In this post we continue our observance of the holy month of Ramadan.
My last post on the holy practice of collecting church tithes from the poor has apparently ruffled a few theological feathers.
So I shall clarify a few points.
Bogus Keys Of Peter Stolen by St. Paul
The Roman Catholic Church holds the Keys Of Peter, the source of its authority. This source rests on a few passages from Scripture (eg. Matthew 16:18), passages which would not even be admissible as hearsay in a minor civil court case. They are, in fact, only puns on the word “Peter”! – humorous quips!
The real question is: is the “Rock” upon which the Church was to be built St. Peter – or was it The Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:4-8; also Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16)
Which evidence rules : light-hearted hearsay – after the fact, or sober-minded prophecies recorded centuries beforehand?
It doesn’t take a high court judge to rule on this case! Nevertheless, the RC Church, of course, clings tooth and nail to its dubious claim to being the one “True Church.” This even despite the obvious fact that it was not even established until centuries after the death of St. Peter. The “First Pope” of the RC Church would then have been a literal bag of bones!
The situation is, of course, ludicrous and would be laughable were it not held to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth by a billion people! But, does this “True Church”, indeed, even follow the teachings of St. Peter – or does it follow St. Paul?
I am not Roman Catholic, nor can I ever be. Neither am I a theologian. Nevertheless, that church has two traditions which I greatly admire and respect. In today’s world it is The United Nations which is the primary organization for promoting universal human rights. But the UN is less than 70 years old. Who carried the torch of human rights in the 18th Century? the 10th Century? the 3rd Century? The Roman Catholic Church. This is its finest contribution.
The other tradition I admire and respect is the Roman Catholic mystical tradition. Disciplined, strict, pure theism. The Roman Catholic mystics were, in my opinion, the truest mystics the west has ever known. And, no doubt, that quasi-secret tradition continues to flourish today.
The new Pope, Francis, takes his name from one of the most well-known Roman Catholic mystics, St. Francis of Assisi. However, I can find no real points of similarity between Pope Francis and St. Francis. They are very, very different people. I know of no reports of Pope Francis hanging suspended in air at tree top height in mystical rapture, just one of many accounts of St. Francis’ unfathomable depth.
After the Ascension of The Christ there is very little in The Bible about Christ’s disciples – what did they do for the rest of their very long lives? This is very puzzling.
By contrast, the activities of St. Paul (ie. Saul of Tarsus) are recorded in detail. In fact, most of The New Testament itself is about and written by him. Yet St. Paul never met The Christ in the flesh. Saul of Tarsus as St.Paul was a bureaucrat by nature, rigid, stiff – a law-giver – a dictator of “appropriate” behavior. I find very few points of similarity, too, between the personalities and characters of St. Paul and The Christ. I just don’t sense any real chemistry between them at all.
So, does The Roman Catholic Church really follow the teachings of St. Peter? Or are its teachings based principally upon the writings of St. Paul? Has it robbed St. Peter in order to promote St. Paul?
Why would the early Church Fathers simply ignore the Disciples, who spent years living with The Christ, in favor of someone who had never even met Him – who, in fact, couldn’t even recognize or identify Him as the one speaking to him from a supernatural “cloud”? Perhaps it’s because St. Paul’s many fiats are easily translatable into codified laws and practices. They are, indeed, a bureaucrat’s dream.
Is that a credible reason for worldly, exoteric churches to hang on every word he wrote? You bet it is!
To quickly summarize then- The Rock upon which the True Church is built is The Christ – not St. Peter. Too, the “Infallible Holy Father” is the First Person Of The Trinity, not the Pope. Those two Truths would, in themselves, undermine the basis of the authority of The Roman Catholic Church itself. But, even if the authority of St. Peter were valid, it is still the teachings of St. Paul – not St. Peter – which it and all worldly, exoteric churches actually follow.
So, though 2,000 years old, The RC Church is built upon a foundation of sand. Its central tradition – the collecting of tithes from the poor – actually sustains and promotes false teachings.
To conclude, I would only like to mention that, according to the Old Testament, the true Priesthood remains, forever, the Levites. They are the God-given priestly authorities. In comparison, the RC hierarchy is an upstart pretender to the thrones.
I may return to this topic someday, in greater depth. Or, maybe I won’t!
To quote a line from my stage play, GO, “I tie myself to no tree, nor noose my neck to theology.”
In the meantime, I shall content myself with scribbling poetry. In the solitude where we are most alone our inner voice speaks mostly clearly to us. When this happens, it is obvious that we need no mediator, no self-appointed theological arbiter, to tell us what our deepest heart needs and wants.
The poem below, Ark, was first published in Poemhunter.com on August 16, 2012.
when the Ark Of The Covenant kicks into action
it’s a contraption
ball bursts insighting
perceptions and wisdom
saul* could have used
when he encountered
that question from a cloud.
for for millennia
that that cloud
never got the right reply
*Saul of Tarsus (5AD – 67AD)
august 16, 2012
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