The AntiChrist Part 8 : How Does the Papacy Subtly Deny that Christ Came in the Flesh?


I read these very interesting observations showing how the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches are both guilty of denying the fundamental truth that “Christ came in the flesh” and thus show themselves to be antichrists and not “fellow brethren” who are just a bit “separated” from us :

“The denial of Christ’s full humanity in the transubstantiation heresy of Roman Catholicism, was recognized by the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556), the Marian martyr, Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556). Concerning “transubstantiation,” Cranmer rightly said in 1550, “the Papists … say that the very natural flesh and blood of Christ … is … really, substantially, corporally, and naturally, in or under … the sacramental bread and wine.” “But the true” Christian “faith, grounded upon God’s most infallible Word teacheth us, that our Saviour Christ (as concerning his man’s nature and bodily presence) is gone up into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of his Father, and there shall he tarry until the world’s end, at which time he shall come again …, as he saith himself in many Scriptures: ‘I forsake the world’, saith he, ‘and go to my Father’ [John 16:28]. And in another place he saith: ‘You shall ever have poor men among you, but me you shall not ever have’ [Matt. 26:11]. … And St. Peter saith in the Acts, ‘That heaven must receive Christ, until the time that all things shall be restored’ [Acts 3:21]. And St. Paul, writing to the Colossians, agreeth … saying, ‘Seek for the things that be above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father’ [Col. 3:1]. And St. Paul, speaking of the very sacrament, saith: ‘As often as you shall eat this bread and drink this cup, show forth the Lord’s death until he come’ [I Cor. 11:26]. ‘Till he come,’ saith St. Paul, signifying that he is not there corporally present.” “And although Christ in his human nature substantially, really, corporally, naturally, and sensibly, be present with his Father in heaven, yet sacramentally and spiritually he is here present.” This is clearly a symbolistic view of the Lord’s Supper, comparable to that of Ulrich Zwingli’s.”

“This Synod of Jerusalem (1672) met in the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and included, for example, Russian Orthodox representatives. In, for example, the Russian Orthodox Longer Catechism of 1839, approved by the Russian Orthodox Governing Synod, we read in the section “On the Communion,” that “At the moment of this act” (the words of institution), “the bread and wine are changed, or transubstantiated, into the very body of Christ, and into the very blood of Christ” (Section 339). “How are we to understand the word transubstantiation? In the exposition of the faith by the Eastern Patriarchs, it is said … transubstantiation is … that the bread truly, really, and substantially becomes the very true body of the Lord, and the wine the very blood of the Lord … . In like manner John Damascene … writes thus: ‘It is truly that body, united with Godhead, which had its origin from the Holy Virgin … because the bread and wine themselves are changed into the body and blood of God’

“But as already observed, though it is contrary to the truth of a person’s humanity that a human being can be bodily present in more than one place at once… nevertheless, the Eastern Orthodox adoption of the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation claims Christ’s very body and blood are brought down from heaven to earth, and are present in many places at once wherever the Eastern Orthodox Eucharist is celebrated. Thus the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of transubstantiation effectively denies “that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (I John. 4:2), that is, it denies his full humanity. This means that the various Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs are antichrists, being among those “deceivers “who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” and so they each constitute “a deceiver and an antichrist” (II John 7).”

“Thus even in our own day and time, we have a spectacular, dazzling, and disturbing array of what the Apostle John calls “many antichrists” (I John 2:18). For through reference to the denial of Christ’s humanity in the Nestorian heresy we discover that the Catholicos-Patriarch of the East Syrian Church constitutes the East Syrian Antichrist. Through reference to the denial of Christ’s humanity in the Monophysitist heresy, we find that all the Patriarchs of the monophysitist Oriental Orthodox Churches are antichrists, for example, the Egyptian Antichrist of the Coptic Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches, or the West Syrian Antichrist of the Syrian Orthodox Church (which liturgically uses the West Syrian Rite as opposed to the East Syrian Rite of the Nestorian East Syrian Church). Then through reference to the denial of Christ’s humanity in the transubstantiation heresy, we find that all the Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Churches are antichrists, e.g., the Russian Antichrist of the Russian Orthodox Church, or the Constaninopolean Antichrist of the Greek Orthodox Church. And then through reference to this same transubstantiation heresy which denies Christ’s full humanity, we find that the Western Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Pope, constitutes the Roman Antichrist. Nevertheless, since the transubstantiation heresy was first formally adopted by the Roman Church’s Fourth Lateran Council (1215), and then reiterated in its Council of Trent (1563), with the Eastern Orthodox Churches formally adopting this Romish notion much later in their Synod of Jerusalem (1672), and since the Roman Catholic Church is far larger and more influential than any (monophysitist) Oriental Orthodox or (Chalcedonian) Eastern Orthodox Church, I think it reasonable at this point of the analysis to keep the focus on the source antichrist for the transubstantiation heresy, namely, the Roman Antichrist.”

source: Gavin McGrath, “The Roman Pope is the AntiChrist”, chapter 3

Though I enjoyed much of what the quoted author wrote in his book please know that I am not in agreement for example with his racial views (kinism). Being a Calvinistic Baptist I do reject of course aspects of Anglicanism (e.g. infant “baptism”, ecclesiology, relationship between Church and State, etc…). 1st Thessalonians 5:21.

See also:

The AntiChrist : Some Helpful Resources

The AntiChrist Part 2 : additional resources

The AntiChrist Part 3 : Charles Hodge’s View (Part 1)

The AntiChrist Part 4 : Charles Hodge’s View (Part 2)

The AntiChrist Part 5 – Charles Hodge’s View (Part 3)

The AntiChrist Part 6 – Charles Hodge’s View (Part 4)

The AntiChrist Part 7 – Charles Hodge’s View (Part 5)

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