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The Great Apostasy

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by dan, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    One of the key elements to the LDS faith is the belief that the primitive church that Christ established while in the flesh was lost to us only a few short decades after His resurrection and Ascension into Heaven. This is a concept often brought up in other threads but never discussed at length, as someone decides it's off topic. I'd like to hear what others feel about this idea as well as provide some information that corroborates our belief that may have escaped the understanding of the general public. My basic assertion is this:

    The church established by Christ in the New Testament, with a foundation of apostles, prophets, teachers, deacons and priests - along with all the authority to perform the necessary ordinances also laid out in the New Testament - was no longer on the earth when the church was sanctioned by Constantine in the early 4th century.

    I will seek to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that this is the explanation that best exlpains the history of Christianity from Constantine's day to ours. I'd like this to be a respectable and comprehensive debate, with no empty claims or unfounded theories. We have access to inumerable amounts of information regarding this topic on the internet and among our members. Let's see what we can all learn!
     
  2. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    OK, what is your evidence that the Catholic Church of the 4th century was not linked to the Jesus movement of the 1st century?

    B.
     
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  3. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    I do not accept that such an apostasy occured...

    I eagerly await your evidence to prove that this happened...
     
  4. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    In order to comprehensively show that the Apostasy is an undeniable fact, I’ll examine several different historical and logical arguments that firmly establish that Christ’s church is not the same church that rose from ashes to imperial domination and then on to sectarian Christianity all over the world. I will draw from the writings of early Church historians, The Great Apostasy, by James Talmage, several different websites (that I will name as quoted), the Bible (KJV), and common sense. Please give me some time to complete each point before retaliating, and please keep the rebuttals to one point at a time. Convoluted debates edify no one. I will investigate:

    1) Unauthorized changes in established patterns of church administration and government.
    2) Corruption of simple Gospel principles by the influence of prominent philosophical movements.
    3) Unauthorized alterations and abolition of necessary ordinances.
    4) Gross misrepresentation of Christ by “traditional” or “mainstream” Christianity.
    5) Doctrinal changes as the result of economical and political necessity.
    6) Prophecies concerning the apostasy.

    Without further ado, we dive into our first concern: establishing authorized patterns of administration in the church. We’ll then examine their absence from the post-Biblical churches, and the reasons for those absences.

    The Bible gives us the story of God’s dealings with His people from the creation of Adam to the Revelation of John on the Island of Patmos. Consistency and order in God’s kingdom reign from cover to cover. God established His modus operandi from the beginning and has never deviated from it without extensive pre-declaration. Prophets have been the cornerstone of His relationship with us without exception.

    “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.”
    Luke 1:70

    “Surely the LORD GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
    Amos 3:7

    Some will say that prophets ceased with the advent of the Son of Man, but the New Testament (hereafter NT) makes no such assertion, and specifically mentions seven prophets by name that administered well after the Ascension of our Lord. Ephesians 4:11-13 tell us that the body of Christ (His church) is edified by the foundation of prophets, apostles, evangelists and so on. This was to be the pattern of spiritual gifts in the church until a unity of the faith was achieved. No such unity has been yet achieved. This begs the question, When in the bible did God not speak through prophets? Throughout the Old Testament (hereafter OT) we find God threatening to cut off contact and scatter Israel if it fails to hearken to His council. As long as they are righteous He is there, communicating through His servants. At times of apostasy (lit. a falling away) the Lord withdraws His prophets and the people are left alone to fair for themselves. We can actually find a pattern of this happening.

    These periods of righteousness intermixed with lonely periods of apostasy are called dispensations. The Lord began the first dispensation with Adam. Adam spoke with God and taught the Gospel to the people. Five other prophets are found that administered during this dispensation. After a time they stopped listening to the prophets and they fell away. Enoch was sent to restore the faith, and his people were taken up to heaven. Noah was the next prophet called to preach the truth. There was relative righteousness through the administration of ten different prophets during this dispensation, but the people soon fell away. Abraham began the next dispensation, and through this man a covenant was made and a nation established. Commandments were established. This dispensation waned in Egypt, but Moses was called to establish the next. He brought with him increased understanding of the Gospel, and his people were given further commandments. After a time this new dispensation again fell to the iniquitous. Each falling away was marked by division and amendment of the commandments of God. Sects sprang from the Babylonian captivity, testifying of the withdrawal of God’s blessings from this nation as a whole. Jesus Christ came to begin the next dispensation during the meridian of time. He restored the truth and brought further commandments, but we are told that this is not the last dispensation. The Acts and Ephesians tell us restoration would take place in the dispensation of the fullness of times, which was still far in the future when John penned his Revelation. This would be the restoration of all things. Restoration does not come without a falling away, of which Paul testified on numerous occasions, but that’s another issue that will be touched upon soon.
     
  5. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    What does all of this show? It shows us that God does not arbitrarily change His administration. Prophets have been a necessity since the beginning of time. Without them we are lost. Without them God does not command His people. Some have interpreted a verse in Hebrews to mean that Christ would be the last prophet. After Christ prophets were superfluous, as God has spoken through His Son. Evidently the fact that Go spoke to prophets in the past indicates to some that He would not in the future, but the NT already renders that interpretation false, as seven other prophets are mentioned by name (Acts 13:1; 15:32; 21:10), and Paul tells us the body of Christ is built upon prophets. This can then be said of the entirety of books contained in the Bible: prophets are an absolute necessity, and no indication is ever given that they will ever become unnecessary.

    We do actually find instances in the Bible of people denying the necessity of prophets. The Samaritans, Pharisees and Sadducees all make their accusations on the basis that God no longer speaks through prophets. Christ addresses this notion in Matthew 23:29-34. He tells them that they are wrong in saying they would have been righteous had they lived in the days of the prophets, as they will take part in the same blood-lust. They were unaware that they would have to deal with prophets directly. Verse 34 says that Christ will send prophets. They were more comfortable teaching the words of prophets that could not tell them they were wrong. Whenever the scriptures are left to be interpreted without prophets they are perverted and schisms arise. Need I point out the endless schisms in Christianity today?

    The Samaritans fell into a similar trap. They denied the actuality of prophets and scripture because of a misinterpretation of Deut. 4:2 (the very same misinterpretation is made by Christians today of Rev. 22:18). They accepted only the Torah as law and only Moses as prophet. You’re all well aware of their state.

    The pattern was set, and hardly had the blood of the apostles dried before that pattern was abolished. Prophets administered before and after Jesus’ ministry. It cannot be denied that Christ did not usher in their extinction, but prophets were immediately stricken from Christianity, never to be sought after again. With this denial of God’s pattern came the very same schisms and violence of old. People immediately began preaching with their own agendas. The telltale signs of apostasy were rampant, and Christ even addressed these signs in revelation. It appears from history that the churches did not heed His warning.

    What of the Apostles, though? When Judas died the remaining apostles came together and made it known that a replacement would be needed. They chose one by divine intervention (in no place do we find a vote taking place), and the Apostles carried on their duties. This makes it abundantly clear that twelve apostles are the standard of administration. Paul tells us that apostles are before prophets, so who decided that this quorum should be done away with? As these apostles died they were not replaced. By the end of the Bible we have one apostle and no replacements. Why not?

    Only two conclusions are evident. Either they were no longer needed, or the church was not functioning correctly anymore. We are in no place told that the Apostleship would be done away with. The only clue we are given at all is that they needed twelve apostles for the church to go forth under the correct administration. As these apostles died there wa sincreasing confusion and strife in the church. The early church historians agree that the church discontinued as God's legal representation on this earth, but those quotes are for another topic.

    I make a side note of another key principle of Christ’s gospel that has been grossly perverted. This is the manner in which the church dealt with money. In the NT we hear of a system of communal living in which the poor where taken care of via the abundance of others. Money was only needed insofar as it provided you with the necessities of life. The only Christian church in existence for hundreds of years, and the mother of all subsequent Christian churches apparently was unaware of this and became the very epitome of the avarice that Christ vehemently condemned. Millions have been slaughtered in the name of this church’s insatiable lust for gold. Its entire fortune was built upon the bones of the original possessors of that fortune. In South America I heard the desperate cries of many homeless who begged me for an answer to the question, Why are we dying of hunger when our pope sleeps on a bed made of solid gold? Is that church serving God or Mammon?

    My conclusion? The churches that fought their way to the top of the heap after the close of the Bible are not authorized by God to be there.

    I will make one more post on this particular topic concerning the way in which the papacy became a disgustingly unchristian station. If the leaders of God’s church are as corrupt as the infidels they slaughter can it really be called God’s church? It’s the only one making that claim, so the only conclusions that can be drawn from my next post can be that it is God’s church, or God’s church was temporarily lost. Give me another day for that one. function exit() { window.close(); }
     
  6. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    My next order of business is to establish by the example of the Catholic Church (Christianity from the fourth century on) that the government of the church had been radically and illegally altered. It is paramount, then, to show that as long as God’s people have had an ecclesiastical leader endorsed from on high, that leader has been an ordained leader, approved by God for his righteousness. In the OT it was originally prophets who bore the burden of leading the people, and they were righteous. If they weren’t they were immediately removed from office. When Israel chose to have kings rule them they began a downward spiral into iniquity. These kings often ruled in unrighteousness, but their office gave them no ecclesiastical authority. There was usually a prophet to counsel them. We know this from the scripture that has been recorded. Another interesting fact: whenever there has been an approved ecclesiastical authority on the earth there has been scripture. We do not possess all of it, but we do know definitively that God’s people were never guided by Him save scripture was present.

    The point I believe is irrefutable is that there is no example anywhere in the Bible of ecclesiastical authority consistently administering in wickedness. Whenever the ecclesiastical leaders have become corrupt God has taken one of two actions. First, he immediately replaces the corrupt authority with a righteous one, or He withdraws His authority and administration completely. Those times would be the times of apostasy mentioned earlier.

    My object with this post is to show that the Catholic Church cannot be viewed as anything other than a manifestation complete and total withdrawal of divine sanction.

    We can begin in the Bible. There are numerous examples of churches being led by corrupt doctrines. Paul’s letters are almost all corrective in nature. How would these congregations have survived had Paul not been around? Here’s a better question: at what point, exactly, did these churches become autonomous to apostolic counsel? At the deaths of the apostles those epistles stopped and those churches were left to themselves. Had there been an ecclesiastical authority on the earth they would have continued as one. Without this counsel they would have split. As it really happened, they immediately began teaching all kinds of false and perverted doctrines.

    From Joseph Milner’s five volume History of the Church of Christ: “We shall now perceive that the most precious truths of the Gospel begin to be less attended to, and less brought to view. Even Justin Martyr, before the period of eclectic corruption, by his fondness for Plato, adulterated the gospel in some degree…Tatian, his scholar, went bolder lengths, and deserved the name of heretic. He dealt largely in the merits of continence and chastity; and these virtues, pushed into extravagant excesses, under the notion of superior purity, became great engines of self-righteousness and superstition; obscured men’s view of the faith of Christ, and darkened the whole face of Christianity. Under the fostering hand of Ammonius and his followers, this fictitious holiness disguised under the appearance of eminent sanctity, was formed into a system; and it soon began to generate the worst evils…St. Paul’s caution against philosophy and vain deceit, it appears, was now fatally neglected by Christians.”

    Here are some systems of faith that gained large followings during this time period, according to Hegesippus, by way of Eusebius: Simonians, Cleobians, Dositheans, Gortheonians, Masbotheans, Meandrians, Marcionists, Carpocratians, Valentinians, Basilidians and Saturnillians. Each of these sects was headed by an ecclesiastical leader vying for rank and authority. It was in this cloud of discord and pomp that Constantine held a council so that the doctrines could be ironed out. Different groups argued their cases and votes were taken. Majority established the original doctrine and the losers were made to conform or be killed. Many were killed. Is this truly God’s ordained church? Does it act under His divine approbation?

    Allow me to further examine the leadership of this church. I’m well aware that the actions of the common members of any church in no way represent the church as a whole, so I will keep my comments limited to the very popes that ran this church. Every single male mentioned by name was Pope.
     
  7. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    A Duke in the late eighth century compelled some bishops to consecrate his brother, Constantine, as pope. In 768 more legitimate electors chose Stephen IV and removed Constantine, putting out his eyes and cutting out the tongue of one of the bishops. That bishop was left to die in a dungeon. In 795 Pope Adrian’s nephews seized his successor, Leo III, and attempted to cut out his eyes and tongue. Pope Adrian later tried to suppress a conspiracy to depose him, and turned Rome into a scene of “rebellion, murder and conflagration” according to Draper. Stephen V, his successor, was “ignominiously” exiled from the city. His successor, Paschal I was accused of blinding and murdering two ecclesiastics in the Lateran Palace. John VIII paid tribute to the Mohammedans (God was apparently not fighting His church’s battles at this point). The Bishop of Naples was in alliance with them and received some of that tribute. John found out and excommunicated him, promising absolution if he became a murderer himself. Formosus became Pope despite being excommunicated for being one of the conspirators in the death of John VIII. Boniface VI was deposed for his “immoral and lewd life”. Stephen VII dug up Formosus’ body, dressed him in the Papal attire, placed him in the Papal chair and tried him before a council. He then cut off three of his fingers and threw the body into the Tiber. That Pope was then thrown into prison and strangled. Five Popes were elected between AD 896 and 900. Leo V, AD 904, was thrown in prison in just two months by one of his chaplains, who usurped his throne, but was then driven from Rome by Sergius III, who took over the pontificate by military force. This man lived in “criminal intercourse” with the prostitute Theodora. She and her two daughters, Marozia and Theodora (also prostitutes) exercised complete control over him. He was controlled right out of the Papal chair to be replaced by another of Theodora’s lovers, John X. Marozia hated John. She killed his brother before her eyes and threw John in prison. He later was killed with a pillow. Marozia’s son became John XI in AD 931. Marozia married the brother of John XI’s father, and was then thrown in prison by another of her sons, along with the Pope. That son’s son was later made John XII, when he was only nineteen. This boy apparently led the most immoral life of any pope up to this point. Among many other things he ordained a ten year old boy as bishop, committed incest with one of his father’s concubines (Popes can have concubines?), turned the Lateran Palace into a brothel and invoked the blessings of Jupiter and Saturn. Leo VIII was then elected, but the old pope couldn’t just back down, so he cut the hand off of one of his antagonists, and the nose fingers and tongues of others. He was then killed by a man whose wife he had seduced. John XIII was strangled in prison; Boniface VII imprisoned Benedict VII and killed him by starvation; John XIV was secretly put to death in the castle of St. Angelo; the corpse of Boniface was dragged through the streets. In 1033 an eleven year old boy, Benedict IX, was made pope. Victor III declared that his life was so “shameful, so foul, so execrable, that he shuddered to describe it.” Benedict auctioned off the Papacy to Gregory VI in AD 1045. In 1309 the Papal chair was moved to France so her kings could finally have a turn raping the church. Rome retaliated by electing its own pope. In 1409 a council was held to do something about having two popes at the same time. Both popes were deposed and a new one elected, but neither of the two would step down, so now we had three popes at the same time! It wasn’t until 1414 (more than a hundred years after the original schism) that one pope was exclusively reigning. I don’t think I have to tell you about the Dark Ages, the Crusades, the men killed for translating the Bible, Eugenics or the Papal indifference regarding the Holocaust.

    Can anyone really believe that this is Christ’s church? Some will pawn off the idea that there was a “dark age” of the Catholic Church when they lost their divine appointment, but luckily regained it. This is unbiblical, as no new prophet was called to establish any restoration. New wine, my friends. The administration just moved along as usual with no evidence of any divine intervention at all. This is the end of point one. I welcome any and all investigation and criticism of my logic to this point.

     
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  8. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Holy Chicken Little! Where to start? I don't have the energy for this anymore....:banghead3
     
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  9. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    I understand there's a lot here, but it serves in showing just that the evidence is overwhelming if one looks in to it. If there is error in my logic please have at it. I don't feel I have any facts mixed up, but if I do please point them out.
     
  10. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Certainly someone has something to say. This thread isn't that boring.
     
  11. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    This is great stuff. I think people are stunned more than anything.
     
  12. angellous_evangellous

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    My first thought is that I don't see how relevant anything after the fourth century is relevant to the idea that a great apostacy occured in earliest Christianity.

    Secondly, I think that the idea of a great apostacy is severely weakened by the fact that no group in early Christianity held LDS beliefs, as far as we know. In other words, what where the earliest Chrsitians supposed to be faithful to? I would think that they were supposed to be faithful to some version of LDS theology, which simply does not appear in history until Joseph Smith, who LDS claim restored the church to original doctrine. However, we can't find this original doctrine anywhere in earliest Christianity.

    From wiki "Great Apostacy"
    "Latter-day Saints refer to the "restitution of all things" mentioned in Acts 3:20-21 and claim that a restoration of all the original and primary doctrines and rites of Christianity was needed and happened via Joseph Smith. Latter-day Saints contend that other religions--Christian or otherwise--have a portion of the truth, though mingled with inaccuracies. They claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restoration of Jesus' original church, has the authentic Priesthood authority, and all doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel."
     
  13. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    And God has continually blessed Orthodoxy with prophets.

    Dealing with traditional Christianity will be very difficult. Prophecy has never ceased. That is a claim from some of the Protestant sects. I can name prophets from memory, including some called in the twentieth century. Notice also that prophecy has never been an office in the institution. A person is a prophet, because he acts like one.

    Another fun error is that prophets frequently called people to repentance when they were apostasizing. Hence the stereotypical call of the prophet, "Repent!" You cannot repent if everything is hunkey-dorey. The "lonely periods" you mention subsequently are pretty much the norm.

    Your assesment contains a distinct dissimilarity to how Mormonism came about. The "apostasy" never restored lost doctrines or orders. Moses never said, "Yall listen up! This is what was really taught..." Each one assumed, not that the preceding covenant or tradition was invalid, but rather, its validity. You assume the opposite. These situations are not parallel.

    Christ didn't destroy the old system. He didn't "restore" the lost truth. Christ was the Truth (Jn. 14.6), and as such, the perfect revelation of the Father. But He worked within the system handed down and even commanded people to obey the Pharisees. He didn't just go off and establish something new because he said "they were all wrong." Again, this situation is not analogous to that of Joseph Smith and a restoration from a Great Apostasy.
     
  14. angellous_evangellous

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    I see a quantitative difference between this statement:

    And this statement:
    Being that the early fourth century is approximately three hundred years after Christ, I don't think that we can talk about this period of time as "only a few short decades." I understand the Great Apostacy in Mormon teaching to have occured immediately after the death of the apostles, and you have given no evidence for this.

    For example, from wiki "Great Apostacy"

    "Latter-day Saints interpret various writings in the New Testament as an indication that even soon after Jesus' ascension the apostles struggled to keep early Christians from distorting Jesus' teachings and to prevent the followers from dividing into different ideological groups. However, some of those who survived the persecutions took it upon themselves to speak for God, interpret, amend or add to his doctrines and ordinances, and carry out his work without proper authority. During this time, important doctrines and rites were lost or corrupted. Latter-day Saints point to the doctrine of the Trinity adopted at the Council of Nicaea as an example of how pagan philosophy corrupted Jesus' teachings. (Mormonism teaches that God and His son, Jesus, are not one substance, but distinct personages.) The Latter-day Saints reject the early ecumenical councils for what they see as misguided human attempts without divine assistance to decide matters of doctrine, substituting democratic debate or politics for prophetic revelation. The proceedings of such councils were evidence to them that the church was no longer led by revelation and divine authority."
     
  15. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Traditional Christianity never asserted a cessation of prophets. That was something the Reformers asserted. St. John the Wonderworker, for instance, is a twentieth century prophet. This is a red herring.
     
  16. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    We don't even know that this situation was continuing even through to the end of the NT era. When did it end? Why? Let's not just give a vague, "They wanted money..." People use situations and problems to grab power. I want specifics with early sources, not LDS apologetic books.

    Since when did the RCC exist without the Orthodox Church coexisting? It has not been the only Church for hundreds of years. The statement is simply not true. What is your source for this? My Church is two thousand years old and is not the church you describe.

    How much money is spent on Mormon temples? I went to one when it was being built in Lubbock: there was a lot of cash that went into that. Our guide even told us that they used the highest quality materials to give glory to God. All that money could have been used to feed the poor, and so the argument falls back on your own church. Do not condemn another church for practices that are similar to your own. The same theology that justifies a grand temple justifies a grand cathedral, and the same counter-arguments apply to both.

    Next, how can anyone using this as a theological base for their church not address similar arguments against their own (buying and trading stocks)? How about similar issues? I do not normally attack another person's faith directly, but frankly, this argument is a double-standard. The argument is "There was a great apostasy..." and from that comes justification for your own faith. You cannot condemn another faith for something, thus disqualifying it, while doing almost identical practices in different situations.

    You have not established that by any stretch.
     
  17. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore, whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works, for they say and do not do." (Mt. 23.2). This would contradict your argument. Furthermore, would not Moses' seat be the closest thing to a mention of a prophetic office? This, however, would countermand your whole point on the matter: it would mean that wicked popes wouldn't disqualify the Roman Catholic Church (as if that were the only thing you have to consider and deal with).

    Which Catholic Church? My Church claims to be the Catholic Church. The Oriental Orthodox claim that. The Roman Catholics claim that. We all have a direct line to the Apostles. Which one manifests a "complete and total withdrawal of divine sanction?" I cite the same St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco I mentioned earlier as proof that there is not a "complete and total withdrawal of divine sanction." You may say that it is deception, and it may well be, but his recent life is a direct challenge to this claim.

    What was the nature of those errors? It wasn't a rejection of a counsel of twelve apostles, for instance. We don't have any record of that. We do have Gnostic groups and their rebuttals (in Irenaeus, Hyppolitus, etc.). This type of falling away and doctrinal problems also fits in well with the Apostle Paul's statements, but it doesn't require a complete corruption of Christianity immediately after the Apostles. It also fits in well with Catholic doctrine and history.

    It is also possible that the initial apostles and apostolic tradition was being laid down to prevent a total apostasy, because, well, God is the master builder and knows exactly what He is doing. This isn't evidence of a total apostasy. We can interpret it just as faithfully within our framework. There was a great apostasy, and the apostasies continue ;).

    Wonderful. I now cite the Apostle Paul himself who quotes pagan poets as divine authorities (Acts 17.28). How is it that Paul can quote a pagan poet as a divine authority if there is no validity to them? Further, John opens his Gospel by calling Christ the Logos. That word derives its use and meaning in contexts like this from pagan philosophy. Hebrews draws its language of shadows and reality, heavenly and earthly realities, from Plato and reads the OT in light of that. It was a Hellenistic world, and frankly, philosophy was the lingua franca, which means that Christianity would inevitably have to use it; indeed the Apostles had already done so.

    Have you read Eusebius, St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, or any of the others? These sects were already on the down swing before Constantine. Why? Because they had a founder, and the Church went back to the Apostles. Each one claimed in some fashion to be restoring the doctrines of the Apostles or teaching hidden doctrines, but the Christian apologists argued, would not the Apostles have taught these doctrines to those to whom they had left the churches?

    Which of these groups you named were exterminated by Constantine, and could you give me a source from around the era, not some modern book? You will not be able to do so. They were already going extinct. Sects were being dealt with before Constantine by Christian councils, apologists, and the like. Gnosticism was dying then, even with a few groups having their last gasps.

    Furthermore, Nicea wasn't aimed at any of the groups you named (and that was Constantine's council). It was aimed at Arius, and originally the bishops were pro-Arian. When they saw what it taught clearly, they abandoned it and opposed Arianism and made homoousia into a term for Christian theology. They, further, were not immediately accepted. Indeed, it was the other side that took power and began persecuting (remember, this Constantine who killed these groups even recalled the heresiarch he banished).

    Your history is far from the mark, and as such, your conclusions must be at least as far.

    For the first one thousand years, the Pope was never the individual "that ran this church." Never did he have that kind of jurisdiction, and as such, you start your very criticism on the wrong foot. Before any such assertions were made, there was indeed corruption (look at the situation in the West before you judge too far), and you will find that it was one of the reasons that the East dismissed its theologians (even if sometimes unjustly so), and they weren't fond of it.

    Further, when a pope tried to push himself as an individual "that ran this church," it resulted in schism. The Roman Catholics today represent the jurisdiction that was already under his authority and those they have evangelized since, Orthodoxy everybody else.

    Again, your history is so far off the mark that your points cannot hold water. The papacy itself was a historical development, and as such, you haven't really addressed the nature of the Catholic Church in the first millennium (when its identity is relatively undisputed).

    Because of the above, I feel no need to even comment on your list of popes. It really has no bearing on the matter IMO.
     
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  18. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Did I say anything about LDS beliefs (outside of a segue into the topic)? Will you please stick to the topic and not what you believe the topic will morph into? Can you at least respect the rules since you won't respect me (which doesn't really bother me)?
     
  19. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Which people after the book of Revelation is referred to as a prophet by the Catholic church?
     
  20. Uncertaindrummer

    Uncertaindrummer Active Member

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    I must say this thread will be an exercise in futility... it is such a broad topic that with a few people posting everthing will start getting lost.

    I think an important thing to remember though, is that the burden of proof for the "great apostasy" is on the LDS church. Not only that but some type of Mormon doctrine must be somewhere, SOMETIME stated early on, right? And yet we find no evidence of any of that. All early documents point toward Catholicism. At this point in history I and any Orthodox Christians could agree that everything was Catholic; Joseph Smith invented the LDS church in the ninteen hundreds.

    As an aside, what about the fact that Jesus told us His Church would not fail and yet you are telling us it failed? I am curious about that.
     
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