Apostolic Succession

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Toma, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Consular with respect, Christ never laid out the doctrine of Apostolic Succession it was added by the Church Fathers. Christ simply gave us the celebration of the Lords Supper, and he told us to do it in remembrance of him.

    I did not return to the Anglican Church because I believed that the communion I took elsewhere was invalid, I returned to the Anglican Church because I love the rich liturgy. If the Baptists were the only ones in town tomorrow and they were celebrating the Lord's Supper then I would not think twice about receiving the sacrament from that Church. As a Franciscan the Eucharist is the centre of our prayer life not whether it is celebrated by the Roman Church or the Lutherans or who ever.
     
  2. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I envy the openness of your confidence in the validity of all sorts of different denominations. It's not something I think I can share in. :blush:
     
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    He didn't "lay it out", he just practiced it. Those whom he appointed were true Church ministers, and all others were false apostles. End of story.
     
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  4. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    That is fine brother - I think it just comes with time... I believe all this about who's right and who wrong is all about mans ego and not much to do with Gods love... I go to the Anglican Church therefore, I am obedient within reason to how our Church does things and that is not because I believe this one is valid or that one isn't. It is simply good manners...

    With me it is between me and God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...
     
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  5. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    I share your view of the centrality of the Eucharist and its validity in RCC and Lutheran churches. "Whoever" is an interesting comment. Who else do you include? I presume Orthodox and Old Catholic. What about the Church of our Scottish brethren?

    I share you notion that b=obedience to rules of the local church one attends is indeed good manner.
    ===================

    I am concerned when you say that Apostolic Succession was not given us by Christ, but that it was added by the Church Fathers. It was those same early Church Fathers who gave us the cannon and the creeds. One can make the argument that they "added" our understanding of the Trinity, of the divinity of Christ, of the 2nd Coming and lots of other doctrines. We are a Church of Scripture AND Tradition. I don't think that we should so quickly reject the doctrines Early Church Fathers. And if we are only looking to Jesus, then we might consider that Peter and Paul were ECF's in this context.

    If AP only means the passing on of the teachings of the Apostles, then Baptists have succession as much as we do. IMHO, we must consider the testimony of the ECF's as crucial whenever we look at doctrine, as do the RCC, the Orthodox, Lutherans and Presbyterians.

     
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  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Great question brother Mark and I understand your concerns and in some way agree with them to a point. First of all in my opinion the validity of the Lord's Supper is quite simple.... where two or three are gathered together in my name there I will be in the midst of them... and should that two or three decide to break bread and drink the wine in remembrance of him there is a valid Lord's Supper. That said I am currently a member of the Anglican Church of Australia and will abide by the customs and canons of the Anglican Church of Australia, I made that declaration when I applied for a license as a Liturgical Assistant and will adhere to those rules.

    I don't necessarily reject the doctrines, dogma, theology of the Early Church Fathers, but what I do reject is using those doctrines to one group of believers above another. When I recite the Nicene or the Apostles Creed with faith I accept that to be the truth because after all I am one of the sinners that Christ made whole through his sacrifice upon the Cross. Are we right in what believe well as far as I am concerned I maybe right, but then I may be wrong, and I am going to do as Christ said and that is to not pass judgement on someone else because I might a bloody great plank stuck in my eye.

    I have spoken about the big stuff and the small stuff before and in my opinion God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit along with salvation through faith is the big stuff and all the other is the small stuff.
     
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  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Gordon, just a quick bit about anyone being able to "break the bread", as they say:

    Does the fact that Christ only told the Apostles to celebrate the Lord's Supper not give you a few doubts about your understanding?

    Do you simply deny that bishops & priests are even needed for any reason at all? It doesn't seem like they have much of a purpose in your vision of history and the Church. :p
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to believe that Jesus trained the trainers and how do we pick the true apostles from the false apostles?

    Blessings, Gordon
     
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I suppose you can look at that one if you want - but I would suggest that the only reason he only said to the Apostles at the Last Supper was because they were the only ones present at the table. I believe this, Paul was a pretty smart bloke and I believe he was given what Jesus meant by the Lord's Supper:

    We say those words at every Mass here in Australia and I suppose over there as well, but some people just don't seem to get it. The act of coming together and breaking the bread and blessing it is what is important, but I could be wrong, then I could be right...

    Take some solace from the words of Dr. Suess....

     
  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The phrase "true apostles" has a loaded meaning to us nowadays. We'd like it to mean pure and and virtuous teachers, since we can find a better teacher than some apostolic successors today.

    But remember, even our "holy and virtuous" apostles denied christ, so if you lived at that time, wouldn't you shun THEM, and went with some street preacher who sounded better?
     
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Anyway to bring this thread back into context...

    As far as Apostolic Succession goes - I believe those who dwell on it and are quick to tell others they are not part of it are more about themselves and their own egos then they are about God and making Jesus known as our Saviour in this world.
     
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  12. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Yes they did they were sinners to just like us... so are you saying that Jesus did not mean you would know them by their fruits? Shysters cannot keep up the act for too long they are found out in the end... :)

    Even with our shameful history Christianity is still alive and well today in some peoples hearts, I believe they are the fruits that Jesus was talking about.
     
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Sometimes that act of discovery can take centuries. How often have we been fooled with the 'new and better', more 'saintly', more 'right' movements, which gathered vast volumes of people? Dominated the whole Christian scene even for centuries... before disappearing into nonexistence without a pop, almost without a whisper? The Methodists come to mind. In 1790, it would be almost impossible not to follow them; they dazzled the whole world with the purest Christianity one has ever seen. Today one would need to pay a person money to pick Methodism, it's literally disappearing before our very eyes.

    So yes, indeed, "you will know by their fruits", but those fruits may need to ripen over centuries, not necessarily right away, or within a person's lifetime. God works over centuries and millenia; it's almost infintecimal when 50 or 40 years pass by here or there.
     
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  14. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    None of this rubbish gets to the point about Apostolic Succession having no real proof behind it.

    Still, good show Stalwart. I think I agree with your 'side', rather than the more open one. It just seems more proper; more in line with how God acts and relates to us.
     
  15. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    The is why Jesus ascended and sent the Holy Spirit to guide us, so we don't fall for those newer, bigger, better, but alas some don't do discerning very well.
     
  16. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    That is just it brother it doesn't and you won't find real proof, so you have to take it on faith or walk away. Me I am not walking away... :)
     
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  17. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    Gordon but if there is no real proof for .something that is normally taken to be a part of the deposit of faith then why should we believe it period ? I mean it cant be a crap shoot ..
     
  18. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Here in lies the question we all have asked ourselves at some in our lives and many on this planet are yet to ask. Do I believe in a life after death? If I do what is the way to ensure my place in that life after death?

    Personally I believe the God the Father sent his son Jesus to suffer on the cross and give his life for my salvation and my place in the Kingdom of Heaven if I believe in him.

    What someone else believes is entirely up to them, but I am prepared to tell them what I believe...

    Can I prove one way or another any of what I just said? No I can't but I believe it so, that means the ball is now in your court - do you believe?
     
  19. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    I find your confession one to be an interesting one. Belief instead of Grace through faith, no Resurrection.

    There are lots of books of argument if folks want proofs of the dogma of Christianity. Certainly Bisop Wright's volume on the Resurrection is a good one.

    But that isn't the issue raised. Diversion is an interesting tactic, especially the challenging of your opponent's faith (not an unusual tactic at all).

    One issue raise is the importance of apostolic succession. Another is whether we simply give up worrying about bishops and succession if we find that we cannot "prove" the validity of succession. Perhaps we should simply find two bishops in the world that we trust have "apostolic succession" and have them consecrate the rest conditionally. The Old Catholics were doing that for Anglicans in Ireland for awhile.

     
  20. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    The Resurrection was implied.... LOL I can't be expected to remember everything I am getting old you know. :)

    If it comes down to pondering the importance of Apostolic Succession or helping out at the Salvation Army soup kitchen for the homeless this winter I would choose the latter.
     
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