Poll - Is the Pope the Antichrist?

Is the Pope the Antichrist, and the Man of Sin, foretold in Holy Scripture?

  • The Pope is the Antichrist.

    Votes: 35 38.0%
  • The Pope is not the Antichrist.

    Votes: 10 10.9%
  • The Pope is an antichrist, but not the Man of Sin foretold in Holy Scripture.

    Votes: 47 51.1%

  • Total voters
    92
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TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I am curious how many PB users hold to the classic Reformed view that the Pope is the Antichrist, the Man of Sin. Of course by "classic Reformed view," I do NOT mean that if you do not hold to this view that you are not Reformed. I simply mean that it used to be the universal Reformed view, as is shown in the Confessional documents of the Reformed Churches, and the writings of the Reformers and Puritans.

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 exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.
-WCF(1646) 25.6

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.
-2nd LBCF 26.4

And the government's task is not limited to caring for and watching over the public domain but extends also to upholding the sacred ministry, with a view to removing and destroying all idolatry and false worship of the Antichrist; to promoting the kingdom of Jesus Christ; and to furthering the preaching of the gospel everywhere; to the end that God may be honored and served by everyone, as he requires in his Word.
-Belgic Confession 36, Paragraph 5

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 Iperdition, 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.
-Savoy Declaration 26.4

Then, not to suffer this to fall to the ground, but rather to take it up, and to continue it in that state, wherein the famous predecessour of your HIGHNESSE did leave it; Nay, to goe forward with the confidence and resolution of a man in maintaining the trueth of Christ, and propagating it farre and neere, is that which hath so bound and firmely knit the hearts of all your MAJESTIES loyall and Religious people unto you, that your very Name is precious among them, their eye doeth behold you with comfort, and they blesse you in their hearts, as that sanctified person, who under GOD, is the immediate authour of their true happinesse. And this their contentment doeth not diminish or decay, but every day increaseth and taketh strength, when they observe that the zeale of your Majestie towards the house of GOD, doth not slacke or goe backward, but is more and more kindled, manifesting it selfe abroad in the furthest parts of Christendome, by writing in defence of the Trueth, (which hath given such a blow unto that man of Sinne, as will not be healed) and every day at home, by Religious and learned discourse, by frequenting the house of GOD, by hearing the word preached, by cherishing the teachers therof, by caring for the Church as a most tender and loving nourcing Father.
-From the original preface to the KJV
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I believe the pope is the antichrist and the papacy is an antichrist institution.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Personally, I think dogmatically claiming that he is the Antichrist actually detracts from exposing his darkness since there isn't really a way to prove the claim, whereas he can be proved to be an Antichrist. It wouldn't surprise me if he were the Antichrist, but I think it would be better for me to hold to what I can at least know for sure.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I believe the divines had ample proof to consider the pope to be "that antichrist." The greatest outside threat to the Church during their time was Rome. There is no other major religion today that confers so much power in one man as the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore the papacy still fits that definition.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Doesn't Mohammed qualify? If there is a final one man antichrist/man of lawlessness I'd expect him to be a Muslim. ( the way things are going, the RCCs and Muslims may form an alliance, with Mary being venerated in the mix)
 

SolaSaint

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have a very old book that was my Grandpa's. It was probably written over 110 years ago. It's sort of like a Systematic Theology and it refers to the Pope as being the anit-Christ throughout it's pages. If feel whoever wrote that book was convinced of it. I'll try to dig it up and let you all know the title and author.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Antichrist means "in the place of Christ" as much as "against Christ".

Patrick Fairbairn shows in his "The Interpretation of Prophecy" why it is a term fitting for the Papacy - as the "Big Daddy" Antichrist - as it was for Christian Gnostics in the Apostle John's day.

Believing that the Papacy is the Antichrist doesn't imply some kind of simplistic, wide-eyed, visceral and vicious anti-Romanism, nor does it comment upon whether one believes Rome to be in some sense part of the Visible Church, or whether one believes that there are any true believers in the Roman Church.
 

jgilberAZ

Puritan Board Freshman
I believe the beast religion is Islam, and The Antichrist will be their long-awaited savior, the Mahdi.

The Pope is a type of Antichrist, but not THE Antichrist.
 

BibleCyst

Puritan Board Freshman
Jeff, that's a very interesting thought! I can't say I've ever thought about a possible connection between Islam, the Mahdi, and the Antichrist.

I vote in the affirmative. Normally, I strongly dislike speaking in absolutes when it comes to things in the book of Revelation. In this case, I'm closer to "the Pope is THE Antichrist," than I am "the Pope is AN Antichrist" (though, he most certainly at least AN Antichrist). As Bill pointed out, the Pope still very much fits the "job description." He fits it too well. I'm not willing to say 100% that the Pope is THE Antichrist, but more like "the Pope is THE Antichrist until I'm proven wrong."
 

Loopie

Puritan Board Freshman
Just a question for my own clarification. When people argue that the Pope is THE Antichrist, are they referring to the 'office' of Pope, or the person who happens to be the Pope at the time? I assume that everyone is referring to the office, since obviously many Popes have come and gone since the office was created.
 

baron

Puritan Board Graduate
Are not the scriptures in 1 and 2 John that deal with the antichrist, deny that Christ came in the flesh? Has the Pope denied that Christ came in the flesh?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Just a question for my own clarification. When people argue that the Pope is THE Antichrist, are they referring to the 'office' of Pope, or the person who happens to be the Pope at the time? I assume that everyone is referring to the office, since obviously many Popes have come and gone since the office was created.

To put it simply, it's the office. But in so much as whoever happens to be Pope fills that office, he is the Antichrist.
 

jgilberAZ

Puritan Board Freshman
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
(1 John 2:22 ESV)

This does not describe Catholicism.

It does describe Islam, however.

This is one of the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock:

God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
maybe idk very much about the Catholic religion, but I voted he's not the AntiChrist bc of verse 1John 2:22 "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son". I don't think the Pope denies Jesus is the Christ. This fits more in with the Mormons and Jehovah Witness ppl i think.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
(1 John 2:22 ESV)

This does not describe Catholicism.

It does describe Islam, however.

This is one of the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock:

God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.

Opps! guess I should have read all the comments first ;)
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
I have a very old book that was my Grandpa's. It was probably written over 110 years ago. It's sort of like a Systematic Theology and it refers to the Pope as being the anit-Christ throughout it's pages. If feel whoever wrote that book was convinced of it. I'll try to dig it up and let you all know the title and author.
could it have been this one, Romanism and the Reformation by H Grattan Guiness?
Perhaps it's not quite a "Systematic Theology" but Grattan Guinness was formidably learned, and definitely convinced that (not the pope but) the papacy is the Antichrist. It must have been the most common position among Protestant writers of that generation, I think.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
John
Are not the scriptures in 1 and 2 John that deal with the antichrist, deny that Christ came in the flesh? Has the Pope denied that Christ came in the flesh?

This was a manifestation of an antichrist in John's day called Christian Gnosticism. Christian Gnosticism isn't the only antichrist or type of antichrist.

Any false system that retains the name and trappings of Christianity while setting up a false Christ in the place of Christ is an antichristian e.g. Liberal Theology, Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy (?), Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, etc.

The false Christ (antichrist) of Liberal Theology takes many forms. The antichrist (or Antichrist) of Romanism is the Papacy.

E.g. Atheism, Communism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, etc, don't even claim to be Christian, so are not antichrists, but just plain false religions or philosophies.

See the passage in the above book by Fairbairn, which is online.

It's not a subject I speak about much, as it is liable to misunderstanding without a great degree of explanation. It's probably not effective as an opener in the evangelisation of Roman Catholics, although I'm prepared to be surprised.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Wm. Hendriksen's view was, in essence, that there were many antichrists (even in John's day) and up through the church age, but there is a final one coming – also named (in 2 Thess 2) the man of sin (or lawlessness) – who shall be manifest at the end of the age. He has quite a few pages devoted to this topic in his commentary on Thessalonians (in 2 Thess 2:3,4), Timothy, and Titus.

It was for a reason that the American revision of the WCF, finalized in 1936 (by the Committee on the Constitution, consisting of Stonehouse, Machen, and Thompson), and was recommended by said committee at the Second GA that the Westminster Standards be adopted "in the form which they possessed" before the revisions of 1903*, with the exceptions of chapter 25.6 which had removed the reference of the pope as antichrist, and 22.3 which had removed the forbidding the refusal of a lawful oath. *(There were other changes prior to 1903 – made in 1788 – which were retained.)

I don't have access to the minutes of that "recent" committee, and don't know their reasoning for retaining these two removals, but I see the wisdom in them, and in particular the one re the pope. If we are bound, with our godly older brethren, to seeing only the pope and papacy as the antichrist and man of sin, we will be blinded to discern who this person really is when he appears, and that could be a very dangerous error.

I don't wish to duel with my godly brethren holding to the ancient form as to the rightness or wrongness of our OPC / PCA form of the Standards, I'm just stating the way it is, and why we will keep it that way.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't have access to the minutes of that "recent" committee, and don't know their reasoning for retaining these two removals, but I see the wisdom in them, and in particular the one re the pope. If we are bound, with our godly older brethren, to seeing only the pope and papacy as the antichrist and man of sin, we will be blinded to discern who this person really is when he appears, and that could be a very dangerous error.

I don't wish to duel with my godly brethren holding to the ancient form as to the rightness or wrongness of our OPC / PCA form of the Standards, I'm just stating the way it is, and why we will keep it that way.

Well this is the case, Steve. I wouldn't want to duel (again?) about this subject on the PB.

It's one of those tricky eschatalogical questions.

If the old view of the Pope being the Antichrist, is correct, holding to the original version of the WCF would be right on message.

But if not, and it is some future personage or line of personages, then it wouldn't be on message.

But the reality is that future personages or lines of personages can be identified, as they appear, since believing that the Pope is the Antichrist, doesn't exclude belief in other antichrists, some of them future, maybe almost as major as the Papacy.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
In his series on Revelation Sinclair Ferguson, if my memory is correct, describes the Antichrist as anything that stands against Christ and His kingdom, the presence of which has been here since Jesus was born and will remain until His triumphant return. I don't know if doctor Ferguson said this, or if it was an extension in my own thinking about the sermon, but it seems that if we put the focus on a specific being as Antichrist, we will miss the far more subtle and potentially more dangerous beings and teachings.

I realize that many of the Puritans saw the pope as the Antichrist, but given their proximity to the Reformation and to the sometimes devastating effects on England as the throne switched back and forth between RC and protestant, it's easy to understand how the pope would appear to be the biggest, baddest boy on the block.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
In his series on Revelation Sinclair Ferguson, if my memory is correct, describes the Antichrist as anything that stands against Christ and His kingdom,

The problem with this is that it is too general. Pretty much anything that opposes Christ and His Kingdom can be an antichrist. The use of the term in the Bible seems to be more specific than that.

I suppose the main thing is that enemies of Christ and His Church are recognised and responded to, whether they are antichrists (e.g. the Christ of Liberal Theology), the Antichrist (e.g. the Papacy or some future personage), or of the common or garden type of enemy (e.g. Communism, Atheism, Buddhism, etc), or however you choose to classify them, or not.

the presence of which has been here since Jesus was born and will remain until His triumphant return.

Dr Ferguson sounds like he is amil rather than postmil; one of those tricky eschatalogical debates.

it's easy to understand how the pope would appear to be the biggest, baddest boy on the block.

Whoever one believes the Antichrist to be, the Antichrist, whoever he may be, is the Big Daddy of all lesser antichrists.
 
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Jeremy123

Puritan Board Freshman
This is my first post and I am surprised that no one post I have yet seen, has mentioned that there are two meanings to the word, anti.
1. First it means to go in a contra direction, i.e., anti-clockwise rather than clockwise and,
2. Secondly, anti also means "in place of". Now for the interesting bit; all popes by virtue of just one of their many titles i.e., "The vicar of Christ" assume the roll of the Holy Spirit (who IS the only Vicar of Christ). And this makes them truly antichrist!
[/SIZE]
Jeremy123[/SIZE]
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Rich, BB Warfield takes just this position – that the antichrist in John's epistles (and the rest of Scripture) is to be understood generally, as in the continuing spirit of antichrist in false teachers and teaching. And it is true as J. says, we can be on the lookout for a specific figure – a person – and miss the flood of antichrist teaching and teachers inundating the church.

Still and all, here in the U.S. and according to the WCF held by a good number of the churches, we have warrant, both confessionally and Scripturally, to look for a worse than the pope, who might make the bloodthirstiest of them look like a choirboy.

P.S. Welcome to PB Jeremy!
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
This is my first post and I am surprised that no one post I have yet seen, has mentioned that there are two meanings to the word, anti.
1. First it means to go in a contra direction, i.e., anti-clockwise rather than clockwise and,
2. Secondly, anti also means "in place of". Now for the interesting bit; all popes by virtue of just one of their many titles i.e., "The vicar of Christ" assume the roll of the Holy Spirit (who IS the only Vicar of Christ). And this makes them truly antichrist!
[/SIZE]
Jeremy123[/SIZE]

Welcome to the PB, Jeremy. :cheers: No need to "shout"; we get the message.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
This is my first post and I am surprised that no one post I have yet seen, has mentioned that there are two meanings to the word, anti.
1. First it means to go in a contra direction, i.e., anti-clockwise rather than clockwise and,
2. Secondly, anti also means "in place of". Now for the interesting bit; all popes by virtue of just one of their many titles i.e., "The vicar of Christ" assume the roll of the Holy Spirit (who IS the only Vicar of Christ). And this makes them truly antichrist!
[/SIZE]
Jeremy123[/SIZE]

Welcome to the PB, Jeremy. :cheers: No need to "shout"; we get the message.

I don't think he was shouting since he didn't write in all caps he just has a large font. Maybe he has a hard time seeing what he writes? Idk
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Still and all, here in the U.S. and according to the WCF held by a good number of the churches, we have warrant, both confessionally and Scripturally, to look for a worse than the pope, who might make the bloodthirstiest of them look like a choirboy.

I never like contradicting you, Steve, but the removal of a proposition from a confession does not necessarily mean that the confession was deemed false on that point; it simply means that the adopting body felt it necessary to allow for other views. The removal therefore does not provide "warrant" to look for another manifestation.

In response to the thread, the statement in the Confession is in the context of ecclesiology, not eschatology. Even if one's exegesis of 2 Thess. 2 warranted the appearance of the man of sin at the end of this present era (which I cannot see to be possible from whatever angle one views the text), it would not negate the statement of the Confession while the Pope of Rome continues to exalt himself as head of the church. As a point of application, the demonstrative, "that," identifies the assumption of the papacy as being of the same nature as the assumption included in the biblical description of the man of sin. I find it hard to believe that any "reformed" person -- reformed from Romanism and Popery, that is -- would or could object to this identification. Even if one could object to it, it would still be true that there has been nothing in the history of the church like the Papacy which fulfils the attributes of the man of sin. What exists, the Papacy, has more probability than something which does not exist, a supposed future man of sin.
 

Gloria Dei

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes; I do hold that the pope is the Antichrist. As the note in the Geneva Bible says for Revelation 17:4 in regard to "the woman[...]araied in purple & skarlat": "This woman is the Anti-Christ, that is, the Pope with the whole bodi of his filthie creatures, as is expounded, vers. 18, whose beautie onely standeth in outwarde pompe & impudencie and craft like a trumpet."
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Steve
Still and all, here in the U.S. and according to the WCF held by a good number of the churches, we have warrant, both confessionally and Scripturally, to look for a worse than the pope, who might make the bloodthirstiest of them look like a choirboy.

There have been bloodthirsty people in history, like Nero and Stalin and Hitler, and some of the line of Popes have been involved in that too, and maybe there will be such people or such a person at the end of history as well.

But it is soul-killing on a large scale, by means of its Christian lies and its great longevity, that the Papacy is renowned for.
 
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