Friday, May 09, 2008

Not Infallible, Just More Dependable

A friend asked me if every Christian believer has rights to the Holy Ghost, why priesthood leaders like apostles and prophets are necessary; and if prophets are infallible, how are believers expected to follow them?

Priesthood is the authority to have spiritual responsibility and stewardship over others. There is a hierarchy of priesthood authority from prophets to bishops, fathers and mothers to the individual. The Holy Ghost is the power by which the Priesthood operates. Without the Holy Ghost and the principles of righteousness, the D&C says "Amen to the priesthood and authority of that man" (D&C 121: 37).

Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Those chosen by God to be priesthood leaders, according to the Bible, were to have demonstrated that they were filled with the Holy Ghost as a prerequisite for being a priesthood leader. While every believer has access to the Holy Ghost, not every believer has received the Holy Ghost to the same degree. Our individual degree of acceptance of the Holy Ghost is based on our continued righteous choices or sin. So, in this way, prophets and apostles are known to have better received the Holy Ghost than the rest of us. But that doesn't make them infallible, just more dependable.

In this way, while all believers have rights to the continual prescence of the Holy Ghost, because the work of sactification is not complete, we may give way to temptation or the appetites of the flesh and loose or momentarily reject the guidance of the Holy Ghost through sin. Prophets and other leaders serve as a backup, helping us to repent and turn to Christ again at times when we may not be listening very well to the Spirit. Otherwise we could be completely cut off from the presence of the Lord.

Because prophets and apostles have the authority to act in the name of God, they can help us know God's will for us. By the Holy Ghost, believers are inspired and empowered to repentance, good works, and ordinances as part of the process of sanctification. The prophets and apostles by virtue of their authority and the power of the Holy Ghost within them can let us know what to expect. Believers are then invited to verify and confirm their words by obedience and prayer.


Anonymous said...

Wow, where do I start?

Apparently priesthood leaders are NOT necessary from about 200? AD to 1830 AD.

Priesthood is the authority to act in God's name. I have never heard it explained as 'responsibility and stewardship over others' (and depending on this definition reject outright anyone having spiritual responsibility for me).

"are known to have better received the HG than the rest of us". PLEASE!!! God uses men as leaders not because of righteousness, nor HG reception, but because they are the right men for the job at the right time. Can you name one apostle or prophet that claims to be more righteous (or better at receiving the HG) than ALL other members? They reject this notion.

"know God's will for us". If 'us' is plural, I'll agree. If 'us' is individually us, then I disagree. While I accept that God speaks to the ENTIRE church through His A&Ps, I do not accept that God will the prophet to tell a Stake President to tell a Bishop which RS president to choose. God might tell the SP to tell the Bishop to "pick up the phone" (so to speak), but it is the Bishop's responsibility (Not the SP, not the A&Ps). Likewise I am responsible for the decisions in my life. I don't believe in a system that would have another man telling me who to marry, how much schooling to get, where to work, etc.

BRoz said...

I only put priesthood authority in those terms to illustrate the heirarchy and the order of it. Any other way would cause chaos.

I understand what you are saying about the righteousness part. I think many priesthood leaders get an extra portion of the spirit to fulfill their callings regardless of their personal worthiness. But in general, according to Acts 6:3 the 7 were said to have been selected on that criteria. And that is why major priesthood leaders are interviewed for worthiness.

Yes, as far as receiving revelation, I did mean it in a general sense. They aren't going to get revelation about how many kids you are supposed to have.

Servent of the Most High said...

"No where in the Bible does it explicitly say that other high priests were not supposed to be called in Christ's church. Paul in Hebrews beautifully teaches that Christ is our Great High Priest. Yet to begin the epistle Paul also calls Christ the Apostle. Yet that didn't prevent Christ from calling and ordained other Apostles."

What you have stated is true. However, lets look at the OT purpose of the high priest: he was the intermediary. The liason between man and God. Why, if Christ atoned for all of our sins, and through grace we have been given adoption as sons, (ephesians 1:5) would we need another high priest?
The great commission is a commandment.(Mark 16:15) Nowhere is priesthood commanded by Christ. There is no presidence for it by the tweleve. Christ obviously prepared the twelve for evangalism. He trained and tought them His entire ministry to preach and teach the Gospel. There was no training for any so called high priesthood. The jewish high priest was a shadow of THE High Priest to come, who is the alpha and omega,and who needs no help by mormon priests.

BRoz said...

That is why LDS high priests do not offer their own sacrifices. They offer Christ's sacrifice and represent Jesus Christ. Everything done in by the priesthood is done in the name of Jesus Christ as if he were doing it himself, becasue by the Holy Ghost, He is through us. No man can do good of himself.

And that is the meaning of preisthood. The preisthood is the authority to act in the name of God. It is a sanctifying honor that God allows us to serve one another in His name.

Servent of the Most High said...

Then why didn't the apostalic ministry of the early Christian church include any such priesthood? There is no scritpural basis for your doctrine of priesthood. Priests of human origin were made obsolete in 33AD. The sacrifice has been made and paid in full to the elect. To suggest that it takes an act of man to offer Christ's sacrifice is like saying that His work on the cross was incomplete. Stop dodging scripture and start seeing the black and red text. The cost of sin was paid in full for the true believer. Grace alone remember? You are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.