The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peters successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has FULL, SUPREME and UNIVERSAL POWER over the whole Church, a power which he can ALWAYS exercise UNHINDERED. (Page 254)
This is a bold claim to make. From where and from whom did he get this authority and power? From God? How do you know that? Do you know what is in a mans heart? I dont think so. Are you willing to trust what this man says, or any other man, or me for that matter? You had better check these things out for yourself. Go to the source of truth, Gods Word. This man, like all men, are wicked sinners, yet, he claims to be the Vicar of Christ. In other words the substitute of Christ. The Elementary Edition, Websters New World Dictionary defines Vicar like this: Vicar - a person who acts in place of another; substitute. That, my friend, is blasphemous, to make the claim that he is the substitute for Christ. Not a single one of us deserves the grace of God, nor do we deserve the pre-eminence. Only Christ has that right. All the righteousness that man can muster up is nothing but filthy, putrid rags.
What is in view here is a leprous man who scrapes the puss from his sores, and wraps them with rags. Those are the filthy rags that God compares our righteousness with.
Peter, the supposedly first Pope, was fallible; he was sinful. He denied the Lord. He was rebuked by Jesus, and Paul withstood him to his face. He was an imperfect man.
Here again, the claim is that the Pope is infallible, sinless. This is not what the Bible teaches. We are told to try the spirits, and see whether they be of God or not. You had better see what Gods Word says.
All true believers have equal access to God through Jesus Christ our mediator. Believers can come to God with boldness, because Christ has made each believer a priest of God. We do not need to go to another man. Jesus is our High Priest. You do not need the Pope to mediate for you.
There are many false teachings about Peter. The Catholic Church teaches that he was the first Pope, and that the Pope and Bishops must remain celibate. Celibacy is not commanded for anyone. This doctrine is designed to separate the clergy from the laity. You see, they are Holy men, pure, virgin, untarnished. It is true that a man can devote more of his time to the work of God if he is not married, but celibacy is not commanded. Peter was not the first Pope, in fact, Peter was even married. This is very unbecoming of a Pope. When Jesus told Peter, ...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus was using a play on words, thou art Peter (Petros = little stone), and upon this rock (petra = large rock) I will build my church... Jesus referred to Peter as a little stone, and to Himself as a large stone. Jesus is the chief corner stone, He was referring to Himself, the large stone, in which the church would be built upon, not Peter. It is Jesus Christ that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against, not sinful, weak, mortal man.
There it is! It is not an option. The Bishop/Pastors/Elders, as they are called in the Bible, and the deacons, are to be HUSBANDS.
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Copyright © 1996 Robert T. Weaver