We have one Father
The term Pope comes from the Latin word “Papa” which translates to daddy. The first time this term was used to address a Roman church official was the year 604 the man named Gregory 1 refused the title. His predecessor Boniface the 3rd in 607 accepted it and it has been the title of the Roman church until today.
The Scripture speaks of only one Holy Father, it is not a successive office. No one on earth is told this. Paul spoke of spiritual fathers as instructors but this is different than the title bestowed on the Pope. Call no man your father Jesus said. you have only one Father who is in heaven Mt.23:9. The Father of Rome is on earth! Mt. 23:7-9: “greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi. But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” We do not call another father in reference to a spiritual teacher. Jesus tells the Church to address God in prayer as Abba, father or daddy.
There is not a single instance in the Scriptures where any title of Holy Father is applied to a man on earth. No apostle, not even Peter was called this. The term, “Holy Father” is used only once in the entire Bible, and it is used only once in prayer by Jesus addressing God the Father, since God alone is holy in His perfect nature (John 17:11).
We are all (spiritual) children of one Father this is why we do not call another child of God Father. 2 Cor. 6:18: “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” But are there not times people are called father in the New Testament? Yes, Phil. 2:22: “But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.” 1 Tim. 5:1: “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers”, Abraham is called father in John 8:38-39. These are all meant as human offspring or lineage. No one is to be called HOLY Father, except the one in heaven -- who is God. So to call anyone Father in this manner is a grave error, it is doing what Christ Himself said not to.
The Scripture speaks exclusively of the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ a title given to his Father alone! Roman Catholic Church has therefore taken the very title of God himself and has bestowed it on sinful men. Some of which history has shown to be the most outrageous of sinners, a stain that remains throughout history of the Roman church.
The title pope (Holy Father) as Vicar of Christ (Vicarious Christos = “another Christ” or in place of Christ”) The Pope is called the “Vicar of Christ.” A “vicar” is “one serving as a substitute or agent; one authorized to perform the functions of another in higher office” (Webster's dictionary and others agree). It is the root of the word vicarious, meaning substitution. The Bible addresses one who is to come and is called a Vicar of Christ and it is not good. This vicar is even called God. It is 2 Thess. 2:3-4 it warns “Let no one deceive you in any way, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sits in the temple of God and shows himself that he is (as if ) he were God.” The temple, spiritually speaking, is not necessarily a literal building since the church in the New Testament. is called the temple collectively and each person is the temple of the Holy Spirit individually. The only suggestion in the New Testament concerning a Pope leader is a person who claims to have supremacy over the whole church and the people of God on earth. In this we find the prediction of the APOSTATE church led by one who claims is in Christ's place ruling the whole Church (2 Thess. 2:1-4; 1 Tim 4:1).
While we kiss our family out of love this is not why the Pope is kissed on his ring. The Pope's accepts honor of his position from someone bowing and kissing. According to Judaism and scripture this is worship, and history tells us the popes have sometimes been treated as gods. Yet Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14 refused worship, when the people said the Gods have come down. Roman Catholics will kneel before the pope and kiss his ring and will even kneel before the statue of St. Peter in Rome and kiss his big toe. The scripture disagrees with this tradition as we see the apostle Peter forbid such actions. In Acts 10:25-26: “As Peter entered, Cornelius went to meet him, dropped to his knees before him and bowed down. Peter said as he helped him to his feet, Get up! I am only a man myself”. This is not humility on his part but he has disdain for this as no apostle allowed anyone to bow to them. As Peter refused Cornelius bowing to him, an angel of the Lord in heaven also refused John’s worship: “I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘No, get up! I am merely a fellow servant with you and your brother who gives witness to Jesus. Worship God alone.’
Jn.20:23: “If you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven if you retain the sins of any they are retained.” Doesn’t this prove Peter has all the authority. NO. This shows he has a declatory authority- only God can forgive sins, man declares ones sins are forgiven because of what God did, he’s agreeing with what he sees God has done, he does not have the ability to do this on his own (Mk.2) Lk.24:47 (the parallel passage) the purpose Jesus is giving this message is to have the apostles proclaim the gospel and remission of sins through the cross in his name not by his priesthood. The authority is in the declaring the gospel; that is where ones sins are forgiven. Peter had no more or less authority than the other apostles. They were all commissioned to preach (mt.28:18-19). When someone believed in the gospel they were able to declare one forgiven on the authority of Christ and what he had done. They agreed with the power of the gospel to save, it was not by any isolated authority for peoples continual confession of sins to them as special priests.
The specific function of the Holy Spirit, as taught by Jesus Christ, to preserve exactly what the Pope is supposed to preserve - faith, morals, government throughout the earth! There is a direct contradiction between the office of the Papacy and the current functioning office of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit who is the third person of the Godhead and is sent to indwell us all, to guide and instruct as the only one capable of doing this. He is given to all the church equally, not to a single ruler.
The Bible doesn’t shine the halos of the saints, it is dreadfully honest about the people God used. Many had tremendous faults by which God made Himself strong on, this way we can know it is Him and nothing inherent in us. The best example of bumblers is Peter he is the leader of the pack.
Arguments used such as Peter is the only one with a name change to the only one prayed for only shows that he was in need more than others to have a nature change. His name was changed as soon as Jesus met him. In John 1:40-49 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother after hearing John introduce Jesus as the lamb of God finds his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).” Here Peter at the outset has his name changed by Jesus, which will essentially be applied in the future.
Peter was not the only one to have a revelation of who Jesus was, there were others before him so this was not an exclusive revelation to Peter. Jn.1:45 Philip brings Nathanael to Jesus, and as he sees him approaching saw said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” This is even more specific than Peter's revelation and he had less knowledge of Jesus.
While Peter is the focus of the book of Acts (not alone) in the beginning we find it is Paul who is the focus in the middle and the end as God turns his grace to the gentiles of whom Paul is called to. While Peters name is mentioned more than others we have to look at why. Many of the times it is for examples of being wrong. This is not to belittle his shining moments which he certainly had but only to bring balance into why he is mentioned more. He needed to be taught more, as he was always asking questions.
Some other things to think about
Matt 16:21: “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. right after he makes the statement that comes from a revelation from the father above which supposedly Makes him the first Pope (Mt.16:16-18) . Again Peter speaks impulsively V.23 He then is rebuked by the Lord for saying it is not necessary to go the way of the cross. And the Lord says he is being influenced by Satan and is rebuked.
When Jesus revealed his glory he did not to only Peter Matt 17:1” Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves. Mt.17:4 When Moses and Elijah show up on the mount of transfiguration he wants to make three tabernacles thinking the kingdom is now here. He is rebuked by God the Father for putting Christ on the same level as Moses and Elijah. Hear the Son only he is told!
It was Peter, James and John that entered into houses others were not permitted to go in (Mk.5:37) not Peter alone.
Matt 15:15-16 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? I propose the reason Peter is first is that he needed God’s grace to work in his life the most and so he is mentioned first not as a pecking order with Judas last (a given) but one who among the three closest apostles had a greater change, therefore his name was changed to be a smaller rock whose nature is like the Rock. However Peter was badly mistaken about his strength even after his name being changed to rock Matt. 26:33-35Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.
In Luke 22:8 Jesus “sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” It was not Peter alone.
Jesus didn’t just take Peter alone when he prayed at Gethsamane Mark 14:33And He took Peter, James, and John with Him. Peter fell asleep and Jesus rebuked them all. But he specifically made a point to rebuke Peter. Matt 26:40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour?
Mark 16:1 Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, to his grave, and find he is gone, the angel tells them he is risen and v:7 “But go, tell His disciples-- and Peter-- that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Why mention Peter specifically? Because he is the leader? No, because he was weak in faith and was guilt ridden. From denying the Lord
Peter is the first to follow far away. Matt 26:58: “But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest's courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.” v: 74-75 “Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly. Mt.26:74 Peter denies the lord three times because of fear of death and curses after he is warned by him that he will abandon him.
The argument of Peter being the first apostle to the empty tomb is not true and it didn't affect him, he is still unbelieving. One needs to look at the meanings and not find just the event.
It was Mary in Lk.24 that went first and then told the others John 20:1-6 After Mary Magdalene went to the tomb she came to tell Simon Peter, and to the other disciple.” V. 3 “Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there.” V.8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.” Even after this Peter goes fishing showing it had little affect on him since he was still backslidden.
Jn.21:15-17 Jesus restores Peter after he rejected Him three times. But Peter can’t say he loves the Lord with all his heart (unconditionally, Agape), Peter can only say he loves him as a brother. Jesus then says to feed my lambs and tend my sheep, restoring him to a leader's position. We should not think more of the command to Peter feed the sheep than we should. Jesus was not asking Peter alone to do this, he was asking him to do what he asked all the apostles to do. As Jesus commissions them all before he leaves to go, teach, disciple all nations, an d baptize them. Jesus had to restore Peter from being backslidden so he could teach. In other words Peter did not want to feed the sheep but went back to his old lifestyle of fishing. Peter is the first to go fishing, this again shows he is uncommitted for he was not to go back to his old lifestyle.
Jesus then says to feed my lambs and tend my sheep, restoring him to a leader's position. but it is not THE Leaders position, only one among the others.
Paul says the very same thing in Acts 20:27-30: “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Paul speaks of elders and shepherds/pastors just as Peter is, they all were to feed the sheep, that's what shepherds do.
Yes Peter was the first to speak the gospel but this does not make him preeminent otherwise one would have to say that he was the first to deny Jesus makes him the first backslider.
Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to all at once in the upper room not to Peter first. Acts 2 . When the man at the gate was healed in Acts 3:11 Peter did not say he did but they both he and John
Acts 4:13: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were with Jesus. Acts 8:14-15: “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.” It was not Peter alone
The Roman Catholics position is that Peter was tested and made reliable. When? We find him still continuing to make some very big blunders after he is the (supposed) rock and received the holy Spirit. Paul rebuked Peter openly in Gal.2:11-15 because he was leading people astray, (even Barnabas) from the Gospel. He wavered and misled them by his actions and by confusing the gentiles to live as the Jews. Certainly we know God uses men who are not perfect, but this is not the issue. We are looking into someone who they claim is the rock, who the Church is built on.
When Paul mentions his approval he mentions three apostles not one Gal 2:8-9 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”
In the Acts 22 of we see where Paul is called to be the “apostle to the
gentiles” and we later see that Peter is called to be the 'apostle to the Jews.”
By no means is Peter ever in Scripture given absolute authority over the
church. The only way one can come to any other conclusion is to use Catholic
tradition and have it supercede the Scripture, because it cannot be reconciled
from the Scripture itself.
Further, we see Peter himself, in his first epistle, denying any claim to Papacy, Peter never (not once) gives himself priority in his gospel, he calls himself one of the elders. He makes every effort to prove himself equal with all, he admits to being a “presbuteros” one of many elders in Christ's body. Not the head of the Roman Church or any other, eldership was always a plurality of men not one. The primitive form of church government found in Rome is the same biblical model for all the churches everywhere, a plurality of elders. He never had an official position over the others. As the authority to bind and loose were given to the apostles plural, not Peter singular. And this is passed on today to the Church who is under Christ's headship, not the Popes.
The supposed “Bishop of Rome” who succeeded Peter after his martyrdom by Nero (68 A.D.) have authority over any other living apostle of the original 12? Many believe the Apostle John lived until about 95 A.D. this is when he wrote the book of Revelation). It is generally held that Peter was executed much earlier even by Catholics (Jn. 21:18-23). If the “Bishop of Rome,” was Peter’s successor, and became the supreme Head of the universal church, then we have someone who was NOT an apostle ruling OVER John the apostle who was still alive! We find no such testimony to this in Scripture.
What does Peter have to say about all this?
There are numerous statements by Peter in the Bible that go against the Peter the Roman Catholic Church claims is their head. Peter taught that Christ had “ suffered once for sins” in 1 Peter 3:18, and “bore our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24); but the Catholic Church says that Christ is continually sacrificed anew in each mass and that it actually becomes his body and blood.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that baptism itself brings salvation and they born again through baptism (remitting original sin). But Peter says baptism is symbolic, and that it is not water which saves us, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21). Peter taught that salvation is found through the righteousness of Jesus Christ and his work only (2 Peter 1:1). Peter taught that men are born again through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
Their church has to sell their masses and their prayers and their indulgences to save those who enter in purgatory. They Church even built St. Peters basilica from them. Peter warned of false teachers who would make merchandise of the people of God with feigned words (2 Peter 2:1-3). Peter spoke of an abundant entry into heaven and has no mention of a temporary stopover.
The Roman Catholic church teaches that they have a special priesthood which is ordained by Christ to distribute sacraments. Peter taught that the only priesthood in the New Testament is the High priest Jesus Christ and the general priesthood of all believers which replaces the Levitical Priests of the O.T.(1 Peter 2:9).One does not have to go through the Catholic church to be a priest, we as believers all are, at least according to Peters words in the bible. (Go here for more on the priesthood <RC20.htm>)
We find from scripture that Peter was married 1 Cor.9:5 Peter had a wife. 1 Tim.3 says bishops can be married. Their church has said for a thousand years this is not so! Peter had a mother in law (Lk.4:38). Jesus would have never appointed him if He upheld the doctrine of the Catholic Church which says a bishop or priest cannot be married.
If we study the history of the papacy we learn a valuable lesson that when we surrender to men, we lose our spiritual standing in Christ. As Paul said he either pleases man or God, it cannot be both. We are commanded to yield and surrender only to the Holy Spirit, who is instructing us from Christ who is our mediator. Spiritual slavery can be just as real and detrimental as physical slavery, there is no worse slavery than of hindering the freedom of ones pursuit of a relationship with Christ. When one has other mediators it destroys this relationship.
Nowhere did Peter ever say to follow the Church or the traditions and teachings of men. Peter had only one reference to traditions and it was a clear warning in 1 Pt.1:18: “the aimless conduct received by the tradition of the fathers.” One must find their guidance and faith from the authority of Scripture just as Christ said. The Jews had their fathers, and the Church does as well. We are to adhere to those who agree with the bible and reject teachings that do not and are additions.
And last of all the Roman Catholic church says that a believer cannot know for sure that his home is in heaven, that they go to purgatory first depending on other sinners to relieve them of their suffering. It is rare to meet a Catholic who believes in his assurance or that he goes straight to heaven. Peter taught that the believer has a living hope, that he has an inheritance reserved in heaven, and is kept by the power of God (1 Pt. 1:2-5).
Paul is the man responsible for the Church in Rome, not Peter. The Bible shows they looked to Paul for their leadership (since he was the apostle to the gentiles). When Paul writes his letter to the Romans in chpt.15:20 he says that he has made it his aim to preach the Gospel not where any one else is lest he build on another mans foundation. In vs.24 he tells them he hopes to see them soon and in vs.29 he says he will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel and then instructs them how to act till he comes. If Peter were responsible for the church in Rome Paul could not say all this. He would be building where someone already has. He is building where no one, not even Peter was. Therefore Peter did not start the church in Rome. There is no Peter mentioned and in the next chpt.16 He gives a very thorough list of people to greet that are laboring there not only is Peter not at the top of the list he is not mentioned at all, which means he was not there and if he was this would be an insult if he was actually the Pope.
It was Jesus who said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18) Jesus never shared that with anyone. The Popes all say we are also to heed their unbiblical traditions. Peter said Holy Scripture is the source of knowing God, he believed in Sola Scriptura in 2 Peter 1:19-21 Peter attributed Paul's own writings as “Scripture” when he was still alive 2 Pet. 3:15-16. This would not matter if all Paul had to do was speak it instead of writing it down. He never said what Paul said is inspired, only what he wrote.
We don’t need priests or a Pope to have access to God? We are all called priests, but there is only one mediator between God and man and that is the God-man Jesus Christ (I Tim. 2:15 ) Why go to a middle-man when you can go straight to the source! If Peter were alive today would he tell you to do what the Popes say and teach? Of course not! How do I know this? Because he wrote it down before he left. Read what he says in light of Scripture and not by the magesterium and you will discover the truth.