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Spitfire
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Joined: 2004/8/3
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 Apostolic Succesion?

Is anyone here familiar with this terminology called Apostolic Succesion? I had never heard of it before until just a few days ago. If you know, could you please comment? Thanks, Dian.

 2005/2/2 7:28Profile









 Re: Apostolic Succesion?

It is a common contention among professing christians. Some say that to have been an apostle, one would have had to be an eye witness to Jesus Christ Himself when He was here two thousand years ago. This would mean that succession is impossible and there are none alive today.

In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul says that God gave apostles, evangelist, prophets, teachers, and pastors to the church for the training or perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry.

In light of this, I would think we need to ask the question, have the saints been trained or perfected. I would hope your honest appraisal would be no. Therefore these are all needed. If one is not needed, then none are needed. Don't you think?

Now, this brings up another honest question. Where on earth are the apostles, and prophets?

 2005/2/2 7:51
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Apostolic Succesion?

Quote:
Is anyone here familiar with this terminology called Apostolic Succesion? I had never heard of it before until just a few days ago. If you know, could you please comment? Thanks, Dian.


Technically, apostolic succession is a doctrine held by the Catholic Church and by her daughters. It teaches that authority is passed down by the imposition of hands (laying on off hands) from the original apostles who were appointed by Christ. So they would recognize as Peter's successors those who had received the imposition of Peter's hands.

In their fallacious notion of the papacy they teach that Peter was the first pope who laid hands on others who became bishops etc. These bishops are in the apostolic succession because their is an unbroken chain of the imposition of hands stretching back right to Peter. They believe, or did, that only people who are part of this chain were authorised to act as priests. It is this which gives a Roman Catholic priest the power to be able to turn the host and wine into the physical body and blood of Christ. The 'magic' of Roman Catholic priesthood depends on apostolic succession. You and I could pray the same prayers but nothing would happen.

When all Europe was Roman Catholic every priest could, theoretically, trace his ordination back through the centuries to the authority given by Christ to his apostles, including this authority...[i]Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.[/i] (Joh 20:23 KJV) So only Roman Catholics ordained by Catholics who had been ordained by Catholics who had been ordained... (you get the picture?) by one of the original apostles have the authority to forgive sins. This is why only Catholic priest can grant absolution from sins; apostolic succession.

The Church of England, of course, was a a descendant of the Catholic church and its original bishops had been ordained by Catholic bishops who had been ordained... etc etc ...by the apostles themselves. Consequently their priests are included in apostolic succession although technically, according to Anglican theology, they are only able to 'pronounce' absolution rather than 'grant' it.

The Roman Catholic and Anglican priesthood can contemplate a possible future union because they all share 'apostolic succession', but a local baptist pastor should, technically, be re-ordained by someone in the apostolic succession.

What shall we say to these things? Nonsense; all nonsense, but a very effective means of continuing central control.

In 1745 Wesley wrote that he would make any concession which his conscience permitted, in order to live in harmony with the clergy, but could not give up the doctrine of an inward and present salvation by faith alone. He would not stop preaching in private houses and the open air or dissolve the societies or end lay preaching. He had no plans to go further. "We dare not," he said, "administer baptism or the Lord's Supper without a commission from a bishop in the apostolic succession."

But the next year he read Lord King on the Primitive Church, and was convinced by it that apostolic succession was a fiction, and that he [Wesley] was "a scriptural episcopos as much as any man in England." Some years later Stillingfleet's Irenicon led him to renounce the opinion that Christ or his apostles prescribed any form of church government, and to declare ordination valid when performed by a presbyter. It was not until about forty years later that he ordained by the laying on of hands; but he considered his appointment of his preachers an act of ordination.
[i]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.[/i]

Sometimes the phrase is used, not technically, to describe the idea of God continuing His work from one generation to the next, but this is not what the phrase really means.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/2/2 9:39Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Now, this brings up another honest question. Where on earth are the apostles, and prophets?



I agree that all the apostles saw Jesus. I believe when Paul spoke of "apostles" he was speaking in terms that at that time there were apostles.

Prophets... there are prophets. But not in a sense that we see abused today. A prophet is simply one who proclaims God's Word. It's not the same as teaching. Keith Green was a prophet, I believe. He didnt fortell the future... he proclaimed the Word of the Lord in a John the Baptist kinda way. That was different than teaching. He did teach... but the proclamation of the gospel was his true gift... and that is what prophecy is.

Someone else may be able to clarify better than I... but I think you can understand what I mean.

Krispy

 2005/2/2 9:47
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

Quote:
Prophets... there are prophets. But not in a sense that we see abused today. A prophet is simply one who proclaims God's Word. It's not the same as teaching. Keith Green was a prophet, I believe. He didnt fortell the future... he proclaimed the Word of the Lord in a John the Baptist kinda way. That was different than teaching. He did teach... but the proclamation of the gospel was his true gift... and that is what prophecy is.



That is true, the prophecy has different ministries in it. God wants us all to proclaim His word but just as a body has different parts for different things, so we too have different responsibilities with regard to prohpecy. I once thought that being a prophet meant to fortell the future...I had to scratch that...Those of us who are believers are called to proclaim God's word so we are all prophets, the only thing is how many of us take on that responsibility and to what extent.


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Farai Bamu

 2005/2/8 17:08Profile
lyndon
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Joined: 2003/12/8
Posts: 65
Manitoba, Canada

 Re:

Quote:
so we are all prophets,



Tend to disagree with this statement. Would rather say that proclaiming the gospel with the power of the Spirit would be truely prophetic.

Quote:
Those of us who are believers are called to proclaim God's word .......... the only thing is how many of us take on that responsibility and to what extent



sobering words, worth thinking/praying about.

 2005/2/8 18:34Profile









 Re:

As for apostles... A red flag goes up in my spirit whenever I see a person who labels themselves an "apostle". Any of them I have ever seen or heard always had a lot of strange doctrine that went along with it. There is one church down the road in South Carolina that is led by two self proclaimed "apostles" ... a husband and wife. In order for her to be an "apostle" she has to claim authority with that, and that would mean authority over men... which in and of itself is unscriptural.

 2005/2/9 8:14
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
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IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

Quote:
Tend to disagree with this statement. Would rather say that proclaiming the gospel with the power of the Spirit would be truely prophetic.



I agree. We are all prophets because God has made it so we believe in Him, however we need to exercise our prohetic offices accordingly. That's what I meant when I said that the thing is how many of us take the task on and how much do we allow God to use us.


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Farai Bamu

 2005/2/9 17:09Profile
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

ok now with priests being able to trace their priesthood to the hands of Peter, does this make them apostles automatically?does this put them any closer to God than us? Of what consequence is this succession then?


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Farai Bamu

 2005/2/9 17:12Profile





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