|Pope: Other gatherings not the true Church|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 10 July 2007 12:20|
Just days after Pope Ratzinger revived the use of the Latin in mass liturgy, the Vatican has once again stunned Christendom by reasserting the dogma that the Catholic Church is the "one true Church", and that all other "denominations" are not.
Quote: "A 16-page document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict once headed, described Christian Orthodox churches as true churches, but suffering from a "wound" since they do not recognise the primacy of Pope. But the document said the "wound is still more profound" in Protestant denominations. "Despite the fact that this teaching has created no little distress... it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to them," it said.
The Catholic Church claims apostolic succession from Peter, who was supposedly the first Pope, and that it is the Church Christ spoke of in Matthew 16:18. But the Catholic Church misinterprets Christ's words to Peter when He said "upon this Rock I will build my Church", assuming that Christ meant "upon Peter". The Lord Himself surnamed Simon "Peter", which means a "stone". The Lord was using wordplay when He said "upon this Rock" He would build His Church. Throughout the Scriptures Christ is spoken of as the Rock, and I don't think His Church could ever be founded on anything else.
There is no Scriptural evidence that Peter was ever Bishop of Rome. In fact, Galatians 2:8 states that his ministry was to the Jews, not to the Gentiles. The Bible teaches that there is one true Church, who's Head is Jesus Christ.
And members of all denominations, religions and races belong to this Church when they accept by faith Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins. I say "religions", not that I advocate people should remain in idolatry, but that there are many people who believe in Christ who have not the privilege of showing it openly. Many Muslims believe in Christ but may not be able to gather with other Christians in a public way. Likewise I know of Catholics that are truly born again by God's Spirit, but have not come out of the Catholic Church. They feel they need to remain there in order to be witnesses to others of God's salvation.
Sadly what the Catholic Church teaches is unscriptural and blasphemous, and as we have seen recently, even in our own "Protestant" congregations things are not any better. As the Bible states, during the last days there shall come a great falling away from the truth (2nd Thessalonians 2:3), and men shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (2nd Timothy 4:3-4). We don't need to look very far to see that. Though it may be the unpopular thing to do, it is up to us true believers in Jesus Christ to stand up for God's truth in these dark days.