Oct 14

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It is the nature of religion to mold and develop the character of those who follow it. In our quest to address the subject of “pluralism,” which teaches that one religion is just as good and no worse than any other. Here is a little point with a big application, if two religions teach the same thing, then, there is no need for one of them. The reason attention is called to this point is that some have made the claim that their religion teaches the same thing as does “the teaching of Christ,” but they refuse to be identified as a “church of Christ,” which follows “the teaching of Christ!” Think on this, would “the teaching of Christ” produce anything not the “churches of Christ?”
Therefore, the question is put forth, if your religion teaches the “the teaching of Christ,” then, why not just accept “the teaching of Christ” and we can have unity; we can be one! Surely, no one desires division just for the sake of having division! Do they? Unity means we have power to reach the lost; as we all speak the same thing. In fact, “the teaching of Christ,” teaches this, for the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). However, there is a question that must be addressed; does your religion really teach the same thing as “the teaching of Christ?” If so, why are you known by another name?
Here we will take up one religion, the Roman Catholic Church, and notice only a few of its teachings that are not in harmony with “the teaching of Christ.” Many people, who study the New Testament, are aware of the claim, in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, which says that Peter was the first Pope and that the church was built upon him. Therefore, the question: “Is this claim true?”
First, let us notice the verse upon which this claim is based. It says, as recorded by Matthew while Jesus was speaking to Peter: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). The Greek words for Peter and “rock” have been added to the text so they may be easily identified! In looking at Thayer, it will be noticed that the Greek word “Petros” is capitalized while the Greek word for “rock” is not. This is, of course, totally human; as all the letters in the Greek text were capitalized. So, why bring this point up at all? Simply because it reveals the mind, the thinking, of one Greek Scholar. But, it is not just the scholarship of Thayer, but also of Strong, as he also capitalized the Greek word “Petros” but uses the lower case for “petra.” So, just what does this mean? It means that “Petros” is a proper name; while “petra” is not a proper name. It should also be noticed that the word “church” is never capitalized in the translations; such as the King James and American Standard, nor the English Standard Version; meaning it was understood by the translators that the word “church” is not a name! In fact, the Greek word “ekklēsia,” (church) means: “a calling out.” It relates to the “rock” and not Peter, as we shall see in the following!
Second, the meanings of the two words also comes into play here. First, taking the word “Petros (Peter), Thayer gives this: “a rock or a stone;” and Strong says: “Apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than “lithos” and gives the meaning as: “a stone.” If this sounds like such a small matter, think of it this way; “a stone” is not a “rock” in Greek! Peter was called a “Petros,” a “rock” which is a little larger than a “stone.” However, “Petros” (Peter) is a “piece of a rock but not the “rock” itself. Second, the word “rock” which is the Greek “petra.” Thayer gives this: “a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively): – rock.” “Petra” is “a rock,” the “massive” rock and is not a piece as of “rock” as is Peter. To this point, we have a “massive rock,” upon which Jesus said he would build his church; and we have a “piece of rock,” which is Peter, but Peter is too small to be the “rock” upon which Jesus said he would build his church! Therefore, Peter is not the “rock” upon which Jesus built his church.
Third, let us take up the gender question. Peter (Petros) is masculine in gender but the “rock” (petra) is feminine in gender! We all understand that there must be agreement in gender. It is necessary that we look for a feminine word to go with the feminine “rock.” That word is the Greek “ekklesia,” translated “church.” Therefore, Jesus never promised to build his feminine “church” upon the masculine “Petros,” Peter! It is a simple truth, the feminine “church” sets a top the feminine “rock” and that “rock” is not Peter! Peter was too small for the “church” to be built upon!
It is clear that “the teaching of Christ” is not the same as, in that it does not agree with, the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church! The Roman Catholic Church can NEVER be the church that Jesus built; the church that Jesus build was not built upon Peter; as he is too little and unsuited for such! Nevertheless, the doctrine of “pluralism” would have us all believe that all religions are equal with each other! Two religions, one built upon truth; while the other is built upon that which false; are not equal, neither can they every be!

Frank R. Williams


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