The Word of God, Served Up Fresh and Piping Hot From Bear HQ
|Normandy,1944. "Who goes there? 'Flash.'" / "Uh, 'mercy?'"|
The Bear is not calling Pope Francis the Antichrist.
Possibly just a bit sloppy with his language?
Just ask yourself one simple question to know who is with us and who is against us as Christians. Ready?
That is the simple answer to everything. The First Epistle of the Apostle John is an interesting, largely overlooked, epistle. It is a short, but difficult read, due to its lack of logical organization and what may seem on first sight to be contradictions. It repays careful study, however. (The Bear is a silly and simple-minded creature who believes in and loves Holy Scripture.)
The Bear thinks of it like a sentry, issuing a series of challenges to test those claiming to be of the Christian family. It as an excellent examination of conscience.
During D-Day, sentries challenged an approaching man with the word "flash." If the response was not correct - "thunder" - he would be treated as an enemy.
In 1 John, there is first the Sin Challenge, then the Love Challenge, followed by the World Challenge.
Then there is the subject of this important message from Bear HQ:
The Antichrist Challenge
Yes. The Antichrist Challenge. There are antichrists operating in the world today. There have been since the time of Christ. As long as we are in these Last Days (the period between the Incarnation and the Second Coming) there will be Antichrists.
How are we to recognize them? We would expect them to be smooth and subtle, like the father of lies. We would expect their status to be mutually promoted by their co-conspirators who have risen to the heights of power in a perverse and wicked generation. Since Christ promised us only a cross and persecution in this world, we would expect them to speak a world-pleasing message that would gain them personal popularity, especially as they are contrasted with "outmoded" and even "harsh" previous ideas.
Read this carefully, please. Are you prepared to take the God-breathed words of Holy Scripture seriously? Or chuck it into the doublespeak trash can like the new top Jesuit Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal from Venezuela? (The words of the Randy Newman song "Political Science" keep coming to mind: South America stole our name so... What is up with South American churchmen, anyway?) The Bear will give Fr. Abascal equal time in the very next piece, never fear.
Bears are fair. They just have so many advantages it seems like they're not.
But now the Bear must put aside his bicycle, clasp his great paws before his breast sincerely, fix you with his terrifying gaze and be deadly serious.
His performance is simply quoting scripture. He invites you to read it in context in your favorite Bible so you know he is not tricking you in any way. Let it speak to you, and listen closely, for it has more than one warning for our times.
The First Epistle of the Holy Apostle John Chapter 2 verses 18 through 26
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour.
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.
Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.
Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
I write you these things about those who would deceive you.
The Apostle John had things pretty simple. Christians knew the truth. Anyone who tried to change what they knew to be the truth had gone out from among them. Of course, that is far too simple for today. Right?