Friday, July 29, 2005still wondering how he got that title...
881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head." This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
After TRADITIONS, the institution of the papacy is by far the most serious heresy of Romanism. You will notice, from the above quote, taken from the "Roman Catholic Catechism", that Romanist believe in a "top dog" of the church named the Pope. You will also note, that apparently, the apostle Peter was the first Pope in church history. Not once does the Bible ever refer to the apostle Peter as "Pope Peter I", but that sure didn't stop heretics from finding Bible verses they could misinterpret to fit this false teaching.
In confession 881, a Bible scholar will notice that two Bible verses are alluded to, in an attempt to legitimize the statement. The two verses are:
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19)
Problem is, of course, these two verses do not teach that Peter was a pope. The Romanist, here will object, saying: "clearly the Lord Jesus Christ says that He will build his church on Peter; clearly the Lord gave Peter unique authority in giving him the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and the power to bind and loose souls!" But you see, this interpretation is foolish.
First, we need to keep the Greek in mind when reading verse 18, because the Lord is making a play on words. The name Peter (Petros) means "a small stone, a piece of rock, or a pebble", and the Greek word for rock (petra) means "a mass of rock". You get it? The Lord was saying: "Thou art "a little pebble" and upon this "mass of rock" I will build my church. So, what is this "mass of rock"? Is it Peter? No, no. If the Lord was indeed saying it was Peter, then he would have simply said: "Thou art Petros and upon you Petros I will build my church." But that isn't what the Lord Jesus Christ said; he changed the word from Petros to petra. The "mass of rock" is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, he was referring to Himself. This is in accordance with the plain teachings of Scripture:
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:11)
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4)
And yes, the Greek word for Rock in the above verse, is "petra", the "mass of rock".
Now what about these keys to the kingdom of heaven... did the Lord give Peter the authority to determine who will be going to Heaven and who will not? Uh... no. To understand what these "keys to the kingdom of Heaven" is, let's turn to the Scriptures:
"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
"Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." (Luke 11:52)
How did the scribes/pharisees/lawyers "shut up the kingdom of heaven"? How did they take away "the key of knowledge"? By sitting in the Temple in Jerusalem and ruling as spiritual leaders? No. They shut up the kingdom and took away the key of knowledge by refusing to teach the people the commandments of God; replacing God's decrees with their TRADITIONS (funny how history has a way of repeating itself).
So, what are the keys given to Peter? What is it exactly that Peter would use that would bind and loose things on Earth? The Gospel my friends, the Gospel. Not the whims of any apostle or prophet or "pope" for that matter, by the preaching of the Gospel, faithful souls/philosophies/doctrines will be loosed, wicked souls/philosophies/doctrines will be bound.
It is also noteworthy that the "power" to loose and bind is not only given to Peter, but to all the apostles:
"Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 18:18)
"Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:23)
And it is with this point that I conclude: PETER WAS NEVER A POPE. He was an apostle and a pillar of the early church; the same could be said of the apostle John, Paul, Barnabas... etc. Peter never referred to himself, in any of his epistle, as a pope; he identified himself as an apostle, nothing more. To make anything more of Peter is to add to Scripture, and I thank my lovely wife for reminding us of the following Scripture:
"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Proverbs 30:5-6)
Sadly, as we have seen in my previous post, Romanism has no problems with adding to God's Word, and that it why Romanists are both liars and heretics. They must repent.
N.B.: a few more problems the teaching that Peter was the first pope:
-he was married (Matthew 8:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5)
-he refused to be worshipped (Acts 10:25-26). So much for kissing the pope's feet.
-the Lord used the apostle Paul to establish more local churches than Peter; so much for Peter being the chief "rock on which the Lord would build his church".
-it is questionable that Peter was ever in Rome (no record of it in Scripture).