Skip to comments.Protestants and the Pope
Posted on 07/10/2007 8:10:26 AM PDT by topcat54
The death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI have drawn great attention to the papacy in recent months. Such intense interest is remarkable. Much of it relates to the personality and accomplishments of John Paul II. He was a man of great courage and contributed significantly to the collapse of communism in eastern Europe.
Part of the interest also results from the powerful images that Rome can offer television cameras. Some of the greatest art and architecture of western civilization serve as a backdrop for elaborate rituals performed by gloriously clad clerics.
Part of the appeal for manyincluding non-Roman Catholicsis the sense of continuity and certainty provided by the institution of the papacy. The office of the pope connects us with the past, with a time of greater Christian presence and influence at all levels of society and culture in the west. It also speaks of certain moral standards defended against the relativism of our times.
All of these elements of appeal for the papacy went largely unexamined by the media. I heard few authentically Protestant voices challenging the papacy on historical or theological terms. A few Protestant leaders briefly provided words of praise for John Paul II, but the only criticism of papal theological positions came from more liberal Roman Catholics.
Perhaps the nature of the event (and of the media) made it unlikely that much Protestant opinion would be expressed. But in Americawith many more Protestants than Roman Catholicsone might have expected some media exploration of why Protestants do not acknowledge the pope as the head of the church. The repeated claims that the pope is the successor of Peter and that the papacy is a 2000 year old institution went unexplored and unchallenged.
This Protestant silence says much about the state of Protestantism today. After observing the postponement of a royal wedding and the presence of the Prince of Wales, the prime minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury at the papal funeral, one Oxford historian declared, Protestant England is dead. Similarly, in America the reaction to the death of John Paul II was surprising. Our president, a Methodist, ordered American flags flown at half-staffan honor not even accorded Winston Churchill. And while Mrs. Lillian Carter headed the American delegation to the funeral of John Paul I, the president and two former presidents represented the United States at this funeral. Does the American response indicate that Protestant America is more interested in religious toleration or a Christian united front than it once was?
Historic Protestant View of the Pope
Historically Protestants have been very critical of the papacy as an institution. They have rejected the papacy for its theological claims and for its tyrannical exercise of power over the churches.
Romes Claim #1: The Bishop of Rome is the earthly head of the whole church. Protestants have wanted to show historically and theologically that this claim is invalid. They have argued that the papacy is not a 2000 year old institution. Even if Peter did minister and die in Rome, it can not be demonstrated that he was bishop there in the Roman Catholic sense of that word. For Rome a bishop is a separate office in the church superior to the ministers (or priests) who serve under him. If Peter was a bishop in Rome, he was bishop in a New Testament sense where bishop is simply another term for minister or elder (see Titus 1:5-7). In I Peter 5:1 Peter simply refers to himself as a fellow elder.
Certainly many churches in the first five hundred years of the history of the church did not recognize a sovereign authority in the bishop of Rome. The churches of Eastern Orthodoxy have never recognized such a claim, and many churches in the western part of the Roman empire during those early centuries did not recognize them either.
Romes Claim #2: Peter is the rock on which the whole church is built. Roman Catholics have argued that Jesus indicated that the church is built on Peter as its rock, appealing to Matthew 16:18, 19. Peter (Petros) confesses that Jesus is the Christ, and Jesus responds that on this rock (petra) he will build his church. Most Protestants have insisted that Jesus the Christ is the rock on which the church is built. (Some argued that Peter as the confessor and believer in Christ stood for the faith of the church and in that sense was the rock.) Peter in his first epistle sees Jesus as the rock, calling Jesus the rock of offense (I Pet. 2:8). Also the keys of the kingdom given to Peter in Matthew 16 are not uniquely given to him, for Matthew 18:18 shows that they are given to all the disciples.
Even if Peter were the head of the entire church and the rock on which the church is built as the leading apostle, that fact would not demonstrate that Peters power could be passed on to anyone else. Only Jesus makes apostles, and even Rome grants that the office of apostle does not continue in the church beyond the first century.
The Pope as Antichrist: In Europe during the Middles Ages voices were raised against the claims of the Bishop of Rome. Some medieval Christiansnotably radical followers of St. Francis of Assisi and of John Husargued that the pope was in fact the Antichrist because of his power, wealth and corruption. The popes use of military power, his accumulation of vast wealth and various moral scandals in the Vatican all seemed to support this belief.
The conviction that the pope was the Antichrist was held by almost all Protestants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. When the pope refused to support reformation in the church and began to use the power of his office to persecute the advocates of reform, Luther concluded that the pope was Antichrist. Most other Protestants followed Luther in that belief.
Historic Protestant View: Biblical Basis
These early Protestants appealed to various texts of the Bible to support their contention. They cited 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4,9,10: Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God .The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Those Protestants noted that the Pope opposed the truth and claimed miracles to support his unbiblical teaching. They argued that he seated himself in the heart of the church which is the temple of God and took divine prerogative to himself, especially in changing the Gospel of grace.
They also applied Revelation 13:6,7 about the beast to the pope: It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them . (See also Daniel 7:25.) Protestants claimed that Romes rejection of the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone was a blasphemy against God and his grace in Christ. This doctrine was anathematized, or denounced as accursed, at the Council of Trent (1545-1563), a council which Rome believes is an official ecumenical council of the church. Trents anathemas were approved by the popes and remain a condemnation of that doctrine to this day. Further, many Protestant believed that because the popes supported the persecution of Protestants, leading to the martyrdom of tens of thousands of them in the sixteenth century, the papacy was revealed as the Antichrist.
Historic Protestant View: The Confessions
So strong was this Protestant conviction about the Pope that it was incorporated into several Protestant confessions. Philip Melanchthon in the official Lutheran Apology of the Augsburg Confession, (1531), Article 15, wrote: If our opponents defend the notion that these human rites merit justification, grace, and the forgiveness of sins, they are simply establishing the kingdom of Antichrist. The kingdom of Antichrist is a new kind of worship of God, devised by human authority in opposition to Christ .So the papacy will also be a part of the kingdom of Antichrist if it maintains that human rites justify.
Martin Luther wrote even more strongly in the Lutheran confessional document, the Smalcald Articles (1537), Part 2, Article 4, The Papacy, this is a powerful demonstration that the pope is the real Antichrist who has raised himself over and set himself against Christ, for the pope will not permit Christians to be saved except by his own power, which amounts to nothing since it is neither established or commanded by God.
The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), chapter 25, section 6 declared: 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.
While confessional Lutherans have not changed their confessional statements, most American Presbyterian churches have removed the declaration that the pope is Antichrist from their confession.
If many Protestants today are not persuaded that the pope is the Antichrist, what should we say of him? Has the theology of the Roman Catholic Church about the pope and about the Gospel changed? The Roman Catholic Church has changed some of its claims about being the only institution in which one can find salvation. It is willing to call Protestants in some sense separated brothers. There does seem to be more toleration and less commitment to coercion on the part of the bishop of Rome. We should be glad for these changes.
Still the basic teaching about the authority of the pope has not changed and the teaching about the Gospel also has not changed. The Roman Catholic Church still anathematizes the Protestant and biblical doctrine of justification.
The most important criterion by which any minister must be evaluated is this: did he preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ? As Paul taught clearly: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8). By that standard we must conclude that Pope John Paul II was no more a success than his predecessors since the time of the Reformation. Let us pray that Pope Benedict XVI, a very learned man, may come to see the truth as it is in Christ and teach it faithfully.
(c)2005 Westminster Seminary California All rights reserved
Let's spend less time polishing our armor and fighting each other. There's a war on, and Catholic Christians are our allies, not our enemies.
Frankly, I'm surprised that Reformed protestants even care. God can choose to elect anyone He chooses - even the Pope.
Or this version from Forbes/AP of the same story posted by Alex Murphy...
I just don’t get why the Protestant FReepers who think that they are absolutely right in their faith, would be offended when Catholics think the same. I don’t want any leader of any denomination to let his faith in what he believes to be watered down.
I have to agree with the FReepers stating that we have a bigger enemy than each other. The Evil One is smiling at every one of these threads.
I hope you both are posting the same kind of rebukes in the Catholic threads whenever they crow about the newest convert from Protestantism.
Nonsense. All popes are blasphemous. No man sent by God would call himself “Holy Father” and “Vicar of Christ” being fawned and adorned as if he himseld is special. And then they proclaim that they are sucessors of St. Peter.
25 And when it came to pass that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter raised him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
Luther and the his fellow reformers were right the first time.
Yes, you Protestants are in grave error.
This is an utterly shocking and absolutely unprecedented thing for the Pope to say, in view of the fact that you Protestants repeatedly and vigorously denounce Catholics for their grave errors in matters of justification, Mariology, the use of images, the canon of Scripture, church governance, the use of tradition as a source of divine revelation, the significance of the sacraments ...
I don't know of any who are myself. But reverse the nouns...
"I just dont get why the Catholic FReepers who think that they are absolutely right in their faith, would be offended when Protestants think the same."...and I can think of a dozen Catholic FReepers (some now banned) who this describes perfectly.
Bottom line bump
I'd say it was more indicative of honoring the passing of a great man who allied himself with the United States in its battle against Communism.
C'mon out of your cloister. I'm tired of arguing with fellow Christians about points that are, in the end, irrelevant. God and God alone chooses the elect. The elect, I'm sure, includes people with whose beliefs I disagree. So? It's God's right to be gracious to whom he will be gracious.
Fine, so the Pope is blasphemous...so are you and I. I am, as Paul said, "chief among sinners."
It's time for everyone to have a heaping helping of humilty and remember that we are ALL sinners that God didn't have to save if He didn't want to. Arguments about how, exactly, that salvation occurs are interesting, but hardly worth sinning over. I sin enough on my own -- I don't need extra help.
I don't post rebukes in the Catholic threads because I'm not a Catholic. Any rebuke I posted would be seen mainly as sectarian discontent, not as meaningful discourse between Christian brothers.
I do, however, post rebukes when either side gets into name-calling and the like. There's no room for that at Christ's table.
LOL, Campion... I don’t agree with you on a lot of theological issues, but you’ve got a great sense of humor. Can’t wait to meet you one day, when we all get together.
Yeah, I saw that. Wasted time on the Pope's part, IMHO. I can't imagine any situation in which Rome would espouse any *other* position than their own primacy, so why even bother?
Honestly, I have nothing against Protestants.
I married one.
So who exactly should give up their doctrines?
There are certain things that make Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. I’m not asking anyone to give up their beliefs. If the leader of any other denomination said that my Catholic beliefs were wrong, would I be shocked. I don’t think so.
Sometimes it might be a good time to agree to disagree. As long as the Pope is not calling to cut off your head, why bother. You believe he is just some guy with a funny hat.
Jer 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-
Mt 26:28 “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mr 14:24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
Lu 22:20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
1Co 11:25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
2Co 3:6 ¶ who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Heb 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
Heb 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Heb 9:15 ¶ And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Heb 12:24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
THERE IS NO MORE LEVITICAL COVENANT AND LIKE PAUL TO PETER I AM TIRED OF THE NEED TO MIX AND MATCH THE COVENANTS.
I HAVE BEGGED CATHOLIC BRETHEREN TO PRAY FOR REFORMED BRETHREN ON PRAYER THREADS WITH NO RESPONSE.
I HAVE BY GOD’S GRACE BEEN ON BOTH SODES OF THE CAMP.
GODBLESS CHRISTIAN UNITY ON THIS FORUM.
MY 78 YR. OLD MOTHER WILL BE HERE THIS WEEKEND,THOUGH STILL ROMAN CATHOLIC I BELIEVE SHE IS SAVED.
THE DIVISION HERE IS NOT CHRIST-LIKE!
“I just dont get why the Protestant FReepers who think that they are absolutely right in their faith, would be offended when Catholics think the same.”
too true! LOL!!
If the pope DIDN’T think this - he wouldn’t be the pope now would he?
Once again - people find themselves shocked...SHOCKED! That the pope is catholic!
Meanwhile protestant leaders continue to claim catholics are in error, some going so far as to describing our pope as the antichrist.
But let’s pay that no nevermind.
Really, there are threads that go back and forth about converts.
I have no problem with a Protestant being strong in his/her beliefs. However, when one brings those beliefs in to tell another that they are wrong, then it becomes a problem to me.
I know I’m probably an idiot but I’m just not sure that I know the absolute truth for anyone but me. I know what I think is right. Bible Christians know the Word of God and are confident enough to tell us we are wrong.
Catholics are only confident enough to tell you how we are right. It may not look it on the surface, but there is a big differece. We defend our position when told we are wrong, but personally I’m not bright enough to tell you how wrong your are. I pray and trust God to sort out the rest.
In agreement with you:
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord* and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I give thanks to my* God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind 6just as the testimony of* Christ has been strengthened among you 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,* by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloes people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters.* 12What I mean is that each of you says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas, or I belong to Christ. 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God* that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.
18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.
20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For Gods foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and Gods weakness is stronger than human strength.
26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters:* not many of you were wise by human standards,* not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29so that no one* might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31in order that, as it is written, Let the one who boasts, boast in* the Lord.
frankly i feel the evil one dances happily amoung the protestants rejoicing in how easily they’re faith is swayed... 20,000+ protestant schisms in 400ish years go to show his success...
>>I HAVE BEGGED CATHOLIC BRETHEREN TO PRAY FOR REFORMED BRETHREN ON PRAYER THREADS WITH NO RESPONSE.<<
Have you pinged the Catholics asking for these prayers?
Nyer, Salvation and Narses are pinging us constantly for prayers that cross Trussell’s lists. I know because I am on both. If you want the Catholic prayer lists to be pinged and can’t remember who holds the lists, PM me and I’ll pass it on.
Also, please understand that some of us don’t want to get kudos for praying. Personally, I won’t post in response to a Prayer request. I don’t want anyone to have to say “thanks” but that doesn’t mean that I’m not praying for you!
And God Bless your Mother!
Not quite sure God elects the pope.
I have to respectfully disagree.
I have known many Protestants who’s faith is much stronger than some Catholics. Remember, the people are not the leaders.
And don’t get me started on the Kumbaya Catholics!
>>some going so far as to describing our pope as the antichrist.<<
Truth be told!
I have friends who recently converted from a big Bible church. They said that the backhanded insults of Catholics there was astounding.
I’m Catholic and I have been on many prayer threads. I’ve never asked the religion of those for whom I pray. In fact, I consider it a privilege to pray for anyone who is in need. We are all children of God.
THANKYOU AND BLESS YOU!
THE SINFULL NATURE IS ON BOTH SIDES!
LOOK AT MY PROFILE!
i’m not saying every protestant is the spawn of satan only that the organization they use to organize themselves is wide open to and has been successfully infiltrated by satan.
As for catholics, don’t get me started on catholics. ;p
“I have friends who recently converted from a big Bible church. They said that the backhanded insults of Catholics there was astounding.”
not surprising at all.
Which is why I find threads like this quite amusing.
>>As for catholics, dont get me started on catholics. ;p<<
What a lovely church. We have many like it here in Massachusetts.
sounds like a biased attempt to force protestantism’s skeleton back into the closet to me.
Did you read both articles? Did you read any of them? Either way -- what is the reference for the number of Protestant demonimations? Where did it come from? I could easily say that your answer here was a biased attempt to force your skeleton's post back into the closet. I think it would be just as true.
i read enough to know it’s a joke, suggesting for instance that all lutherans are one faith in communion with eachother and beleiving the same things is a joke. the fact is protestants split with eachother on the smarmiest of whims formering at least 5 new churches weekly the world over.
why? with no Holy Spirit to guide them protestants easily fall sway to Satans wishes.
What is your source for the following comment that you say is fact?
"the fact is protestants split with eachother on the smarmiest of whims formering at least 5 new churches weekly the world over."
Can you prove that it is a fact? Just because you say so does not mean it is.
yeah that’s why everyone and their brother starts protestant churches, let’s face it you’ll are in such a massive disarray as to what scripture means you’re a single bible study from calling eachother heretics and finding another room to rent for your singing and reading classes.
See here - the source appears to be the "The World Christian Encyclopedia", in a claim that includes multiple Catholic and Orthodox organizations as part of it's "33,000 Christian (not just Protestant) denominations" finding.
...the major dilemma of this encyclopedia: the reader cannot tell what is being reported as an empirically derived fact or accepted by theological faith.
here’s a list of simply major lutheran denominations:
Lutheran World Federation
Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Christian Lutheran Church of Honduras
Church of Denmark (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark)
Church of Norway (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway)
Church of Sweden
Church of Iceland (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland)
Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY)
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia
Silesian Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession
Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway (Associate member)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Suriname
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Venezuela
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
Evangelical Lutheran Church of France
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thuringia
Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Mecklenburg
India Evangelical Lutheran Church
Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church
Japan Lutheran Church (associate member)
Lutheran Church in Chile
Lutheran Church in Great Britain
Lutheran Church of Australia (associate member)
Lutheran Costarican Church
Malagasy Lutheran Church (Madagascar)
Mexican Lutheran Church
Nicaraguan Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope
North Elbian Evangelical Church
Salvadoran Lutheran Synod
United Evangelical Lutheran Church (Argentina)
Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran
Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion
Protestant Lutheran Church in Bavaria
Protestant Lutheran State Church of Brunswick
United and uniting churches with Lutheran roots
Evangelical Church in Germany
Protestant Church in the Netherlands
International Lutheran Council
China Evangelical Lutheran Church
Christian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia
Evangelical Lutheran ChurchSynod of France and Belgium
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil
Evangelical Lutheran Church of England
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Republic of Chile
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Denmark
Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa
Gutnius Lutheran Church
Independent EvangelicalLutheran Church
India Evangelical Lutheran Church
Japan Lutheran Church
Lanka Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church - Canada
Lutheran ChurchHong Kong Synod
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Lutheran Church in Korea
Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
Lutheran Church in the Philippines
Lutheran Church of Australia (associate member)
Lutheran Church of Guatemala
Lutheran Church of Nigeria
Lutheran Church in Singapore and Malaysia
Lutheran Church of Venezuela
Lutheran Synod of Mexico
Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference
All Saints Lutheran Church of Nigeria - Nigeria
Bulgarian Lutheran Church - Bulgaria
Christ the King Lutheran (Nigeria) - Nigeria
Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church (Mexico) - Mexico
Evangelical Lutheran Church “Concord” - Russia
Confessional Lutheran Church (Latvia) - Latvia
Czech Evangelical Lutheran Church - Czech Republic
Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Church (Finland) - Finland
Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Church (Puerto Rico) - Puerto Rico
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (Germany) - Germany
Evangelical Lutheran Synod (Peru) - Peru
Evangelical Lutheran Synod - United States
The Lutheran Church of Cameroon - Cameroon
Lutheran Church of Central Africa Malawi Conference - Malawi
Lutheran Church of Central Africa Zambia Conference - Zambia
Lutheran Confessional Church (Sweden and Norway) - Sweden and Norway
Lutheran Evangelical Christian Church (Japan) - Japan
Ukrainian Lutheran Church - Ukraine
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod - United States
Gereja Lutheran Indonesia - Indonesia
Unaffiliated Lutheran denominations
American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC)
Apostolic Lutheran Church of America
Association of Free Lutheran Congregations
Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America
Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC)
Concordia Lutheran Church (Sweden)
Concordia Lutheran Conference
Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (UAC)
Evangelical Catholic Church
Evangelical Community Church-Lutheran
Evangelical Lutheran Conference & Ministerium of North America (ELCM)
Laestadian Lutheran Church
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (USA)
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lutheran Church of New Zealand
Lutheran Churches of the Reformation (LCR)
Lutheran Churches of the Reformation in Nigeria
Lutheran Ministerium and Synod - USA
Lutheran Church of Cameroon
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo EELC-Brazzaville
Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Chad
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cote dIvoire
Lutheran Church in Eritrea
Lutheran Church in Ethiopia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Gambia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guinea
Evangelical Lutheran Mission (Liberia)
Lutheran Church of Central Africa (Malawi & Zambia)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sudan
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Togo
Lutheran Church of Togo
Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church (India)
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tamil Nadu
North Western Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Lutheran Church in India
Japan Lutheran Brethren Church
Laos Evangelical Lutheran Church
Tagakaulo Lutheran Church of Christ in the Philippines
The Lutheran Church of the Republic of China
Chinese Lutheran Brethren Church
China Lutheran Gospel Church
Lutheran Mission in Thailand
Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church
How many of them are you saying are not "in Communion", or do not adhere to a common creed(s), with each other?
424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church. From the RC Catechism.
It seems clear to me that any church that places ultimate authority in one man is not consistent with the structure of the church during the Apostolic era.
the better question is how many aren’t and aren’t on that list.
which is exactly why any religion that put’s it’s faith in every man is mistaken.
Allies in what war? The Christian faith? Conservative politics?
If you believe that the gospel of Roman Catholicism is the gospel of the Bible, then you ought to be a Roman Catholic. They were here first, after all. (No offense to the Orthodox.)
Frankly, I'm surprised that Reformed protestants even care. God can choose to elect anyone He chooses - even the Pope.
If you think this is about God's secret sovereign election (decretive will), then you do not understand reformed theology.
>>Allies in what war? The Christian faith? Conservative politics?<<
The war against Christianity in general not a war for the Christian faith.
The war against those who want to convert, enslave or kill us.
I’m sure you’re not saying that the Catholics are not willing to stand with other Christians in this fight or that you don’t want us on your side.
what do you mean by *here*?
I am Lutheran-Missouri Synod and can state for a fact that we are in communion with many of the Lutheran “branches” you mentioned above. You have to remember that just because a body of Lutherans in a particular country or region gives itself a name, does not mean it’s defined by a separate theology or doctrine. Some groups are definitely far-out liberal or marginally Christian, denying even the fundamentals that mainline Catholics and Orthodox all adhere to. But that is the exception. By and large, we all consider each other brothers in Christ.