"Catholic" Church Wrote
(A brief answer to the K. C. (Knights of Columbus) display ad on "The Bible Is A Catholic Book").
A misrepresented truth goes far to deceive the ignorant. Let's not be ignorant of the true meaning of the word "Catholic". It means "universal", or "general", and its first use as an adjective, embraced every born again believer in Jesus Christ throughout the world as belonging to His church. Contrarily, every believer is not a "Roman Catholic". As a noun the word "catholic" denotes in common usage a member of that sect. The true Christian (catholic or universal) church "which is Christ's body" (Eph. 1:23, 1 Cor. 12:12, 13, 27) had its sudden beginning at Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 11:15). It was organized by Christ to function as an organism.
The Roman Catholic man-made "church" came into being by development, as a mere humanly organized institution, with inventions (including the title of "pope") added thereto throughout the centuries. All the "New Testament" was written before a Roman Catholic "church" was organized and no such "church" is anywhere mentioned in the Bible. Please "investigate" this Book and see.
As to papal infallibility, we quote from a R. C. (Roman Catholic) book, "The Faith of Millions", p. 129: "The Apostles and Evangelists received this gift (infallibility) and their writings are accepted as the revealed Word of God. But the Church does not teach that the pope is inspired, or that he receives a divine revelation properly so-called. Thus the Vatican Counsel declares: 'For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter in order that they might spread aboard new doctrine which He reveals...'."
There is no Biblical proof that Peter ever went to Rome or "founded" a church there. It is noteworthy that in his two epistles Rome is not once mentioned. Furthermore, Peter is careful to tell us that Christ is the Rock foundation upon which all believers, including Peter, are built "as living stones". As to special authority, Peter claimed only to be "an apostle" and "an elder" (1 Peter 1:1, 5:1). He neither claimed nor showed superiority over the other apostles as can be seen by reading Acts 15:7-19; Gal. 2:9-15. Peter received "the keys" of the kingdom of heaven, not of the church (Mat. 16:19). The power to "bind or to "loose" was given to all of Christ's apostles (Mat. 18:18). Peter used authoritatively the existing "Old Testament" Hebrew scriptures in his preaching, not the writing of the New Testament. Few Bible teachers have noticed that no Acts character used the word "church" until the 20th chapter, verse 28, and there spoken by the apostle Paul, God's chosen reveler concerning Christ's church, "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone" (Eph. 2:20; 3:1-11).
Truly, the "New Testament" was written by members of the universal or general, i.e., catholic, church of Jesus Christ, whose names are "written in heaven" (Heb. 12:23). Membership therein began at Pentecost - "and the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved" (Acts 2:47. R.V.). Not Peter, but Paul was "the apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom. 11:13; 15; 16 1 Tim. 2:7). Since Roman Catholics, as such, appeared centuries later, we know no Roman Catholics had anything to do with writing the "New Testament". Its divinely inspired origin and canonicity was believed, accepted and enjoyed by all Christians who read or came under the hearing of these writings. This was true also of the "Old Testament". They needed not to wait until 393 A.D. when officious clergymen took it upon themselves, in North Africa, to "list" such writings as they considered inspired.
As to the exhortation by well-meaning people to "join a church", this is unscriptural, for all Christians are "joined to the Lord" (Acts 5:14; 11:24; 1 Cor. 6:17) and any joining by men is bound to be a case of being "unequally yoked together with unbelievers" - forbidden in 2 Cor. 6:14-18, as is sectarian division in 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-4.
Ed Stevens (1895-1966)
*The "Old Testament" would more correctly be called the Hebrew
scriptures and the "New Testament" the Greek scriptures.
*The "Old Testament" would more correctly be called the Hebrew scriptures and the "New Testament" the Greek scriptures.
Also See: Was Peter the First Pope?
Testing the Roman Catholic Gospel