Keith Hunt - Church History #10 - Page Ten   Restitution of All Things

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History of the Church #10

Peter and Paul at Antioch


(BRIEF) CHURCH HISTORY

Continued:


PETER AND PAUL AT ANTIOCH


The Conservative Reaction, and the Liberal Victory
Peter and Paul at Antioch.


The Jerusalem compromise, like every other compromise, was liable
to a double construction, and had in it the seed of future
troubles. It was an armistice rather than a final settlement.
Principles must and will work themselves out, and the one or the
other must triumph.

A liberal construction of the spirit of the decree seemed to
demand full communion of the Jewish Christians with their
uncircumcised Gentile brethren, even at the Lord's table, in the
weekly or daily agape, on the basis of the common saving faith in
Christ, their common Lord and Saviour. 

(Here Schaff is going along with the teaching that the "Lord's
table" or "communion service" as is often called by Anglican or
Roman Catholic priests, was done weekly or even daily. Nothing
could be further from the truth. Studies on the Passover are on
this website - Keith Hunt)

But a strict construction of the letter stopped with the
recognition of the general Christian character of the Gentile
converts, and guarded against ecclesiastical amalgamation on the
ground of the continued obligation of the Jewish converts to obey
the ceremonial law, including the observance of circumcision, of
the Sabbath and new moons, and the various regulations about
clean and unclean meats, which virtually forbid social
intercourse with unclean Gentiles.

(This is also garbage by Schaff - thinking as most Protestant
priests do that the Jewish Christians thought there was one way
to live for them and another way to live for Gentiles. Again
nothing could be further from the truth. The ceremonial law did
NOT have to be done by ANYONE - Jew or Gentile - it could be
done, but it did not need to be done, and in doing it made no
difference to salvation, the same with circumcision. The Sabbath,
new month, clean and unclean laws, were NEVER a part of the
"ceremonial" law. Those were a part of the holy unchanging laws
of God, which will be in effect until the new earth and new
heaven has arrived. Studies on my website will prove all that
I've just said. Schaff, like many is out to lunch, from planet
Pluto in this kind of theology. He has no clue what he is talking
about - the blind leading the blind - Keith Hunt)


The conservative view was orthodox, and must not be confounded
with the Judaizing heresy which demanded circurncision from the
Gentiles as well as the Jews, and made it a term of church
membership and a condition of salvation. This doctrine had been
condemned once for all by the Jerusalem agreement, and was held
hereafter only by the malignant pharisaical faction of the
Judaizers.

The church of Jerusalem, being composed entirely of Jewish
converts, would naturally take the conservative view; while the
church of Antioch, where the Gentile element prevailed, would as
naturally prefer the liberal interpretation, which had the
certain prospect of ultimate success. James, who perhaps never
went outside of Palestine, far from denying the Christian
character of the Gentile converts, would yet keep them at a
respectful distance; (This is also garbage by Schaff - James knew
the truth of the matter, and Schaff is just putting ideas in your
mind that Scripture does not back up - Keith Hunt) while Peter,
with his impulsive, generous nature, and in keeping with his more
general vocation, carried out in practice the conviction he had
so boldly professed in Jerusalem, and on a visit to Antioch,
shortly after the Jerusalem Council (A.D. 51), openly and
habitually communed at table with the Gentile brethren. He had
already once before eaten in the house of the uncircumcised
Cornelius at Caesarea, seeing that "God is no respecter of
persons, but in every nation he that feareth hire and worketh
righteousness is acceptable to him."
     
But when some delegates of James' arrived from Jerusalem and
remonstrated with him for his conduct, he timidly withdrew from
fellowship with the uncircumcised followers of Christ, and thus
virtually disowned them. 

(Those from James, were just from James that is all that is said.
There is nothing here that says they came to teach what James was
teaching, some still held false ideas that the Jewish Christians needed
to live differently than the Gentile Christians. Well that is how
Peter took it, as some Jewish Christians were of their own free
will observing some of the Temple rites, which, because the
Temple still stood, you COULD DO **IF** you so desired, but **DID
NOT HAVE** to do as pertaining to salvation. Paul knew this, that
Temple rites NOBODY needed to do any more under the New Covenant,
but if you wanted to do them, you could, but for salvatio, Temple
rites were useless and did not get you as they say any "brownie
points" with the Lord - Keith Hunt).

He unwittingly again denied his Lord from the fear of man, but
this time in the persons of his Gentile disciples. The
inconsistency is characteristic of his impulsive temper, which
made him timid or bold according to the nature of the momentary
impression. It is not stated whether these delegates simply
carried out the instructions of James or went beyond them. The
former is more probable from what we know of him, and explains
more easily the conduct of Peter, who would scarcely have been
influenced by casual and unofficial visitors. They were perhaps
officers in the congregation of Jerusalem; at all events men of
weight, not Pharisees exactly, yet extremely conservative and
cautious, and afraid of miscellaneous company, which might
endanger the purity and orthodoxy of the venerable mother church
of Christendom. 

(It is very possible they were Jews who did practice "temple
rites" and so were in mannerism or even words, telling Peter they
did. Peter fell short. He should have stood up and told them,
"Okay, you are free to do so IF you desire, as the Temple still
stands, but remmeber doing such rites means nothing as far as
salvation is concerned; there is no need to do such Temple rites
any more. But you may, as long as you remmeber it gains you
nothing with the Lord." Now that is what Peter should have told
them - but he did not - he fell short - missed the mark - Keith
Hunt)

They did, of course, not demand the circumcision of the Gentile
Christians, for this would have been in direct opposition to the
synodical decree, but they no doubt reminded Peter of the
understanding of the Jerusalem compact concerning the duty of
Jewish Christians, which he above all others should scrupulously
keep. 

(Garbage from Schaff - salvation for Jews and Gentiles was the
same - Jewish Christians did NOT have to live any differently
than Gentile Christians. This is all Roman Catholic and Anglican
false theology that justifies them to NOT observe the 7th day
Sabbath and to eat unclean foods etc. - Keith Hunt)

They represented to him that his conduct was at least very hasty
and premature, and calculated to hinder the conversion of the
Jewish nation, which was still the object of their dearest hopes
and most fervent prayers.     

(Again utter garbage from Schaff - salvation and Chriatian living
for Jews and Gentiles was to be the same as concerning salvation.
Paul knew this and corrected Peter accordingly as we shall see -
Keith Hunt)

The pressure must have been very strong, for even Barnabas, who
had stood side by side with Paul at Jerusalem in the defence of
the rights of the Gentile Christians, was intimidated and carried
away by the example of the chief of the apostles.

(Peter was NOT "chief" of the apostles! Schaff is again putting
his ideas into your mind that is not in the New Testament. But
true it is written Barnabas fell short, missed the mark of the
truth of the whole matter, and was led astray also. Paul was not,
he knew the truth of it all and stood up to correct those who
fell into error - Keith Hunt)

The subsequent separation of Paul from Barnabas and Mark, which
the author of Acts frankly relates, was no doubt partly connected
with this manifestation of human weakness.

The sin of Peter roused the fiery temper of Paul, and called upon
him a sharper rebuke than he had received from his Master.  A
mere look of pity from Jesus was enough to call forth bitter
tears of repentance. Paul was not Jesus. He may have been too
severe in the manner of his remonstrance, but he knew Peter
better than we, and was right in the matter of dispute, and after
all more moderate than some of the greatest and best men have
been in personal controversy. Forsaken by the prince of the
apostles and by his own faithful ally in the Gentile mission, he
felt that nothing but unflinching courage could save the sinking
ship of freedom. A vital principle was at stake, and the
Christian standing of the Gentile converts must be maintained at
all hazards, now or never, if the world was to be saved and
Christianity was not to shrink into a narrow corner as a Jewish
sect. Whatever might do in Jerusalem, where there was scarcely a
heathen convert, this open affront to brethren in Christ could
not be tolerated for a moment at Antioch in the church which was
of his own planting and full of Hellenists and Gentiles. A public
scandal must be publicly corrected. And so Paul confronted Peter
and charged him with downright hypocrisy in the face of the whole
congregation. He exposed his misconduct by his terse reasoning,
to which Peter could make no reply. "If thou," he said to
him in substance, "who art a Jew by nationality and training,
art eating with the Gentiles in disregard of the ceremonial
prohibition, why art thou now, by the moral force of thy example
as the chief of the Twelve, constraining the Gentile converts to
Judaize or to conform to the ceremonial restraints of the
elementary religion" (Peter was not "chief" of the twelve, that
is Schaff talking here - Keith Hunt)
"We who are Jews by birth and not boss sinners like the heathen,
know that justification comes not from works of the law, but from
faith in Christ. It may be objected that by seeking gratuitous
justification instead of legal justification, we make Christ a
promoter of sin. Away with this monstrous and blasphemous
conclusion! On the contrary, there is sin in returning to the
law for justification after we have abandoned it for faith in
Christ. I myself stand convicted of transgression if I build up
again (as thou doest now) the very law which I pulled down (as
thou didst before), and thus condemn my former conduct. For
the law itself taught me to exchange it for Christ, to whom it
points as its end. Through the Mosaic law as a tutor leading me
beyond itself to freedom in Christ, I died to the Mosaic law in
order that I might live a new life of obedience and gratitude to
God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer my
old self that lives, but it is Christ that lives in me; and the
new life of Christ which I now live in this body after my
conversion, I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me
and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God; for
if the observance of the law of Moses or any other human work
could justify and save, there was no good cause of Christ's death
his atoning sacrifice on the cross was needless and fruitless."


From such a conclusion Peter's soul shrank back in horror. He
never dreamed of denying the necessity and efficacy of the death
of Christ for the remission of sins. He and Barnabas stood
between two fires on that trying occasion. As Jews they seemed
to be bound by the restrictions of the Jerusalem compromise on
which the messengers of James insisted; (Nope there was no
"compromise" only the truth of the matter for all and everyone in
Christ - Keith Hunt) but by trying to please the Jews they
offended the Gentiles, and by going back to Jewish exclusiveness
they did violence to their better convictions, and felt condemned
by their own conscience.

They no doubt returned to their more liberal practice. The
alienation of the apostles was merely temporary. They were
too noble and too holy to entertain resentment. Paul makes
honorable mention afterwards of Peter and Barnabas, and also of
Mark, who was a connecting link between the three. Peter in his
Epistles endorses the teaching of the "beloved brother Paul," and
commends the wisdom of his Epistles, in one of which his own
conduct is so severely rebuked, but significantly adds that there
are some "things in them hard to be understood, which the
ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as they do also the other
Scriptures, to their own destruction."

The scene of Antioch belongs to these things which have been
often misunderstood and perverted by prejudice and ignorance in
the interest both of heresy and orthodoxy. The memory of it was
perpetuated by the tradition which divided the church at Antioch
into two parishes with two bishops, Evodius and Ignatins, the
one instituted by Peter, the other by Paul. Celsus, Porphyry,
and modern enemies of Christianity have used it as an argument
against the moral character and inspiration of the apostles.  
   
The conduct of Paul left a feeling of intense bitterness and
resentment in the Jewish party which manifested itself even a
hundred years later in a violent attack of the pseudo-Clementine
Homilies and Pecognitions upon Paul, under the disguise of Simon
Magus. The conduct of both apostles was so unaccountable to
Catholic taste that some of the fathers substituted an unknown
Cephas for Peter; while others resolved the scene into a
hypocritical farce gotten up by the apostles themselves for
dramatic effect upon the ignorant congregation.
  
The truth of history requires us to sacrifice the orthodox fic-
tion of moral perfection in the apostolic church. But we gain
more than we lose. The apostles themselves never claimed, but
expressly disowned such perfection. They carried the heavenly
treasure in earthen vessels, and thus brought it nearer to us.
The infirmities of holy men are frankly revealed in the Bible for
our encouragement as well as for our humiliation. The bold attack
of Paul teaches the right and duty of protest even against the
highest ecclesiastical authority, when Christian truth and
principle are endangered; the quiet submission of Peter commends
him to our esteem for his humility and meekness in proportion to
his high standing as the chief among the pillar-apostles; (No
Peter was NEVER "chief" - not one word in the NT suggests Peter
was "head" apostle - this is again Philip Scahff talking not the
Bible - Keith Hunt) the conduct of both explodes the Romish
fiction of papal supremacy and infallibility; and the whole scene
typically foreshadows the grand historical conflict between
Petrine Catholicism and Pauline Protestantism, which, we trust,
will end at last in a grand Johannean reconciliation.

(It will end when Catholicism and Protestanism are blow away by
Christ at His return, and replaced with the pure truth of the
Word of God, which the aforementioned have polluted in one way or
another - Keith Hunt)

Peter and Paul, as far as we know, never met afterwards till they
both shed their blood for the testimony of Jesus in the capital
of the world.

The fearless remonstrance of Paul had probably a moderating
effect upon James and his elders, but did not alter their
practice in Jerusalem. Still less did it silence the extreme
Judaizing faction; on the contrary, it enraged them. They were
defeated, but not convinced, and fought again with greater
bitterness than ever. They organized a countermission, and
followed Paul into almost every field of his labor, especially to
Corinth and Galatia. They were a thorn, if not the thorn, in
his flesh. He has them in view in all his Epistles except
those to the Thessalonians and to Philemon.  We cannot understand
his Epistles in their proper historical sense without this fact.
The false apostles were perhaps those very Pharisees who caused
the original trouble, at all events men of like spirit. They
boasted of their personal acquaintance with the Lord in the days
of his flesh, and with the primitive apostles; hence Paul calls
these "false apostles" sarcastically "super-eminent" or
"over-extraapostles." They attacked his apostolate as
irregular and spurious, and his gospel as radical and
revolutionary. They boldly told his Gentile converts that they
must submit to circumcision and keep the ceremonial law; in other
words, that they must be Jews as well as Christians in order to
insure salvation, or at all events to occupy a position of
pre-eminence over and above mere proselytes of the gate in the
outer court. They appealed, without foundation, to James and
Peter, and to Christ himself, and abused their name and authority
for their narrow sectarian purposes, just as the Bible itself is
made responsible for all sorts of heresies and vagaries. They
seduced many of the impulsive and changeable Galatians, who had
all the characteristics of the Keltic race. They split the
congregation in Corinth into several parties and caused the
apostle the deepest anxiety. In Colossae, and the churches of
Phrygia and Asia, legalism assumed the milder form of Essenic
mysticism and asceticism. In the Roman church the legalists were
weak brethren rather than false brethren, and no personal enemies
of Paul, who treats them much more mildly than the Galatian
errorists.

This bigoted and most persistent Judaizing reaction was overruled
for good. It drew out from the master mind of Paul the most
complete and most profound vindication and exposition of the
doctrines of sin and grace. Without the intrigues and
machinations of these legalists and ritualists we should not have
the invaluable Epistles to the Galatians, Corinthians, and
Romans. Where error abounded, truth has still more abounded.
At last the victory was won. The terrible persecution under
Nero, and the still more terrible destruction of Jerusalem,
buried the circumcision controversy in the Christian church.     
The cereinonial law, which before Christ was "alive but not
life-giving," and which from Christ to the destruction of
Jerusalem was "dying but not deadly," became after that
destruction "dead and deadly." The Judaizing heresy was indeed
continued outside of the Catholic church by the sect of the
Ebionites during the second century; and in the church itself the
spirit of formalism and bigotry assumed new shapes by
substituting Christian rites and ceremonies for the typical
shadows of the Mosaic dispensation. But whenever, and wherever
this tendency manifests itself we have the best antidote in the
Epistles of Paul.
...................

Yes we indeed do have the best antidote in the epistles of Paul,
and James, and John, and Jude, to counter the "false teachings
and customs and traditions" of the mother Babylon Mystery
Religion church, and her many daughters.....of course Philip
Schaff was blinded to the false Christian religion he was part of
in his day, and today MOST of the 2 Billion people on earth who
call themselves "Christian" are just as blinded to the real
truths of the Bible. Truly as Jesus said, His followers would be
the salt of the earth, the very very little flock, as it is in
the Greek. 

Keith Hunt

To be continued


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