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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
"....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
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?
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.
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.)
Everybody wants to be able to claim "Me, Me, Me, I'm the real
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
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.
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).
@toosmartforyou;Just because one believes in "the
restoration" doesn't mean it happened.
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.
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?
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.
@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.
@RanchHandIt 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.--@ThinkmanRecognizing 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.
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).
RanchHand,I understand your point. But overall, I see religious
folks taking a stronger position in politics while the traditional religious
values they espouse are generally losing ground in the public sphere. If we
measure religious influence by our laws and public policy, I think you have
little to fear. Just look at the state of law and policy today versus those of
about 40 or 50 years ago. I think it is clear that the religious folks are not
winning the war.I cannot “prove” to you that God exists.
I am not sure any mortal man could. Of course our belief in God is (in a
manner of speaking) an opinion.But none of this really explains your
interest in our religion. Sure, there are political issues here and there. But
you comment on many articles that have no bearing on politics and there are
other religions that have the similar moral views. Are you commenting on the
Catholic and Evangelical websites too?
To Sharonna,Doubtful you will read this because the article is 2 days old
now, but are you trying to imply prophets ceased at the end of the Old
Testament? Wasn't Peter a prophet, even after Christ's ascension?
Didn't he receive a revelation? Didn't John receive a revelation many
years later? Doesn't that make him a prophet too?