What is Apostolic Succession?
Thank you for addressing the subject of Apostolic Succession.
ElderDad's posts are appreciated even more now, after his post of 4/29, from which i can see why he addresses it in strictly technical terms.
Since you have all agreed to digress somewhat, i will keep going with you:
To me Matthias remains the 12-th apostle, simply because i don't know about anything in the scriptures stating he was dismissed.
About Paul, i respect him for having Received the vision of Christ Jesus and for the fact that the 12 apostles received him. As far as his qualities, he was ok, had many nearly-apostolic qualities, but whereas the twelve apostles were truly humble -- more so after receiving the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ after Resurrection and at Pentecost, Paul maintained some pharisaic airs. The way i see it: like John the Theologian, Paul had a brilliant intelligence. Which, in Paul's case makes it a bit difficult to discern his few but important divagations (maybe a subject for another thread?).
Now i better be grateful with what we have from Paul: the epistles are important documents, and yes, they require discernment, but is that not consistent with the challenge God promised to us humans? He promised the same even through His Son Jesus Christ.
Paul was the most literate of the apostles -- he was a pharisee. The twelve apostles were most probably illiterate or insufficiently skilled with the pen. They propagated the Gospel for the most part (most of them only-) by word of mouth. In their times, who was reading? Who knew how to? And people had better hearing then. Besides, a lot of communication was through vibes, from the heart, while words were only hints to orient their thoughts and feelings. Especially so spread the Word through Christ Jesus, and i assume that so were the apostles Gifted through the Holy Spirit.
In those times people were adept at memorizing word of mouth.
In time those qualities became blunted. Today what's left? Who remembers anything? Without the written word, we are dumb.
Without Paul's epistles who would remind us we "are saints"? (potential ones, n.b.)
So, please explain this statement: "it is by faith and not works (read: affiliation) God can have His remnant in all churches."
-- and please specify what is meant in the parentheses.
I relate can relate to what JeffLogan says, especially in the Continuation post from 04-28, i have to quote : "The masses weren't deceived because the blood of the martyrs returned a great harvest"
and : " His disciples when they wanted to call fire down upon a village because the people rejected Jesus. He said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them."
and: "Do I need to remind anyone of the fate that the Apostles met with or the persecution which occurred in the early church--how many gave their lives for their faith?"
This is why i am asking you: who, where are the Apostolic Successors today?
on the other hand, the Orthodox Church is Catholic and Apostolic and from which the RCC branched out in 1054 (or the other way around), states apostolic succession through the ordination of priests is an ontological, therefore a state of being, stating that succession in priestly ordination cannot exist without a succession in faith. The Orthodox Church has canons about the breaking/disrupttion of faith which means breaking of the apostolic succession. If a member of the clergy breaks (through heresy or sin) his apostolic succession, he can recover it only through a process that requires re-baptizing and re-ordination to priesthood.
Thank you tomgroeneman for explaining to me this propagation of apostolic succession in the RCC.
About the laying of hands, I was impressed when I read of the experience Pope John_Paul II had at his ordination. But when I read your post it was cool, it got me to think: did Christ Jesus ordain the twelve by laying his hands? He washed their feet. The Holy Spirit He blew on them just like God did on Adam. And then it descended on them on Pentecost.
Christ Jesus God incarnate washed his disciples' feet. And told them to do the same to each other. What did He mean?