I've heard popular retellings of the Lutheran view of pope as Antichrist that range from:
- a delusion that Pope Leo X was the incarnate figure of prophecy, to
- a slur (like calling George Washington a communist), to
- a conviction that it's a simple statement of the doctrine of justification: no one is "ante" (stands before, between Christ and sinner) in the mechanism of salvation
A previous question focused on the role of prophecy in the idea. But my question is to what extent this concept is not a mere slur but rather a necessary consequence of the doctrine of justification. Both bases may offend, but one is unavoidable consequence of there being two different denominations. Quotes from Reformers and prominent Lutheran theologians are of interest.