24 August, 2009

Discussion with Laurel W about the Mormon claim of the fall of the Catholic Church into apostasy

(Laurel W) Angels: We are not the same creatures NOW. Even you stated that Christ became man, lower than the angels. We become angels, not are them.

(Cristoiglesia) No, it is impossible for us to become angels as the Scriptures I have already provided attest. Angels are separate and different created creatures from us. We can never become angels nor can they become us anymore than we the created can become a God or the uncreated. It is not the nature of the order that God created.

(Laurel W) It was necessary due, once more, to the apostasy. Clearly you don't believe in it, but to me what has transpired shows how obvious it was that a restoration was needed.

(Cristoiglesia) I am a practical person. I do not believe in fantasy which is clearly your view. As I said before, there is no Scriptural, Patristic or historical evidence to support your claim. In fact all of the evidence denies your claim. Have you ever read the works of the ante-Nicene fathers? They stand in direct opposition to the nonsensical claims of Joseph Smith, et al. It is not only not obvious that there was needed restoration as I stated before; but such a belief destroys the veracity of Christ completely. It makes Jesus an incompetent liar and is blasphemy. Such teaching is a direct attack on the fathers of the Church, the disciples who ordained them into apostolic succession and Christ. May the Lord have mercy on those so bold as to lie so egregiously and deceive so many away from His one true Church.

(Laurel W) I do not believe that the Catholic faith is the one that was established by Christ. The example of many of the popes in past is proof of this, as well as the great divisions of the church before Constantine. Those were prevalent even during the days of Paul, as he often wrote about in his epistles.

(Cristoiglesia) Of course you do not believe the testimony of Christ’s Church because if you did your belief in the Mormon sect would fall like the house of cards that it is. But I challenge you like I have many others who make similar claims that the Catholic Church was not the Church founded by Jesus and the apostles to show me another Church that has endured for 2000 years as Jesus promised. There is no other, never has been and never will, of that fact humanity can be confident. There is only one Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church and the world will never see another.

I am a historian of the early Church and I have not found any evidence to support your view of great divisions in the Church after the disciples died. We see their disciples continuing the faithful teaching given to them at the foot of the disciples such as St. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp and even Barnabas who learned directly from the Lord. They show evidence of being faithful servants even into their martyrdoms. Certainly St. Paul speaks of the Gnostics whose heresies plagued the first four centuries of the Church and the Arian heresy of the fourth century. But we see the Church always being victorious against these heresies. There was the miracle of the Council of Nicaea where a young and inexperienced deacon named Athanasius went up against the powerful bishop Arius and prevailed despite the support of Arius from the Emperor Constantine. This is proof of God raising the weak to show His glory before the might of man. There are other examples like this through the history of the Church. These great divisions in the Church before Constantine did not really exist but were instead threats from outside the Church similar to the Mormon threat that preys on the weak in faith and knowledge. Your claim is a gross exaggeration but even if it was true it would simply testify to the veracity of what Christ founded on the disciples and the power of the Paraclete in guiding and inspiring the leadership of the Church.

(Laurel W) To the LDS, there are several degrees of glory exaltation. The middle one is like what you say. Higher, we through Christ become deified. The bible itself talks about us being gods.

(Cristoiglesia) Yes I am aware of the Mormon teaching on deification. The Bible does not teach that we will become God’s but that we will share in the attributes of God in heaven. To say that the creature or created can become the uncreated or God is a doctrine of devils. In fact this was the cause of the fall of man when Satan tempted Eve saying that by eating the fruit in the middle of the garden that she would become as God. The Mormon Church tempts man with this same lie. It is nothing new for Satan but just packaged as a teaching of a new counterfeit church to what Jesus founded. Isn’t it interesting that Mormonism makes the same promise as the great deceiver and father of all lies. The Mormon sect stands in testimony of the power of Satan to deceive mankind. He becomes as an angel of light and appeals to our perverse nature of the flesh. We desire to be what we can never attain out of pride and arrogance. Such is the nature os Satan’s snares.

(Laurel W) Once more, you are wrong with Sidney Rigdon. In 1820, Joseph Smith had his first vision. He was 14. Sidney Rigdon joined the church in 1830, after he had read the Book of Mormon which had recently been published(on a trip to New York from Ohio). He did not know Joseph Smith prior to that.

(Cristoiglesia) There is a lot of evidence and testimony to the contrary and very little evidence to refute the claims. It is highly doubtful that they made acquaintance post 1830 and it is more likely that they knew each other at least 10 years before.

(Laurel W) Joseph followed Jesus and what he said. That is how our church came about. We don't need to choose between them.

(Cristoiglesia) Your statement is the most interesting of all the statements I have heard from a Mormon from the standpoint of how revealing it is of the Mormon devotion to Joseph Smith. It is as if you are placing the status of Joseph Smith on the same level with Jesus. You just opened up my eyes as to how Mormons can believe by implication that Jesus was an incompetent liar. You actually seem to believe that Joseph Smith came to the rescue to correct the errors made by Christ in founding His Church. You actually believe that your manmade sect has more veracity than what Christ founded and that Joseph Smith has saved the Church from the errors and incompetence of Jesus.

(Laurel W)The Urim and Thummin is all over the Old Testament. (e.g. Ex. 28: 30, more, Rev 2: 17 refers to it).

Moroni took the plates back. But not before at least a dozen witnesses saw them.

(Cristoiglesia) Nonsense, there never was any gold plates, Urim and Thummin in the possession of Joseph Smith. Nor has there ever been a messenger from God named Moroni although Moroni if not a figment of Joseph Smith’s and Sidney Rigdon’s imagination, could be an angel of the dark as the one that gave the Quran to the other counterfeit church, Islam. The parallels are striking.

(Laurel W) The Catholic church was not created by Christ. Don't twist my words.

(Cristoiglesia) The Bible disagrees with you as does the Church fathers and history. My challenge stands show me another Church that has endured for two thousand years as testimony to Christ’s promises and I will believe your allegations. Otherwise, your sect is a false church and from a source other than God. Jesus prayed in the garden before His crucifixion that we all be one in His Church and not in a counterfeit to His own true Church. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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