If the Mormon claim is correct and the church was apostate after the death of the disciples, then there are many ramifications of that fact.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormon interchangeably) holds many doctrines and beliefs that are contrary to orthodox Christian faith. The nature of God, who Jesus was, and the authority of Scripture, are among a legion of theological positions that separate Mormons from traditional Christian thought. Among these many differences is the Mormon claim that the church ceased to exist as an orthodox body after the death of the apostles.
Francis Shaeffer was an apologist who blazed the trail for many modern apologists. While apologists of his time were mostly academics in their ministerial approach, Shaeffer took not only a theoretical approach but also a populist approach.
One of the main goals of any world view is addressing the question of suffering and evil. Alvin Plantinga takes an approach that stresses the free will of the individual as an explanation.
In my last blog post, I went through Ephesians 1:1-14 and the concept of freely choosing to join the predetermined group. In a discussion of free will, my Calvinist brothers and sisters may bring up this verse, also from Ephesians.
When the British, Canadian, and American soldiers invaded Normandy on D-day, they knew what army they belonged to. Although some, if not most, had been conscripted for duty, it is undeniable that most of the soldiers involved in that day were there of their own volition. They wanted to be there.
Whether the commands are good unto themselves or good because of theistic declaration seems to be a “chicken and egg” argument, but it is not. Copan addresses the question by first stating that “objective moral values are an inescapable, properly basic bedrock.”
Pilate ends the discussion with the famous question from John 18:38 – “Veritas, quid verum?” Pilate then, literally, walked away from the Truth.
Video of the sermon I posted a few weeks ago on Colossians 3:1-17
Let me ask you a question. What do you understand the gospel to be? Some might answer like this: "Accept Jesus as your Savior, and when you die, you will go to Heaven." Or "Put your faith in Jesus, and your sins will be forgiven." Or "Follow Jesus, and you will find meaning and purpose for your life." All of these answers are right – but they are only partially correct. These statements are parts of the gospel, but they are not the entirety of the gospel.