Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Antichrist and Politics

There was a discussion recently about a Lutheran political candidate in Minnesota, Republican Michelle Bachmann, being asked, in a debate, whether she believed the Lutheran Confessions when they identify the Pope as the Antichrist. Her answer was that it was absolutely not true that Lutherans believe the Pope is the Antichrist. Evidently, someone hasn't been reading her Book of Concord.
Here are a few snippets from the BOC:
...This is a powerful demonstration that the pope is the real Antichrist who has raised himself over and set himself against Christ, for the pope will not permit Christians to be saved except by his own power... (S. A IV, 10
...just as we cannot adore the devil himself as our lord or God, so we cannot suffer his apostle, the pope or Antichrist, to govern us as our head or lord... (S.A IV, 14
But it is manifest that the Roman pontiffs and their adherents defend godless doctrines and godless forms of worship, and it is plain that the marks of the Antichrist coincide with those of the pope's kingdom and his followers... (Treatise, 39)

As you can see, the Book of Concord explicitly identifies Antichrist with the papal church. Much more could be said about this, but this should be sufficient to prove that our Lutheran politician was quite wrong in denying that Lutherans teach the pope is the Antichrist.
However, there is a good deal of criticism due for the journalist who asked the question, since she neglected to ask Bachmann's opponent, Patty Wetterling, who is a Roman Catholic if she supported the 16th century anathemas against the Lutheran Church and all who teach that we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Ms. Bachmann should have called out the journalist for practicing "gotcha" politics, answered the question in the affirmative that anyone who claims to decide all matters of faith, stands above the Scriptures, defends godlless doctrines, and condemns all who preach the truth is an Antichrist, confirm the doctrine of the two kingdoms that she is called into a secular calling and not a religious one, that she will govern by reason and not by Scripture, and demand that her opponent either forsake Roman Catholic teaching or affirm what her church says of protestants.
Of course, maybe that's asking too much of a politician.

1 comment:

HonestObserver said...

But according to the Synod's Theological Commission, the LCMS does not maintain that the Pope himself is the Antichrist, but rather the Office that he holds:

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2217

And while I believe that the BoC is integral to our church, not all of it is to be taken as gospel truth, correct?