Today we define the great divide, not try to resolve it. Over the next couple weeks we will identify spin-offs that have separated Roman Catholics and Protestants for five hundred years. After showing a very wide divide, we will conclude this series with a stunning and hopeful approach to the journey ahead.
Please read the entire series keeping in mind that we seek to unite, not divide, and we seek to do so as a family being watched by a very skeptical world.
Please read Matthew 16:13 – 20. Based on Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, Jesus declared to Peter that this truth had not been revealed to him by humans but by God himself, and that “on this rock I will build my church…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…”
Unity’s great divide begins here. What did Jesus intend? Was it, as the Roman Catholic Church has taught since the very beginning, that Peter is sole head of the church, specially chosen by God as the first person to confess Jesus as the Messiah of God? Or was it, as taught by Protestants since Martin Luther, that Peter is the ideal example of faith regardless of his flawed humanity, and that all who confess as Peter did will have the keys to the kingdom of heaven?
The “catch” to unity’s great divide lies in answering by whose authority is the unity of the church defined? Is it by the direct hand of Peter’s chosen ones, or by confession of the words of Jesus transmitted to all through the Bible?
Remember that the question is how the world should observe our response as family.