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Roots of Modern Christianity

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by KnightRider, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Okay. Now I understand why you think they were appointed to rule the Church. :biglaugh:
     
  2. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Not the same authority, but ANY authority. The Judaic mechanism was the priesthood and the anointed authority of Moses - Joshua.

    I would expect the mechanism to be markedly different from Dispensation to Dispensation. Baha`i's have no clergy or priesthood at all. The Baha`i Mechanism is based on the dessignation of the Center of the Covenant, Abdu'l Baha, and the mandate given to him and his successors to lay the ground work for the Universal Houseof Justice.
    Abdu'l Baha passed on the authority to his grandson, Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian of the Faith, and as the time was not right yet to establish the Universal House of Justice, Shoghi Effendi inherited that mandate as well. He fulfilled that mandate by setting up the election process, establishing many National Spiritual Assemblies to be the electorate and decreeing it would be elected in 1963. Shoghi Effendi passed away in 1957 without issue and no single person to designate a second Guardian, but the Hands of the Cause, saw through the first election of the House of Justice in 1963. That body is re-elected every five years by 200 or so National Spiritual Assemblies around the world. No nominations, no electioneering, secret ballot.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_House_of_Justice

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  3. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Actually He said that ANYONE who loved Him and followed His laws would do greater things than He. Just because you can find them mentioned thirty times in the Gospel? (or in the NT altogether?) does not mean they were given ANY authority to administer Christianity after the passing of Jesus.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
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  4. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Yes, I do. I can't answer for No*s, though. I believe the situation is roughly analogous to the general EO attitude to the sacraments. Roman Catholics have the form of a sacrament (say baptism) which can be filled in without it being repeated when they convert to our faith (if, indeed anything is missing - as a man I can't determine that, but only God). I think the same is true with Apostolic Succession. In my opinion you have the form only. If Roman Catholicism were to return to the Catholic faith then I believe the form will be filled with whatever is missing. I stress that this is my personal opinion, however, and that I most certainly cannot speak for God. That's about as much as I can say on this without derailing this thread, but feel free to start a topic to discuss this if you want. The Catholic parent forum might be the best place.

    James
     
  5. KnightRider

    KnightRider Member

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    Look, the fact is this: the N.T. clearly states that Jesus ordained 12 Apostles (that sounds pretty official to me, but you're free to your opinion) and in Matthew the names of all the original 12 are given. Further in Acts, as I have mentioned, we learn that at least early on, there was an attempt to continue the succession of 12 apostles with the selection of Matthias. This process seems like a competent way to perpetuate the succession of authority to me. However, somewhere this succession process stopped, whether by choice of the apostles, or by means out of their control, is open for debate. The problem is that many people were completely rejecting Jesus' gospel, taught by the Apostles. To the point, in fact, that the Christians were heavily persecuted and many (if not all) of the apostles were killed.
     
  6. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    All but one (assuming you're referring to the Twelve, there were others called Apostles). John died an old man.

    James
     
  7. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    To put the Gospel of John's "ordination" verse into context one must read chapters 13, 14 and 15 all at once. Here's the relevant verses, and most Christians are going to say that these verses apply to EVERY single follower of Christ and do not pick out the twelve for any special responsibility:
    "15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
    15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
    15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
    15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
    15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
    15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
    15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
    15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
    15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
    15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
    15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also." Gospel of John, KJV

    As to Mark, I see nothing stated as to what should happen after Jesus was no longer amongst them in the flesh.
    "3:7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, 3:8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
    3:9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.
    3:10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
    3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
    3:12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
    3:13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
    3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: 3:16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 3:18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 3:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
    3:20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
    3:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
    3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
    3:23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
    3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
    3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end." Gospel of Mark, KJV

    This seems to have been crowd control more than anything else. Much like a concert performance is provided with "security" chief roadies, but the artist's agent is busy doing other things. In this particular case the AGENT is missing.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  8. KnightRider

    KnightRider Member

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    That's fine, you can stick to your "crowd control" theory, but I continue to believe that the 12 apostles were intended for much more important things as they are mentioned many times throughout the N.T. text as if there was indeed something special about their calling.
     
  9. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    If that's the case, why did the "Apostolic authority" die out?

    Its not my intention to change your mind, nor is it my intention to change my mind. We're discussing a question and everybody can learn from it. You can only find two Gospel verses discussing "annointment" and they are as I have described. The question originally was what authority did JESUS establish for after His passing? The Acts, the Epistles and the Apocalypse won't answer that question.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  10. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    You lost me..:confused:
     
  11. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Since I am unfamiliar with Bahai understanding it's difficult for me to connect the dots. Perhaps when I am more learned in this area.
     
  12. KnightRider

    KnightRider Member

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    You're correct that the N.T. won't directly answer your question, at least with an explicit statement that would eliminate this debate altogether. However there is considerable evidence that some form of authority was passed on. I'll illustrate with a few scriptures:

    Acts 1 :
    2. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:


    These verses suggest that the apostles continued to receive instruction from Jesus even after His death, resurrection, and ascension. According to this Jesus spent 40 days with them after His resurrection to instruct them pertaining to the kingdom of God. Why would he do this if there was no intention of some sort of succession of authority and responsibility? Further the apostles were instructed through the Holy Ghost after Christ had ascended, implying some continued work for them to do.

    Acts 6:
    4. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6. Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.


    Sounds like the passing on of some sort of authority going on here.

    Ephesians 2: 19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

    Ephesians 3: 4. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. 5. Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

    Ephesians 4: 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    Each of these passages from Ephesians describe an apparent authorative organization "built on the foundation of apostles" with Christ being the "chief corner stone".

    That's a good question. As JamesThePersian pointed out, all but one of the Apostles were killed, with John being exiled to the Isle of Patmos. This implies that there was severe persecution against the Christians. The people, as a whole, were rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also as indicated in many of the Epistles, even the saints were having troubles maintaining a purity of doctrine. We could speculate and think that maybe God had had enough, and with the death of the apostles so went the instruction "through the Holy Ghost" and the apostolic authority. Obviously there's no way to difinitively prove that, but it seems to make sense to me. And the fact remains that there was no leading group of 12 apostles at the time of the aforementioned councils (Nicea, etc).
     
  13. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    According to Paul, Jesus appeared to 500 of the brethren. Now you've got a council of 500.

    Earlier you protested that apostles could only be succeeded by other apostles, and couldn't be succeeded by bishops. Now you're suggesting they can be succeeded by deacons?


    And yet Paul himself didn't follow that advice.

    It's obvious you're determined to cling to your fantasy no matter what, so cling to it, if that makes you happy. However, the clear implication of it is that Jesus and his apostles were incompetent failures.
     
  14. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    That the dots are there is the purpose of the Prophet.
    Baha`u'llah mandates the Universal House of Justice to legislate upon anything NOT covered in the texts. He designates His son and first follower Abdu'l Baha to be the Center of the Covenant and interpreter of the texts. Abdu'l Baha continues refining the nature of the Universal House of Justice and designates in His will that Shoghi Effendi will be the Guardian and the Interpreter of the texts. He also is charged with bring to fruition the Universal House of Justice.
    Towards the end of his life Shoghi Effendi leads the efforts to get at least 35 national spiritual assemblies to elect the House of Justice. When He dies the election has been set for 1963 and more than forty national spiritual assemblies will elect the House at that time. There is no one left living to designate Guardian and the function of official interpreter is left vacant, and subsumed by the Universal House of Justice established by Baha`u'llah's mandate.
    Today the House is elected by the assembled members of 200+ National Spiritual Assembly members every fifth year - last time in 2003. Next election is 2008.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  15. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    It is contradictory because the concept of a council of 12 succeeding through the generations is unknown to Clement. He couldn't appeal to that (and St. John would have been alive at this time, and he didn't even appeal to John). Instead of mentioning a succession or office like that, he mentions an apostolic succession of bishops. The absence and mention of another form of succession is a contradiction in and of itself.

    The problem is exacerbated, because no early source ever mentions such a council. They don't even hint at it. It is a modern invention and has no backing at all. In the absence of any evidence and the presence of a different model for succession (which doesn't mention a council of 12 apostles anywhere in it), then it constitutes contradictory evidence.

    God has never worked that way in history. He never restores a lost religion and has always worked within the culture He reveals Himself. He always works with tradition. False prophets, OTOH, frequently work that way. It was happening in the earliest days and has continued ever since. Some prophet appears and claims to restore the truth that was lost during an earlier apostasy (as opposed to an organic accretion to the tradition), or they claim otherwise to restore it. It's happened from the first century on.

    The contrast between the two helps to illustrate why I say a religion that has died will remain dead. It can never come back to life.
     
  16. KnightRider

    KnightRider Member

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    What is the context of the statement by Clement? Who is he talking to? It sounds like he is referring to some regional succession of authority, not necessarily the apostolic succession of authority. I also gather that he is reprimanding someone (or some group) for erroneously removing wothy individuals from the ministry.

    I can easily envision there existing different levels of succession. The first being that of the leading apostles, then second to that the succession of regional leadership (overseen by the apostles), which is what it sounds like Clement is addressing here. He may not have mentioned the apostolic succession because the problems he was addressing dealt with the regional level. Again knowing the context of his statement would help here.

    How do you explain the Matthias example then? It is evidence that the succession of 12 leading apostles existed early on (forget the term council, by council I simply meant group, I didn't mean council as in a special meeting of individuals. Sorry about the confusion there.).

    "He always works with tradition." - can you back that up with scripture? What if tradition deviates significantly from the truth? There would have to be some sort of restoration of the true doctrines.

    Also you have referred to a succession of prophets throughout the Orthodox history. Is there an Orthodox prophet alive today? If not, why? It seems to me the world could use a prophet.

    Please understand, I'm not flat out claiming that Orthodoxy is wrong. There are still these issues that I have a hard time resolving (Apostolic succession, certain orthodox doctrines that don't sit well with me, etc). I'm just not convinced that pure Christian doctrine and authority survived the persecution and death of the Apostles.
     
  17. Maxist

    Maxist Active Member

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    Walter Bauer. That is my advice, look up him.
     
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