One of the connections we have up here in the North Country is politics.  Politics are getting really nasty now and there are consequences to mission work that develop from the political realm that we will look at in future blogs.  But now this………………

Religion has not, or not yet, become an important ingredient of the nastiness in the current presidential campaign. It has been quiet around Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, possibly because he has spouted language that might make Southern Baptists feel comfortable (though it surely makes some other people uncomfortable). Michele Bachmann’s affiliation with the Lutheran Wisconsin Synod (which teaches that the Pope is the Anti-Christ) has faded from public attention along with her short-lived candidacy.

So says Peter Berger.  I found this idea interesting.  It seems that in this paragraph the only church that teaches that the Papacy is the anti-Christ is the WELS.  Well, all Lutherans teach it.  It is part of the founding documents that make us “Lutheran”. “This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ, because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God ” (Smalcald Articles, Part II, Article IV; Of the Papacy).  “Pope” , Papacy, comes from “Papa”.

Here is the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about – all Churches that developed from the Reformation believe that same thing.  Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, Knox, Sir Isaac Newton, Fox, Wesley, Finney, Moody, Spurgeon, all said it and technically if you belong to a Protestant church you believe it too.  Here is a novel idea – maybe you should actually ask what your church believes and teaches and confesses.  You might actually want to look up and study what your church believes, teaches and confesses.

Pope Boniface wrote this a long time ago.

We declare, assert, define and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation…

“That which was spoken of Christ…’Thou hast subdued all things under His feet,’ may well seem verified in me. I have the authority of the King of kings. I am all in all and above all, so that God, Himself and I, the Vicar of God, have but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. What therefore, can you make of me but God?”²

So when Bachmann was approached about this, and laughed at and impugned, why didn’t all the Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists et al, stand up and say “we believe it too?” Is this one of those inconvenient “beliefs” that no one believes anymore?  Is it embarrassing like the ‘orders of creation’, marriage and homosexuality and being disobedient to parents?  Just trying to figure out what the playing field is here.  Anyway if you are interested, Muslims teach about “anti-Christ”.  So do Mormons.  If you are a Mormon, anyone that isn’t a Mormon is anti- Christ.  I have heard that Rev. Wright, Obama’s fomer Pastor, believed that America is the Anti- Christ.  How’s that for embarrassing?