Happy Reformation Day

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104 Responses

  1. So when the Devil comes tonight. I’m going to make sure that I’ve eaten plenty of chili from the local church’s Trunk or Treat tonight.

  2. Michael says:


    Prepare the children as well… 🙂

  3. Michael says:

    History is a tough sell on the PhxP…

  4. Nonnie says:

    I heard a vicar on the radio to (here in the UK) and she explained at “all hallows eve” was Christian celebration to mock/make fun of death and evil, because in Christ, we have conquered death. Although we all must face the loss of this life (as we know it), we can rejoice that through Christ sin and death are conquered.

    I must say…that has given me a new perspective on “Hallloween.”

    Along this same line, I have also read about the gargoyles that decorate the old, medieval churches. I wondered why those ugly things would adorn the outside of churches, and I read how it was a way of laughing at the devil and proclaiming that in Christ we have victory over evil and the evil one.

  5. Michael says:


    There is a rich tradition of mocking and insulting the devil in Christian literature…it’s part of our heritage alongside the admonitions to be watchful of his works.

  6. Nonnie says:

    Michael, I was never aware of “mocking/laughing at the devil” until I read the book about the Gargoyles (since there are so many here in Oxford.) Fascinating to think of it that way. To begin to understand that many Christians could not read or write (back in the medieval times) so it was the liturgy, the gargoyles, the sights, the sounds, the bells and smells that told relayed the message of the Good news!

  7. Ricky Bobby says:

    The devil inside. There’s no such thing as witches and spells that work etc. It’s unfortunate that Luther truly believed that nonsense, it actually diminishes his credibility, though I am a big fan of his 95 Theses and his courage to disrupt the status quo and challenge the abuses and corruption within the “church” at that time.

  8. Michael says:

    It doesn’t diminish his credibility as a theologian at all…he was a product of a distant time and culture and some things need to be understood in that light.

  9. Nonnie says:

    RB, I have a friend who did nothing more than give a plate of cookies and an Easter card to her neighbour. Since that time that neighbour has hated them, called the police on them, accusing them of vile and evil deeds, and going out of his way to cause my friend pain and trouble, including rubbing faeces on their windows…..all because she gave him a plate of cookies and an Easter card that told the gospel story.

    I believe something is “inside” that man….something that hates Jesus and anyone who claims His name. But my friend keeps reaching out in love to him, believing that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love.

  10. Michael says:


    We get stuck in our own methodologies that wouldn’t have worked 500 years ago.

  11. Kevin H says:

    “Almost every night when I wake up the devil is there and wants to dispute with me. I have come to this conclusion: When the argument that the Christian is without the law and above the law doesn’t help, I instantly chase him away with a fart.”

    I know some people that the devil must pester quite a bit. 🙂

  12. bishopdave says:

    So in Blazing Saddles, that was really a prayer meeting.

  13. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    They may be possessed… 🙂

  14. Michael says:


    Another example of the Gospel hidden in film… 🙂

  15. Wild Bill says:


  16. RB,
    “There’s no such thing as witches and spells that work etc”

    How do you know? (you can’t say because YOU have not had an experience with witches or spells – that just limits you)

    It would be like me saying there are no abusive pastors because i have never witnessed nor experienced one.

  17. Nonnie says:

    MLD, touche’!

  18. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, false analogy and that some agree with you thinking it was sound is really more demonstrative of the fact not too many are qualified enough to judge such things. Yikes.

    My premise: “There’s no such thing as witches and spells that work etc”

    …is not akin to your analogy and assertion here:

    MLD: “It would be like me saying there are no abusive pastors because i have never witnessed nor experienced one.”

    In the first premise, there is lack of verifiable facts, data and conclusive evidence, which supports the assertion.

    In the second premise, your premise, there is much facts, data and conclusive evidence that proves there are indeed abusive pastors (according to the universally accepted definitions of those terms both “abusive” and “pastor”).

    It is like comparing apples and oranges and is really quite a fallacious and weak false analogy at that.

  19. Ricky Bobby says:

    …now there are folks who call themselves “witches” but there are none, throughout history, who have performed documented supernatural curses or “magic”. Now some may have poisoned some people, performed ritual sacrifice, etc, but there are no…ZERO…documented cases of true “magic”.

  20. “ZERO….documents cases of true ‘magic'”

    But smoke and mirrors works in a pinch.

  21. “ZERO….documents cases of true ‘magic’”

    Gotta disagree with this. Gotta refer to past scholars, in this case The Lovin’ Spoonful, who said,
    “And it’s magic
    if the music is groovy
    It makes you feel happy like an old time movie’”

    Now, I can cite MANY documented case of the music being groovy. Does anyone even argue that at some point the music has been groovy? There. Documented magic.
    The second instance is a little harder to nail down. This would be one of those case of : we don’t see magic but we feel its effects. Thus, it makes us feel happy like an old time movie. Many unresolved questions in this proof. How old of a movie? If we are talking silent pictures, I’ve never been happy watching one of those. No magic there. But say something from 30 years ago, Meatballs for instance, I can giggle all day watching that. Magic.

    While I’ll give that my second point is in need of work, I think my first point proves beyond a shasow of a doubt, that there are many, many documented cases of magic.

  22. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I think my first point proves beyond a shasow of a doubt, that there are many, many documented cases of magic.”

    LOL, well yes, you illustrate that much of truth is “relative”…and much of what Luther called “magic” or believed was “magic”….was in fact coincidence or maybe the “witch” poisoned the guy.

    I think many “miracles’ both in history and today…are akin to your “groovy music is magic”…it’s more a perception that something special and supernatural has occurred…than it is reality.

    “Magic” is magic if you believe in it…but that’s as far as it goes…it is purely “real” in your mind…similar to psychosomatic manifestations and placebo effect.

  23. But the question, RtotheB is this: do YOU believe in magic? In a young girl’s heart?

  24. Ricky Bobby says:

    Yes, LOL. I do believe in that kind of “magic”.

  25. Ricky Bobby says:

    I studied Anthropology in college…was fascinated by it.

    Shamans were ‘magicians’ etc. Know how they had their visions and did seemingly ‘magical’ things? Drugs.

    They’d take drugs and get others high on psychedelics and then “magic” would happen…in the minds of those folks. Then the Shaman would use things like cocaine type drugs/anasthetics to remove pain so they could mutilate or do other things physically w/o feeling the pain…again “magic”.

  26. London says:

    I thought it was National potluck at work day.

  27. You still have not proved your case that there are no witches or spells that work. You have only pointed out why YOU don’t believe them to be true and have pointed out some alternative explanations … none of which proves they do not exist.

    I agree that there may be testimony and eyewitness accounts of abusive pastors – but are you really going to try to convince me it is true? Don’t you think in my 64 yrs that I would have personally run into an abusive pastor on my own if they really existed?

    It’s silly that you believe such things when i can point and say “not true” (like you do)

  28. Ricky Bobby says:

    pharmakeia is the greek in the NT that is translated as “witchcraft” or “sorcery” or “magic”

    It’s all in the brain folks. Chemistry in the brain has a lot to do with this stuff.

    “Demon possessed” is really a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be corrected, often, through meds.

    “Seizures” etc is the brain malfunctioning, etc.

    “Visions” are hallucinations often induced by ingesting hallucinogens, etc.

    It’s not really “magic”…it’s chemical, biological and neurological manifestations in the brain due to a chemical imbalance or an outside agent/drug being introduced into the system.

  29. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “I agree that there may be testimony and eyewitness accounts of abusive pastors – but are you really going to try to convince me it is true?”

    There is DNA evidence, there is video, there are financial records, and other empirically verifiable data. Jim Jones is one case-study where we have actual dead bodies, some of which have been exhumed and tested etc.

  30. Ricky Bobby says:

    In other cases we have actual DNA evidence and a child that was born by one of the pastor’s victims that has his DNA.


    Here’s another one where the evidence is a tapped phone call:

    William Richardson accused of sexually assaulting young girl during Sunday School

    Seffner, Florida — A man is facing charges of sexually abusing a girl during Sunday school classes, detectives said.

    Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 47-year-old William A. Richardson II at his home on Lakewood Drive in Brandon.

    He’s facing the death penalty for charges he sexually battered an 11-year-old girl during Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Mango in Seffner.

    Richardson is also accused of molesting the girl when she was 9 or 10 years old and sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said fondling may have happened multiple times during the past three years.

    Detectives say Richardson said things that made it clear he had committed the sexual battery during a phone call with the victim that deputies were listening in on.

    This one’s pretty interesting, part of what they are calling sexual abuse was done to me many times growing up…being spanked on my bare skin while I was naked:

    Mendel Tevel in Los Angeles jail awaiting extradition
    Jewish Journal


    Menachem Mendel Tewel, who goes by the name Mendel Tevel, remains in a Los Angeles jail awaiting extradition to Brooklyn. The rabbi and youth worker arrested Tuesday afternoon at the JEM Center in Beverly Hills is expected to be charged in New York with three counts of sexual abuse, according to officials in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the New York Police Department.

    Although Tevel’s indictment is sealed, Lt. Lincoln Hoshino, a spokesman for the Beverly Hills Police Department, told the Journal that the arrest warrant his department received from New York charges Tevel with three counts of criminal sexual acts in the first degree, five counts of criminal sexual acts in the third degree and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

    Tevel, 30, is currently being held without bail at Los Angeles County’s inmate reception center in downtown L.A.. He is scheduled for an extradition hearing as early as the morning of Thursday, Oct. 31, during which he can either fight the Brooklyn DA’s extradition request, or waive opposition to it, giving New York law enforcement officials 30 days to transport him to Brooklyn to be arraigned..

    In an article in the Journal in August, four men said they had been victims of Tevel when they were minors (ranging from ages 6 to 14 at the time of the alleged abuse). They claimed Tevel performed acts that included spanking on bare skin, to sexually suggestive rubbing. The instances described by those who spoke with the Journal took place as early as around 1995 and as recently as around 2004.

  31. jamesk says:

    #16 and #27 make me wish for a “like” button on here.

  32. Jim says:

    …I aint fraid of no ghost….

  33. Bob says:

    Hey RB are you going to let it loose again? I thought this thread was about Reformation day and Martin Luther?

    After reading a factual account of Martin Luther I both admired and found him a bit more than odd. Here’s this guy with a great education but is afraid of the dark and in particular thunderstorms. Yes I get it about all the cultural Germanic stories of the forest and demonic spirits which haunt and pursue people at night. Even Hansel and Gretal understood what a good pot-luck would do for a community.

    I think what amazed me most as I studied ML history is how his contemporary clergy and monks on the average were illiterate or could at best read poorly. What an environment to take advantage of by evil men masquerading as men of God.

    In the end wouldn’t all of us like to have friends so faithful they protect your life from powerful evil men who would like to murder you. Funny how it really was flesh and blood people who were Luther’s foes and not the demon who “visited” him at night.

  34. Somehow I don’t think my wife is gonna buy my new reason for passing gas around the house.

  35. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I think what amazed me most as I studied ML history is how his contemporary clergy and monks on the average were illiterate or could at best read poorly. What an environment to take advantage of by evil men masquerading as men of God.”

    Sounds a lot like today…only some of the folks are somewhat literate….but still pretty ignorant.

  36. Bob,
    ” What an environment to take advantage of by evil men masquerading as men of God.”

    The Lutheran position, even to this day is that the anti christ is fulfilled by the papacy Who more is identified as sitting in God’s temple and killing souls? This is done by their denial of the gospel. Who sits in the place of God?

    Before Steve Wright can jump in, 2 Thess 2 states that something is holding back the revelation of this anti christ. What held back the revealing of the papacy? The Roman Empire – once it fell, the papacy rose up – both religiously and politically.

    Back to your point, yes it was a time of religious ignorance as people followed the anti christ – not the christ.

    **critical note, not a particular pope, but the papacy in general.**

  37. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, you sound like a Jesuit “Rome is the Anti-Christ” conspiracy theorist. Is that really what you Lutherans believe? Yikes…

  38. RB, it’s easy for you to shoot at me since you believe nothing. 🙂

  39. Ricky Bobby says:

    Not at all, I believe in lots of things…I just require some facts, data, evidence etc to hold most of my beliefs. You on the other hand tend to be OK with accepting complete and utter nonsense. Did you get a prosthetic brain to go with the prosthetic arms? 😆

  40. jamesk says:

    Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.

  41. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “MLD, you sound like a Jesuit “Rome is the Anti-Christ” conspiracy theorist. Is that really what you Lutherans believe? Yikes…”

    No that would be me LOL!!

  42. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”

    Not according to Thomas the Apostle…and what you state is pretty much how con-men, psychics, faith-healers etc trick folks by appealing to the mystical by turning off your brain.

    That’s fine, if you want to give your money to the Dione Warwicks out there (Christian* and non) then knock yourself out. Delusion is truly the opiate of the masses.

  43. “Not according to Thomas the Apostle”

    Why do you believe just the one – there were 10 other apostles who believed without seeing.

    so, we can only think – you and Thomas are wrong.

  44. jamesk says:

    I guess the wind does not exist. We can’t see it.

  45. Steve Wright says:

    I studied Anthropology in college
    How many majors did you have?

    Did you take field trips to the cultures you studied, or did you believe the eyewitness recordings in your textbook?

  46. For the true Christians who broke the chains at the Reformation – from the Lutheran Confessions;

    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. 11] This is, properly speaking to exalt himself above all that is called God as Paul says, 2 Thess. 2:4. Even the Turks or the Tartars, great enemies of Christians as they are, do not do this, but they allow whoever wishes to believe in Christ, and take bodily tribute and obedience from Christians.

    12] The Pope, however, prohibits this faith, saying that to be saved a person must obey him. This we are unwilling to do, even though on this account we must die in God s name. 13] This all proceeds from the fact that the Pope has wished to be called the supreme head of the Christian Church by divine right. Accordingly he had to make himself equal and superior to Christ, and had to cause himself to be proclaimed the head and then the lord of the Church, and finally of the whole world, and simply God on earth, until he has dared to issue commands even to the angels in heaven. 14] And when we distinguish the Pope’s teaching from, or measure and hold it against, Holy Scripture, it is found [it appears plainly] that the Pope’s teaching, where it is best, has been taken from the imperial and heathen law, and treats of political matters and decisions or rights, as the Decretals show; furthermore, it teaches of ceremonies concerning churches, garments, food, persons and [similar] puerile, theatrical and comical things without measure, but in all these things nothing at all of Christ, faith, and the commandments of God. Lastly, it is nothing else than the devil himself, because above and against God he urges [and disseminates] his [papal] falsehoods concerning masses, purgatory, the monastic life, one’s own works and [fictitious] divine worship (for this is the very Papacy [upon each of which the Papacy is altogether founded and is standing]), and condemns, murders and tortures all Christians who do not exalt and honor these abominations [of the Pope] above all things. Therefore, just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, we can endure his apostle, the Pope, or Antichrist, in his rule as head or lord. For to lie and to kill, and to destroy body and soul eternally, that is wherein his papal government really consists, as I have very clearly shown in many books.

    Meets all the descriptions of the anti christ.

  47. Ricky Bobby says:

    Hmmm, sounds a lot like “touch not God’s anointed” and Moses Model Calvary Chapel…

  48. Bob says:


    Wow, reading this:

    “The Lutheran position, even to this day is that the anti christ is fulfilled by the papacy Who more is identified as sitting in God’s temple and killing souls? This is done by their denial of the gospel. Who sits in the place of God?”

    and your post on sin and sin-nature I’m wondering if we have more in common than I thought.

    Of course the anti-Christ is in a lot of ventures and organizations. Many today teach how they speak for God everyone needs their “covering” even though followers of Jesus are already covered in red. What’s different today, compared to the days of Luther, is most people are literate and own their own copy of a good bible translation. Sadly the pages are little more worn than the day it was either purchased it or received it as a gift.

    He is Lord!

  49. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t see the word, temple, there. So how does the Papacy fulfill the sitting in the temple part?

    The Jerusalem one has been destroyed, the one connected to Christians’ bodies can’t apply.. Must be another one unless that aspect to the prophecy is conveniently ignored by Luther. Did he write anything else on that?

    Sounds like your teaching may have as many temples as I do! 🙂

  50. Bob says:

    “I guess the wind does not exist. We can’t see it.”

    Nope it doesn’t, but it is an adjective describing how the molecules of gas we know as air move and respond to the earth’s rotation, thermal differences, water vapor, mechanical effects and a slew of other things. It is also the description of how God’s spirit moves.

    All this scientific stuff is for RB who needs a facts and not myths.

  51. Ricky Bobby says:

    jamesk said, “I guess the wind does not exist. We can’t see it.”

    RB quotes: “Yes you can, wind is the flow of gases on a large scale, therefore if you can witness these gases moving you are witnessing wind. The most clear example of this is Jupiter as a lot of its’ atmosphere is made up of colourful gases, which are easy to see. On earth it’s harder to witness since most of the gases that make up our atmosphere are transparent. However, if you were able to gather enough of a colorful gas you could create visible winds on earth, much like creating a convection current apparatus, only on a large scale.”

    Steve W. said, “How many majors did you have?”

    RB: One major, one minor. Anthropology was during my lower division gen ed.

    Steve W. said, “Did you take field trips to the cultures you studied, or did you believe the eyewitness recordings in your textbook?”

    RB: No field trips to the Aztec, Mayan and Incan sites in Mexico and South America…but we reviewed many videos, many photos, etc. of documented tangible evidence and we reviewed written records from archeology and the archeological record in evidence supports many of the claims and establishes much of the knowledge we have of the peoples/cultures.

    For Greek Humanities, another class I took, we actually went to Greece and visited the sites we had studied etc. Got to see the Acropolis and Parthenon, Olympus, etc etc.

  52. You take temple too literally – to mean God has only one specific building. You are the scholar, what was the building called where the church met? – it had no name. It is so obvious that Paul in 2 Thess is speaking about the anti christ coming out of the church – Steve this is basic Christianity.

    Your allegiance to Israel is staggering.

  53. Again Paul is using words people understand.

  54. I need to get in line in traffic.

  55. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD said, “Again Paul is using words people understand.”

    “Let them go the whole way and cut their testicles off!” –Paul the Apostle.

    Now THAT I can understand! LOL 😆

  56. Ricky Bobby says:

    Steve W. said, “How many majors did you have?”

    I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve learned a lot more since college than during. I read and study everyday…every single day. I know more today than yesterday, and the day before etc…and I hope to continue to learn things and increase in knowledge until I croak.

    Seems some folks may have stopped learning long ago…

  57. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Paul wrote the Thessalonian letters very early. Well before 70 A.D. of course, but well before such other letters like Ephesians, and even a couple years before Corinthians. No teaching that we know of yet, of the Church’s connection to the temple. We do have Jesus words speaking of His own body of course before the cross, but that is all. Otherwise, we read temple in Acts, we read about the one in Jerusalem.

    We agree he was giving a prophecy to the Thessalonians.

    Your saying that Paul’s listeners were to somehow figure out that one day the Roman Empire would collapse but since the Church would remain, then, after the collapse, some dude would come “out of the Church” and that’s what sitting in the temple of God is all about.

    Meanwhile, I think the audience assumed some dude, another Antiochus, would commit blasphemy in the temple – where of course Paul and the other Christians still continued to visit and pray at throughout the years it was standing – as we do read in Acts.

    We do agree that Paul used words they would understand. 🙂

  58. Steve Wright says:

    I think MLD must have passed-out from eating too much of his grand kids’ candy. The Dodgers aren’t playing anymore so what else could keep him away this long? 🙂

  59. I just think the antics and writings of Luther would have been at least as bad as Todd Bentley if he were our contemporary. No I am not comparing the two as thinkers. But farting at the devil is ridiculous and clownish and hard to take seriously.

  60. brian says:

    I dont think Todd Bentley has had the same effect on society as Martin Luther, mainly because the Church no longer has the secular sword, yet. Luther’s writings to some degree had the power of the princes to back it up. Of course that is a somewhat simplistic view of the time.

  61. Steve, I’m around. It’s just been busy and crowded in my house. My son, his wife and their pit bull have moved in for a couple of months while he transitions into a new job in NoCal. I’ve been wrestling the pit bull all night. (she is ahead 4 fakks to 2)

    You said / asked “Your saying that Paul’s listeners were to somehow figure out that one day the Roman Empire …” I think you are getting your two track (Israel & the church mixed up) No, like most prophecies you end up by looking back and saying “oh, that’s what he meant.” I don’t know how clear Paul was on the details but I do know he was talking about the church – Paul knew that Israel as a separate entity outside of the church was a dead issue.

  62. brian says:

    I would disagree with RB, there are truly possessed people who would think nothing of pushing the button and making half the world go poof if it supported their agenda. They run banks, financial institutions, they ruin lives by the millions and sleep like babies. And I admire them in a strange way. I mean I feel guilty if I make a friend upset of facebook or am rude to someone in traffic etc. At times that disgust me about myself. But yes there is true evil but its not in witches or warlocks or any of that nonsense, its in power, greed, lack of justice, the wrong kind of pride, abuse, etc.

  63. Steve Wright says:

    Paul knew that Israel as a separate entity outside of the church was a dead issue.
    Do you think even one of those Thessalonian believers in hearing the word, temple, in the early 50s AD, when it was still standing and Paul was still going there to worship God, did not think that was the temple he spoke of.

    They did not know 70 AD was coming either. Why wouldn’t the original Christian audience think of a literal temple?

    This discussion isn’t about Israel at all. Read Acts. The temple is a happening place for the early Church.

  64. “This discussion isn’t about Israel at all. Read Acts.” – LOL, your whole scenario has this entire singular event happening in Israel with Jews only and no Church in sight.

    “The temple is a happening place for the early Church.” – That is why the terminology is interchangeable..

    “Do you think even one of those Thessalonian believers in hearing the word, temple, in the early 50s AD, when it was still standing and Paul was still going there to worship God, did not think that was the temple he spoke of.” -No, just like I don’t think a single person within earshot of Jesus thought he was talking about himself when he mentioned the temple.

  65. Here is what I think. If the Apostle Paul were to walk into the Vatican on some high holy day for the RCC when the pope is decorated and they are going through all of the pomp and circumstance, and if he could get an earful of all the things I listed in my #46 – and if he were to read several of the canon in Trent that say you will go to hell if you believe that only Jesus can save you…

    I think after a day or two he would say “yep, that’s what i was talking about.”

  66. “The temple is a happening place for the early Church.” – That is why the terminology is interchangeable..”

    I had an interesting thought off my own comment about the interchangeability of the terms.

    So, two Christians are in Jerusalem in the early 50s, and one says I hear Paul is over at the temple I am going to go over to the temple and pray with him and his group – and the other says I am going to go to the church and pray with James and his group.

    Are they talking about doing 2 different things? I say no – they are just going to 2 different buildings.

  67. Jes says:

    Most of the 95 theses talk about correcting purgatory and pope doctrines. He could have saved time by just saying that purgatory does not exist amd the pope office is fake.

  68. Jtk says:

    Who in the world of bad ideas came up with “trunk or treat”?

    A guy named “Chester,” I think….

    Thanks for the article and that pic, which somehow I was unfamiliar with.

  69. Gary says:

    How about
    “Trick or tract”?

  70. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – At the end of the day, I want to stand before God having done my best to exegete His Scriptures…as I know you do.

    So if I am wrong about my understanding of how this is fulfilled, in my defense I will simply have that I took the Scriptures literally when it seemed normal to do so.

    If you are wrong, it will be because you listened to Martin Luther’s take on the verse, and repeated it to others. A man who lived at a unique time especially in connection to the Roman Catholic church

  71. Bob Sweat says:



    A prime example of arrogance! This is why I have always refused to get involved in mindless theological debates.

  72. Bob Sweat says:


    I could use your same example to say that many cc pastors have their theology based on listening to tapes of cc pastors. Before you respond Steve, I know you went to seminary. I’m speaking of others. I’m finished here!

  73. “If you are wrong, it will be because you listened to Martin Luther’s take on the verse,”

    It’s not Luther’s take as far as I know – I have not read a Luther commentary on 2 Thess (actually, I have not read a single Luther commentary)

    This is basic amil stuff (of which Luther never spoke specifically on the topic.) It has always been the church’s position that we are living in the time when many are called anti christ, many are call the lawless one and many are called the man of sin. The Reformation narrowed it down to the papacy – past, present and future.

    This is why when you read Revelation it is a back and forth look and the trials and troubles of the church here on earth now, (now being everyone’s now during the past 2,000 years) and then to victory won in heaven, now (now being everyone’s now during the past 2,000 years) and then back to the troubles of the church on earth and on and on it goes..

    The problem with your position is that you rip the messages to the Church out of scripture.
    Revelation is not for the church – it is a message about God working with Israel while the Church sits on the clouds of heaven. The 2 Thess passage is the same – no message to the Church – Paul is giving warnings and predictions to others – not to the people he is speaking too.

    I can read all of those passages as if they are to me today, where you read them as, well let me put it this way – when the World Series ended the other day, we have now entered THE VOID as it is called – a time when there is no major sporting events going on. Well, you are in that scriptural VOID and even though you won’t be here, Spring Training will come for the Jews. 😉

  74. BobSweat – don’t be upset with Steve. He and I do this in good fun. Just picture 2 brothers doing a punch out … you know, where you see who can hit who the hardest on the arm.

    Stay thirsty my friend.

    Steve, your turn to punch. 🙂

  75. Gary says:

    I saw that medieval hammer in Mr. Luther’s hand and I knew I had to get it! It looks so 19th century. This is the very hammer he used to nail the Catholic Church with his famous complaints to the famous Door. It wasn’t easy. I first had to get licensed and bundled. I visited Mike Yaconelli. He turned over and referred me to some Trinitarian guy, but not before he offered me a slab of Cheesus.

    I had to find the hammer. I booked a seat on the next greeneye and landed on my feet. I went straight to the local liebrary and opened the books. I scrolled through volumnious volumns until I came across a PxP link. It led me to the Reformation Muse-see-’em on Calvin Way. I elected to seek it out. As I made my own way I passed by centuries old facades and a field of holy cows.

    It was a warm day but cold inside. I entered the historical building through the restaurant and casino. Of course it was a gamble. Stop snickering. Luther would back me up on this. I spent what seemed like 300 years without any indulgence from the curator. He snickered too. I looked high. I looked low. I saw endless displays of works and grace but no hammer. By the end of the day I was tired. And cold. There were no resting places. I finally found an old guilted throne by the back door. There was a warm breeze wafting in from modern times outside. I sat down. My dogs were tired. When I came to it occurred to me I could just slip out the back door. As I got up and walked out I tripped over the back step. As I did the back door slammed shut. I got up, dusted off my shame and noticed something. It had been propping the door open. It was the hammer! I had tripped on Luther’s hammer.

    I now offer this forged steel artifact for sale. It comes complete with a cheesy cloth copy of all of the 93 theses and a close up photo of the actual hole in the actual Door. The cost for this one-of-a-kind original is beyond belief. I’m considering necklace replicas. Benny Hinn has approached me for marketing rights. 😉

  76. JRS says:

    Some people think that it will protect you from the devil if you hang a dove over the front of your church.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    Bob – We all have a hermeneutic. Mine is the literal-historical-grammatical interpretive school. I’m hardly alone.

    It DOES influence my teaching – and I am dead serious that it is an agreement I made with the Lord some time ago, knowing I have a higher judgment to face as a teacher of the word. If I am wrong, I will err on the side of literalness and not err on the side of getting the wrong figurative/symbolic interpretation based on the wrong theologian.

    I wasn’t dissing on the church theologians of the past or their contributions. Surely you know I study commentaries (and nary a one is from a CC author) Yes, it is quite common for anyone from Luther and following to equate antichrist with the Pope. Of course, when we talk about church history that sure excluded centuries of time – centuries when that view was likely not as commonly held.

    So whose history is right. I don’t know. So what is safest for me is to assume that both Paul and his audience assumed the actual temple, which was still standing, when he wrote. The fact the temple was destroyed before the event took place does not then change my hermeneutic – it just forces me to assume a new temple must be built sometime in the future. Maybe I’m wrong and Luther was right. Maybe the theologians for the 1400 years or so before Luther came around were right. My guess is after the split, the Orthodox probably teach this is the Pope too, but we would need Xenia to confirm that.

    Now, if you still see me as somehow arrogant, or still think this discussion has anything at all to do with frickin Calvary Chapel, then I won’t convince you otherwise.

  78. Bob Sweat says:


    Nice reply.

  79. Bob Sweat says:

    BTW, the tone of your reply to MLD was arrogant, not you as a person. Please for give me for getting in the way of your arm pounding contest. Didn’t know you were so sensitive.

  80. Steve,
    So after the descriptions I posted of the popes in action, the official writings of the RCC which claim if you trust in Christ alone you are condemned to hell (the actual withholding of the gospel to the people). the popes claims to sit in the very place of God here on earth and all myriad of other things – you don’t think that they fulfill the description of the anti christ ONLY because there is no temple in Israel?

    So when Paul speaks of what is restraining the revealing of anti christ – is it the absent temple?

  81. Steve Wright says:

    Didn’t know you were so sensitive.
    You’re not walking in my shoes at the moment. Excuse me, my CC shoes I meant….because anything and everything that comes from my keyboard must be tainted with the CC stench

    Yeah, what possible reason could I have had to reply back to your 71 and 72.

    It’s my fault Bob. Next time I’ll ignore it. Trust me.

  82. Xenia says:

    The Orthodox off-loaded the Pope 500 hears before Luther and we never had a doctrine of Purgatory or indulgences. We don’t have an official doctrine on who is anti-christ and who isn’t but we would not be surprised if the Anti-Christ did turn out to be a Pope one day in the future.

    The Pope is/ has been more of a threat to the Orthodox than he is to any other group of Christians.* Often when I meet a Roman Catholic and they find out I am Orthodox they say “Oh, I can’t wait for the day when our two churches are united!” and they talk about how “nearly identical” we are (we aren’t) and then they always say the killer line: “Our Pope will allow you Orthodox to keep your traditions, such as married clergy, etc.” Our response is “We can unite when your Pope repents of all false doctrines the RC has promulgated over the centuries and he can begin with the doctrine of Papal Supremacy.”

    *Fourth Crusade, creation of Uniates, etc.

  83. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I’m done here but to answer your final question -THE antichrist (article needed) very well may be a Pope. Many think that and I don’t have a side either way. Just that someone, an actual person not an office, will arise in the future since I do not see how that prophecy has been fulfilled.

    Whatever “it” is that is withholding his appearance, I definitely do not think it is an absent temple.

  84. Xenia,
    The same thing happens with Lutherans – the RCC reaches out to the liberal Lutherans in Europe trying to bridge the gap … and the Lutherans fall for it. But until they renounce Trent**, how can there be peace between us?

    **Trent casts Lutherans into hell.

  85. Bob Sweat says:

    Guess I’m just having a bad day. I usually don’t stir the pot so much.

    “Yeah, what possible reason could I have had to reply back to your 71 and 72.”

    Well, just admit #72 is correct.

    Forgive me Steve, but my shoes are pretty stinky right now too.

  86. Bob says:

    Wow, I missed the exchange between Steve and MLD. It seems to me they both basically agree about the Pope and the papal position. Is the argument about MLD calling the RCC a false temple?

    Here’s what I know:

    Paul was a Pharisee and Jew (he never did anything but affirm this) and would consider the “temple” the location, chosen by God, where He dwells with His people. In the past this was the physical Temple ranging from the wilderness to the final one during the Second Temple Period in Jerusalem.

    Paul then stated the “temple” was the physical body of those who followed Jesus as the Messiah and Lord, confessing Hi resurrection and Lordship.

    Additionally I do see the Central Physical Temple returning in the Prophetic of the OT and Revelation. However, both could be a bit more imagery than many would care to admit.

    So I guess I really don’t get the argument going on here, did I miss something in all those posts?

  87. Xenia says:

    The Orthodox call their churches “temples,” if that adds any light/ confusion to the story.

    If The Anti-Christ took over Hagia Sophia (anti-christs [muslims] already have) then we would say that Anti-christ has taken a seat in the Temple and the prophecy was fulfilled.

    There’s speculation that Anti-Christ will attempt to woo the Orthodox by offering to give us back Hagia Sophia, which he will then desecrate. To tell you the truth, Orthodox end-times speculation (especially among monastics) is just as wild as anything Dispensationalists write about, only with a EO slant.

  88. Bob,
    I made the case for the Lutheran position that the Papacy meets the description of the anti christ in 2 Thess 2 in my #s 36 & 46. Steve said it was not try because the Pope cannot be sitting on the Israeli Temple seat.

    That is how it started.

  89. Xenia says:

    Some Russians believe that the Restrainer was the Romanov Dynasty, the last Christian monarchy. They kept the world (or at least, Russia) safe for Christianity. When the last Tsar was executed, all hell* broke loose. I am not saying I believe this but it’s a common belief in Russia, or at least, it was.

    Over here in the US we tend to see prophecy through US / Israel-centric lenses but in Russia they see prophecy fulfilled through Russia-centric lenses.

    *Russian Revolution (godless atheism) and WW I and WW II.

  90. Xenia says:

    If you take Israel out of the picture and start looking around the Christian world for other options for prophetic fulfillment. a whole world of fascinating possibilities present themselves!

  91. Since this is a Reformation thread (and this is not directed at Steve at all) but the Reformation fought homage being paid to the pope. Today I see so much in dispensationalism that can be likened to paying homage to Israel.

    It seems that the dispensationalists are looking for the rapture, not so they can go to heaven, but to get the Church and Jesus off center stage so that the real action can take place … namely getting God and Israel back together.

    I know – broad brush – but hey, read the books, read the internet.

  92. Xenia says:

    Soooo…. we can imagine (and it takes a good imagination) a scenario where some Pope arises who is good-looking and charming and who oozes good will towards all men and schmoozes many Christian groups to unite with his RCC, including some liberal Orthodox bishops, working out some deal with the Muslims to return the use of Hagia Sophia to the Orthodox (the liberal Orthodox, not all will fall for it) and then there will be some kind of con-celebration with some kind of watered-down ecumenical liturgy with the Pope and possibly the Patriarch of Constantinople presiding (and with the Slavic and other traditional Orthodox protesting and going into schism) and then one day the Pope will begin making blasphemous statements and desecrating the Great Church and the Patriarch will see that he has been fooled but it will be too late, etc. etc. etc.

  93. Steve Wright says:

    Well, just admit #72 is correct.
    I better respond, huh. If I don’t the next wave of posters finds that and goes off about how I refuse to ever admit anything negative.

    Of course it is correct, Bob. And every fiber in my being opposes that – as I would hope five years around here might have given me the benefit of the doubt.

    Of course, it is 100% irrelevant. I didn’t say that about MLD simply because of his connection to Martin Luther in his denomination of choice – as any reading of the thread will show MLD was QUOTING Luther as his authority. And I take issue with that.

  94. Steve, Bob – can’t you CC guys get along? 😉

  95. Bob Sweat says:

    This bantering is fun!

  96. Bob,
    I can lend you one of my pot stirrers. i have plenty. 😉

  97. Bob says:



    “I made the case for the Lutheran position that the Papacy meets the description of the anti christ in 2 Thess 2 in my #s 36 & 46. Steve said it was not try because the Pope cannot be sitting on the Israeli Temple seat.”

    I thought I got that, but I guess what I don’t get is how it turned into a fight or argument.

    It took me some in depth study of the RCC positions (doctrines and theology) of the priesthood and the pope to understand the perversion which underlies it all. No where in either the Hebrew scriptures, their history or the early church history can the RCC be justified in their positions. Quite frankly it is more a kin to paganism than Jesus. But, that’s my opinion and I guess it will stir a pot or two.

    As far as “the Temple” I would say Steve is right. There was only one Temple and it fell in 70 AD. Of course I believe the Spirit of God left it a “few” years earlier and His Spirit now lives in His people. What’s too bad is for some reason this generation of denominations (in general so don’t think I’m picking on anyone) do not teach the the holiness of the temple any more. Instead I believe we are more like the 1 Cor 11 crowd who took their Bacchus celebrations and turned them into some form of communion. We eat and complain about our fat bodies, plan our next building campaign and leaders compare notes, as they jealously wonder how they can become a mega-church too.

    So I guess I agree with both you, MLD and Steve. Wish you two would see there’s no reason to argue about this.

    PS. I have no problem bashing the RCC at all.

  98. Bob,
    The problem with a new temple is this. God’s spirit will now pack up, move out of his people and move back into a brick and mortar building. I find that highly unlikely since the prophecy they point to says he will live in that new temple with his people forever. Rev 21 says that there is no temple … that’s a short forever. I think the church (people) is the new temple.

  99. Gary says:

    I checked out Hagia Sophia. It’s beautiful! Awesome!

  100. Xenia says:

    Gary, it looked even better before the Muslims wrecked it!

  101. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Gary, it looked even better before the Muslims wrecked it!”

    Ya, so did the World Trade Center.

  102. Gary says:

    Their language looks like graffiti.

  103. Dan from Georgia says:

    I want that haircut that Luther is sporting

  104. Gary says:

    Regarding Luther’s life and his haircut: “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

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