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Did Bachmann Leave Church To Avoid ‘Papacy Is The Antichrist’ Controversy?

July 16, 2011 by  

Did Bachmann Leave Church To Avoid ‘Papacy Is The Antichrist’ Controversy?

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was for many years a member of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., which belongs to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). However, just before she announced her candidacy on June 27, the church council granted a request from the Bachmanns to be released from their membership on June 21.

Some members of the media are suggesting that this church resignation may have a lot to do with the WELS controversial stance on Catholicism: that the Roman Catholic Pope is the Antichrist.

“Clearly, that is anti-Catholic,” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, a national organization devoted to protecting Catholic civil rights, told a columnist for The Atlantic. “This kind of hatred is reminiscent of Bob Jones. I believe (Bachmann) has in the past condemned anti-Catholicism. But there’s no question — all you have to do is read it — that they clearly have anti-Catholic statements up there.”

The term “up there” refers to the WELS Doctrinal Statement on the Antichrist, which is available online. The statement includes a lot of background information on the synod’s stance, which they draw from the writings of Martin Luther.

The WELS acknowledges the controversial status of the Antichrist statement, and points out (via a quote from a 1957 essay) that not every Christian, or even every Lutheran, holds this belief: “This teaching that the Papacy is the Antichrist is not a fundamental article of faith… It is not an article on which saving faith rests, with which Christianity stands or falls. We cannot and do not deny the Christianity of a person who cannot see the truth that the Pope is the Antichrist.”

 

According to a column for CNN’s Belief Blog, Joel Hochmuth, director of communications for the WELS, said the Bachmanns “had not been attending that congregation in over two years. They were still on the books as members but then the church council acted on their request and released them from membership.”

Hochmuth also told the blog that such resignations were not unusual, saying: “My understanding of the situation was the timing of the request for release was far more coincidental than strategic.”

While Bachmann has yet to comment on this situation, The Atlantic points out that, in 2006, she denied (incorrectly) that her church believed the Pope to be the Antichrist. She said, “I love Catholics, I’m a Christian, and my church does not believe that the Pope is the Anti-Christ, that’s absolutely false.”

 

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  • jopa

    So Michelle Bachman hasn’t been to church in two year.She just has to go to her husband for prayer.He has some kind of business for praying away the gay in homosexuals and instead of a collection plate they receive thousands in federal dollars.I found all this hard to believe at first but I guess it is true and the rumors are even running more rampant than I care to discuss at this time.This is turning into a sad sicko situation.

    • http://naver samurai

      Care to cite some sources or do you want to stick with the rant you’ve posted? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • Kinetic1

        samurai,
        I haven’t heard anything about her prayer practices, but the news about her husbands “therapy” practice is common knowledge by now. The fact that he receives federal funds for what is basically religious counseling is going to be a big issue as her campaign continues.

      • Dan az

        Samurai
        난 그냥 허!이 멋진 작업을 수행하는 방법 알아 냈어 야 samuari

      • Dan az

        Jopa 왜 당신과 당신의 안끌리디 나치 원하지 않는 사촌 허프로 돌아가서 여러분 모두 어디에 속하는지 퍼프가? :)This is fun!

  • s c

    From this point on, because of who is Washington and the stakes involved in surrendering to people who hate freedom, all Americans are obligated to take a hard look at politics from a religious angle.
    This topic has the potential to get some people distracted from what needs to happen between now and the next election. Discernment in political issues and religious topics have a great deal in commom. That is, if you’re not always thinking, sorting and sifting, you’re not doing your job.
    JFK is perhaps the best recent example of the matter of one’s main priority in life (religion or politics). I doubt if he was murdered because he was a Catholic. However, since we’ll probably never know all of the details [America is infested with those who 'know what's best for us'], so we have to rely on God and his wisdom to do battle with all of this world’s evil.
    I’d be content if I could know that half of the people who get into politics deserve to be there. Obviously, most of them are unfit to wash dishes at a halfway house, let alone make decisions for the rest of us.
    Thinking lets you get close to the truth. Not thinking keeps you dumbed-down and an easy target for career, criminal politicians and the evil slime who control them. Use your heads, people.

  • Raggs

    The nearest thing that this world has seen as an anti-christ is oblama himself, if anything the pope would be the false prophet.

    Before you judge what I’m saying think about how anti-religion, pro abortion, pro gay, anti capitalist, anti freedom, power hungry, greedy, lieing, scumbag oblama is… And I’m sure that I missed alot of acronyms… Way too many things are adding up to be correct as written in the bible to dismiss oblama.

    • s c

      Discernment is the key, Raggs. Some people look at ‘church’ leaders the same way they do politicians. That is, they see perfection without looking any deeper. That makes followers more like sheep on their way to being slaughtered.
      Perfection in politics or religion is not possible (it’s very hard to find ‘religious’ leaders who do NOT act like business types). Whether it’s power, titles or the love of money, both religion and politics suffer from the same human weaknesses.
      The presidency has utterly devolved, and now we have someone in the W H whose followers have no use for religion but follow their leader blindly [very similar to North Korea's situation].

      • http://?? Joe H.

        sc,
        Agree with you, but jopa or anybody else that says the pope is the anti-christ is slightly zoned out! While the Catholic church has done many things wrong in the history of its exhistance, I hardly think their faux paux equall those of the anti-christ!! I know that their crimes are more than the level that I have made them sound, but compared to what the anti-christ would be guilty of they pale!!

        • Kinetic1

          JoeH,
          What do you say we cut to the chase? When asked about this issue, the Bachmann’s former pastor had this to say;
          “As a confessional Lutheran church, we hold to the teachings of Martin Luther who himself maintained the papacy, and in turn the pope, has set himself up in place of Christ, and so is the anti-Christ,’’

          “According to (synod spokesman Joel) Hochmuth, the pastor told Bachmann that WELS “primarily views the office of the papacy as the anti-Christ, not the individual popes themselves.’’

          Asked for comment, Birkholz said Thursday, “I have been asked by my congregation not to give any more interviews.’’
          [http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/michele-bachmanns-former-church-explains-popeanti-christ]
          So there you go. This particular Lutheran Synod feels that the papacy, not the pope himself is the antichrist, though I can’t help but feel that this distinction is a bit of a stretch. This does not seem to be a matter that her pastor often spoke of, so we might assume that Rep. Bachmann was unaware of her church’s stand in the matter. However, if we are going to hold to the belief that President Obama knew and supported everything his pastor taught, then isn’t it fair to hold Rep. Bachmann to the same standard? Personally I choose to give both the benefit of the doubt, but that’s just me.

        • Kinetic1

          JoeH,
          Where did Jopa say the Pope was the antichrist?

  • Curtis

    Michelle Bachmann is the greatest… thing to happen for the Sarah Palin campaign.

  • pete

    All right Marcy ! Great hit piece on Michelle Bachmann ..

    The term “AntiChrist has a few diffrent meanings in Protestantism .. here in the United States the majority of Protestants are “Lockean” in their religious beliefs. This means “toleration” for different denominations of Christendom as one being Catholic – especially Roman Catholic ..

    You hear supposed “anti-Catholic” theologians amongst the Protestants … let’s set the record straight !!!! Most of these Protestant theological intellectuals sit down and have dinner with their Catholic Counterparts. These discuss theology, but all are friends I’m talking lifetime friends – the priests and the pastors in the same communities – will discuss differences- but they are all friends …

    The terminology of present day Protestant theology of the Holy Father being “AntiChrist ” means — now this is key !!! it means “a replacement for Jesus Christ” – it is not referring to the person of the AntiChrist as you see in movies like “the Omen”. The Pope is not “Damien Thorne” …

    The Protestants believe in a more direct “phone line” to God, thru prayer and Jesus Christ. Their isn’t any other intermediaries. No requirements to pry to saints or have a priest to confess too.

    The protestants believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible – as do the Catholics !!!!! The Catholics have a divine tradition of theology from after the Canon of Scripture was written …

    So when a Protestant says the Pope is AntiChrist – it means in most cases – when the Holy Father asserts EX CATHEDRA on some type of doctrine…that the Bishop of Rome (aka Holy Father, Pope) is talking with the authority of Jesus Christ …. thus replacing the authority of the written Word of God. He become a “replacement for Christ” or anti Christ … but HE is NOT THE ANTICHRIST !!!!…
    The Pope believes Jesus is God in the flesh and that Jesus rose from the Dead …this is the requirement for being a Christian ….

    • pete

      Furhtermore, (you got me going !) –

      The major modern theological difference between Catholic and Protestant – this is key ! – is Saint Paul vs The Pope.

      Saint Paul wrote a letter to the Roman (Catholic) church – it’s right there in your BIBLE !!! Roman Catholic Dr. Luther argument was Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Roman (Catholics) — that taught “indulgence” was wrong — was more authoritative than the Pope’s saying “indulgence” is OK …

      The majority of Protestants here in the USA believe that the Apostle Paul’s authority is higher than that of the Pope’s. This is what Luther was pointing out…. regrettably things got ugly on both sides of the religious wars !

      But here in the USA, there is toleration of Religion. Thank You John Locke ! This is a Reasonable Christianity. WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION – tolerant and reasonable in our practice (usually !!) …

      A Protestant will say … The Apostle Paul’s writings are Final Authority …
      A Catholic will say … The Pope “ex cathedra” writings are Final Authority ..

      The Apostle Paul was taught by Jesus Christ, according to the Bible ….

      • Kinetic1

        Pete,
        Great clarification on the meaning of “anti-christ”, but is it fair to say that this was a “hit piece”? Rep. Bachmann’s own church failed to explain their position as well as you have, so it’s little wonder that those reporting would take them at their word. I do agree and have often noted that Ms. Bonebright has a knack for leaving out some important information, but in this story she made a point of offering both pertinent information and links that could provide further clarification. Ad to that the fact that no less than Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League spoke out against the church’s stance and it’s clear that this is a hot button issue. I can only assume that Mr. Donohue has the same information as you, so maybe it’s not so cut and dried?

        • pete

          I’m just overreacting, it’s a good article when it causes this type reaction ! Keep up the good work, Marcie !!! That’s the heaviest thinking I’ve done in a few months (91 IQ) … HA HA !

        • libertytrain

          I’ve noticed Marcy nearly always or always has links to the info so that you can further search out the news stories she has presented to us -

    • http://lives RAYMOND HARBIN

      A GREAT AND QUITE BIBLICAL EXPOSITION!! ESPECIALLY YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE KOINE GREEK TERM “ANTICHRISTOS” CONVEYS THE CONCEPT OF “ONE TAKING THE PLACE OF CHRIST.” LUTHER CAME VERY CLOSE TO SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH AT THE HANDS OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS, FOR SIMPLY BASING HIS ENTIRE FAITH AND SOUL ON NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING. HE HAD ALREADY HAD TROUBLE (AND RECEIVED THE SAME) OVER THE VERY UNBIBLICAL CATHOLIC TEACHING OF PETER BEING CHOSEN AS PRINCIPAL APOSTLE OF THE THE WORLD WIDE “EKKLESIA,” WHEN THE TEACHING OF THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT IS THAT PETER WAS THE APOSTLE TO THE JEWS AND PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE WORLD, AT LARGE, “THE GENTILES.”

      WITHIN THIS RANCOROUS CONTEXT, THE PAPACY HAD A VERY POOR OPINION OF LUTHER , AND LUTHER EVEN LESS OF THE PAPACY. LUTHER, NO DOUBT, THOUGHT OF THE POPE AS “AN ANTICHRIST” AND AT TIMES *THE* ANTICHRIST. THE ACTUALITY OF THE SINGULAR/SATAN/MAN IS A PRODUCT OF THOSE THEOLOGIANS KNOWN AS “PRE-MILLENNIAL ESCHATOLOGISTS, WHO VERY MUCH BELIEVE IN A LITERAL MAN-DEMONIC ANTICHRIST. A SINGULAR INDIVIDUAL OF UNLIMITED EVIL AND WORLD WIDE POWER–A GLOBALIST LIKE OBAMA, BRINGING IN THE PERIOD KNOWN AS THE GREAT TRIBULATION. MOST THEOLOGIANS IN LUTHER’S DAY WERE ESCHATOLGISTS WHO EITHER DID NOT BELIEVE IN A LITERAL MILLENNIUM (AMILLENNIALISTS) OR POST-MILLENNIALISTS, BELIEVING CHRIST WOULD RETURM AFTER THE CHURCH CREATED A GOLDEN AGE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. THE PRE-MILLENIALIST ARE THE ONLY BELIEVERS OF A REAL-PERSONAGE ANTICHRIST, AND HE, TO THEIR INSISTENCE IS A JEW– LEAVING THE POPES OUT. THEY ALLOW AS HOW HE COULD BE AN ARAB MUSLIM (A SEMITE) WHICH MIGHT BE ANOTHER VOTE FOR OBAMA.

      THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO CURRENT HISTORY STRONGLY SUGGEST THE PRE-MILLENNIST ARE BEING PROVEN CORRECT TODAY, IN ALMOST EVERY NEWSCAST.

      • pete

        Hal Lindsey’s book “The Road to Holocaust” goes into some details on the different eschatology of today versus Luther’s time .

  • spepper

    So what if she did? At least she had the good sense to distance herself from a church she found to be “extremist”, UNLIKE the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who sat in the church of Jeremiah “GOD D-MN AMERICA” Wright for 25 years! She is simply exercising her “freedom of religion”….

    • Kinetic1

      spepper,
      Let’s see if I have this right. Staying in a church where the preacher sometimes speaks out in a questionable and inflammatory manner about foreign policy and our government’s treatment of minorities is a terrible thing to do, especially for 20 years, but staying with a church that has as part of it’s foundation questionable and often contentious views on Catholicism is ok, especially if it’s only for 10 years. Is that what you are saying?

      • Cawmun Cents

        10 years?What buffoonery is this?The word protestant,means to protest.The same thing all those rock tossing,sign waving,idiots out in the street,breaking windows and wearing Che tee-shirts are doing.You think this stuff is new?Your view is flawed.The protest was over how the Church had seized upon the right of being God.The Church took the rules it was given,and tweeked them to its own ends,causing people to be fooled into believeing lies.Does that sound familiar?Sounds to me like the sort of thing you defend on a daily basis.And you think being leftist is revolutionary.Hah! You sir are a crock.
        You and others here think you have the real answers to why things are just so.But your means of education are flawed.You accept what is known by the academics to be common knowledge.But you can never understand God by using scientific formulae.That is why your vision is tragically skewed.You dont understand the basics…for not having the key to the door of knowledge itself.The Holy Spirit.So you base your opinion on lies that beget more lies and you tend to be confused.You dont even know the true reason behind the protestant reformation.Your scholarly knowledge is impotent.
        And when the same thing is happening right before your eyes,in your own government,you fail to see that as well.But it is far easier to bury your head inthe sand and point your finger at others.Lacking the wherewithal to defeat your enemy with blade or bludgeon(wordwise),you bury him under a heaping pile of bullscat.One that you have accepted as fact.You decide to ignore truth,and see yourself as revolutionary.
        But that is why you will never really know what revolutionary means.You dont understand protestantism for what it is,which is the freedom to excersize faith without a body of government holding you to its rules.A point that you leftists should try and learn from someday.-CC.

        • Kinetic1

          CC,
          WHOA THERE BOY! I’m fully aware that this church has held these ideas for much, much longer, but Rep. Bachmann was a member of this church for 10 years. My point was that spepper was criticizing President Obama for staying with his church even though he did quit before taking office, but he gives Rep. Bachmann credit for having “the good sense to distance herself from a church she found to be “extremist”…”

          So thanks for impugning my faith, my knowledge and my religious background, of which you know so little. Maybe on occasion you should not depend on the Spirit, but instead read the whole string. There’s more to commenting than just looking for Liberals to attack.

          • Cawmun Cents

            Please refer to the second from the last line in my previous post.That is where you find that the entire argument is for naught.In the US,you can attend whatever church you like.Even one that rails against whitey for oppresion.But I am quite certain that if the black community were to recognize that it is possible(considering the state of the continent of Africa at this time)that being brought to the New World as slaves,and obtaining their freedom is a blessing not a curse,then they might moveon.org and enjoy the freedoms with which they are now blessed.Just a passing fancy.But what do I know?Apparently very little…..-CC.

          • Cawmun Cents

            Incidentally it occurs to me that POTUS,only stopped attending said church when media controversy was uncovered.I can attest that Ms. Bachmann left her controversial spiritual domicile previously to the media controversy,making the argumnet that spepper has a legitimate beef.But again…What do I know?Apparently very little.-CC.

  • jopa

    Pete: Apparently Rep. Bachman left her church do to a misunderstanding of her church doctrine and was totally confused.The same holds true of her political understandings, I wonder when she will get out of politics.Thanks for the explanation.

    • http://naver sook young

      I hope she and Sarah Palin run on the ticket together as candidates for president and vice president. Thank you.

      Sook Young
      Wife of the Samurai

    • Pete

      Here’s a video where a EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH is WELCOMING the HOLY FATHER (AKA THE POPE) to SPEAK at one of their worship services !!!!

      http://www.romereports.com/palio/romes-evangelical-lutheran-church-prepares-to-welcome-the-pope-english-1689.html

      • Kinetic1

        Pete,
        The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) is not the same as the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) or the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod (LCMS). Here’s a little taste.

        “The Wisconsin Synod teaches that agreement on all the teachings of Scripture is necessary for all forms of fellowship. The Missouri Synod teaches that full agreement is necessary only for altar and pulpit fellowship.”
        “The leading theologians of the ELCA have abandoned confessional Lutheranism and have attacked and undermined some of the most basic doctrines of Scripture. Although the ELCA may give some lip service to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, the doctrine of the confessions are not maintained.”
        http://www.livingbold.net/welsspace/reallife/spiritual/lutherandifference

        Clearly this description was the product of the WELS school of Lutheranism and therefore shows some bias in the writer’s views, but you get the idea. For an ELCA gathering to welcome the Pope is nothing special, but don’t expect the same warm welcome from their former siblings.

        • pete

          Kinetic1,

          The hyperlink in WikiPedia
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann

          notates that Michelle Bachmann is Baptist. The Baptist in Christendom even may have a slightly longer history than the Roman Catholic and eastern Orthodox denominations ..

          So it seems we have come to a sort of Christendom “Super Bowl” of divergent beliefs. Many were expecting only two teams (Protestant vs Catholic) and a rectangular playing field …..

          But instead we have a special football field shaped like a board of “Chinese Checkers”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_checkers

          We find out our premise of “opposites” fighting each other (the two team assumption) is wrong, but rather we see more than two teams, various and unique, competing ….

          Some teams, like the Baptist, are neither of Catholic or Protestant (or even Orthodox ) origin.

          I’m watching on how it will all turn out,

          • Cawmun Cents

            There exsists only one field.It is divergent only in whether you believe or do not.Those who do have made a choice,as have those who do not.Some believe God decides to send people to hell,but they choose to believe or(not to believe).In which case they have chosen to go to hell.It is not Gods choice for you to go to hell.It is your choice alone.You will have to deal with the choice you made.Which is often diametrically different to how things are done here in the world.Here you can point the finger at someone else.There you have made your own choice which points the finger at you.-CC.

  • jopa

    Sook young: Bachman/Palin wold make an excellent couple for the next presidential election.Thank you.

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