23 August, 2009

Discussion with Laurel W about the legitimacy of the Mormon priesthood

(Laurel W) Just to let you know, I did like your answer. But I do want to clarify something about the LDS beliefs.

The LDS church does have a legitimate claim to the Priesthood authority. Peter, James, and John, came to the earth and personally (as resurrected angels) and gave the priesthood to Joesph Smith. We do not get the priesthood from nothing.

(Cristoiglesia) Thank you for your comments in regards to my statement that the Mormons have no legitimate claim to the priesthood established by Christ or legitimacy for their sect. No, the Mormons have no claim to priesthood authority. Only those who are in apostolic succession from the original disciples have this authority given by Jesus Himself. There never were any angels named Peter, James or John but there were three disciples named St. Peter, St, James and St. John who were not resurrected as angels or anything else. They have died and are in heaven on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. So, any claim that the three disciples changed into angels and came back to earth is total nonsense.

(Laurel W) In our view, there was a need for it. There was a great apostasy (as stated in 2 Timothy), and thus a time on the earth where there was no true church.

(Cristoiglesia) This is not stated in 2 Timothy at all. No where in all of Scriptures is it stated that there will be a time when there would be no true Church? Such a belief is a direct attack on the veracity of Christ who stated that He had built an enduring Church that would last until the end of time. He stated that the gates of hell will never prevail against His Church. He further promised that His Church would be the “pillar and foundation of the truth.

Jesus said that He is the cornerstone and the disciples are the 12 foundation stones of the Church which apostolic succession is built upon. This is a firm foundation on stone and not one built on sand as you suggest. This is the leadership of the enduring Church that has lasted continuously for 2000 years and will last as Jesus said, until the Parousia. You have just called Jesus either an incompetent at best or a liar at worst in His promises about His Church. Such talk is blasphemy.

(Laurel W) The Catholic church was establihed by Constantine. Before that, there had been many sects which had fallen away from the truth. He did the best he could to bring the beliefs together, and he established a church based on what he thought was the truth.

Constantine was an Emperor and never a leader of the Church. At the Edict of Milan he stopped the persecution of the Church which allowed freedom of worship of any religion within his empire. Certainly before his time there had been heretical groups like the Gnostics and Arians and one of these the Arians were condemned during his reign as emperor at the Council of Nicaea. The Church had fought off heresies that threatened the Church successfully. But, Constantine had nothing to do with the Church as he was a secular leader and not a member of the Church. Jesus is not a liar and the Church still prevails to this day as it has uninterruptedly for 2000 years just as Jesus said it would. It still has the unbroken leadership through apostolic succession. There is absolutely no historical evidence that supports your supposition.

(Laurel W) I will let you know that I do respect the Catholic church. I am glad you know the need of Priesthood authority. You may not agree with my views of the LDS church. That's OK.

(Cristoiglesia) Why would you respect a church that you believe is an apostate church or as you seen to allege a counterfeit of an apostate church. I do not agree with the Mormon sect because they by implication make Jesus into a liar in establishing His Church and what they do is not OK but is false teaching from the depths of hell.

(Laurel W) Frankly, I think we are the only two Christian churches which have a leg to stand on: the Catholics believe they were the original church, and the LDS believe the priesthood authority was taken from the earth for a time, but brought back personally by those who had the proper priesthood authority (other keys were restored as well). Other Christian churches are break-offs. I do not expect you to convert or believe my religion or anything. I just want you to know that our stand on the priesthood is legitimate.

(Cristoiglesia) The Mormons have no legitimate priesthood or authority. Jesus established only one enduring Church of which the Catholic Church is testimony to His veracity in His promises to humanity about His Church. The Catholic Church is the only Church established by Jesus and the apostles and is the original Church. It was not founded by a Roman emperor as you claim but Jesus as the Bible claims. The leadership of Christ’s Church has been continuous and the Church has never, nor will it ever be without the same leadership established by Jesus. Other ecclesiastical groups calling themselves “Christian” did come from the Catholic Church. Even your group came out of the Protestant movement and originated with the Campbellite heresies. Sidney Rigdon the believed author of the Book of Mormon was a Campbellite. But, your group has departed so far into apostasy that it can not make a legitimate claim as a “Christian” sect in that you deny the very foundation of Christian belief which is God being the God of the Trinity. Yours is a false Gospel and your Church is described in Scriptures thusly:

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

What you described in 2 Timothy is prophesying the coming of the Protestant and subsequently Restorationist movements like yourself and not the fall of the one true Church. It is speaking of those who fall away from the vine.

2Ti 4:3 For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears:
2Ti 4:4 And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.

I say these things in the spirit of St. Paul who instructed us to endure in the truth:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.

The Catholic Church and its priesthood established by Christ still stands as a shining city on a hill as testimony to the veracity of Christ and that He is everything He said He is. The Church will forever testify to the truth in Christ. Yours is the counterfeit church doing the work of Satan and separating some from the truth in Christ. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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