Premillenial Dispensationalism and American Democracy By: Paul Jacob 3/5/06

Introductory Supposition: The failure to fully grasp the typology of the Old Testament in regards to the New has become the thistle at the root of the Catholic\Protestant theological break started by the reformers in the sixteenth century. Unfortunately, the theological implications of losing this typological view are at such a forefront to the Protestant vision that it is impossible to look beyond this theological dissidence (Eucharist, prayers to saints, image “worship”, and the like) to see the log embedded in its eye – which is skewing its vision of these topics as a whole. It may be said with conservative accuracy that a return to the typological approach of the Old Testament would be invaluable in bridging the gap between Protestants and Catholics of the 21st Century. If anything else, a typological approach could drastically change the main conflict between Protestants and Catholics, which is authority. Typological exegesis shows that the Church is God’s universal family, is rooted in the truth, cannot fail in matters of faith and morals, was purchased at the price of Jesus’ own body, and is the greatest realization of God’s characterization as bridegroom of His people – who thus take the position of His bride. With this, the intimacy of God’s love surpasses that of the marital act of a man and his bride, and enters into an eternal act of love between the infinite God and His adopted people. As the Pope states, “Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love.”1 Failing to grasp this notion leads to a distorted view of spirituality, and ultimately to the acceptance of demonic suggestions that destroy and pervert Christianity as a whole. One such suggestion is that freedom is determined by a human form of government placing the State political ideals above Christ and His Church. The tendency to regard the Nation State’s political ideologies as the main source of hope derives from the theological errors in the Protestant Eschatological view. This view taken as a whole has affected the diplomacy of United States of America, especially in regards to the Israeli people in Palestine and further dealings in the Middle East. As the past Presidential election shows, partisan fervor for the current political ideology has created bitter conflict throughout the Western World - owing to the emphasized hope placed in the political ideologies of the right or the left. Accordingly, hope in the state substitute’s real hope, which lies in God Himself and His Church.2 Thus, the plan of the enemy is now manifesting itself fully through a thorn embedded 500 years ago, which has long since been forgotten – typological exegesis. Protestant Theology in General: Protestantism as a whole, and by definition, rejects the Church as God’s chosen instrument for salvation. In Protestantism the Church is simply a community of believers, with little to no authority or power. Protestants would reject some or all of the following Catholic views about the Church: she is the unblemished Bride of Christ, the family of God, 3 the mystical Body of Christ, 4 God’s Temple, 5 the institution begotten by Christ who holds all authority on faith and morals 6 …etc. We shall see later what this rejection can lead to among many Protestants – specifically in America.


In general, the break between the Protestant community, starting with Luther, was begotten from a conflict with the Church. When Luther decided that the Church was no longer what God had promised it to be (the arbiter of truth, God’s chosen people, the holder of God’s authority on matter of faith and morals…and so forth) there was an inherent problem – who is able to determine the meaning of the Bible in regards to matters of faith and morals? For Luther, the only agreeable answer to this was that he himself was chosen by God to convey the real truth of the Biblical text. Therefore, Luther set out to redefine Christianity through Humanism- a philosophy which roots itself in historic human thoughts, “the philosophy of humanity.” Luther believed he could use Humanism to create a purer form of Christianity than the Roman Catholic Christianity so prevalent to medieval times. In other words, Luther thought that tradition is the wrong way to approach authentic Christian theology. Only by examining the writings of ancient Christians and revising Christianity to fit the mold of antiquity could we resurrect the faith of Christianity in its most pure form. This was a prevalent idea of the times, and along with the printing press helped emblaze Protestantism as quickly as the driest of forests.7 Since Luther regarded humanism as his tool, he spent a great deal of time studying the writings of the Early Church Fathers. One of Luther’s favorite fathers was Augustine – whom he relied on for most of his theological thoughts, albeit largely skewed by his own beliefs. Luther’s theology quickly got him excommunicated from the Church of Rome, and he became the first of many figures whom begot Protestantism. Luther’s main theology was that Christians do not become perfect creatures through sanctification – they inherit sanctification and justification from God and it covers up their many existent flaws. In other words, he believed that we can never reach a point of absolute purity or saintliness because we are so covered in sin that the only solution is for Christ to cover us in his mercy. One analogy that he used is that we are dung that remains dung, but just as snow hides the dung that we are - so too with Christ and our sinfulness. This directly contradicts the Catholic position, which states (similarly) that we are all sinners; but we are constantly being formed through sanctification into children of God.8 The Church holds that we ought to become other Christs in our inner and outer being, and that God doesn’t just cover up our sin – He forms us into pure beings.9 Returning to Luther’s analogy of the dung and the snow, the Catholic position is that we actually become as white as snow rather than being covered by it.10 This is why Jesus can command us to be perfect without commanding us to perform the impossible.11 Theological disagreements aside, Luther may have never chosen to dismiss the Church as the “Whore of Babylon”12 had it not been for his eschatological belief that the ends times were quickly approaching. This is why Luther didn’t concern himself with establishing a hierarchy of authority that could replace him should he die - he actually thought that he was chosen by God to usher in the second coming. In his mind, the Catholic Church (which Luther acknowledged as the Church) had now become the Whore of Babylon in Revelation, and God had sent Martin Luther to proclaim this message to the world and to


establish a pure Christianity based on the early Church – eliminating 1000 years of tradition in a single moment. In order for this logic to hold true, the second coming needed to occur in Luther’s lifetime. Similar notions existed with Zwingli, Melancthon, and other popular reformers, even if not to the degree of Luther’s view. Thus, an infatuation with Jesus’ second coming was inherent in the Protestant tradition from the start. It is especially ironic given the literal nature of the many Protestant eschatological views that Protestantism began in a sense from presumptions about the day of Jesus’ second coming - the Bible literally warns us not to guess the day in which Jesus will return.13 Some 500 years later, we find the same fervor for the apocalypse in the Protestant community – in America and elsewhere. One need only look at the success of the Left Behind series or listen to any Protestant radio show to see that eschatology is at the forefront of Protestant concern. Dispensationalism Defined: One modern eschatological view that has swept the Protestant world and claims 1/3 of its people is Dispensationalism and the Rapture, also known as Premillenial Dispensationalism. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) is regarded as the founder of this view, although the topic is much debated. Margaret Mcdonald, a supposed visionary described the rapture (the taking up of the pre-destined into Heaven prior to Christ’s second coming) in her vision well before Darby discovered it himself; however, Margaret didn’t fully elaborate on the Dispensationalist view as Darby later did. Darby was born in London in the year 1800. In the 1820’s, he joined a group known as the Plymouth Brethren. While amidst this group, Darby fully expanded the theology of the rapture. The rapture is based on 1 Thess. 4:16–17: For the Lord Himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Rapture means: the pre-destined (living and dead) are caught up (from the Greek word “harpaz”) into the sky to meet Christ, this will happen prior to Christ’s coming in glory. As Darby expanded his rapture view, he developed a theology known as Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is a biblical exegetical approach that takes the bible in segments or dispensations in order to decipher its message. Dispensationalism has many other characteristics that proceed from segmenting the Bible – notably Dispensationalists hold the following views: 1. The bible is to be taken literally – including the apocalyptic books.


2. God has established a New Covenant with the Church as a parenthesis to His plan to save His chosen people – the Jews. He hadn’t planned on creating the Church prior to Jesus’ rejection by the Jews. 3. There is a distinction between the New Testament Church and Israel – the Church is not the New Israel, nor a spiritual Israel. 4. God’s plan is solely to Glorify Himself - it doesn’t in any way relate to salvation. 5. ESCHATOLOGICAL VIEW: The rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are two separate events. Christ will rapture all Christians and Saints prior to the official Second Coming. This will initiate the Tribulation period, which will last for 7 years – thus completing the 490 years or seventy weeks predicted in the Old Testament.14 Jesus’ predictions about the horrors of the tribulation apply directly to Israel – who will discover Christ and convert during the tribulation.15 The tribulation will take with it two-thirds of the Jewish people in the process.16 After the 7 year tribulation period, Christ’s second coming occurs and the Jewish converts (144,000)17 return with Christ to Jerusalem where the 1000 year period known as the Millennium 18 will play out - only then will the Kingdom of God exist. All these things will happen so that the Jewish people physically receive the promises given them in the Old Testament.19 After the Millennium, with the Roman Empire having been reestablished, Christ and the Jews will fight for Jerusalem against the armies of the world in the battle of Armageddon.20 Christ will cast Satan and his followers into final damnation (Final Judgment) and take his chosen people to an everlasting Kingdom in Heaven.21 6. Sacred history consists of different dispensations or 'economies'. A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect to obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Dispensational schemes will vary slightly from one author to the next. One of the most popular schemes is that found in the Scofield Reference Bible (one of the sources that helped popularize dispensationalism). It is: 1 Creation to fall Innocence 22 2 Fall to flood Conscience 23 3 Flood to Abraham Human Government 24 4 Abraham to Moses Promise 25 5 Moses to Christ Law 26 6 Church Age Grace 27 7 Millennium Kingdom 28 A new period or dispensation begins when God introduces a change in the principles or ordinances valid up to that time. For example a number of ordinances are introduced at the time of Noah. At the coming of Christ


many of the Mosaic Laws or ordinances are annulled. The purpose of God in each dispensation is his own glory. Dispensationalism Exposed: While this paper cannot offer an in depth apologetical work against Dispensationalism, I will offer a few brief thoughts regarding this theology. Firstly, Dispensationalism is a rather new approach to biblical exegesis as it first appeared in 19th century Protestantism. Prior to that time, all Protestants accepted another theology called Covenant theology. Covenant theology breaks the bible into God’s Covenants rather than dispensational periods. Catholics however hold neither of these views of the Bible; rather, the Catholic view is similar to Covenant theology – while recognizing the end of the old covenant upon it’s fulfillment in the new covenant.29 The Catholic view recognizes through typology that the whole Law and Prophets of the Old Testament are summed up and fulfilled in Christ 30 – giving us continuity from the Old to the New Covenant. Most or all of the errors in the Dispensationalist view come directly from dividing the text into pieces; which is suppose to make the Old and New Testament more understandable, but only serves the opposite purpose - the Bible loses its cohesiveness because it is broken into pieces. The Old and New covenants must be viewed in terms of their continuity otherwise they lose their full value. This is comparable to a man gazing at a fruit tree. He sees the fruit and takes some of it to eat. The fruit fulfills his hunger for the moment. However, imagine the laborer who cared for the tree being in a similar position. He will gaze at the tree with full appreciation for the fruit because he knows how much care it took to produce the fruit – from a seed being planted, to a small tree sprouting out of the ground, watering it daily, fertilizing the soil; years of work so that one day it might produce satisfying fruit. Here the laborer gazes at the tree seeing not only the fruit but also the care which brought it forth.31 He has full appreciation and understanding of the fruit tree. Similarly, Dispensationalists are like the first man who sees only the fruit on the Biblical tree. Because they segment the Bible, they never look at the full salvation process that God has utilized in establishing His everlasting Covenant. If they were to reconnect the Bible and look at the full process, they would have much greater appreciation for the tree itself (Christ and His Mystical Body), for the one who cares for the tree (God the Father), for the branches of the tree (The People of God), and for the fruit of the tree (the works of God).32 By recognizing the growth process of God’s covenant with Israel to its fulfillment in Christ’s Covenant with His Church, we can truly praise God for his loving care in bringing forth this fruit. Some questions still remain however, such as: is the Church age a parenthesis in God’s plan; are Jews still in a covenant with God – a saving Covenant in which God exclusively considers the Jews his children, as Dispensationalists would have us believe? Looking at Salvation History as a continuous relationship between God and man, spanning both the Old and New Covenants, it is clear that God’s plan for Israel was to usher in an apostolic age where all men on the earth would be given the opportunity to worship God.33 Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers a most comprehensive and


theologically appropriate explanation of God’s plan of Salvation – especially how this plan utilized the Old Covenants to create a house that would welcome the coming of the Lord and usher in a New and everlasting Covenant.34 In the Old Testament, God promises Israel that there will be a remnant through whom He will make His everlasting covenant known.35 This remnant begins with Mary and Joseph, and extends to all Jews who accepted Christ’s preaching directly or through the first disciples. Because there is a remnant, God makes it clear that anyone outside this remnant is distancing themselves from Him.36 So, scripture and tradition teach that God has worked through the Old Covenants to manifest His Glory and His Mercy in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to establish a New and everlasting Covenant that would extend to all the nations of the earth – it is universal or “Catholic.” When the New Covenant is preached, the Old Covenant expires to make way for the New. This was God’s plan from the very beginning – it is prefigured immediately after the fall of man.37 Unlike Dispensationalists, Catholics recognize that God’s plan involves His Glory as well as redemption and Mercy, which is only revealed through the Church. Rather than the Church being an unplanned surprise that God had to work with (as Dispensationalists teach), it was the culmination of God’s plan. God knew all things before time began, and has therefore created a plan that neither inhibits His omniscience nor involves unplanned surprises that He must work with, such as the Dispensationalist notion of the “Church Age.” Another prominent notion in Dispensationalism is that Christians will not have to suffer the persecution of the end times – the tribulation.38 This is derived from the belief that suffering is caused because of one’s sinfulness. While it may be the case that God allows suffering because of sin, it isn’t always the case, as the Bible makes clear.39 Many times, suffering is granted so that one may offer it up to God as Jesus Himself teaches us through His passion and death. Besides, the belief that suffering is to be avoided contradicts Christ’s suffering,40 the martyr’s suffering,41 and it nullifies the Apostles’ words about suffering.42 This is bad theology and bad hermeneutics. The fact is, the Martyrs glorify Christ through their blood and will henceforth be crowned in Heaven because of their sacrifice 43 - the lamb will wash us clean through the blood of our suffering, especially that of the tribulation. What about the rapture, does it have any merit? Dispensationalists believe that Christ is going to rapture (take up) all Christians prior to the tribulation. But, given the text in Matthew 24, how does this fit in with Jesus’ words?: “but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved…if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect.” If the one who perseveres through the tribulation will be saved, would not Christians have to persevere the tribulation? A Dispensationalist would say no - the Israeli people are the elect, not Christians. But, the Apostles’ words make it clear that the elect are Christian.44 So, if the tribulation is shortened “for the sake of the elect” as Jesus says, there is no way about the fact that Christians aren’t raptured (removed prior to the tribulation).


One of the problems with Dipensationalism is that Darby and his followers have taken a theology and tried to make the Biblical word of God fit it. Man cannot create an infallible theology on his own. God is so far above man and his ways that man cannot examine God 45 – God must reveal Himself to man.46 This is especially true in regards to theology. That is why we must trust in the Church – the authority God has given us to identify the truth,47 and the means for establishing dogma.48 An additional problem (as was pointed out in the prologue) is that the practice of looking at the Old Testament through typology has been forgotten. Typology Defined and Practiced: What then is typology, and how does it relate to the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Old Testament? The term “typology” is derived from the two Greek words (typo) meaning "type" and (logos) meaning "word." Typology in Biblical and literary terms denotes the authorial use of allusion employing ectypal figures or conditions to represent an archetypal figure or condition.49 The Catechism further clarifies the meaning of typology with its own definition: “It is called ‘typological’ because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of the ‘figures’ (types) which announce him in the deeds, words, and symbols of the first covenant. By this re-reading in the Spirit of Truth, starting from Christ, the figures are unveiled.”50 The term itself is first used biblically by Paul to establish that Adam prefigured Jesus, and was thus an Old Testament type of the true first born son of God.51 Typology thus comes directly from the root of divine revelation in the Holy Scripture, and was further explicated throughout history by the tradition of the Catholic Church. Additionally, scripture indicates that typological references to Christ were revealed by Christ after the resurrection.52 It is Catholic tradition that these revealed types have been carried by the Church and passed on through scripture and tradition, most notably the Church Fathers – thus fulfilling the words of St. Paul, “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”53 As an example, the Catechism lists a few specific types – “Thus the flood and Noah's ark prefigured salvation by Baptism, as did the cloud and the crossing of the Red Sea. Water from the rock was the figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ, and manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist, ‘the true bread from heaven’” – among the abundance of others that could be mentioned.54 For as Saint Augustine says: the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.55 Whence typology is lost so are a host of extremely important revelations throughout God’s word. Mary is no longer the new Eve,56 the Ark of the Covenant,57 the Burning Bush,58 nor the personification through her immaculate conception of the spotless bride of God.59 It is then forgotten that Christ is the Tree of Life,60 the Temple,61 the New Adam,62 the Man hanging from the branch of the tree which is lifted up for our forgiveness.63 There is no recognition that Moses, Isaac, David, Solomon, and so forth are types of Christ – Christ fulfills and gives meaning to their lives.


Church – Reason for Creation Now that typology has been regarded and the nature of Dispensationalism/Protestantism has been discussed, I wish to further expiate the Church’s role in God’s plan. This will be essential in understanding the relationship between God and man, and equally essential in opening our eyes to the inherent problem with disregarding the Church. Jesus, in giving His life, initiates a New and Universal Covenant with God.64 Jeremiah sums up God’s plan quite succinctly: The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.65 This Covenant had been prepared by the Israeli people, and manifested itself in a remnant.66 The Old Testament documents show this through God’s relationship with Israel. Looking at the Bible, we can see a gradual development in God’s relationship with Israel from family into kingdom – manifesting itself finally in the Universal Kingdom of God in the New Testament:67 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Family – Adam and Eve Household – Noah Tribe – Abraham 12 Tribes – Jacob Nation - Moses Kingdom – David/Solomon Universal Kingdom of God - Jesus

So we see that God’s covenant plan leads up to the establishment of a worldwide community of God – the Church - a Universal Kingdom (i.e. The Kingdom of God). This explains the word Catholic (Greek “Katholikos” meaning universal). So we see that the Church was anticipated prior to the dawn of time as the culmination of God’s loving plan.68 Through His own people Israel, God not only prepared the way for the Church, but He prefigured her as well.69 Israel – Type of the Church Using typology we recognize Israel is a type of the Church. The Catholic Church is the “New Israel” – a spiritual Israel prefigured by the Jewish Israel.70 God created the 12 tribes of Israel and the Israeli people in order that His Covenant could be offered to all the nations of the world, hence becoming universal.71 This is because God wishes that all


come to faith in Him. Against God’s wishes, many of the Jewish people disregarded Him in the flesh of His son Jesus Christ, and with this they disregarded his Covenant.72 But, the remnant of Israel, predicted by God, fully accepted Christ (especially Mary), and the Jews did in fact bring the New Covenant to all the Nations of the world as God had planned. Thus the universal family of God was made manifest once again on earth through Jesus Christ and His Church - a manifestation unknown to all except Adam and Eve (prior to the fall). This is why the many promises given throughout the Old Testament regarding God’s chosen people (Israel),73 if not fulfilled in the Old Covenant, were fulfilled in the New through Jesus Christ and His Church. Henceforth all generations shall call the Church blessed.74 All who are grafted into the vine of Abraham are joyous for the gifts God has given us!75 He has given the gifts that belonged to His firstborn 76 to His younger son. This is foreshadowed typologically in Isaac’s two sons Jacob and Esau.77 In the story, Jacob takes Esau’s birthright for some bread and stew. God predicts that Jacob will be his brothers “supplanter” (the Hebrew word Jacob literally means - "Holder of the heel; supplanter") in a prophesy to Rebekah prior to their birth. Similarly, the Church was prophesied as the supplanter of the Israel nation – not because Israel is rejected by God, but because Israel rejects God’s New and everlasting Covenant in Jesus Christ.78 Since God is uninhibited by time or space, He would have known this long before establishing His covenant with Israel, just as Rebekah knew of Jacob’s role prior to his birth. So we see that the Church was no mere accident in God’s plan, but the culmination of God’s plan from the very beginning. She is the Temple of God, She is the Ark of God, She is the New Israel, the Ark of the Covenant, and much more. Consequently, Jesus’ mission as the Messiah was to establish His Church on earth, to die for her, and to raise her up on the last day.79 All of these actions are completed in Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection respectively. Christ sacrifices himself for the Church in order that the Church may be created through His sacrifice.80 Just as Eve was born from the side of Adam,81 so too the Church was born from the pierced side of Christ.82 Christ then dies and is resurrected that the Church too may die to the world and be raised with Him. Hence, at the very moment the Roman soldier pierces the side of Christ, the Church manifests itself physically on Earth. At this very moment, all the sacraments are physically instituted through Jesus’ body and blood,83 and the Church as the Mother of all the chosen 84 gives birth to disciples through these same sacraments.85 Yet at the same time, Jesus creates His Church through the sacraments.86 So we see that Jesus creates the sacraments through His sacrificial body,87 and simultaneously creates the Church as Mother of His sacraments.88 This is why Jesus gives Mary (the personification of the Church) to an Apostle (John).89 Jesus is saying, ‘Here is my Church (personified by Mary) 90 whom I have now created, and here is my sacrifice for her, my body and blood to sanctify my Church – I give this to the Apostles whom I have chosen as the foundation of my Church.’91


Later after Christ was resurrected and ascended into Heaven, the Church recognized that it was still physically united with Christ through the same body and blood that was on the cross – the Eucharist. Thus, Justin Martyr in the early 2nd Century makes it very clear in his writings that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ.92 St. Paul also warns us to regard Christ’s body, unless we should sin by eating the Eucharist.93 Jesus remains with us on earth because he is here in the Eucharist – the divine manna come down from Heaven.94 Whoever eats of His body and drinks of His blood remains in Him and He in them.95 As long as the Church reigns alongside Christ in the Eucharist, the Kingdom of God exists on Earth – albeit partially complete.96 This is why Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is at hand.97 This directly contradicts the Protestant, and especially Dispensationalist belief that the Kingdom is in Heaven, but hasn’t yet manifested itself on earth. New World Order Those familiar with Catholic theology may notice that much of this essay is a regurgitation of that which has been previously stated by either the Church and/or the Bible. However, I wish to stray back into my opening remarks and tie the shoe back together with the theological strings above. For Protestants in America, there is a concrete failure to grasp the fullness of the Church. We saw this dramatically in the Dispensationalist perspective, which posits that the church is on the periphery of God’s plan. While Dispensationalists take an extreme perspective on the Church’s role in salvation history, all Protestants downplay the Church’s part in salvation, as we saw with the original reformer - Luther. As I stated in the prologue, this depreciation proceeds from blindness to typological exegesis as a means of understanding the Biblical word of God. Jesus taught us typology Himself, and if all Christians would use it for interpreting the Bible, many would have to reconcile their view of the Church with the obvious conclusion – the Church is the New Israel. Once we have pierced this truth, all the other truths taught by the Catholic Church must directly proceed. Sacraments are then understood as a fulfillment of the Jewish celebrations (especially the Passover as sign of the Eucharist). Mary is then recognized as our mother who intercedes on our behalf, as did Esther with King Ahasuerus.98 Yes, by recognizing the Church as the New Israel, Catholic doctrine is no longer a yoke one has to carry; 99 rather, it becomes conjoined with God’s loving plan. Besides simply missing the theological boat as it were, Christianity without the Catholic Church faces an even greater problem – who or what takes its place? It is no coincidence that political causes tend to motivate peoples passions beyond mere intrigue. Often times political differences result in arguments, confrontations, demonstrations, and even relationship failure. Why does this happen? It seems that humans have an innate urge to correct the destruction that exists on the earth. Humanity finds itself struggling for a safer and better world in which to live, and often times seeks this through political institutions. This urge is homogenous across political lines, but reaches a juncture when policy is invited into the conversation. Policy is important to people because the ideal of peace (i.e. perfect community) is important. In fact, humanity was designed such that it


yearns for the perfect community – a divine community.100 Here lies the origin of the political passion in America and elsewhere. The world thus widely embraces the notion that perfect community can be achieved through effective political policy. Since we are particularly concerned with American Democracy, and peace is the issue, the idea of freedom must also be explored. American policy of old has taught that liberty (i.e. freedom) is a gift from God, and that it is the second greatest right after life, as the Declaration of Independence notes in it’s opening paragraphs, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson himself relegated liberty to the realm of God in his Notes on Virginia: “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?” Finally, the current President, George W. Bush, carries on the traditional beliefs of the founders when he states “I believe there's an Almighty, and I believe the Almighty's great gift to each man and woman in this world is the desire to be free. This isn't America's gift to the world, it is a universal gift to the world, and people want to be free.”101 It is well to note that liberty is viewed in American politics as God’s gift to people. Furthermore, freedom is regarded generally as a means towards recovering peace. President George W. Bush sheds light on this issue: “And if you believe that, and if you believe freedom yields the peace, it's important for the United States of America, with friends, to lead the cause of liberty. I'm not saying to any country, you must have a democracy that looks like America. I am saying, free your people, understand that liberty is universal, and help lay that foundation of peace for generations to come.”102 Freedom in America not only represents God’s gift, but the means towards achieving peace in the world. This means is believed to be brought about through democratic states because they are the political institutions that regard freedom as important. Therefore, hope is placed in democratic states because they will bring about the peace we all seek through freedom, as President Clinton says, “Our hopes, our hearts, our hands, are with those on every continent who are building democracy and freedom. Their cause is America's cause.”103 Democracy thus becomes the institution upon which people place their hope. Unfortunately, in exaggerating the states role in bringing about freedom, the institution of the democratic state replaces the institution of God. God’s institution is the Church and is the true source for hope, because it brings about true freedom - unlike the freedom of Democracy which is easily degraded into doing what one likes,104 true freedom actually comes from a relationship with God,105 which only reaches a climax through the Church. John Paul II made this clear in his Message to the Youth of the World in 2004, “To be  truly free means having the strength to choose the One for whom we were created and  accepting his lordship over our lives.”106  Since we know Christ in the sacraments, the  Church as mother of the Sacraments is a school of freedom.107 This might explain one reason why the Pope was ardently against the second War in Iraq. If true freedom comes from choosing God, government should then rank freedom of  worship as its second greatest freedom behind life.  Iraq was certainly governed in an 


undemocratic way; however, people were allowed to worship God through the Catholic  Church – a liberty not granted in other societies throughout the world.  In other words,  acceptance or rejection of democracy as the only form of government has no bearing on  freedom in the world, but rejection of God, especially rejection of God’s Church does.  When people are restrained from loving God through His Church, the greatest  debasement of human rights is achieved.  God has created us for Himself, and only in and  through this relationship can humanity find peace and joy.  Therefore, Jesus became man so that He could create and redeem the Church, not to create or redeem Democracy. Here we have an example very pertinent to modern society that demonstrates the replacement of true hope with false, of God’s institution with man’s. In the Tower of Babel story, God shows us through scripture what can happen when humans seek their own ideals above God’s – God destroys their “achievement.” The situation that Westerners find themselves in today is very much like the Tower of Babel. “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.’108 The people were building the tower with hopes that it would unite them in a single, peaceful society, lest they should be “scattered all over the earth.” They were attempting to complete through their human hands what can only be achieved through the redemptive hands of the suffering Christ. Only God can bring about true salvation and thus true peace (i.e. the Kingdom of God), and it is a blasphemy to attempt to create this ideal by human means alone. Antichrist: Present Among Us It is still doctrine today that an Antichrist will deceive all the nations,109 although many are unfamiliar with this particular belief. The Antichrist, as the greatest means towards apostasy, is the culmination of fallen humanity through Satan’s hands. The Catechism sheds light on the devices of the Antichrist to lead people away from God: …the supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. the Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.110 The deception of the Antichrist is to claim that the kingdom has come through false means, or those means other than Christ Himself. As I stated before, the Church is partaking in the Kingdom of God at this very moment. Through Christ’s sacraments, the Kingdom exists on earth, albeit partially until the final judgment, and Christ truly reigns on earth from His Eucharistic thrown – the Tabernacle. In replacing the Church, which is 13

the true Kingdom of God manifest on earth, with the state political ideal of democratic freedom, Protestant political idealism which American democracy was founded on, has created the secular messianism of the Antichrist. Thus, the Tower of Babel is being reconstructed in the nation state – who seeks to create perfect society through political institutions rather than God’s institution. Because humans are seeking a divine community through political institutions, which were created by man rather than God, they will never understand the perfection of such a community. Man is fallible because of his fallen nature and cannot provide what he himself possesses not – infallibility in political policy or elsewhere. Fortunately, the perfect community already exists because the sinless man, Jesus, has provided it from His pierced side. This perfect community is the Church! Yes, the Church is the perfect community through Christ - it is the means of achieving perfect peace in the world. Not that the world will reach this perfection prior to the Second Coming (it won’t) but, the Church provides the real hope for a better world. Only through the saints can the world reach its true goal, which is perfection in Christ.111 And, only through the Church can the saints be born. It is no wonder then that the denial of the Church leads to denial of the Kingdom manifest on earth and hope in humanity to provide this Kingdom. If the Kingdom will only come about in the future, then God has truly left humanity behind, the fallen world wasn’t actually resurrected in Christ, and we have much to be concerned about. Foremost of all, humanity must try and create this Kingdom on its own and in its own way. This notion is shown dramatically in the context of the Dispensationalist belief. As we saw, they believe that the Israeli people are still in a covenant with God, and only through a literal re-establishment of the Temple and the City of Jerusalem, will the Kingdom of God descend upon us. Diplomatic policy suggests that the Western world and America in particular is quite concerned with using diplomacy for establishing the Kingdom of God in Jerusalem. Thus, the Israeli people receive large advancements from the American government, America has taken upon itself to establish democracy in the Middle East, and people are seeking ardently to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem today.112 Notions of establishing a future Kingdom on earth through the Israeli people has therefore become diplomatic policy. We have now come full circle - the failure to understand typology has led to a misunderstanding of the Church, leading to the erroneous belief that the Kingdom of God will manifest itself on earth after the second coming, which ultimately has created a false hope in political institutions to bring about peace (i.e. the Kingdom of God) – and in Dispensationalism in particular to actually bring about the true Kingdom of God in Jerusalem through the true chosen people Israel. Further, there is hope that once again the Israeli people will sacrifice animals to God from the Temple Mount. Again, all these proclamations are falsely rooted in incorrect biblical exegesis, and a denial of typology. Consequently, the Church is made void and so are the sacraments, which would nullify any animal sacrifice on the Temple Mount,113 politics become a false messiah, and God’s Kingdom is missed by many. But, we take hope in Christ as members of His Church because we rest in the hands that truly save – the redemptive hands of Christ made present in the sacraments of the Church. We place hope


in Mary our Mother, through whom we strive to make present the Kingdom of God in a more concrete way by becoming sanctified through the sacraments, by becoming saints! Mary our Mother, please protect us and bless us through Jesus Christ your son.


End Notes


Bibliography Crocker III, H.W. Triumph : The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church. Reprint Ed. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003. Hahn, Scott. A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture. Cincinnati: Servant Publications, 1998. Hahn, Scott. Hail Holy Queen. New York: Doubleday, 2001. MacColluch, Diarmaid. The Reformation: A History. New York: Viking, 2004. Olson, Carl. Will Catholics Be Left Behind: A Critique of the Rapture and Today's Prophecy Preachers. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003. Ratzinger, Joseph. Daughter Zion. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983. Schoeman, Roy. Salvation Is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003.

1 2

Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (25 December 2005), Para. 11 (see also Para. 12). Ibid., 31b; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio (7 December 1990), Para. 8. 3 Catechism of the Catholic Church, prologue 1:1. 4 Ibid., 771, 791. 5 Ibid., 797; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21-22. 6 Ibid., 85-87, 2032-2040; Lk. 10:16; Mt. 18:18; 1 Tim. 3:15. 7 Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History (New York: Viking, 2004). 8 Ibid., 736, 1996-2005; Rom. 8:16-17. 9 Ibid., 1694, 1989; Lev. 20:26; Deut. 7:15. 10 Ps. 51:9. 11 Mt. 5:48. 12 Rev. 17:1-5. 13 Mt. 24:36, 42-44. 14 Dan. 9:24-27. 15 Rom. 11:20-26; Mt. 23:39. 16 Zech. 13:8-9. 17 Rev. 14:1. 18 Rev. 20:2. 19 Is. 66:5-14; Ez. 36:22-28; Jer. 16:14-15. 20 Zech. 12:1-9, 14:1-9; Rev. 16:16; Rev. 20:8. 21 Rev. 20:9-15; Zech. 14:12. 22 Gen. 1:1–3:7. 23 Gen. 3:8–8:22. 24 Gen. 9:1–11:32. 25 Gen. 12:1–Exod. 19:25. 26 Exod. 20:1–Acts 2:4. 27 Acts 2:4–Rev. 20:3. 28 Rev. 20:4–20:6. 29 Heb. 8:13, Heb. 10:9. 30 Mt. 5:17; Lk. 24:44. 31 Sir. 27:6. 32 Dan. 4:17-19; Jn.15:1-5; Ez. 17:8; Hos. 14:9; Ps. 1; Sir. 24:16. 33 Is. 2:2-4; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 10:16; Is. 49:5-6; 53:11 (“many” is better translated as “all”). 34 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 54-64. 35 Is. 10:17-22; Rom. 9:23-28. 36 Cf. passages describing remnant – Is., Jer., Mic., Zeph.…etc. 37 Cf. Gen. 3:15; Rev. 12. 38 Mt. 24:3-31. 39 Jn. 9:3; Lk. 12:1-5; Ez. 18:20. 40 Heb. 2:9. 41 Acts 7:59-60. 42 Rom. 8:17; 1 Pet. 2:20-21. 43 Rev. 4:4, Rev. 7:13-14. 44 Rom. 8:29-39; Rom. 11:5-7; 1 Pet. 2:9. 45 Is. 55:8-9. 46 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 38. 47 1 Tim. 3:15, Mt. 18:17. 48 Mt. 16:19, Mt. 18:18, Lk. 24:47, Jn. 20:21-23, James 5:15, Acts 5:2-11, 1 Cor. 5:3-13, 2 Cor. 2:5-11, 2 Cor. 5:18, 1 Tim. 1:18-20, Titus 3:10. 49 Mario Lopez, 2001-2006, <> (Feb 2006). 50 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1094. 51 Rom. 5:14. 52 Lk. 24:13-49. 53 2 Thess. 2:15. 54 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1094. 55 St. Augustine, Questionum in Heptateuchum. 2, 73: PL 34,623. 56 Predicted in Gen. 3:15. 57 Cf. 2 Sam. 6:9 with Lk. 1:43; Cf. 2 Sam. 6:11; Lk. 1:56; Cf. 2 Sam. 6:16; Lk. 1:41.

58 59

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 724. Ibid., 773, 2676 – 2679; Rev. 19:7-8;; Eph. 5:27. 60 Acts 10:39, 13:29. 61 Jn. 2:19-21. 62 Rom. 5:14. 63 Jn. 3:14-15; Nm. 21:8-9. 64 1 Cor. 11:25; Ez. 16:59-60; Sir. 17:10. 65 Jer. 31:31-34. 66 Is. 10:20-22; Is. 11:11; Jer. 50:20. 67 Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture (Cincinnati: Servant Publications, 1998). 68 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 760, 778; Eph. 1:4. 69 Ibid., 781, 1093. 70 Ibid., 877. 71 Ibid., 1612;, Ps. 86:9, Is. 66:18-20, Phil. 2:9-11, Rev. 5:9. 72 Ibid., 762; Is. 1:2-4. 73 Is. 66:5-8; Ez. 36:22-28; Jer. 16:14-15; Is. 66:9-14. 74 Lk.1:48. 75 Gal. 3:27-29, Rom. 11:17-24. 76 Ex. 4:22. 77 Gen. 25:23. 78 Lk. 19:41-44; Mt. 23:37; Is. 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25; 2 Cor. 1:18-22; Hos. 2:16, 17, 21-22; 2 Cor. 3:1-6; Mk. 2:18-22. 79 Eph. 5:25-27. 80 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 766. 81 Gen. 2:21-23. 82 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 766. 83 1 Cor. 11:25. 84 Rev. 12:1, 17-18. 85 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 169, 505-507; James 1:18; Is. 66:8-13. 86 Ibid., 1118. 87 Ibid., 1116 88 Ibid., 1115 89 Jn. 19:26-27. 90 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 15 September 2001, The Ecclesiology Of The Constitution On The Church, Vatican Ii, ‘Lumen Gentium’, Mary as the Personified Church. 91 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 765 92 Justin Martyr, 150 AD, 1st Apology, Ch. LXVI – “OF THE EUCHARIST.” 93 1 Cor. 10:16, 11:27. 94 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1094; Jn. 6:48-51. 95 Jn. 6:56; Jn. 15:4. 96 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 541, 669 – 670, 1130. 97 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 541; Mk. 1:14-15. 98 Book of Esther 99 Jer. 30:1-8; Mt. 11:29-30. 100 Pope Benedict XVI, 1 January 2006, Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace: In Truth, Peace, Para. 6. 101 President George W. Bush, 23 January 2006, President Discusses Global War on Terror at Kansas State University, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. 102 Ibid. 103 President Bill Clinton, 21 January 1993, First Inaugural Address. 104 Pope John Paul II, 6 August 1993, Veritatis Splendor, Para. 32. 105 Jn. 8:31-33, 14:6. 106 Pope John Paul II, 22 February 2004, Message Of The Holy Father To The Youth Of The World On The Occasion Of The   XIX World Youth Day 2004, Para. 4.  107 Ibid., Para. 5. 108 Gen. 11:4.
109 110

2 Thess. 2:4-12; I Thess. 5:2-3; 2 Jn. 7; 1 Jn. 2:1-8, 22.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675-676.


Pope Benedict XVI, 20 August 2005, Address: Apostolic Journey to Cologne on the occasion of the XX World Youth Day, Youth Vigil by Cologne - Marienfeld, Paragraph 18-22. 112 Roy H. Schoeman , Salvation is from The Jews (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004) (where he cites The Temple Institute <>). 113 Heb. 9-10.