Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why do Catholics think Peter was the first pope? #2

In addition to Jesus giving Peter the keys in Matthew 16, Peter is shown to be the leader of the church in another place.

After Paul’s first missionary trip in the 40’s AD, Paul went back to Antioch to see how things were going. While he was there a delegation from Jerusalem came to Antioch to tell the Christians there that all new Christians must hold to the law of Moses. All men had to be circumcised, they had to only eat kosher foods, and so on. The story is recorded in Acts 15

In Acts 15:2, Paul said, in effect, you’re nuts, it’s not going to happen. What did they do? Did everyone just say “Paul has spoken, we must obey”? No, they all went to Jerusalem to see what everyone else thought.

They all get together to discuss this very divisive topic (I wouldn’t want to get circumcised as an adult, but maybe that’s just me) and what happens? In Acts 15:7, who stands up to make this decision? James? Paul? No, it was Peter.

Catholics today don’t trace the line of popes back to Peter “just because”. We do so because he was the go-to guy for the early church, in addition to having the keys given to him by Jesus in Mt 16:18.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excuse me ,but how come as a catholic protestant I come away with a different version of Acts 15. Indeed, if only Rome did not grab for all authority over the other churches, I may not have had to say something stupid like "as a catholic protestant". Who called for the meeting ? Was it Peter ? No. Who ended the meeting ? Was it Peter ? No. Who made the final proclamation-decision ? Was it Peter ? No. Who presided at the meeting as head ? Was it Peter ? No . Who spoke first or last ? Was it Peter ? No. Yes, the Lord told Peter that the gentiles indeed are blessed and saved by faith also. Yet was it not this same Peter who did not want to be seen with saved gentiles for fear of the jews ? Did not Paul chastise Peter for his hypocrisy ? Look, Peter finally spoke up at this meeting, and testified of what God had said and done with saving the gentiles. It was his irrefutable testimony that turned the topic ,and Paul and Barnabas added to his testimony with what God was doing with the gentiles. It is a weak argument for Peter's "supremacy" over the other apostles. He was first among equals. Scripture shows no special rewards for Peter in heaven, that he is one of twelve apostles on which the church is founded....Please read Acts for yourself and see if what I have stressed isn't so.( By the way ,It was James who prided over the meeting and made the final dogmatic proclamation,that you and I need not be circumcised to be saved. As far as Peter having the keys:simple. He boldly began the church with the first sermon that led to thousands being saved. That Peter held any more authority than the other apostles has been fought whenever Rome flexed it's lording over other churches, beginning in the second and third centuries, leading to much strife and division in the body of Christ. And if you say I am unscriptural, than I am in good company (the other apostles). Hey, they were there when Jesus spoke to Peter and they saw Jesus as the rock and not Peter for twice after this the apostles bickered with themselves as to who was greater and who could sit at Jesus's right hand side. They did not see Peter as head apostle or head bishop or sole vicar of Christ. Jesus chided them for bickering but never corrected them saying, "don't you remember ? I made Peter head honcho, the rock. Peter has the keys, you don't. " No, He never said that .... Peter was the go to guy on many occassions( also the not so go to guy on other occassions), but it is a long stretch from there to the current dogma of the papacy. It is only a Roman Catholic phenomenom. as C.S. Lewis wrote on this subject."Those ignorant of history are slaves to the most recent past ". That is,this nice, spiritual pope of recent years, is not the pope of centuries past, where at best many were involved in earthly, carnal affairs and at the very worst, had armies and concubines and murders on their hands It isn't that they were bad or inept ,but the office was holy ,it is that the office would corrupt even the best of men. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Much of the strife was in getting this power or keeping it.Oh indeed taking a cue from carnal Peter as he struck off the ear of a temple arrestor.

Anonymous said...

there is no biblical evidence that indeed Peter laid hands on the next pope. In fact ,Rome had more than one bishop, even many for quite a while.Which one is "head bishop' ? IN FACT ALSO THERE ARE SEVERAL VERSIONS OF PAPAL SUCCESSION WHERE THE FIRST FIVE POPES ARE DIFFERENT.....The earliest list has Peter and Paul as foundational to the church in Rome. The inference is that they were equal.The list was not to show papal succession per say but to show certain cults and false religions of the sacredness of the gospel and of carefully selecting leaders as sheperds of the truth,that the gospel is unchanged.and pure.