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April 1, 2020 8:15 pm
Viewpoint is mainly examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Aaron shuffle all of my colleague at MRM this week we've been discussing a debate, a formal debate that Aaron had with a latter-day St., young man by the name of Quaker who L there were three topics that were going to be discussed and we been going through some of those and today we want to go through the topic of the great apostasy is the debate was divided into three parts. The great apostasy was one of those parts.
So why did you choose that to be a subject that Joseph Smith is upheld as the great head Mormonism of the greatest and final dispensation so he is the dispensation had the ushering in of a permanent kingdom, but in the Bible, Jesus says he's the one who plants the permanent enduring spreading kingdom. He's the one who ushers in a kingdom that will not be destroyed. That cannot be shaken at he is the one who builds a church according to the New Testament, which cannot be prevailed against so the New Testament Christian celebrates that Jesus has accomplished something. As the mediator of a better new covenant that the old covenant did not could not accomplish by its design. Even so, Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant. He ushers in a permanent kingdom. He plants a and enduring kingdom and he builds a church that can't be prevailed against and Christians door the Lord Jesus Christ.
For this, Mormonism says that the church died that was obliterated that the kingdom of God was completely destroyed. It says that the kingdom needed to be uprooted and replanted their language, that not mine and it says that what REIT recasts all the New Testament passages to really give Joseph Smith the glory and the top this all off what what I did in presenting on this as I talked to how arrogant of Joseph Smith. This was and I finished with a quote famous quote by Joseph Smith where Smith in trying to adopt Paul's language in second Corinthians 11 Paul is facetiously giving his apostolic credentials. Others have come to client and touted their own apostolic credentials and Paul's like, well, I got financials look at my back and I hate stripes of my back so he boasts in all his sufferings.
Joseph Smith takes this language and in a sermon reported by his trusted clerk, symbolic in a sermon.
Joseph Smith says that he has suffered more than Paul and that he has done more and did a better job of keeping the church together than Jesus Christ that that the apostles ran away from Jesus, but the followers of Joseph Smith have not run away from him yet. And this is arrogant it's it's immediately arrogant it mean it's just it's recognizable is arrogant on the face of it, but it's especially arrogant when you consider that the New Testament gives Jesus the unique and exclusive glory for mediating a permanent covenant establishing a permanent kingdom building a church so yeah that was that was that. It will be got into but again Quaker used this opportunity to go against Luther and Calvin and so forth and out Protestantism in a way that doesn't really respond to the actual content of the debate. The debate the topic here is, was there a great apostasy is what you have to do is you have to define the great apostasy and you have to demonstrate that the definition has been satisfied by your your arguments. There are two basic definitions given in Mormonism to the great apostasy is what I call the thick or the broader robust definition where the kingdom of God is destroyed.
The church is obliterated. The gospel has been removed from the earth gospel principles the fundamental principles of the gospel are nowhere to be found in people are without hope and without God in the world and there's a lack of moral corruption, darkness, and that is that the undercurrent of the people who claim to be Christians of this false authority. Three dark casting very dark terms and great bleak terms.
The other definition of the great apostasy is what you might call the thin, or that reductive minimalist definition and this is the definition that says well maybe the early first century Christians were well-meaning moral upstanding loved Jesus were doing all that they could, but that the quorum of the 12 apostles had a terrible logistics problem due to persecution such that they could not gather as a quorum sufficient for the ordination of subsequent leadership, so it is up that thin definition is saying well they couldn't do, then what UPS can do today.
God had a logistics problem. Even with well-meaning people. So what I started out with the cross-examination doing is setting up the first contains 15 where Paul gives of first importance. The gospel the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his appearance to others and that I read some thick broad robust definitions of the great apostasy from Mormon leaders and I asked Quaker about them and he I don't think he understood the significance of what I was asking him. It was essentially getting him to affirm the broad historic LDS definition of a good apostasy and asking him to reckon with that in light of first contains 15 so if the fundamental principles of the gospel according to Paul, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus was not lost from the earth.
Were there no Christians, with hope and with God in the world. Is it as modern leaders of said that there there is no Christians anywhere who had hoping to have God and who had the fundamental principles of the gospel and he took that hook line and sinker. Where as in the Q&A and the debate he decided after pullback as well with the great apostasy is it's just the loss of priesthood authority and that's the thin definition yet he went Quaker, though he tried to show that Protestants were bad that we historically we have ugly dark things in history.
For the record, I think he's really bad history and he think that he thinks the Protestant Reformation starts with Luther, he didn't understand that that principles of what Calvin taught preceded Calvin.
I don't think he really connected the dots or he was arguing that Protestantism has brought death and destruction. But even if you grant that just for the sake of argument, you still have to demonstrate that the whatever definition of the great apostasy your choosing has been satisfied has been has been met by history in Scripture. You have to reckon with what Scripture has said so at the end of our interaction with the cross-examination great apostasy. I asked him about what the passages that you brought up from the New Testament to support this and thinking we brought up to it. One was I think in acts 20 where Paul speaking to the Ephesian elders says something that is about to happen in these false teachers will not spare the flock rules would come in right they lurch they will not spare the flock. It's one of leaders construe that to mean is that the flock will be complete weekly destroyed so I just asked him is Paul preparing the elders to endure for this season or is he telling the rocket died in Iraq and the last of the season. It's a very clear slip Quaker ended up doing is saying, well, maybe Paul didn't know about.
Apostasy maybe he didn't even really understand what was about to happen, which is in a sense to withdraw the previous usage that he was using with the passage. He also quotes from Matthew 24 were Jesus anticipates false prophets, persecutions, height adjustable that gives you apostasy gives you persecution that gives you suffering that doesn't give you the great apostasy as Mormonism defines it never really made a case from his own worldview for the great apostasy never really actually made an argument. This is what's frustrating. He showed up like this was just a YouTube stunt to say some shock jock types of things.
My wife and I were talking about this.
She was like Aaron you just spent two days in our closet preparing for this debate. Literally, folks.
Literally he was in the closet studying was quite a picture of this the big closet that I was in Ocala hiding away from all the noise and preparing and I had spent roughly a month. Also just doing often on preparation, but I had spent a lot of time putting together arguments in a structured presentation and reading a lot of latter-day St. literature to see what they typically present as an argument for the apostasy and he virtually he he interacted virtually with none of it. He just showed up like it was again 30 minutes late and tried to make a historical smear against Protestantism and didn't quite understand the Protestant that commitment.
We have two Scripture as our final authority. You can show me all sorts of bad things that Protestant Christians have done and I'm so quick and able and free to throw any professing believer under the bus as it were, say, I don't agree with that that they don't represent me. That's not my authority.
That's not what I looked to was on my prophets and apostles wherever they diverge from Scripture.
I'd than a nonimportant that a lot of the verses that they do bring up my response to a lot of Latter Day Saints policeman talking them either talking to them either in streets or an email. As you know, a lot of those very verses that they cite that they think speaks of a complete apostasy could very easily be turned around and pointed at the LDS church and I've asked them how do I know these verses are talking about you guys, that's really achievement. Latter Day Saints say today that a great apostasy won't happen again right and it's like will have you know that what were the assurances you have it seemingly.
You want to enjoy the assurances of no longer having a future possible great apostasy again that were already given to them first century Christians, but the passages that they do used to support the rate apostasy.
Typically, they never fulfill the actual definition of great apostasy. They often are speaking of a reality that culminates in the very second coming of Jesus were it's not solved with the restoration it solved with the second coming and there often in a context where the readers are being encouraged to endure through the suffering and persecutions and the apostasy to happen in general around them. That's a great point and probably one that we should as Christians emphasize probably more than we do. The fact that they were encouraged to endure and to go on shows that there's something to go on for that there would not be a complete apostasy as defined by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that's that's a good point. We been talking with Aaron shuffle all of these a colleague at MRM and he had a debate with Quaker L on March 6, 2020 at Utah Valley University you want to hear the debate in its entirety and I would encourage you to do so.
You may be frustrated listening to some of Quaker's responses and some of the rabbit trails that he took during that time. But I think it would be very valuable to hear Aaron's responses to many things that Quaker brought up but you can find it very easily. Just Google search Aaron Quaker to debate 2020 and it'll pop up tomorrow were going to continue talking about what went on in this discussion that Aaron had with Quaker well thank you for listening you would like more information regarding Amicus research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research.
We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is looking for strategies that will help you engage in meaningful conversations with members of the Mormon church. So take a look at sharing the good news with Mormons a new book produced by harvest House publishers and headed to my Mormonism research ministries Aaron Johnson and Shawn Miguel sharing the good news with Mormons includes 24 helpful essays from two dozen Christian apologist scholars and pastors pick up your copy of the Utah lighthouse bookstore for order directly from MRM.org