The Golden Isles church of Christ

Weekly Bulletin

Volume 3, Number 6

February 9, 2003

Was Peter the First Pope?

by Dick Ward

 DID YOU KNOW Peter WAS NOT the first POPE? The cornerstone of Catholicism’s organization is the false assumption that the apostle Peter held a position as the head and the leader of the church in the first century. Friends, we invite you to consider this careful study of this important question, "Was Peter the first Pope?"


Too many major things are lacking in the doctrine of Peter being a pope or the first Pope.

1. What scripture shows Christ desired some man to be an earthly head of the church and to be called "Pope"?

2. Where was Peter ever spoken of as the one chosen to be that head of Christ’s church? Where was any man ever called "Pope" in the Word of God?

3. Where does the Bible teach "successors" to this phantom office?



There are many differences between the apostle Peter and those who have claimed to be "papa" of the church. Peter referred to himself as a fellowservant .... a fellow elder (I Peter 1:1; 5:1) but never called himself "Vicar of Christ," ... "Reverend," ... "Father," ... or "Pope." While "popes" accept worship, Peter refused to let men bow to worship him - (Acts 10:25,26 KJV) And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. :26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. While "Popes" speak words that are traditions of men and bind them on their followers, Peter admonished all to speak "as the oracles of God" (I Peter 4:11). Peter pointed to Christ as the "Chief Shepherd" (I Peter 2:25) but the Pope himself claims to be the Chief Shepherd. Peter had a wife (Matthew 8:14) and, being an elder (I Peter 5:1), Peter had believing children (Titus 1:5,6) but the Pope has not wife - claiming to be married to the church.


Friends, the other apostles did not go to Peter to settle various religious questions. The other apostles had just as much authority as was given to Peter. Actually, on one occasion, Paul had to rebuke Peter to his face for playing the part of an hypocrite (Galatians 2:11-14). Nowhere in the scriptures can we read of the apostles referring to Peter as their leader, head or their Pope!

What's YOUR Preference:

Smoking or Non-Smoking?

By Mark J. Ward

How often are you asked your "preference" when you go out to eat at a restaurant? Often, we are greeted by a cheerful employee who asks "How many will be in your party? And what's your seating preference: smoking or non-smoking?"

When we think of eternity...we DO have a choice in the matter. Calvinism is false! There is an open invitation for "whosoever will" to come and take of the water of life freely (See John 3:15,16; 4:14). When people in the New Testament asked if they could "do" anything (not meritorious, mind you, but to have God's mercy, grace and forgiveness applied) they were NOT TOLD, "Naw, you are either saved or not saved by God's design..there ain't nothin' you can do about are either preselected/predestined by God before the world began to be in the saved group...or you are in the lost group...sorry!" The Bible teaches that...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER...should not perish, but have everlasting life..Remember that passage of Scripture (John 3:16)? Do we believe it? I hope so!

There are some folks today who do not believe the plain truths presented in God's Word. The Bible clearly teaches only two places of abode in eternity: heaven and hell (See Matthew 25:46; I Thess. 4:14-18 & II Thess. 1:6-9). I ask: What's my/your "preference" for eternity? And more importantly, What are you and I doing about it (i.e. where we will be in eternity) daily? Are we living in such a way as to show God how much we love Him? If we love Him, we will keep his commandments (See I John 5:1-3).

We shouldn't have to be asked a seating preference in a restaurant. Folks ought not smoke. Those that do usually choose the seating preference of "smoking" when they go out to eat. People ought not do a lot of things, tho'. As free moral agents, people "can smoke, if they want to", I guess. They will receive a just reward for it now, healthwise, and later, God will properly judge this action (for which I can find no Bible authority) in the judgment day. But concerning eternity, EVERYONE prefers "heaven" to "hell", don't they? Doesn't everyone in eternity want "non-smoking" (pun intended readership)??? One problem may be that we are not really "acting" and "living" daily like we really love God in order to show Him that's our preference. Think about it. Thanks for reading. --mjw

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