Evangelicals reject the doctrines of apostolic authority and succession. This is of great consequence since (1) it's regarding the constitution of the Church itself and (2) if they are wrong in this rejection, evangelicals have rejected the Church established by Jesus himself.
I have a challenge for evangelicals:
Find one example of a Christian group, or even a single individual, in the first 1000 years of the faith who rejected apostolic authority and succession.
Ok, so that's actually pretty easy. Any student of early Church history knows that there were lots of groups that rejected apostolic authority and succession, e.g. the Montanists, Manicheans, etc. They all had on thing in common: every single one of them would be considered heretical by evangelicals (as well as by Catholics).
So here's my real challenge for evangelicals:
Find one example of an orthodox group or individual in the first 1000 years of the faith that rejected apostolic authority and succession. (I'll allow you to define what's orthodox pretty much however you want, assuming here that the definition would be in the ballpark of what most evangelicals believe today.)
To my knowledge, there is not a single group, not even a single individual, of which we have any historical record in the first 1000 years after Christ who was not heretical by the standards of evangelicals. Not a single one.
The answer as to why this was the case is also an easy one for any student of early Church history: Every single orthodox Christian believed that apostolic authority and succession was instituted by Jesus, that the successors were guided by the Holy Spirit, and that therefore any teaching that went against the teaching of the apostolic Church must be wrong. In other words, apostolic authority and succession was the means by which orthodoxy was distinguished from heterodoxy. (To be clear, it's not that orthodoxy is made to be true because the bishops taught it. Instead, the bishops, because of their Holy Spirit guided authority, teach the truth - and do so infallibly under certain conditions, e.g. ecumenical council, etc.)
Read the rest here.