Apostolic Succession

Apostolic succession

Ito ay isang doktrina na itinataguyod ng mga simbahang Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Independent Catholics, Old Catholics at iba pang mga simbahang Apostoliko na ang mga apostol ay nagordina ng kanilang mga kahalili upang manatili ang pagpapatuloy ng tunay na iglesia. Ang mga apostol ay nagordina ng mga obispo, at ang mga obispong ito ay nagordina ng mga obispo, pari o pastor at mga diakono at diakonesa na walang patid.

Bakit mahalaga ang paniniwalang ito?

1. Upang maipakita sa mga tao kung ang isang simbahan ay totoo o hindi sapamamagitan ng pagapapakita ng listahan ng mga ordinasyon nila, at ang mga ordinasyong ito ay dapat na makarating sa mga apostol.

2. Upang maipakita sa mga tao kung saan kumuha ng otoridad at karapatan ang isang simbahan na magtayo, magturo at magsagawa ng mga gawaing pangrelihiyon. Kung ito ay nangaling lamang sa kanilang mga sarili o nangaling ang kanilang mga karapatan mula sa mga apostol.

3. Upang maipabatid sa mga tao kung sino nga ba talaga ang may hawak ng katotohanan sa dami ng mga nagaangkin na may hawak nito.

4. Upang matukoy ang mga simbahang kumuha lamang, at nagimbento ng sariling karapatan sa pagtatayo ng kanilang sariling mga simbahan.

Paano pinatutunayan ang Apostolic Succession?

Sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga talaan ng ordinasyon ng isang simbahan. Mula sa deacon, pari o pastor at obispo at sa mga obispong nagordina sa mga ito hangang sa makarating sa mga apostol, sa pamamagitan ng talaan ng iba pang mga simbahan.

Ano ang mga katibayan nito mula sa Biblia?

John 15:5 – Si kristo ang puno ang mga apostoles ang mga sanga.
Ako ang puno ng ubas, kayo ang mga sanga: Ang nananatili sa akin, at ako’y sa kaniya, ay siyang nagbubunga ng marami: sapagka’t kung kayo’y hiwalay sa akin ay wala kayong magagawa.

1 John 1:3 – magkaroon tayo ng pakikisama sa mga apostol.
Yaong aming nakita at narinig ay siya rin naming ibinabalita sa inyo, upang kayo naman ay magkaroon ng pakikisama sa amin: oo, at tayo ay may pakikisama sa Ama, at sa kaniyang Anak na si Jesucristo:

2 Timothy 2:2 – ang mga narinig nila sa mga apostol ay ipasa sa mga taong tapat.

At ang mga bagay na iyong narinig sa akin sa gitna ng maraming saksi, ay siya mo ring ipagkatiwala sa mga taong tapat, na makapagtuturo naman sa mga iba.

2 Timothy 1:6 – ang pagpapasa ng karapatan ay ginagawa sa pagpapatong ng kamay.
Dahil dito ay ipinaaalaala ko sa iyo na paningasin mo ang kaloob ng Dios, na nasa iyo sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatong ng aking mga kamay.

1 Timothy 4:14 – hindi lamang kamay ng mga apostol pati kamay ng mga presbitero.
Huwag mong pabayaan ang kaloob na nasa iyo, na sa iyo’y ibinigay sa pamamagitan ng hula, na may pagpapatong ng mga kamay ng kapulungan ng mga presbitero.

1 John 2:19 – ang mga taong lumabas sa samahan ng mga apostol ay hindi sa kanila.
Sila’y nangagsilabas sa atin, nguni’t sila’y hindi sa atin; sapagka’t kung sila’y sa atin ay nagsipanatili sana sa atin: nguni’t nangagsilabas, upang sila’y mahayag na silang lahat ay hindi sa atin.

Acts 15:22 – naglagay ang mga apostol ng mga elders/presbyter/priest/pastor.
Nang magkagayo’y minagaling ng mga apostol at ng matatanda, pati ng buong iglesia, na magsihirang ng mga tao sa kanilang magkakasama, at suguin sa Antioquia na kasama ni Pablo at ni Bernabe; si Judas na tinatawag na Barsabas, at si Silas na mga nangungulo sa mga kapatid:

Acts 14:23 – naglagay ang mga apostol ng mga elders upang ipagpatuloy ang gawain.
At nang makapaglagay na sa kanila ng mga matanda sa bawa’t iglesia, at nang makapanalanging may pagaayuno, ay ipinagtagubilin sila sa Panginoong kanilang sinampalatayanan.

Titus 1:5 – ang utos ng mga apostol maglagay ng mga elders sa bawat bayan.
Dahil dito’y iniwan kita sa Creta, upang husayin mo ang mga bagay na nagkukulang, at maghalal ng mga matanda sa bawa’t bayan, na gaya ng ipinagbilin ko sa iyo;

Aling mga simbahan sa ating panahon ang may valid na apostolic succession?

1. Roman Catholic Church
2. Orthodox churches
3. Anglican churches
4. Episcopal churches
5. Lutheran churches
6.Old Catholic Churches

Saang sanga ng apostolic succession nabibilang ang aming iglesia?

Apostolic Succession ni Bishop Richard Mickley
Apostolic Succession ni Archbishop Jim Burch – Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Orthodox, Antioch Succession

Where is the true church founded by Christ?

For the past 20 years of my life I have been attending, exploring, studying and observing different churches existing in my town.  I was born a Catholic but in 1990 my family especially my mother and relatives from my mother’s side became evangelical Christians and decided to join an Evangelical Church.  But that church was so far away, it was in Manila and we live in Cavite.  So my mom and I decided to look for another church that is near in our house.  We tried going to a Baptist church but it was too silent for us.  So we tried attending a Born Again Pentecostal Church it was noisy at first but we got a hang of it and we stayed there from 1991 to 1999.

During my high school days I was suffering from “identity crisis” because I don’t know if I will accept my sexuality or not because of the teachings that was taught to me that homosexuality is a sin.  But as a Christian I read and explored the bible and I read the stories of Ruth and Naomi, Jonathan and David, Centurion and his servant in Luke 7, and also Jesus and John.  And it confused me.  And during this time I was also confused on the fact that there are so many churches in our town.  So I went and attend services of the Mormon church, Jehovah’s witnesses, Iglesia ni Cristo, Ang Dating Daan or Members Church of God International, El Shaddai and numerous Born Again Pentecostal Fundamentalist Ministries or Fellowships.  And during that time one of my main question is where is the true church founded by Christ?

I read in the Bible in Matthew 16:18 that Jesus Christ our only Lord and Savior built his church.  So I was asking everyone where is it but none of them convinced me.  So my spiritual journey did not stop there.  In 2000 I was invited by a member of the Metropolitan Community Church Manila.  When I first attended their Sunday worship I was totally shocked!  because everyone is gay and the worship service was too gayish for me and during that time I was in the closet but I was happy but I was shocked.  So I didn’t go back for another 3 months.

After 3 months I thought I was ready to face myself and want to come out so I went to MCC Manila and became a member and eventually became the Assistant Pastor in 2001.  At this church I learned so much about sexuality, ecumenism, understanding different churches and different traditions, respecting different beliefs, same sex relationships, same sex holy unions and many others.  In 2005 I was elected as the Interim Pastoral Leader of MCC Philippines formerly called MCC Manila and ended my term in 2008.  I had so many good memories and also bad ones.  I learned to accept that there is no perfect church because we are not perfect.  A perfect church is an empty church.  After being an IPL of MCC Philippines I decided to retire early and be an ordinary citizen of the republic of the Philippines.  So I decided to be a call center agent.  But something happened.  Our account was pulled out and 80 of us didn’t have work.

I remembered the Prophet Jonah when he was called by the Lord to preach in Nineveh and doesn’t want too because he said he is busy to do that.  So he went far away just to escape God’s calling and he rode a boat and then disaster came.  You know the story.  He was eaten by a big fish and he was there for three days and nights and when the fish opened its mouth it was on dry land on the shores of Nineveh.  So Jonah said Ok Lord I will preach less another fish will eat me again. To make the short story long I compared myself to Jonah.

One night I was praying because of this question that has been bothering me for such a long long time.  Where is the church founded by Christ? I opened my Bible and I read Acts Chapter 20, when I came to verse 28 I felt that the letters was alive as if it was jumping out of its page.  And so I read:

Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of God which he purchased with his own blood…”

God gave me a revelation in this particular verse.  If I want to be a member of the true church founded by Christ I must look for a bishop.  Not just a Bishop from any church but a bishop with a historic episcopate or ordained by the apostles that will assure me that the church that I am in is connected to the true church or true body of Christ.  But I reasoned with God there are many churches today with apostolic succession like the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Churches, the Assyrian Churches, the Ethiopian Churches, the Indian Churches and most of them are anti-homosexual so how can I belong with them it’s impossible?

Well I never learn do I? I read in the Bible that all things are possible with God.  So one night I had a chat with a Bishop at facebook and he was starting the Christian United Church.  It was n inclusive, welcoming and affirming church for ALL PEOPLE straights and gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.  And as we chat I learned that this Bishop has a historical episcopate in an unbroken chain from the Apostle Peter.  And I was stunned.  And I told myself I want to belong to this church.  And I decided to join.  He did not offer me any money nor a monthly salary.  The spiritual tradition of the historic episcopate for me is enough.  Now I feel at peace that I am now connected to the true body of Christ, the true church of God or church of Christ and that is connecting to the Bishop.

Tertulian (160 – 220 AD), a prolific Christian writer in from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa writes:

Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men…

Irenaeaus, an early church father also writes:

Wherefore we must obey the priests of the Church who have succession from the Apostles, as we have shown, who, together with succession in the episcopate, have received the mark of truth according to the will of the Father; all others, however, are to be suspected, who separated themselves from the principal succession.

So for me the historic episcopate of our Bishop, H.E. Bishop David Strong is enough for me to be joyful, secured and assured that I am connected to the body or church that was founded by Christ.  I am so exited, humbled and honored to be one of the local pastors of the Christian United Church and I have promised God that I will serve inside this church as long as I live.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!