The false doctrine of Roman Catholic papal infallibility
If Peter was the first pope then:
- Why was Paul was equal to Peter: "Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody." 2 Corinthians 12:11
- Why was Peter was not an infallible guide in faith and morals: "But when Peter came to Antioch, Paul opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned." Galatians 2:11
George Salmon's devastating refutation of Catholic Infallibility
Is the RC church infallible and unable to make errors?
Here is a Picture of the Pope kissing the Qur'an. This is like kissing Satan! We are utterly shocked that any Christian would kiss the Koran.
Infallibility of the church?
"The entire Roman Catholic argument depends upon the assumption that Rome could not do what Israel did. The problem is that in reality she has done exactly what Israel did. She has placed herself in precisely the same position that the Scribes and Pharisees found themselves in. Their oral law or tradition was so "synthesized" to the written Torah, that judgment of the validity of that unwritten law by means of the written law became an impossibility. Neither could judge the other because both were assumed to have originated with Moses. In the same way Rome has developed an unwritten tradition that she has synthesized with the written New Testament to the degree that it cannot be judged by that New Testament. If Mark 7 teaches us anything, it is that the two must not be "synthesized." The written Word of God must remain the unique norm." (The Shape Of Sola Scriptura, Keith A. Mathison, Reformed Protestant, 2001, p 179)
Peter was not a Pope!
By Peter McPherson
A. What Is True Of The Apostle Peter, But...
It is true that the apostle Peter was the one chosen (Mt. 16:17-19) to first set forth the instructions that were necessary to enter into the kingdom of heaven or God on earth - both to the Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2) and to the Gentiles at Caesarea (Acts 10 & 11). But in the over-all the apostle Paul is actually named the "apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom. 11:13) as Peter was more to the Jews (Gal. 1:7-8). But again, all the apostles, being directed by the Holy Spirit (Jn.16:7-15), sent out and commissioned by Jesus (Mt.28:18-20; 18:18) gave instructions to all people as to how to enter the kingdom or church.
Yes, Peter was told to "strengthen your brethren" (Lk. 22:31) and to "feed My sheep" and to "Follow Me" (Jn. 21:15-19). Why this to Peter? Because he was the one who was going to stumble by denying the Lord three times (Jn. 13:36-38), and thus he, was the one who needed to be "converted" (Lk. 22:32) and be given these specific charges at the time they were given to him.
And yes, Peter is usually named first. i.e., "Peter, James, and John" (Mt. 17:1) but his proves nothing in regard to him being selected to being the first so-called Pope (Peter just happened to be the one of the first (not the first) few disciples that Jesus called - Jn. 1:35-42, and that were selected to be "fishers of men" - Mk.1:16-20. Besides, Peter was often out-spoken and it would be natural that he be named first.
B. 20 reasons why Peter Not A Good Choice For The First Pope
Peter was just one of the 12 apostles (Mt.10:1-2; Mk. 3:13-19; Lk. 6:13-16).
Peter was just one of the three close friends of Jesus (Mt. 17:1; 26:36-37).
Peter denied the Lord Jesus three times (Mt. 26:69-75; Lk
Peter was a married man: 1 Cor. 9:5; Matthew 8:14
Peter was rebuked by the Lord (Mt. 16:23; Jn. 21:20-22).
Peter was rebuked by Paul (Gal. 2:11).
Peter never accepted reverence (Acts 10:25-26); (No man should, Rev. 19:10; 22:9).
Peter was not superior to the other apostles (Mt. 18:18; 2 Cor.11:5;12:11).
Peter and the other apostles, in consideration of their demise, wrote letters preserving their combined God-given revelations for all time (2 Pet. 1:12-15; 3:1-2; Eph. 3:3-5.).
Peter along with the other apostles were to "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Mt. 19:28).
Peter was not the head of the church - Jesus is the only head of His church (Eph. 1:22-23;Col.1:19)
Peter was not selected to be the Vicar of Christ on earth (no references in the Bible).
Peter never talked about any "successors" to him.
Peter and Paul never wore any of the many titles of the modern Popes (2 Pet. 3:15).
Peter and no other disciple(s) were to be "the greatest in the kingdom" (Mt. 18:1-4; 20:20-28); rather, they were to be equal.
Peter's name in the Greek is Petros (a detached stone, Jn. 1:42) but Jesus said the church would be built upon the "rock" or Petra (a mass of rock) - Mt. 16:18.
Matthew 16:18 Peter is masculine gender and rock in femine gender; in context they cannot refer to the same thing.
Peter and Paul declared that Jesus was "the chief cornerstone" (Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:20).
Peter and the other apostles were merely the layers of the foundation Stone - Jesus (Acts 4:11-12; Eph. 2:19-20).
Finally, Jesus Himself said that "all authority" was given to Him both "in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18-20).
C. Paul would make a far better "pope" than Peter:
The Bible says apostle Paul was certainly in Rome, we have nothing in the Bible that says Peter was ever in Rome.
Paul is more front and center in the book of Acts than Peter.
Paul is the great apostle whose record we have of going far and abroad to preach the gospel.
Paul is the one who has not one recorded bad blot on his life after his conversion.
Paul is the one who takes charge of matters and even rebukes Peter to the face.
Paul had way more epistles written than any one else.
Paul was a single man.
Proof texts of Peter being the first Pope REFUTED!
(Mt 16:18, Luke 22:31-32, Jn 16:12-13, Jn 21:15-17, Acts 15:6-29, Rom 11:17-22, Gal 1:8-9, 1 Tim 3:15)
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matthew 16:18
The church is built upon Jesus Christ: 1 Cor 3:11, not Peter. Although this is appealed to as a papal proof text, it is lacking of any such proof.
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-32
This verse simply cannot be used to prove the papal infallibility of Peter because Peter erred so bad later in his ministry, that Paul condemned him as a heretic: Gal 2:11
"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:12-13
Yes Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the word of God, but so were the rest of the apostles. Peter is not given any special status and the promise of the Holy Spirit applies equally to all the apostles.
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep. John 21:15-17
To suggest this proves Peter is a pope is short sighted. Jesus was reversing, by ceremony, the three denials of Peter with three confessions of faith. Three times Peter denied the Lord, and three time Peter was asked to proclaim his love for the Lord. The emphasis was not on Peter "leading the church as a pope" being promoted to "top position" but rather accepting him back from the realm of condemnation into the common fold of the apostles who had not denied the Lord. Peter was told to be a shepherd of the sheep not a pope. Peter was simply a presbyter/overseer/shepherd: "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." (1 Peter 5:1-4) Notice that this verse is a commentary on Jn 21 because it shows Peter to be a common "pastor/shepherd" as were in all the churches. Contrary to Catholic theology, Peter describes himself as a "fellow-shepherd" on an equal level with other fellow elders. The chief shepherd is Jesus not Peter.
Jerusalem council: Acts 15:6-29
The Jerusalem council provides absolutely no help to the Roman Catholic for the papal authority of Peter and the supremacy of the church at Rome. The council happens in Jerusalem, not Rome! Even if this council had happened at Rome, Peter was not the key note speaker, but one of four who are highlighted. In fact, James was the speaker who not only summed it all up, but concluded the meeting with "his personal judgement" on the matter. (v19) The inspired letter that was sent out to other churches (v23-29) made no mention of Peter at all: "The apostles and the brethren who are elders" v23. If Peter was the Pope, there was no indication in the Jerusalem council of such authority!
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:8-9
Yes the words of all the apostles were unchangeable. The only known record of what the apostles said, is in the 27 books of the New Testament. Oral tradition is full of contradiction. Take for example, the liturgy of the Lord's Supper or the date of Easter. The Oral traditions of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches contradict each other so bad, they condemn each other and are not "in communion" with each other. The key is to realize that both of these denominations base their teachings on the oral tradition of the apostles, yet the cannot agree! We are confused over the contradictory doctrine of the Catholics and Orthodox church! Whose oral tradition on the liturgy of the Eucharist and the date of Easter is correct? With all this division, it is obvious that scripture is the only sure method of determining truth.
but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
The church that supports and upholds the truth, is distinguished from the truth she upholds. That truth is the gospel message contained in scripture. If the "church" is the source of truth, as both Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches claim, again we ask, which one, for they are divided against themselves in doctrine! obviously then, the traditionalist interpretation of this passage is as vacuous as it is illogical.
By Steve Rudd
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