The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland shares the view of the British and Continental Reformers – a view enshrined in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and therefore in the Treaty of Union of 1707 which brought the United Kingdom into existence – that the Papacy is the Antichrist of Scripture, writes Douglas Somerset.
If this view is correct, and we know of no theological or historical reason to doubt it, then it is both foolish and sinful of our rulers to be flattering the Pope with such an invitation. A papal visit is not a blessing to any nation but a token of Divine displeasure.
The proper attitude of rulers towards the Papacy is illustrated by the woodcut on the front cover of this book [Pope Benedict XVI and the United Kingdom] of Henry VIII treading underfoot the pretensions of Pope Clement VII.
The time will come, according to Scripture, when the other nations of Europe will follow his example: “The ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God hath put into their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (Rev 17:16-17).
Ordinarily, the purpose of a visit by a head of State is to promote good relations between two nations, neither of which is trying to usurp power over the other. But the Pope is trying to bring Britain into subjection to his “Holy See”, and the purpose of his visit is to promote this aim.
• Full story at the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.