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St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome
Ignatius Insigiht.com ^ | not given | Stephen K. Ray

Posted on 04/18/2010 6:47:04 PM PDT by Salvation



St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome | Stephen K. Ray | From Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church


There is little in the history of the Church that has been more heatedly contested than the primacy of Peter and the See of Rome. History is replete with examples of authority spurned, and the history of the Church is no different. As we proceed with this overview of history, we will allow the Scriptures, the voice of the
apostles, and the testimony of the early centuries of the Christian community to speak for themselves. In many quarters, over the last few centuries, the din of opposition and uninformed dissent has drowned out the voices of these ancient witnesses. Novel ideas, like a voracious flood, have tried to erode the foundations and the clear historical precedents provided by the Holy Spirit's work in the primitive Church.

History has a clear and distinct voice, but it does not force itself upon us uninvited. History is prudent and waits quietly to be discovered. Conversely, the ingenious inventions of recent theologians and innovators are loud and demanding, bursting upon our ears and minds, our lives and hearts, demanding our immediate attention and loyalties. The riches of history fall quietly aside as the prattling innovators blast their trumpets and loudly parade their followers through new streets, trampling the knowledge of the ages under their cumulative feet.

Here we will allow the voices of the past to speak again--for themselves. And what the reader will find is that the utterances of the past still resound with one voice, with clarity and force. To study those who have gone before us, following in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus, his apostles, and our Fathers in the faith is to lose interest in much of the clamor of modern notions. We find these theological innovations and ecclesiastical groups poorly devised, if not disingenuous. This is what John Henry Newman, a Protestant clergyman at the time, found as he studied the primitive Church. He concluded: "To be deep in history is to cease being a Protestant." [1] As the Protestant churches continue to fragment and lose the fervor and orthodoxy of their past reform efforts, many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are looking to the past to hear what the early Fathers have to say today. They are beginning to listen to the unobtrusive voice of the early Church, and they are finding it is quite different from what they have been taught. Reading the writings of the early Church allows us to tap into the very heartbeat of the apostolic teaching and tradition of the primitive Church--the very Church bequeathed to us by the apostles.

Sometimes silence is more eloquent than words. This is especially true in Church history. We hear so much about what the Fathers say and so little about what they do not say. This is revealing and should play a significant role in our research. William Webster has written a book that we will refer to several times in our study. Webster is an ex-Catholic who decided to abandon the Church and cast his lot with the Fundamentalist Protestants. His book is entitled Peter and the Rock and asserts that, as the blurb on the back of the book says, "The contemporary Roman Catholic interpretation [of Peter and the rock] had no place in the biblical understanding of the early church doctors." To ascertain whether or not such an assertion is true is one of the main goals of this book. But along with what the Fathers say, we need to hear their silence as well.

While reading Webster's book, I noticed, along with his selective use of the Fathers in attempting to discredit the Catholic Church's teaching on the Papacy, that there are no citations "revealed" in his book in which a Christian, especially a Church Father, explicitly denies the Petrine primacy or the Petrine succession. Webster collects a large number of passages that are supposed to prove that the Fathers oppose Catholic teaching, yet never is there a flat-out denial of the Petrine primacy or the primacy of Rome. This is a silence that speaks volumes! We may find differing interpretations of Peter's primacy, which is what we should expect, according to John Henry Newman, yet we find no denial of that primacy.

I wrote to William Webster and asked him if he knew of any Church Father who denied the primacy of Peter or of his successors. Mr. Webster's response was very telling, and I wish he had been forthright about this matter in his book. His return E-mail stated, "No father denies that Peter had a primacy or that there is a Petrine succession. The issue is how the fathers interpreted those concepts. They simply did not hold to the Roman Catholic view of later centuries that primacy and succession were 'exclusively' related to the bishops of Rome." [2] What an extraordinary admission; what an extraordinary truth. Many of the Fathers were in theological or disciplinary disagreement with Rome (for example, Cyprian and Irenaeus), yet they never denied Rome's primacy. They may have debated what that primacy meant, or how it was to work out in the universal Church, but they never denied the primacy.

The quickest way to achieve jurisdictional or doctrinal victory is to subvert or disarm the opponent. In this case it would have been as simple as proving from the Bible or from tradition that Peter, and subsequently his successors in Rome, had no primacy, no authority to rule in the Church. Yet, as even Webster freely admits, this refutation never occurred. Irenaeus may challenge the appropriateness of a decision made by Victor, but he never challenges Victor's authority to make the binding decision. Cyprian may at times disagree with a decree of Stephen's on baptism, but he never rejects the special place of the Roman See, which would have been the easiest means of winning the debate. The bishop of Rome was unique in assuming the authority and obligation to oversee the Churches. Clement and Ignatius make this clear from the first century and the beginning of the second. If the authority exercised had been illegitimate, or wrongly arrogated, it would have been an act of overzealousness at one end of the spectrum, of tyranny at the other. Yet no one ever stood up and said, "No, you have no authority. Who are you to order us, to teach us, to require obedience from us, to excommunicate us?" If the jurisdictional primacy of Rome had been a matter of self-aggrandizement, someone would have opposed it as they opposed other innovations and heresies in the Church. The silence is profound.

As doctrines develop, as authority develops, as even a family or society develops, there is discussion relating to authority and its exercise. Amazingly enough, this is also true for the canon of the New Testament, which was not finally collected and codified for almost four hundred years after the death of Christ. Does the fact that there were various interpretations of what the New Testament was, or which books it contained--a discussion, by the way, that raised its head again in the teaching of Martin Luther--in any way prove that somehow the New Testament held by the Protestant is uncertain or in doubt because there were various applications or perceptions of that canon in the early years? The faithful Christian may have believed various things about the canon, but he never denied that the Scriptures held a special place. He may have clung to a different collection of books, yet he always understood that there were "apostolic" books. In the same way, early Fathers, especially Eastern Fathers, may have defined the primacy of Peter and the supremacy of his successors in nuanced ways, yet they never denied that the primacy or authority was attached to Peter and his See in Rome.

Authority has always been an object of distrust and, very often, defiance. The nation of Israel refused to hear authority: they rejected the authority of the prophets [3] and rejected their Messiah sent by the Father. [4] The apostles themselves were abused and rejected. [5] Should it surprise us that many in our present day reject and demean the unifying authority God has ordained in his Church? In the primitive Church, as we learn from St. Irenaeus, the greatest theologian of the second century, many groups splintered off from the apostolic Church and "assembled in unauthorized meetings". [6] Rejecting the Church and spurning her shepherd is nothing new to our day.

Christians of many traditions are currently espousing recent Protestant traditions and modern schisms; yet they all claim the early Church as their own--asserting that they are the rightful heirs to the teachings of our Lord, the apostles, and the Fathers of the apostolic Church. Are they? Do they have a legitimate claim to the theology of the early Church? Was the early Church essentially "Protestant" in her theology and polity, or was she Catholic?

Much of the distinctive character of the Church through the centuries has been based on the teaching concerning Peter and his place within the apostolic company and in the Church. Was he chosen for a special position? Did Jesus separate Peter out from the Twelve? Did Peter have authority over the body of Christ, the one sheepfold? Was the position of bishop carried on by his successors? How did the first generations of Christians relate to Peter? These are questions we will try to answer as we proceed with this study. 

Holy Scripture must be interpreted, since it is not laid out simply in the form of a Church manual or textbook. One principle of proper interpretation involves studying a topic or passage within its context, both the immediate context and the context of the whole Bible. If this is neglected or done poorly, a plethora of problems arises. Historical context must also be taken into account.

In studying Peter and the subject of primacy, it is especially important to consider who or what makes up the foundation of the Church. The many facets of the Church are like the multiple surfaces of a diamond glistening in the sunlight. These facets are written about from different angles, and the metaphors used--foundations, builders, stones, and so on--are as varied as the gem's surfaces. In grammar school we learn not to mix metaphors. Mixing metaphors makes clear communication difficult and can lead to misunderstandings. This confusion of context is especially pronounced in much of the Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestant understanding of the foundation of the Church. However, even George Salmon, no friend to Catholic teaching (in fact he has proven himself a hero to many opposed to the Catholic Church and wrote The Infallibility of the Church to undermine the teachings of the Catholic Church), understood the need to understand properly the metaphors used in Scripture. I provide an extended quotation from Salmon's book to lay the foundation (pun intended) for understanding the biblical and patristic references to Peter and the foundation of the Church.
It is undoubtedly the doctrine of Scripture that Christ is the only foundation [of the Church]: "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 3:11). Yet we must remember that the same metaphor may be used to illustrate different truths, and so, according to circumstances, may have different significations. The same Paul who has called Christ the only foundation, tells his Ephesian converts (2:20):--"Ye are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone." And in like manner we read (Rev 21:14) :--"The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb." How is it that there can be no other foundation but Christ, and yet that the Apostles are spoken of as foundations? Plainly because the metaphor is used with different applications. Christ alone is that foundation, from being joined to which the whole building of the Church derives its unity and stability, and gains strength to defy all the assaults of hell. But, in the same manner as any human institution is said to be founded by those men to whom it owes its origin, so we may call those men the foundation of the Church whom God honoured by using them as His instruments in the establishment of it; who were themselves laid as the first living stones in that holy temple, and on whom the other stones of that temple were laid; for it was on their testimony that others received the truth, so that our faith rests on theirs; and (humanly speaking) it is because they believed that we believe. So, again, in like manner, we are forbidden to call anyone on earth our Father, "for one is our Father which is in heaven." And yet, in another sense, Paul did not scruple to call himself the spiritual father of those whom he had begotten in the Gospel. You see, then, that the fact that Christ is called the rock, and that on Him the Church is built, is no hindrance to Peter's also being, in a different sense, called rock, and being said to be the foundation of the Church; so that I consider there is no ground for the fear entertained by some, in ancient and in modern times, that, by applying the words personally to Peter, we should infringe on the honour due to Christ alone. [7]

Our current study comprises four interrelated topics. The first two sections examine the life and ministry of the Apostle Peter from biblical and historical sources. The last two sections examine the continuing authority of Peter through the centuries, carried on through apostolic succession and the primacy of Rome. We divide the study in this way:

1. The Life and Ministry of Peter
A. Biblical study: Peter the man, the apostle, the rock: What is his place in the teachings of Jesus and in the New Testament?

B. Historical study: Did Peter travel to Rome, oversee the Church as bishop, and die a martyr's death in the city of Rome?
2. The Primacy of Peter in the Early Church
A. Earliest document study: The primacy of Rome in the earliest non-canonical writings of the Church, authored by Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.

B. Early Church study: Peter and the primacy of Rome taught and practiced throughout the first five centuries.
Certainly, it is not possible to compile every passage from the Fathers that pertains to the study of Peter and the primacy. This is true, first of all, because such passages are too abundant and, secondly, because many times the primacy is not demonstrated by written teachings per se, but by the actions of the Fathers in particular historical situations. Some Fathers write of the Petrine primacy and later change their stance as they move away from orthodoxy or from a literal understanding of Scripture or when they enter into a personal conflict with the bishop of Rome. Lately, several books have come out that are hostile to the Catholic Church's teaching on papal primacy (we will discuss these books in the course of our study). A perusal of these books shows that their inability to deal fairly with the issue stems from their tendency to "proof-text", by which they point out things that seem to support their contentions and ignore everything that does not.

Another reason these opponents find it difficult to comprehend the Papacy is a perspective, inherited from the Protestant Reformation, that is essentially anti-sacramental, anti-mediational, and anti-incarnational. God's economy, however, always involves mediation. The people of God, for example, stepped back and demanded that God not speak to them directly, for they were afraid and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die" (Ex 20:19). Take another example--Paul. God could very well have "saved" him directly, but instead the great Paul was sent to the lowly Ananias for baptism and instructions. Paul later went to Peter for approval and to make sure he "was not running in vain", even though he had received revelations and had even been taken up to the "third heaven" (2 Cor 12:2). No Christian baptizes himself; this is done though the mediating agency of another person. Without an understanding of how God works through mediation, it is difficult to understand the fullness of the faith. [8]

It would take volumes to deal thoroughly with every biblical passage, every Father's writings, and every argument against the Papacy. However, we will provide ample material to establish the firm foundation of Catholic teaching and to refute the opposition. In the process we will attempt to be fair with the material, analyzing not only the Catholic position but the interpretation espoused by the opposition. Much can be said about each of these topics and detailed accounts can be read from other sources listed in the bibliography.

In our journey through the Scriptures and the primitive Church, we will consult our first brethren in Christ. We will conclude by looking at the current teaching of the Catholic Church as well as the widespread opposition. Now let us journey back in time to the New Testament period and the generations that followed in the footsteps and the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.

ENDNOTES:

[1] John Henry Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, in Conscience, Consensus, and the Development of Doctrine (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 50.

[2] E-mail from William Webster dated August 16, 1997.

[3] Mt 23:37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!"

[4] Jn 1:10-11: "He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not."

[5] Paul says in 2 Timothy 1: 15, "You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, and among them Phygelus and Hermogenes." The Apostle John writes in 1 John 2:19, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us."

[6] "Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops" (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3, 3, 2, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, rev. A. Cleveland Coxe [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1985], 1:415 [hereafter ANF]).

[7] George Salmon, The Infallibility of the Church (London: John Murray, 1914), 338-39.

[8] The objection will arise, "But we have only 'one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus'" (1 Tim 2:5). To this the Catholic offers a hearty Amen! Yet we see, not four verses earlier, Paul commanding Timothy to pray for all men--to intercede (from the Latin intercedere, to intervene or go between, to mediate). Yes, Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, for such a unique covenant takes a unique mediator (Heb 8:6). But do we assume that, because Christ is the mediator of a better covenant, there is no longer any mediation in the Church? Prayer is mediation. We are mediating God's message to a sinful world when we preach the gospel. No finite human being can mediate an eternal covenant between God and man, but a pastor can certainly mediate God's word, and a simple soul can certainly intercede for the mighty. Mediation is alive and well as we enter into the New Covenant and participate in the mediating work of Christ.







TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; petrineprimacy; popes
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Stephen K. Ray was raised in a devout, loving Baptist family. His father was a deacon and Bible teacher and Stephen was very involved in the Baptist Church as a teacher of Biblical studies and lectured on a wide range of topics. Steve and his wife Janet entered the Catholic Church in 1994. In addition to running a family business, Steve spends time researching, writing, and teaching about the Catholic Faith. He is the author of Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church, Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church, and St. John's Gospel: A Bible Study and Commentary. He is currently producing a 10-video series for Ignatius Press called The Footprints of God: The Story of Salvation From Abraham to Augustine, filmed on location in the Holy Land. His website is www.catholic-convert.com.

1 posted on 04/18/2010 6:47:04 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation

thanks Salvation!


2 posted on 04/18/2010 6:50:27 PM PDT by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...

**The quickest way to achieve jurisdictional or doctrinal victory is to subvert or disarm the opponent. In this case it would have been as simple as proving from the Bible or from tradition that Peter, and subsequently his successors in Rome, had no primacy, no authority to rule in the Church. Yet, as even Webster freely admits, this refutation never occurred.**

Comments, anyone?


3 posted on 04/18/2010 6:50:58 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: GOP Poet

Most welcome!


4 posted on 04/18/2010 6:53:35 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome
SAINT PETER'S CHAINS (44 A.D.)
Heart of the Church (St. Peter in Words and Stone)
A Saint for the Rest of Us
On This Rock

WAS ST. PETER IN ROME?
St. Peter and Rome
Did the Apostle Peter Ever Visit Rome?
Occasionally Naive and Fearful, Yet Honest and Capable of Repentance (Profile of St. Peter)
Saint Peter As Seen by His Successor (extraordinary document from B16 on his preaching and papacy)
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
Peter, Witness of the Resurrection (Papal preparations for Easter 2006)
The Fraternal Society of St. Peter on EWTN
Saint Peter and the Vatican, the Legacy of the Popes
Saint Peter and The Vatican - Legacy of the Popes

5 posted on 04/18/2010 6:56:46 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Due to the exigencies and contingencies precipitated by the climatic failure of roughly 531-544 (Mt. Hekla, among other things, blew up big time and spewed fluorine gas everywhere it could), the Irish church ended up fairly isolated from Rome for a very long time.

Eventually as the Irish began re~Christianizing Europe from the West, and Rome began re-Christianizing Europe from the South, there was a conflict.

Some imagine that Rome won. I think it's worth a thorough examination to see if that was really true ~ once that's completely established or discredited, then we might get into this business of a Catholic/Protestant conflict ~ which isn't as big as Catholics imagine it to be.

6 posted on 04/18/2010 7:02:46 PM PDT by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah

>>~ which isn’t as big as Catholics imagine it to be. <<

Yeah, we’re always told that on FR Religion forum before we are called a multitude of names.


7 posted on 04/18/2010 7:08:17 PM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: netmilsmom
Names are just names. Can you imagine what it was like way back in the day when Rene d'Anjou woke up and discovered his grandsons had precipitated THE RELIGIOUS WARS?

Like, my goodness ~ fellow had close blood relatives on BOTH sides ~ killing each other even!

Names are good ~ they let people vent ~ and they are much better than killings.

8 posted on 04/18/2010 7:12:18 PM PDT by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah

>>Names are good<<

Says the one not being called names.
Seriously, name calling is not for adults.


9 posted on 04/18/2010 7:15:46 PM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: muawiyah; netmilsmom

Oh, right, I get it. We Catholic FReepers should be grateful that the anti-Catholic bigot FReepers are just calling us names, instead of killing us.

Okaaaaayy..


10 posted on 04/18/2010 7:24:03 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Judith Anne
And vice versa.

The "Religious Wars" (owned, operated, organized and started by my relatives in Late Medieval France) ended with the Edict of Nantes which established ~ for probably the first time in human history ~ with a mandate for religious toleration.

They decided it was better to call each other names than to burn out towns, cities, farm fields, orchards, shipyards, and all sorts of things.

There followed a fairly decent period of time. Then came the Thirty Years War. It had a religious element in it. That ended with the Peace of Westphalia.

The modern "nation state" arose out of the standards established in that series of treaties. At the same time both Protestants and Catholics were strongly encouraged by all the parties and powers in Europe to buck up and take it like a man when somebody called names ~ and that's been pretty much the way it's been ever since.

I think it's a great idea, and I'm sure that a few weeks of the alternative you'd agree too!

BTW, the Orthodox didn't sign on not having been part of the altercation! And neither did the Moslems. This is instructive ~ our worst ideological conflicts since the end of WWII have involved the Russians (Orthodox) and now Islamofascism (certainly Moslem influenced).

Neither party in those conflicts pursued resolution after the manner imagined in the Peace of Westphalia.

Probably time to get those people signed on.

11 posted on 04/18/2010 7:39:07 PM PDT by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: netmilsmom
NOTE: I don't get called names?

Hmmm. Let me see if I can get the rules changed eh!

12 posted on 04/18/2010 7:41:53 PM PDT by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: muawiyah; netmilsmom; Judith Anne

**I don’t get called names?**

Then you haven’t been on FR for very long.


13 posted on 04/18/2010 7:49:39 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Seems to me that Paul didn’t entirely respect Peter’s views.

May we find our lineage in Christ, not Peter. May we find our home in heaven, not Rome. May we promote Jesus, and not our particular denomination.

Yes, Roman Catholicism is one of the branches of faith whose root finds itself in Christ. Personally, I am grateful for the “remnant” that has continued through the root of Christ, separate from the heresies that emerged over centuries in the dominant denomination.

Again, I please with all who find their home in Rome: Let us promote Christ. May He increase, and our denominational preferences decrease. Let us think how we can spur one another on to deeper faith in Christ, rather than look for ways to slam the way others follow Him.

If you are a Christ-follower, you will meet me in heaven. He has welcomed me as a member of His family; please, consider me a full member of the family of God as well, a full participant in His church: the full body of those who follow Him. Don’t demean my faith in Jesus because I’m not a member of your particular denomination, your particular branch from the root of Jesus.


14 posted on 04/18/2010 7:57:07 PM PDT by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: muawiyah; Judith Anne; Salvation; NYer

>>NOTE: I don’t get called names?<<

Are you Catholic or LDS?
Those are the FReepers I see getting it.

Honestly, in this day and age, with the huge battle we have raging against us, I find it childish and unproductive.


15 posted on 04/18/2010 7:59:23 PM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: Salvation
The truth is that there is nothing in the Scriptures that support the monarchical episcopacy of the Roman Catholic Church. For instance, you cannot find anything in the Apostolic fathers that even mentions the papacy. Even the Scriptural passages used talks about the church being built upon the foundation of the apostles, not apostle. All the apostles shared equally in the Holy Ministry of Christ, not just Peter. In Acts, Peter has to defend himself in the Council of Jerusalem, and he is even rebuked by Paul at Galatia. There is nothing in the Scriptures or the early church that supports papal claims.
16 posted on 04/18/2010 8:01:47 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: muawiyah; Judith Anne

How about 2010?
Let’s let bygones be bygones and talk about today on FR.

I just got off a doozy of a thread where some FReeper called me every name in the book because I didn’t agree with her that Jesus was the same person as an infant as He was when He was on the cross and that calling ones mother “woman” can be a sign of respect (as we Poles call our mothers Baba).

She even told me that Baba means crone. Nice.


17 posted on 04/18/2010 8:03:40 PM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: Nosterrex

“Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

Ring a bell? Matthew 16:18?


18 posted on 04/18/2010 8:06:33 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Theo

Maybe you didn’t read the article above?

**The same Paul who has called Christ the only foundation, tells his Ephesian converts (2:20):—”Ye are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” And in like manner we read (Rev 21:14) :—”The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.” **


19 posted on 04/18/2010 8:11:02 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Theo
I agree.

Thank you

20 posted on 04/18/2010 8:12:51 PM PDT by BARLF
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To: Nosterrex

Scripture

**The same Paul who has called Christ the only foundation, tells his Ephesian converts (2:20):—”Ye are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” **


21 posted on 04/18/2010 8:13:20 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Nosterrex; Theo

From the author — a former Baptist, BTW.

**Paul did not scruple to call himself the spiritual father of those whom he had begotten in the Gospel. You see, then, that the fact that Christ is called the rock, and that on Him the Church is built, is no hindrance to Peter’s also being, in a different sense, called rock, and being said to be the foundation of the Church; so that I consider there is no ground for the fear entertained by some, in ancient and in modern times, that, by applying the words personally to Peter, we should infringe on the honour due to Christ alone. [7]**


22 posted on 04/18/2010 8:16:06 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: muawiyah; Judith Anne; netmilsmom; Theo; Nosterrex
Scriptural Basis on The Primacy of Peter

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen." - Matthew 28:18-20

"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some [say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 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. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." - Matthew 16:13-20

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you." - John 16:13-14

"So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." - John 21:15-17

"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


23 posted on 04/18/2010 8:27:38 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Of course I believe Scripture. Of course I claim the Apostles as my forefathers. But my home is not in Rome; it’s in heaven. Christ is supreme, my Savior, my Lord, my Counselor, my comfort.

Rome is irrelevant. It’s all about Christ, and the faith he promoted through His close friends, the Apostles.


24 posted on 04/18/2010 8:36:37 PM PDT by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Salvation

Yes, of course Peter was an important Apostle. Through Peter many were — and are — blessed.

But my foundation is Christ. Not Rome.


25 posted on 04/18/2010 8:37:43 PM PDT by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Theo

Please read #22 again. Paul didn’t scruple with that and neither do Catholics.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2495772/posts?page=22#22


26 posted on 04/18/2010 8:39:47 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Judith Anne

The “rock” was Christ according to what Peter wrote. (1 Peter chapter 2) and those he wrote to were “living stones”.


27 posted on 04/18/2010 8:40:21 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

See post 22.


28 posted on 04/18/2010 8:52:56 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Nosterrex

The pope is not a monarch.


29 posted on 04/18/2010 9:05:31 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: Nosterrex

I doubt if you’ll receive a substantive answer to your challenge about the primacy of Peter, just recycled verses viewed with the Roman Catholic interpretations and according to their “later” traditions. The reason the Roman Catholic views are not refuted in the church fathers is because they did not exist. People don’t usually attack/refute non-existent doctrines/teachings.

Though Peter shared a testimony of God choosing the Gentiles in Acts 15, it was James (Jesus’ half brother) who was the leader of the Jerusalem church and made the decision for the council in verses 19 and 20, which was supported and sent forth as the decision of “The apostles and elders and brethren” in verse 23.

Actually, at a later date Paul had to rebuke Peter for hypocrisy because his behavior was influenced by concern over James’ opinion rather that the “truth” of the gospel, pointing out the lack of primacy in Peter’s relationship with both James and Paul (Galatians 2).


30 posted on 04/18/2010 9:05:40 PM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Theo

Mine, too, and the pope’s.


31 posted on 04/18/2010 9:07:28 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: srweaver
**Actually, at a later date Paul had to rebuke Peter for hypocrisy because his behavior was influenced by concern over James’ opinion rather that the “truth” of the gospel, pointing out the lack of primacy in Peter’s relationship with both James and Paul (Galatians 2).**

You might want to read the footnotes with this.................some interesting material there, that YOPIOS is considering.  YOPIOS=Your Own Personal Interpretation of Scripture.......
Galatians
Chapter 2
1
1 2 Then after fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.
2
I went up in accord with a revelation, 3 and I presented to them the gospel that I preach to the Gentiles--but privately to those of repute--so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain.
3
Moreover, not even 4 Titus, who was with me, although he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised,
4
but because of the false brothers 5 secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, that they might enslave us--
5
to them we did not submit even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel 6 might remain intact for you.
6
But from those who were reputed to be important (what they once were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--those of repute made me add nothing.
7
7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter to the circumcised,
8
for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised worked also in me for the Gentiles,
9
and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Cephas and John, 8 who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
10
Only, we were to be mindful of the poor, 9 which is the very thing I was eager to do.
11
10 11 And when Kephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.
12
For, until some people came from James, 12 he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcised.
13
And the rest of the Jews 13 (also) acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.
14
But when I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Kephas in front of all, "If you, though a Jew, are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?" 14
15
15 We, who are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles,
16
(yet) who know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 16
17
But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? 17 Of course not!
18
But if I am building up again those things that I tore down, then I show myself to be a transgressor. 18
19
For through the law I died to the law, 19 that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ;
20
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.
21
I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Table of Contents Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Footnotes

1 [1-10] Paul's second journey to Jerusalem, according to Galatians, involved a private meeting with those of repute (Gal 2:2). At issue was a Gentile, Titus, and the question of circumcision, which false brothers (Gal 2:4) evidently demanded for him. Paul insists that the gospel he preaches (Gal 2:2; cf Gal 1:9, 11) remained intact with no addition by those of repute (Gal 2:6); that Titus was not compelled to accept circumcision (Gal 2:3); and that he and the reputed pillars in Jerusalem agreed on how each would advance the missionary task (Gal 1:7-10). Usually, Gal 1:1-10 is equated with the "Council of Jerusalem," as it is called, described in Acts 15. See the notes on Acts 15:6-12, 13-35, the latter concerning the "decree" that Paul does not mention.

2 [1] After fourteen years: thirteen or more years, probably reckoned from the return to Syria and Cilicia (Gal 1:21), though possibly from Paul's calling as a Christian (Gal 1:15). Barnabas: cf Gal 2:9, 13; 1 Cor 9:6. A Jewish Christian missionary, with whom Paul worked (Acts 4:36-37; 11:22, 25, 30; 12:25; 13:1-3; 15:2). Titus: a missionary companion of Paul (2 Cor 2:13; 7:6, 13-15; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18), non-Jewish (Gal 2:3), never mentioned in Acts.

3 [2] A revelation: cf Gal 1:1, 12. Paul emphasizes it was God's will, not Jerusalem authority, that led to the journey. Acts 15:2 states that the church in Antioch appointed Paul and Barnabas for the task. Those of repute: leaders of the Jerusalem church; the term, while positive, may be slightly ironic (cf Gal 1:6, 9). Run, in vain: while Paul presents a positive picture in what follows, his missionary work in Galatia would have been to no purpose if his opponents were correct that circumcision is needed for complete faith in Christ.

4 [3] Not even a Gentile Christian like Titus was compelled to receive the rite of circumcision. The Greek text could be interpreted that he voluntarily accepted circumcision, but this is unlikely in the overall argument.

5 [4] False brothers: Jewish Christians who took the position that Gentile Christians must first become Jews through circumcision and observance of the Mosaic law in order to become Christians; cf Acts 15:1.

6 [5] The truth of the gospel: the true gospel, in contrast to the false one of the opponents (Gal 1:6-9); the gospel of grace, used as a norm (Gal 2:14).

7 [7-9] Some think that actual "minutes" of the meeting are here quoted. Paul's apostleship to the Gentiles (Gal 1:16) is recognized alongside that of Peter to the Jews. Moreover, the right to proclaim the gospel without requiring circumcision and the Jewish law is sealed by a handshake. That Paul and colleagues should go to the Gentiles did not exclude his preaching to the Jews as well (Romans 1:13-16) or Cephas to Gentile areas.

8 [9] James and Cephas and John: see the notes on Gal 1:18, 19; on Peter and John as leaders in the Jerusalem church, cf Acts 3:1 and Acts 8:14. The order here, with James first, may reflect his prominence in Jerusalem after Peter (Kephas) departed (Acts 12:17).

9 [10] The poor: Jerusalem Christians or a group within the church there (cf Romans 15:26). The collection for them was extremely important in Paul's thought and labor (cf Romans 15:25-28; 1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8-9).

10 [11-14] The decision reached in Jerusalem (Gal 2:3-7) recognized the freedom of Gentile Christians from the Jewish law. But the problem of table fellowship between Jewish Christians, who possibly still kept kosher food regulations, and Gentile believers was not yet settled. When Cephas first came to the racially mixed community of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Antioch (Gal 2:12), he ate with non-Jews. Pressure from persons arriving later from Jerusalem caused him and Barnabas to draw back. Paul therefore publicly rebuked Peter's inconsistency toward the gospel (Gal 2:14). Some think that what Paul said on that occasion extends through Gal 2:16, 21.

11 [11] Clearly was wrong: literally, "stood condemned," by himself and also by Paul. His action in breaking table fellowship was especially grievous if the eating involved the meal at the Lord's supper (cf 1 Cor 11:17-25).

12 [12] Some people came from James: strict Jewish Christians (cf Acts 15:1, 5; 21:20-21), either sent by James (Gal 1:19; 2:9) or claiming to be from the leader of the Jerusalem church. The circumcised: presumably Jewish Christians, not Jews.

13 [13] The Jews: Jewish Christians, like Barnabas. Hypocrisy: literally, "pretense," "play-acting"; moral insincerity.

14 [14] Compel the Gentiles to live like Jews: that is, conform to Jewish practices, such as circumcision (Gal 2:3-5) or regulations about food (Gal 2:12).

15 [15-21] Following on the series of incidents cited above, Paul's argument, whether spoken to Cephas at Antioch or only now articulated, is pertinent to the Galatian situation, where believers were having themselves circumcised (Gal 6:12-13) and obeying other aspects of Jewish law (Gal 4:9-10; 5:1-4). He insists that salvation is by faith in Christ, not by works of the law. His teaching on the gospel concerns justification by faith (Gal 2:16) in relation to sin (Gal 2:17), law (Gal 2:19), life in Christ (Gal 2:19-20), and grace (Gal 2:21).

16 [16] No one will be justified: Psalm 143:2 is reflected.

17 [17] A minister of sin: literally, "a servant of sin" (cf Romans 15:8), an agent of sin, one who promotes it. This is possibly a claim by opponents that justification on the basis of faith in Christ makes Christ an abettor of sin when Christians are found to be sinners. Paul denies the conclusion (cf Romans 6:1-4).

18 [18] To return to observance of the law as the means to salvation would entangle one not only in inevitable transgressions of it but also in the admission that it was wrong to have abandoned the law in the first place.

19 [19] Through the law I died to the law: this is variously explained: the law revealed sin (Romans 7:7-9) and led to death and then to belief in Christ; or, the law itself brought the insight that law cannot justify (Gal 2:16; Psalm 143:2); or, the "law of Christ" (Gal 6:2) led to abandoning the Mosaic law; or, the law put Christ to death (cf Gal 3:13) and so provided a way to our salvation, through baptism into Christ, through which we die (crucified with Christ; see Romans 6:6). Cf also Gal 3:19-25 on the role of the law in reference to salvation.


32 posted on 04/18/2010 9:13:06 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Did you have a point you wanted to make?


33 posted on 04/18/2010 9:32:31 PM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: srweaver
Yes, you didn't read my introductory sentence to the chapter did you? LOL!

You might want to read the footnotes with this.................some interesting material there, that YOPIOS is considering.  YOPIOS=Your Own Personal Interpretation of Scripture.......

34 posted on 04/18/2010 9:34:19 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Forgive my density, but I assume you mean my first post is “my own personal interpretation of Scripture” (if so, I got that part).

If that is not correct, please clarify.

My question to you, is did you want to make a point from the text/footnotes you posted? If you are accepting the “Catholic footnotes” from the NAB (a Catholic translation) as the word of God, you are just making the point of my post.

If you wanted to “focus” on some of the material in the text/footnotes for discussion that would be helpful.


35 posted on 04/18/2010 9:45:14 PM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Theo

Facts are facts. You might not like them, or find them unpalatable, but they are still there.

I was a protestant but I jumped over when I realised I was wrong about the facts of the early church.

I realise that others disagree and that is fine with me. You don’t have to answer to me, you answer to God himself.


36 posted on 04/18/2010 9:49:20 PM PDT by BenKenobi ("we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be")
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To: BenKenobi

“The reason the Roman Catholic views are not refuted in the church fathers is because they did not exist.”

Actually, they affirm the view that Peter was primary. Scripture does too, as Christ’s words are issued not to Paul, James, John or any of the other disciples.

“Blessed are you, Simon Peter, for this was not revealed to you by men, but by your Father in Heaven.”


37 posted on 04/18/2010 9:51:51 PM PDT by BenKenobi ("we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be")
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To: Salvation; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

**The quickest way to achieve jurisdictional or doctrinal victory is to subvert or disarm the opponent. In this case it would have been as simple as proving from the Bible or from tradition that Peter, and subsequently his successors in Rome, had no primacy, no authority to rule in the Church. Yet, as even Webster freely admits, this refutation never occurred.**

Comments, anyone?


38 posted on 04/18/2010 9:59:32 PM PDT by narses (Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.)
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To: BenKenobi

You’re free to follow Christ as you see fit.

I answer to God this way: Christ is my Savior. If you find fault with that, I don’t care. You are fine to look to Rome for your salvation. Christ is my Savior, and I am eternally grateful to Him.

As I’ve said before, I don’t have a problem with Roman Catholics, as long as they promote Christ. But once they start promoting their denomination over Christ — that’s where I have the problem. If you magnify Jesus Christ, as a Roman Catholic believer, that’s wonderful. If you diminish my faith in Jesus because I follow Him, or diminish Jesus by exalting Rome, then that’s problematic.


39 posted on 04/18/2010 10:26:34 PM PDT by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Salvation

FWIW, I consider myself “Catholic.” I’m a member of the Church Universal. But I am not a “Roman Catholic.” I am a member of the Church that Christ founded, and which He considers His Bride. I consider Heaven my home; I do not consider Rome my home, though I have personally visited it and think it’s pretty, and has a long history.

“Salvation” — please, for God’s sake, exalt Jesus. Let your denomination diminish, and Jesus increase. For God’s sake put to death your pride and promote Jesus above all.


40 posted on 04/18/2010 10:29:29 PM PDT by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Nosterrex

Nor is there any record of Peter ever being in Rome. It was Paul who preached to the Romans. Anyone can twist scriptures to make them fit a particular teaching.

Your post was spot on!


41 posted on 04/18/2010 10:43:56 PM PDT by Catsrus (Have)
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To: Judith Anne

I saw #22, thanks. Point?


42 posted on 04/19/2010 12:11:44 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

Well, posts 22 and 23 directly address your post. Is that obscure to you?


43 posted on 04/19/2010 12:21:20 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Judith Anne
Neither is obscure and neither establishes a primacy over the other apostles for Peter.
Paul said the apostles and prophets were foundation stones with Christ as the cornerstone. Peter was one of those foundation stones that the church was built upon. (Eph. 2:20)
44 posted on 04/19/2010 1:11:20 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Theo

You keep referring to Roman Catholicism as a denomination as though it were one of the 25,000 Protestant factions. No. We are the trunk of the tree, not simply a branch. We are the tree from which “denominations” took root. You use the Bible we codified. You mimic our liturgy and follow our calendar. You set up authority in episcopate structures with the seat of power in Canterbury or Billy Graham or your local pastor in recognition of the need for such an authority.

We are over a billion strong and growing. The Eastern Orthodox, who are far more like-minded to us Catholics than to Protestant theology, are another half billion. The Protestant world is approx 300 million total... and yet each denomination looks to its Mother Church and tells Her to conform... hubris!


45 posted on 04/19/2010 4:38:50 AM PDT by pgyanke (You have no "rights" that require an involuntary burden on another person. Period. - MrB)
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To: pgyanke
..25,000 Protestant factions...

Source?

46 posted on 04/19/2010 5:17:14 AM PDT by Diamond (He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people,)
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To: Diamond

I’ve heard greater numbers referenced before but I try to be generous when I don’t have the exact numbers at my fingertips. Due to your challenge, I did a little research to find a good source. You are correct... I was wrong...

According to World Christian Encyclopedia, there are over 33,000 denominations in 238 countries having increased in number from 8,196 in 1970.


47 posted on 04/19/2010 5:31:18 AM PDT by pgyanke (You have no "rights" that require an involuntary burden on another person. Period. - MrB)
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To: pgyanke

Just because the Roman Catholic church likes to jump in front of God’s parade and claim to be its originator/organizer/sustainer does not make it so. Even if the RCC currently has the “biggest” float in the parade, it does not mean it is the best, not that its adherents are all actually “believers” (true of all Christian sects).

Silly me, I though Jesus was the vine, and we are the branches (John 15:5). I didn’t realize there was the “trunk” of a “tree” between the vine and His branches.

In actuality, the only true church that really exists is comprised of the “branches” that abide in the vine, regardless of what “other” label or “communion” they associate themselves with.


48 posted on 04/19/2010 6:47:11 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Salvation

You quoted:
I wrote to William Webster and asked him if he knew of any Church Father who denied the primacy of Peter or of his successors. Mr. Webster’s response was very telling, and I wish he had been forthright about this matter in his book. His return E-mail stated, “No father denies that Peter had a primacy or that there is a Petrine succession. The issue is how the fathers interpreted those concepts. They simply did not hold to the Roman Catholic view of later centuries that primacy and succession were ‘exclusively’ related to the bishops of Rome.” [2] What an extraordinary admission; what an extraordinary truth. Many of the Fathers were in theological or disciplinary disagreement with Rome (for example, Cyprian and Irenaeus), yet they never denied Rome’s primacy. They may have debated what that primacy meant, or how it was to work out in the universal Church, but they never denied the primacy.

Did they deny the primacy of Paul, or James, or John?

Did they reject the superiority of Jerusalem, or Corinth, or Antioch?

Perhaps their silence is related to the non-issue of these matters in their day.


49 posted on 04/19/2010 6:54:13 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: srweaver
Silly you, indeed. You ridicule what you don't understand. I prefer open dialogue with my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is my watchword in these matters:

Mark 9:38 John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us." 39 But Jesus said, "Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 "For he who is not against us is for us. 41 "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.

I am content to let Jesus be the Shepherd of His flock. There is a communion based on the leadership and succession of the Apostles that is called the Roman Catholic Church (or simply "the Church" to those who belong). That does not mean that Christ has no other friends in this world... and the same goes for us. Anyone who professes the Name of Jesus is my friend and I will share the truth of our Faith in charity but leave it to Jesus to sort His Flock when the time comes.

50 posted on 04/19/2010 7:34:42 AM PDT by pgyanke (You have no "rights" that require an involuntary burden on another person. Period. - MrB)
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