Monday, April 25, 2011

St. Peter the Scoundrel vs. St. Paul? No (Catholic) Church in the Book of Acts? A Day in the Life of Apologetic "Discussion" (vs. Anti-Trinitarian Tony Lehr)

Peter and Paul (by El Greco)

The following is an exchange I had on Facebook with one Tony Lehr (who turned out -- I discovered afterwards -- to be an anti-trinitarian heretic). His words will be in blue. Craig Fruth's words will be in green.

* * * * *

People have been teaching for generations that Peter is the rock that the church is built on. The Catholic Church goes further out to pasture by making him the founder of the church and the first Pope. (Even though according to scripture Peter was never in Rome. They just made that up.)  The context is about who Christ is:

Matthew 16
[13] Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" [14] And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." [15] He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" [16] Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." [17] And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
(The truth of Jesus being the Christ and Son of God was not being made public, though some suspected it or had it revealed to them) [18] "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (The Rock is the revelation of who Christ is. That is the foundation of the Church. Without the revelation of who Christ is, it would be impossible to have any church. This is why Jesus changed Peter’s name. It was because of this revelation that Peter had.) [19] "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." [20] Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. (Again it is the context of who Jesus is that is the subject of these scriptures. He is the Rock and this also fits in with all of the typology contained in the Old Testament. ie: The rock that is struck and water flows out, the corner stone onto which the temple is built, etc.)

Beautifully said Craig. . . .did you know another thing about Peter? He had a wife.

As for Peter being the "rock" upon which Christ built His Church (a thing our Lord expressly stated), this is not just Catholic bias. There is a growing consensus of Protestant Scripture scholars that this is the case. I have documented a ton of stuff in this paper:

The Biblical, Primitive Papacy: St. Peter the "Rock": Scholarly Opinion (Mostly Protestant).

Many more also:

Protestant Scholars on Mt 16:16-19 (Nicholas Hardesty)

Peter was slicing off the ear of someone one second, then the next second vehemently, even cursing, and swearing, he never knew the saviour Christ. One minute he was at Jerusalem at the day of pentecost, the next, Paul was in his face in Galatia. Peter was hot and cold. Christ the rock is constant. peter tried to walk on water and sank, Jesus walked on water and calmed the wind and seas. Wonderful Mary, here's what I believe, if earthquakes shook down all the walls of all the man-made denomonations in the world, I would still have the peace and joy in the salvation of my saviour, Christ Jesus.

So what? This proves nothing one way or the other; all it shows is that Peter was a sinner like all of us. It doesn't tell us one whit about his status as a leader of the twelve disciples. Scripture does that all over the place:

50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy

The "sin argument" is plain stupid. Why, then, did God choose David to be not only king of Israel, but the one He made an eternal covenant with? It wasn't broken even after David committed adultery and murdered. It was still in place. David was a forerunner of the Messiah (Jesus).

God chose murderer and persecutor of Christians Paul to be His leading evangelist in the young Church. Was Paul perfect afterwards?: never wavered; never sinned? Hardly. Let's hear him describe himself:

Romans 7:14-25 (RSV): We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. [15] I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. [16] Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. [17] So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. [18] For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. [19] For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. [20] Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. [21] So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. [22] For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, [23] but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. [24] Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [25] Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

See, even we lowly Catholics can cite a lot of the Bible, too!!! We're just not super-selective; we actually believe all of what the Bible teaches. See also:

Paul was not above hypocrisy, either. He rightly rebuked Peter, but there was no doctrinal disagreement. Peter was simply being a sinful human being again, worried about the opinions of the Jews. But of course Paul did virtually the exact same thing (if not worse) in at least one instance. He had Timothy circumcised after (quite arguably) worrying what men would think, even after preaching that it was no longer necessarily in the slightest degree:

1 Corinthians 7:18 Was any one at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was any one at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 

Galatians 6:12-13 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. [13] For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.
Acts 16:3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

So both Paul and Peter were at times overly concerned with the opinion of the Jews or Judaizers. No big dif there . . .

Peter had a wife . . . ho hum, big wow. Catholic celibacy is not an unchanging dogma, but a disciplinary requirement (based on Paul's recommendations in 1 Corinthians 7), not even in force among Eastern Catholics. So it's absolutely irrelevant whether he had a wife or not. See my paper:

Dialogue on Peter's Marriage, and Why it Doesn't Disprove Catholicism

Dave let me clear things up , LOL!!! I have no use for any denomination!!!!! I am no respecter of denomination!!!! Nazarene, Pentecostal, Baptist, Church of Grace, Church of Christ, First Christian Church, 7th Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, Latter Day Saints. Did I leave any out? I did, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, whew, that's all I can think of now. What is this guys actual belief you might say? Here are my beliefs about denominations..... Cor1:12-13 Now this I say, that everyone of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. 13 IS CHRIST DIVIDED??????????1cor 2:2 For I determined not to now anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I am with Paul on this. Dave I don't like denominations, but I like the heart of the people in the denominations, bless you. . . . Jesus is my Lord and Saviour, as they said in the movie, " I don't need no stinkin badge" aka (denomination)!

Being in a denomination other than the one true Church or pretending not to be, and remaining apart from the historic, apostolic Church, are both roundly condemned in Scripture. You have to be under authority and it has to be legitimate authority, which means apostolic succession through history. The Bible says Christians are to be of one mind, with one set of doctrinal beliefs, period. End of story. It's made clear over and over.
You need the Church that was instituted by Jesus Christ as His authority and guarantor of correct, true doctrine. There is no such thing as a Christian in the Bible who is under no authority of a bishop. You can play all the games with Scripture that you want to play but you'll never change that plain fact. There is a Church and it has authority: infallible authority: such as what it exercised in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). Paul even went around proclaiming the decisions of the Council (Acts 16:4). See: Denominationalism and Sectarianism.

Peter had a wife and a mother in-law, how many other "popes" had a wife? . . . Dave if there wasn't a pope, or Roman Catholic Church, just you and the salvation that Christ accomplished for you, would you be saved?

Alright. Obviously you are incapable of rational argument with someone who differs from you. I don't play ring-around-the-rosey. People can read the two sides and see which is the better biblical case. 

is there any other message(teaching) other than God sending his only begotten son to die for us? And us having salvation by what Christ accomplished for us? [goofy grammar and lack of capitals corrected, as throughout]

Oh yes, there are all kinds of teachings in the New Testament. You should read it sometime. I think you would learn a ton of stuff.

Isn't Christ the head of the church?

He is the ultimate head, of course. But he also delegates authority. He told His disciples, "he who hears you hears me."

You state there's a real church with binding authority? Really? Which one?

The one holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. In the Bible it is simply called "the Church." It's visible and institutional and has apostolic succession (as we saw when Matthias replaced Judas).

The church in acts didn't have a name.

The Church!

Paul said in 2nd Tim 4:16 before he was executed that all men forsook him.

Really? Why, then, does he mention 9 people by name, and also "all the brethren" in 4:19-21? You are a very odd exegete. I would strongly recommend taking Logic 0101 somewhere. It would do you a world of good.

So much for the church in Acts 15.

That's sheer nonsense. The Church doesn't disappear simply because you want it to. There was a thing called the Jerusalem Council. In his first letter to Timothy Paul mentioned "the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth." (3:15). He talked about bishops in 3:1-7 and deacons in 3:8-13. Who is your bishop?

I don't want to be part of a church that forsook Apostle Paul.

It didn't. Only in your head . . . Scripture says about the end of St. Paul's life:

Acts 28:30-31 And he lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, [31] preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered.

Where was that church in acts 15 located again?

I'm sorry you have such a difficult time reading. Dust off your Bible and take a look at Acts 15:1-29. In 15:28 it is stated that the Holy Spirit was guiding the Council. Paul liked it quite a bit, since he took part in it, and because it says in Acts 16:4 (RSV): "As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem."

Dave I know you are feverishly trying to connect the church in acts to the Pagan Roman Catholics . Sorry, as hard as you try there's no connection. Christ is the head of the body, the true church. Your collective group of clown, murderous, whoring, money stealing popes who you idolize will never foot the bill , sorry.

Dave, in the dark ages, the RCC tried to "make people an offer they couldn't refuse". Would have made Vito Corleone proud, don't you think? Unfortunately when they did refused, millions were tortured, mutilated. and murdered. 

Really now? Try real hard, put on your thinking cap for a minute (taking off your dunce cap) and give me a single reputable historian who says "millions" were killed and tortured. You think we're ridiculous enough to take your word for your outrageous claims?

Dave, read the history books, you do know how to Google don't you? Thats G-O-O-G-L-E, then hit search. See for yourself, then maybe you won't be so eager to kiss the popes ring or his butt. Smoooch, smoooch. Oh your royal phoniness, I eagerly await your command, Oh yes, I believe mary is co- mediator with jesus, anything you say master.! Yes, I believe in praying to dead saints! Who was the dead saint for my dog again? Woof Woof! Where is purgatory? Between venus and chicago? Unbelievable. Gotta go Dave, theres no profit in this disputing. Say hello to all the faithful in Limbo. Wheeew. 

. . . The blood of the saints is on the RCC hands. Mother church? Mother church of murderers.Thankfully America is a country where were not persecuted for opposing that pagan idolatry.

All Christian groups have persecuted others. I have an entire web page on Protestant intolerance and persecution. Luther and Calvin both believed in capital punishment for the Anabaptists: folks who believed as today's Baptists do. Henry VIII, of course, and following kings and queens slaughtered Catholics by the many hundreds: often by drawing and quartering: one of the most brutal of punishments. Caught being in a Mass or saying one as a priest: drawing and quartering. Ever seen Braveheart? That kind of showed that punishment, but nothing like the real thing was. They would rip out the guy's heart, then pull out all his intestines, cut off all four limbs and do other things besides.

Heres another historical account Dave before signing off. There was a man namen john tetzel appointed to sell indulgences in germany to help raise funds for construction work for St. peters church in rome. He would carry a picture of satan tormenting souls in purgatory. when someone would buy an indulgence tetezel would say, "sobald der pfenning im kasten klingt die seel aus demfegfeuer springt, which means, as the money in you pop, the souls from purgatory hop. What a true blessing to someone who just lost a loved one huh? Like i said dave, these things are easy to google, God hath not given you the spirit of fear, but of a sound mind. Are you so afraid to see the history of the roman catholic church?

All explained in my paper: Explicit Biblical Evidence for Indulgences + Some Important Historical Considerations. See also:

Sins and Sinners in the Catholic Church

What do you think about the Holy Trinity, Tony?  

Seeing that one of Tony's listed "Activities and Interests" is First Pentecostal Apostolic Church of Hilliard, Fla.: a cultic group that expressly denies the Trinity . . .  Tony also is "interested" in a site called Truth or It, too, denies the Holy Trinity: "I recently purchased the CD Seminar on 'Errors of the Trinity,' and I can't tell you how awesome it has been to experience this seminar that sheds so much light on the so-called 'mystery of the Trinity.'" --- Tariq Shakoor. Yet another link under his "Interests" is "HOW TO ...... Speak in tongues". It has a featured post: "On the Errors of the Trinity" (by Jann Mills). Tony links to yet another heretical, blasphemous group in his "Activities and Interests" section: Reno Spirit and Truth Biblical Studies. Guess what it denies? You got it!: "Do You Have to Believe in the Trinity to be Saved?"

Looks like Tony is not a Christian at all. He apparently denies the deity or divinity of Jesus Christ and also denies that the Holy Spirit is God. Explains a lot, doesn't it? I should have known, from the way he was talking. 


Jim Paton said...

"I don't want to be part of a church that forsook Apostle Paul."

Hmm, too late me thinks :)

MBrandon said...


Do you seek out these loons, or are they attracted to you like a magnet?

Same old. Same old.

Dave Armstrong said...

I don't seek them out! In this instance I did it as a favor for a friend who asked me to come and say a few words. Otherwise I wouldn't have given this clown the time of day.

After I finished I thought I had a few semi-original thoughts in there to make it worth it, perhaps, as a new blog post, too.

Most anti-Catholics avoid me like the plague these days, except for taking potshots behind my back. They know they have never had the slightest success in arguing me down. Poor chaps . . . :-)

romishgraffiti said...

Acts 9:31 "Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace."

The Greek here is ekkleisia kath' holeis or simply "the whole church" or better, "catholic church"

It's in the Bible.

Scott W.

Jedinovice said...

>> A Day in the Life of Apologetic "Discussion"

I'm sorry. For some strange reason it put in mind of "the continuing story..."

I also think the clip is appropriate.

Dave Armstrong said...

Hey Bungalow Bill, what didja kill, Bungalow Bill?

Lo said...

Good words. I like it! Thanks Dave!

Dave Armstrong said...

You're welcome!