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Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by Daniel Marsh, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    No, but there is a record that at least these 7 churches were challenged in their day. Jesus even warned them of their good points and bad. But he said if they did not repent they would be excluded from the 7 candlesticks. 6 of 7 no longer exist so they are excluded, and the 7th is about 500 people scattered among 12 small churches among 4,000,000 muslims.

    Is the disapperance of the 7 churches of Asia symptamatic of an apostacy?
     
  2. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    So after reading your post #17 & 18, wouldn't you think that the Christian church that you belong to would have these biblical offices, (ie. apostles, bishops, elders, priests, deacons, teachers, pastors?

    Who are the leaders of your church. Most evangelical churches today have 1 or more pastors. Yes pastor is mentioned in the bible but only once and did not seem to be the more important of the offices, such as bishop or elder or priest or deacon.

    So again, who are the leaders of your church and are you comfortable that your leadership follows what the bible declares as the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of First-century Saints?
     
  3. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    I addressed this already but I don't mind answering it again. Given the tumultuous nature of that region in general and especially the Islamic dominance of Asia Minor in latter centuries, why would you expect those specific communities to be around, intact and preserved when the people most probably did move to Greece or some other part of Europe or were probably just outright killed? Had the Roman Empire managed to survive and hold on to them to this day there would still be Orthodox Christian communities there.

    Also, look into the second century evidence of these Churches via Polycarp and Ignatius and ask what evidence is there for apostasy, even before the Islamic invasions. They didn't become Gnostics and they didn't become any other form heretic. You might say they were not Mormon but there was no Mormon theology for them to believe in back then anyway. They obviously held Paul in high regard, thus these Churches did not abandon Pauline theology.
     
  4. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    I can think of nothing that is more of a waste of time than asking Mormons, whose entire religion is based on a complete replacement of actual Christian history with fantastic nonsense, to engage in something that requires them to handle historical evidence responsibly.

    It's a good challenge, but absolutely the wrong people to put it to.

    That said, a lot has been said by our friend Peter1000 regarding the 'churches of Asia' in St. Paul's time in comparison to today, when there are so few Christians in the corresponding territories of Asia Minor. I'm not entirely sure that this is such a bad comparison, in that in St. Paul's time we certainly couldn't have expected more than a few thousand (remember, this is the first century), and today we don't see all that much more than that, if we look at any one particular community (as the churches mentioned were particular communities). There are perhaps 80,000 Oriental Orthodox (represented by the Armenians and the Syriacs, both of whom are among the native people of the land), some 20,000 Antiochian Greeks (EO), 5,000 Greek Orthodox (EO), 35,000 Catholics of all kinds, and maybe 8,000 Protestants. At max that's under 500,000 people if taken all together, in a population of about 83 million, which is less than half of one percent. And so of course the number of churches is similarly limited. Again, this is more like the original church than Peter apparently realizes.

    And of course, for Christians -- for whom the matter of numbers doesn't really concern us as much as it apparently does the Mormons (nevermind that they are a tiny, insignificant group in comparison to Christianity) -- it is a testament to our historical presence in the region that the communities that do remain there are mostly quite old. The monastery of Mor Gabriel in Tur 'Abdin ("The Mountain of the Servants" of God, in Syriac), in the south of the country, is for instance one of the oldest still-functioning monasteries in the entire world, being founded in 397 AD by two Syriac ascetics, Mor Samuel and his disciple Mor Simon. Here it is today, still being a place of worship for the local Syriac Orthodox community and a place of pilgrimage for Syriac people from abroad:



    I guess my question to Mormons would be if the diminution of Christians in Turkey represents some kind of 'great apostasy' (even though before the genocides in the early 20th century, there were several million Christians in Turkey), then what are they to say when they themselves get kicked out of Ghana, as a different Mormon poster once pointed out to me happened in the late 1980s, or when today they face problems operating as openly as they'd like to in Russia? Why do they whine and complain about these things as 'persecution' and use them as proof that they are faithful while the rest of the world is in apostasy, but then when it comes to the near-complete transformation of Turkey into a Muslim state by even more violent means (I don't think Russia has murdered 2 million Mormons like Turkey did to its Christians of various confessions in 1914-1918), that's 'apostasy' of the Christian Church(es)?

    What massive, blatant hypocrisy on the part of these people, and their prophets and religion.
     
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  5. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    Do you think I would say yes, murder is like apostasy. Be serious.

    Paul says very blatantly to Timothy:
    2 Timothy 1:15 King James Version (KJV)
    15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

    This statement and many others from Paul give us a sense that the situation in Asia was tenuous at best.

    If Asia turn away from Paul, who did they turn to? What modifications was introduced into the teachings of Paul?

    Were the churches of Asia turning into the church that Diotrephes was preeminent in (probably the bishop)
    3 John 9-10 King James Version (KJV)
    9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
    10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

    How many churches eventually did not let John or Paul come and visit?

    Could it be more than you think? Could it be the reason that God stopped ordaining apostles for the church, because the church was slowly rejecting them? Were bishops growing more powerful and more territorial and minding the secular power more than the spiritual power?
     
  6. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the Mormon theology that Jesus is the Son of God and was sent by him to the earth to save mankind from their sins, through the atonement on the cross, should have been taught, right? That is just 1 Mormon theology, I could mention many others.
     
  7. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    I am being serious. I'm not saying that you personally would say that, I'm saying that you are arguing as though it is the case, because that is the historical fact of how the Christian population of Asia Minor ended up as it is today.

    Did most people abandon Christ for the religion of Muhammad? Yes. Constantinople was a city of hundreds of churches, and today Istanbul is very much not so. But how it got to be that way is not something you can rework into an apologetic for Mormonism, unless you absolutely don't care about what really happened -- and as usual, we see that Mormons such as yourself and others absolutely do not care about what really happened.

    Why are you assuming any such 'modifications' based on such a motivated reading of the passage? That is nowhere even hinted at.

    So he's talking about one guy who was puffed up and thought he knew better than the Church, and conducted himself accordingly. Why does such a characterization apply to the Christian Church and not to Mormonism, exactly? Mormonism was founded by one such man, after all (Joseph Smith), and continued by others who were similarly convinced that they and they alone knew better than the Church.

    Does it really matter when we have the epistles written to places where they were not at that time currently visiting? Do they have to physically be everywhere to be received, or do we still read the Pauline Epistles to this day, in America as well as Rome or Thessaloniki?

    Again, does it matter? You are arguing as though through the absence of churches in a particular geographical location where they used to be, the Mormon 'great apostasy' is confirmed. Well in that case, I've already presented written and video evidence (the video from the monastery of Mor Gabriel was from 2018, and it has yet to be taken over since, despite the evil Turkish government's legal assault on it) that the churches and the Christians remain, no matter their number. Again, the monastery of Mor Gabriel was founded in 397 and has been continuously inhabited by Syriac Orthodox worshipers since then. That's 1,408 years before Joseph Smith was even born, so who the hell are you or any Mormon to make any claim on the churches of Asia or what they represent? Seriously, get out of here with that nonsense. If you can't accept history -- and your religion's insane alternate history narrative mandates that you do not -- then there's no point in arguing historically with you. You don't care to know the true history of anything.

    This assumes that the Mormon delusion of 'apostle' as some kind of church office separate from that of bishop ever actually existed, and there is no evidence to support that claim.

    I can't speak for every bishop ever, but I'm sure that those who were deposed and/or exiled over the centuries, either synodically (e.g., St. John Chrysostom, at the repudiated Synod of the Oak) or by government decree (e.g., HH Pope Shenouda III from 1981 to 1985, or HH Abune Antonios of Eritrea, from 2007 to present) have plenty to say about this idea that they are somehow after secular power.

    Frankly, Peter, your insinuations almost fail at being insulting because they're so disconnected from reality. You have in your mind some image of a 'game of thrones', as you like to put it, but this is not medieval European Christianity we're talking about, so it really doesn't fit anything that has gone on in the real world. In the real world, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch HH Gregory V was executed by the Turks in 1821 as surely as HH Abune Theophilos of Ethiopia was strangled to death by the Derg government in that in 1979. There's your "minding secular power", you disingenuous prattler.
     
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  8. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    Let's not play games. You know what I mean by Mormon theology, those specific elements of beliefs not found in traditional Christian theology. Still, you're not addressing my main point. I see no evidence of a grand apostasy especially of asia minor.
     
  9. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Hi Peter, it sounds like the author of that is mixing Rev chapters 1-4 into the text.
    Please provide primary sources from a non-LDS source with link to check context.
    We know from Archaeology Seven Churches in Revelation that the church buildings were destroyed. We do not know what happened to the people much later durling Muslim rule.

    Muslims among the Ottoman Empire:

    "By the mid-nineteenth century the European powers were exerting considerable influence on the Ottomans, partly because of their precarious financial state, and partly on behalf of the large numbers of Christians who lived under Turkish rule: the Armenians in particular had suffered persecution at the hands of the Turks. The final collapse of the Empire was precipitated after the government entered the First World War on the side of Germany.
    ...
    The communities survived, and shows the distribution of their major episcopal sees.
    ...
    Some Armenians united with Rome at the Council of Sis in 1307 , and still survive as a separate Church, though 100,000 are thought to have died in massacres by the Turks at the end of the First World War.
    " Christianity and the Ottoman Empire - Oxford Islamic Studies Online

    Are you aware of the Armenian Genocide?

    The Armenians were Christians, and over a million were murdered by Muslims.
    Genocide Museum | The Armenian Genocide Museum-institute

    "In April 1915 the Ottoman government embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population. The persecutions continued with varying intensity until 1923 when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The Armenian population of the Ottoman state was reported at about two million in 1915. An estimated one million had perished by 1918, while hundreds of thousands had become homeless and stateless refugees. By 1923 virtually the entire Armenian population of Anatolian Turkey had disappeared." Armenian Genocide

    Being murdered for your faith does not mean apostasy.

    Back in the time of John Christians still met in homes. However, there are churches among archaeology for the seven churches which would likely be built after 70 AD. Seven Churches in Revelation







    Thanks,
    Daniel
     
  10. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    An Apostle is someone who was sent out. Today an Apostle is a missionary, which are sent out by their Church.

    The early Church was built on the Foundation of the Apostles and Old Testament Prophets.
    One only lays an Foundation once. The Foundation Apostles were those sent out by Christ, aka Apostles of Christ. In Acts 1, the qualifications for them are set up in Acts 1. Then there were Apostles of the Churches, who were missionaries. The proof texts for Apostles in the Bible do not say they the Apostles of The Churches held Offices.

    Ephesians 2:20You believers are like a building that God owns. That building was built on the foundation that the apostles and prophets prepared. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building.

    The NT was not completed at this time, thus prophets in the NT did not qualify.

    Ephesians 3:5 People who lived in other times were not told that secret truth. But now, through the Spirit, God has made it known to his holy apostles and prophets.

    Ephesians 4:11And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people.

    Mark 3:14And he chose twelve men and called them apostles. He wanted these twelve men to be with him, and he wanted to send them to other places to tell people God’s message.

    Mark 6:30
    [ Jesus Feeds More Than 5000 ] The apostles Jesus had sent out came back to him. They gathered around him and told him about all they had done and taught.

    Acts 5:41The apostles left the council meeting. They were happy because they were given the honor of suffering dishonor for Jesus.

    1 Corinthians 12:28And in the church God has given a place first to apostles, second to prophets, and third to teachers. Then God has given a place to those who do miracles, those who have gifts of healing, those who can help others, those who are able to lead, and those who can speak in different kinds of languages.

    BibleGateway - Keyword Search: office

    BibleGateway - Keyword Search: Apostles

    None of the texts that refers to Apostles do not speak of them as holding a Office. The Apostles mandate was to go preach the Gospel to All Nations. As a result they did not stay in one place very long. In the end, it is believed that Peter and Paul ended up in Rome, Paul under House Arrest. I do not remember about Peter.

    The Apostles appointed Elders to run local Churches.

    So, in short, I do not believe that the early churches had an Office of Apostle. One must read that into the text. I will search the Church Fathers next.
     
  11. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    The word "Apostle", from the Greek apostello "to send forth", "to dispatch", has etymologically a very general sense. Apostolos (Apostle) means one who is sent forth, dispatched--in other words, who is entrusted with a mission, rather, a foreign mission. It has, however, a stronger sense than the word messenger, and means as much as a delegate. In the classical writers the word is not frequent. In the Greek version of the Old Testament it occurs once, in 1 Kings 14:6 (cf. 1 Kings 12:24). In the New Testament, on the contrary, it occurs, according to Bruder's Concordance, about eighty times, and denotes often not all the disciples of the Lord, but some of them specially called. It is obvious that our Lord, who spoke an Aramaic dialect, gave to some of his disciples an Aramaic title, the Greek equivalent of which was "Apostle". It seems to us that there is no reasonable doubt about the Aramaic word being seliah, by which also the later Jews, and probably already the Jews before Christ, denoted "those who were despatched from the mother city by the rulers of the race on any foreign mission, especially such as were charged with collecting the tribute paid to the temple service" (Lightfoot, "Galatians", London, 1896, p. 93). The word apostle would be an exact rendering of the root of the word seliah,= apostello.

    Various meanings
    It is at once evident that in a Christian sense, everyone who had received a mission from God, or Christ, to man could be called "Apostle". In fact, however, it was reserved to those of the disciples who received this title from Christ. At the same time, like other honourable titles, it was occasionally applied to those who in some way realized the fundamental idea of the name. The word also has various meanings.

    The name Apostle denotes principally one of the twelve disciples who, on a solemn occasion, were called by Christ to a special mission. In the Gospels, however, those disciples are often designated by the expressions of mathetai (the disciples) or dodeka (the Twelve) and, after the treason and death of Judas, even of hendeka (the Eleven). In the Synoptics the name Apostle occurs but seldom with this meaning; only once in Matthew and Mark. But in other books of the New Testament, chiefly in the Epistles of St. Paul and in the Acts, this use of the word is current. Saul of Tarsus, being miraculously converted, and called to preach the Gospel to the heathens, claimed with much insistency this title and its rights.
    In the Epistle to the Hebrews (iii, 1) the name is applied even to Christ, in the original meaning of a delegate sent from God to preach revealed truth to the world.
    The word Apostle has also in the New Testament a larger meaning, and denotes some inferior disciples who, under the direction of the Apostles, preached the Gospel, or contributed to its diffusion; thus Barnabas (Acts 14:4, 14), probably Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), two unknown Christians who were delegated for the collection in Corinth (2 Corinthians 8:23). We know not why the honourable name of Apostle is not given to such illustrious missionaries as Timothy, Titus, and others who would equally merit it.
    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Apostles
     
  12. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    The Apostles appointed Elders to rule local churches.
     
  13. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Canon 45
    Let a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, who has only prayed with heretics, be excommunicated: but if he has permitted them to perform any clerical office, let him be deposed.
    CHURCH FATHERS: The Apostolic Canons

    "With good reason did He say to all of us together, when we were perfected concerning those gifts which were given from Him by the Spirit: Now these signs shall follow them that have believed in my name: they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall by no means hurt them: they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18 These gifts were first bestowed on us the apostles when we were about to preach the Gospel to every creature, and afterwards were of necessity afforded to those who had by our means believed; not for the advantage of those who perform them, but for the conviction of the unbelievers, that those whom the word did not persuade, the power of signs might put to shame: for signs are not for us who believe, but for the unbelievers, both for the Jews and Gentiles."
    CHURCH FATHERS: Apostolic Constitutions, Book VIII
     
  14. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 4. The First Successors of the Apostles.
    1. That Paul preached to the Gentiles and laid the foundations of the churches from Jerusalem round about even unto Illyricum, is evident both from his own words, Romans 15:19 and from the account which Luke has given in the Acts.

    2. And in how many provinces Peter preached Christ and taught the doctrine of the new covenant to those of the circumcision is clear from his own words in his epistle already mentioned as undisputed, in which he writes to the Hebrews of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 1 Peter 1:1

    3. But the number and the names of those among them that became true and zealous followers of the apostles, and were judged worthy to tend the churches founded by them, it is not easy to tell, except those mentioned in the writings of Paul.

    4. For he had innumerable fellow-laborers, or fellow-soldiers, as he called them, and most of them were honored by him with an imperishable memorial, for he gave enduring testimony concerning them in his own epistles.

    5. Luke also in the Acts speaks of his friends, and mentions them by name.

    6. Timothy, so it is recorded, was the first to receive the episcopate of the parish in Ephesus, Titus of the churches in Crete.

    7. But Luke, who was of Antiochian parentage and a physician by profession, and who was especially intimate with Paul and well acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us, in two inspired books, proofs of that spiritual healing art which he learned from them. One of these books is the Gospel, which he testifies that he wrote as those who were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered unto him, all of whom, as he says, he followed accurately from the first. Luke 1:2-3 The other book is the Acts of the Apostles which he composed not from the accounts of others, but from what he had seen himself.

    8. And they say that Paul meant to refer to Luke's Gospel wherever, as if speaking of some gospel of his own, he used the words, according to my Gospel.

    9. As to the rest of his followers, Paul testifies that Crescens was sent to Gaul; but Linus, whom he mentions in the Second Epistle to Timothy 2 Timothy 4:21 as his companion at Rome, was Peter's successor in the episcopate of the church there, as has already been shown.

    10. Clement also, who was appointed third bishop of the church at Rome, was, as Paul testifies, his co-laborer and fellow-soldier.

    11. Besides these, that Areopagite, named Dionysius, who was the first to believe after Paul's address to the Athenians in the Areopagus (as recorded by Luke in the Acts) is mentioned by another Dionysius, an ancient writer and pastor of the parish in Corinth, as the first bishop of the church at Athens.

    12. But the events connected with the apostolic succession we shall relate at the proper time. Meanwhile let us continue the course of our history.
    CHURCH FATHERS: Church History, Book III (Eusebius)

    Earlier than Papias is Ignatius Martyr (before 117), who, on his way to martyrdom, writes to the Romans: "I do not command you as did Peter and Paul; they were Apostles, I am a disciple", words which according to Lightfoot have no sense if Ignatius did not believe Peter and Paul to have been preaching in Rome.
    ...


    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Apostolic Succession

    Catholic Encyclopedia does refer to apostles as holding an Office.
     
  15. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    2 Timothy 1:15 in context means no one turned their backs on Christ. It means that they from Asia went elsewhere.

    11 I was chosen to tell people that message as an apostle and teacher. 12 And I suffer now because of that work. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one I have put my trust in. And I am sure that he is able to protect what I have put into his care[a] until that Day.

    13 What you heard me teach is an example of what you should teach. Follow that model of right teaching with the faith and love we have in Christ Jesus. 14 This teaching is a treasure that you have been trusted with. Protect it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside us.

    15 You know that everyone in Asia has left me. Even Phygelus and Hermogenes have left me. 16 I pray that the Lord will show mercy to the family of Onesiphorus. Many times Onesiphorus encouraged me. He was not ashamed that I was in prison. 17 No, he was not ashamed. When he came to Rome, he looked and looked for me until he found me. 18 I pray that the Lord Jesus will make sure Onesiphorus receives mercy from the Lord God on that Day. You know how many ways this brother helped me in Ephesus.
     
  16. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    I am not playing games. You said: You might say they were not Mormon but there was no Mormon theology for them to believe in back then anyway.

    This is a blatantly false statement and I could not let you get away with it.

    I will give you a list of 7 doctrines that our church believes in that the first century church people believed in too.
    1) Jesus is the son of God.
    2) Jesus is the creater of all things.
    3) Jesus was made flesh and dwelt among men.
    4) Jesus was crucified on a cross to atone for the sins of all men that believe in him.
    5) Jesus was resurrected and sits on the side of his Father, God the Father in heaven now.
    6) Jesus chose 12 apostles to be the foundation of a new church with him as the chief cornerstone.
    7) In order to be a member of this church, one must:
    Believe in Jesus Christ.
    Repent and get themselves ready for baptism.
    Be baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, for the remisson of sins.
    Recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost
    (see Acts 2:37-38. men asked Peter, "what shall we do" on the day of Pentacost when they believed in Jesus, these are Peters instructions.)

    This theology is straight out of the bible and we believe it, and would be very comfortable if we were transfered suddenly to the first century. And a first century person transferred suddently to our time would be comfortable with our church.
     
  17. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    Since you are keen to play games and ignore Mormon distinctives, let's play games. Christianity accepts all of these doctrines, therefore there was no Apostasy to which you can point to since we believed in all of these things from the start.

    Still, i find it hard to continue this conversation since you are not addressing the historical point I and others here are making. You've claimed that the lack of Churches (and Christians in general) today in Asia Minor is evidence of Apostasy. Dzhremmi did a good job laying out the history more thoroughly than I did and yet you haven't amended your initial claim.

    You haven't even dealt with Ignatius or Polycarp as evidence of those Churches in Asia Minor accepting Paul. You've extrapolated from one text of the Bible a general attitude of Paul apparently being rejected, yet when we look at the legacy of Paul we find he was upheld by the pillars of the community the Bishops and the Fathers. What's the point of this conversation if we can't even address each other's points?
     
  18. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    It is the apostles that chose and ordained elders in each church. From the elders the apostles chose and ordained bishops.

    So there you have the biblical hierarchy in the church. Apostes at the top, that had world-wide authority to grow and govern the church. Then bishops, that had the authority to grow and govern a small area (city) in the world. After the bihop was chosen from the elders, the bishop then could choose and ordain other elders and priests and deacons to assist him in the work in his city. But the bishop could not at the beginning go into another city and claim that city as his to govern spiritually. That was the apostles job, not the bishop.

    In all your study to show some kind of succession from apostles being at the head of the church, to bishops being the heads of the churches, you forget the 2 most important scriptures in the bible on this subject:
    Ephesians 2:19-20 King James Version (KJV)
    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.

    Obviously, the word of God is foundational and the apostles spread the word. But more than that, they were part of the foundation of the church hierarchy that anchored the church in the correct word, and the building up of the kingdom of God on earth. (ie chose bishops to grow and govern a specific area of the church)
    So the foundation of the church was apostles and prophets and Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 4:11-14 King James Version (KJV)
    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.

    So here is why Jesus chose apostles to oversee the entire world church, and other to assist them in this endeavor.
    According to this scripture, without apostles and prophets and others:
    1) we cannot be perfected.
    2) we cannot do the full work of the ministry.
    3) we cannot edify the body of Christ (which are the people). Edify means to teach and instruct spiritually.
    4) we cannot grow to maturity in the gospel, we will remain children.
    5) we cannot get a handle on the true gospel, but will be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.
    6) we cannot be protected from the sleight, and cunning craftiness of men as they lie in wait to decieve.


    Now another important piece of information: we are to have apostles and prophets and others for how long?
    1) Till we all come to a unity of the faith. (has that happened yet?)
    2) Until we all come unto a knowledge of the Son of God. (has that happened yet?)
    3) Until we measure up to a perfect man, and are equal to the stature of the fulness of Christ.
    (has that happened)

    So as you can see, the apostles were very important to Jesus, he was leaving his church in their hands. That is why for a time, new apostles were chosen to replace fallen apostles. Until the world and the bishops of the churches rejected them, then the Lord stopped calling new ones to replace old ones, and we see that without them, the perils of Ephesians 4:11-14 came to pass.

    Here is a scripture that gives you just a small hint of what I am talking about when I say the bishops of the churches started to reject apostles:
    3 John 9-10 King James Version (KJV)
    9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
    10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

    Was this just one church or was this one of many churches that were starting to be critical of the apostels. Remember the apostles were in charge of the bishops. And when they came to a city they would audit, persay, the church and see if the bishop worthy of his calling. I believe many were not and were excommincated and replaced, which became an issue for bishops trying to use their calling for personal gain. I believe it became widespread.

    So the succession of apostles to bishop was not a good thing for the church, it was a disaster.
     
  19. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

    +10,081
    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    Oh, good grief...Daniel Marsh already pointed out in post #35 that being rejected at one place led them to go elsewhere, which they did, so your fantasy of this being a Church-wide apostasy is likewise refuted by the holy scriptures themselves. But no, you don't focus on that, because the Mormon alternate history narrative which has absolutely no historical backing whatsoever demands that you do so. You believe it over and above the witness of the holy scriptures, the holy fathers, and all the period sources that we actually have that actually tell us what was happening when and where and why.

    It's like trying to converse with a wall. I suggest that all Christians who value their sanity and don't want to waste this website's bandwidth attempting to educate an intransigent man simply ignore Peter and any other Mormon or other person who refuses to address historical sources and the history they have left us with (and, conversely, that any Mormon or other person who does not want to be ignored actually address what it is put to them as a historical defense or explanation). The truth is, of course, that the Mormons and all these other latter-day parasitical religions don't have any actual historical witness as to their idea of reality and history, so the Mormons really have no grounds on which to evaluate their own history relative to others' in the first place. Like we can point to historical sources from the appropriate time and place for whatever historical questions may arise, like the Cappadocian fathers and others (church historians like Sozomen, Eusebius, Ps.-Dionysius of Tel Mahre, etc.), but as the Mormons cannot do that -- because their religion has no real existence before the 1820s (they claim JS was allowed to acquire the 'golden plates' in 1827) -- they are at a distinct disadvantage and very quickly reveal themselves to be in over their heads whenever they attempt to address Christian history in any sense (which, Peter, to his credit has tried to do in the past, so I have no idea why he isn't doing so now; granted, his idea of this has pretty much always relied on trying to turn our conversation into something about Chalcedon, because he apparently thinks this is some kind of silver bullet that will magically sink any and all criticism that I in particular have about his false religion, but that's at least recognizing that Chalcedon was a historical event that actually happened in the real world, which is progress in comparison to just ignoring all the facts of history, even if it is never what we're actually talking about).

    To @Peter1000 in particular: it is 'put up or shut up' time now, my friend. Either you will address what is actually written, or you yourself will be written off in any kind of serious debate, with your sect in tow.
     
  20. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

    +446
    Mormon
    Married
    That is why I wrote we would be comfortable in the first (and I will add, part of the second century) church, and they would be comfortable in our church today. But after Ignatius and Polycarp, things went downhill quickly and so by the end of the second century, we would not be comfortable with that church, and they would be uncomfortable with our church today.

    All I said was that 6 of the 7 Asian churches do not exist anymore. Why do they not exist? Did they not repent, like Jesus instructed them to, so Jesus allowed the Christian population to be replaced by a Muslim population. No matter what happened, their candlesticks have been removed out of their places. So apparently, by the second century they did not repent and get back to their first love, Jesus.

    You can explain all the reasons why you want. I will accept them. But I will add apostasy was the underlying reason.
     
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