Peter vs The Popes
Updated October 21, 2008 (first published September 3, 1996)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061

The Roman Catholic Church claims that its popes have inherited the seat and authority of the apostle XE "Apostles" Peter. That this is a gross error is evident by a simple comparison of Peter’s life and teaching with the lives and teaching of the popes.

1. There is no evidence that Peter was the bishop at Rome XE "Rome" , and there is no evidence in the New Testament that there was anything special about the congregation at Rome, but the popes rule in Rome, claim that Peter was the first bishop at Rome, and claim that it is the “mother church.” Peter’s first epistle was written from Babylon, not from Rome, and the popes’ claim that “Babylon” stands for Rome is mere conjecture. The biblical evidence that Peter was not the pastor or bishop at Rome is overwhelming. Paul wrote TO the church at Rome in A.D. 58, but though he mentions 27 people by name, he does not mention Peter. That would have been an inexcusable affront if Peter had been the pope at Rome. Later, Paul writes FROM Rome to the churches of Galatia, the church of Ephesus, Philippi, and Colosse, as well as to Philemon, but not once does he mention that Peter is in Rome. In 2 Timothy 4:16 Paul said that no man stood with him and all forsook him when he answered his charges. Where was Pope XE "Pope" Peter? The fact is that Peter was not a pope and he was not the bishop at Rome.

2. Peter was married (Matthew 8:14), but the popes are forbidden to marry.

3. Peter said Holy Scripture is the sure Word of God and to this alone we are to give heed (2 Peter 1:19-21), but the popes say we are also to heed their uninspired traditions.

4. Peter warned of false teachers who would make merchandise of God's people (2 Peter 2:1-3), but the popes have made massive sums of money by selling their religion, by their masses and their prayers for the dead and their indulgences and their pilgrimage sites and countless other things.

5. Peter had neither silver nor gold (Acts 3:6), but the popes have massive amounts of both.

6. Peter said baptism XE "Baptism" is a figure, a symbol, and that it is not water that saves us, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21), but the popes say that baptism itself brings salvation and that it is not merely symbolic.

7. Peter refused to allow men to bow down to him (Acts 10:25-26), but the popes have accepted honor and bowings and kissings and have allowed themselves to be treated almost as gods.

8. There is no hint in the Bible that Peter had a throne, but the popes have at least two--one at St. Peter’s and one at the Lateran Palace.

9. Peter taught that salvation is strictly through the free righteousness of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1), but the popes claim that their sacraments are also necessary for salvation.

10. Peter taught against hierarchicalism, warning the pastors against “being lords over God's heritage” (1 Peter 5:1-4), but the popes have set up a system of ecclesiastical lordship over the churches, and have added many offices that are never mentioned in the New Testament (e.g., cardinal, archdeacon).
11. Peter taught that the only priesthoods in the New Testament dispensation are the High priesthood of Jesus Christ and the general priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9), but the popes say that their “church” has a special priesthood that is ordained to distribute sacraments.

12. Peter taught that Jesus Christ is the rock upon which the church is founded (1 Peter 2:4-8), but the popes say that Peter was the rock.

13. Peter taught that men are born again through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23), but the popes say that men are born again through baptism XE "Baptism" .

14. Peter taught that Christ has “once suffered for sins” (1 Peter 3:18), and “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24); but the popes say that Christ is sacrificed anew in each mass and that having Jesus Christ and his cross is not enough, that a believer also needs the Roman Catholic Church and its sacraments and priesthood.

15. Peter taught that the believer has a living hope, that he has an inheritance reserved in heaven, and that he is kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:2-5); but the popes say that a believer cannot know for sure that he has a home in heaven.

16. Peter taught that the believer is not to be a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or a busybody in other men’s matters (1 Peter 4:15); but the popes have been all of these things.

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