10 June, 2013

Response to Eli Soriano in regards to His criticism of St. Peter being the prime minister appointed by Jesus

[Eli Soriano is the founder of the Church of God International and a critic of the Catholic Church. This Church is primarily in the Philippines but is growing as a result of its constant attacks on Christ's own Church. Many are deceived into this false man-made sect that is vehemently anti-Catholic. They do not have a Trinitarian belief in God but instead believe that Jesus is subordinate God to God the Father and was never a man.]

(Eli Soriano) “The teaching that Peter was the rock upon which the church was built surely came from either an ignorant mind, or a polluted one.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

(Cristoiglesia) This teaching came directly from Christ so in what way do you think that Jesus was ignorant or had a polluted mind when He taught these things?

(Eli Soriano) ”I hate to base my explanation on grammar, because it is not what I believe as the bastion of truth, but simple knowledge in grammar may help us see the way to logical truth.

If Peter was the rock:
1. Then it should have been “thou art Peter, and upon you I will build my church”
2. Or “thou art Peter, and upon this rock, which is you, I will build my church”
3. Or “I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, a rock, and upon you I will build my church”

(Cristoiglesia) What you are ignoring here in your attack against the Holy office ordained by Jesus personally is that this is a name change for the disciple named Simon. In Scriptures name changes are significant in that in this case Jesus changes the name of Simon to “rock” or in the Koine Greek Petros which in English is spelled Peter. When Jesus changed Simons name to Peter or Rock He was referring to the enduring office being fulfilled of the prophecy of Isaiah in Isaiah 22. We can also see the example of the parable of the “wise builders”:

Matthew 7:24-27 (KJV)

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Obviously, reading the Scriptures without prejudice, clearly teaches that St. Peter is indeed the “Rock” that Christ intended as Jesus in His construction vernacular makes St. Peter not only one of the 12 foundation stones but also the prime minister among the 12. Historically this appointment without exception has been recognized within the Church and the apostolic succession of the bishops as the first among equals with the special appointment as the first to hold the Holy office of prime minister that Christ ordained. This teaching is part of a greater teaching of our Lord about the Church where Jesus teaches that He is the cornerstone of the Church; St. Peter is His prime minister and one of the foundation stones of the Church and the 12 disciples are the foundation stones built upon through apostolic succession.

My commentary on Isaiah 22 is as follows:

Certainly in Matthew 16 Jesus is referring to the prophecy of Isaiah in Isaiah 22 and in doing so He is fulfilling the prophetic imagery prophesied by the prophet Isaiah. The prime minister referred to by Isaiah is a type for the appointment of St. Peter to be the leader, steward and authority over His family or household. It further emphasizes by Christ’s actions in His appointment that He, Jesus, having received the throne of David by virtue of His Father is asserting His claim to the throne of David and as the rightful successor as king of all of Judah and Israel. He fulfills this by asserting the legal precedent necessary to fulfill prophecy and appoints St. Peter as the steward over His kingdom. He is claiming by this action what He came to do which was to establish a new and enduring Covenant with His Kingdom. But was this Kingdom fully established at this time or was it just a stepping stone to the establishing of His Kingdom in His appointment of St. Peter in Matthew 16? Certainly, the time had not yet come for the Prime Minister, St. Peter, to exercise the power of the keys for Christ had not yet revealed His glory or made claim to His kingdom with the establishment of the New Covenant. This would not happen until Calvary where Jesus would from the cross drink of the cup of consummation from the hyssop branch and then utter the words, “it is finished” after which He gave up His Spirit and His glory was revealed. He would finish His redemptive work three days later when He raised from the dead. Only then was all prophecy fulfilled and the law satisfied. St. Peter was now endowed with the Authority of Christ to be the royal steward over Christ’s kingdom. So great was this authority that He had the authority to bind or loose on earth as well as in heaven and became the spiritual father of Christ’s family. The keys represent the supremacy of the power bestowed on St. Peter and he is fastened on a peg and carries the weight of maintaining the King’s (Christ’s) house. So great are the parallels between Eliakim and St. Peter that it is implausible to deny that Eliakim is a type for St. Peter. The new kingdom is not a kingdom of land and of a people but it is the establishment of a spiritual kingdom of God and not of men. Keeping with the typology the office of Eliakim was an enduring office and so too is the office that St. Peter to which he has been appointed. Only the prime minister holds the keys of supreme authority and not only the first among equals but the special and singular authority among the disciples and visible head of the Church.

Let us look directly at the parallels between Isaiah 22 and Matthew 16.

The prime minister in David’s household had successors:

Isa 22:15, 1 Kings 4:6, & 18:3, 2 Kings 10:5, 15:5, 18:18

We see the full authority given to the prime minister:

Isa 22:22, Mat 16:19, Rev 3:7

Further teaching of the authority of the prime minister:

Mat 24:45, Luk 12:42, Gen 41:40, Gen 43:19

(Eli Soriano) “Aware of the way the Lord Jesus Christ constructed sentences throughout all His sessions of teaching, we will not, in our wildest dreams, think that the Lord Jesus has a propensity of ungrammatical and nonsensical statements.”

Take for example the Sermon on the Mount.

MATTHEW 5:1-12
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The foregoing sermon can be considered scholarly constructed with utmost literary style and beauty.

No learned scholar can accuse the Lord Jesus Christ of speaking nonsensically nor ungrammatically at any instance in the Holy Scriptures!”

(Cristoiglesia) Again, Jesus calling His disciple St. Peter is a name change and as such the only proper grammatical understanding is that St. Peter is the rock that Jesus proclaims. Otherwise the statement of Jesus would make no sense grammatically or logically.

(Eli Soriano) “Biblically speaking, Peter cannot be the rock upon which the church was built, simply because he was part of the church, built upon the foundation stone who is Christ.

21 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.

The Apostles (one of whom was Peter) were built upon the foundation, Jesus Christ himself. There is no other foundation than Christ!

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

(Cristoiglesia) Actually Eph 2:21 says that Christ is the cornerstone which separates and excludes this stone from the rest of the foundation. Christ is set apart as the cornerstone and Jesus speaking in Mat 16:18 is setting St. Peter apart from the other 12 foundation stones when He makes Him His prime minister and in doing so fulfills the prophecy of the coming Messiah by the prophet Isaiah. This is just one more example of Christ fulfilling all things as He came to do.

In Ephesians 21-22 it speaks about this foundation being built upon through apostolic succession of which the book of Acts records.

Obviously, you are ignoring a great deal of biblical teaching to support your prejudice against Christ’s own Church and justify your own disobedience to His Church. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

No comments:

Post a Comment