For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Firstly I am confused that catholic are followers of idol worship which I learnt from my learned friends - Peter was given a command by Jesus to feed His Lamb and feed His sheep. Someone who is in charge after Jesus - so we can call Peter the first Pope (other word Father) i don't see any reasons as to why so much fuss about Peter being the first Pope?
There are some catholic friends who have left and became born again this makes me sad. I agree that Bible was not introduced or debated upon to the Catholics, of late the process has been changed Bible has been exposed to the Catholics very much - Catholic doctrine teaches us to be closer to Jesus, to walk the way of the Cross and follow the teaching of Jesus Christ
I am proud to say that I am a Catholic and I do not worship idols, I follow and believe the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, Sacrament of Confession, Matrimony etc..
I am not a Philosopher nor have I a doctorate in Bible matter
but I am sure of one thing that My God Loves me
John, where in the Bible does it teach that Peter was addressed as Father (Pope) by the other Apostles or the Christians of the first century church? Acts 1:21-22 teaches that when Matthias was chosen to replace Judas, he was an eye witness of Jesus' baptism, resurrection and ascension, so how can any of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church claim to be a successor of Peter when they do not meet this biblical requirement?
Jesus said that unless a person is born again he/she will not enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3 and John 3:5). Instead of being sad, we are to celebrate this joyous life changing occasion because these people have become the children of God regardless of their church denomination.
Matt. 23:9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
This is an obvious reference to a "Spiritual" Father, as Matt 19:19 tells us to honor our "Physical" Father. Pope, aka Poppa, aka Father is in direct contradiction to the Biblical command.
As Ravi Zacharias says, it's possible to be a good Christian and a bad Catholic. I am one of these people- I was raised Catholic but I don't subscribe to every aspect of it, especially the idea that the Pope is infallible. Traditional Catholic belief aside, in a general sense, the Pope could be considered merely the head of the Roman Catholic church. If my research is accurate, the RCC was indeed the first church to form.... and the church was build on the rock that was Peter, according to scripture. Would that not mean, at the very least, that the Catholics are right about the historical facts and that Peter was technically the founder of the Catholic church, and therefore the first Pope? I ask this in the most basic sense of technicalities here- not referring to the infallibility or the apostolic succession.
Meghan, Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 ‘I will build my church’ therefore Peter did not build it. Jesus is the founder of the church and no one else (Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18).
What is the rock in Matthew 16:18? https://www.gotquestions.org/upon-this-rock.html
The church is made up of believers who have been born again and have been added to the church by Christ (Acts 2:47). While people construct buildings for church services, it is Christ alone who builds the church.
“The word church is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, meaning “a called–out assembly.” The word describes a group of people who have been called out of the world and set apart for the Lord, and it is always used, in its singular form, to describe a universal group of people who know Christ. The word ekklesia, when pluralized, is used to describe groups of believers who meet together. Interestingly enough, the word church is never used in the Bible to describe a building or organization.” https://www.gotquestions.org/true-church.html
What was the first / original church? Is the original / first church the true church? https://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html
What is the church?
What is the origin of the Roman Catholic Church? https://www.gotquestions.org/origin-Catholic-church.html
If we only just trust what the bible says, we truly cannot have the answer if Peter is the first pope. But let us dig into world history and we can find the answer to this question. The bible is not a complete source of all the information that we need with regards to the Christian history. That is why more people will disagree if we will only entrust solely ourselves unto what the bible can give.
The writings of church history are not inspired by God, therefore they are not on par with the teachings of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21). The Bible is authoritative, but any idea, principle, or doctrine that comes from an extra-biblical source is not.