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Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: Apostle 'idea' is growing in popularity among other faiths’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 27 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Central Texan
Buda, TX

The calling and specific duties of the early Apostles in directing the affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ has all but been ignored by Christianity today -- though from the Protestant and new Biblical Christian churches they claim to derive all authority from the New Testament. There is specific confusion separating the called and ordained Apostles from the general term "disciple".

And note that in the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we spend less time formulating doctrine by expanding on various verses out of the New Testament and more time simply listening to the modern-day prophets -- which turns out to be in line with the New Testament narrative more than in the denominations for which the Bible is their only source.

KTC John
Wetumpka, AL

I applaud this article. I like Daniel Peterson's writings in general. They are succinct and logical. Is it not ironic that those who cling tenaciously to a claim of being "Biblical" have no apostles, while at the same time castigating those who actually have apostles as being "non-Biblical?" It's the same situation with regard to defining their creedal Trinity---a word that does not appear in the Bible.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

Even Mormons have changed the role of Apostle since their early days.

In the early Mormon church it was not the "Governing Body" of the church, but just the head of the missionary service. It wasn't until the death of Joseph Smith, the Succession Crisis, and the Ascent of Brigham Young that Quorum of the 12 Apostles, of which he was head, became the main authority in the church.

However, the current role Quorum of the 12 Apostles is nearly the same as the College of Cardinals in the Catholic Church. Sure, there's about 10 times as many Cardinals, but then Catholic Church is almost 100x larger too.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Nicene Creed of 325 CE affirms the Church as "apostolic" so the idea was clearly still a powerful one three centuries after Jesus was gone. Had the apostles ever actually been a governing body? The fact that after Judas killed himself, Matthias was chosen to take his place does suggest continuity as a group. When Paul came along, he was anxious to meet Peter and James but significantly he would defer to no one as a greater authority than he was on what Jesus’ mission was all about.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Hirsch seems to imply that such very early Christian leaders as Clement of Rome (d. ca. AD 100) and Ignatius of Antioch (d. ca. AD 108) "were already undermining a key element of the apostles' teachings?
Yet as non-Catholic historians admit, it can be demonstrated easily that early Church writers, such as Ignatius of Antioch, Eusebius, Clement of Rome, and Polycarp, had no conception of Mormon doctrine, and they knew nothing of a "great apostasy."
Nowhere in their writings can one find references to Christians embracing any of the peculiarly Mormon doctrines, such as polytheism, polygamy, celestial marriage, and temple ceremonies. If the Church of the apostolic age was the prototype of today’s Mormon church, it must have had all these beliefs and practices. But why is there no evidence of them in the early centuries, before the alleged apostasy began?

RE: Central Texan. God hath set some in the church,*“First apostles”, *secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings,.. (1Cor 12:28)* Bibical Line of authority.

Ephesians 2:20,are built(past tense) upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone .

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Mukkake,

Perhaps. But Joseph was called as an apostle (see D&C 20). So the relationship between the apostolic calling and church administrative was early on.

Sharrona,

They knew nothing of the apostasy because they were in the midst of it. Further, they lacked the apostolic insight to fully understand their situation.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....Hirsch himself recognizes it in part when he calls apostolic leadership "translocal," in contrast to bishops. This is simply another way of saying that apostles were "general authorities," as opposed to local ones...."

I don’t think the first disciples of Jesus, who came to be called apostles, would have seen themselves in that way. Theirs’ was a localized movement within Judaism. When they got word that Paul was proselytizing non-Jews and exempting them from certain Jewish laws, it caused friction between this rogue 'apostle' and the church at Jerusalem.

==========

sharrona,

"Nowhere in their writings can one find references to Christians embracing any of the peculiarly Mormon doctrines, such as polytheism, polygamy, celestial marriage, and temple ceremonies...."

Fair criticism but let’s include Catholicism for claiming Peter as the first Pope. It's natural for any Christian persuasion to selectively use scriptural texts to validate their doctrinal interpretations, isn't it?

Michigander
Westland, MI

That apostolic authority is still here today in The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, PA), the only and true succession of the restored gospel. We are the correct alternative to the LDS church.

katamb-midvale
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Very interesting article. Thanks. While looking through the channel listing one day I saw a man who was calling himself a prophet. (P.S. Ever see the Robert Duval movie "The Apostle?" Really good.)

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Everybody wants to be able to claim "Me, Me, Me, I'm the real church".

Yep.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

It wouldn't hurt for some folks to read carefully the New Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants where their objections are clearly answered.

Just because one doesn't happen to believe in the Restoration doesn't mean it didn't actually happen. And the Bible (Word of God) doesn't contain all the information, either. Some things needed to be revealed again.

So either the First Vision occured or it didn't. And one's opinion won't change the fact. The same is true of the apostasy and the role of Apostles in the early Church.

This was an interesting article.

Cowboy Dude
SAINT GEORGE, UT

To Sharrona "RE: Central Texan. God hath set some in the church,*“First apostles”, *secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings,.. (1Cor 12:28)* Bibical Line of authority."

You are correct. And this is the Line of Authority of the LDS Church too.
The LDS Prophet, is chosen first by the Apostles. The Prophet must be ordained an Apostle first. And only the Apostles, not the mass of the Church can remove a Prophet from the Church, although it has never happened.

Without LDS Apostles and Prophets the Church will cease to have general miracles and gifts.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE:Cowboy Dude,The LDS Prophet, is chosen first by the Apostles.
The office of the prophet reflects the nature of the O.T. The law and the prophets were until John (luke 16:16) Mormon prophets. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in ”time Past “unto the fathers by the prophets,(Heb 1:1,2).

3Nephi 28, says three of the disciple are still running around somewhere preaching the true gospel of Christ. They were to remain alive to the coming of the Lord. (D&C 7:1)says the Apostles John is still alive and on the earth somewhere( maybe Canada). So along with the LDS 12+4=16 Mormon apostles today.
Jesus’s apostles were Jewish,(JoD V. 2 p. 142) Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.

@The Prophet must be ordained an Apostle first? Peter,confirms Paul(Apostleship),” our beloved brother Paul (2Peter 3:15).

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@toosmartforyou;

Just because one believes in "the restoration" doesn't mean it happened.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Sharrona,

Surely you know that the “the law and the prophets were until John” refers to books of the OT and the preaching thereof.

Your quote is about Jewish acceptance of the gospel in these days (after many centuries of harsh persecution at the hands of so-called Christians). The LDS, more than most Christian faiths, acknowledge the Jewishness of Christ and his followers.

I am unclear what the apostolic ordination of Paul has to do with the apostolic ordination of a prophet.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

RanchHand,

Of course belief in something does not mean it actually happened. But then again, a lack of belief in something does not mean it did not happen.

But I do not understand why you care. I thought you were an atheist. If that is true, I am unclear why someone who has no belief in God cares one way or the other about the quibbles between the "deluded" faithful. I get Sharrona (he or she has a vested interest in what I believe). I have family members who are atheists (or at least are quite agnostic). They simply don't care. Why do you care?

Thinkman
Provo, UT

The idea that there was a great apostasy didn't originate with the LDS church.

Martin Luther, John Calvin and many others preceding them several centuries before them and Joseph Smith.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@TwinLights;

Because the religious are trying to take over our government and force the rest of us to live by their tenets. That's why.

I have never said I don't believe in a god, only that I don't believe in your god. Whether or not your god, my god or any other god even exists is up for debate. I have asked several of you many times to prove that your god exists if your going to insist that "god says". Until you have proof that it exists, "god says" is only an opinion.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@RanchHand

It doesn't matter "who's God", since it is by and of the people. all people and their ideas and beliefs are welcome to contribute to governing, and hopefully the best ideas win.

And sometimes they don't, but we have mechanism built in for change.

-
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@Thinkman

Recognizing the need for reformation and having the authority to restore Christ's Church are not the same.

And how would God restore that authority without DEVINE visitation? Without calling someone to be his Prophet?

Even Christ did not just reorganize the Jewish or Mosaic religion. But He restored His original Church once followed from Adam down to until Moses and wickedness of the Israelites, with He being the Prophet and first Apostle.

sharrona
layton, UT

To: Twin Lights, Surely you know that the “the law and the prophets were until John” refers to books of the OT and the preaching thereof.

The ministry of John the Baptist, which prepared the way for Jesus the Messiah, was the dividing line between the old covenant and the new . See Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:6-12.

The office of the prophet reflects the nature of the O.T.. “For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time.” (MT 11: 13 NLT) See(Heb 1:1,2) Jesus is the walking gospel(good news).

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