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Apostolic Succession

12 Jun

Recently the new Pope issued a statement that the Roman Catholic Church was the true church of God and all the others were the fakes.  He based his position on the R.C.C.’ doctrine of apostolic succession {http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01641a.htm}.

 

This is an idea solely held by the R.C. Church as no other denomination makes such a claim and it has its roots in the passage found in Matthew 16: 13-20 which reads:

 

13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15″But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,[b] the Son of the living God.”

17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,[c] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[d] will not overcome it.[e] 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[f] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[g] loosed in heaven.” 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

 

Now not all of what I am about to say is original with me, as I learned it from another source whose name escapes me at this time.  The key to this doctrine is the exchange between Jesus and Peter found in vs.15-17 where Peter confesses who Jesus is and Jesus states ‘upon this rock…’

This statement has been misinterpreted as meaning Jesus was building His church on Peter, that Peter was the leader of the church and He would take the church into the next phase…  This is not the case.  The ‘rock’ Jesus was referring to was the confession: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God’, not the establishment of Peter’s leadership.

The leadership of the church will change but the precept of Jesus being the Christ the Son of the Living God cannot be changed and nothing evil will do can change that fact.  If Peter were to be that rock then the ramifications to the church would be immense and opens the church up to being built upon shaky ground with no confidence in what they believe.

Once Peter died the church would lose its rock and could disperse or disappear as Peter’s influence and leadership would be gone. But with the confession as the rock, then the deaths of leaders and other influential people would not affect the flock because the rock is there for all to cling to no matter the generation.

In other words, we are not to look to people to keep our faith strong, we are to be looking to Christ and with Peter (& subsequent leaders) as the rock our eyes would be off Christ and onto man, which is scripturally wrong.

Another major point against this doctrine of the R. C. C.’s is that not one book of the Bible, not one chapter nor verse, teaches this doctrine. There is nothing commanded by God that this is so which strikes a fatal blow to this thinking of apostolic succession.

All this doctrine is is an eisogetic interpretation of a passage to establish a false authority for a position, pope, which has no scriptural foundation for its establishment.  So the pope can make all the statements he wants to but  the doctrines of the church he leads, undermine any validity to his claims and shows that the R.C.C.’s roots are not found in scripture but in bad interpretation and misuse of the Word of God.

 

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