The world (and the Devil) is doing its damnedest to try to convince us the Pope in Rome is not the Anti-Christ. And some of the most distressing rhetoric is coming from the LC-MS (with the notable exception of Prof. Roland Ziegler). It seems one can hardly read any theology of today without hearing of Richard John Neuhaus (†2009). He would be another run-of-the-mill modern theologian except he converted from an LC-MS Lutheran to Roman Catholicism. He was even honored to give honor (or is it the other way around?) to Prof. David P. Scaer of Concordia Theological Seminar–Fort Wayne in the book All Theology is Christology.
But wait, that's not all! Neuhaus joined with the famous "Evangelical" Chuck Colson (†2012), creator of Prison Fellowship, to utilize his amazing notoriety to attempt to show Lutherans they have been all wrong in holding out against the Roman Church... and the Reformed church. Then after the passing of Neuhaus, Colson became the mouthpiece for Neuhaus and told Christianity Today that
... Pope Benedict on November 19  ... gave a homily on justification...; the Pope, the head of the church, concluded his homily by saying Luther was right, so long as you don't exclude charity, that is love, and the works that flow from love.Hmmm, the Pope said that "Luther was right" on justification. Could it be that Pope Benedict had officially bridged the gap between the Papal Church and the Lutheran Church? Certainly Richard John Neuhaus (and Chuck Colson) was shouting this message at Lutherans. Neuhaus said the following in his essay Luther, Newman, and the Punctiliar Church in the above mentioned book for Prof. Scaer (page 158):
I believe that the fundamental difference, at least with respect to Lutheranism, is not over the Gospel nor over the doctrine of justification but over the historical reality of the Church.... Put differently, I believe that nothing in Luther's understanding of justification, the sacraments, and the external means of grace required separation from the Catholic ChurchNot so fast says Luther... in his letter to Elector John Frederick dated June 29, 1541. Luther advised the staunchly Lutheran elector how things stood between the (true) Evangelicals/Protestants and the Papal Church in the concluding Diet of Regensburg. What did Luther tell the elector? I will translate a portion of Luther's letter taken from St. Louis Edition, vol. 17, pages 684 - 686, paragraphs 6 and 7:
... where they would be serious and their theologians would honor God and confess that they have not taught thus up to now like they want to be seen with pleasure. For in their piles of books that are available they will convince thereby that their theology in the Article of Justification [articulo justificationis] is that "favor of grace" [gratier gratiae] is two things: "Grace freely given" [Gratia gratis data] and "grace making acceptable" [gratia gratum faciens]. They would have "free grace" [Gratiam gratis datam] called "all other gifts"; also they would call "infused faith" [fidem infusam] to be what we now call "justifying faith" [fidem justificantem] (and they learned to speak so from us), but by "grace making acceptable" [gratiam gratum facientem], that is "justification" [justificationem], they mean charity [charitatem]. They cannot deny this. Where they do not revoke this article (which is so obvious), but creep behind with "effective faith" [fidem efficacem], with "charity" [charitatem] and "free will" [liberum arbitrium] they want to dress it up, it is certain that they handle it with vain lies .... Therefore the best is, ... let the Augsburg Confession [Confessio] remain.What did Pope Benedict say? He said:
"...so long as you don't exclude charity"Unfortunately Chuck Colson became entrapped in the spell of Father Richard John Neuhaus. His statement above of Pope Benedict that claimed the Pope had indeed changed shows his ignorance of the truth because the Pope himself showed that he had not changed since the days of Luther. The papal church will always exhibit the Devil who masquerades as an angel of light:
2 Cor. 11:14 – And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.This is personally sad for me since I spent some time with Prison Fellowship when my faith was re-kindled and growing. I separated from this organization as I grew in Christian doctrine from the writings of Walther and Pieper... and Luther. I could not in good conscience remain under the directions of a heterodox organization. Although Colson appeared to proclaim the pure Gospel in his early days of conversion, yet his later developments showed a serious weakness.
But it is intolerable that Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne is also entrapped... and even honors this one who had fallen. I can tell you that Prof. Roland Ziegler is not popular in today's LC-MS for saying the following:
If the gospel of free grace is still condemned by Rome, then the papacy is what it was before [the antichrist].All Lutherans should pause with this counsel from Luther and realize that the so-called "head of the church", the Pope (and the world) has it wrong... and Luther is still right.