In the Catholic Church, the pope is claimed to the visible head of the church because of their belief that Jesus Christ made Peter the head of the church. If you have read this entire article, then you know how dangerous it can be to form entire doctrines out of a false interpretation of one verse, and as we will see, the Catholic Church has done this once again with the concept of the Roman pontiff.
For Christians, one of the things I highly advise NOT to do in conversation with a Catholic about this issue: don’t get into discussions about what “the Greek says.” Catholics, as well as many new-age “Christians,” are trained to play The Greek Game, rather than just proving the Scripture by the context of what it says. I’m going to show you how to prove that Peter was not made the sole head of the church just by the context of the verses, and correlating Scripture.
(Read “How to Play the Greek Game” here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
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?Matthew 16:13-15
The Lord Jesus starts out by asking His disciples what other people said about Him, and once they answered Him, He then asked them what they said about Him. He already knows what they believe, but He wants them to say it aloud as an open confession.
(CONTEXT: Their faith about Jesus’s Identity)
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.-Matthew 16:16-17
Christ is now making an example of Simon Bar-Jonah, demonstrating that the testimony of confession of the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed from God the Father in heaven, and not from our own understanding. This correlates with 2Ti 2:25 that says God must give us repentance to acknowledge the truth.
(CONTEXT: Faith that Jesus is the Son of God)
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. -Matthew 16:18
If Jesus had said “upon you I will build my church,” I would say the Catholics would have a legitimate argument, but that’s not what He said. He said “upon this rock I will build my church,” so in keeping with the context, what is the rock Jesus is referring to? The faith in the Lord Jesus Christ being the Son of the Living God is the context we follow.
Jesus Christ has always been the sole authority and head over the church:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. -Ephesians 1:20-23
Did you see Peter mentioned anywhere in those verses? Did you see anything about a pope or priest? Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be the head of the church, and no man can take his place. If Peter was the head of the church of Jesus Christ, then Paul would have acknowledged Peter here in this verse.
If Peter was supposed to be the first Roman Catholic pope, why is he not mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Romans? Why would Paul be writing a correction to the saints in Rome if Peter was supposed to be the absolute head and authority of the church? Why did Paul correct Peter in open rebuke (Gal 2:11-21) if Peter is supposedly the head of the church? The answer to the questions is simple: Peter was never a pope, and was never the head of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The “thee’s” and “thou’s” in the King James Bible are not there for poetic flare, they have specific meaning. ‘Thee’ is the plural form addressing a group of people (in this case, the disciples), and ‘thou’ is the singular form addressing one person. So by watching these two forms of addressing the disciples, you can tell who He is talking to:
Jesus addresses group of disciples: “I say also unto thee,”
Jesus turns his head to face Simon: “That thou art Peter,”
Jesus then addresses the contextual concept: “and upon this rock I will build my church”
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. -Deuteronomy 32:4
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. -Deuteronomy 32:15
Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. -Deuteronomy 32:18
There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. -1 Samuel 2:2
And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; -2 Samuel 22:2
For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? -2 Samuel 22:32
The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. -2 Samuel 22:47
The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. -Psalm 18:46
Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. -Psalm 28:1
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. -Psalm 31:3
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? -Psalm 42:9
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. -Psalm 62:6
And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. -Psalm 78:35
He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. -Psalm 89:26
To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. -Psalm 92:15
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. -Psalm 95:1
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. -Isaiah 8:14
Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: -Isaiah 17:10
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. -1 Corinthians 10:4
There are many more verses in the Bible I could have given here to prove this point, but the point has been proven that God the Father (the Lord Jesus Christ) is the rock of salvation. The faith of Jesus Christ is the rock upon which He has built His Chruch. No where in Scripture is Peter ever remotely hinted at being a singular head authority over the church. Based on a false teaching from one verse taken out of context by heathen that did not believe the Word of God, the Catholic Church has allowed a singular man with each passing generation to continue heretical doctrines, and eventually start killing off those who say otherwise. (We’ll cover that later.)
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.
Due to the Catholic Church’s influence, many Christians today face difficulty in explaining what this verse means. Catholics interpret this to mean that Peter has ultimate authority to decide who stays and who goes in heaven, which is why so many people have seen the cartoons with Peter standing at the gates of heaven allowing people entrance or rejecting them. The proper interpretation of this is given two chapters later in Matthew 18:
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 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 18:15-18
This is something that is rarely seen today. Most churches won’t remove anyone because they want more open wallets in their church, but if a church removes a member of the body from the church, it is typically done so by the pastor alone, bypassing the 4-step process Jesus Christ setup for us to use.
When one is accepted into a church congregation, they are “binded” into the body, but if they are put out of the body, they are “loosed” back into the world. Jesus Christ gave the disciples authority to bind and loose from the church, and whatsoever they binded and loosed, would be also done so in heaven, but even though He gave His disciples special authority, He did not leave it to them alone because the entire congregation were to be involved eye-witnesses so there would be no gossiping afterwards. (Again, this almost never happens today.)
So when Jesus said He would gives the keys to the kingdom of heaven to His disciples, what does that mean? It doesn’t mean Peter is standing at the gates of heaven with a keyring ready to reject anyone on his ‘naughty’ list. It means the disciples of Jesus had the special authority to “bind” and “loose” from the church, and the same would be done in heaven based on that authority Christ gave to ALL of them, but no where in these verses is it even remotely implied that Peter is the head of all Christiandom, and that he must pass off his scepter to other men down through the ages to be a “pope.”
The “pope” position was started in 326 A.D. by the Roman Emporer Constantine when he attempted to usurp the athority of Christ by making himself the head and sole authority of the church. In fact, Jesus Christ said specifically that we were NOT to do such things.
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. -Matthew 20:25-28
(This is also why it is so dangerous to have your church under an “umbrella” corporation.
Read “501c3: The Devil’s Church” here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Constantine was emporer of Rome, so he knew very well Rome’s traditional practice of combining all the world’s paagn religions under the singular umbrella of Rome. Because Christianity was outlawed (not part of Rome’s legal influence), Christians were persecuted abroad by many different peoples (especially the Jews). After 300 years of hiding, suffering, and death, Constantine tempted Christians with relief by making Chrisianity legal, so long as they make the Roman Emporer the head of their church, and many would-be Christians made a deal with this wicked ruler.
Thus there was a split between those who followed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and those who followed the Roman Pontiff. Many doctrinal heresies were to following over the next 1700 years as the popes tore down the Word of God, and merged some Christian concepts into their pagan smorgasbord. Today, the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, though few and far between, reject this imagined authority and heresy.
Few church-goers in America today understand what the Catholic Church really believes:
“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.”
-Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous.”That’s right, the Catholic Church believes the pope is God Himself in the flesh. This is anti-Christ, and it has nothing to do with the Gospel.
The popes have been the cause of numerous heretical doctrines entering Catholicism. Though the worlds pagan religious zealots will end up in the lake of fire, the pope believes he is God, so he also believes he can personal grant salvation to Bhuddists, Muslims, witches, etc: “[T]he followers of other religions can receive God’s grace and be saved by Christ apart from the ordinary means which he has established…” -Pope John Paul II, “Letter to the Bishops of Asia,” Jan 23, 1990, Sect 4; See also Lee Penn, False Dawn: The United Religions Initiative, published Sophia Perennis, 2004, p. 233, ISBN: 9781597310000
“The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ…” -Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio; See also Duncan Reid & Mark W. Worthing, Sin and Salvation, ATF Press, 2003, p. 215, ISBN: 9781920691042
It is well-known today that the Catholic Church (Rome) is still seeking to put all pagan religions under its umbrella. The past popes have stated that the truth of God’s Word can be found by studying paganism:
In John Paul II’s book, he stated very clearly the following:
The Catholic Church recognizes the true and holy aspects in all false religions [p. 46]
Hinduism is another means of taking refuge in God [p. 46]
Buddhism is a relgion of Salvation [p. 48]
Islam worships the One True God [p. 52]
The Holy Spirit is present in every religion [p. 47]
(See Pope John Paul II,
Crossing the Threshold of Hope, 1994, ISBN: 0-679-76561-1)
The Catholic Church’s acceptance of multiple religions shows why it was so easy for the pope to accept evolutionism into their church as well:
“The Church’s magisterium is directly concerned with the question of evolution, for itinvolves the conception of man.”
-Address of Pope John Paul II, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Oct 22, 1996
Some of you Christians reading this might be confused how a Catholic could draw these conclusions out of Scripture, but we need to understand that the Word of God is not the final authority for the Catholic Church. The POPE is their final authority. The Catholic Church has stated their position clearly: “Thus it comes about that the Church does not draw her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence…” -Austin Flannery, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, 1988, p. 755, ISBN: 9780918344151; See also Jean M. Hiesberger, The Catholic Bible, Personal Study Edition, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 21, ISBN: 9780195289268
If a Catholic is going to be true to their church, they must not accept the Bible as truth in all matters. Despite the warnings the Bible gives about the traditions of men, a Catholic must revere all traditions of their church.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. -Colossians 2:8
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. -Mark 7:13
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? -Matthew 15:3
The Pope is helping to bring about the prophecied One-World Religion of prophesied by the book of Revelation.
(Assisi, Italy, Oct 27, 1986, world religions gather to “pray for peace”)
@0:16 – “There were snake-worshipers, fire-worshipers, spiritists, animists, Bhuddists, Muslims, Hindus, North American witch doctors — I watched in astonishment as they walked to the microphone to pray. The pope said they were all praying to the same god, and that their prayers were creating a spiritual energy that was bringing about a new climate for peace.”
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. -Matthew 10:34
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: -Luke 12:51
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. -1 Thessalonians 5:3
The “peace” they are trying to build is a false-peace under a false banner of lies. They are gathering the world together against God and against his annointed, which is why Jesus Christ said he came to bring division rather than peace; for us to be divided by a line where one side stands for the truth of God’s Word, and the other side seeks lust of the flesh guided by paganism.
These practices and beliefs defile the Church of Christ, gatherting together the pagans of this world and falsely claim they worship the True Living God. Authority in the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ comes only from the Word of God, and the pope throws aside the Word, thus he has no authority at all.
I cannot find any Biblical justification for anyone claiming to be a Christian to worship in a mosque, tell the Muslims they’re worshiping the same ‘god’, and then kiss the Qur’an. The popes of this world have little understand of the Word of God, and I pray the Lord Jesus Christ could use this article to help a Catholic that has a humble heart that wants to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Read “Islam: Religion of Terror” here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. -Matthew 24:4
Once again, the Catholic Church curses to damnation and destruction all those who would tell the truth about the popes:
“If anyone says that the Roman Pontiff [The Pope] has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.”
-Norman P. Tanner, Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils: Trent to Vatican II, Sheed & Ward, 1990, First Vatican Council: 1869-1870, p. 186, ISBN: 9780878404902; See also Richard P. McBrien, The Chruch: The Evolution of Catholicism, Harper Collins, 2009, p. 113, ISBN: 9780061245251
The pope’s claim to be God in the flesh is absolute in the eyes of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic, if you were to go against this belief, you are anathema to them.
Please consider reading all sections of Corruptions of Christianity
If you are a Catholic, we must recognize that this is the doctrine your church believes, practices, and teaches, as stated from their own ruling documents. If their doctrine troubles you, then it would be wise to disassociate yourself with that religion, and get involved in a church that believes the New Testament Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.