Why apostle Peter would be a really bad Pope today

Recently I read the Pope has a bit of jolly visiting the holy land, which when visiting Beth Lehem, the Palestinian authority put on a nice show for him showing how they were dedicated to peace. You know, showing Jesus’s step-father Joseph with a Keffiyah (Arab headscarf) and other assorted propaganda that make out Jesus to be a Palestinian. Sigh.

I’ve been perplexed to figure out how Catholicism is influenced from the bible.  Someone the other day told me that Peter was the first ever Pope.  Peter is a well known figure that I’ve been reading a bit recently.

In actual fact I think that Peter would be a really bad Pope, at least put into the context of modern day Catholicism.

Peter is quite a passionate sort of chap, he is someone with a temper, good at talking to people and is a pioneer and building churches for the gentile believers.   He has his qualities and faults.

Peter has faith issues! (at least early on)

He doesn’t cope well with walking on water and sinks when hes asks Jesus that this idea doesn’t quite match up with laws of physics. I can see what he means I don’t swim at all, as I’m terrified of water and the idea of drowning. I’ve never managed to swim since several bad experiences as a child.
Jesus challenges Peter, by asking him to feed my lambs. In all honesty, I’ve never figured out exactly why Jesus was being a bit cryptic here. It seems he’s just asking him to check if he really loved him.  After denying Jesus 3 times which was highlighted by the rooster that crowed, Peter realises the terrible mistake he has made.

In Matthew 10 : 32-33 Jesus says Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.  Harsh words indeed.  Peter went on to achieve a lot later.

Its interesting that St Peter’s church in Jerusalem, has a rooster on top of it.  I wrote about this three years ago.

Peter is blunt!

The Pope does a lot of meeting and greeting of heads of state and senior members of other religious groups. On the PR front, Peter would probably get into a lot of trouble.

Christians who prefer only fluffy teaching would most probably consider him ‘judging’ at lot of the time. Peter doesn’t have time for cute Christian rubber wrist bands and that kind of rubbish, he’d rather get into with prayer and fellowship, in fact he’s really quite harsh with false teachers, which is why in the brief 3 chapters of II Peter has number two devoted to the charlatans and phonies in the church.

Peter has his own transport!

I’m pretty sure Peter would not need his own chariot and someone to drive him around in a custom bullet proof automobile. Peter is a fisherman so is used to getting his hands dirty and operates and services his own boat along with his friends.   Wonder if Petey took his fish to market on a horse, or if there was another person in the distribution channel who bought from the side of the lake and sold it to the other parts of the country?

Peter is named a rock by Jesus!  

Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Its really interesting here that Jesus is told people mistakenly think that other biblical figures, some then and some from the OT were thought to be the Messiah.    From here, Peter meaning rock becomes his name rather than Simon.

Peter tells Jesus hes also a rock!

Peter’s own writings from 1 Peter, the metaphorical stones Jesus used in changing Simon to Peter, Peter uses from the books of Isaiah and Psalms.

See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 1 Peter 2:6 / Isaiah 28:16

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7 / Psalm 118:22

A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” 1 Peter 2:8 / Isaiah 8:14

Peter commits violence!

When Jesus is taken away and arrested, Peter hacks off the Roman soldier’s ear! Jesus then heals the soldier of this heavily bleeding cranial trauma, and carries on with the death sentence that’s issued to him.

Peter and Paul once had a disagreement over theology!

Oh dear, and people think troubles in the church are a modern thing, and going back to Hebrew roots will give us a more pure more authentic experience right?   Not quite.  Arguments of the same issues were in the first generation believers.   Here I think this was down to someone having an idea that out of Gentile believers and Jewish believers, one was more important than the other.   Galatians 2 talks about this.

Peter has a calm balanced approach to Eschatology!

Yes, he talks about end times and the earth burning up in 2 Peter 3 but in quite relaxed way, but warns against scoffers, ie: those who are denial about how moral standards would deteriorate before Jesus’ return.  I think today Peter would encourage us today to stay firm in our faith and moral standards but no need to listen to daft conspiracies on Youtube.   I might be wrong but don’t think I’ve seen any mention of the Pope looking forward to Jesus’ return or the worldwide troubles that would be associated before hand.

Instead, The Pope could try and mimic Peter

vaticanstampMaybe the Pope could take up fishing. By getting yourself to the level of a simple occupation that provides food and income, and a still quiet place like the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) would give you ample opportunities to mentor young believers, use the quietness to reflect and seek God.   Society tends to put a big artificial layer of complexity on religion, in terms of our relationship with our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I don’t really see a need for a man in his own palace in Rome which has an authority with its own special postage stamps.

So dear readers I hope you can read and be enthralled by Jesus and his disciples and the impact they made and not see them set today as people set in a context they were not meant to be.

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theology and diagrams = theologygrams

I think if you are an IT person or like mathematics or charts and statistics and are a Christian you will probably get a kick out of this, like I did:

ba

 

Think given some thought, I’d probably could dream up a few of my own of these.  🙂

for more check out: http://theologygrams.wordpress.com/

Egypt, jam and prophecy

Lately I have been getting back into reading Isaiah, the book with highest amount of prophetic value in the scriptures.  I haven’t been to Egypt but been curious about the past and present in the surrounding middle east nations.

Isaiah 19 : 4 I will hand the Egyptians over
to the power of a cruel master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

Although Egypt’s previous government run by Mumbarak and folks trashing museums in Cairo seems horrible, things sound like they could be a lot worse with the Muslim Brotherhood running the place.   I was talking to some people in my bible study, and they pointed out this passage.    Until recently Egypt has a just about ok relationship with Israel, but with this new leadership they could be as dangerous as Syria or Iran.

Isaiah 19 : 16 In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the Lord Almighty raises against them. 17 And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the Lord Almighty is planning against them.

18 In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.[a]

(a) – Isaiah 19:18 Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Symmachus and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text City of Destruction

Looking at this Hebrew version of this passage on www.bible.cc, it says this also.  My regular NIV people says Destruction, with message at the bottom, about it also being ‘City of the sun’.

city of destruction

“Speak the language of Canaan..”, how about this article?

egyptians speaking hebrew  orangejam
Here is a jar of Marmalade I bought from an Arab shop near my house here in Jerusalem.    Its labelled as “Orange Jam”  and its made in Egypt, this is a city just outside Cairo.

After I looked in Wikipedia about 6th October City:-

1973 – Egypt launches a coordinated attack with Syria against Israel leading to the Yom Kippur War.
The city was established in 1979 by the 504th presidential decree of president Anwar El Sadat. It is 17 km from the great pyramids of Giza and 32 km from downtown Cairo.[4] The city has a total area of 97.4 thousand feddans (400 km2) and is expected to eventually have 3.7 million inhabitants.[5] It was announced as the capital of the 6th of October Governorate in April 2008. Following the governorate’s dissolution in April 2011, it was reincorporated into the Giza Governorate, to which it had originally belonged.
The city’s name commemorates the commencement of the October War on 6th October 1973 to liberate Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. For this reason, the date was also chosen as Egypt’s Armed Forces Day.

My primitive knowledge of Hebrew tells me that שמש – Shemesh is sun.   There is a city outside of Jerusalem called Beit Shemesh.

Just out of curiousity, in case there was another definition, I did some translating.   This other word “Chamah” which I don’t recognise, could be sun, or heat, rage, fury or wrath.   Now I think I know there is two different English biblical interpretations of this.

shemesh

Funny, I only went out to get something to spread on some pita bread, interesting what inspires me to see what Isaiah is talking about regarding what will prophetically happen to Egypt one day….

Is revival heading toward Egypt one day, yes, check out this link for 70,000 Egyptian believers in Jesus got together at the end of 2011.

http://www.tyndale.ca/news/egypts-remarkable-prayer-gathering 

Zionism – a bad word to some?

I have always wondered why some people think Zionism is a dirty word.

Many times in the news its kind of used as a slur for the way the way Jews have been returning to Israel from all across the diaspora, occasionally its even Christians, some that have studied all kinds of theology but appear to be perhaps lacking in what was taught in Isaiah and Jeremiah maybe.  When speaking to people about my interests and visits to Israel, a couple of times I have been responded “Oh so you are a Zionist are you?  ah yes these sorts of people hate Palestinians, Arabs and Iranians…” This is sad when people make rash and quick judgments like this.

There is plenty of authors of books critical of Israel, plenty are on sale on Amazon (even including some Jews, including people like Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein etc) ex-US president Jimmy Carter and former TV newsreader celebrity nutter David Icke like to look at Zionism being the worst kind of evil organisation ever.    Likened to the Freemasons or some other paranoid organisation which has a corrupting influence on the world, and that Jews in some way are controlling.   Really this is and should be quite laughable.   There were famous books printed like the Elder protocols of Zion and founder of the blue oval motor maker, Henry Ford wrote some similar poisonous material, some of these nasty propaganda manuals are still treated as legitimate reference material today, as part of other modern day hatred such as holocaust denial.   Its part of what I think make Anti-Semitism a bigger problem than people think and worse than other hatred of any specific racial group.

In reality these views can be held completely nonsense, when you look at the wide number of ethnic people in Israel, and different types of Jews worldwide.   If you look at Aliyah, its true people emigrated to Israel, especially around the early 1990s with going with ideal of all Jews going into one nation closely to what the Torah said, but at the same time many Jews also made Aliyah because they had to, albeit sometimes reluctantly, as persecution in their previous homelands of nations like Yemen, Iran, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia etc, was unbearable or meant they could of faced death.   For some other Jewish people the idea to go may have been purely economic, the promise of a job and financial security.  For this reason many Israelis I have met can be secular or atheistic.

Where as Israel gets sizable amounts of money from the US government, its no secret so has the Palestinian authority.  The Magon David ambulance organisation in Israel has all its fleets of vehicles donated by Jewish organisations mostly in the US but sometimes also from Canada and France.   There are many Christian organisations in the US that have supplied money to charities and needy people in Israel, mostly because a good proportion of tax Shekels have to go to the military defending Israel against frequent threats from terrorism or war with its neighbours.   Despite this and than poverty in Israel is high, Israel has made a high contribution to the rest of the world in terms of its exports, large amounts of fruit and vegetables, technology (IT, telecoms, renewable power, water treatment, etc) medicine and healthcare innovations are just a small example of these.

I am a supporter of Israel and the Jewish people, this could mean I could be considered to be a Christian Zionist, but would like to clarify things first.  I believe God still has a plan for the Hebrew as outlined in the scriptures, that as Christians we are grafted in as his people.  Sadly because of the false doctrine of what often known as replacement theology, people assume that Israel in the bible is more of a metaphorical ‘Israel’ for the modern day church.  Paul says clearly in Romans 11 : 1 about this common misconception.   I believe Jesus will still return to Jerusalem one days as promised in the scriptures, this is why Israel is never not in the mainstream news, as Satan attempts to twist and alter things in order to change unsuccessfully what God is planning.

Christians that support Israel are not always one particular breed or denomination.  I have seen quite a few Christians visit Israel, from all over the place including Nigeria, South Korea and Japan.   I have even seen a small group of people (they had name tags) at the Kotel recently from the Faeroe Islands, an extremely small little known Nordic island nation between Scotland and Iceland.

As a Christian I think its vital we don’t become complacent, and speak up and pray against hatred and lies spoke in governments around the world and in the media.  I think God loves the Palestinian and the Arab and Persian people, its true also in recent times there have been large numbers of people in Islamic nations (do some searches on Youtube) come to Christ, normally this is secret as they can be in extreme danger, for this reason its hard to gauge how many Moslems, Hindus, Sikhs, etc come to Christ each year around the world.

The newspapers in the UK most definitely want to pick someone to blame for current world problems, whether its overpaid bankers, foreign immigrants coming in and wanting to change things to suit them, change the way our children are taught in British schools, worryingly extremist political groups like the BNP or Islam4UK, a kind of ‘bogeyman’ we can all blame.   The scriptures in Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Here its sin which can manifest into many different things that causes worry and distress.

For me, I only identify myself as a regular Christian, I may contribute in my church in welcome team, or being in prayer groups in some IT businesses I have worked at and in looking after the computer systems for Christian charity in Jerusalem.  I am purely here as a servant to do whatever God leads me into doing, the only incentive or reward being able to see help go to the people that need it, make some new friends and get to study biblical places in more detail.  I am not in Israel to convert people as this is greatly frowned upon and is illegal, its more of case of just a loving attitude in terms of me serving out there in terms of the context of my official volunteer job and spending time with some of my native Israeli friends.

When I see other Christians I know volunteer in nations like South Africa, Chile, Uganda, China etc, I don’t usually ask about politics, as its not fair to make assumptions based on what the media say, its not always easy to sum up what is right or wrong from casual observance.  I also avoid mentioning political stuff to friends back in the UK (both Christian and non-Christian) due to antagonistic questions I have been asked and such.

For me, Israel is where almost all of the events of the bible happened, and where Christ himself will come again, and many things prophesied in the scriptures have become reality, the reformation of the modern state of Israel, a lot of its neighbours being its enemies, the way the Hebrew language which was something only ever kept for reading religious books has now made it into a usable language in business and every day, all of this in little over sixty years.  It is only by sticking to a roadmap of what the Lord outlined in the bible will there be peace, as opposed to any artificial plan created by any other authority.