Does the Church possess authority to “rule over” believers?

Mat 18:17  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Does this verse teach that the church has authority over believers?

Did Jesus appoint Peter as the Pope or leader of the church?

Matthew 16:15­18 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God….18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (in Greek, Petros), and upon this rock (in Greek, Petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (KJV)

Roman Catholics believe that Peter was the rock upon whom Christ will build His church. Therefore, Jesus was appointing Peter as the head of the church. If Peter was the “rock” referred to in the verse, why would Jesus deliberately use two different Greek words?

According to other verses in the Bible, who is this “rock” upon whom the Church will be built?

1 Cor 10:3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (KJV)

Besides giving Peter the keys of the kingdom, who else did Jesus give these keys to?

Matthew 18:18 (NIV) “I tell you (plural, to all the disciples) the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Should the Pope be regarded as the father of the church?

Mat 23:9  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Is there an infallible authority to interpret the Scriptures?

2 Peter 3:16 His (ie Paul’s) letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Does this mean that we should leave interpretation of scripture to the church authority?

2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Does it mean that scripture should not be open to private interpretation and we should rely on church authority to interpret scripture for us?

Is it advisable to leave scripture to private interpretation since that has led to many denominations within the Protestant church?

How did we get our canon of scripture if not for the church’s official decision?

Leader’s Notes: At a very early date the 4 gospels were united in one collection. The collection of Paul’s letters was brought about together the same time as the collection of the fourfold Gospel. The only books about which there was any doubt after the middle of the second century were some of those that came at the end of our New Testament. However, a consensus finally evolved at the Synod of Hippo (AD 393) and the Synod of Carthage (AD 397).

Which were the two Church Councils that formalized the books of the Bible?

Did the Bible teach that Peter was infallible in interpreting the Scriptures?

Gal 2: 11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

If Peter was infallible, why did Paul have to correct him?

What does Paul’s “opposing Peter in his face” tell you about Paul’s leadership standing vis-à-vis Peter in the church?

Did the Bible teach that Peter was infallible when he was writing the Scripture?

2 Tim 3:16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…

Was Peter the only one who was infallible when he was writing the Scriptures or are all Bible writers infallible?

2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…