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An editorial so titled appeared in the August 16, 1999 Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times. A subtitle comes closer to identifying the supposed source of “embarrassment” for the state of Kansas: “Students will be the losers if valid science is not taught.”

According to the article, what is meant by “valid science” is the theory of evolution. We are familiar with none of the history leading up to the decision, but the Kansas state board of education “has undermined the teaching of evolution in Kansas public schools . . . erasing mention of the subject in the state curriculum guide and thereby making it easy for schools to quit teaching it . . . .” (editorial)

To no one’s surprise this decision meets with the disapproval of some citizens of Texas, and no doubt of Kansas and other states as well–especially with those who agree with the editorial’s sentiment that “The creationists are not as lazy as they are ignorant . . . . Their ignorance is omnipresent, however, and is immediately seen when they ramble on that evolution is a theory, not a fact.” — More is said, but we will spare our readers.

If the Caller-Times editorial speaks for some, the following speaks for others. The pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church (CLC), Corpus Christi, wrote the following as a letter to the editor:

‘Embarrassing Kansas’ (10/16/99) is itself an embarrassment. Calling evolution “fact” is belied by the Word of God and the reality that evolutionary “facts” are continually changing.

Students are indeed losers if valid science is not taught, as you claim. But evolution is not valid science. True science can be replicated. Evolution is a theory. Your high school science book that teaches the 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts evolution. If you believe evolution is fact, you cannot prove one wrong who chooses to believe that the jet on which you fly was assembled by a windstorm blowing through a junkyard.

Only one was present when the world began. It was “God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.” “By faith we believe that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.” That is in the Bible. The pity is not only that people promote evolution as credible science. The greater pity is that most people no longer believe the Bible.

No wonder society is in the shape it is. Evolution needs no God. No God of judgment. No God of mercy. Let the fun begin, and when you call for help, who will answer?

(–signed: Rev. Daniel Fleischer)

By the way, in spite of the state board’s ruling, the teaching of evolution is not forbidden in Kansas public schools. In fact, we have read a follow-up piece in which evolutionistic teachers in Kansas state that they still plan on teaching the theory in spite of the fact that, as long as the ruling stands, the subject will not be mentioned in textbooks.

One more aside. The masthead of the Corpus Christi newspaper sent to us carries this “word to the wise”: ‘Give them light and the people will find their own way.’ As the pastor’s letter suggests, the source of light that mankind–even third millennium mankind!–so desperately needs (if not wants) is God’s Word. The psalmist says: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (119:105).

* ‘THE POPE’S VISIT’ (Pope John Paul II visited St. Louis, Mo. January 25-26, 1999. The following appeared in the subsequent Sunday bulletin of Grace Lutheran Church, Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Paul Fleischer is pastor.)

The Pope’s visit to Mexico and America (St. Louis) points out again the sad delusion of so many of his followers. He is a demigod as far as many people are concerned who worship the ground he walks on and hang on every word he speaks–regardless of whether what he says is in harmony with the teachings of Christ and Holy Scripture. Says Luther: “It is impossible to suppose that God would have neglected to institute with at least one clear statement an institution as great as they make the papacy out to be” (What Luther Says, Vol. II, p. 1007).

By contrast, our Lutheran Confessions and the Brief Statement of 1932 (both of which we orthodox Lutherans subscribe to), declare that the Papacy (the office of the Pope) is the very Antichrist referred to in 2 Thessalonians chapter two. We hold to this because, in the name of Christ, the pope exalts himself over the church, “the temple of God,” and deceives the world with his many false teachings.

Here is more from Luther on the subject: “They (Roman Catholics) have actually carried matters so far, these wretched mouthpieces of the devil, that they boast–not with obscure words but freely and openly–that the pope with his church is above Holy Scripture and that he has the power to change, suspend, forbid, and explain it as he pleases. And his handicraft consisted in making out of Holy Scripture, as a potter out of clay, an earthen vessel or a jug or a pot at will; and, however he fashioned the material, it was an article of Christian faith. To this day they do this with Christ’s words and institution of both forms in the Sacrament. The pope rules over these words and this text of Christ as a potter over his clay. Whatever he does with it, we must accept it or be burned, murdered, and exiled without mercy.” (WLS, II, pl. 1008)

What are some of the papal teachings which have no basis in Scripture? Such things as the adoration of Mary, purgatory*, masses (prayers) for the dead, that he himself is Christ’s vicar on earth, indulgences*, the withholding of the cup from the laity, the teaching that baptism forgives only original sin, and others. As sad as all the above, worst of all is that Roman Catholicism still officially condemns the clear scriptural teaching of salvation (justification) by FAITH ALONE in Christ apart from the works of the Law.

As heirs of the Reformation, God help us to stand fast and firm in the truth of His Word, as we sing in the hymn:

    Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
    Curb those who fain** by craft and sword
    Would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son
    And set at naught all He hath done.

** “fain” means “with eagerness, gladly”

* A Spokesman reader sent us a clipping from The Denver Post (November 28, 1998) titled: Pope offers indulgences for millennium. The article began: “For Roman Catholics, the year 2000 offers early salvation. Pope John Paul II announced Friday that throughout the millennium celebration, penitents who do a charitable deed or give up cigarettes or alcohol for a day can earn an ‘indulgence’ that will eliminate time in purgatory. . . . “ Together with the newspaper clipping, our reader attached this comment: “This is proof that the Catholic Church hasn’t changed. How sad for all the people caught in this web of blasphemy.” Sad indeed.

Of the Antichrist

43. As to the Antichrist we teach that the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:3-12; 1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his dominion. All the features of the Antichrist as drawn in these prophecies, including the most abominable and horrible ones, for example, that the Antichrist “as God sitteth in the temple of God,” 2 Thess. 2:4; that he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ, that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for Christ’s sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness in man (Rom. 3:20-28; Gal. 2:16); that he recognizes only those as members of the Christian Church who bow to his authority; and that, like a deluge, he had inundated the whole Church with his antichristian doctrines till God revealed him through the Reformation — these very features are the outstanding characteristics of the Papacy. (Cf. Smalcald Articles. Triglot, p. 515, para. 39 to 41; p. 401, para. 45;) Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is “the very Antichrist.” (Smalcald Articles. Triglot, p. 475, para. 10).