Common Misconceptions about the church
A lot has been said about God, about Christ, about the kingdom of God and about Christianity as a religion which are not in agreement with the creed of Christianity. More still, a lot of errors about the church has been perpetrated the world over.
Sometimes errors stem from the scriptures which are either quoted out of context or misinterpreted and misapplied. In most cases, errors are based on the general thoughts and customs of the people. Sometimes again, errors present an easy way out of the demand of God from man. Sometimes, they sound logical and appealing to the human sense, only that it is not the scriptures.
Errors about the church emanate from lack of sufficient knowledge of the word of God by the peddlers of such errors. They stem from mere imaginations based of men’s customs. When such ideas are passed across, they are easy for people to believe. Some other errors about the word of God come from their peddlers when they stick to one verse (or passage) of the scriptures wrongly quoted or interpreted to suit their fancy. Some others are simply based on mere imaginations of how things should be. At times, errors emanate from utter disagreement with the word of God and making a new law based on self or human standards. Whichever way errors come, they must be discarded and the word of God must be upheld.
Church’s foundation not laid on Peter – The Greek word “petros” has an equivalent Aramaic word “kephas” and it means a fragment of a rock. But another Greek word “Petra” implies an immovable stone known as rock. These two Greek words are used in verse 18 of the passage in reference. While the first one (i.e. petros) refers to Peter, the second one (i. e. Petra) refers to Jesus Christ Himself.
It must be noted that the speech of Christ in the passage was not only directed to Peter, but altogether to the rest Apostles. The key mentioned in verse 19; if given to only Peter, then can only be given to any other person by Peter. But to the contrary, the mind of Jesus was repeated, where it is clear Jesus gives the key (the authority) to all the Apostles (or the believers). No doubt, Peter was prominent among the Apostles, but he is one among many. Peter was not preferred over and above others.
More so, he did not always have the final say on matters relating to the church, either of Jews or the Gentiles. Therefore, the apostolic succession being taught in some quarters based on this passage is both erroneous and not Bible based.
The church not born at Pentecost – The church began with Christ and His call of disciples.The only thing that happened at Pentecost was endowment of power upon the church for service as indicated from the Good Book.
The under listed programmes and activities of the Church were observed by the disciples before Pentecost:
- Membership rolls
- Ordination of ministers
- Commission and
- Regular meetings
The church had set up many laws and doctrines before the Pentecost. They worshipped in the temple until they were excommunicated for preaching the gospel and healing the sick in the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is an error to claim that the church was founded or born at Pentecost. Rather, Pentecost only gave the church the power back up to evangelize the world.
Purgatory not Bible based – The doctrine of purgatory is a man-made effort to make people to indulge in sin and live comfortably in it. It gives false hope to sinners that after a short punishment for their sins, they would get divine pardon and ushered into heaven. Sometimes, relatives pay lump sums for prayers to ease their dead relations into heaven.
But the concept of purgatory is alien to the Bible. The Bible is emphatic that we live only once; after death, then judgement.No other opportunity is given to those that have died to live on earth once again and be delivered. Death ends all probation.
If one dies a righteous man, his soul and spirit go to heaven, awaiting the resurrection of the body. If he dies a wicked man (or a sinner), his soul and spirit go to hell to await the resurrection of the body.Such thing as “purgatory” does not exist or another opportunity in the Second coming or another period. Those who propagate the theory of purgatory are giving a false hope to sinners. There is no such teaching is in the Holy Scripture.
Christians should be careful not to be lured into sin and live substandard life. No matter how bright the idea of man is, if not the word of God, it can never be true. All who follow damnable heresies shall be turned to hell. Take note of errors and never be part of those that follow them. No matter how popular such falsehood is heaven remains a holy place into which no one can gate-crash. Be warned.