Discussions with My Friend:
An Introduction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ By David Stewart

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Chapter 25: The Christian Apostasy

Medieval ArmorEvidence of Apostasy in the New Testament

Scripture and contemporary records document that the Church was full of dissensions by the end of the first century.  Many New Testament passages describe struggles with early heresies and false practices within the Church and prophesy of future apostasy.[1]  Paul warned Timothy:


"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."[2]


He charged Timothy: "guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge [gnosis], for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith."[3] The Greek text uses the word gnosis (knowledge), a likely reference to gnostic heresies already threatening the early church. Paul taught the elders of Ephesus that apostasy would arise from within the church:


"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."[4]


Within two or three years of Paul's mission to central Asia Minor, many Christians there had perverted the gospel.[5] This process continued. In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul addressed difficulties incurred by unstable members and rebuked heresies they introduced.[6] While Paul had previously preached in Asia and made many converts, he lamented to Timothy thirteen years later: "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me."[7]


Paul reminded the Thessalonians of his prior teachings that Christ's coming would not occur until after a "falling away" and "that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."[8] The Greek word apostasia (apostasy), which connotes open rebellion or revolution in other Greek writings, is translated as "falling away" in the King James Version. Paul teaches that the institution of the church would survive, but with the "son of perdition" supplanting God at its head, and warns that "the mystery of iniquity doth already work."[9] The church of the apostasia with God no longer at its head would cease to be God's church.


Paul compared the apostles to a parade of men "appointed to death," a "spectacle to the world" on their way to execution.[10] Herod killed James, the brother of John, in 44 AD.[11] James, brother of the Lord, was executed in 62 AD. Peter and Paul were executed by Nero's persecution between 64 and 68 AD. The apostle John, who outlived the rest, was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos at the time of the writing of the Book of Revelation and was unable to visit the churches personally. John was not seen after the "times of Trajan" (AD 98 to 117).[12]


The Apostle John taught the readers of his first epistle that they were living in the "the last time" (eschate hora, literally "last hour").[13] The Revelation of Saint John documents that apostasy was already destroying the church during the apostles' lives. Of the seven churches of Asia, five were condemned for major sins and warned strongly that the Lord would cast them off unless they repented immediately.[14] Only two were not condemned by the Lord, and one of those was to suffer martyrdom. The only church not imminently threatened by apostasy or death at that early date was the Church of Philadelphia, which had "little strength" left.[15]


John's Revelation does not mention any possibility of continuous perpetuation of the institutional church on earth by faithful saints. John foresaw the initial victory of the forces of Satan over the disciples of the Lord. He writes that the woman, who represents the Church of God, would be "driven into the wilderness" for a time.[16] The dragon, symbolizing Satan, "went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."[17] John wrote of the beast, an agent of the devil: "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."[18] John saw the eventual restoration of the gospel and God's final victory over Satan.


Contemporary Witnesses of the Apostasy

Through their apostolic priesthood and divine spiritual gifts, Peter, Paul, John, and the Apostles could speak God's word with power and authority and regulate the integrity of the Church. Without such men in the church, no one could appeal to the voice of God that comes through His appointed servants. The letters of the bishops Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Polycarp of Smyrna, dating from the time of John's Revelation and slightly after, provide contemporary witnesses of the Christan apostasy. These are critical years "when nonapostolic church government was first fashioned and, oddly, the most poorly documented years in Christian history."[19] Their writings illuminate the front of "a very ill-lit tunnel [that] extends from the later apostolic age to the great apologists of the middle and later 2nd century."[20]


Loss of Apostolic Leadership and Revelation

While bishops and other church officers are mentioned during the apostolic era, the only two offices recorded by the New Testament as being directly instituted by Christ, the apostles and the seventy,[21] were absent from the apostate Church by the end of the first century. The divine leadership of the Church chosen by God was subverted and replaced by a hierarchy of man-made offices found nowhere in scripture, including popes, archbishops, cardinals. The writings of the "pre-Nicene church visibly shows the shock of losing apostolic leadership; the earlier the writing, the deeper that shock."[22]


Clement of Rome, identified by Eusebius as being the same Clement praised by Paul as having his name written "in the Book of Life,"[23] wrote to the Corinthian church to express his shock that they had deposed local church leaders appointed by the apostles "with the consent of the whole church." The jealousy of "a few rash and self-willed persons"[24] brought rejection of the authorized priesthood leaders. Clement states: "Your schism has turned aside many, has cast many into discouragement, many to doubt, all of us to grief, and your sedition continues."[25] On his way to execution in Rome, Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, stood in the Christian meeting at Philadelphia (as he says in their letter) and "with a great voice" cried out to "give heed to the bishop, and to the elders and the deacons." He continued: "Keep your flesh as the temple of God, love unity, flee from divisions, be imitators of Jesus Christ, as was he also of his Father."[26] In every letter, Ignatius repeats the cry to "do nothing without the bishop," as obedience to proper priesthood authority is the only antidote to the spreading "poison of heretics."


Loss of Divine Authority

Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp all recognized that they lacked apostolic authority to direct the church. When correcting doctrinal errors and false practices that had arisen in local churches, the Apostle Paul began his New Testament letters by invoking his apostolic powers. Bishop Clement writes as an equal to an equal, but without authoritative direction, from "the church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth." The New Testament does not contain a single case of a bishop writing to someone else's church or of a church writing to another church. During the second century, many other letters of advice were written from Christians to other Christians expressing concern in the absence of apostolic authority. Similarly, Ignatius emphasizes that he is only giving advice and lacks the authority to direct the church of God like the apostles. He tells the Trallians: "I did not think myself competent, as a convict, to give you orders like an apostle."[27] To the Romans, he writes: "I do not order you as did Peter and Paul; they were apostles, I am a convict."[28] Polycarp also claims no apostolic authority and recognizes that he cannot exercise jurisdiction beyond his local bishopric, telling the Philippians: "I write to you concerning righteousness, not at my own instance, but because you first invited me ... For neither am I, nor is any other like me, able to follow the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul."[29] In Polycarp's era, bishops were independent. In his old age, Polycarp visited Rome and disagreed with the bishop of Rome about several things, including the proper date to celebrate Easter. The two peacefully agreed to disagree.[30]


Doctrine and Ordinances Altered

During the Christian apostasy, numerous changes occurred in the ordinances and organization of the Church that are nowhere authorized by scripture. Isaiah prophesied: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant."[31]


Polycarp of Smyrna, called a "godly bishop" by Ignatius,[32] testified of his youthful contact "with John and with the others who had seen the Lord."[33] Polycarp's only surviving writing is his letter to the Philippians, who had asked for copies of Ignatius' letters shortly after Ignatius had been sent to Rome for execution. Polycarp used the opportunity to "warn the Philippians against certain disorders in the Church at Philippi, and especially against apostasy."[34]


Eusebius, a fourth-century Christian author, makes scores of references to apostasies and heresies within the church.[35] Eusebius quotes Hegesippus (AD 100-180) that until the times of Trajan (AD 98-117) the church "continued a virgin pure and incorrupt; but after the sacred company of the apostles ended their lives by various kinds of death, then the conspiracy of impious error began to take place, through the deceit of false teachers."[36] Eusebius wrote that after the apostles,


"with our greater freedom a change came over us. We yielded to pride and sloth. We yielded to mutual envy and abuse. We warred upon ourselves as occasion offered, and we used the weapons and the spears of words. Leaders fought with leaders and laity formed factions against laity. Unspeakable hypocrisy and dissimulation traveled to the farthest limits of evil."[37]


Eusebius referred to heresies held by leaders of the Church: "Beryllus ... Bishop of Bostra in Arabia, perverted the true doctrine of the Church and tried to bring in ideas alien to the Faith, actually asserting that our Savior and Lord did not pre-exist in His own form of being before He made His home among men, and had no divinity of His own but only the Father's dwelling in Him."[38] He noted the continued spread of apostasy at high levels under Constantine:


"There was also the unspeakable hypocrisy of men who crept into the Church and who took on the name and the character of Christians ... [Constantine] put his trust in those who said they were Christians and who feigned the utmost affection for him."


Challenging the heresy of celibacy that was to become officially accepted by the apostate church, Eusebius quoted Clement of Alexandria (about AD 150-215): "Clement ... gives a list of those of the apostles who were married. This he does on account of those who condemn marriage. He says, 'Will they also condemn the apostles? For Peter and Philip had children, and Philip gave his daughters to husbands.' "


Loss of Spiritual Gifts

John Chrysostom wrote that members of the church frequently asked him: "What has happened to the spiritual gifts? Why do we no longer have the gift of tongues? Where are the prophets? Why are men not chosen for office as they were anciently by direct revelation from above?"[39]


Eusebius, writing in the fourth century, knew of only one person by the mid-second century who possessed the gift of prophecy -- a man name Quadratus.[40] John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, writes that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased from among Christiandom:


"We seldom hear of them after that fatal period when the emperor Constantine called himself a Christian, and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause thereby, heaped riches and power and honor upon Christians in general, but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this time they almost totally ceased; very few instances of the kind were found."[41]


From Priesthood to Priestcraft

In his third epistle, the Apostle John wrote that Diotrephes, a local church leader "who loveth to have the preeminence," would not receive him. He writes of Diotrephes "prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."[42] This passage represents the first recorded instance in the New Testament where priestcrafts are forcefully imposed by apostate elements within the Church, with obedient saints being excommunicated by apostate leaders. After the apostles were gone, these apostate elements soon became dominant within the church.


Of priesthood authority, the Apostle Paul writes: "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron."[43] The apostles had also strictly forbidden the buying and selling of priesthood powers.[44] Yet in the fourth century, the emperor Constantine, himself not yet even a Christian, claimed for himself the power to appoint Christian bishops.


In 325 AD, the Council of Nicea "crystallized Christian orthodoxy with the arm of secular tyranny."[45] There is not a single example of a forced conversion in the New Testament, yet this became the norm in the apostate Church as entire nations were "converted" through the decree of rulers or by external force.


The Book of Mormon prophet Mormon wrote of a similar apostasy which occurred among his own people in the ancient Americas. By 210 AD,


"there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness. And this church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity, and because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts."[46]


Centuries prior, the Book of Mormon prophet Alma had previously told an apostate who sought to impose his views by force that "were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction."[47] Alma's prophetic words were later fulfilled when apostasy and priestcrafts led to the destruction of the Nephite civilization. Book of Mormon prophets foresaw that in modern times, many churches would be built up to "get power over the flesh," to "become popular in the eyes of the world," to "seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world," and to "do all manner of iniquity."[48]


The destructive nature of priestcraft "enforced by the sword" is also seen in the history of the apostate church. Between 100 AD and the great schism in 1054 AD, at least 222,000 Christians were killed by the apostate Church.[49] After the Schism, over 5,170,000 other Christians were killed by the persecutions of the Western church, in addition to millions of Muslims, Jews, and pagans killed in religious wars and persecution.


The Lord Warned the New Testament churches that they would be "cast off" if they did not repent speedily[50] for sins that pale in comparison to that which has subsequently been done in the name of Christianity. The history of the apostate Church demonstrates that it had long ago lost all vestiges of divine leadership.  Many historians and bible scholars acknowledge as much. In a work prepared by seventy-three noted theologians and Bible students, we read:


"... we must not expect to see the Church of Holy Scripture actually existing in its perfection on the earth. It is not to be found, thus perfect, either in the collected fragments of Christendom, or still less in any one of these fragments."[51]


Apostasy Recognized By Reformationists

Many early Protestant reformers recognized that a universal apostasy had occurred. Early Anabaptist reformer Thomas Muntzer observed that

"Hegesippus (and Eusebius) in [Ecclesiastical History] IV, 22, concerning the [early] Christian church, declares that the Christian congregation did not remain a virgin any longer than up to the time of the death of the disciples of the apostles and soon thereafter became an adulteress, as had indeed already been prophesied by the beloved apostles (II Peter 2:12-15)."[52]


Reformer Sebastian Franck believed that the "outward church of Christ was wasted immediately after the apostles because the early Fathers, whom he calls 'wolves' and 'anti-christs', justified war, power of magistracy, tithes, the priesthood, etc."[53] That they are "wolves" within Christ's flock, Franck states, is "proved by their works, especially [those] of Clement [of Alexandria], Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Hilary, Cyril, Origen, and others which are merely child's play and quite unlike the spirit of the apostles, that is, filled with commandments, laws, sacramental elements and all kinds of human inventions."[54] Roger Williams (1604-1683), pastor of the oldest Baptist Church in America at Providence, Rhode Island, gave up his ministry on the grounds that


"There is no regularly-constituted church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer any Church ordinance: nor can there be, until new apostles are sent by the great Head of the Church, for whose coming I am seeking."[55]


He observed that "the apostasy ... hath so far corrupted all, that there can be no recovery out of that apostasy until Christ shall send forth new apostles to plant churches anew."[56] John Wesley (1703-1791), the founder of Methodism, stated that from the time of Constantine,


"The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when he came to examine His Church, could hardly find faith upon the earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian Church ... The Christians were turned heathens again, and only had earth a dead form left."[57]


Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969), an eminent American Baptist clergyman and author, wrote:


"Christianity today has largely left the religion which he preached, taught and lived, and has substituted another kind of religion altogether. If Jesus should come back to now, hear the mythologies built up around him, see the creedalism, denominationalism, sacramentalism, carried on in his name, he would certainly say, 'If this is Christianity, I am not a Christian.'"[58]


One prominent historian stated, "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind, dying, came to a transmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the Church."[59] An awareness of the history of apostasy helps us to understand why so many who have turned to Christianity, in Barna's words, have left empty-handed, and to recognize the need for an authorized restoration of Christ's church on earth.



Finding Truth through Life Application

Certain things are to be understood only in the doing.  One would not trust one's well-being to a pilot who had studied aviation theory but never flown a plane, nor would one go to a surgeon who had read anatomy books but never successfully operated.  It is likewise vain to seek to understand right paths of life living from armchair philosophers who have not set a personal example worthy of emulation, or to rely on academic debate and consensus to uncover the secrets of happy living.


Similarly, gospel principles are understood only as individuals implement them in their lives.  Jesus taught: "If anymanwilldo his [God's] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."[60]  It is vain to attempt to understand truth merely in a theoretical sense: only those who apply divine principles to nurture the seed of faith[61] are capable of attaining certain insights; those with intellectual awareness who fail to apply truths to their life lose the understanding that they once possessed.[62] Great spiritual luminaries like Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Gandhi, Epictetus, Mother Teresa, and most significantly, Jesus, were not armchair philosophers, but exemplars known for positive lifestyle and service.


The Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote that there was little value to scholarly discourse and interpretation of truths without life application; the philosopher or lover of wisdom continually brought his life into harmony with truth:


 "When I find an interpreter, what remains is to make use of his instructions. This alone is the valuable thing. But, if I admire nothing but merely the interpretation, what do I become more than a grammarian instead of a philosopher.  When anyone, therefore, desires me to read Chrysippus [a philosopher] to him, I rather blush when I cannot show my actions agreeable and consonant to his discourse."[63]


In the modern world, philosophy has become a discipline of academic discussion largely divided from any practical implementation of principles. Anyone with a theory or opinion about life's meaning calls himself a philosopher, leading to endless debate but few answers.  Yet the term philosopher literally means lover of wisdom; the true lover of wisdom not only seeks but applies.  As understood by the Greeks, philosophy was not primarily theoretical, but intensely practical: it was the example of great philosophers like Socrates and Crysippus, and not rhetoric and sophistry, that gave credibility to their logical assertions.  They understood that there could be no true philosophy or love of wisdom without life application, because the personal implementation of principles of purity was the primary manner in which natural principles were deduced.  They were the greatest beneficiaries of their discoveries as they received the blessings that flow through the application true principles in personal life. Without life application, there is no possibility of resolving the difficult questions that face mankind.


The knowledge that comes from doing cannot be transferred by telling alone. Teachers and mentors may help, yet full understanding comes only from choosing to apply true principles for oneself and experiencing their fruits.  Study and contemplation are essential, yet some truths can be fully understood only as we undertake to experiment upon the word and nourish the seed of faith in our heart by applying divine principles in our life. The Book of Mormon prophet Alma wrote:


Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart...Every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness...As the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out. Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof. And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life. But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.[64]


Life application puts all mankind on a level field before God. We are accountable to Him not primarily for intellect, scholarly attainment, professional distinction, or other achievements, which come easily to some and hard to others, but for character and choices which are within the grasp of each person.  The understanding gained from living true principles is real, yet constitutes a different kind of knowledge than that which is to be had from books. The application of true principles in our lives requires hard work and may stretch us beyond our comfort zones. But ultimately it is the only way to understand truth, and to experience the growth and life transformation which these truths offer.



Reformation or Restoration? The Second Coming of the Church  

Evangelical researcher George Barna observed that "today's [Protestant] Church is incapable of responding to the present moral crisis," and asked: "We expect Christ's return, but is there any hope for a Second Coming of the Church?"[65] Barna acknowledged: "Those who have turned to Christianity and to churches seeking truth and meaning have left empty-handed, confused by the apparent inability of Christians themselves to implement the principles they profess."[66] Evangelist Peter Gilquist observed that Christian Evangelism was failing to change the world "because the church itself had lost its holiness and righteousness."[67]


Barna comes very close to the truth. He recognizes the need for a "Second Coming of the Church," while at the same time recognizing that the Evangelical Church is incapable of responding to the moral crisis and is losing its power to implement necessary change. Like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and others, Barna, Sider, Gilquist, and others are well-intended reformers attempting to awake modern Evangelical Christian churches from their heresies and return them closer to the teachings of scripture. Yet these eloquent authors have not taken their own observations about the state of modern sectarian Christianity to their logical conclusion.  Observations that the "orthodox" Christian Church has "lost its holiness and righteousness" and that its adherents are Christians "in name only" who "think and behave no differently from anyone else" mean nothing more or less than that apostasy has occurred and that the organization is no longer led or directed by God. When Christ's church ceases to be holy, it ceases to be His.   The sectarian church, having abandoned the teachings and practices of scripture, is no longer God's church, and lacks the divine revelation and authority that characterize the scriptural church.


Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard observed: "O Luther, you had 95 theses... The matter is far more terrible: there is only one thesis. The Christianity of the New Testament does not exist at all. Here there is nothing to reform."[68]  Christ Himself could not convince the Pharisees and Saduccees who claimed to be disciples of Moses to look beyond their unscriptural tradition and sinful ways to recognize that He was the promised Messiah. Nor is it possible for the sectarian branches of apostate Christianity to hear Christ's living word today when they have already resoundingly rejected His teachings in scripture.


The apostle John warned the Christian churches of his day that were already falling into apostasy: "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."[69] Many similar strong warnings were given to the Church by ancient apostles. The sins and heresies about which Paul, John, and other apostles warned seem relatively minor when we look back on two millennia of sectarian Christianity.  The apostate church ceased long ago to be led by direct revelation from Christ.  Any "Second Coming of the Church" of scripture would require a new restoration rather than mere doctrinal reform.


Latter-day Saints testify that the Second Coming of the Church has already occurred and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on earth today. Christ directs His Church today through living apostles and prophets, just as He directed it through His chosen apostles in antiquity.

[12] Irenaeus. Against Heresies, 2.22.5 and 3.3.4.

[20] A. F. Walls in James Dixon Douglas (ed.), New Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Ferdmans, 1965 revision), p. 941.

[24] 1 Clement 1

[25] 1 Clement 46:9

[26] Philadelphians 7:1-2

[27] Trallians 3:3

[30] Eusebius 5.24.16-17

[32] Smyrnaeans 12:2

[33] Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, 5.20.6

[34] Lake, Kirsopp. The Apostolic Fathers, London, 1912. Vol. I, p. 280.

[35] Merrill, Hyde M. "The Great Apostasy as Seen by Eusebius." Ensign, November 1972, 34.

[36] Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 1.3.32.

[37] Colm Luibheid (translator): Eusebius, The Essential Eusebius (New York and Toronto: New American Library, 1966), p. 138.

[38] G. A. Williamson (translator): Eusebius, The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1965), pp. 270.

[39]Hugh W. Nibley, The World and the Prophets, 3rd edition, (Vol. 3 of Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by John W. Welch, Gary P. Gillum, and Don E. Norton, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1987), 221.  Citing John Chrysostom, Patrologia Graec. 50:453; 455f, 459, 488, 51:81f, 85; 55:402; 58:479; 61:269ff, 279f; 62:526f; 63:623; etc.  As cited in FAIRWiki, "Apostasy/Members Didn't Notice," http://en.fairmormon.org/Apostasy/Members_didn%27t_notice, accessed 25 May 2010.

[40] Eusebius 3.37.1

[41] Wesley's Works vol. 7, 89:26-27

[49] Barrett and Johnson, World Christian Trends, 2001.

[51] Smith, William. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1896.

[52] Muntzer, "Sermon before the Princes" (Allstedt, 13 July 1524), in Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers, ed. G.H. Williams (Philadelphia, Westminster Press 1957): 51 (103-4).

[53] Franck, Letter to Campanus, in Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers, op. cit., 151-2.

[54] Franck quoted in GH Williams, 148-9 (103-4).

[55] Picturesque America, or the Land We Live In, ed. William Cullen Bryant, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1872, vol. 1, p. 502.

[56] Underhill, Edward, "Struggles and Triumphs of Religious Liberty", cited in William F. Anderson, "Apostasy or Succession, Which?", pp. 238-39.

[57] Wesley's Works, vol. 7, 89:26, 27

[58] Daniel H. Williams, "The Corruption of the Church and its Tradition", in Williams, Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism (Eerdmans 1999): 101-131

[59] Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, 3:595

[60] John 7:17

[61] see Alma chapter 32

[62] Luke 8:18, Alma 12:9-11

[63] Epictetus, The Enchiridion, translated by Elizabeth Carter, http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html

[64] Alma 32:37-42

[65]  Barna, George. The Second Coming of the Church.

[66]  Barna, George. The Second Coming of the Church, 5.

[67]  Sider p. 56.

[68]  Eds. Howard and Edna Hong, The Essential Kierkegaard, Pinceton University Press:2000, 428.