Paul Rebuked Peter


Q. In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul rebuked Peter for hypocrisy so it seems pretty clear that Peter was NOT infallible after all.

A. If the definition of the Dogma of Infallibility of the Pope included all the actions of the pope then the Galatians passage would indeed be evidence that Peter was not infallible. However, the Dogma of Infallibility DOES NOT include the actions of the pope. The Pope is only infallible when and ONLY when, he both 1) teaches on faith and morals and 2) when he teaches to the whole church.

In the Galatians passage Peter did not fulfill either one of the requirements for infallible teaching let alone both requirements. He simply did not promulgate any teaching for the whole church. He caved into peer pressure. He was weak at this moment.

Some might insist that he certainly was teaching by his actions. But again this is not the type of teaching referred to in the Dogma of Infallibility. But even if we concede that Peter did teach, still he was NOT teaching error to the whole Church. Therefore, it still would not meet the requirements necessary to be considered a failure of infallibility.

This Dogma does not imply that every word from the lips of the pope is infallible.

He could make errors in his speech as he walks with a Cardinal friend down the hall at the Vatican. (Not taught to the whole Church/not on faith and morals)

He could make arithmetic errors in his checkbook. (Neither about faith and morals nor for the whole Church)

In a meeting and discussion of theology with other bishops he could even make mistakes. (Not taught to the whole Church)

But none of these would disqualify him from being infallible because the Holy Spirit ONLY protects his teaching when it is about both faith and morals and it is being taught to the whole church

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9 Responses

  1. Dear bfhu,

    I was wondering about this. Thanks for the post. I retrieved the following quote from Pope Benedict from a Catholic Blog called Poetverse on WordPress. According to what I believe is a reputable Catholic site, Pope Benedict said,

    “Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith.” — Pope Benedict XVI.

    Retrieved from http://poetverse.wordpress.com/ October 3, 2009 @ 5:02 am

    This is an amazing quote as it seems to contradict the Roman Catholic religion and it definitely contradicts the Bible.

    Furthermore, I would say that he is

    1.) teaching on faith and morality and

    2.) he is doing so to any and all who would hear, or in other words, to the entire church.

    If someone was to question him about it and he was to say that it did not pertain to him or her, I would not accept that. I doubt you would either. This is because his statement is a universal statement. It includes all who have a biblical faith and all who do not have a biblical faith. That is everyone.

    What do you think about that?

    • Dear Joseph,

      What about the quote goes against the Catholic Faith and the Bible? Please show us chapter and verse and copy and paste the quote from scripture and from the Catechism.

      The quote may be accurate. But we cannot know for sure b/c the source for this quote is not cited. We cannot check it out at all. And I see no reason to believe that poet verse is an authentic and orthodox Catholic site. Never the less:

      The Catholic Faith DOES NOT TEACH that in order to be saved one must be Catholic.

      Neither does it teach that in order to be saved one must be a Christian.

      Neither does it teach that in order to be saved one must have a biblical faith.

      We do teach that one who is Catholic, Christian, and with a Biblical Faith has a much better opportunity to be saved. These are definite advantages.

      But we leave judgment/condemnation to the merciful heart of Jesus.

      He will have mercy on all those who lived before Christ but whose hearts were full of good will in seeking God as best they could with what knowledge they had in nature and in their soul.

      He will have mercy on all those who lived after Christ but whose hearts were full of good will in seeking God as best they could with what knowledge they had in nature and in their soul.

      He will have mercy on all those infants who died before they could reach the age of reason.

      He will have mercy on all those babies murdered by abortion.

      He will have mercy on all of those who never had a Bible.

      He will hve mercy on all of those who could not read, and therefore could not read a Bible even if they had one, in the year 2010 AD or 4010 BC.

      He will have mercy on of those who lived for all those milleniums before the Bible was canonized a short 1600 years ago.

      People will be judged on what they knew and how they responded to that knowledge. They will not be condemned to Hell just because they lacked knowledge.

      Only He knows how to judge the soul. We leave that to Him.

      We do NOT believe that everyone is going to Heaven. Some will be condemned to Hell. We do not know how to judge this either and humbly leave it to Our Lord who is merciful and compassionate.

  2. Hello bfhu… Since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3v23) – referring to the entire human race – how can the words or decrees of any man (or woman) be judged to be infallible? God’s Word alone is infallible.
    I have a question: Why (since this goes against scripture) is the pope referred to as “The Holy Father?”
    Words of Jesus: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” As for the term “Holy Father” – to the best of my knowledge this is only used once in the Bible, in John 17v11 and refers to God Himself. To address any man on this earth as “Holy Father” is nothing short of blasphemy.
    The term refers to God – and God alone.

    • Dear Readywriter,

      Concerning your statement about who is the Holy Father:
      Thank you, and Amen.

      Concerning whether the statements or decrees of a man can be infallible:

      If it is the statements or decrees of a man it is definitely prone to error, although at times may be true. If one is inspired by the Holy Spirit, they will be absolutely correct on the things which the Spirit inspires them to say and write.

      However, God is true and cannot lie. He does not and will not contradict Himself. Therefore, due to the many doctrines and practices that are contrary to the Scriptures, which we know is the Word of God, perpetrated and supported by the many Popes and other Roman Catholic leaders we may have no confidence in any claim that the Popes are inspired by God. Quite the contrary, we may know with a certainty that they are not inspired by His Holy Spirit.

    • Dear Ready,

      Q. How can the words or decrees of any man (or woman) be judged to be infallible?

      A. Who wrote the Scriptures? Men. How can they, sinners, be judged to be infallible? Only by the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit. We believe God is able to make a fallen man infallible. Our Pope is not infallible in every utterance or writing. Only when teaching on faith or morals to the whole church. This is how God protects His Church from error. Unless you believe God is not able to do this.
      Infallible does not mean he is sinless, no he goes to confession every week. See my post Infallible?

      Q. God’s Word alone is infallible.

      A. Is this a Protestant oral tradition? Where does it say, God’s Word alone is infallible, in Scripture?

      Q. I have a question: Why (since this goes against scripture) is the pope referred to as “The Holy Father?”

      Words of Jesus: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

      A. Your interpretation of this verse contradicts Christian practice and the New Testament. To find out why see my post Scripture vs The Catholic Church.

      Q. As for the term “Holy Father” – to the best of my knowledge this is only used once in the Bible, in John 17v11 and refers to God Himself. To address any man on this earth as “Holy Father” is nothing short of blasphemy. The term refers to God – and God alone.

      A. Again we come to the cultural difference between Protestantism (either/or) and Catholicism (both/and). The title of Holy Father is a title of honor. Of course it can be used to address God. But we use it to address our Pope, to honor him as the Prime Minister of Christ on Earth. We honor those who are honored by Christ to shepherd His Church. It is not blasphemy. Where in scripture does it say:
      “The term (Holy Father) refers to God – and God alone.”

      Protestants believe many things not found in Scripture but rather in their tradition of scripture interpretation, and/or their oral tradition. But, being comfortable with these traditions they never recognize that they cannot actually be supported in the scriptures alone any more than some of the Catholic beliefs for which they are always demanding, “WHERE IS THAT IS SCRIPTURE?” This is the pot calling the kettle black.

  3. Dear Bfhu, Readywriter, and whoever may be concerned,

    It is true that the Protestants hold to many traditions as well, such as the notion that all one must do to be saved is to say a sinners prayer, and that once saved you are always saved. These concepts are foreign to the Scriptures. Protestant “Ministers” often refer to themselves as “Reverend” which term is also used only of God in the Scriptures.

    To take a term of reverence for God and to apply it to oneself is extremely arrogant. The apostles would never dream of such. They called themselves bondservants (slaves) of Jesus Christ, not Holy Father, or His Holiness, or Reverend. Neither would they allow men to bow down to them such as the Popes are very comfortable and even pleased to do.

    Bfhu, you replied above to something I posted.

    The two relevant postings are above and begin with the following:

    “Joseph Duran, on June 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm Said:

    Dear bfhu,

    I was wondering about this. Thanks for the post. I retrieved the following quote from Pope Benedict from a Catholic Blog called Poetverse on WordPress. According to what I believe is a reputable Catholic site, Pope Benedict said,

    “Whoever seeks peace and the good of the community with a pure conscience, and keeps alive the desire for the transcendent, will be saved even if he lacks biblical faith.” — Pope Benedict XVI.

    Retrieved from http://poetverse.wordpress.com/ October 3, 2009 @ 5:02 am

    This is an amazing quote as it seems to contradict the Roman Catholic religion and it definitely contradicts the Bible.”

    AND

    “bfhu, on June 19, 2010 at 7:40 am Said:
    Dear Joseph,

    What about the quote goes against the Catholic Faith and the Bible? Please show us chapter and verse and copy and paste the quote from scripture and from the Catechism.

    The quote may be accurate. But we cannot know for sure b/c the source for this quote is not cited. We cannot check it out at all. And I see no reason to believe that poet verse is an authentic and orthodox Catholic site. Never the less:

    The Catholic Faith DOES NOT TEACH that in order to be saved one must be Catholic.

    Neither does it teach that in order to be saved one must be a Christian.

    Neither does it teach that in order to be saved one must have a biblical faith.”

    First, I would like to point out that while you say that you will leave the question of who will be saved and who will be condemned to merciful Jesus, you proceed to tell us that all of these people will be saved. You do not attempt to help us to understand who will be condemned that we might do what we must in order to not be among those, but you do tell us that all of the people you mentioned will be saved. I do not understand how that is leaving it up to Jesus.

    You asked me to show you how this contradicts the Bible and the Catholic religion. You also said that we cannot be sure that the Pope actually said this. However, you affirmed that this statement is an accurate representation of the Roman Catholic Teachings today. If you are correct then we do not really have to confirm that the Pope said this, he must believe this if this is what the Roman Catholic religion is teaching, as you claim.

    I am not looking to your Catechism as evidence of the contradiction between the statement and the Catholic religion. However, I would like to paste something from a Catholic site that you cited and to which included a link. It contains quotes from decrees from the Council of Trent.

    “The Council of Trent and Fr. Feeney

    We find a number of statements in the Council of Trent relevant to baptism of desire.

    “By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious is indicated,-as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. And THIS TRANSLATION, since the promulgation of the Gospel, CANNOT BE EFFECTED, WITHOUT THE LAVER OF REGENRATION, OR THE DESIRE THEREOF, AS IT IS WRITTEN; UNLESS A MAN BE BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND THE HOLY GHOST, HE CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”(Decree on Justification)

    “IF ANYONE SAITH, THAT THE SACRAMENTS OF THE NEW LAW ARE NOT NECESSARY UNTO SALVATION, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not ineed necessary for every individual; LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.”(Decree on the Sacraments)

    Please note that the so-called “Decree on Justification” contains a Bible quote that also contradicts the statement you supported and teaching you offered. The quote comes from the gospel of John chapter 3: 3-6

    “3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
    5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, UNLESS ONE IS BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

    2 Peter 3: 9 teaches, “9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

    We must repent or we will perish, there is no third option.

    Acts 17: 30-31 says, “30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but NOW COMMANDS ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

    Repentance is a turning from disobedience to obedience to God. This cannot be done without Biblical faith. The times of ignorance which God winked at are over. He commands all men everywhere to repent.

    1 Corinthians 1:21 reads, “21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

    We see that repentance and believing the message preached are tied together. He says that it pleased God through the message preached to save those who believe. Why would He save those who do not believe? Is it possible to repent without believing?

    Hebrews 11: 6 says,
    “6 But WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

    The Scriptures teach that faith is a must!

    While Romans 10: 11-17 states, “11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”[g]

    14 HOW THEN SHALL THEY CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

    “ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,[h]
    Who bring glad tidings of good things!”[i]

    16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?”[j] 17 So then FAITH COMES BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.

    The faith that the Scriptures teach is an absolute necessity comes by hearing the Word of God. Please note that you must understand the biblical use of the term “hearing,” which indicates receiving, believing, and obeying it.

    Much more could be said.

    Thank you for your time.

    Joe

  4. Hello bfhu & Joseph: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Paul to Timothy in (2) Timothy 3v16. When I said: “how can the decrees or words of any man be infallible…?” I was not referring to scripture “for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet.1v21)
    If the Bible is the Word of God – then clearly it must be infallible. Also, it is a serious matter to interfere with scriptures – either to add to it or to take away from it, as we are reminded in Rev. 22v18&19.
    As for scriptures being written by “sinful men,” they were clearly not sinful, if they were “moved by the Holy Ghost.”
    Psalm 1 reminds us that “the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
    Bfhu, those people you originally encountered before you adopted Catholicism would have preached a “sinning religion.” Nowhere in God’s Word have I ever encountered His servants being referred to as “sinners,” yet this term is now used extensively throughout the world. We are reminded in 1John 3v6: “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”
    This does not mean that the Christian CANNOT sin – but “IF any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (iJohn 2v1)
    Habitual sin should never be in the lives of those who have come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Sin should be the rare exception rather than the rule in those lives; it is by faith that we come to Him and it is by faith that we are kept in a spritual walk that is pleasing to God… “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111v9)
    In Eph. 4v6 we read that there is “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
    If Jesus plainly says: “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven,” (Matt. 23v9) then I must obey His commandment.

    • Q. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Paul to Timothy in (2) Timothy 3v16.

      A. I love this verse but I am not sure why you have quoted it here.

      Q. When I said: “how can the decrees or words of any man be infallible…?” I was not referring to scripture “for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet.1v21)

      A. Would you say that these holy men spoke infallibly?

      Q. If the Bible is the Word of God – then clearly it must be infallible.

      A. An atheist would not say it is clearly infallible. It does not seem to be infallible when speaking about scientific things according to man’s knowledge of the universe now. We believe it is inerrant when it refers to faith and morals. I think we agree on this. This is the same way God makes the Pope infallible. He doesn’t make him infallible in everything, only in what is important about faith and morals. I wish you would read my post, Infallible?

      Q. Also, it is a serious matter to interfere with scriptures
      – either to add to it or to take away from it, as we are reminded in Rev. 22v18&19.

      A. Of course it is a serious matter to interfere with scriptures but I think you are interpreting Rev. incorrectly. But did you know that the Old Testament says the same thing.

      Deuteronomy 4:2” You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

      Prov. 30:5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

      And if you interpret these verses exactly like you are interpreting the passage in Revelation, then that would make the New Testament anathema, because it adds to the Old Testament scriptures.

      Q. As for scriptures being written by “sinful men,” they were clearly not sinful, if they were “moved by the Holy Ghost.”

      A. Do you believe that in order to write infallibly a man would have to be sinlessness? Don’t you think a person could be moved by the Holy Ghost to write infallibly without being immaculate? We do believe that the writers of scripture were empowered by God to write inerrantly. We do not believe they had to be sinless in order to do this. We believe Jesus and Mary His mother were immaculate but neither of them wrote any of the scriptures. So, you DO believe that God can make a man infallible. You limit it to writing scripture. We do not.

      Q. Psalm 1 reminds us that “the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
      Bfhu, those people you originally encountered before you adopted Catholicism would have preached a “sinning religion.” Nowhere in God’s Word have I ever encountered His servants being referred to as “sinners,” yet this term is now used extensively throughout the world.

      A. That is true but I believe it is used in deference to the fact that even though we are Christian we still fall short and commit sin every day.

      Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.

      Q. In Eph. 4v6 we read that there is “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
      If Jesus plainly says: “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven,” (Matt. 23v9) then I must obey His commandment.

      A. Then do you call your father, “father”? Also, let’s look at that passage in context.

      Matt 23: 8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,‘ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.

      Do you call teachers, “teacher”? Would you call a Jewish rabbi, “rabbi”?

      Please read this post: Call No Man Father And you will see that Paul calls himself a spiritual father to those he begot to eternal life. And, even Jesus Himself calls a man Father, and He is NOT referring to God. Stephen calls men who were spiritual leaders, “fathers”. Therefore, the interpretation of this verse to condemn the Catholic practice of addressing our priests as “Father” must be incorrect. The Catholic Church is actually following scripture by calling the men who are used by God to beget children unto Eternal Life, Father.

  5. Hello Bfhu, Of course I have no problem calling (for example) school teachers “teacher,” or my Dad “father” – because “teacher” and “father” in these instances are not meant in the spiritual sense – which was what Jesus was discussing.
    However, no, I wouldn’t call a Jewish Rabbi “Rabbi,” since in Judaism “Rabbi” means “religious teacher.”
    I was interested by your final comment, referring to R.C. priests as “men who are used by God to beget children unto Eternal Life.”
    I have very recently had occasion to meet one of these men. I was appalled by the way in which he kept cursing, swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain. He was conversing with my husband (not me) about life in general – they weren’t arguing or anything.
    In my recent travels in Ireland, I find the old respect for the Roman Catholic hierarchy is waning because of thousands (not hundreds) of cases of clerical child abuse throughout this small country over the decades. I know some victims personally – one is a writer. In some cases children have been buried in unmarked graves, in order to hide the crimes.
    Even a Cardinal here is up to his neck in deepest sin.
    This is where we are at – the sin problem. Does your religion ( or mine) deal with the sin problem?
    Most denominations in Ireland (including Protestant) have this familiar saying: “We sin in thought, word and deed every day.” But this saying is not scriptural.
    I have met the humblest of souls (with very little education) and these people walk closely with God, because they have been born again of His Spirit and are trusting in Him alone to keep them above the world and sin, in their daily walk with Him. Yes, they can fall – and if they do, they “have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of whole world.” (1John 2v1&2)
    Jesus is our sole mediator.
    If we are truly born again – we will not curse and swear in the course of our conversation. Niether will we be responsible for (or try to cover up) horrific child abuse.
    Matthew 7v16: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (MAtt. 7v21)
    Jesus said: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15v12)
    Sometimes Jehova’s witnesses call at my door and they get angry with me because I don’t see their point of view. Really, they have no love in their hearts for me. Only God can put that pure love in our hearts for our fellow men and women. (Read 1Cor. 13) Last verse: “And now abideth faith, hope and chairity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (Charity: the old word for ‘love.’)
    I see around me many denominations with “Rev this” and “Father that” and what I see are educated men and women, most of whom are not responsible for the horrors I have described earlier – but still these people have not come by the humble way, repenting of their sins and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
    Jesus is returning – no one knows the day or the hour. As Judgement Day approaches, the question we must put to ourselves is – “am I ready for His return?”
    “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” (Rev. 22v11)
    Jesus said: “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3v20
    “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14v23)

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