights for himself and his dominion.

But the point of supreme importance is this: Passing by those societies which deny the Triune God and which are outside of the pale of the Christian Church, I find that the Pope is the only one in the entire Christian Church who is an outspoken enemy of the free grace of God in Christ, an enemy of the Gospel under the guise of the Christian religion and aping its institutions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary.)
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 29, 2013, 12:53:12 PM
One of the key Scriptural texts for the
Lutheran belief that the Pope is the Anti-
Christ and the Man of Lawlessness is
2 Thessalonians 2:4.

However, the Concordia  Self-Study Bible
(CPH 1986) has the following footnote for
that verse:  "Lutheran tradition sees the
papacy as the man of lawlessness. But this
tradition must remain a historical judgment,
not a scriptural truth."
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 29, 2013, 03:14:38 PM
One of the key Scriptural texts for the
Lutheran belief that the Pope is the Anti-
Christ and the Man of Lawlessness is
2 Thessalonians 2:4.

However, the Concordia  Self-Study Bible
(CPH 1986) has the following footnote for
that verse:  "Lutheran tradition sees the
papacy as the man of lawlessness. But this
tradition must remain a historical judgment,
not a scriptural truth."


Why do we consider the "man of lawlessness" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to be the "antichrist" of 1 & 2 John?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dave Benke on December 29, 2013, 09:04:43 PM

If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

I think there are a lot of LCMS congregations who vote on doctrine who are not supposed to. For example, there are congregations who vote to have the Lord's Supper less often, when the Confessions do say that we offer the Supper every Lord's Day. The correct response to voting on doctrine is that you don't vote on it.

Mr. Schenks,

The Confessions also say "We keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of the lessons, prayers, vestments, etc."  In fact, that is the very next sentence after the one that says "In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals..."  So, are you wanting to say that those LCMS churches that do not use the "liturgical forms, such as the order of lessons, prayers, vestments, etc." as they did in Melanchthon's experience are not following Lutheran doctrine?  How about the use of German hymns, along with Latin hymns, as he writes is done "among us" in our observation of the Mass?

I agree with SW here.  Only German and Latin hymns should be allowed "among us."  Or else the Lutheran faith is lost.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 29, 2013, 09:21:54 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) ;D


Though not a partisan or advocate for the ELCA, I've read more than a few posts in here where folks from the LCMS refer to votes taken at large, official gatherings to settle disputes. Granted, there's often the loophole that they only vote on interpreting or implementing doctrine, not the doctrine itself. That strikes me as picayune nitpicking.


If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

Since I belong to the ELCA, I picked on the ELCA, in a reply to our friend Brian, who is also an ELCA pastor.  From a comment by John Hannah on another thread, it seems that some in the LCMS have a similar complaint about doctrine being submitted to majority vote.*  But since I do not belong to the LCMS, I did not include them in my attempt a humor.  Furthermore, "only in the _____________" is a familiar figure of speech that most people understand is not to be taken literally. 

*Actually, it seems from what I have read that such a complaint has been around for decades in the LCMS.


My apologies. I haven't memorized the denominational affiliations of everyone who participates in here.


It also seems to me that most of the doctrine we all are taught, and that we aren't supposed to vote on, was decided by a vote at some ecumenical council or gathering in the early church. Weren't things like the Nicene Creed decided by a vote of bishops?

I think that is generally true, though the historians would know more about what exact mechanism was used to reach agreement in each case.

The issue for me is whether, in the Lutheran church,democratic bodies have the right to adopt new confessions or add to our existing confessions.  As a Lutheran pastor, I have subscribed to the Scriptures, Ecumenical Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions.  I do not believe that a synodical convention or a churchwide assembly has the right to require subscription to additional statements of faith, political platforms, etc... Whether they are adding the confessions or subtracting from them, does not matter.  They can set policy, adopt budgets, elect people to various positions, and even give pass resolutions, but it is not their place to adopt new confessions.

Some have argued that synod conventions/churchwide assemblies have overstepped those boundaries several times in the last century.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 29, 2013, 09:55:01 PM
In Matthew 24, Christ speaks of many who
will come as a false Christ.  They will deceive
people into believing they are the true Christ
and lead them astray.

Some recent examples include Jim Jones at
Guyana, David Koresh at Waco,  Pastor Moon
in Korea.  These men actually told their followers
"I am Christ."  Before Christ returns at the end
of the age, there will be more of these type of
men who lie and deceive people.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on December 29, 2013, 09:58:45 PM
An ALPB Antichrist poll does not supplant a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary).


Is doctrine determined by majority vote?

Only in the ELCA! ;) ;D


Though not a partisan or advocate for the ELCA, I've read more than a few posts in here where folks from the LCMS refer to votes taken at large, official gatherings to settle disputes. Granted, there's often the loophole that they only vote on interpreting or implementing doctrine, not the doctrine itself. That strikes me as picayune nitpicking.


If it takes a majority vote by some sort of official gathering of LCMS officials to decide whether or not the LCMS is in full communion fellowship with some other church body, that seems to me to be determining doctrinal issues by a majority vote. I'm not saying that the LCMS is wrong to decide such matters using that method. But it is hypocritical to even jest that only the ELCA does such things.

Since I belong to the ELCA, I picked on the ELCA, in a reply to our friend Brian, who is also an ELCA pastor.  From a comment by John Hannah on another thread, it seems that some in the LCMS have a similar complaint about doctrine being submitted to majority vote.*  But since I do not belong to the LCMS, I did not include them in my attempt a humor.  Furthermore, "only in the _____________" is a familiar figure of speech that most people understand is not to be taken literally. 

*Actually, it seems from what I have read that such a complaint has been around for decades in the LCMS.


My apologies. I haven't memorized the denominational affiliations of everyone who participates in here.


It also seems to me that most of the doctrine we all are taught, and that we aren't supposed to vote on, was decided by a vote at some ecumenical council or gathering in the early church. Weren't things like the Nicene Creed decided by a vote of bishops?

I think that is generally true, though the historians would know more about what exact mechanism was used to reach agreement in each case.

The issue for me is whether, in the Lutheran church,democratic bodies have the right to adopt new confessions or add to our existing confessions.  As a Lutheran pastor, I have subscribed to the Scriptures, Ecumenical Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions.  I do not believe that a synodical convention or a churchwide assembly has the right to require subscription to additional statements of faith, political platforms, etc... Whether they are adding the confessions or subtracting from them, does not matter.  They can set policy, adopt budgets, elect people to various positions, and even give pass resolutions, but it is not their place to adopt new confessions.

Some have argued that synod conventions/churchwide assemblies have overstepped those boundaries several times in the last century.


I don't doubt that there have been conventions/churchwide assemblies that have made some really terrible decisions. I am not sure that those gross errors could be described as "overstepping boundaries". I fear we confuse the fact that a good process can still produce a bad result with meaning that the process itself is the problem. I think it is reasonable to assume that when the Holy Spirit guides people, sometimes the people being guided misinterpret how they are being guided. We are, after all, fallible humans. But when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right. Maybe not always, but more often than not. As inadequate as that method might be, I've yet to see any other method used that has a better track record.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 29, 2013, 10:12:57 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right.
I comment:
Thank you for affirming the decisions that our ELCA churchwide assemblies make.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 29, 2013, 10:35:31 PM

But when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right. Maybe not always, but more often than not. As inadequate as that method might be, I've yet to see any other method used that has a better track record.


An historic ecumenical council was generally global in composition and comprised of Bishops and theologians. When a small national church like the ELCA gathers, its voting membership is comprised of folks elected along strict lines of quota requirements regardless of their theological or leadership qualifications. Anyone who somehow equates an ELCA assembly vote with the former is jingoistically misguided. Or merely foolish.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 29, 2013, 11:12:55 PM
I don't doubt that there have been conventions/churchwide assemblies that have made some really terrible decisions. I am not sure that those gross errors could be described as "overstepping boundaries". I fear we confuse the fact that a good process can still produce a bad result with meaning that the process itself is the problem. I think it is reasonable to assume that when the Holy Spirit guides people, sometimes the people being guided misinterpret how they are being guided. We are, after all, fallible humans. But when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right. Maybe not always, but more often than not. As inadequate as that method might be, I've yet to see any other method used that has a better track record.

I definitely agree that within the Left Hand Kingdom, conventions and assemblies can make good decisions.  To the degree that a church is a human organization, with rules, policies, budgets, programs, staff, publishing houses, schools, committees, and so forth, it needs such groups to make decisions.  I have no problem with that.  I realize that in many Christian denominations, similar bodies amend old statements of faith, or adopt new ones.

What I am objecting to is the notion that a Lutheran pastor, congregation or person be asked to subscribe to any statement of faith beyond what is found in Scripture, the Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions.  Whether such statements attempt merely to explain the Confessions, or actually seek to alter or augment them does not matter.  It is not just any action that constitutes overstepping the boundaries, but one that intentionally or unintentionally requires subscription to something in addition to Scripture, Creed and Confessions. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 29, 2013, 11:26:03 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right.
I comment:
Thank you for affirming the decisions that our ELCA churchwide assemblies make.

ELCA assemblies or the synodical and churchwide variety make many good decisions.  LCMS synod conventions make many good decisions.  What I'm suggesting is that while there are many good decisions they can and do make, they have no power to adopt new confessions or require subscription to anything beyond Scripture, Creeds and Confessions.  To do so is to cease being a Lutheran Church.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2013, 12:14:56 AM
I don't doubt that there have been conventions/churchwide assemblies that have made some really terrible decisions. I am not sure that those gross errors could be described as "overstepping boundaries". I fear we confuse the fact that a good process can still produce a bad result with meaning that the process itself is the problem. I think it is reasonable to assume that when the Holy Spirit guides people, sometimes the people being guided misinterpret how they are being guided. We are, after all, fallible humans. But when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right. Maybe not always, but more often than not. As inadequate as that method might be, I've yet to see any other method used that has a better track record.

I definitely agree that within the Left Hand Kingdom, conventions and assemblies can make good decisions.  To the degree that a church is a human organization, with rules, policies, budgets, programs, staff, publishing houses, schools, committees, and so forth, it needs such groups to make decisions.  I have no problem with that.  I realize that in many Christian denominations, similar bodies amend old statements of faith, or adopt new ones.

What I am objecting to is the notion that a Lutheran pastor, congregation or person be asked to subscribe to any statement of faith beyond what is found in Scripture, the Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions.  Whether such statements attempt merely to explain the Confessions, or actually seek to alter or augment them does not matter.  It is not just any action that constitutes overstepping the boundaries, but one that intentionally or unintentionally requires subscription to something in addition to Scripture, Creed and Confessions.


Wouldn't a required subscription to Creed and Confessions nullify the idea of sola scriptura?


Probably because I'm part of a more ecumenical denomination, I see scriptures as the document of Christianity. All Christians accept the Bible as authoritative. Arguing a point in an ecumenical group from scriptures carries much more weight than referring to our confessional writings.


In our recent discussions about the antichrist, we need to look again at what scriptures say about the antichrist (a word found only in 1 & 2 John). That's our primary authority. If the pope does not meet the requirements for antichrist given in scriptures, we should not consider him an antichrist. (1 John sometimes uses the word in the plural.)
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 02:41:28 AM
What is foolish is to think that those supposedly revered councils were "pure". They were hardly "global." And they were subject to considerably more social and political influence and control than any modern gathering of Christians. (As usual, Pastor Hughes misses the fact that I was nickering at Mr. Erdner's "reverence" for "large gatherings" of Christians where, he says, "chances are that most of them will get it right.")
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Tim Schenks on December 30, 2013, 04:01:18 AM

But you apparently want to make the frequency of its being offered a doctrinal issue (so what about how often it is received by a person?), and I do not understand on waht basis you would do this.

The question was whether Missouri Synod congregations have majority votes on doctrine. As I pointed out, they do. I'm not making a comment on which parts are followed and which parts are ignored.

Also, I don't consider the Synod "explaining" Scripture and Confessional principals via adoption of the Brief Statement, etc. as changing or adding to doctrine.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 06:48:22 AM

  What I'm suggesting is that while there are many good decisions they can and do make, they have no power to adopt new confessions or require subscription to anything beyond Scripture, Creeds and Confessions.  To do so is to cease being a Lutheran Church.


Nailed it. As you know, the Reformers sought to bring the church back into alignment, not follow after new and improved personal, experiential insights.

Only the most callow of believers would celebrate the results of a gathering comprised of quota assigned non-theologically trained (read - easily manipulated via touching, sentimental stories) as somehow revelatory of the Spirit at work. Your use of the word "cease" is key. It is what it is and those who fail to see it are simply blinded by their own hubris.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 08:23:37 AM
It now becomes clear. Pastor Hughes says that the ELCA is no longer a Lutheran church. The millions of "callow" believers who support it are "non-theological" and easily manipulated sentimentalists blinded by pride. I guess that includes all the pastors, theologians, and bishops who still lead its discussions and preach to its members and support its decisions. We have, in his opinion agreeing with Pastor Charleton, ceased being a Lutheran church. Got that.
But here he is, in it. Don't get that.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 08:29:56 AM
It now becomes clear. Pastor Hughes says that the ELCA is no longer a Lutheran church. The millions of "callow" believers who support it are "non-theological" and easily manipulated sentimentalists blinded by pride. I guess that includes all the pastors, theologians, and bishops who still lead its discussions and preach to its members and support its decisions. We have, in his opinion agreeing with Pastor Charleton, ceased being a Lutheran church. Got that.
But here he is, in it. Don't get that.

LOL. I must live in your head. How else to explain the obsession. Too funny.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on December 30, 2013, 08:47:06 AM

Apparently some time away hasn't improved someone's reading skills, nor his predilection for trollish posts. Apparently he missed a few things highlighted below.

I don't doubt that there have been conventions/churchwide assemblies that have made some really terrible decisions. I am not sure that those gross errors could be described as "overstepping boundaries". I fear we confuse the fact that a good process can still produce a bad result with meaning that the process itself is the problem. I think it is reasonable to assume that when the Holy Spirit guides people, sometimes the people being guided misinterpret how they are being guided. We are, after all, fallible humans. But when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right. Maybe not always, but more often than not. As inadequate as that method might be, I've yet to see any other method used that has a better track record.


Some of the grossly erroneous decisions made at ELCA churchwide assembles, especially the debacle in 2009, are why those three highlighted statements are in there.



But when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right. Maybe not always, but more often than not. As inadequate as that method might be, I've yet to see any other method used that has a better track record.


An historic ecumenical council was generally global in composition and comprised of Bishops and theologians. When a small national church like the ELCA gathers, its voting membership is comprised of folks elected along strict lines of quota requirements regardless of their theological or leadership qualifications. Anyone who somehow equates an ELCA assembly vote with the former is jingoistically misguided. Or merely foolish.


Global? By that, I presume you mean the immediate area surrounding the Mediterranean sea. As for how highly trained the bishops were in the early years of the Church, I think it reasonable to note that the current 8 years of grade school, four years of college, and four years of seminary curriculum standard for pastors today was not the norm in the first few centuries. I suppose it comes down to whether one believes that the most important factor in reaching the correct decision is the guidance of the Holy Spirit or if it is the intellectual prowess of the people involved. I place more faith in the guidance of the Holy Spirit than I do in the intellectual prowess of humans. I suspect it is the reliance on a small number of exalted human beings (a Pope and the Cardinals) instead of ordinary Christians guided by the Holy Spirit that makes the Papacy the antichrist. Substituting one batch of exalted humans with a different batch hardly seems an effective remedy for being lead by an antichrist.


Mr. Erdner writes:
when there is a large gathering of people all striving to discern how the Holy Spirit is guiding them, chances are that most of them will get it right.
I comment:
Thank you for affirming the decisions that our ELCA churchwide assemblies make.

ELCA assemblies or the synodical and churchwide variety make many good decisions.  LCMS synod conventions make many good decisions.  What I'm suggesting is that while there are many good decisions they can and do make, they have no power to adopt new confessions or require subscription to anything beyond Scripture, Creeds and Confessions.  To do so is to cease being a Lutheran Church.


But the problem arises when it comes time to interpret Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions. Other faith traditions claim to place the same level of subscription to Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions, yet their different interpretations of what those documents mean is what results in our differences.


Those who interpret scriptural references to the Last Supper as meaning that the elements turned into Christ's Body and Blood that one time, and all subsequent re-enactments are only remembrances of that one-time miracle, make that interpretation based on their understanding and interpretation of the same scriptures we use. How can we hope to interpret Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions correctly if we don't rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in that process? Do we just rely on the intellectual prowess of a handful of exalted clergy and scholars?



  What I'm suggesting is that while there are many good decisions they can and do make, they have no power to adopt new confessions or require subscription to anything beyond Scripture, Creeds and Confessions.  To do so is to cease being a Lutheran Church.


Nailed it. As you know, the Reformers sought to bring the church back into alignment, not follow after new and improved personal, experiential insights.

Only the most callow of believers would celebrate the results of a gathering comprised of quota assigned non-theologically trained (read - easily manipulated via touching, sentimental stories) as somehow revelatory of the Spirit at work. Your use of the word "cease" is key. It is what it is and those who fail to see it are simply blinded by their own hubris.

That's an excellent example to illustrate my statement, "I fear we confuse the fact that a good process can still produce a bad result with meaning that the process itself is the problem." I disagree about your dismissal of a portion of the assembly being "non-theologically trained", but you are absolutely correct about the quota assignments. I suspect that just as you lack faith that the Holy Spirit guides the hearts and minds of the people voting, you also would never acknowledge that the Holy Spirit plays a part in which "non-theologically trained" believers are called to serve in the assembly.

You folks sure don't put much stock in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, do you?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 09:59:25 AM
Get over yourself, Pastor Hughes. I don't give a rat's rump, and you and I have never met. I'm just wondering how a pastor of the ELCA can fulfill his obligations to the ELCA, given the fact that he thinks the ELCA is corrupt and is no longer Lutheran.
Mr. Erdner, as usual, misses the point of my nickering about his comment on gatherings of Christians.
P.S. To keep this thread on-topic, the pope is not the antichrist.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 10:03:37 AM
Get over yourself, Pastor Hughes. I don't give a rat's rump, and you and I have never met. I'm just wondering how a pastor of the ELCA can fulfill his obligations to the ELCA, given the fact that he thinks the ELCA is corrupt and is no longer Lutheran.
Mr. Erdner, as usual, misses the point of my nickering about his comment on gatherings of Christians.
P.S. To keep this thread on-topic, the pope is not the antichrist.

LOL. For someone who doesn't give a whatever, my name sure comes up a lot in your posts. Face it, I live in your head, free of charge. And that's danged funny.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 30, 2013, 11:04:34 AM
It now becomes clear....


And to think we missed such stunning insights during your time out.

Fraternally, Steven+
Ordained in a church called ELCA;
Serving in a sect by the same name.


Curious that a thread about Pr. Austin is centering around the Antichrist, while a thread about the Antichrist is centering on Pr. Austin?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2013, 12:11:04 PM

  What I'm suggesting is that while there are many good decisions they can and do make, they have no power to adopt new confessions or require subscription to anything beyond Scripture, Creeds and Confessions.  To do so is to cease being a Lutheran Church.


Nailed it. As you know, the Reformers sought to bring the church back into alignment, not follow after new and improved personal, experiential insights.


And yet, Luther's turnabout from becoming a lawyer to becoming a priest was based on an experience. We might even postulate that the whole theological shift that led to the Reformation was based on an experience, "I felt as though I had been born again."

Quote
Only the most callow of believers would celebrate the results of a gathering comprised of quota assigned non-theologically trained (read - easily manipulated via touching, sentimental stories) as somehow revelatory of the Spirit at work. Your use of the word "cease" is key. It is what it is and those who fail to see it are simply blinded by their own hubris.


By your logic, congregations should not have councils of lay people making decisions because they are not theologically trained.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 30, 2013, 01:01:53 PM
It now becomes clear. Pastor Hughes says that the ELCA is no longer a Lutheran church. The millions of "callow" believers who support it are "non-theological" and easily manipulated sentimentalists blinded by pride. I guess that includes all the pastors, theologians, and bishops who still lead its discussions and preach to its members and support its decisions. We have, in his opinion agreeing with Pastor Charleton, ceased being a Lutheran church. Got that.
But here he is, in it. Don't get that.

Charles,

A reporter ought to know not to put words in someone else's mouth.  First of all there is no Pastor Charleton on this forum, only a Pastor Charlton.  More importantly, I did not say that the ELCA is no longer a Lutheran church.  I said, "What I'm suggesting is that while there are many good decisions they can and do make, they have no power to adopt new confessions or require subscription to anything beyond Scripture, Creeds and Confessions.  To do so is to cease being a Lutheran Church." 

Since you are unwilling to quote me, I'll quote myself further.  Prior to what I quoted above, I said, "ELCA assemblies or the synodical and churchwide variety make many good decisions.  LCMS synod conventions make many good decisions."  So, as you see, I was not singling out the ELCA.  I was clearly suggesting such non-Lutheran activity was a danger in all Lutheran church bodies. 

You might remember that in the 20th Century there was a debate in another Lutheran church body (other than the ELCA) about whether pastors and congregations could be required to subscribe to statements of faith adopted by synod conventions.  In fact, it was an essay written as part of this debate that is the source of my ideas.

The temptation to adopt new confessions and require subscription is one that all Lutheran churches have to wrestle with.

David Charlton
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 03:48:02 PM


By your logic, congregations should not have councils of lay people making decisions because they are not theologically trained.

Now Brian, you know the sort of mischief possible when people are put into positions of authority without evidence they understand the basics of the faith or are invested in their own efforts toward discipleship. Paul had a great deal to say about such things. Countless congregation conflicts have originated in such things. Scaling it up to a national gathering ...

Still, I stand by my statement that it's hubris for a culturally bound, small and rapidly declining denomination to somehow claim it knows better than the bulk of Christianity because people can vote it so.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 05:22:35 PM
For the record (and taking the risk), I don't "care" about Mr. Erdner, Pastor Hughes, Steven Tibbetts or any of the numerous people here who malign, denounce, mock and otherwise deride the ELCA. What I care about is that their maligning, denouncing, mocking and derision, often voiced from positions of foolish ignorance and disconnection, may hurt the reputation, mission and witness of the church body to which I belong and in which I am privileged to minister and which I am bound by my call as an ordained pastor in the ELCA to support and encourage, not uncritically, but in good and full fellowship.
If I thought the ELCA was lead by prideful loonies on the left who whiffed, cheated and manipulated others in order to get what they want, I would leave the ELCA.
If I thought the ELCA, through its policies and practices was "no longer Lutheran," I would leave the ELCA.
If I thought the ELCA was what Pastor Hughes seems to think it is, I could not in good conscience continue as a pastor in the ELCA. Furthermore he says the denomination is dying, so why bother?
But I worry too much. Neither Mr. Erdner, nor Pastor Hughes has a following. There are absolutely no signs that the ELCA is being changed by the views expressed by those here, even though Pastor Hughes had a crack at influence when he was an assistant to a bishop some years back.
While under the ban here, I hung out a bit in places where people like the ELCA, are excited about its future, support its mission (and those decisions of 2009) and are committed to its future.
I've recently been privileged to participate in the lives of two congregations, both of whom fully embrace the things about the ELCA that folks like Mr. Erdner and Pastor Hughes and others despise. Both congregations, though small, are healthy and vibrant, as are thousands of other congregations of the ELCA. There are healthy critics of the ELCA and I know that bishops and others talk with them. I shall have to decide not to worry about the foolish and ignorant critics.
There are better things to do. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2013, 05:27:25 PM


By your logic, congregations should not have councils of lay people making decisions because they are not theologically trained.

Now Brian, you know the sort of mischief possible when people are put into positions of authority without evidence they understand the basics of the faith or are invested in their own efforts toward discipleship. Paul had a great deal to say about such things. Countless congregation conflicts have originated in such things. Scaling it up to a national gathering ...


And I've also seen the problems when a pastor assumes that he knows about building construction and codes. The fellowship hall one designed collapsed - fortunately no one was injured.


I believe that the people who get elected to be voting members at synod and churchwide assemblies have the knowledge and skills to make the proper decisions for the church body. I happen to believe that the Spirit works through our process.

Quote
Still, I stand by my statement that it's hubris for a culturally bound, small and rapidly declining denomination to somehow claim it knows better than the bulk of Christianity because people can vote it so.


And yet, you're still sailing on this declining ship. It is still the largest Lutheran denomination in North America. If you want to go along with the bulk of Christianity, you need to become Roman Catholic. Otherwise, you are claiming to know better than the bulk of Christianity (the Roman Church) because are in a congregation and a denomination that does take votes - and has made decisions contrary to those made in Rome.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 05:29:17 PM
For the record (and taking the risk), I don't "care" about Mr. Erdner, Pastor Hughes, Steven Tibbetts or any of the numerous people here who malign, denounce, mock and otherwise deride the ELCA. What I care about is that their maligning, denouncing, mocking and derision, often voiced from positions of foolish ignorance and disconnection, may hurt the reputation, mission and witness of the church body to which I belong and in which I am privileged to minister and which I am bound by my call as an ordained pastor in the ELCA to support and encourage, not uncritically, but in good and full fellowship.
If I thought the ELCA was lead by prideful loonies on the left who whiffed, cheated and manipulated others in order to get what they want, I would leave the ELCA.
If I thought the ELCA, through its policies and practices was "no longer Lutheran," I would leave the ELCA.
If I thought the ELCA was what Pastor Hughes seems to think it is, I could not in good conscience continue as a pastor in the ELCA. Furthermore he says the denomination is dying, so why bother?
But I worry too much. Neither Mr. Erdner, nor Pastor Hughes has a following. There are absolutely no signs that the ELCA is being changed by the views expressed by those here, even though Pastor Hughes had a crack at influence when he was an assistant to a bishop some years back.
While under the ban here, I hung out a bit in places where people like the ELCA, are excited about its future, support its mission (and those decisions of 2009) and are committed to its future.
I've recently been privileged to participate in the lives of two congregations, both of whom fully embrace the things about the ELCA that folks like Mr. Erdner and Pastor Hughes and others despise. Both congregations, though small, are healthy and vibrant, as are thousands of other congregations of the ELCA. There are healthy critics of the ELCA and I know that bishops and others talk with them. I shall have to decide not to worry about the foolish and ignorant critics.
There are better things to do.

Score! I got named in a post, had my emotional state defined and was called ignorant  - all at the same time. Blessed is me!   :P
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 30, 2013, 05:31:32 PM
Hmmm.  Did a few of us just get invited to leave the ELCA?

 :-\

spt+
Still threatening to stay...
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: LutherMan on December 30, 2013, 05:34:35 PM
Hmmm.  Did a few of us just get invited to leave the ELCA?

 :-\

spt+
Still threatening to stay...
Looks that way to me.  I am sure many of us would welcome you into the LCMS, with open arms...
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 05:34:53 PM

And yet, you're still sailing on this declining ship. It is still the largest Lutheran denomination in North America.


And the really mystifying bit is I serve on a small group of advisors for my Bishop as we explore how to reach a younger generation for Christ.  And I've been invited to write a chapter for a book on how to run effective multi generational discipling ministries while purposefully blowing up Sunday school. Shhh ...don't tell the journalist who shall not be named.

The ship will sink. Make no mistake about that. The tilt point is far astern. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 05:42:46 PM
Hmmm.  Did a few of us just get invited to leave the ELCA?

 :-\

spt+
Still threatening to stay...

No, you're not special enough to be called ignorant by name while being asked to leave.   ;D Is that the same as LOL?
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 30, 2013, 06:12:08 PM
Hmmm.  Did a few of us just get invited to leave the ELCA?

 :-\

spt+
Still threatening to stay...


My brother used to come home from work complaining about his job. Finally his wife and kids told him that if the job was that bad, quick and get another job. Were they inviting him to leave his job; or was their real invitation: "Stop your complaining. We're sick and tired of hearing about all your woes night after night."


A couple of old adages I was taught: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


"If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."


The ELCA is not perfect. Tell us how you are making it better, rather than just complaining about it's imperfections.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: George Erdner on December 30, 2013, 06:22:54 PM
I read that someone said "There are absolutely no signs that the ELCA is being changed by the views expressed by those here". I will not claim that anyone reading the views I expressed engaged in any action because I expressed the views. However, I only repeated the views shared by many, many people. And those shared views resulted in at least 650 congregations with membership exceeding 300,000 souls kicked the dust off of their feet as they left the ELCA. And that doesn't begin to count the number of people who left ELCA congregations for more faithful, and more confessional, pastures. If that's not a sign, then I'd like to know what is!

And again, since some people have difficulty reading for comprehension, or skip over parts that don't conform to their preconceptions, I do NOT claim it's because I expressed those views. It was because of the truth of those views, regardless of who expressed them.

Maybe someone should give up a feeble and futile defense of the undefendable, and seek new sand castles to build.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 07:28:39 PM
Heavens, we have been down this road before. I'm not inviting anyone to leave; I'm asking; "How can you stay, given your view of what the ELCA is?" Pastor Hughes now says he has a finger in a synod pie, and will write a chapter in a book. Pin a rose on him. Consistency and integrity might seem to require that he not slurp the juices of the synod pie, for they are poisoned with a "non-theological" process and the baker of the pie has a fatal disease. How can you reach out in behalf of the ELCA when you have declared it dead or dying?
Mr. Erdner has no way of knowing how "many, many" people accept his views. We all admit that many congregations left; and we know the general reasons, but we do not know all the reasons in every case. Some congregations that left had never really joined the ELCA in the first place.
I repeat, there are millions of us not obsessed with the decisions of 2009, or ordination by bishops, or whether we should commune with Presbyterians.
And in a number days, I will indeed be building sand castles, playing my harmonica and cavorting with dear friends on Mexico's Playa del Carmen. Can't wait.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 07:34:40 PM

Pastor Hughes now says he has a finger in a synod pie, and will write a chapter in a book. Pin a rose on him.


Does this mean we're going steady? I know you hold many of us in contempt only because you love us.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 07:41:51 PM
Got anything to say about the topic, Pastor Hughes? The topic is not me and it is not you. The topic is our church body, its mission and ministry and how we may support it.
If I expressed some of my opinions of certain posters here, I suspect I would risk falling under the ban once more.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 07:50:19 PM


If I expressed some of my opinions of certain posters here, I suspect I would risk falling under the ban once more.


Fascinating. So how many other people live in your head? 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 30, 2013, 08:05:29 PM
For the record (and taking the risk), I don't "care" about Mr. Erdner, Pastor Hughes, Steven Tibbetts or any of the numerous people here who malign, denounce, mock and otherwise deride the ELCA. What I care about is that their maligning, denouncing, mocking and derision, often voiced from positions of foolish ignorance and disconnection, may hurt the reputation, mission and witness of the church body to which I belong and in which I am privileged to minister and which I am bound by my call as an ordained pastor in the ELCA to support and encourage, not uncritically, but in good and full fellowship.
If I thought the ELCA was lead by prideful loonies on the left who whiffed, cheated and manipulated others in order to get what they want, I would leave the ELCA.
If I thought the ELCA, through its policies and practices was "no longer Lutheran," I would leave the ELCA.
If I thought the ELCA was what Pastor Hughes seems to think it is, I could not in good conscience continue as a pastor in the ELCA. Furthermore he says the denomination is dying, so why bother?
But I worry too much. Neither Mr. Erdner, nor Pastor Hughes has a following. There are absolutely no signs that the ELCA is being changed by the views expressed by those here, even though Pastor Hughes had a crack at influence when he was an assistant to a bishop some years back.
While under the ban here, I hung out a bit in places where people like the ELCA, are excited about its future, support its mission (and those decisions of 2009) and are committed to its future.
I've recently been privileged to participate in the lives of two congregations, both of whom fully embrace the things about the ELCA that folks like Mr. Erdner and Pastor Hughes and others despise. Both congregations, though small, are healthy and vibrant, as are thousands of other congregations of the ELCA. There are healthy critics of the ELCA and I know that bishops and others talk with them. I shall have to decide not to worry about the foolish and ignorant critics.
There are better things to do.

I reviewed the post immediately preceding this post by Pastor Austin.  Neither Pastor Hughes, George Erdner, nor Pastor Tibbets said that the ELCA was no longer Lutheran.  Instead, the most immediate cause of his tirade seems to be my post at #114, where I replied to Pastor Austin's post in which he falsely attributes that charge to me.  I make it clear that I did not say that the ELCA was no longer Lutheran.  I even quoted myself to prove I did not say that.

Instead of saying, "Oh, I'm sorry.  I misunderstood you," he accuses Pastors Hughes and Tibbets, along with Mr. Erdner, of making that assertion.  The only person who has said anything about the ELCA being no longer Lutheran was Pastor Austin himself as he falsely attributed that statement to me. 

To reiterate, I said that ANY Lutheran church body that would require a pastor, congregation or individual to subscribe to statements of faith adopted by an assembly or convention would cease to be a Lutheran church.  As I said above, IT IS A TEMPTATION THAT ALL LUTHERAN CHURCHES HAVE TO WRESTLE WITH. 

No where did I say that the ELCA has done this.  Pastor Austin has falsely concluded that I said the ELCA is no longer Lutheran.  More importantly, I'm the only one who made anything resembling that statement.  Mr. Erdner actually DISAGREED with me.  He also spoke in defense of the ELCA.  It makes no sense that Pastor Austin would turn his anger at others when I'm the only person who said anything that remotely resembles that statement.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: LutherMan on December 30, 2013, 08:14:15 PM
Pr. Austin never lets facts get in his way Pr. Charlton.  It is how he rolls...
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: swbohler on December 30, 2013, 08:24:12 PM
Got anything to say about the topic, Pastor Hughes? The topic is not me and it is not you. The topic is our church body, its mission and ministry and how we may support it.
If I expressed some of my opinions of certain posters here, I suspect I would risk falling under the ban once more.

I thought, from the thread heading, that the topic was "Is the Papacy Still the Very Antichrist?".  It took the direction you mention only after you came back from being banned and immediately posted, with the tag line of "Didja miss me?" or something like that.  Again, making it about you, by you.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: LutherMan on December 30, 2013, 08:28:15 PM
  Again, making it about you, by you.
That's just how he rolls Pr. Bohler...
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: DCharlton on December 30, 2013, 08:31:55 PM
Hmmm.  Did a few of us just get invited to leave the ELCA?

 :-\

spt+
Still threatening to stay...


My brother used to come home from work complaining about his job. Finally his wife and kids told him that if the job was that bad, quick and get another job. Were they inviting him to leave his job; or was their real invitation: "Stop your complaining. We're sick and tired of hearing about all your woes night after night."


A couple of old adages I was taught: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


"If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."


The ELCA is not perfect. Tell us how you are making it better, rather than just complaining about it's imperfections.

Please tell us, Pastor Stoffregen, where Pastor Tibbets has engaged in "just complaining about it's imperfections."  Charles has been engaging in an argument with Pastor Hughes on this thread, and has an ongoing feud with Mr. Erdner, but it seems to me that he included Pastor Tibbets because he considers him "one of the usual suspects" and guilty by association.  You pile on by assuming that Pastor Tibbets must have been guilty and demanding he justify himself. 

And before you ask for evidence, I'll give it: 

This thread was resurrected on December 18 at Reply #74.  Since post #74, Pastor Tibbets has only made two replies.  Neither contained any comment about the ELCA, whether positive or negative. 
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: carlvehse on December 30, 2013, 08:56:32 PM
"I don't "care" about...  any of the numerous people here who malign, denounce, mock and otherwise deride the ELCA."

Well, here's some more -

In his article, "Revelation and Homosexual Experience (http://"http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1996/november11/6td035.html?paging=off)" (Christianity Today, November 11, 1996, 37),  German theology professor Wolfhart Pannenberg stated:
Quote
"If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground but against the unequivocal witness of Scripture. A church that took this step would cease to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”(Emphasis added)

In the 2001 LCMS Convention Proceedings, Resolution 3-21A includes: 
Quote
Resolved, That the 2001 synodical convention affirm the late President Alvin L. Barry’s judgment that “we cannot consider them [the ELCA] to be an orthodox Lutheran church body” (President’s Report, CW, p. 7) 

The LCMS, in convention, approved the Resolution 3-21A by a vote of 706 to 343.

In his “Marriage at the Crossroads” (Lutheran Forum, Summer 2005, 37), Richard J. Niebanck, now a LCMS pastor, stated: 
Quote
“Of the blessed union of Christ and the church, the marriage of one man and one woman is the matchless icon. The willful departure from this norm is an offense for which ‘heresy’ is too mild a designation.”


With the translation of the essay, “The Contemporary Debate on Homosexual Clergy A Theological Discussion in the Formerly Lutheran State Churches in German  (http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Contemporary_Debate_on_Homosexual_Cl.html?id=HmHcHwAACAAJ)” (Publisher: LCMS World Relief and Human Care, January 1, 2007) by a SELK pastor, the Rev. Dr. Armin Wenz, in a Foreward (p. 3) CTS-FW Professor John T. Pless writes:
Quote
“While Wenz focuses on developments in Germany, the parallels in North American Lutheranism are unmistakably clear…. A revision of the biblical strictures against homosexual behavior strikes at the heart of the doctrines of creation and sin, indeed at the doctrine of God. Homosexual activity is, in fact, the bodily enactment of idolatry.”

In his essay, the Rev. Dr. Armin Wenz states:
Quote
A churchly blessing of a homosexual couple is therefore also no blessing bestowed by the triune God. Rather, here humans act on their own authority and in the name of their images of God. “As the church cannot invent sacraments which Christ has not instituted, so it also cannot bless what God has not blessed.” (G. Hennig, “Stellungnahme zu sogenannten ‘neuen Lebensformen’,” Theologische Beiträge 25, 1994, 241f., here 242)  Such an act is open rebellion against the First Commandment, and it necessarily must have the effect of splitting the church.

As the 2009 XXXA Church Wide Assembly wrapped up their meeting which had approved ordaining active homosexuals two days earlier, on Friday, August 21, 2009, then LCMS World Relief Executive Director Matthew Harrison answered a question (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mft66uHsaMg) (at 9:16) from Rev. Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc.
Quote
Wilken: “Is apostasy too strong a word to describe what we’ve watched over the last — better part — of the decade that culminates this afternoon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?”

Harrison: “No, it is apostasy. There’s no way around it. It gives me great pain to say that, but there’s no other word for it.”

In his article, God, Christ, and Biblical Authority in the ELCA Today (http://ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/ChavezBiblicalAuthorityin%20ELCA74-1-2.pdf)" (Concordia Theological Quarterly, 74, 2010:105-121), now NALC General Secretary Rev. Mark C. Chavez wrote: 
Quote
"In conclusion, as Lutherans we should call a thing what it is: idolatry is running loose in the ELCA. Instead of carving metal and wood or sculpting stone to make gods, the ELCA is using paper, ink, and the worldwide web. One way or another, we sinners will make the god we think we need or want and turn away from the living God."


In its April 2012 Response report (http://lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=1820) to the XXXA’s “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” (HSGT) the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations stated:
Quote
“The ELCA has now taken this step, embodying apostasy from the faith once delivered to the saints.” (p.17)

“While HSGT claims to work with primary Lutheran categories such as justification by grace through faith, the distinction of law and Gospel, the duality of faith and love, and vocation, they are distorted to serve an ideological purpose that can in no way be identified with confessional Lutheranism nor catholic Christianity.” (p. 22)
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: BHHughes on December 30, 2013, 09:02:25 PM
Hmmm.  Did a few of us just get invited to leave the ELCA?

 :-\

spt+
Still threatening to stay...


My brother used to come home from work complaining about his job. Finally his wife and kids told him that if the job was that bad, quick and get another job. Were they inviting him to leave his job; or was their real invitation: "Stop your complaining. We're sick and tired of hearing about all your woes night after night."


A couple of old adages I was taught: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


"If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."


The ELCA is not perfect. Tell us how you are making it better, rather than just complaining about it's imperfections.

Please tell us, Pastor Stoffregen, where Pastor Tibbets has engaged in "just complaining about it's imperfections."  Charles has been engaging in an argument with Pastor Hughes on this thread, and has an ongoing feud with Mr. Erdner, but it seems to me that he included Pastor Tibbets because he considers him "one of the usual suspects" and guilty by association.  You pile on by assuming that Pastor Tibbets must have been guilty and demanding he justify himself. 

And before you ask for evidence, I'll give it: 

This thread was resurrected on December 18 at Reply #74.  Since post #74, Pastor Tibbets has only made two replies.  Neither contained any comment about the ELCA, whether positive or negative.

I think he has an ongoing feud with me too. He reacts rather strongly to nearly everything I post, even when (especially when) a thread or a comment I make has nothing to do with him. I'm flattered I live rent free in his head, but beyond the humor of it, it's kinda creepy.

Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 30, 2013, 09:06:31 PM
Got anything to say about the topic, Pastor Hughes? The topic is not me and it is not you. The topic is our church body, its mission and ministry and how we may support it.
If I expressed some of my opinions of certain posters here, I suspect I would risk falling under the ban once more.

Here I thought that the purpose of this discussion site was to discuss theology, church politics, theological ideas.  That is what you suggest Pastor Hughes do.  But apparently for you the purpose is to express opinions about other posters.  What's it to be?

Dan
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Charles_Austin on December 30, 2013, 09:49:52 PM
it is to be what it is to be. what that is may or may not be the question. We shall see.
Title: Re: Is The Papacy Still The Very Antichrist?
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 30, 2013, 10:52:19 PM
So we have degenerated (who'd have thought it possible?) from talking about whether the Papacy is the very Antichrist to sniping about whether the ELCA is very Lutheran. I've had enough. Thread closed.