The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, believe that an apostasy, or falling away, of the true church occurred and that a restoration, not a reformation, was necessary to establish the Church of Jesus Christ back on earth.
The anti-Mormons do not believe that this happened, but there is a ton of evidence that supports the apostasy both scripturally and historically. The early church struggle through many changes and evolved into many apostate groups. Let’s look at it today from the historical side. Please read about the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed from my previous posts for some solid evidence of this struggle between many different groups.
Even more important, let’s consider what I had posted earlier:
The Christian churches of today may be generally classified as follows:
1. The Catholic Church, which contends that it has had an uninterrupted existence upon the earth since it was originally founded by Jesus Christ.
2. Protestant churches founded by reformers who contend that the original church fell into apostasy, and who, therefore, through a study of the Bible, have attempted to return to the original teachings and practices of the church. The number of these churches is evidence of how impossible it is to agree upon the teachings of the Bible when left to the wisdom of man to interpret and understand them. Because of this lack of unity, churches have continued to multiply in a further effort to return to what they consider the original teachings of the Christ.
3. Those who believe that the church established by Jesus Christ while he was upon the earth fell into an apostate condition as predicted by the apostles, and that the church could not be reestablished upon the earth merely through a reformation, but only through a restoration.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands alone in this latter classification.
In considering these claims, it is obvious that if the first is true, there is no excuse for the existence of any other Christian church. If the original church had gone astray, could a reformation restore its power?
The issue is really between the Catholics and the Mormons. If the Catholics are right, then Mormonism is wrong. If Mormons are right, then Catholicism is wrong. The Protestants don’t have a leg to stand on, because if the Catholics are wrong, so are they, for they were originally a part of the Catholic Church.
I would challenge any anti-Mormon to trace the roots of his/her church back to Christ. There are several web sites that do just that, and all the roots go back to the Catholic Church. the roots of the Evangelical Lutheran Church can be found here:
Here, they state that their roots can be claimed all the way back to the Protestant Reformation, and that Martin Luther was a monk who didn’t agree with the teachings of the his church, so he started his own church. ( Reading about Martin Luther can be quite enlightening. Did you know that he threw out some of the books of the Old Testament, and was talked out of throwing out four books of the New Testament?) Within a couple hundred years, even the Lutheran Church was by then broken up into different synods, and I quote ” There were “revivalist” and “confessional” movements within Lutheran churches in Europe and in America, and as Lutherans migrated to this country they were influenced by the “fundamentalist” movement here. Consequently, there developed a wide variety of expressions of Lutheranism in North America.”
The Baptists can trace their history also back to the reformers who broke away from the Catholic Church, as seen here: http://www.allaboutreligion.org/baptist-church-history-faq.htm
There are many, many, different forms of Baptists, and trying to Google Baptist Church turns up a lot of miscellaneous information, but I found this interesting here:
This site claims, and I don’t know if this is correct or not: “There are approximately 250 different Baptist groups worldwide, plus within each group, any given local Baptist church is autonomous, which means that each congregation decides how it will “do church.” The answer to your question, therefore, is … there is no one answer, or even only 100 answers, or even only 1000 answers. There are about 50-60 million Baptists worldwide, and perhaps as many as 1 million congregations. If one were to examine all Baptist individuals and congregations, one would find that Baptists worship in tens of thousands of different ways (and perhaps more than that).”
Like I said, I don’t know if that information is correct, but I do know that there are a lot of different Baptist Churches and they don’t all teach the same thing. The following is taken from: http://www.baptistpillar.com/bd0575.htm
“If it is a fact that the lost world is bewildered by the conflicting claims of hundreds of churches and denominations all calling themselves Christian; is it not equally true they would be confused by the conglomeration of beliefs that are covered by the name Baptist? There are American Baptists, Southern Baptists, Christian Unity Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Duck River & Kindred Associations of Baptists, Baptist Church of Christ, Freewill Baptists, General Baptists, General Six—Principle Baptists, Independent Baptist Church of America, National Baptist, Evangelical Life & Soul Saving Assembly of the U.S.A., Regular Baptists, Separate Baptists, Seventh Day Baptists, Two Seed in the Spirit Predestinarian Baptists, United American Freewill Baptists, United Baptists, Free Communion Baptists, Anti-mission Baptists, Conservative Baptists, Fundamental Baptists, and a host of others.”
There is no way logically that all of these different Baptist Churches are teaching the same message that Christ taught……no way.
Again, I would challenge any anti-Mormon to trace his/her church history back to the original Church that Christ established.
Yet, the anti-Mormons claim that there was no apostasy or falling away of the truth in spite of all the historical evidence.
Tomorrow, I will post on the scriptural evidence of an apostasy. IMHO