Monday, July 25, 2011

The Two Topics You're Never Ever Supposed to Discuss

Which are in fact, politics and religion...

I don't know the whole story.  I don't keep up much on the news but there was something about Michelle Bachmann being a former member of the WELS and taking some flack for our beliefs.  As a member of the WELS, I feel the need to say something so if you're not into politics or religion, now would be a good time to stop reading and I promise to post some pretty pictures a bit later of my crafty work.

Now with that disclaimer out of the way.  The big point that's being made is that we believe that the office of the papacy is the antichrist as described in Revelation and other parts of the Bible.  But the media, of course, has blown this out of proportion.  The best rebuttal comes from WELS president Rev. Mark Schroeder (the bold emphasis has been added):

While WELS continues to see the characteristics of the Antichrist in the Roman Catholic Papacy, it is wrong and dishonest to portray this belief as stemming from anti-Catholic bigotry.  We do have strong convictions and we identify what we believe are teachings that depart from the Word of God. But we hold no animosity toward Christians who hold the Roman Catholic faith and we respect the right of people to hold beliefs different from ours even as we point out the error. Furthermore, we rejoice that even in the Roman Catholic Church, where we believe that the gospel has been distorted, there are many Catholics who hold to a simple faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and who will ultimately be saved.  Testifying to the errors that still exist in Catholic doctrine is itself an expression of love; remaining silent or glossing over doctrinal differences would express the opposite.
Media reports have portrayed the WELS position on the Antichrist to be a prominent or even signature doctrine in our church.  Certainly we do not deny this teaching or attempt to hide it. At the same time, it is not a topic of daily discussion or a regular theme in Sunday sermons.  Nor is this a view peculiar to WELS; it has been the historic position of the Lutheran church for almost 500 years—a position still held by confessional Lutheran church bodies around the world.

So there, you have it, yes it's a Lutheran belief but it's not prominent and I find that it comes up maybe once a year like at the celebration of the Reformation.  Otherwise, it has no bearing on faith in Jesus so why would we discuss it except once in a blue moon.

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