So far we’ve examined:
- one needs only the written Bible (Sola Scriptura)
- If you are saved, you should be able to simply read and understand the Bible. If you cannot understand it, this is a warning sign you may not be saved.
- The commandments in the NT are so easy, one does not require a Magisterium to understand it
- The RCC has no proof whatsoever for a Magisterium.
- The Bible was once delivered to the saints, and at the close of the canon in AD 95, anyone who adds to it is under a curse.
- The Roman Catholic views of the Bible
- The laity and the ownership/study/reading of the Bible
- The Magisterium refuted
- Salvation by faith alone vs. works
- infant baptism refuted
- baptismal regeneration refuted
- The Apocrypha was never quoted by the New Testament
- The Apocrypha was not considered scripture by anyone for at least 400 years – after all the official lists of the inspired canon had been done
- The apocrypha was never quoted by church fathers for at least 2 centuries after the time of Christ
- The Bible is only the 66 books of the bible
- Papal Infallibility is unScriptural
- Papal Infallibility places the Pope in the place of God, elevating him to being God’s “Equal”, a goal that Lucifer desired
- Papal Infallibility is also patently illogical, as Inerrant Word Ex Cathedra must also imply inerrant thought and inerrant action
- There is no evidence Peter ever went to Rome, besides the earliest tradition he was brought there to be crucified upside down. That is tradition, not church history.
- Peter was not given the choice of who goes to heaven or not.
- There is no evidence Peter was the first Pope
- The pastor of the Church at Rome at the timme of the book of Romans, late in Paul’s career, was either Rufus or Aquila, and history records the name of the first pastor of the Roman Church as Linus.
- The letter to the Romans does not list Peter’s name as among the church at Rome. Nor do any of Paul’s epistles to the other churches mention him, unless referring to Jerusalem.
Moving on to the Pastoral office… According to Rome, the priesthood has several offices. Novitiate, Brother, Father, Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal, Papal Nuncio. Of these terms, the only ones that can be considered biblical are Bishop, minister, Pastor, and Elder.
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; Titus 1:5-7 (KJV)
“Elders” we see from Titus 1 is synonymous with Bhishop.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25 (KJV)
We see that Shepherd (Pastor) and Bishop are synonymous. Incidentally, this also refutes Presbyterianism (a bulwark of Calvinism) – elder boards are therefore unScriptural. If Bishop, Elder, and Pastor are all synonymous, then an elder board would acutally be aboard of trained and ordained pastors – and not prominent members of the congregation.
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:17-18 (KJV)
Again, we see elders described as preaching the word of God. So we see that minister, Bishop, Elder and Pastor are all synonymous.
So there is no hierarchy of clergy Biblically. The pastor is it. You have congregation, deacon, pastor. That’s it. You have certain offices, such as evangelist and teacher – but these are not strictly functions of the clergy. Philip was made a deacon, and yet in Acts 21:8 we see he is called the Evangelist. That was his function, was as an evangelist. But his office in the local church was as a deacon.
There is no Scriptural basis for a hierarchy of clergy. Indeed, the sin of differentiating between clergy and laity as if they were two distinct classes of believers is described by the Lord as Nicolaitanism,and He notes that he hates this sin.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Revelation 2:15-16 (KJV)
A person in the congregation feels he (notice I said he) has the call of God on his life. He goes to the Pastor, who confirms it. He then enrolls in Seminary, and begins his studies. He graduates, is ordained, and goes back to the sending church. He may be given a job right away in the ministry – he may wait (I should point out that Biblically, the senior pastor should train the new pastor while he stays at the church. Seminaries are not Biblical, but neither is there anything in the Bible forbidding it).
During that time, the new Bishop/Minister/Elder/Pastor (all the same thing) is still a member of the congregation. He is under the authority of his sending pastor until such time as he is sent out and commissioned to start a new church, or pastor an existing one. Is he then now “Clergy”, a special class of exalted being over the congregation, ruling with lordly splendor? No, he is the servant of that church, providing leadership and oversight. That’s the Biblical model.
The priesthood is an attempt to hijack (steal would be a better word) the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament. This is an Augustinian invention, claiming that as the church repalces Israel, which it does not, therefore the Levitical priesthood is abandoned and must be taken up by the Church.
David Cloud writes,
The N.T. gives qualifcations for pastors and deacons, but none for priests. (Is The Roman Catholic Church Changing? David Cloud, Way of Life Publications, pg. 72)
There’s so many problems with this I wouldn’t know where to begin. Let’s just, in the interest of brevity, sum it up with saying that Revelation 1-3 concerns itself with the churches, and after that suddenly concerns itself with Israel. What happened to the churches? Gone. That’s called the Rapture, by the way. So, why Israel? Because the universal Church (a fiction invented by Rome, by the way) does not replace Israel. Israel remains Israel. A cursory reading of the Old Testament confirms this. In depth study will do the same.
So, the Catholic Church is usurping this. They also usurp the position of the born again Christian by assuming the role of the priesthood, when ALL BELIEVERS in the Lord Jesus Christ are a nation of kings and priests unto the Lord.
So if there is no priesthood, and if bishop is another title for pastor… and there is no Sriptural support ffor anything called a Cardinal or an “arch bishop” – then there is no Scriptural basis for the office of a pope. The entire concept is unBiblical, anti-Scriptural, and pagan to its core.
Certainly the wearing of the Dagon fish-head hat of the Cardinals is more Babylonian than Christian. It is Dagon worship, combined with Artemis/Diana/Queen of Heaven worship. Babylon’s pagan religious system is ressurected in the Roman Catholic Church, which is so far removed from Christianity, it cannot be considered Christian. As I go on with this series, this will be abundantly clear.