As Jesus is the cornerstone upon which the Church is built, so are his teachings the unifying cornerstone of Christian doctrine.

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic Expectations
When we pray do we expect God to do things our way, or do we pray like Jesus, not my will but yours? Unrealistic expectations include ideas like God will always heal and if we tithe he will bless us with wealth. Psalms and Proverbs look at that side of things, but Job and Ecclesiastes provide some balance. Sometimes good people will suffer. Peter was also like us. He expected a conquering Messiah in the tradition of Old Testament heroes, but was shocked when Jesus predicted his suffering, death and resurrection (Matthew 16:21-18), especially ignoring the prophecy of his resurrection. When we suffer, we should not count it as strange. Suffering can be a great victory because we are accounted worthy to suffer like Christ. Remember the promise of resurrection, the only permanent solution available to any of us.

His or Our Good News

Take up Your Cross
The Gospel is good news but can seem like bad news to our minds. That must have been Peter’s opinion when he heard Jesus declare that he would suffer terrible things (Matthew 16:21-18). His answer was an indignant rebuke of Jesus’ news. He had news of his own which he thought was good and Jesus’ bad. Our good news is often the easy path, the path to outward, visible victory yet spiritual failure. Short-term good news can be long-term bad news. It’s a loser’s way to success to only think of the immediate pleasure without the long-term consequences. That’s why sin is so appealing. The immediate news seems good but the bad news is that sin destroys lives. Jesus’ news is good news indeed because it's about abundant life forever. Which do we choose, his or our good news?

On Q

Q, the Earliest Gospel: An Introduction to the Original Stories and Sayings of Jesus
The necessity of two or three witnesses to something is an ancient legal precedent from Deuteronomy 17:6. The Bible contains four teaching biographies of the life and teachings of Jesus. A theory of literary forensics claims that Matthew and Luke used a common source document called Q, from the German word for source: Quelle. The theory teaches that John's Gospel came from a second source document. This is called the Two Source Hypothesis and is often used to discount the historical accuracy of Jesus Christ. It seems reasonable to suppose that there were two sets of original notes written about the events and that others who were there used them to compile their own accounts. We still have two or three witnesses regarding the life of Jesus and that legal requirement would stand in a court of law.

Tertullian’s View of Peter

Tertullian (The Early Church Fathers)
Tertullian was a North African Christian writer known as the father of Latin Christianity. He taught that Peter was the rock about whom Jesus spoke in Matthew 16:13-20, but it was Peter alone and not any exclusive successors. In other words, the whole of Christian faith is built upon Peter being the first to confess Christ. What about the keys? Tertullian believed that, ‘(Peter) himself, therefore, was the first to unbar, in Christ's baptism, the entrance to the heavenly kingdom...’ He reasoned that it was Peter’s confession which gave him and any others who showed this faith the key to the kingdom, not human politics and a succession of popes in an exclusive church. Indeed, ‘from that time forward, every number (of persons) who may have combined together into this faith is accounted "a Church,"’

Peter was Rocky not Pope

Popes and Patriarchs: An Orthodox Perspective on Roman Catholic Claims
Orthodox Perspective on
Roman Catholic Claims
Christ is the Rock of our Salvation. We are called Christians because we believe in Christ. We could also be called Rocks because we believe in the Rock. That is how early Church fathers saw Peter’s faith in the One who is the foundation of the Church. The Church would be built on Jesus Christ, but also constitute those who had this faith. (Matthew 16:13-20). So, Jesus nicknamed Cephas Rock (Peter) just as some of us are named Christian. There is absolutely nothing in the passage which says anything like Peter being the first of a long line of single men who would carry sole authority over the entirety of the Church. Nothing in the Bible or in early church writings support the idea of a Roman papacy as the sole Christian authority throughout the rest of Church history.

The Early Church had no Pope

The Twelve: The Lives of the Apostles After Calvary
Lives of the Apostles
When the Church began, the Apostles of Jesus Christ scattered far and wide. There was little possibility of communication between the Christians of India, Ethiopia, Turkey and Spain. It is unrealistic to claim that Peter could have had authority over all these lands in a time when such authority would have simply been a matter of practical impossibility. Yet, Matthew 16:13-20 has been used to support the papacy above all other Christian authorities. How did the early church view this passage? The early church fathers did not interpret this passage as Rome later came to. Indeed wherever the right faith is to be found, there are the keys to the kingdom. No one person has a monopoly on that faith. That is why Paul wrote that no other foundation than Jesus Christ can be laid (1 Corinthians 3:11).