Peter and the Keys to Heaven

Authority over eternal elements obviously belongs to the creative power that created those elements, and it is this impersonal power which organized religions choose to personify as “God.”  Such an understanding of that ultimate power assures belief that it alone would sit upon the seat of judgment regarding life’s diversity, man’s conduct and “soul” advancement.  But allow scheming material-minded men the freedom to fiddle with such logic or common sense and the result is the convoluted indulgence we know as regimented religion.  A prime example of logic rendered impotent is presented in the Christian account of Simon, aka Peter.

There is a remarkable verse in the New Testament (Matthew 16:23) which pretty much states what is wrong with all organized and regimented faith systems.  Jesus is portrayed as speaking to Simon, who Jesus had allegedly renamed Peter, saying, “…thou art an offence unto me: for you savor not the things of God, but those that be of men.”  The real kicker in this reproach of Peter is that it follows immediately after Peter had allegedly been given the keys of the kingdom of heaven!  Thus the “church” that Peter was expected to establish was intended to be the adversary of the infinite creative powers that are personified as “God.”  In other words, man’s contrived faith systems are expected to be materially obsessed.  Speak of diabolical!

There is profound Gnostic wisdom embedded here.  The reason for the rebuke by Jesus is that Peter stands as the representative of the continuity in matter existence that resists the necessity of its own destruction.  Thus Jesus uttered the accusation that Peter savors those things that be of men.  What is illustrated with this drawn-out scene is that the confinement of consciousness which we experience in our physical-matter forms is what actually traumatizes human ego which is obsessed with its material identity and wishes to dam Creation’s natural flow which is interpreted by man as life/death.  All faith systems of man’s invention have therefore been contrived to answer man’s obsession with material self-perception.

Knowing this, we are justified in saying to self-serving, organized faith systems, just as Jesus is alleged to have said to Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan: you are an offence to me.”  Any faith system serves as the shell of resistance which personal ego surrounds itself as a shield against the flow of life/death.   This is why wise men have cautioned that any faith system is made for man; man is not made for any particular manmade faith system.

In the book of Matthew, chapter 16, verses 18-19, written c. 70-75 CE, it says, “And I say also unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto thee the keys of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Whoa!  Back up there!  The authority of whatsoever binds man on earth is to be determined by this weak-kneed, not-too-bright mortal fisherman!  And whatsoever this mortal shall loose on earth is to be loosed in heaven?  Something smells not-so-divine in this setup.  And then only four verses later (23) Peter is referred to by Jesus as Satan!  Oops.

The Roman Catholic Church was set up on the premise of Peter being the founder of that faith system, and all of the Christian offshoots also dutifully subscribe to the principle of Simon/Peter being the “rock” upon which their faith system stands supreme.  All the Gnostic influence in the Matthew presentation of Peter’s true character had to be smoothed over; thus in adjustments made in the book of Luke 22:31-32 (rewritten c. 84-90 CE), the direct association of Peter with Satan is softened somewhat by saying, “And the Lord said to Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (from his allegiance with Satan?) strengthen thy brethren.”

The Gnostic understanding of Satan, and which was purged from the rewrites, was as a personification of the limited and imperfect conditions that are experienced by us as mortal entities.  Peter, thus presented as the “rock” of Jesus’ church, is something of an echo of the Hebrew character Esau, twin brother of Jacob, and regarded as the ancestor of the Edomites.  Priest-written accounts credited Esau with the founding of the land of Edom, but the connection given in Genesis (25:19-34) linked with the Jacob tale makes the claim tenuous at best.  Christian interpretation of Esau (as in Romans 9:28-29, written c. 100 CE), presented the notion that Esau exemplified the blessings promised by god to all descendants of Isaac, and Esau was thus made central in church council debates regarding predestination.  What was not understood by the New Testament authors and their priestly mouthpieces was that “the land of Edom” corresponds to Earth itself.  Thus Edom as Earth and Peter as the “rock” actually means that it is this material-matter Earth which “binds” and “looses” the Life Principle at this energy dimension of Creation, and this dimension of energy is made manifest according to the laws of physics that determine all matter-form entities.  That means, by extension, that no mortal has ever been and never will be empowered to determine the eternal destiny for all humankind as the Christian myth of Peter implies.

No successor and no means of selecting a successor to Peter was ever suggested by the Lord anywhere in the NT which would allow Jesus’ church to continue to function after Peter was elevated to his gatekeeping duties.  For Catholics in particular, that is an embarrassing detail.  But knowing that Peter—the “rock”—is a reference to the Earth itself, then no successor needed to be named.

  • Related blogs:  Christianity and the PTR Factor, March 2012;  Simon/Peter, Historical or Mythical, March 2012.

3 Responses to “Peter and the Keys to Heaven”

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