1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Why so many Christian denominations?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Surrealgurl, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Ratings:
    +4
    If Christianity is the "one true religion", how can there be so many different denominations, all disagreeing on a lot of different things, and at the same time each one believing they have the correct interpretation of the Bible?

    If everybody believes they're being guided by the Holy Spirit, how come they all don't agree on everything? I've heard Christians say "I never really understood the Bible until I got saved, then it all became very clear to me." If this were true, wouldn't there be one single Christian church?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    19,780
    Ratings:
    +1,925
    Good questions. I find it puzzling that not all Christian denominations recognize other denominations as Christian because they see themselves as the "one true church". I think it all comes down to wanting to believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. I think it is also a way of feeling and acting morally superior towards others who hold different beliefs, even within the Christian religion. Personally, to me it reeks of arrogance and self-rightousness, which is a major reason I left the Christian religion.
     
  3. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,380
    Ratings:
    +66
    exactly. blame the devil. the only thing they have in common is believing in Christ, and even there theres a lot of differences. i dont consider christianity as the worlds largest religion, just a bundle of contradictions.

    both hinduism and buddhism believe in buddha. does that make us one religion? no...
     
  4. EventHorizon997

    EventHorizon997 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Ratings:
    +1
    My theory as to why there are so many Christian denominations is based on a human desire for power. Within one sect of a religion (such as Christianity), there are only so many people who can hold top-level positions that have significant influence (political, religious, monetary, or otherwise.) Humans, having a natural tendency to want such influence, will obtain it by claiming that, in fact, they are truely correct, not the previous religious leader. In doing so they create for themselves a power position, justifying their authroity by claiming that they have the correct interpreation of the Bible or other religious text.
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +950
    I would have to agree...... the sin that separates us from God (as I believe) manifests itself into greed, arrogance and that desire for power (to be like a god)...... these traits are what destroys all elements of good in this world, the church included.
     
  6. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Ratings:
    +4
    I agree, it probably has something to do with power, but what about all the things they disagree on? Like the Pope, birth control, baptism, nature of Jesus and so on...

    And also, like Maize said, some denominations don't even consider certain other denominations to be true Christians. Each one of them thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong, and all believe they are being guided by the Holy Spirit.

    I assume most of these people mean well when asking the Holy Spirit for guidance, so I don't understand why there's so much confusion.
     
  7. Ronald

    Ronald Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,392
    Ratings:
    +50
    Just like the parlor game Gossip, the phrase given to the first guest is very rarely the phrase that come around.
     
  8. OfPeace

    OfPeace Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    If you left Christianity because of the organizations built on top of it, then you didn't, and probably still don't, know what Christianity is all about. Christianity is about The Man (Son of God), and His message is "love." You don't have to belong to any organization to understand Christianity. Jesus sets out simple guidelines for you to follow if you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Those simple guidelines touch the core of all humanity, and clarify what God wants from us. In addition, they are aligned with the Old Testament.

    Over the centuries, different Christian beliefs were oriented towards saints and sects sprouted out of that. Also, Christianity developed indigenous flavours. PICK AND CHOOSE. Does it really matter? We (humans) are not meant to understand God, only One understands Him. We will understand God in the next life. In the meantime, the trinity, etc. etc. are mostly icing on the cake. If they help us follow the directions of Jesus, that is a good thing.

    And your claims that "Each one of them thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong, and all believe they are being guided by the Holy Spirit" is nonsense. There are much more convoluted major religions than Christianity; at least Christians have the foundation to live in peace with each other and with others.

    EQUALITY IS WITH THE CHRISTIANS!
     
  9. trishtrish10

    trishtrish10 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    308
    Ratings:
    +1
    heretics have existed since the founding of the church. that's not unusual but it is convenient and abnormal
     
  10. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    13,001
    Ratings:
    +1,059
    The "grandest" heretical thought outlives all Gods

    -pah-
     
  11. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    19,780
    Ratings:
    +1,925
    Oh, I understand Christianity, and have come to terms with it, but I still want no part of the organized religion aspect of it. I find infinite wisdom in Jesus' simple teachings of love and compassion, but I do not buy into all the dogma that comes with Christianity, therefore most Christians, and even myself do not consider me Christian. That's OK, I don't need a label.

    Too bad so many Christians do not realize this. In my experience, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Eastern religions and philosophies are much more peaceful in action than the Christianity I've witnessed and experienced.

    I beg to differ, but that's another thread. :)
     
  12. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Ratings:
    +4
    OfPeace,

    What part of that do you think is nonsense? There are thousands of different denominations, and yes they do believe they are being guided by the Holy Spirit. They believe this because it says so in the Bible...

    The Holy Spirit teaches us;
    John 14:26 - But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

    The Holy Spirit guides us;
    John 16:13 - However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;

    The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes;
    1 Corinthians 2:10 - But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

    And what do you mean by "Christianity developed indigenous flavours"? A lot of them disagree on a lot of major things, not just saints. If all you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit about such things as the Pope, saints, baptism, birth control or whatever, then you should all come up with the same answers, shouldn't you?

    Also, how come you say "at least Christians have the foundation to live in peace with each other and with others"? Do you have any idea how atrocious Christianity's history is? What about the Crusades, witch hunting and burning, Catholics against Protestant wars, slavery approved by the church, and the prejudice against gays? I'm sure there's more. You call this peace?
     
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +950
    Surrealgurl,

    Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with most of OfPeace's post, but I do want to clarify a few things:

    That would be true if everyone on the planet was of the same mind and without sin.......... we aint even close! :(

    Well, I would have to agree with you that this is a ridiculous statement...... a very evangelical/fundamental Christian view.

    And now you have a ridiculous statement of your own.....
    NO ONE, in the history of the world ever said that their religion would make them perfect on this Earth.

    Your biased rant against Christians is not a slight against the religion, but evidence of what most of us believe: We are all sinners.
    History proves that in ALL races, religions, creeds, etc... there will be war, fighting, hunger, and sorrow....... that is why most of us turn to faith in a higher power.... to escape the mess of this world and find answers to the big questions in life....... these questions will NEVER be answered by looking at human nature.

    Peace,
    Scott
     
  14. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Ratings:
    +4
    Scott,

    I'm sorry if it seemed like I was picking on Christianity, but I was just trying to point out to OfPeace that Christianity's history is not all peaceful. I never said that ONLY Christianity had a violent history.

    When you say "That would be true if everyone on the planet was of the same mind and without sin.......... we aint even close!" , are you saying that some Christians only THINK that they are getting an answer from God but it's actually only in their MINDS, and that's why they come up with different answers? If so, then what's the point of asking for guidance if you're not going to get a straight answer?
     
  15. OfPeace

    OfPeace Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    The Holy Spirit is only a guide. Free will is still the rule in Christianity. No doubt flesh is influenced by greed, lust, and power. We don't always listen to the Holy Spirit, because sometimes we don't want to. That is why we might forget it is there and question its existence (Surrealgurl).

    Different denominations of Christianity arise from different interpretations of both the old and new Testaments, saints, and indigenous beliefs. Which denomination you belong to is a choice between loving families. A few denominations may be illegitimate, but at least they're on the right track. Does that mean people of different Christian denominations should hate each other? NO! Jesus directs as far from hatred: Jesus's commandment is to love your name as you love yourself; He puts no condition on gender, race, or creed.
     
  16. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +950
    Surrealgurl,

    Thank you for saying so......... :)

    Got ya........ I agree.

    I think your misunderstanding comes from using the human results to test the Spirit in that person.

    If I give you the keys to my car, carefully explain not to crash......... and then you wrap the car around a tree, does that mean that my instructions to you never existed?

    That the Holy Spirit is reality is a matter of faith, yes, I understand that, but my suggestion to you is stop looking at human behavior to try and "figure out" God.

    Yes, I do believe that some out there are tricked by the evil one and the "spirit" they receive is not of God.......... that being said, I also believe that we always receive a "straight answer" from God...... it's just that in our sinful human state, we can't process the information and wrap our faith around a tree (a theological crash metaphor!)........... that does not mean that the Spirit did not exist or that the Spirit gives confilicting or wrong messages to us.

    Peace
     
  17. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Ratings:
    +4
    Scott,

    I think I understand what you're saying. :)

    But how is anyone supposed to know if they're being tricked by the evil one or not?
     
  18. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +950
    Surrealgurl,

    Well....... that's the question for the ages, aint it? :)

    This should be the topic of another thread, but it does relate to the many Christian denominations out there.

    To guard against the evil one, I made a decision in my life to join the Church that Christ founded and promised to protect. With the Sacraments, above all the Eucharist (consecrated by a Priest with the grace of Apostolic succession---- not available in any other Christian faith) I strengthen myself against evil and sin. In the end, I can only hope and pray that my choices are "correct"....... but if my every action is predicated upon the thought that Jesus is the Lord of my life and I wish to be like him, I have faith that I will be on the right track.

    Peace,
    Scott
     
  19. HelpMe

    HelpMe ·´sociopathic meanderer`·

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,313
    Ratings:
    +61
    perhaps it is notable that the scriptures never say to call the true religion 'universal' or 'catholic'.

    The Roman Catholic Church claims that the early Christians were all Roman Catholics and that (aside from the Orthodox Church) all Christians were Roman Catholics until the Protestant Reformation. It also claims that the Apostle Peter was the first Pope, ruling from Rome.

    But do these claims stand up to the test of history? Or are they false credentials?

    There is historical evidence that the Roman Catholic Church began with Emperor Constantine. Many Protestants believe that, throughout Church history, there have been many true Christians who were not Catholics, and these Christians were often killed by the Catholic Church. They also believe that Peter was just one of the apostles.

    On October 28, 312 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine met with Bishop Miltiades. (Catholics would later refer to him as Pope Miltiades, but at the time he was known as the Bishop of Rome.) Miltiades was assisted by Silvester, a Roman who spoke educated Latin and acted as interpreter.

    The previous day, Constantine had seen a sign in the heavens: a cross in front of the sun. He heard a voice say that he would conquer in the sign that he had seen. Constantine painted crosses on the shields of his soldiers. They won an important battle. He believed that the victory was due to the power of the sign he had seen. He asked for two of the three nails that were used to crucify Jesus. One nail was made into a bit for his horse. Another nail was made a part of his crown, signifying that Constantine ruled the Roman Empire in the name of Jesus. He allowed Miltiades to keep the third nail.1

    The fact that Constantine saw the cross and the sun together may explain why he worshiped the Roman sun god, while at the same time professing to be a Christian. After his "conversion," Constantine built a triumphal arch featuring the sun god (the "unconquered sun"). His coins featured the sun. Constantine made a statue of the sun god, with his own face on it, for his new city of Constantinople. He made Sunday (the day of the Roman sun god) into a day of rest when work was forbidden.2

    Constantine declared that a mosaic of the sun god (riding in a chariot) represented Jesus. During Constantine's reign, many Christians followed the Emperor's example and incorporated worship of the sun god into their religion. They prayed kneeling towards the east (where the sun rises). They said that Jesus Christ drives his chariot across the sky (like the sun god). They had their worship services on Sunday, which honored the sun god. (Days of the week were named in honor of pagan gods.) They celebrated the birth of Jesus on December 25, the day when sun worshipers celebrated the birthday of the sun, following the winter solstice.3

    Historians disagree as to whether or not Constantine actually became a Christian. His character certainly did not reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ. Constantine was vain, violent and superstitious. He worshiped the sun god. He had little respect for human life. He was known for wholesale slaughter during his military campaigns. He forced prisoners of war to fight for their lives against wild beasts. He had several family members (including his second wife) executed for questionable reasons. Constantine waited until he was dying before asking to be baptized. Historians disagree as to whether or not he actually was baptized.4

    Constantine wanted to have a state church, with Christian clergy acting as civil servants. He called himself a bishop. He said that he was the interpreter of the Word of God. He claimed to be the voice that declares what is true and godly. According to historian Paul Johnson, Constantine saw himself as being an important agent of salvation, on a par with the apostles. Bishop Eusebius (Constantine's eulogist) relates that Constantine built the Church of the Apostles with the intention of having his own body be kept there along with the bodies of the apostles. Constantine's coffin was to be in the center (the place of honor), with six apostles on each side of him. He expected that devotions honoring the apostles would be performed in the church. Constantine expected to share the title and honor of the apostles.5

    Constantine told Bishop Miltiades that he wanted to build two Christian basilicas, in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul. He offered a large, magnificent palace for the use of Miltiades and his successors. Miltiades refused. He could not accept the idea of having Christianity be promoted by the Roman Empire.6

    Constantine rode off to war. By the time that he returned in 314 A.D., Miltiades had died. Bishop Silvester was Miltiades' successor. Silvester was eager to have the Church be spread, using Roman roads, Roman wealth, Roman law, Roman power, and Roman military might. Constantine officially approved of Silvester as the successor of Miltiades. Then he had a coronation ceremony for Silvester and crowned him like a worldly prince. No bishop had ever been crowned before.7

    Before Constantine's "conversion," Christians were persecuted. Now, instead of facing persecution, Bishop Silvester lived in luxury. He had a beautiful palace, with the finest furniture and art. He wore silk brocade robes. He had servants to wait on him. Near his palace was a basilica that served as his cathedral. This luxurious building had seven altars made of gold, a canopy of solid silver above the main altar, and 50 chandeliers. The imperial mail system and transportation system were placed at Silvester's disposal. It was now possible to have worldwide church councils.8

    Have you read the Book of Acts and the Epistles? If so, compare the Church, as portrayed there, with the Church of Bishop Silvester. Here is how the Apostle Paul described the kinds of things that he had to endure, as a leader in the early Church:

    "Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)

    After Constantine's "conversion," the Church was radically changed. Suddenly, being Christian resulted in power, prestige, and promotion (whereas previously it had resulted in persecution). Suddenly, by the Emperor's decree, Christianity became politically correct. As a result, ambitious people joined the Church for worldly reasons. The Bishop of Rome was supported by the military might, political power, and wealth of the Roman Emperor. Worldwide church councils were convened.

    This was the birth of the Roman Catholic Church. It was created in the year 314 A.D. by Emperor Constantine and Bishop Silvester.

    The degree of change that Constantine caused in the Church can be illustrated by looking at the lives of two Bishops of Rome. Let's go back in history to look at the life of Bishop Pontian, who died 76 years before Constantine's "conversion." Then we will compare Pontian's life with the life of Bishop Silvester.

    The following information about Bishops Pontian and Silvester comes from Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1981), pages 19-38.

    Pontian became the Bishop of Rome in the year 230 A.D. He was made bishop suddenly and unexpectedly, when his predecessor was arrested and killed by Roman authorities.

    On September 27, 235 A.D., Emperor Maximinus decreed that all Christian leaders were to be arrested. Christian buildings were burned. Christian cemeteries were closed. The personal wealth of Christians was confiscated.

    Bishop Pontian was arrested the same day. He was put in the Mamertine Prison, where he was tortured for 10 days. Then he was sent to work in the lead mines of Sardinia.

    When prisoners arrived at Sardinia, their left eye was gouged out. A number was branded on their forehead. Iron rings were soldered around their ankles, linked together with a six-inch chain that hobbled them. A tight chain around their waist was fastened to their ankle-chain in such a way that they were permanently bent over.

    The prisoners worked for 20 hours a day, with four one-hour breaks for sleep. They had one meal of bread and water per day. Most prisoners died within six to fourteen months from exhaustion, malnutrition, disease, beatings, infection, or violence. Some went insane or committed suicide.

    Pontian only lasted four months. In January, 236 A.D., Pontian was killed. His body was thrown into the cesspool.


    TBC
     
  20. HelpMe

    HelpMe ·´sociopathic meanderer`·

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,313
    Ratings:
    +61
    What happened to Pontian was not unusual. Many Christians were sent to the Sardinian lead mines, or persecuted in other ways. If a man accepted the position of being a Christian leader, he knew that his life from that time on was likely to be short and painful. There were 14 Bishops of Rome in the 79 years between Pontian and Silvester.

    Then along came Constantine.

    In 314 A.D., Emperor Constantine crowned Silvester as Bishop of Rome. Silvester lived in luxury, with servants waiting on him. Constantine confessed his sins to Silvester and asked for his advice. Silvester presided over worldwide Church councils. He had a splendid palace and a sumptuous cathedral. He had power, prestige, wealth, pomp, and the favor of the Emperor.

    Silvester died in December, 336 A.D. He died peacefully, in a clean, comfortable bed, in the Roman Lateran Palace. He was surrounded by well-dressed bishops and attended by Roman guards. His body was dressed in ceremonial robes, put in an elegant casket, and carried through the streets of Rome in a solemn procession. He was buried with honor and ceremony, attended by leading members of Roman society.

    It is understandable that many Christians would have preferred an officially approved status for the Church. But what was the result?

    Before Constantine, the Church was a band of heroic men and women who were so committed to serve the Lord Jesus Christ that they would endure any hardship. After 314 A.D., the Church became infiltrated by opportunists who were seeking power and political advancement. Church leaders were no longer in danger of persecution. Rather, they enjoyed power, prestige, and luxury.

    Did the Roman Empire surrender to Christianity? Or did Christianity prostitute itself in order to gain benefits from the Roman Empire?9

    The temptation for an ungodly alliance with the Roman Empire was very great. But at what cost?

    In 380 A.D., Emperor Theodosius published an edict requiring that all Roman subjects profess the faith of the Bishop of Rome. Those who refused were considered to be "heretics." Jews, pagans, and "heretics" were subject to harsh punishments. In 390 A.D., Bishop Ambrose excommunicated Emperor Theodosius. In order to be restored to the Church, the Roman Emperor had to do penance for eight months. Theodosius complied. (Information about this is online.)10

    It is amazing how much power the Catholic Church gained in 76 years. Constantine promoted the Church by giving it special benefits, but Theodosius forced people to become Catholics, by imposing harsh punishments on anybody who disagreed with the Bishop of Rome. Constantine asked for advice from Bishop Silvester, but Theodosius obeyed orders given by Bishop Ambrose.

    Catholicism was now the state religion of the Roman Empire. The Roman Catholic Church, which was born under Emperor Constantine, had now become so powerful that a bishop could give orders to the Roman Emperor.

    Emperor Constantine and Bishop Silvester created the Roman Catholic Church in 314 A.D. Forty years later, Augustine was born. He became a bishop and a "doctor of the Church." He lived from 354 to 430 A.D.

    Augustine insisted that it was right and necessary to use force to bring about unity among Christians. He said that "heretics" should not just be expelled from the Church. Rather, they should be compelled to denounce their beliefs and conform to "orthodoxy," or else be destroyed. This became the basis for the Inquisition. It was used to justify killing "heretics" throughout the history of the Catholic Church.11

    During the century following Constantine, the Roman Catholic Church went through an amazing transformation. Catholics became "heretic" hunters. They killed people who disagreed with them.

    By the time of the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church burned people at the stake for translating the Bible into the language of the common people. They even burned people for reading the Bible in Latin. (See the chapter, "Hunting 'Heretics.'")

    The Book of Acts tells how the high priest and the Jewish leaders put the Apostles in prison. They wanted to kill them, because the Apostles told people about Jesus. Gamaliel, a respected rabbi, urged them not to persecute the Christians. He said:

    "And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God." (Acts 5:38-39; see Acts 5:17-40)

    Jim Jones was a religious leader who ordered his 900 followers to commit suicide. They obeyed him. Jones and his followers demonstrated that Gamaliel was right. They destroyed themselves and their religious movement died with them. The men who translated the Bible into the language of the common people also demonstrated that Gamaliel was right. The Catholic Church was unable to suppress the translation of the Bible. That is why people like us, who are not Latin scholars, are able to read the Bible today.

    How does the persecution of "heretics" compare with the picture of Jesus that we see in the Gospels? Did Jesus try to force people to conform to His teachings?

    With amazing patience, Jesus kept on teaching the crowds of people, healing the sick, and demonstrating the love and the power of God. When His disciples didn't understand His teachings, He explained them. (Luke 8:5-15) When the rich young man turned away from Jesus, He didn't rebuke him or threaten him. He let him go. (Matthew 19:16-22)

    Many of Jesus' disciples left Him. Jesus asked the Twelve: "Will ye also go away?" (John 6:67) He didn't threaten them or rebuke them. He didn't try to force them to believe what He taught them. He left them free to believe or not believe, to stay or to leave.

    Was Peter a Pope?

    Peter did not describe himself as being a high and mighty Pope, with authority over the entire Church. Rather, he called himself "a servant." (2 Peter 1:1) According to Strong's Concordance, the word means, "a slave." Peter also referred to himself as a fellow "elder." (1 Peter 5:1)

    Rather than claiming special authority for himself, Peter said that all believers are a "royal priesthood." He said:

    "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (1 Peter 2:9)

    In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John confirmed Peter's statement that all true believers are priests. (Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10; 20:6) (Catholic Bibles refer to the Book of Revelation as The Apocalypse.)

    Peter (supposedly the first Pope) prohibited the attitudes and practices that have been prevalent in the papacy. He said that leaders must not act like lords (people with rank, power, and special privileges) and they must not seek wealth ("filthy lucre"). Peter described himself as being an elder, like the other elders. He said:

    "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:1-3, emphasis added)

    How does Peter, as portrayed in the Bible, compare with the Pope? Peter was a humble fisherman. The Pope is a monarch who sits on a throne. When he celebrates a Pontifical Mass, the Pope enters the sanctuary seated in a portable throne that is carried on the shoulders of uniformed men. As head of the Catholic Church, the Pope controls immense wealth, with widespread investments around the world. The wealth of the Vatican is amazing.12

    Catholic theologians claim that Jesus built the Roman Catholic Church on the Apostle Peter. They base this on Matthew 16:18, where Jesus told Peter: "And I say unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Does the rock on which the church is built represent Peter, or does it represent Jesus Christ? Peter himself called Jesus the rock. He said:

    "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious." (1 Peter 2:3-4, emphasis added)


    TBC
     
Loading...