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Did the True Church Apostasized?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by defense of truth, Oct 6, 2005.

?
  1. Yes it did!

    51.5%
  2. No it didn't.

    36.4%
  3. MAybe

    3.0%
  4. Not yet

    9.1%
  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Okay. So you found it weak. That's why you're a Catholic and not a Mormon. ;)
     
  2. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    You are right in making a distinction between our belief in deification and your believe in theosis. It would be inaccurate to imply that they are one and the same. However, to clarify our position, it is important that you recognize two points:

    (1) We do not believe that any of us will ever be equal to God, our Eternal Father in Heaven. He will always be our God and we will always worship Him.

    (2) Nothing we could possibly do on our own could exalt us to the level of deity. It is only through the will and grace of God that man is given this potential. And "with God, nothing is impossible."

    While we may occasionally site some of the early Church fathers in discussing our belief, we do so as to point out that the doctrine is not so absolutely foreign to Christian theology as some might want to make it appear. We do not base our doctrine on anything any of the early apologists had to say, but on the scriptures and, of course, on modern revelation (which admittedly you do not accept).

    From the scriptures themselves, we learn that, as children of God, we may also be His heirs, joint-heirs with Christ, even glorified with Him. We might partake of the nature of divinity and be allowed to sit with our Savior on His throne, to rule over the nations. (See Romans 8:16-17, 2 Peter 1:4, Revelation 2:26-27 and Revelation 3:21). As to what these scriptures actually mean, we believe that they are referring to man’s potential to eventually become “godlike” in our knowledge, power and other attributes. If our Father is divine and we are literally his "offspring", as the Bible teaches we are, is it really such a stretch of the imagination to believe that he has endowed each of us with a spark of divinity?

    In “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis, said:

    “The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him – for we can prevent Him, if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said."

    We think that his interpretation is entirely accurate. While I’m sure it was not his intention to support LDS doctrine, we would express our belief in almost identical terms.

    Finally, according to The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology, “Deification (Greek theosis) is for Orthodoxy the goal of every Christian. Man, according to the Bible, is made in the image and likeness of God…. It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace.”
     
  3. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    That's from Wikipedia. Have you read the link to the book I posted? :biglaugh:

    Here it is again: http://www.cumorah.com/language/greatapostasy.html
     
  4. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    For my clarification, you said:
    Ok, pretty clear. But then you follow it with a possibility:

    So can you or not? Let me ask it in a form of a question.
    With the will and grace of God can you be equal to him?

    ~Victor
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I guess I should have done this at the start of the thread, but I would like to get the LDS definition of apostasy.

    Are either one of these quotes representative of current LDS doctrine? If not, can you provide me with the correct teaching?

    "Babylon, literally understood, is the gay world; spiritual wickedness, the golden city, and the glory of the world, The priests of Egypt, who received a portion gratis from Pharaoh; the priests of Baal, and the Pharisees, and Sadducees, with their "long robes," among the Jews, are equally included in their mother's family, with the Roman Catholics, Protestants, and all that have not had the keys of the kingdom and power thereof, according to the ordinances of God."
    - Prophet John Taylor, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.939

    "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the "whore of Babylon" whom the Lord denounces... as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. And any person who shall be so wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent of the unholy and impious act. If any penitent believer desires to obtain forgiveness of sins through baptism, let him beware of having any thing to do with the churches of apostate Christendom, lest he perish in the awful plagues and judgments, denounced against them. The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints. Before the restoration of the church of Christ to the earth in the year 1830, there have been no people on the earth for many generations possessing authority from God to minister gospel ordinances. We again repeat. Beware of the hypocritical false teachers and imposters of Babylon!
    - Apostle Orson Pratt The Seer, Vol.2, No.4, p.255

    REF: D&C 29:21: "And the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall be cast down by devouring fire, according as it is spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the prophet, who spoke of these things, which have not come to pass but surely must, as I live, for abominations shall not reign."
     
  6. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hi, Victor.

    Good question. I'm not sure how to explain this, but we believe that God's "perfection" is relative to where we stand in relationship to Him. In other words, He can continue to progress even beyond the point where He is right now. If He were not able to do so, His own potential would be limited. So, regardless of what degree of greatness we might be able to attain at some point in eternity, we can never "catch up" to Him.

    I see this question as being similar to the one athiests often ask of believers: Can God create a rock so big that He can't lift it? No matter how you answer, God comes out looking bad. Likewise, if God truly is "perfect," there would be nowhere for Him to go from here. But if He can't progress any further, then there is something He is incapable of. See what I mean?

    Kathryn
     
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Scott,

    I do accept what the Doctrine and Covenants has to say on this subject. However, John Taylor and Orson Pratt were simply stating their interpretation of the verse in the D&C. I realize that will sound like a cop-out to you, but that's how I see it. We don't teach from either the "Times and Seasons" or from "The Seer." I'd give you a more comprehensive response but I've got a commitment right now and am going to have to sign off -- probably for the remainder of the evening. I'll try to follow up over the weekend.
     
  8. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    The book Mormon Doctrine referred to the Catholic Church as the Great and Abominable church. The leaders of the church had this reference removed when the book was republished. My feelings is that this was an admission that there were certain members who were overzealous in condeming the Catholic church and that these condemnations did not reflect the true teachings of the church. The First Presidency said that thhe book was a “‘concern to the Brethren ever since it was published’” and also that it was “‘full of errors and misstatements.’” Obviously that was one of these errors and misstatements since it was removed.

    In 1855, Brigham Young asked Orson Pratt to quit publishing The Seer because it included "many items of erroneous doctrines."

    As to the quote from John Taylor, I'd like to add this one - “Although I was going to say I am not a Universalist, but I am, and I am also a Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic, and a Methodist, in short, I believe in every true principle that is imbibed by any person or sect, and reject the false. If there is any truth in heaven, earth, or hell, I want to embrace it, I care not what shape it comes in to me, who brings it, or who believes in it, whether it is popular or unpopular. Truth, eternal truth, I wish to float in and enjoy.”

    As for the correct teaching of what the great and abominable church is - I have always been taught that it is anything that takes you away from God.
     
  9. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    These are some interesting quotes about the apostasy that I found while doing some research. I wonder what the Catholics think about them. They are both from Hugh Nibley. I am not very familiar with the history of the Catholic church, which is why I haven't been posting a lot in this debate. I like to do my research before I dive in over my head.

    First, in Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, Nibley stated that plain and precious parts of the Gospel “were all taken away before the Roman Catholic Church appeared at all.”

    Another quote of his: “The great apostasy came in the second century; the scriptures were completely corrupted by then. This is long before the Roman [Catholic] church became the leading church. The Roman church was ‘small potatoes’ at that time. It wasn’t until the fourth century that they took over. You must not identify this just with the Roman Catholic Church. People do because that’s a simplistic answer.”
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    One quick note on jonny's comment: The book Mormon Doctrine has never been (despite its name) an official statement of "Mormon" doctrine. It is one man's understanding or interpretation of "Mormon" doctrine. While there is much within this book that is accurate and worthwhile, some of it really does need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    I love this quote! I actually think it is a far more accurate expression of our attitude towards other Christian Churches than many of the other statements I see from time to time.
     
  11. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Weak and non-specific answer.... one of the "plain and precious parts" of the Gospel I think we both agree upon in the transfer of the keys to Peter.... it seems that when Mormons want to support their faith, the Bible is just fine.... but when it comes to the development of doctrine, shoot the Bible down as "corrupt"... methinks this is just a bit too convenient.
    This further shows an ignorance of history... to refer to the Church of the first four centuries as "Roman" is an insult to my Orthodox brothers and the Eastern Apostolic sees of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantanople.... very much the core of Catholic teaching in the post-Apostolic era.
     
  12. defense of truth

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    How could Christ Church be overcome by heresys? Heresys and Lies by Satan? If it is overcome Jesus must be a liar in Matthew 16:18

    Peace
    GBU
     
  13. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Jesus is not a liar, but He didn't mean what you think He meant when He said "the gates of Hell" would not prevail against His Church. What do you think the phrase "the gates of Hell" meant to Peter and the other Apostles?
     
  14. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    who is the rock -mass according to the bible?
     
  15. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I don't believe the Bible says specifically who or what the "rock" is. That's why there are so many different interpretations.
     
  16. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    these scriptures seem to say
    that Jesus is


    (Romans 9:33) as it is written: "Look! I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock-mass of offense, but he that rests his faith on it will not come to disappointment."





    (1 Corinthians 3:11) For no man can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ.​


    (1 Corinthians 10:4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they used to drink from the spiritual rock-mass that followed them, and that rock-mass meant the Christ.​


    (Ephesians 2:20) and YOU have been built up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, while Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone.​


    (1 Peter 2:8) and "a stone of stumbling and a rock-mass of offense." These are stumbling because they are disobedient to the word. To this very end they were also appointed.

     
  17. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Scott - those quotes I posted were in response to this question. I haven't read through this entire thread so they may have been addressed earlier.

    He wasn't referring to the church of the first four centuries as Roman - in fact he referred to the Roman church as "small potatoes." Read the quote again. Your response shows your ignorace to my post. :)

    The reason I posted that was because I wanted to know if it was true (that the Roman Catholic church didn't take over as the main Catholic church until the fourth century).
     
  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Katzpur, I think you have a good sense of how Catholics take that. How about letting us catholics know what you LDS mean by it? I'm sure no early writer before 100 A.D. understood like us catholics. :D

    ~Victor
     
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Ok, let me say this nicely. WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD I or ANYBODY FOR THE MATTER WANT TO WORSHSIP A GOD WE CAN SURPASS OR BE EQUAL TO? Satan tried that already and didn't have much success.

    ~Victor
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Victor,
    Since Defense of Truth implied that we Latter-day Saints consider Jesus to be a liar, and since I asked for his interpretation of the verse he quoted, I hope you won't mind if I hold off on explaining how first century Christians would have understood Jesus' words. Or, if you feel comfortable in answering in his place, please feel free to do so. Do you believe that "the gates of hell" meant something like "the power of Satan" or "the forces of evil" or "the work of the devil"? Or would it have just been a hyperbole meaning something like "Nothing in the world will prevail against my Church"?
     
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