According to Matthew, Jesus tells a tale about a wise man building his house on rock and a foolish man building it on sand. He then prophesies that a house built on rock won't fall down but one built on sand will.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Well, that's pretty obvious really. It doesn't take a genius to come to come up with that, does it?
But what's this a little later on?
Matthew then tells us this curious tale:
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Hmm... so Matthew has Jesus choosing Simon Barjona as the rock upon which to build his church. Note the use of the singular there; "my church", not "my churches". He also has Jesus prophesying that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Again the singular 'it'.
But what happened to this church? How did that prophesy turn out?
Is there just one true church? Clearly not. Apart from the major schisms between the Roman and Orthodox Church, there are also the earlier schisms between the Coptic, Armenian and Maronite Christian churches, the Cathars, the Paulicians, Lollards, Hussites, etc. Then of course the various other schisms like that between the Catholic and Protestant churches.
And then the storm really hit. The Protestant church almost immediately fragmented into all the various sects like Lutherans, Calvinists, Quakers, Presbyterian, Baptist, Anabaptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Methodist, Anglican or Episcopalian, etc, etc, etc, and the Baptist sect alone promptly shattered again into a myriad different churches so that today we have some 38,000 different churches, all claiming to be the one true church and, at least by implication, that all the others are false, and therefore Satanic.
Curious how all these modern-day priests seem to want their 'flock' to believe that Jesus was a foolish man, a false prophet and a poor judge of character in his choice of Simon, and that the Gates of Hell have indeed triumphed over Jesus' church, eh?
Or was Matthew up to something when he made up those tales?
What's that you say, Matthew?
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Hmm... so beware of Jesus, the ravening wolf clothed as a lamb, eh?
Blimey! Subversive, or what!? You'd have thought the Bible's editors would have picked that one up.
I'm glad I'm not a Christian so I don't have to work out ways to ignore this sort of hopeless muddle.