A Plea to the Protesters: Politics and Popery

The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith:

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. 

The Westminster Confession of Faith:

“There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalts himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.”

“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.” – Martin Luther

“[The Pope] 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.”John Wesley

“To some we seem slanderous and petulant, when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who think so perceive not that they are bringing a charge of intemperance against Paul, alter whom we speak, nay, in whose very words we speak. But lest any one object that Paul’s words have a different meaning, and are wrested by us against the Roman Pontiff, I will briefly show that they can only be understood of the Papacy…Moreover, when the mark by which he distinguishes Antichrist is, that he would rob God of his honour and take it to himself, he gives the leading feature which we ought to follow in searching out Antichrist; especially when pride of this description proceeds to the open devastation of the Church. Seeing then it is certain that the Roman Pontiff has impudently transferred to himself the most peculiar properties of God and Christ, there cannot be a doubt that he is the leader and standard-bearer of an impious and abominable kingdom.”John Calvin

“Yea, to speak it in plain words; lest that we submit ourselves to Satan, thinking that we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ, for, as for your Roman kirk, as it is now corrupted, and the authority thereof, whereon stands the hope of your victory, I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head thereof, called the pope, to be that man of sin, of whom the apostle speaks.”John Knox

“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description. Popery is contrary to Christ’s Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors: we shall love their souls though we loath and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray. – Charles Spurgeon.

Those protesters above rejected the papacy of Rome. If they were to be resurrected from the grave, they would have been saying some very bold words about the Pope coming to America this last weekend and about the flocks who gathered to worship venerate him.
However, while the protestants above did protest the Pope, the popes they protested didn’t have a thing to say about climate-change. The popes above had nothing to say about owning guns. The popes above were not in the closet socialists. 

They were not protested for political reasons, but for Gospel reasons. They were not protested for social reasons, but for biblical reasons. Their protests were not for pragmatic purposes, they were for eternal ones. 

The “B-word” we need to look for is “Biblical”, not “Bureaucratic”. 

Don’t reject the Pope because he is liberal; reject him because he is a false teacher. 
That is the plea to you Christian. Follow in the footsteps of the reformers who laid their lives on the line for the glorious faith you so comfortably practice today, and protest the Pope; make good of your name Protestant. More than that, follow in their footsteps and protest the papacy. The entire theological system is the issue. 

Many protestants today tend to view each pope on a case-by-case basis. This current pope has become particularly liberal, therefore they no longer like him; they should have never liked him. 

He could be the most pro-life Pope the world has ever seen and we should protest him.

He could rant and rave against the biased science of man-made climate change and we should still protest him. 

He could have a concealed weapon underneath all his long robes and ecclesiastical garb, and we should still protest.

He could stand in front of congress, and rebuke them for their tyranny and demand more localized control and less federal oversight, and we should still protest him. 

We should do so, not because he is a liberal pope, but because he is a pope, no other qualification is needed. 

There is a meme going around Facebook that says something like this:

“Protestants: not caring what the Pope thinks since 1517.” 

Why do we now? 

What if this Pope became a flaming conservative? Would you, oh Protestant, begin to offer indulgences to satisfy the wrath of God that still abides on you and remove some suffering that you must experience in Purgatory while you atone for the sins Jesus didn’t atone for (satispaseo)? 

Would you begin to believe the Bible is not sufficient for Christians and start appealing to the Church as your highest authority to determine how to interpret the Bible and Sacred Tradition and to define and provide those things as well?

Would you add works, penances, and merit to Gospel, not believe grace through faith saves, but that your works must save also?

Would you believe you could lose and regain “salvation” hundreds of times a day?

Would you pray to Mary and other designated Saints? 

Would you attend Mass to have Christ re-sacrificed in the Eucharist to pay for the sins of the week? 

Would you believe baptism is necessary for salvation and baptize babies so that if they die the water could save their souls from going to Limbo? Would you believe in Limbo?

Would you believe that if you wear a brown scapular blessed by Mary when you die she will come and save you from purgatory on an early Saturday?

Would you believe that protestants are anathema?

Would you believe that Mary never died and never sinned, and that all those who deny that are anathema?

Would you believe that “Jesus’ brothers” is a false translation in the Bible and  that every single translator has always gotten it wrong because Mary remained a virgin, and that all those who reject that are anathema?

Would you believe that a priest rightly deserves the name (Alter Christus) another Christ while he summons Jesus to the alter to be sacrificed?

Would you believe communion is literally the body and blood of Jesus and without it you can’t be saved?

Would you believe that the Pope and the Church magisterium are infallible under the appropriate circumstances (which they have determined)?  

Would you believe that the Mass could cleanse you through the blood of Christ thousands of times, and you could still die in mortal sin and go to hell , making the blood of Christ ineffectual? 

Would you separate sins into mortal and venial categories? 

Or would you realize that that’s nothing close to the Gospel of Jesus, and it’s nothing close to biblical Christianity, even if those who practice that faith oppose abortion? 

The Pope believes a false gospel, he worships a blasphemous mass, and he claims to be the Vicar of Christ on earth. The papacy is a false doctrine, it teaches a false gospel, and it has Protestant blood on Her hands. It is an unbiblical, unchristian, and therefore untrue theological position. Theological, that is, not political. 

Protest the Pope for that. Protest the Pope because you believe that Jesus is a good King, not because you believe Obama is a bad president. 

None of this is to attempt to deliniate the significance  politic and social issues as being not significant. They very much are. They are Gospel issues. Homosexuality, theft, abortion, injustice, crime, etc these things are all sin. The Gospel is God’s response to sin, thus these are Gospel issues. However, they are not the same thing. There is a temporal order to these things. The heart votes. The heart loves to kill babies or save them. Thus, hearts must be changed for true voting to change. The Gospel saves and the Gospel transforms hearts. We must first seek to save the nations; then we can expect the fruit of that salvation to bloom in the voting booths. God doesn’t check our voter card to save us; He judges what we believe about Jesus. The Gospel trumps politics. In fact, it determines politics. 

The Gospel will dictate how we vote, it’s not the other way around. Political issues are surface issues, the root must be changed. A person will never bear the fruit conservatives want unless the Gospel changes the heart. Now, it is true that unbelievers can be conservatives, but that doesn’t please God (Romans 8:6-9).

Politics are important, but they are secondary. The Bible must dictate our voting. The problem arises when our politics become God. Matt Walsh could not have demonstrated this any more perfectly.

Matt Walsh is a conservative blogger and false-christian. His writing is amazing. He has much information on politics I couldn’t recommend more. His voice on abortion has been bold and unquenchable. He is a very brilliant man with great material. But he demonstrates on this issue, he is not a christian. He does not know the Lord. He proves this because he does not consider a man with a false gospel to be a man with a false gospel.  And that means Walsh has no Gospel. Anyone who actually believed the true one would recognize and abhor the false ones when the ignorance is removed. He supports the Pope willfully, knowing the distinctions, which means he doesn’t understand the Gospel, and you can’t believe what you don’t know.  The Bible has nothing good to say about wolves who devour sheep, or the people who let the wolves into the pen.

“What are we actually fighting for in this culture? Which issues are the most important? How do we determine who is “with us” and who is “against us”? I have my answers to those questions, and according to my philosophy on things, the Pope is very much on the side of conservatives, at least where it counts. But if “conservatism” is something that condemns a man who is pro-life, pro-family, pro-Jesus, and who ultimately believes human society should be oriented towards God and Truth all because he disagrees about money and immigration, then I would like to officially disown conservatism. I always thought conservatism was deeper than that. Maybe I was wrong.”

Walsh here is upset because people like me believe the Pope to be an enemy. But our disconnect comes from our starting point. Matt Walsh finds conservatism to be worth fighting for, I find the Gospel to be.

Although it could be argued against  Walsh that the Pope even ought to be classified as conservative, even giving him that, he is still against Jesus: that’s called an enemy. He is my enemy. (It is not unbiblical to have enemies. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, a recognition that we have them.)

Walsh’s definition of an enemy is a liberal. Mine is an anti-Christ. What someone says about Jesus is objectively more important than what they say about Obama. 
So allow me to answer Mr. Walsh: 

What is it I am actually fighting for? Souls. 

What is it that’s most important? The Gospel.

How do I determine who is “with us” and “against us”? The Word of God and the Gospel of Christ Jesus. 

Is the Pope conservative? Irrelevant. 

Does the Pope believe a Gospel that saves or a false one? A false one with no salvation. 

Thus, He is an enemy of Christ, and an enemy of the Gospel, and that makes him my enemy. And Unfortunately, Matt Walsh is too. 

If that language troubles the hearts of my brethren, I will find rest knowing I am at least in the company of the reformers who preserved for us the faith rather than the ones trying to give it back to out stretched, blood stained Roman hands. 

But there is hope in the power of God to save the lost. The blood of Jesus can save popes, bloggers, accountants, or ISIS fighters. It can save liberals and it can save conservatives. It can save the religious and the non-religious. 

It can save you. I know this because it saved me. 

And if you know anything about me, you suddenly know a lot about grace.

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