Is the Pope really the AntiChrist? In at least one way or another, yes. Argue all you want (out in the hallway, away from me, preferably where I can’t hear you) about the eschatological antichrist and what burrow of New York he may come from or what his favorite color will be, but for our dispensation (see what I did, there?), there is no greater image of the antichrist than that of the Roman Pontiff.
As that beast slouches toward
Bethlehem Philadelphia this week, remember why you are a protestant and why you are still (or should be) protesting.
Wycliffe: “When the western church was divided for about 40 years between two rival popes, one in Rome and the other in Avigon, France, each pope called the other pope antichrist – and John Wycliffe said they were both right – “Two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.”
Luther: “We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.”
Cotton Mather: “The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.”
Wesley (John): Speaking of the Papacy he said, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.”
Williams (Roger): He spoke of the Pope as “the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).” Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.
London Baptist Confession: Of the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. ( Colossians 1:18; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-9 )
Knox: …[The Pope is] “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.”
Calvin: “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” (source link)
Some Protestants have forgotten this. Rick Warren – who will be speaking with the Roman Usurper in Philadelphia – famously referred to the Pope as “our Pope” and “Holy Father” last year. Mike Huckabee – Southern Baptist and former president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention – had some glowing accolades for who he referred to as “His Holiness” just yesterday.
Huckabee says, “the last time I checked, it’s the Pope who’s supposed to lecture Christians – not the other way around…”
Well, I’m one person who doesn’t think the anti-Christ should be lecturing any Christians.
For why Protestants shouldn’t care how much Obama offends the Roman pontiff, check out Jeff Maple’s blog post here.