The latest attempt to create a so-called controversy is now aimed at Katrina Pierson for her tweet in 2011. She is alleged to have tweeted:
Katrina Pierson “Just saw a commercial from Catholic Church stating that Catholic Church was started by Jesus. I bet they believe that too. #sad” 8:41 AM – 18 Dec 2011.
First of all, it is important to know that Katrina left the Cruz campaign to support Trump. So I am sure all the little Beck’s et al, who are famous for finding old and/or made up tweets are digging around. But, on this issue, as with all issues, the only way to address it is with the truth.
The Catholic church DOES teach that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ, and that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles. They say that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter.
The Bible is clear that the church (those called out) were the first “followers of the way” or more commonly known as the disciples of Jesus who learned from the master (or teacher). It is also clear that after the resurrection, the Lord gave his disciple’s, all of them, the great commission.
Matthew 28:16-20 King James Version (KJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
And they did. The commission was given to all, and passed on to all the new followers of the way (disciples) to do the same. Historically the first followers went against the teachings of the high priest and Sanhedrin and followed the ways of Jesus, and were given the name “followers of the way”. Although this was also not their preferred name, but more likely a term of abuse given to them by others.
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.”
The term “Christian” was also given to them as a term of abuse, although they gladly adopted it for themselves because they were happy to accept suffering and abuse in the name of Jesus (Yeshua).
“Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church (those called out), and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
One of the unfortunate consequences of the term “Christian” is that it gradually came to mean “Not Jewish”. The very early Disciples would not have suspected that this was going to happen, because in Hebrew, or in the Hebraised Greek that they normally spoke at that time, it would have sounded more like “Messianic”, as in the Jewish New Testament translated by David Stern:
“Also it was in Antioch that the talmidim for the first time were called “Messianic”.”
The two most popular names that the first followers of the way called themselves were “Disciples” and “Saints”. The word “Disciple” (mathetos in Greek) means one who is trained or taught, and appears 31 times in the book of Acts, starting with Acts 1:15. The Hebrew equivalent is “talmid”, which means a student who follows a Rabbi. The word “Saint” (hagios in Greek) means set apart or separated, and appears 62 times in the New Testament, most commonly in the letters of Paul. The Hebrew equivalent is “kadosh” which has the same meaning.
Today the word “Saint” has been distorted to mean a state of holiness which very few can attain, but in New Testament times it was a regular title for those who believed in Jesus (Yeshua).
The Roman Catholic Church was not officially formed until after much persecution of the followers of the way, who were Disciples (followers) of the Christ who had risen. Historically, they were first labeled Christians and Messianic to separate them from anything of the Temple for the first followers were also Jews.
Also historically, the early Roman Catholic Church was formed by the mandate decreed by Constantine the Great. A brief synopsis of how this came to be is that Constantine the Great who worshipped all the Roman Gods was facing a great battle in which his army was heavily out numbered. Fearing he might lose and out of his own superstition, he added the God of the Christians to his arsenal of Roman gods in an effort to have His great presence in the battle he was about to fight. He was victorious and gave the new God the credit for winning the battle. He then, quit persecuting the followers and transitioned the faith to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. History shows the development of the formation of the Roman Catholic Church under Constantine. (which is another debate and another topic in and of itself).
The Roman Catholic Church adopts the belief that Saint Peter was the rock on which Jesus built his church from the scripture 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. (KJV)”
Beginning with the writings of the so named Church Fathers in the second century various interpretations of the phrase “upon this rock” have been given. Some have said the rock on which the church was founded was Peter for he was the first to see and to say that Jesus was the son of God and the faith that Peter confessed was the foundation of the church. Still others have seen this reference to the rock as a reference to Christ Himself as the foundation of the church.
Mathew Henry , one of the greatest theologians of the 1700’s, interprets the passage: After Peter’s great confession, ” Now, saith Christ, this is that great truth upon which I will build my church.” [Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol. 5, pp. 187,188.] Henry then goes on to point out that without this truth the church falls to the ground. If Jesus is not the Christ then His church does not exist and without this confession anyone calling himself a Christian does not hold on to the foundation and falls away into infidelity. Of the eighty-five ancient commentators mentioned earlier, 44 held this view.”
It is important to note the symbolic use of the word “rock” in the Hebrew scripture always refers to God and never to man. Twice in Deuteronomy it is used of false gods in comparison to the “rock of Israel.” Otherwise the term is applied directly to God or the Messiah. (See Duet. 32:4; Ps. 18:2; 18:31; Isa. 28:16)
Peter never identified himself as the rock or the foundation of the church, yet he obviously identifies Christ as the “chief cornerstone” of Psalms 118:22 in 1 Pet. 2:4-8 and Acts 4:10,11.
The teachings of Paul also point to Jesus as the “rock.” (1 Cor. 3:11: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”) In Eph. 2:20 Paul uses the apostles and prophets as a figure of the foundation – teaching that it is their inspired teaching concerning Christ (not their person or office) on which the church rests.
Most important of all we must ask, what does Jesus say? Jesus identifies Himself as the Rock . Ps. 118 (Mt. 21:42) “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”
In my opinion Katrina Pierson has it correct.
This article is not intended to in any way take away from the Catholic Church or their beliefs. It is intended only to show the diversity in teachings. Each are free to follow the teachings of our Lord in their own manner. We are all one in Christ.