Sunday, July 9, 2017

25 Reasons Peter Was Not the First Pope

by Wretched Radio

While Hillsong, Bethel, and Louie Giglio are giving a full frontal embrace to Roman Catholicism, Biblical Protestants remember that there was a Reformation for a reason. One of those reasons was the audacious claim that Peter was the first of an ongoing succession of Popes. He was not.

The Roman Catholic Church sites Matthew 16:18 as their proof text: “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.” Was Jesus really installing the new “Vicar of Christ?” Here are 25 reasons he was not.
  1. Jesus was not installing Peter; He was speaking of Himself. Jesus was clearly referring to Peter’s confession that Christ is the Son of the Living God. The Greek language makes this crystal clear. The Greek word for Peter (little stone) is petros, which is in the masculine gender. The Greek word Jesus used for rock (a big boulder) is petra, which is in the feminine gender. Jesus identified Peter’s confession, not Peter, as the foundation of the church. This was nothing more than a play on words. To transliterate: “You are a little stone, and on your big boulder of a confession, I will build my church.”
  2. If Jesus intended to install Peter as the foundation of the church, a more clear and natural phrasing would have been: “You are Peter, and on you will I build My Church.”
  3. Jesus disrespects the new Pope just a few verses later when he calls the newly installed Vicar of Christ, “Satan” (Matthew 16: 21-23). In fact, he actually calls him a stumbling stone, not the cornerstone.
  4. The disciples didn’t think Peter was the Supreme Pontiff. In Matthew 18:1, the disciples asked Jesus, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Why would they ask if they just heard that Peter is the greatest in the kingdom? Notice Jesus doesn’t scold them: “ Who is the greatest? I just told you that Peter is the head of the church. Honor him.”
  5. Jesus describes the greatest in the kingdom, and it isn’t the peacock who holds the office of the papacy. The humble are the greatest in the kingdom, not a man who wears Prada slippers (Matthew 18:2). The greatest in the kingdom are the most humble, not the most pompous.
  6. There was that whole denying the Lord three times business (Matthew 26: 69-75). Not very papal of Peter.
  7. Paul publicly rebuked Pope Peter in Galatians 2: 11-14.
  8. Peter didn’t identify himself as the pope when he called himself a bondservant in II Peter 1: 1, and a fellow elder in I Peter 5:1.
  9. Peter shunned the idea of receiving attention and praise when he healed people in Acts 3: 12-13.
  10. Peter confessed that Jesus is the rock in I Peter 2: 6-7.
  11. Even IF Jesus were referring to Peter as the rock, what did Peter preach? The foundation of the church is the apostles’ teaching about the Christ, not the apostles themselves.
  12. Paul thought Jesus is the cornerstone, not Peter in Ephesians 2:19- 21.
  13. Paul made it clear AGAIN who the foundation is, in I Cor. 3:10- 11.
  14. The OT identified the rock as divine, not human (Deut. 32:4; 32:18; 2 Samuel 22:3; 23:3; Isaiah 17: 10; Habakkuk 1: 12; multiple Psalms.
  15. The early church honored the teaching of the apostles, but not the apostles themselves (Acts 2: 42).
  16. Silence testifies that Peter wasn’t a pope. If Jesus were alluding to the office of the Papacy, it is noteworthy we do not have any verses that describe, let alone define, such an office. Nor do you see a succession plan for an unbroken chain of popes.
  17. Paul defines two offices in church: elders, deacon, not pope or cardinal (I Timothy 3: 1-8; 9- 13). Notice Jesus doesn’t scold them: “Who is the greatest? I just told you that Peter is the head of the church. Honor him.”
  18. Jesus considered Himself the rock and His teachings the foundation of the church (Matt. 7: 24).
  19.  Old Testament prophets understood who the rock is (Isaiah 28:16).
  20. Jesus persistently condemned the work righteous system of the Pharisees, why would He replace it with another work righteous system?
  21. All reformers labeled the office of papacy “anti-Christ”.
  22. The Puritans believed the Papacy was anti-Christ.
  23. Consider the wicked theology that the papal system has concocted:
    • Indulgences
    • Mariology, elevating a sinful human to co-redemptrix
    • Praying to saints
    • Transubstantiation, summoning Jesus to an alter for a re-sacrifice
    • A salvation system of works
  24. The bloody and debauched history of the office of papacy is hardly something Jesus would endorse.
  25. The office of the Papacy robs God of His glory, which He will not give to another (Isaiah 42:8).
As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, let us remember (and teach our children) that there is no unity between Protestants and the Papists.