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The Apostacy


Beck

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Can someone explain to me exactly what year the New Testament Church fell into apostasy. The writings of the Early Church Fathers ( Clement,Ignatius, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr) do not mention an apostasy. Were they part of the false Church? Were their beliefs proof that the Church established by Jesus had become corrupt by the second century?

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Can someone explain to me exactly what year the New Testament Church fell into apostacy. The writings of the Early Church Fathers ( Clement,Ignatius, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr) do not mention an apostacy. Were they part of the false Church? Were their beliefs proof that the Church established by Jesus had become corrupt by the second century?

Can you tell me precisely what year of their wanderings the Israelites became fit to enter the Promised Land?

In both instances, we are talking about a process, not a single event.

The leaders of the New Testament Church did not wake up one morning and proclaim, "I feel like apostatizing today! All in Favor?"

We are talking about the spiritual equivalent of rust- a slow, almost imperceptible process that ends in the same result.

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Can you tell me precisely what year of their wanderings the Israelites became fit to enter the Promised Land?

In both instances, we are talking about a process, not a single event.

The leaders of the New Testament Church did not wake up one morning and proclaim, "I feel like apostatizing today! All in Favor?"

We are talking about the spiritual equivalent of rust- a slow, almost imperceptible process that ends in the same result.

So what the Church Fathers believed was the belief of Jesus and the apostles?

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The Earliest Church Fathers whose writings we have were Bishops properly ordained by the Apostles, and personally taught by them. Upon the death of the Apostles, the keys to ordain Bishops and other Church authorities were no longer present. These Bishops, in their writings, taught plainly the importance of staying with the proper authority, and not doing anything without their authorization, as many had begun teaching congregations to do. Here's an Ensign article about these early Church fathers, called Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp: Three Bishops between the Apostles and Apostasy

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So what the Church Fathers believed was the belief of Jesus and the apostles?

I would say that- inasmuch as it has been translated and preserved correctly- that their statements are the closest we can come to the original source material short of the Restoration.

Can we safely say that it-among all of the preserved doctrine- comes closest among the preserved texts to the original teachings? Yes.

Can we say that it is identical to what was taught by Jesus and the Apostles? No.

Most of these statements were recorded well after the fact, and we know that the Apostles themselves had to correct several churches and Bishops who had already started wandering astray.

Of course, the problem for critics and fools is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not rely upon moldering texts that have been altered, editted, redacted, and paraphrased for truth.

We can ask God.

We need not rely on artifacts or statements of suspect authenticity- for we have a Prophet of the Lord.

Where Mormons cite the earliest texts, it is only for comparison's sake. Our doctrines and truths stand restored and independent, We don't reference to ancient documents to derive our truth, only to show that it is one eternal round.

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The Earliest Church Fathers whose writings we have were Bishops properly ordained by the Apostles, and personally taught by them. Upon the death of the Apostles, the keys to ordain Bishops and other Church authorities were no longer present. These Bishops, in their writings, taught plainly the importance of staying with the proper authority, and not doing anything without their authorization, as many had begun teaching congregations to do. Here's an Ensign article about these early Church fathers, called Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp: Three Bishops between the Apostles and Apostasy

Thank you, this is what I was looking for. It seems to me that either the Catholic Church or the Mormon Church is the True Church. For the Mormon Church to be the one True Church I must find evidence that the early Catholic Church became corrupt and false teachers became Bishops.

One problem I am having is that Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church yet, according to the article, the Church became corrupt only 30 years after the resurrection. I will finish the article and post some more questions. Thanks.

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Thank you, this is what I was looking for. It seems to me that either the Catholic Church or the Mormon Church is the True Church. For the Mormon Church to be the one True Church I must find evidence that the early Catholic Church became corrupt and false teachers became Bishops.

One problem I am having is that Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church yet, according to the article, the Church became corrupt only 30 years after the resurrection. I will finish the article and post some more questions. Thanks.

Gates of Hell [Hades] = Death. Death didn't prevail, because the Rock/foundation of the Church is itself revelation from God, and not on vested in the lives of individual men. While death had a temporary victory over the inhabitants of the earthly kingdom, when the time and circumstances were conducive, the Lord himself personally re-established the earthly manifestation of His Kingdom , and had the keys and authority thereof delivered to mortal men again in our day.

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven....and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

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Can someone explain to me exactly what year the New Testament Church fell into apostasy.

...

My guess would be about the time Saul (a.k.a. Paul) was writing his epistles.

But to be more specific, if such a phenomenon occurred, I suppose we'd have

to hunt down the LAST BAPTISM recognized by Heavenly Father -- the LAST SACRAMENT

service accepted by Heavenly Father -- the last true ORDINATION -- the last real

REPENTANCE -- the final believer's PRAYER ever offered (and received).

Some Mormon once told me that the Great Apostasy became final with the death

of the Prophet Moroni, son of Mormon.

No date was given.

UD

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I think the message is that with or without proper authority, prophets and personal revelation, it can be easy to distort the doctrine incrementally either through overzealousness or through rationalizing our own unacceptable behavior. And the early members surely also faced the struggles of reconciling cultural traditions with the doctrine. If you talk to any number of former church members, you'll know that it is possible to go from being a faithful church member to complete rejection of everything to do with the church in a matter of weeks.

But the doctrinal changes probably happened quite gradually, and could not be corrected when there were no longer those with priesthood authority to do so. I think it a pretty safe bet that there were faithful individuals who always strove their hardest to live their covenants and keep the commandments even in the darkest part of the dark ages. I don't think The Apostasy refers to faithful members of goodwill who lived good lives believing they were doing God's will, and who lived according to gospel teachings (for me this would exclude the Inquisitioners who should have known that killing people for their differing believes was inconsistent with the gospel Christ taught.)

And the Lord's church didn't fail everywhere in teh world, or in the hearts and lives of those who faithfully followed what they knew to be right. It was the absence of proper authority that was the fundamental element of The Apostasy. And that happened when there was no one yet alive who had been properly ordained by either Jesus Christ or by Peter, James and John, or their designees.

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We are talking about the spiritual equivalent of rust- a slow, almost imperceptible process that ends in the same result.

I like that analogy. One of my favorite priesthood lessons was taught by a doctorate candidate (I believe in physics), who applied the second law of thermal dynamic, or entropy, to the gospel. If memory serves me correctly, I believe Jeff Lindsey wrote an online article on the same or similar topic. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Gates of Hell [Hades] = Death. Death didn't prevail, because the Rock/foundation of the Church is itself revelation from God, and not on vested in the lives of individual men. While death had a temporary victory over the inhabitants of the earthly kingdom, when the time and circumstances were conducive, the Lord himself personally re-established the earthly manifestation of His Kingdom , and had the keys and authority thereof delivered to mortal men again in our day.

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven....and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Nackhadlow,I read the article you provided and it doesn't provide proof of an apostasy. The letter of Clement clealy shows that gnostics had caused divisions in the Church at Corinth and they were correcting the problem and were seeking advice from Clement. Gnostic beliefs were nothing new. Paul tells Timothy to be aware of the gnostics "Timothy guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (origin of gnostic) for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith" 1 Tim 6:20

Paul was talking about the gnostics who forbade marriage and were strict vegetarians.1 Tim 4:1-5

I have the writings of the Church Fathers and I read Clement in its entirety and I think the writer of that article mis-understands what Clement is saying regarding apostolic succession. He suggests that Clement seemed "pessimistic about how long this succession would last " yet I didn't get that impression from Clement.

Is there anything else on-line from the Mormon Church on the apostasy that I could read? I am searching for absolute proof of a corruption of the New Testament Church.Thanks

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Thank you, this is what I was looking for. It seems to me that either the Catholic Church or the Mormon Church is the True Church. For the Mormon Church to be the one True Church I must find evidence that the early Catholic Church became corrupt and false teachers became Bishops.

May I suggest a more direct approach to determing if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the restored gospel it purports, is true? Why not first ask God if it is his Church, and then abide the precepts and practices of the restored gospel to see if the gospel does for you as intended--i.e. see if it brings you to Christ and best enables you to become like Christ, unto a fullness of joy and love in sealed unity with your family?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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name='wenglund' date='01 May 2010 - 02:20 PM' timestamp='1272748824' post='1208844051']

May I suggest a more direct approach to determing if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the restored gospel it purports, is true? Why not first ask God if it is his Church

,

Every "church" member believes they are where they are because God directed them there. My search for truth is from historical evidence. Was it necessary to have a "restored" gospel?

and then abide the precepts and practices of the restored gospel to see if the gospel does for you as intended--i.e. see if it brings you to Christ and best enables you to become like Christ, unto a fullness of joy and love in sealed unity with your family?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Every faith can bring one to Christ in a certain way, but I am looking for the God given Truth not a man-made truth. If Christ established a Church, whether Catholic or Mormon, then that is where I need to be. I've ruled out the Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists etc because their roots only go back a few centuries and I cannot accpet their once saved always saved doctrine,saved by faith alone or their acceptance of divorce and remarriage. Only two Churches claim to be the One True Church, the Catholics and the Mormons. Only one can be right.

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Your real question is not "when" but if there were an apostacy.

In the First Vision, Joseph Smith was basically told that the church had fallen away, and Jesus was going to restore the church through him. So the real issue is whether JS was a prophet called by the Lord. And you can find that out by determining whether the Book of Mormon is true. If it is the word of the Lord, then JS was a prophet and your question has been answered.

It all comes down to the Book of Mormon.

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Nackhadlow,I read the article you provided and it doesn't provide proof of an apostasy. The letter of Clement clealy shows that gnostics had caused divisions in the Church at Corinth and they were correcting the problem and were seeking advice from Clement. Gnostic beliefs were nothing new. Paul tells Timothy to be aware of the gnostics "Timothy guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (origin of gnostic) for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith" 1 Tim 6:20

Paul was talking about the gnostics who forbade marriage and were strict vegetarians.1 Tim 4:1-5

I have the writings of the Church Fathers and I read Clement in its entirety and I think the writer of that article mis-understands what Clement is saying regarding apostolic succession. He suggests that Clement seemed "pessimistic about how long this succession would last " yet I didn't get that impression from Clement.

Is there anything else on-line from the Mormon Church on the apostasy that I could read? I am searching for absolute proof of a corruption of the New Testament Church.Thanks

Hi Beck.

I don't know of any reason not to be Mormon, except that I am already Catholic. When the children of Israel fell into faithlessness and the priests were corrupted, when the enemies of God were permitted to trample over the holy things of God and destroy two temples, sending God's people into exile, there have might have been reason to imagine that they had lost priestly authority and God had set them aside.

Instead we find that the Old Testament record, which is anything but flattering with regard to the history of God's covenant people that there was never a Restoration because no personal depravity on the part of princes, people, or priests could destroy the covenant God made with Moses and the continuing authority of the sons of Aaron as God's priests up until the time was ripe for the New Covenant, built upon even better promises of perpetuity should appear.

Instead of Christ needing to restore a dead and lost religion, we see Christ coming to affirm the ongoing authority of the Law, the Prophets, and the Levitical priesthood.

1) Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist was a priest who performed the priestly functions precribed by Moses and was so doing when the angel informed him that his aged and apparently barren wife would bear a son.

2) Blessed Mary was "purified" according to the law of Moses, and our Lord was redeemed according to the law which prescribed a turtle dove or two young pigeons. (By the way, non-Catholic commentators taking issue with the fact that in the passage in Luke describing this event, Christ is describes as her "firstborn son" understanding not unnaturally that this seems to imply that there were more. Why else would Luke speak of a firstborn? The answer is found in the fact that the law which they hastened to fulfill requires the sacrifice described above for every "firstborn son".)

3) When our Lord healed the lepers, He instructs them to present themselves to the priests, for a testimony unto Moses.

4) The high priest was plotting the murder of the Son of God without losing his authority as high priest for we read:

If we let him alone so, all will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. But one of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.
--Jn. 11 (emphasis mine)

5) The high priest had a charism of prophecy that no personal depravity could corrupt. This was why Jesus, prior to His crucifixion still admonished his disciples to respect for the religious leaders who were rejecting Him as Messiah:

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not.
---Mt. 25

6) If one examines the Old Testament record one cannot but be sympathetic if someone should have arrived on the scene to declare the authority of the Levites, the children of Aaron, and the priestly offices to be null and void. We know that there were dozens of sects that did this very thing. The new temple was built with funds from an unbelieving secular ruler which is why some called it Herod's Temple. One can see how anyone might be skeptical that a revived Levitical priesthood was offering legitimate sacrifices in a building constructed out of state funds. But when Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers what did He call it? "My Father's House".

Subsequent events include the Passion of Christ, the renting of the veil of the Temple, and explanations from a converted zealot for the Temple ordinances renamed Paul about how the law of Moses and Judaism foreshadowed the New Testament and Church era. These lead me to a clarity in now rejecting the Mosaic dispensation as being the prelude to the Catholic and Apostolic Church which would go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every nation. In my opinion, similar clarity is lacking with regard to why the Apostolic Church of Christ supposedly lost its authority by the time the last Apostle was barely cold in his grave. If the Old Covenant survived for more than a millenium through the corruptions, depravity, and turmoil we read of in the Old Testament while the very high priest who plots Christ's death still inherits the gift of prophecy, it seems to me that we ought to tread very warily before concluding that a Church that traces its priests and bishops back to the Apostles must necessarily be indeed apostate.

In a subsequent post, if anyone was interested, I could probably offer gruesome highlights (lowlights?) in the inspired history of God's people that show how God's priestly offices seem impervious to corrupt and depraved officers. (That is not to say I admit to every claim against Catholic officers. The first line of defense can grant that Catholic laity, bishops, priests, and popes have been too often murderous, foul, and hateful to mankind. If necessary we can fall back upon a second line of defense, which is to prove that the historical allegations are false, have mitigating factors, are exaggerated, or most often cannot be blamed on the Catholic Church).

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My search for truth is from historical evidence... I am looking for the God given Truth not a man-made truth.

You'd have to find a God-given historical record that hasn't been tampered with, and being God's own record, is also a spiritual record. What records are you using?

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Nackhadlow,I read the article you provided and it doesn't provide proof of an apostasy. The letter of Clement clealy shows that gnostics had caused divisions in the Church at Corinth and they were correcting the problem and were seeking advice from Clement. Gnostic beliefs were nothing new. Paul tells Timothy to be aware of the gnostics "Timothy guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (origin of gnostic) for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith" 1 Tim 6:20

Paul was talking about the gnostics who forbade marriage and were strict vegetarians.1 Tim 4:1-5

I have the writings of the Church Fathers and I read Clement in its entirety and I think the writer of that article mis-understands what Clement is saying regarding apostolic succession. He suggests that Clement seemed "pessimistic about how long this succession would last " yet I didn't get that impression from Clement.

Is there anything else on-line from the Mormon Church on the apostasy that I could read? I am searching for absolute proof of a corruption of the New Testament Church.Thanks

I've you're willing to purchase a book, this is the best one I've found that goes into methodical detail concerning your specific questions, and has heavy use of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. It expresses a very well researched and well organized expression of our point of view on this topic,

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Every "church" member believes they are where they are because God directed them there. My search for truth is from historical evidence. Was it necessary to have a "restored" gospel?

Perhaps. However, every church member can also believe they are where they are because of historical evidence.

The difference, as I see it, is my suggested approach is reliant upon God, whereas your preferred approach is reliant on mankind--particularly yourself. My approach applies spiritual methodology in making a spiritual choice, whereas your approach applies a secular discipline in making a religious choice.

But, to each their own.

Every faith can bring one to Christ in a certain way, but I am looking for the God given Truth not a man-made truth.

Yet, you are using a man-made instead of a God-given approach when looking for the God-given Truths. To me, that seems backwards. But, again, to each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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My search for truth is from historical evidence.

Every faith can bring one to Christ in a certain way, but I am looking for the God given Truth not a man-made truth.

Since history is, by definition, man-made truth, these statements are contradictory.

History, as we know it, is "what historians believe came to pass". It will inescapably vary to one degree or another from "what actually took place".

If Christ established a Church, whether Catholic or Mormon, then that is where I need to be. I've ruled out the Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists etc because their roots only go back a few centuries and I cannot accpet their once saved always saved doctrine,saved by faith alone or their acceptance of divorce and remarriage. Only two Churches claim to be the One True Church, the Catholics and the Mormons. Only one can be right.

I quite agree.

But rather than relying upon man-made histories, you should be approaching Heavenly Father directly for your answers.

The claims of the Mormon and Catholic churches hinge on access to God's authority.

If that authority does indeed exist, it should be demonstrable to you when you take God at his word and ask.

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Begin reading to begin to understand..... http://fairlds.org/apol/ai014.html

This book online can give you the basic jist of the Apostacy and the Restoration.

http://www.fairlds.org/Restoring_the_Ancient_Church/

Good luck....

p.s. Don't be lazy like most people who ask questions and/or judge us, but who don't really want to put forth the effort to actually understand our thinking and position, because they actually have to take the time to read out of our best scholarship etc... You've got to put for the "work" and "faith" into a thing to understand a thing.

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The writings of the Early Church Fathers ( Clement,Ignatius, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr) do not mention an apostasy. Were they part of the false Church? Were their beliefs proof that the Church established by Jesus had become corrupt by the second century?

I'd say that generally they were part of the apostate Church. However, it is clear that the farther back you go in time, the more LDS in doctrine the Church looks which is exactly what one would expect considering LDS claims of a universal apostasy.

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Can someone explain to me exactly what year the New Testament Church fell into apostasy

The Pastor of Hermas is an interesting revelation in which the demise of the Church is predicted to be very very soon. So if you want to take the Pastor as an actual revelation or scripture (as many in the Church did at the time), one might suppose that the Church lasted to at least 90 to 150 A.D. I think it not an unreasonable range as many of those ordained by the original twelve likely lived into that range and the corruption of doctrine, which began before 90 A.D., really accelerated afterwards.

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I'd say that generally they were part of the apostate Church.

I disagree. I think they were some of the last diligent authorized Bishops (ordained under the hands of the original Apostles) and remnants of the Authorized Church, who simply didn't have the keys to name successors, yet diligently saught to maintain a purity of Doctrine and fight against schism.

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...

who simply didn't have the keys to name successors

...

An interesting explanation -- and one that I had not heard so

directly articulated previously.

The Apostles had "keys," but did not pass them down to successors,

and so (I presume) God ceased accepting ordinances, sacraments,

baptisms, ordinations, prayers, pleas for revelation, etc. thereafter.

So -- somewhere -- must have occurred the last sacrament service

in which the emblems were truly blessed. Was it on the day that the

last Apostle finally died?

UD

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name='selek' date='01 May 2010 - 01:18 PM' timestamp='1272745112' post='1208844030']

.Can we safely say that it-among all of the preserved doctrine- comes closest among the preserved texts to the original teachings? Yes.

Can we say that it is identical to what was taught by Jesus and the Apostles? No.

Truth is Truth. It must be identical to what the apsotles taught. Jesus said he would guide His Church into all Truth. Either the Catholics have it or the Mormons have it.

Most of these statements were recorded well after the fact, and we know that the Apostles themselves had to correct several churches and Bishops who had already started wandering astray.

Exactly. They were wandering away from Apostolic doctrine....the Truth.

Of course, the problem for critics and fools is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not rely upon moldering texts that have been altered, editted, redacted, and paraphrased for truth. We can ask God.

How do you know it is God who is speaking to you? Satan can appear as an angel of light.

We need not rely on artifacts or statements of suspect authenticity- for we have a Prophet of the Lord.

How can you trust your prophet? A prophet must be infallible, never changing with the times. Truth is eternal

Where Mormons cite the earliest texts, it is only for comparison's sake. Our doctrines and truths stand restored and independent, We don't reference to ancient documents to derive our truth, only to show that it is one eternal round.

What do you mean by "Our doctrines and truths stand restored?"

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