Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Explicit Biblical evidence for the papacy

Gene has drawn my attention to Dave Armstrong’s “Explicit Biblical Evidence for Indulgences.”

Let me begin by commending dear old Dave. I can think of no greater service he can render to the Protestant cause than by once more making Tetzel the posterboy for Catholicism.

It almost makes one suspect that this prolific apologist for Rome is really a Protestant plant.

However, I do think that dear old Dave labors under a fundamental misapprehension. Traditionally, Protestantism has never denied that Scripture explicitly witnesses to certain features of Roman Catholicism. Take the papacy as Exhibit A:


The Papacy is the Antichrist (1888)

Few Christians know that the anti-Protestant Futurist theory originated with a Spanish Jesuit by the name of Ribera, who, in 1585 published a Commentary on the Revelation, in which he laboured to turn aside the Protestant application of the Apocalyptic prophecies and symbols from the church of Rome. It is also not well known the anti-Protestant Praterite (preterist) theory came from the pen of a Spanish Jesuit, Alcasar of Seville, who in 1615 published a work having in view the same end as Ribera, viz, to set aside the commonly accepted Reformation view that the Roman Papacy is the Antichrist (adapted from Original Covenanter and Contending Witness magazine). This book demonstrates that the Pope is the Antichrist using Scripture, history and the Pope's own words. Or as Ian Paisley states: "It is the purpose of this book to demonstrate that the preaching of the Great Cloud of Witnesses of all ages in the Church is true and that the little horn is none other than the Dynasty of Rome's Popes and that therefore THE POPE IS THE ANTICHRIST." This view (the "continuous historical Protestant theory") stands in agreement with Luther, Calvin, Knox, the Westminster Divines, Owen, Ames, Spurgeon, Baxter, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, Cunningham, Ryle, Cotton, Brown, and virtually all of the other standard Protestant interpreters of the book of Revelation. Have you fallen for a Jesuit ruse or are you standing in the footsteps of the flock? Read this book and find out.


The Pope of Rome is Antichrist (1675, 1845 edition)

Calvin (on I John 2:18) writes, "Those that think that he (Antichrist) would be just one man, are dreaming! For Paul... plainly shows that it would be a body or a kingdom (II Thes. 2:3). He first foretells a falling away that would spread throughout the whole Church... Then he makes the head of this apostasy the adversary of Christ who would sit in God's temple and claim divinity and divine honours. Unless we deliberately want to err, let us learn to know Antichrist from Paul's description" (Cited in Nigel Lee, 666: Luther and Calvin's Doctrine of Antichrist: Antichrist in Scripture [Focus Christian Ministries, 1992], p. 58). Wilkinson's book takes the classic Protestant position, called "historicism;" held by Luther, Calvin, Knox, the Westminster Divines, and most other Protestants, until the Jesuit inspired "futurist" and "preterist" systems began to gain ground, when Reformation hermeneutics waned. Shows how Protestants prove that the Pope is that "Antichrist" and "man of sin" set forth in Scripture. Deals with the mystery of iniquity, the great apostasy, and practical applications of the doctrines examined.


  1. Ben Douglass9/05/2007 10:22 PM

    Chapter 9 of the Apocalypse opens with Saint John’s terrifying vision:

    “And the fifth Angel sounded the trumpet; and I saw a star fall from Heaven upon the earth, and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.

    “And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit ascended as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun was darkened, and the air with the smoke of the pit:

    “And from the smoke of the pit, there came out locusts upon the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” (Apoc: 9:1-3)

    Devout Catholic Scriptural commentators for the past 500 years have seen in this vision a prediction of Luther and his Protestant Revolt.

    Father Herman Bernard Kramer, in The Book of Destiny, explains, “Luther did truly open the pit and let loose against the Church all the fury of hell. Therefore modern interpreters almost universally see in this fallen star, Luther.”[1] Father Kramer references the eminent Scriptural commentator, Cornelius a Lapide as making this point.[2]

    “The whole description of the locusts”, Father Kramer explains, “fits down to the last detail the kings and princes who established by force the heresy of the 16th Century.” He continues:

    “When Luther propounded his heretical and immoral doctrine, the sky became as it were obscured by smoke. It spread very rapidly over some regions of the earth, and it brought forth princes and kings who were eager to despoil the Church of her possessions. They compelled the people of their domains and in the territories robbed from the Church to accept the doctrines of Luther. The proponents of Protestantism made false translations of the Bible and misled the people into their errors by apparently proving from the ‘Bible’ (their own translations) the correctness of their doctrines. It was all deceit, lying and hypocrisy. Bad and weak, lax and lukewarm, indifferent and non-practicing Catholics and those who had neglected to get thorough instruction were thus misled; and these, seeing the Catholic Church now through this smoke of error from the abyss and beholding a distorted caricature of the true Church, began both to fear and hate her.”[3]

    ...The Haydock Commentary of the Douay Rheims contains a similar explanation of Apocalypse 9:2:

    “Luther and his followers propagated and de-fended their new doctrines with such heat and violence as to occasion everywhere seditions and insurrections which they seemed to glory in. Luther openly boasted of it. ‘You complain,’ said he, ‘that by our gospel the world is become more tumultuous; I answer, God be thanked for it; these things I would have so to be, and woe to me if such things were not’.”[6]

    John Vennari, "Prepare to Commemorate 2017"

  2. Methinks someone missed the sarcasm.

  3. ben, I think you're missing the point of steve's post. I don't think he's trying to get into some *ahem* elimination-of-liquid-waste contest with Catholics with respect to polemical interpretations of Revelation.

    I think he's trying to show Dave is supporting purgatory scripturally in a very sloppy fashion by taking some characteristics of purgatory and saying that because they involve biblical principles (such as repentance), therefore purgatory must be true.
    Which is like saying that because (say) Mormonism involves concepts such as sin, repentance, Jesus, etc. it must be true.
    Seriously - read Dave's post - it's very weak.

  4. Dear me. Someone please wipe the froth from Mr Vennari's lips.

    "[...] they lopped off the reality of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist [...]"

    Does he get out much around actual real-life Lutherans?

    "[...] the French Revolution, that based itself on the Masonic deification of man, is the direct result of the Protestant Revolt."

    Uh-huh. That would be the same "French Revolution" that put up statues of the Goddess of Reason in the churches? And the same Luther (and other Protestants, in this case) who called Reason "that old witch" and got rid of statues from the churches?

    Yup, I can see a direct causal link there.

    Maybe Luther was also personally responsible for creating haemorrhoids and head lice, too, due to his and Nimrod's forbidden experiments atop the Tower of Babylon...?

    Ben, that site is a Catholic equivalent of Jack Chick - albeit with better artwork.

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