Rome in the News, February 2016

Some Rome and eschatology-related news from this past month:

Catholic mass grave sites of 350,800 missing children found in Ireland, Spain, Canada

Did Pope John Paul II fall in love with a married American academic? New BBC Panorama investigation probes former Pontiff’s secret relationships with women

Eerie photos show chilling scenes inside austere abandoned Catholic seminary haunted by allegations of sex abuse by priests

Ex-Catholic priest, 83, is arrested for the murder of beauty queen, 25, whose body was found face down in a canal 56 years ago, days after he heard her confession

Fertile soil for corruption: Pope Francis is met by hugs in Mexico but has tough words for blood-soaked country’s political and religious leaders

Germany’s Catholic Church calls for ‘reduction’ in refugees

New Hampshire state Rep.: ‘The Pope is the anti-Christ’

Pope Francis to meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch in Cuba in bid to heal 1,000-year-old schism between Christianity’s east and west branches

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox church leader end 1,000 year rift between East and West at historic Cuba meeting as they sign a joint declaration calling for an end to Christian persecution

Pope Francis calls for global abolition of the death penalty saying ‘Thou shalt not kill’ applies to the guilty as well as the innocent’

Pope Francis Sees Putin as ‘Only Man’ to Defend Christians Around the World

Pope Francis under fire over China ‘Realpolitik’

Pope Francis’ meeting with Iran’s President Rouhani fulfils end-time prophecy, Jewish scholars say

Pope unleashes ‘super confessors’ to tackle special sins

The Practical Extirpation of Protestantism

Johannes Adam Simon Oertel Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C. ca. 1859

F. Tupper Saussy on how Catholicism conquered American Protestantism:

On the State of the Church is arguably Lorenzo Ricci’s
“American Manifesto,” the social blueprint for how the General intended to realize Bellarminian liberation in a Protestant monarchy.  The full title page of the first edition of the book says it all:

On the State of the Church and the Legitimate Power of the Roman Pontiff: A Singular Book On the Properly-Ordered Reunification with Dissidents in the Christian Religion.

Here one beholds a description of the momentous social change that the American Revolution would indeed produce — neither monarchial overthrow, nor democracy, nor republicanism, but a “properly ordered reunification with dissidents in the Christian religion,” that is, the reunification of Roman Catholics with Protestants under a secularized religion whose values — long on humanism, short on Scripture — are taught through public schools following the Jesuit ratio studiorum.  “Reunification” means that Protestantism has been reabsorbed into Rome.  This, in the eyes of the black papacy, to the Sun-tzuan mind, and to common sense, equals the practical extirpation of Protestantism.”

~Rulers of Evil: Useful Knowledge About Governing Bodies, Chapter 17

A Defense of Puritan Postmillennialism

Thomas Cole The Garden of Eden Amon Carter Museum

Reformed Theonomy summarizes Rev. David Silversides’ arguments for historic Purican postmilennlianism:

https://reformedtheonomy.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/the-biblical-case-for-puritan-postmillennialism/

Most reformed believers I talk to today adhere to amillennialism, so I enjoy learning about the debate between amillennialism and postmillennialism.  At present, this blog leans to postmillennialism, but I’m always open to correction!

Partial Preterism and Historicist Postmillennialism

Briton Rivière - Una and the Lion

Reformed Theonomy outlines 7 differences between Partial Preterism and Historicist Postmillennialism:

https://reformedtheonomy.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/7-differences-between-partial-preterist-and-historist-postmillennialism/

Stars as People or Powers

A starry sky above Death Valley and Orionid

F.N. Lee explains what biblical references to “stars” sometimes mean in John’s Revelation Unveiled [orange text emphasis added]:

“So, after opening the sixth seal, History will develop toward its end – as Christ comes (invisibly although) mightily and in repeated judgments.196 For such ‘comings of the Lord’ and ‘earthquakes’ occur against the ‘stars of the sky’ and the ‘mountains and rocks’ – alias influential men.196″ [page 66]

“Again, continues the Geneva Bible, ‘the stars of the sky’ represent
Teachers or “Doctors and Preachers that depart from the truth.”” [page 66]

“Now all of this was to be enjoyed by the children of God – the true seed of the woman.461 They, like political “Stars”458 – far more influential than movie stars! – were to rule the Universe to the glory of the Lord.462″ [page 140]

“And as such, he misled some of the other “Stars” or created Angels484 – when he with “his tail drew the third part of the Stars of Heaven” after him “and cast them to the Earth.”471” [page 146]

And Satan misled the Nation of pagan Rome in particular. For he dragged down and debased the “Stars” or the Political Leaders there
too492 – in his grim attempt to destroy the Messiah at His human birth, and later again at His death.493 [page 147]

The third part of the stars which the Roman Dragon drew down with
his tail do indeed remotely refer to Satan’s original dragging down of some of the Angels. Yet it probably also (and more immediately)498 refers to the corruption of the Political Leaders (or “Stars”) of that significant part of the Satan-bound World then governed as the worldly Roman Empire.499 [page 149]

Read more of John’s Revelation Unveiled here: http://www.historicism.net/reading.htm

This use of the term “star” to denote important personages is not far-fetched.  F.N. Lee mentions the term “movie star” above, which is commonly used today.

Consider also what Tony Blair said to President Clinton about Princess Diana upon hearing of her death:

‘It’s like a star falling. She was a star for them.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3389245/It-s-grim-business-grim-business-Extraordinary-transcripts-private-calls-Tony-Blair-Bill-Clinton-reveal-touching-exchanges-following-Diana-death.html#ixzz3yJcQOZWs

So there you have it.  When it fits the context, “star” means someone important, whether the term is used in biblical language or in modern parlance.

Pray Against Antichrist

Charles Spurgeon:

Olynthus mill from Yavne-Yam (2)“It is the duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it is not the Popery in the Church of Rome and in the Church of England, 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 those two churches on suspicion, and they certainly would not be let loose again, for they so exactly answer the description. Popery anywhere, whether it be Anglican or Romish, 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 sink to rise no more. If we can pray against error 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 Savior, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Spirit, 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 loathe and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray. We are to pray for Him.”

– PRAY FOR JESUS, NO. 717, DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 21, 1866, BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

HT: https://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/do-you-pray-against-antichrist-with-source/

Where’s…Waldo?

Burning of the Waldensians

An interesting take on the popular Where’s Waldo series:

When we consider that this group of sincere and devout followers of the Word of God were persecuted and hounded throughout Europe for most of the 2nd millennia, and that it’s safe to assume that Peter Waldo and the Waldensians were hunted down like foxes, the theme for this story of Christian persecution begins to give new meaning to the phrase, ‘Where’s Waldo?’

Is this comical character who is sought out amidst the cartoonish sketchings of various crowds symbolic of that rare Christian who is mixed in among societies populous?

Read more: https://elijah1757.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/the-christian-hunt-and-peter-waldo-connection/

Surrendered to a Foreign Conqueror

Consider what F. Tupper Saussy has to say on the Protestant persecution of Catholics below.  Has personal liberty increased or decreased since the American Constitution was established?:

Anti-Catholic octopus cartoon“The basis of Roman Catholic persecution was political.  Catholics owed allegiance to Pontifex Maximus, the Bishop of Rome.  The Bishop of Rome was a foreign ruler who as a matter of public policy, regarded the British king and his Protestant Church as heretics to be destroyed.  From the American colonists’ standpoint, to allow Catholics to vote or hold office was tantamount to surrendering their colonies to a foreign conqueror.  A crucial part of maintaining personal liberty in Protestant colonial America was keeping Roman Catholics out of government.  But then came the Revolution.  The colonial citizenry fought for and won their independence from Great Britain.  They established a Constitution that amounted to … surrendering their country to a foreign conqueror.”

~Rulers of Evil: Useful Knowledge About Governing Bodies, Chapter 11

 

Luther and Simony

Abbé pratiquant la simonie“‘Simony’ (corruption and sale of ecclesiastical offices) and ‘nepotism’ (favouritism shown by the popes to their ‘nephews’) had long been in vogue but had increased greatly in the course of the preceding century. It was scarcely ever claimed any longer that any pope had been elected without simony; legation reports gave precise details of payments and promises of high honours made during the elections. The sales of ecclesiastical offices, of both high and medium rank, had become recognized practice; the cardinals themselves pressed the pope to resort to this well-tried means when money was short. A further well-known custom, and one that was bitterly contested, especially abroad, was ‘pluralism’ – the bestowal of three, four and up to as many as ten or fifteen high offices on a single favoured individual; it was forbidden under canon law but practised widely without compunction. In Luther’s day there was hardly a cardinal who did not enjoy the rich rewards of four of five highly lucrative offices, in many cases aboard; usage permitted these to be transferred to members of family, thus creating a further nepotism within the great nepotism of the popes. But the establishment of their nephews and cousins in high office by the popes, which had been going on for centuries, now developed on a really big scale; the papal families became great Italian landowners. Duchies and even kingdoms were demanded for the clan. These had to be wrested from someone and this necessitated wars and campaigns, which were waged with all the means of ‘ecclesiastical power’, including excommunication and interdict. Italy became a battlefield, above all when the foreign powers – France, Spain, Germany – were drawn in.”

~Luther by Richard Friedenthal

HT and Source: https://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/papal-simony-in-the-west/

We Refuse The Usurped Authority

The 1638 Scottish National Covenant:

Papal_Beast“…we detest and refuse the usurped authority of that Roman Antichrist upon the scriptures of God, upon the kirk, the civil magistrate, and consciences of men; all his tyrannous laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty; his erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written word, the perfection of the law, the office of Christ, and his blessed evangel; his corrupted doctrine concerning original sin, our natural inability and rebellion to God’s law, our justification by faith only, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law;…

Read the rest: https://covenanterreformation.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/the-roman-catholic-antichrist/