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Did Peter Consider Himself The Head Of The Church ?

Discussion in 'Ecclesiology' started by Lion Heart, May 13, 2002.

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  1. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    >If you agree that no one else in the Bible was given those instructions that Jesus gave to Peter, WHAT is your argument about?<

    I would have thought a Catholic would be the first to admit that there are things that Jesus and the apostles did that are not written about. It was the particular subject of a very recent thread, in fact. If this principle can be applied when Catholic ideas are to be accepted, why is it not to be considered when Catholic ideas are in question?

    Do you know that Peter was the only person that this applied to?

    Stephen
     
  2. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Stephen:

    Let me give you a hint: don't try to MAKE someone say something. It's irritating. You have a question, a sincere question, ASK.

    I'm here to teach people about my faith, about what the Church teaches. If you want to play games, I suggest the PE yard of a junior high school.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  3. cheezit

    cheezit Saved in 1976

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    Just a minor point, but.....

    Who cares who the sheppard is/was/may be. For the record, the Great Sheppard is Jesus. Period. The whole idea is that the sheep (us) get fed the correct food (the Word of God). Without a whole bunch of stuff added into it.



    My 2 cents worth.
     
  4. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

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    Right, that's why Jesus left the New Testament writings for the disciples instead of teaching them orally. Oh wait....

    -Chris
     
  5. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

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    I care.

    Well...what about the whole bunch of stuff that's been removed from it over the years by Protestant "Shepards"?
     
  6. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Stephen:

    Well, see, that's what you get for "thinking."

    DON'T make assumptions about Catholics or the Catholic Church. You know what they say when you "assume" anything.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  7. cheezit

    cheezit Saved in 1976

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    Like I said, the whole idea is to get the Word of God out to the people. Arguing about who Jesus may or may not have made a shepard is non-productive. At least to me. YMMV of course.

    Since I was not around however many eons ago they supposedly removed verses or books from the Bible, I can't say.

    What is a "protestant shepard"? Is that like "bashing" protestants? ;)

    Stephen asked a very straight forward question --
    And he gets this response.
    Please allow me to say "Real Christian attitude there". :(

    But I will ask it for myself. If a question is "good for the goose", then why isn't it "good for the gander"?

    You know, I am really sorry, but Catholics constantly say they are bashed and we protestants are "beating a dead horse". Maybe we wouldn't do this if we got an answer other than something on the order of "the Church fathers said so" or it is "Sacred Tradition". By definition, tradition is basically something that has "always been done that way". And having been always done that way in a church makes it "Sacred". Fine. No argument there. But where I have a problem is when I am told, or I read that this tradition is based on things that the apostles supposedly said but "it didn't get written down". Why in the world should I believe that? How do I know they said that? Because a Catholic said so? If a Catholic wants me to agree with their teachings, (in actuality they probably could care less) they will have to come up with something better that "it just didn't get written down".

    So many times, a Catholic will be asked a question about their beliefs and the reponse will be along the lines of "The Catholic Church teaches.....". Why skirt the issue? If I said to you, "Why do you belive that Peter started the Catholic Church?", and you said "The Church teaches that Jesus called Peter the rock on which the church was built", you are not answering the question. You are skirting the issue by saying what the church teaches, NOT what you believe. So, the question gets battered until the thread is 50 pages long and it is eventually closed because it is a "dead horse" and all because the question was never answered in the first place. If you believe that every word that the church teaches is exactly as you believe, say so in your answer.
    It makes it a whole lot simpler. If you don't want us, as protestants, to "make assumptions", simply answer the question.

    You can call me a "fundy" if you want to. It won't hurt my feelings at all. I do not, however, believe that the KJV is the only "true" translation of the Bible. But when a question is asked about, say Mary, and we, as protestants, are told that "Mary was sinless, and lived a sinless life", and that it is backed up by scripture, I have to ask, "What Bible are you reading?" And when shown that the Bible does not say that, then it becomes "Sacred Tradition", or is something that the Early Church Fathers taught.

    Now, can Catholics here see where I am coming from? I am quite sure that I am not going to change anything by my post. I doubt that Catholics will change the way they answer questions posed to them because of this post. In fact, I may even make an enemy or two. If that is the case, so be it. I have my Bible and God says that it stands alone and is innerant.
     
  8. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Cheezit:

    The "Real Christian Attitude" is that Stephen has demonstrated over numerous threads that he is playing a little mind game on Catholics, to TRY to get them to say something, so he can trip them up on it. When he says, "Well, see I thought a Catholic would say," that is a key phrase for "I'm laying in wait for you to say..."

    You don't, in reasonable debate, try to put words into the mouth of the person you are talking with. If you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, you ask a question, wait for the answer, and then go from there. I have had Stephen DEMAND me to answer his questions, and DEMAND that I "make a choice" as to what I believe. That is not debate, Cheezit, that is argumentative combat.

    Catholics here have given Scriptural evidence as to WHY the Catholic Church teaches about Mary's sinless nature. This Scriptural evidence is SUPPORTED by Sacred Tradition. You are free to choose whether or not you wish to agree.

    I think I am seeing a confusion remaining as to what Sacred Tradition is. We are not playing some secret club game where we make up the rules as we go along. (that reminds me of the cartoon "Calvin and Hobbes" when Calvin and his stuffed tiger would play "Calvin-ball") Almost all Sacred Tradition HAS been written down, you can find the bulk of it in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. We can provide you with links to these writings online! Further, it is 100% guaranteed that Sacred Tradition will NOT contradict Sacred Scripture. Nor will Sacred Scripture contradict Sacred Tradition. They COMPLEMENT each other.

    As far as Catholics "skirting the issue" by saying "the Church teaches," when we use those words, we are saying that WE BELIEVE WHAT SCRIPTURE TELLS US, that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of truth. It isn't UP to us to read Scripture and try to divine our own little personal interpretation. When I buy a car, I don't have to understand how the internal combustion engine works, or who actually invented the wheel. I trust that the car will run when I put gas and oil and water and air into the appropriate places, and I turn on the key, and WOW, I can drive where I need to go.

    A LOT of the Catholics on this board are converts. To continue the car analogy, we chose the vehicle of the Catholic Church to get us to heaven. We lifted up the hood, we bought books, we studied, we learned, and we found out for ourselves, hey, this internal combustion engine WORKS, and the wheels roll, and for me personally, when I found out that my initial investigations were POSITIVE, I bought the car. I've been doing research ever since, and for me, the car still runs PERFECTLY. Everything I was TOLD about the car is TRUE. So, I have faith that if I'm told there's a trunk, a back seat, windshield wipers, and even a CD player, if I look, I'll find them.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  9. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    In a verse in Timothy the Scripture does indeed tell us that the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. It does not tell us that it is any particular organisation. Any persons who expect that merely quoting that verse will gain them credibility are not themselves exercising Christian practice; their standards are much too lax.

    A car may look very nice, but it may be a dangerous death-trap. If we do not know how to tell whether it is safe or not, we ask someone who does know how. That person will test everything that matters; tyres, brakes, steering, engine, etc.

    That is what the Bible tells us to do in spiritual matters; test everything. Those tests are what is applied in a debating forum, and faulty ‘brakes’, ‘tyres’, etc. will be discovered. If we do not want our ‘vehicle’ to be tested, but just accepted without examination, then there is not much point in bringing it to a forum.

    Stephen
     
  10. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

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    What other "churches" do you think they were referring to in the bible Stephen??

    There were only a few options...you were either Jewish, Christian or a Gentile.

    Certainly Paul was not referring to either the Jewish church or to the Gentiles form of worship. He was referring to the first church established by Christ on Peter.

    I also tend to ignore Ralph Nader when it comes to safety issues.
     
  11. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Stephen:

    Ah, yes, but I bought MY CAR at St Peter's Reliable Cars, every one with a Bible Backed Warranty, free Road Service, more Sacraments than any other Car Lot, and while some of our SALESMEN have been junk, the cars are perfect.


    As to the verse in Timothy:
    At that time there was only ONE CHURCH. Not many choices available.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  12. Stephen

    Stephen Member

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    >At that time there was only ONE CHURCH. Not many choices available.<

    True, but yours is one of the choices. And there's no guarantee with churches. You can't go back and complain once you've passed on. Caveat emptor.

    Stephen
     
  13. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Stephen:

    Haven't had any complaints so far, and believe me, I shopped around for my car before I went to St Peter's Lot. In fact, the longer I own this car, the better it gets, the smoother it rides, the nicer it provides all my transportation needs.

    As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  14. cheezit

    cheezit Saved in 1976

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    Would you mind if I made a friendly suggestion then? Why not just simply say "Please do not put words in my mouth" and leave it at that? Just simply don't take the bait. Not easy, but it can be done.

    I, as a Baptist, which by definition, makes me a protestant, can see where Stephen is coming from. He is a Christian and he, like me, doesn't see the things in scripture the way that Catholics do. But I am quite sure that he can speak for himself.

    and

    Agreed. So long as the scripture is translated or interpreted by Catholics. But there was another thread here, and right at this time I can't find it, but I will if you want me to, that alluded to the fact that scripture is interpreted "wrong" by Protestants. That actually led me to believe that Catholics think that they are the only "true" Christians. In fairness, I really doubt that most Catholics believe that they are the only "true" Christians, but to those that do I say -- BUNK. Maybe that isn't really what they meant when they said that Protestants interpret the Bible "wrong", but I can only go by what I read on the page. I can't see into their minds to dicern what that actually meant.

    Here is a "for instance" for you as far as interpreting the Bible wrong goes. It is NOT directed at any particular group of people or any particular religion, so do not take it that way. One of the 10 commandments is "Thou shalt not murder". (Some say kill, but let's for the sake of argument say it means "don't take a life".) That is rather plain and straight forward and I believe it means don't do it. Period. However there are many, many people that know about this commandment, but yet it is o.k. with them to have an abortion. Because they interpret the Bible differently and say that life doesn't begin until the baby is actually born. Two different interpretations, but the same words on the page.

    Am I making any sense, or shall I shut up now? :D
     
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Cheezit:

    No, you're making sense.

    I don't recall the thread, but it should have been worded, "Protestants interpret the Bible DIFFERENTLY."

    And if you want to be honest, I've been TOLD that I didn't know HOW to interpret the Bible, because MY interpretation is at odds with how that person intepreted it. I've also been called WRONG in my interpretation. (and blind, and had my IQ called to question, and my ability to read....)

    Here's the thing: it's MY OBSERVATION that the majority of non-Catholic Christians who rely upon Sola Scriptura believe they have the ultimate power to interpret the Bible ON THEIR OWN by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, again, MY OPINION is that is the cause of so many different, often conflicting interpretations.

    On the other hand, Catholics believe that the CHURCH has the power of the Holy Spirit (along with the teachings of the past 2000 years, AND Sacred Tradition) to interpret the Bible.

    What happens here is that we get into an "interpretation match." The exchange of ideas is well and good, but it gets HEATED, and the two parties often get to some name calling when the interpretations don't agree.

    I, personally, have made it a point to explain up front that the interpretations I give are not MINE, but those of the Catholic Church. So when somebody takes offense at what I have said, I point out that they are not arguing with ME, but the Church. AND I probably say something that I consider the Church and its resources to be more capable of interpretation than just a single person with the Holy Spirit.

    NOW, the REAL debates get hot-n-heavy when a non-Catholic asks about a Church TEACHING. Often the non-Catholic only THINKS he or she understands a teaching. While I may step aside and say, "You are entitled to your own personal interpretation of the BIBLE," I will not let someone present an erroneous definition or explanation of a Church TEACHING. In that case, I WILL tell someone he or she is WRONG.

    It's a very fine line.

    Example: Catholics believe that Peter was the first Pope. Most Protestants don't like that. Protestants can point to the definitions of words, and say, "that's not true." Or they say, "That's not what Jesus meant." Or they can say, "Jesus pointed at Himself when He said, 'Upon this Rock.'"

    Now, you are more than entitled to believe that Peter was not the first Pope. However, you canNOT tell Catholics they are WRONG in believing this. You canNOT say, "Jesus didn't mean that." You can say, "I don't believe Jesus was saying that." Catholics can live with this. But don't go into a big spiel about Greek words, and little rocks and big rocks, and try to MAKE the Catholic teaching look false. We get UPSET.

    And THAT was my argument with Stephen. If I had said, "Please don't put words into my mouth," he most likely would have replied, "What makes you think I'm doing that? Tell me how you define putting words into someone's mouth?"

    Like I said, Cheezit, BTDT.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  16. cheezit

    cheezit Saved in 1976

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    Whew!!!! :D :D Glad to hear that 'cause sometimes I get to rambling. It happens when you become a fossil like me. :D

    I, personally, would not knowingly come right out and say to you or anyone else "you are WRONG". I would point out why I thought differently. If I have ever said that I thought someone was just plain wrong, I appologize. Well, unless they were just so blatantly wrong that it was obvious to everybody else also. Like when an athiest tells a Christian that God doesn't exist, for example.

    I guess I am being a fossil again, but I have tried to interpret what this means and I can't figure it out. Help out an old geezer, please.

    I know that it will be painfully obvious, but what does BTDT stand for. :) :D
     
  17. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

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    Been There, Done That.
     
  18. cheezit

    cheezit Saved in 1976

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    See? I KNEW it would be simple. :D :D
     
  19. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    In conclusion this pretty much sums it up.

    We never cease to be amazed at the fallacies that undergird much of the accepted, even respected, thought in our modern world. One of these fallacies is the blind assertion that the apostle Peter was the first Pope and the acceptance of so-called apostolic succession (a false premise held by a major segment of so-called Christendom). And typically, but erroneously, the History Book Club and the former head of a college History department present Peter as the first pope, although this is not history nor is it scholarly. The papacy and apostolic succession are not taught in the Scriptures, let alone the apostle Peter being the first pope.

    Consider the following thought:

    WAS PETER A POPE?

    Since the entire structure of Catholicism rests upon the premise that Peter was a Pope, this claim will be considered in detail.

    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern, because he was married. (See Matthew 8:14). In following Christ, Peter "left all" (Matthew 19:27), but he did not leave his wife (I Corinthians 9:5). Peter was an elder, as well as an apostle (I Peter 5:1). It is required that elders be married men with faithful children (Titus 1:6).

    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern because he was poor. When asked for alms, he said, "Silver and gold have I none" (Acts 3:6). Peter was unable to pay a half-shekel tax until provided with the money by a miracle (Matthew 17:24-27). He did not dwell in palaces, surrounded by gold and jewels.

    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern because he was humble. He would not allow anyone to call him "Father," since this was condemned by Jesus (Matthew 23:8-11). The only title he ever claimed for himself was "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:1). Peter was never carried about on a throne for throngs to bow down before him. When Cornelius bowed before him, Peter said, "Stand up, I myself also am a man" (Acts 10:26). Foreseeing the arrogance and pride of false religious rulers who would be powerful, he exhorted elders not to lord it over the church (I Peter 5:3). He spoke of himself humbly as a "fellow-elder" (I Peter 5:1), and when he used the term "chief Shepherd" he was referring not to himself but to Christ (I Peter 5:4).

    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern since he did not teach that he was the head of the church. Peter taught of only one "Chief Shepherd" (I Peter 5:4), and that was Christ. Peter taught that the "stone" and "rock" upon which the church was built was not a man but Christ (I Peter 2:6-8). This teaching agreed with the conversation that Jesus had with Peter (Matthew 16:15-19) where they were not talking about on which man to build the church, but the great question Jesus asked was, "Whom say ye that I am?" When Peter gave the correct answer, Jesus answered, "Upon this rock I will build my church." Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven with the power of binding and loosing. This power was shared by the other apostles (Matthew 18:18; John 20:21-23). Since Peter did not consider himself the head of the church, he made no provision for anyone to succeed him. He said nothing about successors.
    n
    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern because the other apostles did not regard him as their superior. Paul said, "I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles" (II Corinthians 11:5). And it was Paul who publicly rebuked Peter for his erroneous conduct (Galatians 2:11-14). Peter was referred to as one of the pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9). Note, Peter was ONE of the pillars, not head of all the churches. The church had been "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20). The church was built on the "apostles," plural, not on one apostle. Although false teachers have attempted to build the church on Peter, "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 3:11). Peter was one of the favorite three of the Lord-Peter, James, and John. He was impulsive and a natural leader. He was a beloved and faithful apostle. He was prominent but he was not pre-eminent.

    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern because he was not in Rome. There is no Biblical evidence that he was ever in Rome. Paul wrote to the Roman Christians and saluted 27 persons (Romans 16:3-15) but did not mention Peter. In the last letter Paul wrote to Timothy from Rome, he said, "Only Luke is with me," and "At my first defense, no one took my part, but all forsook me" (II Timothy 4:11,16). Where was Peter? He was not in Rome?

    Peter did not fit the Papal pattern because Peter taught doctrines different from that of the Pope. Peter believed in baptizing only those who had been taught, and who believed and repented (Acts 2:38). There is no record of his baptizing anyone who was too young to understand what he was doing. Peter taught that disciples of Christ should wear the name "Christian" (I Peter 4:16). Peter did not believe in traditions, but taught that God's Word contains "ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness" (II Peter 1:3). Peter agreed with the doctrine that Jesus Christ is the only head of the church (Colossians 1:18; 2:10; Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23), and that Christ nowhere authorized any man to be head of the church on earth since "ALL authority in heaven and on earth" had been given to Christ (Matthew 28:18).

    SUMMARY: Peter did not fit the Papal pattern, because:
    1. He was poor.
    2. He was humble.
    3. He did not consider himself infallible.
    4. He did not teach that he was the head of the church.
    5. The other apostles did not consider him their superior.
    6. He was not in Rome.
    7. He differed in doctrine from the Popes.

    When it is proved that Peter was not a Pope, the whole structure of Catholicism falls, with the so-called "successors" of Peter. Catholicism has no true foundation. The doctrine of the supremacy of Peter, and that he had successors is contradictory to the Lord's teaching and plan.

    DO WITNESSES HAVE SUCCESSORS?

    Let us say a little more about apostolic succession and bring in the testimony of the apostle Peter himself. There are no apostles in the church today, nor can there be apostles in the sense of the apostle Peter. Although Judas was replaced as an apostle, the idea of succession doesn't enter the picture. The very purpose and work of an apostle would make it next to impossible for them to have successors today. Please notice. "In those days" after Jesus had ascended back to heaven Simon Peter stood up and addressed his fellow-disciples about the need of replacing Judas. Illustrating from the Psalms, he says, "Let another take his office." Then he gives the qualifications: "Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection" (Acts 1:15-22). Thus, apostles had to be witnesses and were Christ's official eyewitnesses of his resurrection from the dead. Their unique mission as eyewitnesses had been stressed before his crucifixion (John 15:26,27). Then again in Acts 1:8 Jesus said they would be witnesses. Throughout the early pages of the book of Acts this is continually mentioned. Notice Acts 2:32; 4:33; 5:29-32; 10:39-42; 13:31. The testimony of the apostle Peter is seen again in Acts 10:39-42, when he said, "We [the apostles] are witnesses..." These special witnesses are represented in this capacity again in Hebrews 2:3 and 4. It is very elementary to see that eyewitnesses can have no successors. When they die, they are gone. And there are no apostles, nor apostolic succession, in the church on earth today. These men have done their part in confirming the truth and getting the church started among men. Their writings, as well as that of other inspired men, constitute part of the New Testament Scriptures to guide us today.

    Quoted from the Sword and the Staff
     
  20. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

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    Moving this thread to the new Ecclesiology forum since this is discussing the Church.
     
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