Jump to content

The Body of Christ


Cold Steel

Recommended Posts

In a previous thread, the New Testament church was discussed as â??the body of Christ.â? It comes from the allusion of Paul in his letter to the Romans, in which he noted that there be â??many membersâ? yet â??one body.â? (I Cor. 12) He then goes on to state the importance of diverse parts to the common whole.

The belief of the early church, and that of the latter day church, is that the body of Christ is a single entity made of varying officers that, when united, make up the whole:

God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

The modern interpretation by the Protestants is that the body of Christ is a body of â??believersâ? that, though diverse, make up the sacred whole of the church. Thus they lay a foundation for legitimizing a single body of diverse entities comprised of believers who may be scattered among hundreds or more churches, but who are united by a belief in Christ.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:

Belief in Christ is basic and fundamental to the Christian faith. He is the one sure foundation. By him all things are, and upon him all things rest. As Paul said: â??â?¦other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.â? (1 Cor. 3:11.) But we deplore and are saddened by the lack of unity among professing Christians, lack of unity as to his divine sonship, his atonement and mission and the gospel plan which bears his name. One group of sincere and devout persons believes one thing and another group something else. We look forward with hope, however, to an eventual day when honest men among all nations shall know who Christ is, what his laws are, and what they must do to be saved in his kingdom. (
Conference Report
, October 1964, p.36)

To me, the meaning of the scriptural â??body of Christâ? is clearly stated as a unity of members and officers into one body. Itâ??s not inclusive of those who are of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephus and of Christâ??but in the body of the church, a single entity with diverse officers in common to all. The Protestant view is contrived in an attempt of justifying complete diversity of views and beliefs and itâ??s contrived.

Both Christ and his apostles have stated in no uncertain terms their wish that all members of the body believe the same things and that they respect the officers of the church. But in todayâ??s churches, the officers only have authority in their own parts. A Baptist preacher has no ecclesiastical authority over Lutherans, nor does a Methodist governing body have any power or authority over a Presbyterian congregation. Thus, if the Protestant interpretation is correct, Paulâ??s entire metaphor falls apart, for he said the body must include the diversity of the officers as well as the believers.

The Catholic church, I believe, views the Catholic church as the body of Christ, and all believers and officers therein part of the body. I donâ??t believe that they include the Protestants as part of that body. In like manner, the Latter-day Saints also view the church as the body of Christ, and all of the present and past officers as a vital part of the whole body.

The view held by the Protestants appears to me as a way of legitimizing their differences in doctrines, ordinances and thought. They donâ??t respect each otherâ??s officers, which are not common to the whole.

What are your thoughts?

Link to comment
In a previous thread, the New Testament church was discussed as â??the body of Christ.â? It comes from the allusion of Paul in his letter to the Romans, in which he noted that there be â??many membersâ? yet â??one body.â?

He did NOT write "one church."

(I Cor. 12) He then goes on to state the importance of diverse parts to the common whole.

The belief of the early church, and that of the latter day church,

If you mean by this the LDS church, you might want to reexamine the offices that make up the church. What you are practicing is barely recognizable to the early church.

The modern interpretation by the Protestants is that the body of Christ is a body of â??believersâ? that, though diverse, make up the sacred whole of the church. Thus they lay a foundation for legitimizing a single body of diverse entities

Divers in what way?

comprised of believers who may be scattered among hundreds or more churches, but who are united by a belief in Christ.

That seems pretty unified to start.

We look forward with hope, however, to an eventual day when honest men among all nations shall know who Christ is, what his laws are, and what they must do to be saved in his kingdom.

Interesting that there is a grace vs. works thread going right now.

(Conference Report, October 1964, p.36) To me, the meaning of the scriptural â??body of Christâ? is clearly stated as a unity of members and officers into one body. Itâ??s not inclusive of those who are of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephus and of Christâ??but in the body of the church, a single entity with diverse officers in common to all.

There is. A single entity comprised of believers, made up of denominations, made up of churches, that have common officers. The glaring example of UNcommon officers is the LDS church.

The Protestant view is contrived in an attempt of justifying complete diversity of views and beliefs and itâ??s contrived.

I see nothing in the Bible that would dispute the current idea.

Both Christ and his apostles have stated in no uncertain terms their wish that all members of the body believe the same things and that they respect the officers of the church.

How true.

But in todayâ??s churches, the officers only have authority in their own parts.

I can believe the same as my Pres USA brother and respect the offices of my church. And, in fact, I do.

A Baptist preacher has no ecclesiastical authority over Lutherans,

You haven't given us a reason why he should.

Thus, if the Protestant interpretation is correct, Paulâ??s entire metaphor falls apart, for he said the body must include the diversity of the officers as well as the believers.

Paul does mention churches in the passage you cited. In the early church, there were offices of all the geographical churches, much like today.

The Catholic church, I believe, views the Catholic church as the body of Christ, and all believers and officers therein part of the body. I donâ??t believe that they include the Protestants as part of that body.

You may be mistaken on that.

In like manner, the Latter-day Saints also view the church as the body of Christ, and all of the present and past officers as a vital part of the whole body.

Which you have contorted to be nothing like the early church.

The view held by the Protestants appears to me as a way of legitimizing their differences in doctrines, ordinances and thought.

Very little difference in doctrine.

They donâ??t respect each otherâ??s officers, which are not common to the whole.

Disagree - as you've worded it. A pastor from another denomination gets enormous respect. I think you mean are not required to regard him as our leader. To a degree that's true.

Link to comment
You may be mistaken on that.

Indeed.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1267 Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: "Therefore . . . we are members one of another."71 Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."

1271 Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: "For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church."80 "Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn."81

Link to comment
He did NOT write "one church."

(I Cor. 12) He then goes on to state the importance of diverse parts to the common whole.

If you mean by this the LDS church, you might want to reexamine the offices that make up the church. What you are practicing is barely recognizable to the early church.

Divers in what way?

That seems pretty unified to start.

Interesting that there is a grace vs. works thread going right now.

There is. A single entity comprised of believers, made up of denominations, made up of churches, that have common officers. The glaring example of UNcommon officers is the LDS church.

I see nothing in the Bible that would dispute the current idea.

How true.

I can believe the same as my Pres USA brother and respect the offices of my church. And, in fact, I do.

You haven't given us a reason why he should.

Paul does mention churches in the passage you cited. In the early church, there were offices of all the geographical churches, much like today.

You may be mistaken on that.

Which you have contorted to be nothing like the early church.

Very little difference in doctrine.

Disagree - as you've worded it. A pastor from another denomination gets enormous respect. I think you mean are not required to regard him as our leader. To a degree that's true.

Hey, look at that....

Hoops is back.

Fun.

Link to comment
He did NOT write "one church." (I Cor. 12) "He then goes on to state the importance of diverse parts to the common whole." If you mean by this the LDS church, you might want to reexamine the offices that make up the church. What you are practicing is barely recognizable to the early church.

You're saying that the LDS church, with it quorum of twelve apostles, the seventy, the first presidency and such is "barely recognizable" when compared to the early church. Okay, for the sake of argument, I'll put that aside and say, show me a church that is closer in breadth, width and scope than the LDS church. Also, please elaborate in where we fail in our organization. It's clear that the seven churches had individual leaders and common, or general, authorities. The general authorities traveled extensively among the churches and appointed leaders who were beholden to them. As the apostasy developed, the churches began to reject the general authorities and those whom they had appointed and to choose their own leaders. I can't think of another church that is so similarly designed. The Catholics, bless their hearts, recognize the same general organizational oversight that existed anciently; however, they added cardinals and other offices and mistook the bishopric of Rome to be equivalent with the apostolic authority.

Now in Daniel 2, Daniel describes the great kingdoms of Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman and individual nation states and states that the Kingdom of God would be established, not in the days of Rome, but in the days of the "kings" of the individual nations. This places the Roman church too early by one degree. The kingdom that would be of God would be one that would never be destroyed, and would not be either created by man nor would it be "left" to other men. The Restoration of the Gospel fulfills this prophecy nicely. It also fulfills Isaiah 29's prophecy of the "marvelous work and a wonder" that would occur.

Diverse in what way? ...there is a grace vs. works thread going right now.

Yeah, there's always a "grace vs. works" thread going on. While works cannot save, a person cannot be saved without them. It's a simple truth and some people will never get it.

There is. A single entity comprised of believers, made up of denominations, made up of churches, that have common officers. The glaring example of UNcommon officers is the LDS church.

Yes, something the Protestants don't have. Their officers are only recognized by their own individual churches. Where are the overseers of them all? To what authority do these sects all answer? I know of none. If God raised up a modern quorum of apostles and they wrote to any of these churches with instruction, the pastors and priests would reply, "Kindly mind your own business...you are nothing to us." There are no common officers. You speak of a "glaring example of UNcommon officers" in the LDS church, but you're way off base. The LDS officers are all called of God, ordained and recognized by the body of Christ as general authorities, exactly as was done in the New Testament. It seems that every LDS-turned-Protestant suddenly suffers amnesia when it comes to these things, begging to have them explained anew. It's true that testimonies aren't lost, they're taken.

Paul does mention churches in the passage you cited. In the early church, there were offices of all the geographical churches, much like today.

Yes, my friend, but only in the LDS Church. There were local authorities and general authorities. Many Protestant denominations have local authorities; some even have general authorities, but the general authorities of the Methodist church only have power over the Methodist churches. The Southern Baptists don't care a whit about what the Methodist authorities say, do they? Yet Paul said that no one part of the body can say to another, "I have no need of thee." Where are the common officers over all the body of Christ? I know of none.

A pastor from another denomination gets enormous respect. I think you mean are not required to regard him as our leader. To a degree that's true.

And that, sir, is precisely my point. Respect is not authority. Mormons respect Protestants and Catholics, but we don't recognize them as our leaders, nor do we regard them as being officers in the body of Christ. The body of Christ is the church. Elder LeGrand Richards tells the well known story from the Catholic point of view:

The issue is between Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, you are wrong; if you are right, we are wrong; and that's all there is to it. The Protestants haven't a leg to stand on. For if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom we cut off long ago. If we have the apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we claim, there is no need of Joseph Smith and Mormonism; but if we have not that succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and Mormonism's attitude is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the gospel from ancient times, or the restoration of the gospel in latter days.'" (
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
, Deseret Book Co., 1958, pp. 3-4.)

The Orthodox, however, have a word to say about it, and they also claim apostolic authority. While Protestants view Orthodoxy and Catholicism as being two sides of the same coin, the Orthodox see Protestantism and Catholicism as being two sides of the same coin. Either way, the Protestants have the least claim on authority than anyone. There are huge chasms of disagreement between Protestants and both the Catholics and Orthodox, as well as the LDS. Most of the Protestants that love to publicly berate Mormons and claim that they're not Christian also privately say that Catholicism is not Christian, either. That's what makes them so disingenuous.

Link to comment
You're saying that the LDS church, with it quorum of twelve apostles, the seventy, the first presidency and such is "barely recognizable" when compared to the early church. Okay, for the sake of argument, I'll put that aside and say, show me a church that is closer in breadth, width and scope than the LDS church.

I'm not terribly sure what you mean here.

Also, please elaborate in where we fail in our organization. It's clear that the seven churches had individual leaders and common, or general, authorities. The general authorities traveled extensively among the churches and appointed leaders who were beholden to them.

Sure.

The mormon prophet is called the president and acts "presidential". The idea of a presidency is essentially a medeval concept. And the idea that a president is the highest office holder is an even later development.

There is absolutley no biblical reference for the mormon idea of a first presidency. I believe lds claim Peter James and John might reflect the lds idea, but scripture tells us that Peter certainly had a particular office, James and John did not. The idea of a first presidency is entirely a mormon creation.

Biblically, the twelve apostles were selected because they were eyewitnesses of the Christ. Also, lds apostles are not able to issue direct revelation, as did the orignal apostles. Lastly, The Bible clearly tells us that apostles will be known by signs wonders and mighty works.

The seventies directed by Christ were a group called together for a specific purpose at a specific time.

There is no Biblical reference to a presiding bishopric.

LDS ordinances and regional administration are equally lacking.

There's moe, but you get the point.

This kind of church adminstration is perfectly fine and seems to work well for you. But don't claim it resembles the early church. It does not.

Yeah, there's always a "grace vs. works" thread going on. While works cannot save, a person cannot be saved without them. It's a simple truth and some people will never get it.

It is simple error.

Yes, something the Protestants don't have. Their officers are only recognized by their own individual churches. Where are the overseers of them all? To what authority do these sects all answer?

Jesus Christ.

I know of none. If God raised up a modern quorum of apostles and they wrote to any of these churches with instruction, the pastors and priests would reply, "Kindly mind your own business...you are nothing to us." There are no common officers. You speak of a "glaring example of UNcommon officers" in the LDS church, but you're way off base. The LDS officers are all called of God, ordained and recognized by the body of Christ as general authorities, exactly as was done in the New Testament.

I've shown otherwise.

The Southern Baptists don't care a whit about what the Methodist authorities say, do they?

You misunderstand us. It matters of doctrine our final authority is Jesus Christ through His word. To which we probably would inquire of our pastor and other leaders within our church. However, if a Methodis minister were to call me out on my unchristian behavior, we are encourage to listen.

Link to comment
The Mormon prophet is called the president and acts "presidential". The idea of a presidency is essentially a medieval concept. And the idea that a president is the highest office holder is an even later development. There is absolutely no biblical reference for the Mormon idea of a first presidency. I believe lds claim Peter James and John might reflect the lds idea, but scripture tells us that Peter certainly had a particular office, James and John did not. The idea of a first presidency is entirely a Mormon creation.

The LDS view is, of course, that Peter, James and John were the first three officers of the church. Although this is nowhere explicitly stated in the New Testament, the three were often together and were with Christ on the mount of transfiguration. We also read that the Qumran society, which existed in the desert area around the Dead Sea, fled the city to prepare for the last great battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness. Theodore Gaster, in his book, notes that this society has twelve lay priests who acted as general guides to the community. These twelve had three superiors which he compared to Peter, James and John in the New Testament. So although we can't trace the First Presidency concept directly to the New Testament, the same overall organization was found among the Qumran in a society not far removed from that in the New Testament. That the word "president" or "presidency" was not used by either the early Christians or the Qumran makes no difference; the similarity is unmistakable and cannot be attributed to as "entirely a Mormon creation."

Biblically, the twelve apostles were selected because they were eyewitnesses of the Christ. Also, lds apostles are not able to issue direct revelation, as did the original apostles. Lastly, The Bible clearly tells us that apostles will be known by signs wonders and mighty works.

The apostles were selected as special witnesses of Christ, and the term means to be sent. We also know that they had administrative authority over the church, though it doesn't explicitly say it in the Bible. Peter's writings, and Paul's, indicated that they did have authority. We also know that when one apostle died, another would be chosen. Again, because the Bible is incomplete, we don't know how long this went on or what happened to the others, but we know there were other apostles called and ordained.

The seventies directed by Christ were a group called together for a specific purpose at a specific time. There is no Biblical reference to a presiding bishopric.

Yes, but they existed in the church then just as they do now (as a quorum). They serve at the Lord's pleasure and no other church that I know of has them except the LDS church. You say there's no reference to a presiding bishopric, but remember, please, that the Bible is not complete, neither is it a handbook. The organization of the church also can changed as per the Lord's desire, as long as the Lord has a means to so designate such changes. The position makes great sense and is fully compatible with the Lord's organization.

This kind of church administration is perfectly fine and seems to work well for you. But don't claim it resembles the early church. It does not. It is simple error.

Okay, so what church on Earth right now most resembles the early church? This ought to be interesting because my father, who for years was a Southern Baptist, told friends that it was the LDS resemblance to the ancient church that was one of the points that always impressed him the most. But now if you know of a church that has more of a resemblance to the ancient church, please post it here. I frankly don't think you'll be able to.

In matters of doctrine our final authority is Jesus Christ through His word. To which we probably would inquire of our pastor and other leaders within our church. However, if a Methodist minister were to call me out on my unchristian behavior, we are encourage to listen.

Hmmmm...and you believe this to be the calling of a minister; to call out when they see unchristian behavior? Have you ever known that to happen, really? Most preachers I've seen pretty much stick to their own congregations. But what of the Methodist preacher who tells the Baptist mother of an ailing infant, "I know what your church's views are about baptism, but you really ought to have your son baptized as a baby because, y'know...in case something happens." (This, BTW, happened years ago in western Kentucky city. The Methodist minister, in this case, was a relative of the woman he was counseling and the woman was so moved by the minister's arguments that she went to her own pastor and asked about it. Naturally the Baptist preacher was outraged by the Methodist preacher's intervention, as Baptists don't baptize infants, but it created quite the sensation.)

So here we have two churches, two church officers and one disputed doctrine, yet one body of Christ. If we're to believe Paul, then each officer ought to be respected by the entire body; yet look at the problem. The Methodist preacher, motivated by his belief that babies could benefit from the ordinance of baptism, confronted the woman (a relative) and sought her to go against the beliefs of her church for the welfare of the child. Every player in the story was motivated by the desire to do the right thing, yet the Bible was virtually useless in addressing this problem, right? Yet you say Jesus is your "final authority" on doctrine. So how would Jesus have handled this? You also say it's through his word, but everyone these days says that. Doesn't it occur to you that you need a go-between of some kind?

Link to comment
The LDS view is, of course, that Peter, James and John were the first three officers of the church. Although this is nowhere explicitly stated in the New Testament,
the three were often together and were with Christ on the mount of transfiguration. We also read that the Qumran society, which existed in the desert area around the Dead Sea, fled the city to prepare for the last great battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness. Theodore Gaster, in his book, notes that this society has twelve lay priests who acted as general guides to the community. These twelve had three superiors which he compared to Peter, James and John in the New Testament. So although we can't trace the First Presidency concept directly to the New Testament,
the same overall organization was found among the Qumran in a society not far removed from that in the New Testament. That the word "president" or "presidency" was not used by either the early Christians or the Qumran makes no difference; the similarity is unmistakable and cannot be attributed to as "entirely a Mormon creation."

Use of the word makes a world of difference. It has meaning. And that meaning is attached to your president. His duties are duties of "presidential" - a concept not found in the Bible.

The apostles were selected as special witnesses of Christ, and the term means to be sent. We also know that they had administrative authority over the church, though it doesn't explicitly say it in the Bible. Peter's writings, and Paul's, indicated that they did have authority. We also know that when one apostle died, another would be chosen.

If he was a direct witness to the risen Christ. And from there, he would show "signs and wonders". Presumably miracles.

Again, because the Bible is incomplete,

Which means your case relies on post apostolic writings. D&C I believe. Therefor, you can not know, and it can be surmised that LDS administration does NOT reflect the early church.

Yes, but they existed in the church then just as they do now (as a quorum).

The seventy were called for specific purpose - to preach to the cities of Israel. We have no indication that they were maintained as a group.

They serve at the Lord's pleasure and no other church that I know of has them except the LDS church.

True.

You say there's no reference to a presiding bishopric, but remember, please, that the Bible is not complete,

Allegedly.

neither is it a handbook.

Why not? I know it's more than that, but why is it not also?

The organization of the church also can changed as per the Lord's desire, as long as the Lord has a means to so designate such changes.

Fair enough. But that does not buttress your claim that LDS administration is refelctive of the early church.

The position makes great sense and is fully compatible with the Lord's organization.

Okay, so what church on Earth right now most resembles the early church? This ought to be interesting because my father, who for years was a Southern Baptist, told friends that it was the LDS resemblance to the ancient church that was one of the points that always impressed him the most. But now if you know of a church that has more of a resemblance to the ancient church, please post it here. I frankly don't think you'll be able to.

I would say RCC would be a good bet.

Hmmmm...and you believe this to be the calling of a minister; to call out when they see unchristian behavior?

I used a pastor as the most glaring example. Actually, we believe all of us should be able to support and uplift a brother.

Have you ever known that to happen, really?

Sure.

Most preachers I've seen pretty much stick to their own congregations. But what of the Methodist preacher who tells the Baptist mother of an ailing infant, "I know what your church's views are about baptism, but you really ought to have your son baptized as a baby because, y'know...in case something happens." (This, BTW, happened years ago in western Kentucky city. The Methodist minister, in this case, was a relative of the woman he was counseling and the woman was so moved by the minister's arguments that she went to her own pastor and asked about it. Naturally the Baptist preacher was outraged by the Methodist preacher's intervention, as Baptists don't baptize infants, but it created quite the sensation.)

I'm sure. But that is not common practice.

So here we have two churches, two church officers and one disputed doctrine, yet one body of Christ. If we're to believe Paul, then each officer ought to be respected by the entire body; yet look at the problem. The Methodist preacher, motivated by his belief that babies could benefit from the ordinance of baptism, confronted the woman (a relative) and sought her to go against the beliefs of her church for the welfare of the child. Every player in the story was motivated by the desire to do the right thing, yet the Bible was virtually useless in addressing this problem, right? Yet you say Jesus is your "final authority" on doctrine. So how would Jesus have handled this? You also say it's through his word, but everyone these days says that. Doesn't it occur to you that you need a go-between of some kind?

Looks like from the story, respect was given. Jesus would have said, "Come unto me."

We do have a go between. The Holy Spirit.

Link to comment
Peter, James, and John are often singled out from the apostles. Peter especially. The Qumran parallels should not be ignored.

Use of the word makes a world of difference. It has meaning. And that meaning is attached to your president. His duties are duties of "presidential" - a concept not found in the Bible.

Accept that Peter held a leading position among the apostles, as indicated by his vision and being head at the councils held. Also, in John 21, Christ says to him specifically, "Feed my sheep." The Greek means "shepherd, rule, or govern my sheep". He obviously had a key and primary position among the apostles.

If he was a direct witness to the risen Christ. And from there, he would show "signs and wonders". Presumably miracles.

And?

Which means your case relies on post apostolic writings. D&C I believe. Therefor, you can not know, and it can be surmised that LDS administration does NOT reflect the early church.

For one saying "presidential" isn't biblical, I am having a hard time finding sola scriptura or its practice in the Bible. Nonetheless, Eph. 2:20 makes it very clear that apostles and prophets are a necessary, foundational office within the Church.

The seventy were called for specific purpose - to preach to the cities of Israel. We have no indication that they were maintained as a group.

Considering 70 elders were called both in the Old and New Testament, there is no reason to assume it should have ceased except your own presuppositions.

Link to comment
The apostles were selected as special witnesses of Christ, and the term means to be sent. We also know that they had administrative authority over the church, though it doesn't explicitly say it in the Bible. Peter's writings, and Paul's, indicated that they did have authority. We also know that when one apostle died, another would be chosen. Again, because the Bible is incomplete, we don't know how long this went on or what happened to the others, but we know there were other apostles called and ordained.
We should not forget, either, that the Apostasy was not as simple as a loss of correct doctrine, or even the Priesthood authority, but a willful rejection of the servants of the Lord. Paul complains that some in various churches did not accept his Apostolic calling and that the Lord would punish him. I believe Peter had the same issue.

The Apostasy was, at its root, the rejection of the structure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in the Meridian of Time), which was, in its turn, a rejection of the simple doctrines of Christ and a rejection of the "elitism" of a Priesthood what did not include all the Saints (not least of which self-important men who thought themselves better than the unlearned Apostles).

Lehi

Link to comment
Use of the word makes a world of difference. It has meaning. And that meaning is attached to your president. His duties are duties of "presidential" - a concept not found in the Bible.
You are, here, wrong.
  • Moses was highly presidential.
  • Enoch (given the references in the Bible and other ancient texts) was presidential.
  • James, as the spokesman for the Apostles, was "presidential" (even though not the Presiding Authority) after the General Conference at Jerusalem.

Lehi

Link to comment
You are, here, wrong.
  • Moses was highly presidential.
  • Enoch (given the references in the Bible and other ancient texts) was presidential.
  • James, as the spokesman for the Apostles, was "presidential" (even though not the Presiding Authority) after the General Conference at Jerusalem.

Lehi

I see no Biblical reference to the duties of "President" as practiced by LDS. First century Christians did speak of Peter as president of the church. Peter was not viewed as "the prophet". There were many prophets who were inferior to the Apostles.

Link to comment
I see no Biblical reference to the duties of "President" as practiced by LDS. First century Christians did speak of Peter as president of the church. Peter was not viewed as "the prophet". There were many prophets who were inferior to the Apostles.

Now that you have gone back on what you said about there being a president in the New Testament, it should be noted that the LDS sustain all the apostles (including the First Presidency) as "prophet, seers, and revelators". Also, all those who have the spirit of prophecy can be considered a prophet. And according to Revelation, those with the testimony of Jesus have received the spirit of prophecy. Peter was nonetheless seen as the president of the Church, the head apostle, or head prophet. Thomas S. Monson fills in that position today.

Link to comment
Now that you have gone back on what you said about there being a president in the New Testament, it should be noted that the LDS sustain all the apostles (including the First Presidency) as "prophet, seers, and revelators". Also, all those who have the spirit of prophecy can be considered a prophet. And according to Revelation, those with the testimony of Jesus have received the spirit of prophecy. Peter was nonetheless seen as the president of the Church, the head apostle, or head prophet. Thomas S. Monson fills in that position today.

Sorry, meant to write "did NOT speak of Peter"

My mistake.

Link to comment
Sorry, meant to write "did NOT speak of Peter"

My mistake.

Actually, Peter is the one at the head of the councils in Acts 15. The Catholic Church is based off the idea that Peter is the rock. Early Christians very much saw Peter as the president of the Church.

Link to comment
Actually, Peter is the one at the head of the councils in Acts 10. The Catholic Church is based off the idea that Peter is the rock. Early Christians very much saw Peter as the president of the Church.

Please give me a verse that describes Peter as a president, or one that show him engaging in presidential duties as would be understood by the term.

Link to comment
Please give me a verse that describes Peter as a president, or one that show him engaging in presidential duties as would be understood by the term.

I corrected my mistake on Acts 10. That is when Peter received the vision to take the gospel to the Gentiles. He alone received this. In Acts 15, "And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much aisputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them...". He took charge of the council and all adhered to him. I provided John 21, where Christ says Peter will "shepherd, rule, or govern" the sheep. Christ said, "I will give you (singular) the keys of the kingdom." Peter was singled out among the apostles. Granted, they all received the keys eventually. But Christ singled out Peter first and later the rest of the apostles.

Link to comment
I corrected my mistake on Acts 10. That is when Peter received the vision to take the gospel to the Gentiles. He alone received this. In Acts 15, "And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much aisputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them...". He took charge of the council and all adhered to him. I provided John 21, where Christ says Peter will "shepherd, rule, or govern" the sheep. Christ said, "I will give you (singular) the keys of the kingdom." Peter was singled out among the apostles. Granted, they all received the keys eventually. But Christ singled out Peter first and later the rest of the apostles.

All of this is quite true. Setting aside the fact that (I believe) your president in a way takes your gospel to those who don't have it, how does the other duties of your president coincide with what Peter did?

Link to comment
All of this is quite true. Setting aside the fact that (I believe) your president in a way takes your gospel to those who don't have it, how does the other duties of your president coincide with what Peter did?

Receiving revelation and directing the Church.

Link to comment

The question, then, is of all the churches on the face of the Earth, which is the closest to the church that Jesus established? As LeSellers said, Moses and Enoch both acted as "presidents" in that they were administrators. Even though the word "president" is nowhere used, what is a president? The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as: "One appointed or elected to preside over an organized body of people, such as an assembly or a meeting" or a "chief executive." In Moses' cases, he initially used Aaron as a representative and counselor and later chose other officers over whom he presided. I care not whether one calls this "president" or "grand poobah," the office is pretty much the same. There were twelve tribes, and a quorum of seventy elders of Israel. Moses' counselors were Aaron and Joshua; Moses also used Jethro, who was one of the first ones who recognized that Moses was taking on too many executive duties. The main point, here, is that the concept of a president or presidency is not a new idea at all. The Greeks developed it eons ago. When the Greeks sacked Troy, Agamemnon was the chief king of kings, or chief executive. He used Nestor and other kings, like Odysseus, as counselors.

Please give me a verse that describes Peter as a president, or one that show him engaging in presidential duties as would be understood by the term.

Based on the above, we find that Peter was the one who received the revelation to include the Gentiles for proselytizing. Could this revelation have come through any of the Twelve? I don't think so, as Jesus had specifically set apart Peter as his chief administrator. We also see that Peter made the decision to do away with the circumcision requirement of the Law of Moses. As Reklaw noted, after a disputation had arisen between Paul and Barnabas, the "apostles and elders" met at Jerusalem in a church conference. "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up" and made the decision, after which James arose and announced it, saying, "Simeon [Peter] hath declared...." Now you can say, well, it doesn't specifically say this or that, but any fair-minded person can see that the apostles had an administrative role in the early church and that Peter was the chief among them.

Now if the apostles were to wither away, as conventional wisdom seems to dictate, then who would settle such matters in the future? Today, who is to settle whether baptism should include infants or be reserved for adults? And who is to settle whether it should be done by immersion or sprinkling? Who can decide whether the gift of the Holy Spirit should be given by the laying on of hands or whether the "priesthood of believers" is a valid biblical concept or whether it's a coup by those who have no other claim on authority?

There are disputes today among many churches and who is to resolve them? Is there a modern-day Peter who can call a conference and make a final decision? If the circumcision dispute was serious enough to hold a church conference over, certainly the other disputes are serious, too.

Question 1: Which Christian church today has the greatest resemblance to the ancient church?

Question 2: What officers of the "body of Christ" can reach between parts of the body and resolve issues?

Question 3: Does the LDS church operate in a way very similar to that of the ancient church?

Keep in mind that all apostles are prophets. In the LDS church, they most assuredly can, and do, receive revelation over their own stewardships, just as bishops receive revelation over their stewardships. And though all apostles are prophets, not all prophets are apostles. Note that Agabus was specifically referred to as a "prophet" and he delivered his prophecy in Acts of the Apostles in the tradition of the old Jewish prophets. Still, according to tradition, he was a seventy (described in Luke 10).

Link to comment
Use of the word makes a world of difference. It has meaning. And that meaning is attached to your president. His duties are duties of "presidential" - a concept not found in the Bible.

â?? Emphasis added

You are, here, wrong.
  • Moses was highly presidential.
  • Enoch (given the references in the Bible and other ancient texts) was presidential.
  • James, as the spokesman for the Apostles, was "presidential" (even though not the Presiding Authority) after the General Conference at Jerusalem.

I see no Biblical reference to the duties of "President" as practiced by LDS. First century Christians did [not] speak of Peter as president of the church. Peter was not viewed as "the prophet". There were many prophets who were inferior to the Apostles.

You have moved the goal posts, as is frequently the case.

Your original assertion was the the concept of presidentiality was nowhere to be found in the Bible. I supplied several examples of presidentiality. I did not claim that the word "president" (aside, perhaps from the book of Daniel, where the application was political, not ecclesiastical) was in the Bible. I responded to your assertion, and you sidestepped the issue.

Moses was presidential.

Exo 18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: 16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.

17 And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.

Not only presidential, but republican.

Peter, as has already been shown (and for someone who reveres the Bible, it is odd that we LDSs should have to point it out), was the one to whom Jesus gave the keys of the Kingdom and to whom He revealed many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of Heaven, not least of which was the opening of the Gospel to the Gentiles and the recision of the dietary laws of the Law of Moses (all except the prohibition on eating blood and things strangled). However, it was James (not the James of Peter, James, and John fame) who, acting on the orders of the Apostles, delivered the message to all the church, in spite of his being only the leader of the local Jerusalem stake.

So, while the word "president" is not biblical, the concept surely is, in spite of your protestations to the contrary.

Further, while, as we admit freely, the word president did not apply to Peter, but, as we have shown, he did act as a president. And, since he was the one to whom the others, even Paul, looked for guidance, he was "the prophet" of his dispensation. I might add, too, that Peter is, in LDS circles, regarded as superior to Joseph Smith in several areas. First, it was Peter (, James, and John) who bestowed the Priesthood on Joseph. It is Peter who has a leading role (and Joseph Smith has none at all) in our sacred ordinances. Peter's writings prompted Joseph F. Smith to inquire as to the status of the dead who had not received the Gospel on the Earth. As far as we are concerned, Peter is a major prophet, and there are a host of scriptures (among which is Matt 16:18~19) that identify Peter as the Chief Apostle. Interestingly, it is as Chief Apostle that the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presides. We do not use that term (I find it a bit clumsy), but that is the case.

Now we might get back to the original issue: does any church besides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have :

Apostles, Prophets, Deacons, Pastors (we call them Bishops and Branch Presidents), Bishops (which I believe we now call Stake Presidents), Seventy, Elders, High Priests, Priests, and so on?

I have never seen such an organization. All of these are part of the ancient Church of Jesus Christ. But for "Bible-believing" churches, it seems they are not good enough to be used today. And while the catholic churches claim to have the same Priesthood as was on the earth c. A.D. 100, they do not have them, either, neither by name (which is not as big an issue as some may believe), nor by function.

Lehi

Link to comment
Now we might get back to the original issue: does any church besides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have :

Apostles, Prophets, Deacons, Pastors (we call them Bishops and Branch Presidents), Bishops (which I believe we now call Stake Presidents), Seventy, Elders, High Priests, Priests, and so on?

I have never seen such an organization. All of these are part of the ancient Church of Jesus Christ. But for "Bible-believing" churches, it seems they are not good enough to be used today. And while the catholic churches claim to have the same Priesthood as was on the earth c. A.D. 100, they do not have them, either, neither by name (which is not as big an issue as some may believe), nor by function.

Lehi

I've answered this question. Where appropriate, prots certainly do have these offices.

But for you to admit that Peter was presidential in the sense of being a prophet, then, by your reasoning, the RCC should suddenly become replete with lds.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...