The Scriptures do teach that many people will fall away, but they never indicate that there would be a Great or near-Great Apostasy. Many of your preferred proof-texts in fact teach that “many (not all, not most) will fall away”, which is exactly what the Catholic Church of Christ has consistently taught. Before my concluding remarks, I will quickly address the secondary passages your group uses to support its interpretation of the primary passages that I have already reviewed. Continue reading
Restorationist Church of Christers,
With mouth-watering tastiness, the Protestant Church of Christ frequently presents 1 Timothy 4:1-3 as proof that the Catholic Church is apostate—that St. Paul was describing the apostate Catholic Church. The passage reads:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
Your group focuses on a few words: forbid marriage and abstinence from foods. It works those words into a pre-conceived misunderstanding of the Catholic Church, and then proceeds to conclude that St. Paul was referring to the apostate (and “future”) Catholic Church. Continue reading
Members of the Protestant Churches of Christ,
Your ministers counter the overflowing character of the gospel not with the “Bible only”, but with an anti-Catholic agenda, and then distort a passage to justify their theology, and then gather portions of other passages to prove a seemingly thought-out theology—a seemingly “biblical” apologia for the Great Apostasy (or near-Great Apostasy) theory. The Protestant Church of Christ’s objections begin by quoting 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The passage reads:
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition . . . (New King James Version).
Consider a sacramental reflection on the word “apostasy”, and how it relates to the full understanding of what “falling away” might mean—how it might reveal which Church, Catholic or “Protestant / Restored”, is more legitimate. The “falling away” (apostasy) is derived from the Greek word apostasai—a rather unique sounding word when transliterated (not translated) into English, and one that carries no historical connotations to remind its modern Protestant readers that a pre-apostate body existed. (St. Paul’s original audience certainly understood that the visible, institutional, and authoritative body of the Church existed.) In English, “apostasy” conjures, in the Protestant mind, a falling from an invisible mystical truth (infidelity to a theory), not a falling away from a visible body that is indeed the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Continue reading
Ministers and laypeople of the Protestant Church of Christ,
If the Protestant Church of Christ is following a pattern, it resembles that of the heretics—all of whom lifted themselves over the Scriptures as self-appointed interpreters of Scripture, and over the Church by claiming such authority; who then defined new orthodoxy, and called it old. The early proto-Protestant heretics of antiquity, with whom you would largely, but not fully, disagree with doctrinally, were at least as credible as your restorers. Why should we not believe that they, and not you, represent the true Church? And less credible than the first heretics were the original Protestants of the sixteenth century, who too believed they were restoring what had gone into apostasy; but you do not follow Luther, Calvin, or Zwingli. No, you follow men who followed such men—the Protestant Church of Christ is the progeny of disgruntled Presbyterian ministers who, for no reason, believed they could, by their own power, resurrect the mystical body of Christ from a supposed blasphemous death, which could never occur. In other words, there was no “Great Apostasy” and there was no “Restoration”, but there is a real Church of Christ that teaches, and actually believes: to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:21). Continue reading
In the next several posts I will break down how the CofC wrongly teaches that a “Great Apostasy” preceded its “Restoration”. I’ll go over EVERY CofC alleged scriptural proof for its theory, illustrate how the CofC forces an anti-Catholic (bigoted… Zing!) agenda into the Scriptures, and show how the CofC reads itself into the Bible.
• Can the Christian Church experience a Great Apostasy?
• Did St. Paul foretell a Great Apostasy?
• Does the Bible indicate that the Catholic Church is responsible for the Great Apostasy?
• Does the Bible foretell a Restoration?
• What is the difference between “the day of the Lord” and “the end times”?
CAUTION: THIS SERIES WILL NOT BE A SAFE SPACE FOR “RESTORATIONISTS”