Thursday, March 22, 2007

John Owen Laying an Axe to the Root of Roman Catholicism

From John Owen [From The Glory of Christ pg. 32]

Here’s a brief introduction to the context of this quote. Owen is talking about how Roman Catholics are wrong in their claim that Peter is the foundation of the church from Matthew 16:18 . . .
“How they bring in the claim of their pope by Peter, his being at Rome, being bishop of Rome, dying at Rome, fixing his chair at Rome, devoting and transmitting all his right, title, power and authority, every thing but his faith, holiness and labour in the ministry, unto the pope, I shall not here inquire; I have done it elsewhere. Here is fixed the root of the tree, which is grown great, like that in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, until it is become a receptacle for the beasts of the field and fowls of the air – sensual men and unclean spirits.”

Owen then says, regarding this root of Peter being the foundation of the Roman Catholic church . . .
“I shall, therefore, briefly lay an axe unto the root of it, by evidencing that it is not the person of Peter who confessed Christ, but the person of Christ whom Peter confessed, that is the rock on which the church is built.”
Wow! I have to say that I agree with the protestant reading of Matthew 16:18.


Timothy said...

Greetings! Saw your post on Google...

>"I have to say that I agree with the protestant reading of Matthew 16:18."

Then both you and John Owen would be in error.

First, Matthew 16:18 is inseperable from Matthew 16:19.

Second, in Matthew 16:18, Jesus, Almighty God, is renaming Simon to Peter. Why?

In the OT, God renamed Abram to Abraham, indicating a significant change in Abram's life. Why is Peter the only apostle renamed by Christ?

Third, in verse 19, we find the words to be an almost direct quote from Isaiah 22:22. Jesus is making reference to the keys of King David and the office held by his minister Eliakim. Why?

Finally, what did the early Christians teach concerning Matthew 16:18-19?

Tertullian in the late 100's and the early 200's A.D. said, "Was anything withheld from Peter who was called the Rock on which the Church should be built, who also obtained the keys to the kingdom of heaven with the power of binding and loosing in heaven and earth?" (Hahn)

So, from shortly after the Gospel of Matthew was written until now - 1900 years, the true historic Christian interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19 has not been the 400 year-old post-Reformation Protestant interpretation.

If you're serious in your study of the truth of Matthew 16:18, you'll find a much longer treatise by one of the world's greatest living Christian (now Catholic) theologians here:

(scroll down to Papal Primacy and Succession)

Dr Hahn quotes a number of non-Catholic scholars who also agree that the Reformers and many of their descendants got Matthew 16:18 wrong.

Now, you know the Truth.

God bless...

- Timothy

jwd said...

Though not entirely related to the point at hand, I've long wondered why the Pope, or priests, can't be married, since Peter in fact was.

Timothy said...

Greetings! Dropping by to followup...

>jwd said... "I've long wondered why the Pope, or priests, can't be married, since Peter in fact was."

Actually, the Pope can be married, if the Pope is not a priest. Any baptized Catholic male is may appointed Pope. As Jesus found no impediment in Peter's prior marital status, neither does the Catholic Church in regard's to Peter's successor. Amazingly, I myself, with a wife and two girls, am eligible. Hope I am never called to fill the shoes of the Fisherman.

Priests, on the other hand, are a different matter. Celibacy is a discipline. Its scriptural basis is found in Paul's letters that all Christians should be chaste and that marriage is for those unable/unwilling to control their lust. Then, there's also Christ's warning against serving two masters.

Personally, I'm all for a celibate priesthood. I was horrified to find out that a large percentage of married non-Catholic ministers have committed adultery or other improper sexual activities.

I don't think Catholics should place their ministers in a position to possibly commit the serious sin of adultery. The early Church fathers clearly understood scripture and decided wisely.

God bless...

- Timothy

Timothy said...

Sorry to post again so soon, but I found the clergy report I had read awhile back. Concerning married non-Catholic ministers:

"In a 1984 survey, 38.6 percent of ministers reported sexual contact with a church member, and 76 percent knew of another minister who had had sexual intercourse with a parishioner.[xiii] In the same year, a Fuller Seminary survey of 1,200 ministers found that 20 percent of theologically “conservative” pastors admitted to some sexual contact outside of marriage with a church member. The figure jumped to over 40 percent for “moderates”; 50 percent of “liberal” pastors confessed to similar behavior.[xiv]"

The above is exactly why I'm concerned about abandoning the ancient discipline of celibacy, which a noted has a scriptural basis.

40-50% of ministers having sexual contact outside of marriage is not a good or desireable thing.

God bless...

- Timothy

Noah Braymen said...

Hey, guys...I've been out of town for the last couple days...

I'll be responding to Timothy in another's a pretty long response for a comment section.

Also, regarding celibacy. Timothy, I see your points regarding sexual misconduct in the church. However, I have to take issue with you. To be in strong defense of celibacy against not practicing celibacy while avoiding the elephant in the room of the sexual abuse of numerous RC priests of young girls and boys would be a huge mistake! It seems that you are using stats in favor of your position and completely avoiding stats against your position.

You quote stats saying that not practicing celibacy leads to sexual sin between shepherds and their flock...well, isn't that exactly what has happend to Roman Catholicism [regarding children in the U.S. that I know of] while trying to uphold the practice of celibacy?

Also...stats don't determine the practice of the church. The Bible should [from the protestant position]. Also, those stats are taken from polls...which may not be completely accurate. They might be and if they are we should repent...

Celibacy isn't bad...but it is a Christian liberty issue to be determined by each person with the counsel of their elders in their church. Not a legal mandate to be placed over anyone who would be a priest in the church.

Also, practically speaking...a person who isn't a priest or bishop in the RC church would never become the pope...has it ever happened in the past?? No. Will it happen in the future? Probably not. I hope I am proven wrong!

In Christ

Timothy said...

Greetings! Dropping in to follow up...

>"avoiding the elephant in the room of the sexual abuse of numerous RC priests of young girls and boys"

Since you introduced it, the elephant in the room was predominantly abuse of teenage males and not young girls and boys. There were some incidents of pedophilia.

Again, there is no proof that marriage would have prevented any of the abuse situations. There is proof of over 800 documented cases of similar abuse by largely married, non-Catholic clergy. If a married clergy is the panacea, where's the proof? Why the rampant abuse among married Protestant clergy? Why is the rate of pedophilia higher among non-Cathlic clergy than among Catholic clergy?

>'Also, practically speaking...a person who isn't a priest or bishop in the RC church would never become the pope...has it ever happened in the past?? No."

First, the original question was why can't the Pope be married? The answer is that the Pope can be married according to scripture and canon law.

Second, it has happened in the past. The were numerous married Popes, some with children. The precedent is there, so, practically speaking, it could very well happen in the future.

God bless...

- Timothy