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Did Christ’s Church Apostatize?

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Did Christ’s Church Apostatize?

The doctrines upon which all Iglesia’s other doctrines depend is its teaching that Christ’s Church apostatized in the early centuries. Like Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other fringe groups, Iglesia asserts that the early Christian Church suffered a total apostasy. It believes in “the complete disappearance of the first-century Church of Christ and the emergence of the Catholic Church” (Pasugo, July-Aug. 1979, 8).

But Jesus promised that his Church would never apostatize. He told Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). If his Church had apostatized, then the gates of hell would have prevailed against it, making Christ a liar.

In other passages, Christ teaches the same truth. In Matthew 28:20 he said, “I am with you always even until the end of the world.” And in John 14:16, 18 he said, “And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever … I will not leave you desolate.”

If Iglesia members accept the apostasy doctrine, they make Christ a liar. Since they believe Jesus Christ is not a liar, they are ignoring what Christ promised, and their doctrine contradicts Scripture.

They are, however, fulfilling Scripture. While Jesus taught that his Church would never apostatize, the Bible does teach that there will be a great apostasy, or falling away from the Church. Paul prophesies: “[Do not] be quickly shaken in mind or excited . . . to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [Greek: apostasia] comes first” (2 Thess. 2:2–3); “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” (1 Tim. 4:1); and, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own liking, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3–4). By falling away from the Church, members of Iglesia are committing precisely the kind of apostasy of which they accuse the Catholic Church.

The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:1: “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Was Felix Manalo a true prophet? Is his church the “true Church?” If we test the claims of Iglesia ni Cristo, the answer is apparent. His total apostasy doctrine is in flat contradiction to Christ’s teaching. There is no way that Iglesia ni Cristo can be the true Church of Christ.

If there was a “great apostasy” in the Catholic Church, why do you (as a non-Catholic ‘Christian’) take your bible from the Catholic Church that supposedly apostatized? And the doctrine of the Trinity? And date using her dating system?


Was There a “Great Apostasy” in the Catholic Church?

* Those who argue that there was a “great apostasy” in the Catholic Church are, by default, admitting there was a time before this presumed “great apostasy” in which the Catholic Church existed and was the true Church. Granting this, how could there ever be a “great apostasy” in the Church Jesus founded considering that Jesus said that the Church He founded would withstand the gates of hell (see Mt. 16:18)? Do you dare think Jesus – that is, God – was mistaken? How can one imagine that Christ wouldn’t fulfill His promises? Do you similarly dare to accuse the Holy Spirit of failing in His duty to always remain with the Church (see Jn. 14:16-17)? Do you claim that Christ left them “orphans”, despite His promise (see Jn. 14:18)?

* If there was a “great apostasy” in the Catholic Church, why is there no true evidence of this presumed apostasy? What exactly do you base your claim on? How scholarly and unbiased are these charges against the Catholic Church? Be prepared to present unbiased and scholarly evidence for your assertions that is not propagated by your own (or another anti-Catholic) sect.

* If there was a “great apostasy” in the Catholic Church, why does the Catholic Church still exist and still teach the same doctrines she taught in apostolic times? If you believe that the Catholic Church only held the true doctrines until the third or fourth century, how is it you explain that she couldn’t manage hold on to Christ’s true teachings for a few hundred years but she has held on to these “later”, allegedly false, doctrines for 1600+ years?

* If there was a “great apostasy” in the Catholic Church, why do you (as a non-Catholic ‘Christian’) take your bible from the Catholic Church that supposedly apostatized? And the doctrine of the Trinity? And date using her dating system?

* Are we seriously to believe there was a “great apostasy” in the Catholic Church – the Church that Christ founded – and that your ‘church’ is its replacement? Your ‘church’ which was founded by a human, your ‘church’ which has changed its own doctrines over time, your ‘church’ which has no history of miracles, martyrs, virgins, etc., your ‘church’ which wouldn’t even know about Christ or the Bible if not for the Catholic Church that you claim apostatized? Your ‘church’ which wasn’t even around until a few hundred years ago?

“The Catholic Church was recognized by the whole Christian world as the true Church of God for fifteen consecutive centuries. No man can halt at the end of those 1,500 years and say that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ without embarrassing himself seriously.” (Catholic Convert, Former Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli)




Do You Think the Catholic Church Was Invented After Constantine ‘Legalized’ Christianity?

* If the Catholic Church was invented after Constantine ‘legalized’ Christianity, why are there historical records of the Church existing since it was established by Christ on St. Peter?

* If the Catholic Church was invented after Constantine ‘legalized’ Christianity, why can she show you an uninterrupted succession of popes beginning with St. Peter?

* If the Catholic Church was a fourth century invention, what happened to the Church founded by Christ in Mt. 16:18 – the Church that Christ promised would withstand the gates of hell?

* If the Catholic Church was a fourth century invention, why is the first known written use of the term “Catholic Church” traced to St. Ignatius of Antioch, around 110 A.D. [It should also be noted that St. Ignatius was a hearer of the Apostle St. John, and the third bishop of Antioch.] And, why has the term been in continuous use since that time?

* If the Catholic Church was invented after Constantine ‘legalized’ Christianity, why do even non-Catholic historians agree that the Catholic Church existed before Constantine was even born?


Iglesia ni Cristo: The Catholic Church Apostatized through Constantine?
As they always use to blackmail poorly catechized Catholics, members of the cult of Felix Manalo, his Iglesia use this argument often that surprise Catholics. Having little time to research and poorly catechized, a Catholic usually ends up an anti-Catholic. Here’s a very concise explanation about the myth on Constantine.

Thanks to Blackie

The Historic Facts:

Is it true that Constantine was a pagan and used his influence to corrupt the Catholic Church?

Raise Up A Child…

Constantine was raised with Christian beliefs by his mother St. Helena although he delayed his baptism until he was on his deathbed. It seems clear that he had enough faith to seek salvation in Christ, knowing that he was facing eternity and his soul was in the balance

Your Young Men Will See Visions…

After seeing a vision in which he was told that he would conquer under the sign of the Christian cross, he adopted it as his standard and his entire army carried it into battle against the pagan general Maxentius and he won control of the empire in 312 AD.

Freedom At Last…

The following year Constantine signed the Edict of Milan (sometimes known as the Edict of Tolerance) that officially ended the persecution of the Church. It’s hard to understand how anyone can believe that Constantine, (who died a Christian despite his delay) would have paganized the early Catholic Church.

Julian Doesn’t Keep The Faith.

Forty-eight years later, in 361 AD, the emperor Julian the Apostate launched a persecution of the Church in an attempt to bring back paganism. Why would that have been necessary if Constantine had already corrupted the Catholic Church?

History Tells All

Some careful research and study of the first 300 years of Christianity will reveal that Catholic doctrines such as the Eucharist, Apostolic authority, and the pope as the successor of Peter were believed from the very beginning of Christianity and certainly were not the result of any pagan influence under Constantine.

In Fact

Christianity has been called Catholic in Acts 9:31 (Greek: “ekklesia katholos”) and at least from 107AD when Ignatius, the Bishop of the Church in Antioch, used it in one of his letters to another church which indicates that by that time the original Christian Church was already well known as the Catholic Church in order to distinguish Christ’s Church from heretical groups. Keep in mind that that same church in Antioch was where we were all first called Christians as recorded in Acts 11:26. (The Faith of the Early Fathers, William A. Jurgens, Collegeville, Minn.; Liturgical Press, 1970. p.25, #65)