Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 19

This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series Is Christ Divided? Why Are There So Many Denominations?

It is claimed by the Roman Catholic Church that Peter was the first pope.  In Matthew 16:18, they try and make their claim biblical.  “”Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church.”  Notice the word “thou” refers to Peter and “this” refers to the rock.  Peter was the stone and Christ was the rock.  In Deuteronomy 32: 1-5 Moses relates “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak, and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a god of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.”   Christ is referred to four more times in this song of Moses; 32:15. 32:18; 32”30; and 32:31.  The Hebrew word, tsur, appears in several proper names of the Mosaic period; Numbers 1:5; the name is an epithet and is applied to God, in a name of the same import as Pedahel, “God delivers.” Numbers 1:10 all the strength and firmness of earth’s stones is but a small description of His unchangeable nature, rectitude, and faithfulness.  THIS COULD NOT BE A DESCRIPTIVE NAME OF A HUMAN BEING!!

The intent of this passage was not Peter, it was Christ.  Paul, the apostle of Christ, settles that question for sure in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11.  “As a wise masterbuilder I have laid the foundation and another builds thereon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

It is also asserted by the Roman Catholic Church that Christ conferred on Peter singularly, the “keys to the kingdom of heaven,” which in no way is true.  The same language is used by the Lord in Matthew 18:18 when He addressed the twelve, not singling out any one over the other, but collectively, showing that Peter had NO authority that all did not have, and exercised NO power that all did not exercise, and possessed no keys that all did not possess.  The whole claim of the Catholics concerning Peter’s primacy over the twelve is a fallacy.  Christ taught: “You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But is shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew 20:25-27

Peter is never referred to as the “prince of apostles” nor does he claim such as the Holy Spirit directed him to write.  In 1 Peter 1:1, Peter writes: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…”  In his second epistle, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…” never calls himself the “vicar” of Christ or “prince of the apostles” as does the Pope of Rome.    Also, in 1 Peter 5:1, Peter refers to himself as “an elder” (ancient one) and calls Christ the “chief shepherd” (archipoimen), that “great Shepherd of the sheep,” Hebrews 13:20.    Peter nowhere and in no place claimed any supremacy as did the apostle Paul.  2 Corinthians 11:23-31; 2 Corinthians 12:5-12.  In the records of the early church, its councils when held during the first six centuries, nor during the writings of the brethren of that time was the “Chair of Peter” ever mentioned.  In 1870 the Vatican Council declared the infallibility of the Pope to be a church doctrine.  How could a fallible council declare infallibility on a man?  Prior to 1870 the Catechism plainly said: “It (infallibility) is no article of Catholic faith,” yet today daddy Fran claims infallibility.

The charge to Peter in Luke 22: 24-32, is their final claim to any scriptural proof of “the see of Peter”.   Aside from being a mere assumption, the message of verses 24-30 contradict that claim.  John 21:15-17, where Jesus told Peter to “feed My sheep” they say entitles Peter to the position of pope.  The ignominy of Peter’s failure to follow Christ was what is under discussion.  They tell us that Peter took the lead in appointing Judas’ successor, the censure and deaths of Ananias and  Sapphira (Acts 5), the rebuking of Simon Magus (Acts 8), the shadow of Peter’s garment, and the special trip Paul made to see Peter in Jerusalem after his conversion.   The exploits of Paul far out-weigh those of Peter in Lystra, the island of Melita, Elymas, the sorcerer, and the public rebuke of Peter by Paul in Galatia subordinates the primacy of Peter to the prominence of Paul.


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Joe David Wilson

Joe David Wilson

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