The explanations for so many of the conundrums found in Christianity could be easily explained if Christianity had not been duped by the allegorical interpretation of scripture found in every major denomination today. Many of the verses that have been fought over and interpreted in so many different ways would no longer be a controversy if Christians would have the guts to actually believe the Bible as it reads and not fight over what they want it to say. I give you one example of many we could discuss. Read 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.
If you have been in church very long you already know what the controversy is over this verse. If not, I’ll give a brief explanation. The Catholic Church uses this verse to claim that Peter was the first pope. Then of course, their tradition teaches that the Catholic Church can trace themselves back to Peter. From this they claim to be the only true church. Because of this traditional teaching of the Catholic Church other churches break their necks trying to make this verse say something else. Growing up Baptist I have heard the Catholic position refuted many times as I’m sure many other denominations do also. To this I would say: how is tracing yourself back to John the Baptist much different? When you refuse to take EVERY verse in your Bible literally, you find yourself in “doctrinal” arguments all the time for NO REASON. Here is the explanation that all the denominations have wrong. From the context it is VERY CLEAR that Jesus has great plans for Peter and the following verses give PETER binding and loosing power. So, stop fighting over the verse and let it say what it says! But the “fundamental” churches can’t have this because this makes the Catholic correct. WRONG! Once again the failure of the Catholic Church as well as ALL fundamental churches to rightly divide their Bible CREATES fights that are not there. Jesus was sent to ISRAEL and the disciples were sent to ISRAEL. YOU were not the audience of Matthew 16:18. You ARE NOT part of the church mentioned in Matthew 16:18!!!!!!! This church was composed of JEWS. Why? Because Jesus’ earthly ministry was NOT TO YOU, it was to Israel. When you place yourself into verses that are NOT to you or about you YOU create confusion and controversy that is not there. Both the Catholic Church AND fundamental Christianity are wrong! Because both DO NOT follow a consistent method of Bible interpretation. BOTH pick and choose. BOTH read themselves into verses in which they DO NOT BELONG. Peter can be the head of the church just fine, it does not matter because THIS CHURCH ended with the disciples. The Bible calls this church the “little flock of Israel.” Does this make the Catholic Church correct? Of course not. So what about the fundamentalists that break their necks to make this verse say something it doesn’t? They are also wrong in their effort to refute the Catholic claims. Once again we are NOT part of the church in Matthew 16, we are part of the “body of Christ.” This is the church found in scripture that INCLUDES anyone! Paul is the Apostle to teach about this church. This is the consistent LITERAL interpretation that is NOT based on Catholic or denominational tradition. Why do I so confidently say we are NOT part of the church in Matthew 16? Because I believe Jesus AT HIS WORD, and he clearly teaches his earthly ministry was confined to Israel. I see NO controversy over Matthew 16:18, the rest of Christianity has battled over this verse for about 1500 years. Christianity’s stubborn refusal to believe the Bible as it is written is the reason for all the confusion.
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Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul