Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Who is the Antichrist? First Epistle of John Test

The Word of God, Served Up Fresh and Piping Hot From Bear HQ

Normandy,1944. "Who goes there? 'Flash.'" / "Uh, 'mercy?'"
The Bear is not calling Pope Francis the Antichrist.
Possibly just a bit sloppy with his language?
Right from the USCCB website from their own Bible translation is the last word on everything we are usually talking about here in the woodlands.

Just ask yourself one simple question to know who is with us and who is against us as Christians. Ready?

Who moved?

That is the simple answer to everything. The First Epistle of the Apostle John is an interesting, largely overlooked, epistle. It is a short, but difficult read, due to its lack of logical organization and what may seem on first sight to be contradictions. It repays careful study, however. (The Bear is a silly and simple-minded creature who believes in and loves Holy Scripture.)

The Bear thinks of it like a sentry, issuing a series of challenges to test those claiming to be of the Christian family. It as an excellent examination of conscience.

During D-Day, sentries challenged an approaching man with the word "flash." If the response was not correct - "thunder" - he would be treated as an enemy.

In 1 John, there is first the Sin Challenge, then the Love Challenge, followed by the World Challenge.

Then there is the subject of this important message from Bear HQ:

The Antichrist Challenge 

Yes. The Antichrist Challenge. There are antichrists operating in the world today. There have been since the time of Christ. As long as we are in these Last Days (the period between the Incarnation and the Second Coming) there will be Antichrists.

How are we to recognize them? We would expect them to be smooth and subtle, like the father of lies. We would expect their status to be mutually promoted by their co-conspirators who have risen to the heights of power in a perverse and wicked generation. Since Christ promised us only a cross and persecution in this world, we would expect them to speak a world-pleasing message that would gain them personal popularity, especially as they are contrasted with "outmoded" and even "harsh" previous ideas.

Read this carefully, please. Are you prepared to take the God-breathed words of Holy Scripture seriously? Or chuck it into the doublespeak trash can like the new top Jesuit Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal from Venezuela? (The words of the Randy Newman song "Political Science" keep coming to mind: South America stole our name so... What is up with South American churchmen, anyway?) The Bear will give Fr. Abascal equal time in the very next piece, never fear.

Bears are fair. They just have so many advantages it seems like they're not.

But now the Bear must put aside his bicycle, clasp his great paws before his breast sincerely, fix you with his terrifying gaze and be deadly serious.

His performance is simply quoting scripture. He invites you to read it in context in your favorite Bible so you know he is not tricking you in any way. Let it speak to you, and listen closely, for it has more than one warning for our times.

The First Epistle of the Holy Apostle John Chapter 2 verses 18 through 26 

18
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour.
19
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
20
But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge.
21
I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.
22
Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
23
No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.
24
Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
25
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
26
I write you these things about those who would deceive you.

The Apostle John had things pretty simple. Christians knew the truth. Anyone who tried to change what they knew to be the truth had gone out from among them. Of course, that is far too simple for today. Right?

13 comments:

  1. Boom goes London, and boom Paree.

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    1. I was thinking especially of dramatizing the destructive effect South America in particular has had on the Church in recent decades. Possibly Randy Newman's most ironic album.

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  2. he's too dumb and unappealing to be the anti-christ. He is (to a high degree of probability) the false-prophet forerunner of the ac.

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    1. But there are many. isn't anyone who challenges the faith handed down by and concerning Christ an antichrist, according to St. John?

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    2. yes, in a general sense, but there is also a one-man fulfillment to come at the end....read Revelation again. I think it's soros; Barnhardt thinks it's one of his kids....either way, we ain't in Kansas anymore.

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    3. The Bear shall not stake his limited credibility on any single person. That's the oldest game in Christianity. No doubt certain end-time events will transpire as "the Johannine school imagined." In the meantime, there is no lack of antichrists. Is Soros and his son, with their shell-game of organizations - does anyone remember the piece the Bear did on how influential Soros fronts headed by his son and their ilk were on the VERY BOARDS of the USCCB? - are playing their part. The USCCB is about as Catholic as the Democrat Party (with whom, come to think of it, there is just about a one-to-one correspondence).

      When the antichrist comes, I doubt bloggers will have to theorize about his identity. And, as I said, we have our hands full with the antichrists all around us. We're freaking outnumbered, in case everybody hasn't noticed.

      The point is not to identify the persons, but stay true to our teachings. There's nothing we can do by saying "x" or "y" is the/an antichrist, other than as our report of our diagnosis of their orthodoxy. USCCB? Corrupt, lost, beyond hope and necessary to even comment upon, other than to say the world would be a better place if it were suppressed, destroyed, its property ground to fine dust and salt sown where it used to exist. Not because Soro's son helps run it, but because it is teaching something other than the Catholic Faith, which all with discernment know.

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    4. No, Pope Francis is not the False Prophet forerunner of the Antichrist - Antichrist comes *after* the Era of Peace at the end of the world - the false prophets of this day are misleading an already darkened generation - the ultimate False Prophet will deceive the Era of Peace itself - it is insane now, and will get much worse - and we are only entering the Minor Tribulation - the Major Tribulation under Antichrist, after the Era of Peace, will be orders of magnitude more evil and insane than what we are seeing now - right now, Satan's throttle is only partially open - during Antichrist it will be fully open, which will be the final and ultimate trial.

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  3. Easy as pie, and hard as nails.

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  4. The implications are two, as the Bear sees them: 1: Christians need an easy test to know who deceivers among them are, especially those of high rank; and 2: the question isn't "where do we go?" We don't go anywhere. We know what the truth is, no matter who teaches otherwise. We have been taught the truth, and the Spirit within us allows us to discern the truth. No one can change the Truth, and the Truth is the test, not any other thing, including - and this is going to drive the ultramontanists nuts - the results of an election. So, we watch people come into the Church and we watch them go out. When they go out, they are no longer any concern of ours, and it would not only be a mistake, but a sin to follow them. When the go out, we say, "ah, so he was never really with us from the beginning."

    This may be as close to the resolution of the Bear's personal cognitive dissonance that he has found.

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    1. One of the tricky things is that in apostolic and just post apostolic writings, there is not a lot to go on in terms of tests to determine deceivers among the clergy (beyond the proto-creeds and confessions, which I would argue develop from the following). What exists is not so much adherence to a spelled out doctrine/praxis as it is for the laity to stick with those clergy that have the physical signs of their office -- which can amount to the letter of recommendation/introduction/exhortion given by the Apostles and a constant extortion to the clergy by these letters to remain united in that which has been given to them orally and spiritually and also contained in part in those letters.

      In a sense, having in your hands 1 John and saying, 'this is what we are going to follow and adhere to' is what was the mark of legitimacy. This is all pre concept of the New Testament being a thing. There was the complete Torah, the Gospels, of which a community might only have one or just the oral recollection, and these various epistles that the communities would have copies of some, but not all.

      Thus, a community physically having (implying that they adhered to) these writings, was a mark of legitimacy -- a test to tell who giving the authentic message and who was not. (perhaps this is just Owl showing that Owl was once a Protestant to put such emphasis on "who has and is maintaining the scriptures?").

      You can sort of apply the test of "Who has the Scriptures?" today.
      http://www.vatican.va/archive/bible/index.htm

      ...

      Never-mind about that.

      Moving on, the key tests for the just post apostolic period are apostolicity and unity. Apostolicity is seen in the giving of what one has received and unity in the community of the clergy united among themselves and united with the laity. When it comes to unity, the stress that you will find in the writing is on the virtue of obedience...being obedient to what one has received as well as being obedient to the clergy who represent Christ.

      Therefore, you have this basic test that the laity can apply to the clergy.

      1. What did you receive and from whom?
      2. Are you handing it on intact?
      3. Are you obedient to what you received and to whom you have received?
      4. Are you united with you fellow clergy and in a unity of obedience with them?

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  5. My point is that the early churches didn't have a whole lot to go on. We can read in Paul's epistles how crazy they were making him with one nutty idea after another. Christians of the time of the Apostle John belonged to a church that met in somebody's house, had one or more persons in charge chosen for their character more than their knowledge A whirlwind gospel tour, followup that was hit-and-miss, the Jewish scriptures, and whatever they possessed of the gospels and apostolic epistles (much of which might have been spurious). They did, however, have the touchstone of creed formulations that were probably committed to memory, and whatever they had been taught by legitimate preachers who had founded their local church. Original teachings trumped anything that came later.

    Along with the genuine gospel grew the tares of heresy. What seems so obviously heretical to us seemed no stranger than anything else than they had been taught.

    It is significant that the one thing John does NOT say is "listen to whoever was appointed in charge over you." He could not be sure the leadership had not been infected. He knew what the truth was and assumed Christians remembered the original teachings. It was to that truth he appealed that was the acid test. (Later fathers would appeal to scripture to a degree that might make some Catholics squirm.)

    This speaks to me today. The truth is being contradicted by persons in the Church high and low and the credibility of the canon denigrated. The reason we have gathered in the woodlands is because what we're up to what's going on, and we know it's not right. We're not happy about it.

    John would not want us to be.

    The Bear does not come here and teach catechism every day. He knows you already know it. He comes here to expose those who would deceive us.

    The safeguard John's audience had was the truth, not persons. He knew the truth, and knew they knew it. It was teachers who were causing the problems. He could hardly urge obedience to deceivers as the solution, since they the leadership may have been infected.

    So, again, the test is easy. Anyone who taught anything different from the original message was a deceiver. The Apostle does not mince words. The deceivers in question were "antichrists," and it does not seem to be a highly-limited term of art.

    The Apostle Paul wrote that if even an angel of heaven taught them a different gospel, such was cursed. We are today more like John's audience than Catholics of 150 years ago. It does no good to point to the clergy and say, "these are the shepherds you can trust, the true heirs to apostolic authority. Believe anything they tell you.'

    Someone who contradicts the truth is not only untrustworthy in that one matter. He may very well be a deceiver who cannot be trusted in anything. Call it the lawyer's obsession with credibility, but when I see someone deliberately, with stealth where possible and naked authority where necessary, changing the truth, I am hearing the Apostle John.

    I never claimed to be a good Catholic. Just a Bear, who has this crazy idea that a pope is not a divine oracle but a man who is subject to the errors and wickedness of a man. (And far more than the Pope may be deceivers.) Where there is a conflict between the ancient faith and today's latest from whomever, none of you doubt on which side the Bear will come down. And he has another crazy idea that holy scripture is just as much for our edification as any generation's.

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  6. I don't wish my above to be something that is talking in a different direction than you are Great Bear -- it is not intended to be such.

    To clarify -- As a former Protestant, the mistake the Protestants make is that they want to locate truth as something that is codified in the text of scripture, whereas Catholics find that scripture points towards the location of truth as being outside of scripture in the person of Jesus Christ. For the early early Church, this was the constant focal point of epistemology that unlocks everything else -- the encounter with Christ brought about through the preaching of the Apostles and gained through incorporation via baptism into the living body of Christ, the Church, and participated through the liturgical action of that Body and the ongoing life in common.

    In Christ, truth and person are one. To experience truth is to be in the body of Christ.

    A lot of what is wrong with the modern Church is that person and the encounter with person is elevated and opposed to the encounter with truth. This isn't what Owl was suggesting but it is what a lot of people in the Church suggest. A lot of persons in authority are using the authority of their office, an office derived not from law but participation in a specific aspect of Christ's truth-person, to oppose person and truth. You can see this all the time with those who promote FrancisMercy.

    Their argument, however, is undercut at its very presuppositions. In order for us to believe them that "person is greater than truth", we have to accept the presupposition of their office -- that truth and person are united in Christ and, as persona Christi, the one standing before us reveals truth and person. Based on that presupposition, we are to trust them that person is greater than truth. So we know that they are liars like their father from the start of the argument (John 8:44-45).

    We also know that, from 1 John that you quoted, those who are separating person and truth have gone out from us. The above is the path of heresy that leads to schism.

    But just as you can separate person from truth, you can do this the other way around. You can proceed from schism to heresy. One can have a reasonable grasp on truth but disassociate it from person, that is the Body of Christ, locating it on the outside, say in a book. The church is thus the people gathered around the book rather than the Body gathered by the persona Christi gathered around offered the sacrifice of the person of Christ.

    This is why so many of the arguments that surround why Pope Francis might not be Pope anymore (Owl doesn't agree with these arguments) are so focused on the loss of persona Christi. The argument is that being a heretic, loss of truth, isn't enough but rather loss of person, the persona Christi, is what automatically deposes a Pope since, being a sovereign, no human authority exists to depose such an individual.

    But to tie things back to John. He is not speaking of just lies and errors, but rather antichrists -- that is persons. The lie and the antiperson are not separated. There is a union of the lie and the person saying the lie so that they are anti-Christ. Everything about the antiChrists is about disunity -- not just to a unity outside of the Body but to a disunity outside of the Body.

    TLDR: Owl is an Augustinian Neo-Platonist. Also, for giggles, Owl was reading the Summa last night on the topic of Schism. Not a pleasant read. Owl, being Owl, has problems with obedience to morons.

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