What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

What Is “The Body of Christ,” or Christ’s Universal Church?

Posted by JLFuller on December 30, 2008

This is an interesting question. It has been understood by many to mean the collection of all Christian churches. The only “true” Church of Jesus Christ is one who has His authority.. the authority which HE gave to the Church HE established.. the Church HE built “on the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” (Eph 2:20) His Church is often referred to in scripture as the Body of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ is very clearly, according to the Bible, and Early Christian History, a formal organization, composed of a living Body of believers. These believers had specific roles and responsibilities within the Church organization, all of which were equally important, as Paul reiterates in Rom. 12:5 when he quite correctly says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Elsewhere, Paul reinforces this concept, and documents the various offices and duties within the formal Church organization that Christ founded:

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph 4:11-14)

Modern Christianity resembles the group of children described above.  They have been tossed to and fro, are confused about authentic Christian doctrine, are all too often ill-mannered and misbehave in many instances. It is appropriate to say they resemble those who have been“carried about with every wind of doctrine”, to the point where they do not undersstand what the Bible actually says.

Today there are 2,000 or so different Christian denominations and dozens of versions of The Bible, all different, yet claiming to be the inerrant word of God. Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why engages  this subject on a level everyone can understand. Ehrman, the chairman of the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, says the modern bible is a product of centuries of  mistakes and intentional alterations. Readers are encouraged to read this work.

The LDS church, on the other hand, is the true Body of Christ. Christ is the head. He guides the body, which is composed of many integral parts, as Paul taught. With Christ as it’s head, it can do anything which is ready evident by the fact that it is sweeping the earth. Without Christ, without His authority, without His guidance, without the Body that  He alone established, none of any of the myriad of illinformed bodies will ever bear the fruits of true Christianity.

Even as the essence of a living body is diversity, nobody would work too well without a brain. If it were all simply hundreds of different and discrete parts, without any divine direction, none would function together in any kind of accord. A hand looks radically different from a liver, yet both are part of the same body and can function together if a brain exists to direct them. Historic Christianity is a body without a brain.

This is historic Christianity. For example, a Baptist church looks different from a Methodist Church. They differ in core doctrine, such as soteriology. The Baptist is Calvinistic and the Methodist Arminian. They both believe in Jesus Christ, but yet are not unified in the “One Faith” that Paul taught was a prerequisite for the “Body of Christ”. To  claim that they both have the same “DNA code, the Holy Spirit would be to make God a liar. They function under the delusion that Jesus Christ is their head, when they deny that a head even exists. There is no divine head of the modern historic Christian church. Only Jesus is the head of His Church.  His formally organized Church that is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, whose coming Martin Luther, John Wesley, Roger Williams, and many, many others have been waiting for throughout the centuries.

The coments above are taken liberally from www.fairlds.org – often verbatim or edited insignificantly.

Note: I found this article on the FairLDS.com website. I edited some of the descriptive words to make it less pugnacious than what the original author presented. But the sum and substance of the message resonated with me. It says some things that I believe are significant and are worth repeating. The origianl author said them in an artful and comprehensive manner although in a different style than I would have used – hence the editing. No atribution was included.

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4 Responses to “What Is “The Body of Christ,” or Christ’s Universal Church?”

  1. The Church I believe that the result of uniion with Jesus Christ is that all believers become members of His body, the Church. Four Wheel Drive

  2. Zacharias said

    Historically it it clear which is the original Church: Eastern Orthodoxy. From a strictly historical viewpoint:

    Right after Pentecost there started one united Church. In 451 what came to be known as the Oriental Orthodox Church schismed from the main body due to disagreements about the dual nature of Christ. In 1054 what came to be known as the Roman Catholic Church split from the main Church body when the Bishop of Rome decided he had sole control over the church and began to make changes to the Creed. The group which the Catholics split from then came to be known as Eastern Orthodox. Then, in 1517 came the start of the Protestant Reformation.

    1823 is when Joseph Smith had his first vision, completely disconnected from the rest of Church history and having very different views then those which Christianity had believed for over a millinia before.

    Still today the Eastern Orthodox Church exists and is worshiping the same way it has been for nearly 2,000 years, without alteration to any dogma or creed.

    • JLFuller said

      Zacharias
      Excellent post. Thanks for the contribution. Have you read Misquoting Jesus? I would like to hear what an Orthodox believer’s opinion is about what Ehrman says.

      If you have studied what the LDS view is about the first century Christians, you will know that what we call the great apostasy was, at its center, a schism between the Greek oriented membership and the original Jewish-Christian membership. Ehrman does a good job of describing the split and why it happened. It is fundamental to what we Mormons believe is the reason a restoration was necessary. I suppose it is a bit of an egghead exercise but I think the study of what happened then is foundational to the study of post-apostolic Christianity. It is those first two centuries after Christ that seems to be when remnant church took in its new direction.

    • JLFuller said

      Zacharias
      You said “1823 is when Joseph Smith had his first vision, completely disconnected from the rest of Church history and having very different views then those which Christianity had believed for over a millinia before. “

      That is correct. If what Joseph said is true, then it was not Jospeh’s message but God the Father and Christ’s message. The person who is closely adhered to a particular denomination or creed would look at the message as an attack. The person who had developed a close personal relationaship with God and Christ would, in my opinion, find the message comforting or at least worth investigating. The difference is that the man who thinks God’s message would come through his pastor first is more interested in the denomination first. Some one once said that if God was going to comunicate again with man, Biilly Graham would have been his mouthpiece. Scripture is quite clear about such things. Mans thinking is not.

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