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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] The Papacy & Antichris

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  • Christopher Orr
    One will also hear some Orthodox refer to ecumenism and freemasonry as the religions of Antichrist. This is not necessarily mainstream, and it is also not a
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 8, 2008
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      One will also hear some Orthodox refer to ecumenism and freemasonry as the
      religions of Antichrist. This is not necessarily mainstream, and it is also
      not a typical subject of sermons in Orthodoxy. It is more common in
      Orthodox societies facing significant challenges - they are more
      'apocalyptic'. Many Russians under and that fled from atheistic Communism,
      many Serbs that feel innocently besieged on all sides, etc.

      Here is another little selection on Antichrist from "Charismatic Revival as
      a Sign of the Times" by the late Fr. Seraphim Rose:

      > ...The strange "Christian" spirit of the "charismatic revival" is clearly
      > identified in the Holy Scriptures and the Orthodox patristic tradition.
      > According to these sources, world history will culminate in an almost
      > superhuman "Christian" figure, the false messiah or *antichrist.* He will
      > be "Christian" in the sense that his whole function and his very being will
      > center on Christ, Whom he will imitate in every respect possible, and he
      > will be not merely the greatest enemy of Christ, but in order to deceive
      > Christians will *appear** *to be Christ, come to earth for a second time
      > and ruling from the restored Temple in Jerusalem.
      >
      > Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except
      > there come a falling away (apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed,
      > the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is
      > called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple
      > of God, showing himself that he is God... even him whose coming is after the
      > working of satan with all lying wonders, and with all deceivableness in them
      > that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they
      > might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that
      > they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not
      > the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:3-4, 9-12).
      >
      > The Orthodox teaching concerning antichrist is a large subject in itself
      > and cannot be presented here. But if, as the followers of the "charismatic
      > revival" believe, the last days are indeed at hand, it is of crucial
      > importance for the Orthodox Christian to be informed of this teaching
      > concerning one who, as the Saviour Himself has told us, together with the
      > "false prophets" of that time, shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch
      > that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24).
      > And the "elect" are certainly not those multitudes of people who are coming
      > to accept the gross and most unscriptural delusion that "the world is on the
      > threshold of a great spiritual awakening," but rather the "little flock" to
      > which alone our Saviour has promised: It is your Father's good pleasure to
      > give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Even the true "elect" will be sorely
      > tempted by the "great signs and wonders" ofantichrist; but most "Christians"
      > will accept him without any question, for his "New Christianity" is
      > precisely what they seek.
      >
      > *"Jesus is Coming Soon"*
      >
      > JUST IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, significantly, the figure of "Jesus" has been
      > thrust into strange prominence in America. On stage and in films
      > long-standing prohibitions against portraying the person of Christ have been
      > abrogated. Sensationally popular musicals present blasphemous parodies of
      > His life. The "Jesus Movement," which was largely "charismatic" in
      > orientation, spread spectacularly among teenagers and young people. The
      > crudest form of American popular music is "Christianized" at mass
      > "Jesus-Rock Festivals," and "Christian" tunes for the first time in the
      > century become the most popular in the land. And underlying this whole
      > strange conglomeration of sacrilege and absolutely unenlightened worldliness
      > is the constantly reiterated expression of seemingly everyone's expectation
      > and hope: *Jesus is coming soon.*
      >
      > The careful observer of the contemporary religious scene - especially in
      > America, where the most popular religious currents have originated for over
      > a century - cannot fail to notice a very decided air of chiliastic
      > expectation. And this is not only true of "charismatic" circles, but even of
      > the traditionalist or fundamentalist circles that have rejected the
      > "charismatic revival." Thus, many traditionalist Roman Catholics believe in
      > the coming of a chiliastic "Age of Mary" before the end of the world, and
      > this is only one variant on the more widespread Latin error of trying to
      > "sanctify the world," or, as Archbishop Thomas Connolly of Seattle expressed
      > it [as] "transforming the modern world into the Kingdom of God in
      > preparation for His return." Protestant evangelists such as Billy Graham, in
      > their mistaken private interpretation of the Apocalypse, await the
      > "millennium" when "Christ" will reign on earth. Other evangelists in Israel
      > find that their millenarian interpretation of the "Messiah" is just what is
      > needed to "prepare" the Jews for his coming [17]. And the
      > arch-fundamentalist Carl McIntire prepares to build a life-size replica of
      > the Temple of Jerusalem in Florida (near Disneyworld!), believing that the
      > time is at hand when the Jews will build the very "Temple to which the Lord
      > Himself will return as He promised" (*Christian Beacon* , Nov. 11, 1971;
      > Jan. 6, 1972).
      >
      > Thus, even anti-ecumenists find it possible to prepare to join the
      > unrepentant Jews in welcoming the false messiah - antichrist - in contrast
      > to the faithful remnant of Jews who will accept Christ as the Orthodox
      > Church preaches Him, when the Prophet Elijah returns to earth.
      >
      > It is therefore no great consolation for a sober Orthodox Christian who
      > knows the Scriptural prophecies concerning the last days, when he is told by
      > a "charismatic" Protestant minister that, "It's glorious what Jesus can do
      > when we open up to Him. No wonder people of all faiths are now able to pray
      > together" (Harold Bredesen, in *Logos Journal *, Jan.-Feb., 1972, p. 24);
      > or by a Catholic Pentecostal that the members of all the denominations now
      > "begin to peer over those walls of separation only to recognize in each
      > other the image of Jesus Christ" (Kevin Ranaghan in *Logos Journal *,
      > Nov.-Dec., 1971, p. 21). Which "Christ" is this for whom an accelerated
      > program of psychological and even physical preparation is now being made
      > throughout the world? - Is this our true God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who
      > founded the Church wherein men may find salvation? Or is it *the false
      > Christ who *will *come in his own name *(John 5:43) and unite all who
      > reject or pervert the teaching of the one Church of Christ, the Orthodox
      > Church?
      >
      > Our Saviour Himself has warned us: *"Then if any man shall say unto you,
      > Lo, here is the Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise
      > false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show signs and wonders, so as
      > to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold I have told you
      > beforehand. If therefore they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the
      > wilderness, go not forth; Behold, he is in the inner chambers, believe it
      > not. For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto
      > the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man"* (Matt. 24:23-27).
      >
      > The Second Coming of Christ will be unmistakable: it will be sudden, from
      > heaven (Acts 1:11), and it will mark the end of this world. There can be no
      > "preparation" for it - save only the Orthodox Christian preparation of
      > repentance, spiritual life, and watchfulness. Those who are "preparing" for
      > it in any other way, who say that he is anywhere "here" - especially "here"
      > in the Temple of Jerusalem - or who preach that "Jesus is coming soon"
      > without warning of the great deception that is to precede His Coming: are
      > clearly the prophets ofantichrist , the false Christ who must come first and
      > deceive the world, including all "Christians" who are not or do not become
      > truly Orthodox. There is to be no future "millennium." For those who can
      > receive it, the "millennium" of the Apocalypse (Apoc. 20:6) is now; the life
      > of grace in the Orthodox Church for the whole "thousand years" between the
      > First Coming of Christ and the time ofantichrist [18]. That Protestants
      > should expect the "millennium" in the future is only their confession that
      > they do not live in it in the present - that is, that they are outside the
      > Church of Christ and have not tasted of Divine grace.
      >
      > *Must Orthodoxy *
      >
      > *Join the Apostasy?*
      >
      > IT IS TRUE ENOUGH, to be sure, that an Orthodox awakening would be much to
      > be desired in our days, when many Orthodox Christians have lost the salt of
      > true Christianity, and the true and fervent Orthodox Christian life is
      > indeed rarely to be seen. Modern life has become too comfortable; worldly
      > life has become too attractive; for too many, Orthodoxy has become simply a
      > matter of membership in a church organization or the "correct" fulfillment
      > of external rites and practices. There would be need enough for a *true *Orthodox
      > spiritual awakening, but this is not what we see in the Orthodox
      > "charismatics." Just like the "charismatic" activists among Protestants and
      > Roman Catholics, they are fully in harmony with the spirit of the times;
      > they are not in living contact with the sources of the Orthodox spiritual
      > tradition, preferring the currently fashionable Protestant techniques of
      > revivalism. They are one with the leading current of today's apostate
      > "Christianity": the ecumenical movement.
      >
      > There have been true Orthodox "awakenings" in the past: one thinks
      > immediately of St. Cosmas of Aitolia, who walked from village to village in
      > 18th-century Greece and inspired the people to return to the true
      > Christianity of their ancestors; or St. John of Kronstadt in our own
      > century, who brought the age-old message of Orthodox spiritual life to the
      > urban masses of Petersburg. Then there are the Orthodox monastic instructors
      > who were truly "Spirit-filled" and left their teaching to the monastics as
      > well as the laymen of the latter times: one thinks of the Greek St. Symeon
      > the New Theologian in the 10th century, and the Russian St.Seraphim of Sarov
      > in the 19th. St. Symeon is badly misused by the Orthodox "charismatics" (he
      > was speaking of a Spirit different from theirs!); and St.Seraphim is
      > invariably quoted out of context in order to minimize his emphasis on the
      > necessity to belong to the Orthodox Church to have a true spiritual life. In
      > the "Conversation" of St.Seraphim with the layman Motovilov on the
      > "acquisition of the Holy Spirit" (which the Orthodox "charismatics" quote
      > *without *the parts here italicized), this great Saint tells us: "The
      > grace of the Holy Spirit which was given to us all, the faithful of Christ,
      > in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, is sealed by the Sacrament of Chrismation
      > on the chief parts of the body, as appointed *by the Holy Church, *the
      > eternal keeper of this grace." And again: "The Lord listens equally to the
      > monk and the simple Christian layman,* provided that both are Orthodox.*"
      >
      > As opposed to the true Orthodox spiritual life, the "charismatic revival"
      > is only *the experiential side of the prevailing "ecumenical" fashion - *a
      > counterfeit Christianity that betrays Christ and His Church. No Orthodox
      > "charismatic" could possibly object to the coming "Union" with those very
      > Protestants and Roman Catholics with whom, as the interdenominational
      > "charismatic" song goes, they are already "one in the Spirit, one in the
      > Lord," and who have led them and inspired their "charismatic" experience.
      > The "spirit" that has inspired the "charismatic revival" is the *spirit of
      > antichrist *, or more precisely those "spirits of devils" of the last
      > times whose "miracles" prepare the world for the false messiah.
      >
      > *"Little Children, *
      >
      > *it is the Last Hour" (1 John 2:18)*
      >
      > Outside of genuine Orthodoxy the darkness... grows. Judging from the latest
      > "religious" news, the "charismatic revival" may well be only the faint
      > beginning of a whole "age of miracles." Many Protestants who have discerned
      > the fraud of the "charismatic revival" now accept as "the real thing" the
      > spectacular "revival" in Indonesia where, we are told, there are *really *occurring
      > "the self same things that one finds reported in the Acts of the Apostles."
      > In the space of three years 200,000 pagans have been converted to
      > Protestantism under constantly miraculous conditions: No one does anything
      > except in absolute obedience to "voices" and "angels" who are constantly
      > appearing, usually quoting Scripture by number and verse; water is turned
      > into wine every time the Protestant communion service comes around; detached
      > hands appear from nowhere to distribute miraculous food to the hungry; a
      > whole band of demons is seen to abandon a pagan village because a "more
      > powerful" one ("Jesus") has come to take their place; "Christians" have a
      > "countdown" for an unrepentant sinner, and when they come to "zero" he dies;
      > children are taught new Protestant hymns by voices that come from nowhere
      > (and repeat the song twenty times so the children will remember); "God's
      > tape-recorder" records the song of a children¹s choir and plays it back in
      > the air for the astonished children; fire comes down from the sky to consume
      > Catholic religious images ("the Lord" in Indonesia is very anti-Catholic);
      > 30,000 have been healed; "Christ" appears in the sky and "falls" on people
      > in order to heal them; people are miraculously transported from place to
      > place and walk on water; lights accompany evangelists and guide them at
      > night, and clouds follow them and give them shelter during the day: the dead
      > are raised [19].
      >
      > Interestingly, in some parts of the Indonesian "revival" the element of
      > "speaking in tongues" is almost totally absent and is even forbidden
      > (although it is present in many places), and the element of mediumism seems
      > sometimes to be replaced by a direct intervention of fallen spirits. It may
      > well be that this new "revival," more powerful than Pentecostalism, is a
      > more developed stage of the same "spiritual" phenomenon (just as
      > Pentecostalism itself is more advanced than spiritism) and heralds the
      > imminence of the dreadful day when, as the "voices" and "angels" in
      > Indonesia also proclaim, "the Lord" is to come - for we know thatantichrist
      > will prove to the world that he is "Christ" by just such "miracles."
      >
      > In an age of almost universal darkness and deception, when for most
      > "Christians" *Christ *has become precisely what Orthodox teaching means by
      > *antichrist, *the Orthodox Church of Christ alone possesses and
      > communicates the grace of God. This is a priceless treasure the very
      > existence of which is not so much as suspected even by the "Christian"
      > world. The "Christian" world, indeed, joins hands with the forces of
      > darkness in order to seduce the faithful of the Church of Christ, blindly
      > trusting that the "name of Jesus" will save them even in their apostasy and
      > blasphemy, mindless of the fearful warning of the Lord: *"Many will say to
      > Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy
      > name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And
      > then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that
      > work iniquity" *(Matt. 7:22-23).
      >
      > St. Paul continues his warning about the coming of antichrist with this
      > command: *"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which
      > ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" *(2 Thess. 2:15).*"There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But
      > though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
      > that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we said
      > before, so say I now again: If any preach any other gospel unto you than
      > that ye have received, let him be anathema"* (Gal. 1:8-9).
      >
      > The Orthodox answer to every new "revival," and even to the final terrible
      > "revival" of antichrist, is this Gospel of Christ, which the Orthodox Church
      > alone has preserved unchanged in an unbroken line from Christ and His
      > Apostles, and the grace of the Holy Spirit which the Orthodox Church alone
      > communicates, and only to her faithful children, who have received in
      > Chrismation, and kept, the *true seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. *
      > Amen.
      >
      > *The Religion of the Future*
      >
      > IT IS DEEPLY INDICATIVE of the spiritual state of contemporary mankind that
      > the "charismatic" and "meditation" experiences are taking root among
      > "Christians." An Eastern religious influence is undeniably at work in such
      > "Christians," but it is only as a result of something much more fundamental:
      > the loss of the very feeling and savor of Christianity, due to which
      > something so alien to Christianity as Eastern "meditation" can take hold of
      > "Christian" souls.
      >
      > The life of self-centeredness and self-satisfaction lived by most of
      > today's "Christians" is so all-pervading that it effectively seals them off
      > from any understanding at all of spiritual life; and when such people do
      > undertake "spiritual life," it is only as another form of self-satisfaction.
      > This can be seen quite clearly in the totally false religious ideal both of
      > the "charismatic" movement and the various forms of "Christian meditation":
      > all of them promise (and give very quickly) an experience of "contentment"
      > and "peace." But this is not the Christian ideal at all, which if anything
      > may be summed up as a fierce battle and struggle. The "contentment" and
      > "peace" described in these contemporary "spiritual" movements are quite
      > manifestly the product of spiritual deception, of spiritual
      > self-satisfaction - which is the absolute death of the God-oriented
      > spiritual life. All these forms of "Christian meditation" operate solely on
      > the psychic level and have nothing whatever in common with Christian
      > spirituality. Christian spirituality is formed in the arduous struggle to
      > acquire the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, which fully begins only with the
      > dissolution of this temporal world, and the true Christian struggler never
      > finds repose even in the foretastes of eternal blessedness which might be
      > vouchsafed to him in this life; but the Eastern religions, to which the
      > Kingdom of Heaven has not been revealed, strive only to acquire psychic
      > states which begin and end in this life.
      >
      > In our age of apostasy preceding the manifestation of antichrist, the devil
      > has been loosed for a time (Apoc. 20:7) to work the false miracles which he
      > could not work during the "thousand years" of Grace in the Church of Christ
      > (Apoc. 20:3), and to gather in his hellish harvest of those souls who
      > "received not the love of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:10). We can tell that the
      > time ofantichrist is truly near by the very fact that this satanic harvest
      > is now being reaped not merely among the pagan peoples, who have not heard
      > of Christ, but even more among "Christians" who have lost the savor of
      > Christianity. It is of the very nature ofantichrist to present the kingdom
      > of the devil * as if it were of Christ. *The present-day "charismatic"
      > movement and "Christian meditation," and the "new religious consciousness"
      > of which they are part, are forerunners of the* religion of the future,
      > the religion of the last humanity, the religion of antichrist,** *and
      > their chief "spiritual" function *is to make available to Christians the
      > demonic initiation hitherto restricted to the pagan world.** *Let it be
      > that these "religious experiments" are still often of a tentative and
      > groping nature, that there is in them at least as much psychic
      > self-deception as there is a genuinely demonic initiation rite; doubtless
      > not everyone who has successfully "meditated" or thinks he has received the
      > "Baptism of the Spirit" has actually received initiation into the kingdom of
      > satan. But this is the aim of these "experiments," and doubtless the
      > techniques of initiation will become ever more efficient as mankind becomes
      > prepared for them by the attitudes or passivity and openness to new
      > "religious experiences" which are inculcated by these movements....
      >
      > http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/charismatic_revival_s_rose_e.htm
      >

      Christopher



      On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 2:55 PM, jfowl100 <jfowl100@...> wrote:

      > The Lutheran Confessions teach that the Papacy is the antichrist.
      > Would the Orthodox agree with the various arguments presented in the
      > Confessions about why the Papacy is antichrist?
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • randall hay
      I left Lutheranism for precisely this reason. LCMS pastors are required to subscribe to the Book of Concord, and the idea that the papacy (or pope ) is the
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 8, 2008
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        I left Lutheranism for precisely this reason. LCMS pastors are required to subscribe to the Book of Concord, and the idea that the papacy (or "pope") is the Antichrist always struck me as poppycock.

        The papacy fell into errors, certainly; but that is something quite different from being the eschatological figure of evil. No father I've ever read says the papacy or pope is "the Antichrist." Popes don't set themselves up to "be God," or "deny the Gospel," which are the objections I recall from my old Lutheran seminary days.

        I like what the article someone else sent: instead of pointing fingers at this or that public figure as the Man of Lawlessness or worse, we should take heed to our own salvation.

        I'm not a supporter of Rome, which has been trying to take over Orthodoxy for centuries, but I don't think Luther's perspective in the matter is tenable.

        Subdeacon Randy


        ----- Original Message ----
        From: jfowl100 <jfowl100@...>
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 2:55:42 PM
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] The Papacy & Antichrist


        The Lutheran Confessions teach that the Papacy is the antichrist.
        Would the Orthodox agree with the various arguments presented in the
        Confessions about why the Papacy is antichrist?



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Travis (Constantine) Stolz
        Luther s perspective cannot be removed from either his historcial or polemical context.  Neither Luther nor the Lutheran Symbols were the first to argue that
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 9, 2008
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          Luther's perspective cannot be removed from either his historcial or polemical context.  Neither Luther nor the Lutheran Symbols were the first to argue that the pope is the Antichrist--read Bernard McGinn's study of the Antichrist, for example. 
           
          I, too, always had difficulty with how Luther and the Symbols argued.  The argument seemed to me very early on to be neither biblical nor patristic.

          Yours in Christ,
          Travis (Constantine)

          _______________________
          Travis (Constantine) Stolz
          travis.stolz@...

          --- On Sat, 8/9/08, randall hay <stortford@...> wrote:

          From: randall hay <stortford@...>
          Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] The Papacy & Antichrist
          To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Saturday, August 9, 2008, 1:29 AM






          I left Lutheranism for precisely this reason. LCMS pastors are required to subscribe to the Book of Concord, and the idea that the papacy (or "pope") is the Antichrist always struck me as poppycock.

          The papacy fell into errors, certainly; but that is something quite different from being the eschatological figure of evil. No father I've ever read says the papacy or pope is "the Antichrist." Popes don't set themselves up to "be God," or "deny the Gospel," which are the objections I recall from my old Lutheran seminary days.

          I like what the article someone else sent: instead of pointing fingers at this or that public figure as the Man of Lawlessness or worse, we should take heed to our own salvation.

          I'm not a supporter of Rome, which has been trying to take over Orthodoxy for centuries, but I don't think Luther's perspective in the matter is tenable.

          Subdeacon Randy

          ----- Original Message ----
          From: jfowl100 <jfowl100@yahoo. com>
          To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 2:55:42 PM
          Subject: [LutheransLookingEa st] The Papacy & Antichrist

          The Lutheran Confessions teach that the Papacy is the antichrist.
          Would the Orthodox agree with the various arguments presented in the
          Confessions about why the Papacy is antichrist?

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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