Simon --> Peter?


#1

I asked a frequent non-Catholic visitor to these forums, someone who believes in a great Apostasy, what it meant to him that Jesus Christ told Peter, “Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I shall build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” How do you reconcile that with the supposed apostasy? YOU CAN’T.

Well, at first I was given a non-answer and then a long one cut and paste from a previous discussion with someone else at another time —

(I think you are misunderstanding that scripture. If you analyze it a bit more carefully, you will find that it doesn’t mean what you are assuming it does. The first thing to note is that God did not build His Church on Peter. God does not build His church on a mortal man. If the Church had been built on Peter, then when Peter died he must have taken the church with him, because there is no Peter around today. If the church was built on Peter, then where there is no Peter, there could be no church. So the first thing to understand is what the Lord meant when He told Peter, “On this rock I will build my church”.

The Lord made that comment to Peter after He had asked them the question, “Who do you think I am;” to which Peter had replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. In other words, he bore his testimony that he knew who Jesus was. This is confirmed by the fact that Jesus afterwards told him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”. In other words, he had gained a testimony of the Holy Ghost that Jesus was the Son of God. When the Lord told Peter, “On this rock I will build my church,” the “rock” He was referring to was the rock of testimony, meaning the testimony of the Holy Ghost, which is a personal revelation that something is true. The Lord was saying to Peter that He would build His church on the rock of the testimony of the Holy Ghost, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it, and that is of course true. That is why the LDS Church puts so much emphasis on personal testimonies, because once someone has obtained that testimony, it is difficult to shake them of from the Church. That is why many LDS remain strong and faithful to the Church, even in the face of strong adversity and criticism from the adversaries of the Church. So that is the first point you need to note.

The second point is what the Lord meant by “church”. The word “church” has more than one definition or meaning. It can mean just a house of worship, the place where people get together to worship God. It can mean a local branch of a particular church or denomination, or all of that denomination. Or it can man the complete body of the saints or believers in Christ, which constitute His church in the widest sense of the term. It can also mean the organizational structure of the church. The true church of God has also a distinct and organizational structure. Paul compared it to a house, with foundations, walls and everything else(Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 12:27-30).

When the Lord told Peter, “On this rock I will build my church,” He was using the word in the wider sense of “the body of His true believers,” or His saints. And that is of course entirely correct. When we say that the church apostatized, we don’t mean that there were no more true believers in Christ left in the world. What we mean is that the organizational structure was destroyed. The priesthood authority, hence the ability to lead and guide the church by revelation was lost. The power to perform valid sacraments acceptable before God was lost. That is what we mean by the Apostasy of the church. We don’t mean that there were no more good Christians left in the world. On the contrary, modern scripture clearly states that there were many good, believing Christians left in the world (see 3 Nephi 16:6-7; D&C 10:53-56).

–on to part two


#2

----that completely skipped over the fact that Jesus RENAMED Simon as Peter and asked this person about it.

Originally Posted by Philothea53
…and the fact that this man was named Simon yet Christ changed his name to Peter which means rock has no bearing whatsoever?

The answer:
Actually, his name was already Peter. The use of the word “rock” is a pun (bold italics mine) on his name. Peter was also a “rock,” in the sense that he was firm in the testimony of the Lord (after repenting from his initial denial). But in the scripture in question, “rock” refers to the witness of the Spirit that he bore of Jesus, not to himself. God did not build His church on Peter. If Peter was the rock on which the Church was built, then when Peter died the church should have died with Him. It is on the divine testimony of the Holy Ghost (of the divinity of Jesus Christ) that the true church of God was, and still is, built, no of Peter or any other man.

I told this person I would like to bring the conversation to the public forum, so here I am.

My reason for going public is because I admit to a certain amount of ignorance of Scripture - have I missed something??


#3

I dunno. Leaving an inheritance to an idea? Or leaving an inheritance to a person? Which is more practical? Which can even be done in the real world which is the world in which we live?


#4

The answer:
Actually, his name was already Peter.

True, and yet it was Jesus who had already given him his name Peter, so the point her is making is moot. Peter was born Simon, and Jesus changed his name for a purpose (unless your debatee deems it worthy to proclaim that Jesus lacked the forsight to see how much confusion the name “peter” would cause.

The use of the word “rock” is a pun (bold italics mine) on his name.

The bible uses much metaphor and simile, but it doesn’t use pun. This is a common deception by fundy types to say that peter means small stone rather than rock (they feel this discredits the argument though they forget that the original wording was in greek (not latin))

Peter was also a “rock,” in the sense that he was firm in the testimony of the Lord (after repenting from his initial denial). But in the scripture in question, “rock” refers to the witness of the Spirit that he bore of Jesus, not to himself.

If this were the case then the bible would state it so. the bible CLEARLY states that Jesus said “YOU ARE ROCK.” not ‘your testament is rock.’ This claim is a silly one, and reminds me of former president clinton’s defense: that depends on how you define “is” :rofl:

God did not build His church on Peter.

That’s funny, Jesus seems to say that He did… I guess it’s whose word you want to take: Christ? or fundy ‘pastor’ joe?

If Peter was the rock on which the Church was built, then when Peter died the church should have died with Him.

That’s like saying that Jesus died only for those that were alive at the time and everyone else got short changed in the salvific game of life. The infusing of Peter’s office with the Holy Spirit was non-temporal and is handed down by apostolic succession through the generations.

It is on the divine testimony of the Holy Ghost (of the divinity of Jesus Christ) that the true church of God was, and still is, built, no of Peter or any other man.

I’ll throw this one back at you since fundies are so fond of using it: prove it. There is nothing scripturally to back this position up.


#5

This poster (I am assuming from that prior post that her/his name is Zerinus) is woefully ill-prepared to discuss Scripture.

Why?

Well, taking her/him at his/her word, Jesus would NEVER start a “church” (however Zerinus’ convoluted logic twists its meaning) on a person.

Therefore:

No Joseph Smith and the Mormons.

Zerinus thus excludes any credibility he/she might have by knocking out the foundation of Christ’s Church (a Church which Zerinus’ home-grown variation on Islam will contend went South some time after it’s founding (but not really, since it wasn’t REALLY founded on a person at all…!?)

The illogic is mind boggling.

Robert


#6

Zerinus appears to be a trolling Mormon (having been a Mormon before converting to Catholicism I know it is something they are always encouraged to do) and will argue with anyone endlessly and never be convinced of the other argument, but just be waiting for a space to fill in with Mormonese.

They are a good people, but once you dig down to the core of the Mormon theology, you come up empty.

Pray for them.


#7

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