COUNCIL2 6'1m*f RT: Simon Peter at the Jerusalem council, pope

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

PETER -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, crosses to podium)
Good Morning. My name is Simon Son of Jonah. To those in the
church of Jesus Christ I am also known as Peter. I am an apostle
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The reason I called this
press conference is to announce the decisions of the first
Jerusalem council. I will now read the letter that will be sent
to some outlying churches regarding the requirements of the

(unfurls scroll)

REPORTER -- Before you read the letter, Simon. Could you tell us
why you called this the FIRST Jerusalem council?

PETER -- Yes. It's because I think this will be just the first
of many church councils. I think you'll see for yourself in just
a few minutes why I think this meeting of church leaders will
happen again and again.


The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers
in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

We have heard that some went out from us without our
authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what
they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to
you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul-- men who have
risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of
mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and
to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following
requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual
immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

(rolls up scroll)

REPORTER -- Simon, was this letter a group effort, or did you
dictate these requirements "ex cathedra".

PETER -- "Ex Cathedra"?

REPORTER -- "Ex Cathedra" is a Latin term meaning "from the
chair". Did you exert your authority over the other church
leaders regarding the wording of this letter?

PETER -- My authority?

REPORTER -- Yes. The authority given you by Jesus when he
changed your name from Simon to Peter.

PETER -- I'm sorry. I don't understand. What authority did Jesus
give me when he changed my name?

REPORTER -- Jesus of Nazareth was quoted as saying to you,


"You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the
gates of Hades will not overcome it."

Doesn't that make you the dictator over the church?

PETER -- If it does, I've been disobedient. The requirements of
this letter are word-for-word what JAMES, the brother of Jesus
suggested in the first Jerusalem council. And James wasn't even
one of the original apostles. I didn't dictate a word of it.

REPORTER -- Then what did Jesus mean when he said that "you are
the rock on which he would build his church"?

PETER -- Actually, that's not what he said. He said "On THIS
rock I will build my church."

REPORTER -- But the word "Peter" in the Greek language means
"rock". If you're not the rock on which Jesus built his church,
which rock is it?

PETER -- Well, it can't be me. Remember, I was the one who
denied Jesus three times. And just recently, Apostle Paul openly
admonished me for hypocrisy in my dealings with the gentiles. Is
that the kind of dictator the church wants dictating the
requirements of the church?

REPORTER -- Aren't you shirking your duty by wiggling out from
under your God-given authority?

PETER -- I'm telling you, when Jesus talked about building his
church on THIS rock, he was not talking about me. And it can't
be Apostle Paul either. Because in his letter to the
Corinthians, Paul wrote, "For no one can lay any foundation
other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." It's
pretty clear to me that THIS rock -- THIS foundation -- is Jesus
himself. I think Jesus gave ME the name ROCK as a constant
reminder to me that the Christian church is not about me, it's
about the rock, Jesus Christ himself.

REPORTER -- So, when Jesus was referring to THIS rock, he was
pointing at himself?

PETER -- King David refer to THE ROCK 30 times in his book of
Psalms. And all 30 times THE ROCK was God alone. Who else could
Jesus be pointing at?!

REPORTER -- Simon, I'm reviewing at the text of your letter to
the churches and it looks like you only included four


"to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the
meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."

PETER -- That's right.

REPORTER -- Aren't you omitting some important requirements from
the list?

PETER -- Like what?

REPORTER -- Like mandatory confessions.

REPORTER -- And what about mandatory communion?

REPORTER -- What about mandatory church attendance?

PETER -- (smiles to first reporter) See what I mean? This is why
I called this the FIRST Jerusalem council. As soon as people
read this letter they'll want to call another council and try to
pile on a bunch of new requirements. But I hope the church
leaders who preside over the NEXT Jerusalem council reject any
additional requirements, just as we did.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that you're NOT going to include any
of these other requirements?

PETER -- Nope. Just these four.

REPORTER -- Then, why include ANY requirements at all?

PETER -- The eating of blood and strangled animals and meat
sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality are common practices
among idol worshippers. The Christians we wrote this letter to
are living among idol worshippers. We want Christians to be set
apart from idol worshippers. BUT, whenever you add another
requirement on top of these, you take the focus off of the ROCK
which is Jesus Christ.

REPORTER -- So, when will you call your next church council?

PETER -- As soon as Christians forget that the church is about
Jesus and not a bunch of requirements.


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