During Catholic Catechism, I was troubled when I read that King Constantineof Constantinople, now called Istanbul and the capital of Muslim Turkey,in an attempt to solidify his politically very vulnerable back door, sidedwith his subjects and members of the growing, potentially very strong anddynamic political force, Christianity. Later, although never having beenbaptized or converted to Christianity, he claimed to be the 13th Apostleof Jesus Christ. Very distressing to me because King Constantine had calledthe Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. for the express purpose of establishinga canon of exactly what the Christians believed, was that following Christ'sdeath and the suicide of Judas Iscariot, the remaining eleven chose Matthiasto succeed Judas making a full quorum of 12 Apostles. Matthias was actuallythe 13th Apostle. During the Council of Nicaea, very heated debate ensuedresulting in King Constantine having abstinent monks and Christians killedwhich, was in my mind, not the way a true Apostle of Christ would behave.

This was very important to me because the Mormons claimed to be therestored Church of Christ since the Christian Church in Christ's day hadapostatized from the truth. I had to know the truth. Although the CatholicChurch wasn't organized until 325 A.D., the Catholics claim a direct lineageto Peter using Christ's words to base this claim upon.

Matthew 16:18
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rockI will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail againstit.

It is debated as to whether Christ was saying he would base hisChurch upon a man, Peter, or upon "this rock" being prophets and "apostles."Paul told the people of Ephesus in Ephesians 2:20 that Christ's Churchwas "...built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christhimself being the chief corner [stone]."

Of course, my Catechism instructor and my Catholic friends brushed offKing Constantine's claim to being the 13th Apostle of Christ by correctlysaying that at the time -- you may recall the "Apostle" Paul (Saul of Tarsus)may have been guilty of this also (see Was Paul an Apostle) - people whoregarded themselves and others as very staunch and stalwart disciples ofChrist referred to themselves and others as "apostles."

Regardless of whether or not Christ founded His Church on Peter or onApostles and Prophets is not the real issue. King Constantine's claim tobe the 13th Apostle of Christ although, if he would have been a Christian,he would have known Matthias was chosen and ordain as the 13th Apostleof Christ.

Acts 1:26
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias;and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

While the word Catholic literally means universal, the dogmas ofthe Catholic Church were not so universally Christian for those King Constantinehad killed "for heresy," King Constantine also claimed to be the firstPope of the Catholic Church, a fact that has been buried beneath pilesof antiquity and "heresy." This dichotomy is also interesting because,although not organized as such during his life time, the Catholic claimsPeter, the first apostle of Jesus Christ, was the first Pope of the CatholicChurch rather than the head of the Church of Jesus Christ!

Finally, I decided that attending Catechism was creating a plethoraof questions instead of answering them, so I gave it up for a lost cause.I would have to find the answers to these several questions on my own andwith the help of the Holy Spirit.

I am still troubled how an unbaptized Christian could call himself the13th Apostle of Jesus Christ when there was not only a 13th Apostle ordained,but some think even a 14th and maybe even a 15th; how an unbaptized Christiancould organize the Council of Nicaea and the Catholic Church -- supposedlya Christian Church; murder scores of "heretic" Christians and monks; canonizethe beliefs and doctrine of the Catholic Church and call himself the 1stPope, then all this could be swept under the rug as though it didn't evenhappen. But then, he was the King of Constantinople and a real embarrassmentto the validity of the claims of the Catholic Church.

Muhammad studied Christianity under the auspices of the Catholic beforereceiving revelation telling him their claims and doctrines were not rightfor Muhammad's people!

David R.W. Wadsworth
Servant of the Most High God

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