Faith or work can save us?


Do you see how you argue from all points as long as you perceive that you are correct?

First you place the idea of “Pope” on the 6th century; then you argue against a markedly earlier use of the term as inconsequential because it is not found in the mouth of the Apostles… all the while rejecting what is not found in the mouth of Jesus or the Apostles as proof that the Church is organic and she has grown from her infancy with Doctrinal Practices and Norms Unfolded by the Holy Spirit.

I liken arguments as yours as those of the ‘scholars’ and ‘theologians’ who claimed that John’s Gospel invented things till, by chance, truth was unearthed… or the ones who claim that there were no real miracles but exaggerations made to make Jesus seem more ‘Divine.’ These often put away the Divinity and argue on pure human science and abilities…

…as for the ‘unbiased student of Sacred Scripture,’ the problem with that premise is that there is bias as we cannot help but end up discovering the ‘proof’ of our preconceptions–unless we allow the Holy Spirit to truly be our Guide in Unfolding and Understand God’s Salvific Plan, which includes the Church (a Church) which is the Body of Christ:

1 I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, 2 With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity. 3 Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. (Ephesians 4)

Maran atha!



You are confused.

I did not place Cephas as the first of the Apostles; I did not run to the Tomb and yielded to Cepha’s right-away; I did not winked at Jesus to set Cephas as the ‘rock’ nor did I convinced Him to pray for Cephas to be the stronghold for the others… do you finally get the argument?

Maran atha!



That is correct. The office of pope was not in the thinking of Christ or His apostles. This is a verifiable and historical fact. And yes it was 590 A.D. when the papacy really began with Gregory I, as Gregory the Great, who consolidated the power of the bishopric in Rome and started that Church on a new course. Let me give you one Catholic Church historian and one Protestant to back it up. Philip Hughes in his book "A popular History of the Catholic Church, p. 75 1947. says,

Gregory I “… is generally regarded as the greatest of all his line… It was to him that Rome turned at every crisis where the Lombards (the invaders from the north) were concerned. he begged his people off and he bought them off. He ransomed the captives and organized the great relief services for widows and orphans Finally, in 598, he secured a thirty year’s truce. It was St. Gregory who in these years, was the real rule of Rome and in a very real sense he is the founder of the papal monarchy.”

Professor A.M. Renwick, of the Free Church college, Edinburgh, Scotland says, " His brilliant rule set a standard for those who came after him and he is really the first ‘pope’ who can, with perfect accuracy be given the title. Along with Leo I (440-461), Gregory VII (1073-1085), and Innocent III (1198-1216) , he stands out as one of the chief architects of the papal system." (The Story of the Church, p.64.)

The point is, a pope to rule over the earth wasn’t in the mind of Christ, nor His apostles. And that matters more than anything. But even in the early popes, it was not yet thought of until St. Gregory.


I notice you like to make pronouncements about my intentions and motives as if repeating yourself over and over again will make it so, when in reality you know absolutely nothing about who I am or why I take such positions. This is standard debate tactics to win an argument, and it works for those who buy-in.


Are you reading Scriptures selectively?:

17 For this cause have I sent to you Timothy, who is my dearest son and faithful in the Lord; who will put you in mind of my ways, which are in Christ Jesus; as I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Corinthians 4)

16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 4)

41 They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2)

Did the Apostles remove Christ from Christianity or did they Taught Christ through their own actions and interactions with those with whom they Fellowshipped?

Maran atha!



I apologize if you feel I’m putting words in your mouth–so to speak.

Really, I am simply following your lead… you place yourself as the determining factor of things ignoring both Scriptures and Church history.

So yes, I may be using strong-handed arguments but only because I seek to have you rethink your presentation from the perspective that it is being received.

Maran atha!



My mother, who is now in heaven, didn’t appear to do many works. But, we shouldn’t let appearances fool us. She raised six faithful children.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

N.K.J.V. James 2:14-26.

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


That is hones way of looking for truth which can save you, no matter where you go.


I’ve heard many times on this board that to study history is to become Catholic (or something along those lines). I’ve found it to be the opposite. Anyway, I’m currently reading A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson, who is himself Catholic, however I don’t know how devout he is. Paul Johnson is very well esteemed historian who also was on the staff of Margaret Thatcher.

According to Johnson, the Roman church was wealthy and devout, had undergone more persecution, had done much for the poor and was considered orthodox as it had done a good job of fighting off Gnosticism, Marcion and the Montanist thus was held in high esteem by the other churches. In other words, the church in Rome was look up to as healthy and orthodox by the other churches. However, Rome didn’t first assert its primacy until around 250 and this was in response to Cyprian. page 53

I had a long conversation with a man with a Phd in Ecclesiastical History with an emphasis on the pre-nicene church. He told me that when Rome first started claiming primacy it was accepted and rejected by the bishops of the other churches based on if those bishops agreed with Rome on the issue or not. If they agreed then Rome should be followed, if they disagreed then Rome was just another church with an equal voice. He said that pattern was followed up until Gregory the Great, who by circumstances (the fall of Rome) and great leadership, finally established the bishop of Rome as monarchical pope over all the churches. That pattern of agreeing and disagreeing the the primacy of Rome is why Orthodox can also quote Bishops who disagreed with the Primacy of Rome.

However, as an American Evangelical looking into all of this my question is, “If the apostles taught that the Bishop of Rome was the primary office in the church why did it take 250 years (longer than the USA has been a country) for the claim to be made and why did it take until the 6th century for the Primacy to be accepted by the other churches”?


I mean, Peter was the main dude and he died in Rome so…


Ianman87, there is no root to this fruit. You should know there is no biblical evidence of the Apostle Peter taking a demotion to the office of Bishop. His office as Apostle was the highest office in the church shared by the other Apostles. The Church at Rome never got everyone to agree to their push to lead.

I say push because Shepherds always get in front of the sheep and lead. Hired hands, get behind and push. They force, they make others submit. These characteristics are not shared by God’s Shepherds.


Thank you for the apology jcichton, I appreciate that. But I determine nothing for no one. As I’ve said recently to someone else on this web site. There are at least 6 or 7 different discussions going on, all of them demand in-depth answers. If this was my full time job I could answer better. But the time I spend on this site is challenged by many things. So I do not try to ignore scripture or Church history. Nor do I claim to know all of both. Actually I’ve learned a lot about Catholicism from you and others on this site. I consider myself to be a student here not a teacher. But as a student, I bounce your arguments off of what I do know from scripture to get your answers. And if (in my opinion) your answer doesn’t cut it, I will say so. But that doesn’t mean I am arrogant about it, or have a disrespect for you. On the other hand, many people on this site have openly disrespected me. But nonetheless I have much respect for the collective and historical perspective that comes from people on this site.


I don’t know what you are saying here.


The bishops are the successors of the Apostles.


Well, I lost you on the 6th century reference but consider it took over 300 years to define the Trinity. This is a doctrine that other groups would say was “invented” at the council of Nicaea. Same argument you make against the papacy would have to be made against the Trinity.


This is because Protestant and Reformed Theologians think the doctrine of the Trinity is Scriptural and was reasoned from Scriptures and make the same arguments from scripture as Catholics to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. In other words, the doctrine of the Trinity is affirmed by Sola Scriptura.

However, they don’t believe that the Apostles taught or understood the Primacy of the Roman Church or the Bishop of Rome. Who’s in charge is not a doctrine to be debated. Either you have authority or you don’t. If the Apostles taught, through oral teachings, that the Bishop of Rome was in charge then it would have been known by everyone everywhere from the very beginning. Apparently the Eastern Churches didn’t get the memo. History shows that there was a push back (on and off depending on the circumstances) against the Roman church from the eastern churches that wasn’t fully resolved until at least Gregory the Great, and even then it was a more of political necessity than actual agreement that Bishop of Rome was the leader of all the churches. Many say it was never fully resolved as there was always an underlying animosity between the Eastern and Western churches that it ultimately led to the split between East and West.


But Catholics DO use a scriptural argument from Matt 16 regarding the primacy of Peter and the office of “Prime Minister”.


But don’t you think if the Scripture and Tradition taught that the Bishop of Rome was Prime Minister that it would have been that way since the 1st Century? Wouldn’t it have been understood by all the churches from the 1st Century onward? Wouldn’t Christians in the year 100 or 200 have understood that the Bishop of Rome was the leader of all the churches? More importantly, wouldn’t the Bishops and elders in the Eastern Churches have understood it as well and not resisted when Rome claimed the “authority of the keys” in 250? Which is the first time on record that the Bishop of Rome asserted Matthew 16 as scripture to support the primacy of Rome.

This wasn’t a complex theological issue. It was about authority.


This is not an area I have a strong background on. You are asserting that Rome made no claim to primacy before 250? I will have to do some digging on that.


Here is where I got that information. History of Christianity, Paul Johnson, published in 1976, Page 53 (in my PDF edition)

Here is the quote

Thus Rome’s connection with the two greatest apostles was never disputed and it was exploited from the earliest times. Rome had the most impressive genealogy of all the earliest churches. Indeed, it had an embarras derichesse—not one apostle, but two. Peter, however, was the more valuable founder, as he was in some sense the chief apostle, Jesus’s closest associate, and the beneficiary of the famous ‘rock and keys’ text in Matthew. There is no evidence that Rome exploited this text to assert its primacy before about 250 - and then, interestingly enough, in conflict with the aggressive Episcopalian Cyprian - but what is clear is that in the second half of the second century, and no doubt in response to Marcion’s Pauline heresy -the first heresy Rome itself had experienced - Paul was eliminated from any connection with the Rome episcopate and the office was firmly attached to Peter alone.

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