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The seat of Peter – another view

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EDITOR: With the passing of John Paul II, the former outstanding leader of the great apostate church – the Roman Catholic Church, head of Vatican City, many people the world over have had an opportunity to learn not only of the man but also of the office he occupied and some of the workings of that institution still commonly seen as Christian.{{more}}

There is no doubt that the deceased was well loved and respected by many, he played a significant role in the lives of multitudes and had some impact on the course of world affairs. He was referred to as the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, personal representative of Christ on the earth, Chief Shepherd, Supreme Shepherd, the Pope of not only the Catholic Church but also the world, and occupying the seat first held by Peter. Is he really? Are these titles in the will of God? Was Peter ever a Pope?

This article is not meant to cast aspersion on the former Catholic leader but to invoke readers to objectively look again, reconsider and not just accept what the international media, aided by some ill-informed spokespersons, dished out. Isn’t this what intelligent persons should do? Hail to the education revolution!

Margaret Troutt rightly said, ” When pulling together means pulling away from God, a Christian must be willing to stand alone.” “Stand fast in the faith” (1 Cor. 16:13). “When everyone thinks alike, few are doing much thinking” (Nashua Cavalier). I believe now is an excellent and opportune time to stop and briefly reflect on what is considered “The Seat Of Peter”.

Jesus Christ was granted all authority in heaven and earth (Mat. 28:18). He alone is the head of his church (Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:18). Consequently the headquarters of the church is in heaven, not in Rome. In God’s plan each congregation (local church), when organized, will have a plurality of bishops also called elders, overseers, pastors, shepherds or presbyters (Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5-9; 1Pet. 5:1-4; Acts 20:17,28). During the apostolic period the apostles and prophets were given power to bind and loose what had been decreed in heaven. And by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they revealed the word of God (Mat. 16:18,19; John 14:26; 16:13). Today we have that completed word, the New Testament, by which Christians are to be governed and we are warned not to add or take away from it (2Tim. 3: 16,17; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18,19).

Apart from the bishops each mature congregation will also have deacons, evangelists (preachers) and teachers. Each congregation is independent and self-governing, not connected to any central headquarters on earth. Peter was an apostle and also an elder (bishop). He had no authority above the other apostles and served as one among other elders (Luke 6:13-16; 1Pet. 1:1 & 5:1-4).

Many folks are taught and believe that Jesus Christ built the church on Peter. In Matthew 16:16-19 Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God, and upon that confession the church was built, not on Peter (1Cor. 3:11). A fuller exploration and understanding of the scriptures will make this abundantly clear to any honest seeker.

If Peter were a Pope, why in his presence did James conclude the discussion in Acts 15 giving his judgment upon which the decision of the meeting was based? If Peter were a Pope and therefore infallible, when speaking on church doctrines and practices, how could Paul withstand (oppose) him to the face according to Galatians 2?

The office of the Pope came about as part of the falling away from the truth that was prophesied (Acts 20:28-31; 1Tim. 4:1,2; 2Thes. 2:1-12). In the Bible there is no Seat of Peter; there is no

papacy!

May we be willing to obey God rather than men? Paul the apostle said “…. do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10) Oh, that we will develop a love for the truth on such important matters.

Let us choose today what we will believe but remember we cannot determine the consequence of our choice.

Joel H. Jack

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