Do all religions offer a piece of the truth?

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144 Responses to Do all religions offer a piece of the truth?

  1. fistfullofsteel says:

    Nathan, since you actually quoted me check the Augsburg Confession Article 9 approved by Luther himself on the subject of baptism.

    Lautensack you are going to have to clarify what you are asking me about your statement of plurality of wives.

    It’s interesting to me how all of you claim so much authority on the bible but your concept of the trinity is not biblical at all. I want to quote one of our modern day apostles on the subject, Jeffery R. Holland:

    “These various evolutions and iterations of creeds—and others to come over the centuries—declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, imminent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time. In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted “mystery of the trinity.” They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. All three persons are incomprehensible, yet it is one God who is incomprehensible.

    “We agree with our critics on at least that point—that such a formulation for divinity is truly incomprehensible. With such a confusing definition of God being imposed upon the church, little wonder that a fourth-century monk cried out, “Woe is me! They have taken my God away from me, . . . and I know not whom to adore or to address.”5 How are we to trust, love, worship, to say nothing of strive to be like, One who is incomprehensible and unknowable? What of Jesus’s prayer to His Father in Heaven that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”? (Jeffery R. Holland in the most recent general conference, can be read http://www.lds.org)

    The concept of the trinitarian Godhead was a combination of the philosophy of Plato, and christian beliefs. Those ancient creeds were definately not inspired, but are the basis for many of your concepts of the Godhead. Biblically, there is no basis.

  2. Lautensack says:

    Fistfullofsteel,
    My question on plural wives is just as I stated, which modern prophet do I believe, Joseph Smith or Wilford Woodruff though both practiced polygamy the former stated that it was essential for exaltation (D&C 132) the latter said that it was not taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (D&C Official Declaration 1).
    The trinity does include some Platonic Philosophy just as Mormonism’s version of Polytheism, so that card really does not work. The Creeds may not be inspired but they defiantly are not the basis for our doctrine of the Trinity, they simply help explain it. As for it not being biblical I would beg to differ, unless you throw out parts of Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43:10, 44:6-8, 45:5, John 1.1ff, Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-19, 1 John 5:20, just to name a few). For more on the trinity I suggest this article by Dr. James R. White as well as his book The Forgotten Trinity, ISBN 10:1556617259.
    As for the problems with our creeds, what in this creed do you disagree with?

    I. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
    II. And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;
    III. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
    IV. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell;
    V. The third day He rose again from the dead;
    VI. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
    VII. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
    VIII. I believe in the Holy Spirit.
    IX. I believe a holy catholic Church, the communion of saints;
    X. The forgiveness of sins;
    XI. The resurrection of the body;
    XII. And the life everlasting. Amen.

    Lautensack

  3. Ralph says:

    Lautensack, We believe both prophets. Wilford Woodruff did not say that we do not believe in polygamy any more, he just said that God does not want us to practice it at this point in time because of the political fall-out against the Church if we still continued with it – ie the Church leaders would be thrown in prison, the members possessions would be forfeited to the government, etc (read the declaration to see all the points he made about this). The only people who were allowed to have more than one wife were those who God told to have more – not every man was allowed. Although some men did take another wife when they were not told to, this was not allowed by the Church, which is why polygamy was also taught against by the leaders to make it clear. So both porphets are correct – we believe in polygamy, but God has not told anyone at this point in time to take another wife. As for it being essential for exaltation, we do believe that those who never had the proper opportunity to do what was necessary in this life (eg baptism, etc) will not have that held against them at judgement.

    As for the creed, point 3 is the only one I disagree with. We believe that God is Jesus’s true father, not the Holy Spirit. I am not sure about number 4 and the descending into hell. We teach that Jesus descended below all things but I am not sure if that means into hell. I am also not sure about the ‘holy Catholic church’ aspect, I guess it depends on what you mean by catholic.

  4. fistfullofsteel says:

    Lautensack,

    The scriptures you have shared concerning your trinatarian concept or God do little to prove your point. Most of them say that God is the only one God and there were none before or after him, and one mentions the invisible God. There is only one God LDS worship, God the Father. That’s true, what’s your point there? What could be the meaning of the use ‘invisible God’ Does it mean God is invisible, and no one will ever see him cause he is invisible? Nah, he can choose to be invisible if he wants, and not many have probably actually seen him. But he can also choose to show himself. What form does God have when he shows himself then? Does he have a body? Now, where are your scriptures which say God is unknowable without feelings, parts, or passions? Also, how is he consubstantial? Certainly they are ONE in purpose, but they are not literally one, this makes no sense. When Jesus was baptized, God was not talking to himself, “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” Matt 3:17. You think God was putting on a show, being baptized by John, at the same time talking from heaven about himself, with whom he was well pleased? Honestly, you can’t expect me to believe this. The concept of the Godhead in the LDS church makes sense and is also supported by scripture. In fact, an interesting note is that Eusebius, the father of the early christian history from the 3rd century had many of the same beliefs that the LDS church has as well. For more on that visit: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=a6e40b2e72c1c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

    By the way I am unfamiliar with the last creed you mentioned, but for the most part it seems okay. Although I know in between Christ’s death and resurrection he visited the world of spirits, 1 Peter 3:18-20, 4:6. D&C 138. Please do not comment on this unless you’ve read D&C 138.

  5. Lautensack says:

    Fistfullofsteel:
    That is the Apostles Creed, and it explains a portion of the trinity, not the whole thing, as say the Athanasian creed does, but nevertheless it explains that we do not believe that God the Father is God the Son and neither are God the Holy Spirit. We believe in three distinct persons of all comprised of the being of God. I totally agree that Jesus was not being schizophrenic at His baptism, but His Father in heaven was actually speaking to Him. We are not Modelists which we are so often accused of by LDS and other members of other faiths. We are Trinitarian, and anyone who says Jesus is the Father is a heretic. Oh and I wasn’t debating the creed I was wondering if you found anything horrible with it. As for D&C 138, I have read it and understand it is how you reconcile the passages about hell with your Mormon Gospel, sort of as a catch all to contradict Alma 34:32-35, however then we would have to wonder who was the true prophet Alma or Joseph F. Smith? Oh and Eusebius was a student of Arian and Origen, two heretics, from whom most of his doctrine originated, yet he later rejected his prior errors that were heresies and agreed with the Nicene Creed.

    Ralph please explain how it can be that the Church does not teach that Plural Marriage is essential for exaltation (D&C 132) and the Official Declaration 1, either you are not teaching it and as such Joseph Smith Jr.’s revelation is Null and Void, or you are teaching it and Official Declaration 1 is. If the former what is the meaning of everlasting in it? If the latter then wouldn’t John Y. Barlow or some other fundamentalist group leader be the true “Prophet”?

    Lautensack

    P.S. Here is the link from my previous post to the article on the Trinity by Dr. James R. White, I did not see that it did not hyper-link, sorry http://aomin.org/trinitydef.html

  6. HankSaint says:

    One I never said claiming verbally, I have deaf mute friends who love Jesus and by His grace are saved. As for children I believe that God saves those according to His good purpose and for His glory, we must remember that both the grace and the faith are gifts of God through the Holy Spirit. We must also remember that it is by Grace through Faith for His glory. Perhaps I simply believe that little children don’t resist the Spirit like so many of those who grow older do. You’re “How can little children sin?” question makes me laugh, if you don’t believe children can and do sin then you clearly don’t have any. As for those outside the realm of child salvation, the man on the island, or the man who has never heard, see my first post on January 5th on this page.
    Lautensack

    I’m not laughing, since you never give me a full answer. Lautensack, how can a small child from infant on sin? Even to a certain age they are not accountable because they have no knowledge of right or wrong. Lautensack, lets get to this easy question, how about a newborn baby, saved or not? You stated above, “Grace Through Faith, dissect that for me? Grace without faith, or only grace with faith. Either way it sounds like until faith is shown there is no grace. Answer me yes or no, those who never get a chance to hear the plan of salvation, are they given the free gift of salvation, (saved). If there is only a heaven or hell, where do they go. Pretty simple question, would appreciate an honest answer.

  7. Lautensack says:

    HankSaint wrote:
    I’m not laughing, since you never give me a full answer. Lautensack, how can a small child from infant on sin? Even to a certain age they are not accountable because they have no knowledge of right or wrong. Lautensack, lets get to this easy question, how about a newborn baby, saved or not? You stated above, “Grace Through Faith, dissect that for me? Grace without faith, or only grace with faith. Either way it sounds like until faith is shown there is no grace. Answer me yes or no, those who never get a chance to hear the plan of salvation, are they given the free gift of salvation, (saved). If there is only a heaven or hell, where do they go. Pretty simple question, would appreciate an honest answer.
    One you have a false assumption that knowledge of sin, or knowledge of right and wrong is necessary for one to sin, see Genesis 3. So how do infants sin, they put themselves before God, as is our nature to do, we are selfish. This is why the affects of sin affect us all. We are sinful creatures who by Grace come to Faith. It Grace is what allows us to have Faith, by Grace through faith, without being drawn by the Father we will never come to the Son. And we must remember that God works all things for the good of those who love Him according to His good purpose. The fundamental flaw in your argument is that you assume that man saves himself or has anything to do with his own salvation and that it is not the work of God, all man does is resist or accept by faith, nothing more. I pray that you stop resisting the Spirit as those who came before you that thought that their own righteousness was enough, for it was not the righteousness of God.

    Lautensack

  8. Arthur Sido says:

    Hanksaint,

    Following up on your comment and question to Lautensack…

    Your argument is long on sentimentality and wishful thinking and short of Scripture. No one likes to think of kids, especially their own kids, as sinners but one does not mysteriously become accountable at a certain age. Sin is something we all have to deal with, by our human nature, and we all are accountable for our sin and that sin has very real consequences to every human being. There is no remedy for sin outside of Christ and Him crucified.

    What you are missing, which is unfortunately not reserved just to cults but to many Christian individuals and denominations as well, is that sin is not a list of actions, i.e. action A, B and C are sins so if you avoid them you are OK. Sin is a state of being, the natural condition of man. Scripture is painfully clear on this, man is dead in trespasses and sins, the every thought of man from his youth is evil, there are none righteous: not children, not preachers, certainly not Joseph Smith. All people are born into a state of sin (through one man’s transgression all men fell).

    Ignorance of God’s law is not an excuse; otherwise we should call the missionaries home and let people die in their ignorance. The Law is reflective of the holy nature of God and the standard is perfect obedience, an obedience that even the most righteous person falls short of. That failing has one penalty for all people, death and hell, and the only hope is found in the perfect obedience of Christ on the cross. A magical, arbitrary age of eight does not change the fallen nature of people. It is certainly sentimental and makes for nice buzzwords, but a seven year old is as much a sinner as a nine year old. I have eight kids ages 14 and under, so believe me I understand the sin nature of children!

  9. fistfullofsteel says:

    Lautensack,

    First of all Alma did not contradict Joseph F. Smith. Alma was teaching a people who were being given the oppurtunity to accept the gospel. If you are approached with the gospel in this life, and you reject it, it’s not going to be easier to accept it in the life to come. Which is why Alma says in 34:34 “..for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” He was not speaking concerning those who have never heard the gospel and were not given an oppurtunity to accept or reject it. No contradiction there.

    I also read your document regarding the trinity. I must confess, it sounds somewhat similar to LDS theology. God, Christ, and the Spirit being three seperate persons? Then you do believe they are three seperate persons? Being one in purpose? You accuse LDS of practicing polytheism, but there is only one God whom worship, pray to, and give reverence and thanks for the gift of his Only Begotten Son Christ the Lord. Who died on the cross, and was resurrected unto glory, defying those who say God is a spirit.

  10. fistfullofsteel says:

    Also a word concerning children and sin in defense of what Hank has written. Moroni 8:22-24

    “For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent, and unto such baptism availeth nothing–

    But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works

    Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law”

    Children do not understand as adults, especially ones who are not taught the difference between right and wrong. While a child may transgress the law, they may not know they are, and therefore it is not a sin. A sin is when somebody knows the law, and turns against it anyway. For the record, I am not condemning anybody on this, but merely restating what the prophets have written.. Most of Moroni chapter 8 is on this very subject, it’s a good read.

  11. Lautensack says:

    Again the Trinity is One God, eternally existent in three persons, Jesus is God, the Father is God, and the Spirit is God. Yes they are one in purpose, but also nature and essence and are one Being and God is spirit. Jesus was eternally God and took on human flesh in the incarnation to become the true man. He put it on as you would put on a coat, and became man as God intended us to be had we not sinned against Him.

    Now as for the topic on the children, God could have never punished Adam and Eve, because they didn’t know right from wrong, therefore didn’t know what it meant to transgress the law. Furthermore there was no law from Adam until Moses, yet God judged the people and they died due to their transgressions even though they did not transgress in the way of Adam. Therefore your argument holds no weight. Why the law then? Paul tells us it was to increase the trespass, so that sin would increase, and as such we would more clearly know we needed to fully rely on a savior because we are rebels against God almighty, and were it not for His grace and mercy we would all partake in the lake of fire made for Satan and his angles. It is this gift that if we come to him with the open hand of faith, not weighed down by merit, saying “God look how good I’ve been you have to let me into heaven.” but rather saying “God I hate to stand before you, for you are holy and there is blood on my hands, but I know that it is only because of this blood, the blood of the Son, that I can. So again I appeal to the blood of Christ to be my all in all and take refuge in it’s grace.”

    Finally Alma does not specify anywhere that this is only for believers, and nowhere in context would it suggest that. It reads more like Jesus speaking to the scribes and leaders of the Jews, unbelievers, about their hardness of heart.

    Lautensack

  12. amanda says:

    Hi folks, missed many of you, don’t know a lot of you, but looking forward to opposing most of you in the future 😉

    This guys metaphor is completely flawed, in my opinion.

    From an LDS perspective…the metaphor would be closer to this:

    All these different meals have no comparison with arsenic…a more appropriate distinction between these different meals is that there is only one COMPLETE meal. Evangelicals offer only biscuits and gravy (at least the southern ones do- believe me, I know–I couldn’t get away from them in Virginia)…Some perhaps only offer the beverage…but the restored gospel offers the complete meal…why? because it’s CHRIST who restored it and organized it—only He knows what makes a complete meal…and I don’t believe Postum made the spread ;).

  13. HankSaint says:

    Lautensack, all that and you could not give me a simple yes or no.
    One more time, easy question, read and answer please.
    Heaven or Hell for infants that die at birth, and those who live but do not hear the word of the Lord through no fault of their own.

    Don’t give me some long discourse, which doesn’t make sense to me or others.

    Heaven or hell. These are the only two places you speak of.
    Yes or no, very simple, I not real fast on the uptake, with your long drawn out explanations.

  14. HankSaint says:

    amanda, nice to have you aboard, have you ever been to Concerned Christians. http://concernedchristians.org/board/index.php
    You would do well there, we need some sharp thinkers and the debating gets furious there 🙂

    Come check out the forum and dive in.

  15. Lautensack says:

    HankSaint,
    I can not confirm anyone else’s salvation, outside of those mentioned as brothers in the scriptures. That being said my “long drawn out explanations” were to correct errors in your assumptions, namely that you must know right from wrong in order to sin, or that you must have the law in order to sin, and to answer questions from other posts. So again I will state that I believe that God saves some children. As for scripture I use to back this up I of course call on the fore mentioned verses. I of course confirm first and foremost that God is the author and perfecter of our faith, as such that it is only by Grace that we are saved. So plainly do all infants go to hell, no, do I believe that all go to heaven, no, I believe that God does saves some according to His good purpose, could I be wrong indeed, he could save none, he could save all infants, do some go to hell, if both John the baptist and Judas Iscariot died at birth I would say that John would be in heaven and Judas would spend eternity in hell. Remember it is all in the divine providence of God, and who are you to question Him, does the Potter not have freedom over the clay? Do all infants who die, according to your our religion, obtain exaltation?

    Amanda,
    LDS Gospel is the complete meal, because Christ made it eh? That is not what your religion teaches is it? Doesn’t it teach in order to obtain the complete meal (exaltation) one must prepare the meal himself or herself? Rather biblical/historical Christianity offers the complete meal, why because Christ prepared it all Himself offering Himself as the Bread of Life, those who eat of Him will never go hungry, and the Living Water, those who drink of Him will never thirst, all we are to do is by Faith eat and drink this Grace. Christ prepared and is the entire meal, because in our silly state if we were to prepare it we would drown the meal in the arsenic of pride, which is the mother of all sins, and self righteousness.

    Lautensack

  16. HankSaint says:

    Lautensack, it must be hard for you to explain the loss of a newborn child to a grieving mother and father. Well, sister, your child did sin, we are not quiet sure where he or she will abide for eternity except to quote you these scriptures of comfort and healing. Now, since God is gracious and all loving He will decide based on how they would have lived, example John of Judas. Even thought the Potter (creator) created you child He has final say, (freedom) to make that judgement. Now if he was a child of a Mormon, Sister, they claim he, she will be exalted.

    Brother, sister, where are you going? Turn back, those missionaries will just lead you astray. We don’t know what’s going to happen to your child, but they will only preach false doctrine, making you believe your lost child is in the loving Hands of God. This is terrible stuff, and they are wrong, God never revealed to us anymore than, ” it is all in the divine providence of God, and who are you to question Him”.

  17. Daniel says:

    Hank, that’s a great appeal to emotion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion) there.

    Try reading through Romans 9 (esp. 11-13) where it talks about Jacob and Esau, and how God chose them before they were born. I’m not going to be so audacious as to claim that I know and understand everything that God does. But, I can rest in knowing that no matter what happens, it is God’s will that it happen. Even if my two boys (2 and 4 mo.) die, even if they go to hell (which I wouldn’t know until I died myself anyway, so it doesn’t really change a whole lot), I will glorify God because He is sovereign and I am not.

  18. amanda says:

    Lautensack,

    I am not surprised at your characterization. I am fully aware that evangelicals think that we mormons don’t give full credit to Christ for His atonement…and this is a common error evangelicals make in characterizing our faith. This mistake is made, I believe, by misunderstanding our beliefs of personal responsibility to Christ and our attempts to fulfill the new law He lays out in the sermon on the mount–and what he has asked of us through modern revelation and through the restoration of His gospel. If doing what Christ has asked somehow negates His role as my Savior— You’ve lost me. Evangelicals teach an important but incomplete portion of what His gospel entails. Evangelicals believe Grace is the only component in His gospel– but He is also concerned with our growth and progress–and this can only be accomplished by using our agency to walk faithfully–he cannot force us to learn and grow–but his grace ENABLES this important process of growth.

    Christ has set the bar for those who truly follow him…faith without works is dead—and these works don’t save me, they teach me if I follow in faith. I cannot learn without his Grace because I will be bogged down with sin…but if I accept his gift of forgiveness then I can more faithfully follow His plan and grow in His gospel, eventually leading me to live with my Heavenly Father again.

  19. Lautensack says:

    Actually HankSaint, this just happened in my Church, and through the death of their child a father and husband was brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. Why because her fate was not in her own hands but in the hands of our Sovereign Lord God. I see what you are saying and it is true false teachers will lead some astray, mainly because they don’t like the bible and they don’t like the true God and thus create one who doesn’t offend them. Oh and you never actually answered my question.

    Amanda, I am not talking about salvation “after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23) though that right there could at least prove that there are some works of merit involved. I of course am talking about Exaltation, which would be your “Complete meal” according to your analogy. Are we exalted by grace, apart from dead works of merit, our filthy rags, or is it something that we do which brings Godhood to those who do not have their “progression” cutoff?

    Lautensack

  20. Arthur Sido says:

    Daniel,

    Amen to that. To try and force upon God our sinful human standards makes a mockery of His holiness. Better to admit that God’s ways are not man’s ways than to lead people astray with appeals to emotion (as is the case in a number of mormon videos on the eternal family which use that exact scenario, the death of a child, to callously entice grieving parents into believing a lie to comfort their hearts.) Mormonism in this doctrine, and virtually every other, makes an idol of God by molding Him to fit sinner’s perceptions no differently than the golden calf the Israelites formed. They were worshipping the God of the Bible, but in the way they chose in a manner pleasing to them, not to God.

    Hank,

    Having a comforting way to explain the loss of the newborn is great for easing the minds of grieving parents and your conscience, but a lie is still a lie. Appealing to the Word of God rarely gives easy, pat answers but it never promises to. The stark reality of mankind’s rebellion against God should not be easy for us to swallow, and using soothing manmade explanations doesn’t make them right. Christ rarely spoke in a warm, fuzzy manner because the truth can be hard to hear for the sinner (See John 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”). Whether a person lives 9 days or 99 years, the fact is that they are a sinner and deserving of hell. The age that they die is irrelevant, only their standing with God through Christ will make any difference in the eternal fate.

  21. Arthur Sido says:

    Amanda,

    We recognize what mormons teach, but what mormonism teaches is at odds with what the Bible teaches. Mormons misunderstand sanctification as separate from salvation. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ was not describing how to be saved but how one should leave to be pleasing to God. Where mormon understanding of soteriology falls down (other than the entire system being based on a false view of God), is in a total misrepresentation of the sin nature of man, how debilitating it is, how truly dead we are in our sins. That is common when you seek a source of authority outside and above the Word of God.

    This is evidenced in the mormon preoccupation with personal worthiness. I am worthy to be baptized, I am worthy to enter the temple, I am worthy to receive exaltation. The Bible teaches us that none are worthy of anything given them by God, other than judgment, and it is His worthiness alone, apart from our works that saves His sheep. The idea of grace enabling you to work yourself to heaven is merely repackaging works based salvation, that all people are able through their own righteousness and good works to become worthy.

  22. fistfullofsteel says:

    Lautensack,

    The verses you have cited in Alma 34:32-35 are strictly dealing with those who have willingly rebelled against God in this life, notice the wording, “as ye have had so many witnesses”. They had multiple witnesses of the truth. This is totally different than those who have never even had a chance to hear the gospel. The people who he was preaching to were the Zoramites, who knew the gospel, but had been rebelling against the church, and establishing their own churches. To understand the story in it’s entirety, read from Alma 31-34.

  23. Lautensack says:

    Fistfullofsteel, my mistake, it seems that they did have some form of gospel spoken to them. However I must wonder where Romans 1:18ff fits into your theology. Also how did Joseph F. Smith make the same mistake that his uncle Joseph Smith Jr. made citing Elias and Elijah as two separate people when they were in fact the same person One the Greek transliteration one the Hebrew transliteration. Clearly a prophet of God receiving direct revelation from God would know that they were two different people.

    For your convince Romans 1:18-25 (Bold emphasis mine):
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

    19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

    20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

    23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

    25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    Lautensack

  24. amanda says:

    Arthur Sido,

    The bible I read lines up quite nicely with the Book of Mormon… with the restored gospel. It is time to be more intellectually honest and claim the ONLY difference you can claim– we interpret God’s word differently.

    It never ceases to amaze me that evangelicals consistently and erroneously claim that what we believe is not consistent with the bible. But considering history (colonial American history and early Christianity) it shouldn’t surprise me in the least, as it is true to form.

    This is such a fundamental issue with Christianity leading back to after Christ’s death. In early Christianity, religious leaders/intellectuals (proto-orthodox christians and those who would later be considered heretics merely because they lost intellectual and physical battles) fought back and forth in writings and in physical altercations (that lasted centuries) in order to establish what interpretations would be considered “orthodox”. This is what LDS commonly refer to as “apostasy”. There was no true voice on the earth to speak in the name of God–so confusion and corruption abounded. Joseph Smith encountered a similar (but on a smaller scale) dynamic in New England as he was searching for authority on God’s word as they all taught different doctrines. And through his searching he unwittingly became the conduit the Lord would use to restore His gospel. So deny it all you wish…I see these marginalizing remarks regarding mormonism as rejection of further revelation from God (through the Book of Mormon and modern day prophets) and the worshiping of the Bible instead of God. Let’s ask God what He thinks about mormonism, instead of what your specific religion tells you about the bible.

    Mormons wouldn’t have anywhere to go if an evangelical said, “Hey, I have prayed about the book of mormon, and don’t believe it is the word of God”. Trying to disprove through logic and reason (pride) something regarding FAITH is a very weak position that avails nothing.

  25. Daniel says:

    Amanda, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen evangelicals on here say that they’ve prayed about the BoM and don’t believe it is the word of God. It’s been at least a couple, take my word for it. And these aren’t just people who have nothing better to do than tear down Mormon doctrine because they get a kick out of it; I believe one of the ev. posters is married to a Mormon and goes to her ward every week. I dated a Mormon for a stretch in high school, as I believe Aaron did also.

    And actually, from what I’ve seen here as well, the claims that mormon doctrine don’t line up with the Bible come more from the “other” scriptures you have: the book of Abraham, D&C, WoW…I certainly won’t disagree with you that you interpret the Bible differently, though, that is for sure. The question is, who is right? As for me, I’ve certainly prayed about it, and I’m pretty satisfied with the conclusion I’ve come to…and it’s more than just a warm fuzzy feeling.

  26. Arthur Sido says:

    Amanda,

    I am a former mormon, so I have prayed about the book of mormon. I can say with all confidence that it is not the Word of God. I can also say that what goes on in the temple is not of God, and certainly not Biblical.

    This I know for certain, that what mormonism teaches about God, about Christ, about man, about sin & salvation, all are at odds with the Bible. To say that we worship the Bible instead of God is a old charge, as silly as it is untrue. What we know about God we know only through His Word. Christians revere the Bible, but we worship the author of that Word not the Word itself. You said “It never ceases to amaze me that evangelicals consistently and erroneously claim that what we believe is not consistent with the bible.”. I would be happy to pick a particular, specific topic and compare mormon beliefs with what the Bible claims, rather than making sweeping generalizations and blanket denials. It is not simply a matter of interpretation, and it is not just the BoM that is at issue since most of the distinctive mormon beliefs are not found in the BoM but in other “scriptures”.

    I certainly do, as you put it, reject further revelation. God’s Word is complete and whenever I hear anyone say they have “new” revelation, I regard it with suspicion, especially when that new revelation contradicts God’s Word. God’s Word is complete and has been for thousands of years. There is simply no need for new revelation. God has not changed, the Gospel has not changed and people have not changed. We are still the same sinful creatures that seek to reform God in our image, whether in the form of idols or in remolding God to our own image. When he was confused about religion, if that story is at all true, instead of more diligently seeking God in His Word, Joseph Smith sought to create a new god that was more palatable to himself.

  27. Lautensack says:

    Hey Amanda I prayed about the Book of Mormon, on more than one occasion and do not believe it is the word of God, as I am sure many of the other Christians on this site have. However a Mormon will say we were not sincere or did not have a contrite spirit or did not want it to be true. And disregard our own existential experiences, therefore we give reasons that we do not Trust, do not have Faith in the Book of Mormon. This is because while people all over the world might have a spiritual experience with the One True God, to say that He is the only spiritual being at work in the world would be a false assumption. Frankly spiritual experiences are not self authenticating, lest the Islamic Jihadist’s experience telling him to bomb America is the same as yours or mine. This is why God gave us revelation, because the Greeks sought wisdom and the Jews a sign, but the foolishness of Christ crucified as a propitiation for our sins is the way of God. There are of course at least two fundamental flaws in your argument, the fore mentioned and that your concept of Faith. Is your reason for you trust, your faith in the book of Mormon based on something intangible, an existential experience or is it based upon something more? Why do I believe the Bible is the word of God, and put my faith in its teachings, because there is no other book like it on earth. Composed over a time of more than 1400 years, consisting of 66 separate writings, by more than 40 authors, all about 1 man, Jesus Christ, God become Flesh, eternal Son of the Eternal Father. What’s more there were tons of prophecies about this main character, all of them fulfilled in Jesus. This book has been proven historically accurate finding civilizations mentioned in it where they were mentioned in it. Seems like a good thing to place my trust in, and I can’t say that about any of the Mormon Scriptures. While faith is important, what your faith, your trust is in is more important.

    Lautensack

  28. fistfullofsteel says:

    Lautensack,

    Elijah and Elias were in fact two seperate persons. Although the Elias spoken of in the New Testament was in fact Elijah. For more on that check the following links.

    Elias:
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bd/e/30

    Elijah:
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bd/e/33

    Your appeal to the scripture in Romans 1:18-25 doesn’t suggest to me anything about those who have never had a chance to hear the gospel. To me it reads that the things of God have been before us ever since we were born, such as the beauty of the universe, of our earth, etc., and that these things show that their is some supreme organizer and creator. A witness if you will that there is a God. And many of people falsely attributed the glory of God’s creations to dumb idols. But this in no way suggests to me that those who haven’t been given sufficient opportunity in this life to hear and accept the true gospel will never be given the chance. Some people are much more privileged than others. For instance, you have access to the Bible, it is much easier for you to have faith in and believe in God because of what you’ve read in the scriptures, than it is for somebody who grew up on some remote island 500 B.C. What if this particular person had no Bible, and was taught the tradition of his parents or society in which he lived which were wrong? That person has not been given a fair enough opportunity. But the good news is they will, since God is no respecter of persons, and sends his rain on the just and the unjust.

  29. Lautensack says:

    LDS Bible Dictionary Elias(emphasis mine):
    It is the N.T. (Greek) form of Elijah (Hebrew), as in Luke 4:25-26, James 5:17, and Matt. 17:1-4. Elias in these instances can only be the ancient prophet Elijah whose ministry is recorded in 1 and 2 Kings. The curious wording of JST Mark 9:3 does not imply that the Elias at the Transfiguration was John the Baptist, but that in addition to Elijah the prophet, John the Baptist was present.
    I must of course wonder why Luke would specifically say that there were only two men present with Jesus at the transfiguration(Luke 9:30), and Peter according to all three accounts would make tents for three people, Jesus included.
    Again from the LDS Bible Dictionary Elijah(emphasis mine):
    We learn from latter-day revelation that Elijah held the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood and was the last prophet to do so before the time of Jesus Christ. He appeared on the Mount in company with Moses (also translated) and conferred the keys of the priesthood on Peter, James, and John (Matt. 17: 3).
    So clearly it was Elijah the Prophet who was on the mount of transfiguration with Moses not John the Baptist by your own sources. Of course the LDS Bible dictionary in the topic of John the Baptist says nothing about the transfiguration. Thus the question from my previous post stands, how did Joseph F. Smith make the same mistake that his uncle Joseph Smith Jr. made citing Elias and Elijah as two separate people when they were in fact the same person one the Greek transliteration one the Hebrew transliteration? Clearly a prophet of God receiving direct revelation from God would know that they were two different people.

    As for Romans 1:18ff I must of course understand how you define sufficient, because Paul seems to think that the Glory of Creation is sufficient to know that there is a God, and that you are not him, that you have sinned against Him, must fall down, and trust Him alone to be saved.

    Lautensack

  30. amanda says:

    Leutensack,

    “I prayed about the Book of Mormon, on more than one occasion and do not believe it is the word of God, as I am sure many of the other Christians on this site have”

    I have no reason to reject this answer you have given as it is you who will stand before God at the last day and answer for yourself.

    Alright, now we are getting somewhere. You and others (you believe, and I’m sure that is the case) have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and claim to know that it is not the word of God. Case closed? Of course not! Apparently there is still a need to discuss the topic of Mormonism? Why?

    Some have said, “Well, we do this because we love LDS and want them to come to Christ”. Then I suggest that you start focusing on what YOUR faith has to offer rather than nitpick LDS doctrines and beliefs.

    You don’t sell a GMC by discussing the lack of color options when purchasing a Honda, and oh, by the way, some Honda executive drinks Postum and we just can’t have that- it causes cancer!! It seems a bit ridiculous because you’d think the GMC would sell on its’ own merits. Apparently the mormon brand is catching the attention of the investigating demographic and quite literally effecting the evangelical bottom line.

    Mormons apparently pose some kind of threat to evangelicals. If we didn’t, they wouldn’t waste their time discussing it as often as they do, and attempting to cast us as outsiders and brand us a cult (even though bishops don’t tell their congregation who to vote for like pastors and preachers–evangelicals even let their pastors tell them what Mormons believe). LDS do not have ministries denigrating evangelical beliefs (even though there is plenty of subject matter)– we send our young men and women out to preach what the Savior has to offer mankind. We love our faith, and want to share it with the world.

  31. fistfullofsteel says:

    Lautensack, I want to cite verse 18 of Romans chapter 1:

    “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”

    Now we see in verse 18, that the wrath of God is against those who.. hold the truth in unrighteousness

    Now Paul in verse 20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

    Paul gives reasons in verse 20 for stating how they should know there is a God, and then states “so that they are without excuse”.

    To me this suggests he was speaking about those who in verse 18 “hold the truth in unrighteousness”

    Now I don’t know which version of the Bible you are using but I am quoting from the KJV. Again, I don’t see your interpretation.

    I will get to the Elias/Elijah thing when I have more time..

  32. Arthur Sido says:

    Amanda, your argument is specious. First, if you have ever gone car shopping and suggested to a dealer that you were considering other makes of cars, you are darn right that they denigrate their competition, or at least declare a competitive advantage. I am a banker and I wouldn’t get very far by saying “yeah we offer loans but you can get those anywhere. Whatever”. Rather, I keep up to speed on my competition, what they offer and what I offer and why my product is superior. Second, we aren’t talking about cars but souls. If you buy a cruddy car, it is inconvenient. If you put your faith in a false religion it has eternal consequences. I make not a dime off the collection plate, so it makes no financial difference to me whether or not you believe in Christ or mormonism. My motivation is that God saved me from myself, from my contentment and pride in mormonism and showed me the Gospel of Jesus Christ in His Word. Because of His sovereign mercy I feel compelled to share my experiences in mormonism and educate mormons and non-mormons alike as to the differences between what the Bible teaches and what the mormon “prophets” teach.

    “LDS do not have ministries denigrating evangelical beliefs (even though there is plenty of subject matter)– we send our young men and women out to preach what the Savior has to offer mankind. We love our faith, and want to share it with the world.”

    You don’t? Is it not mormon dogma that Joseph Smith claimed that God the Father told him all existing Christian denomination were an abomination in His sight? I don’t know about you, but me calling mormonism a cult or false religion pales when compared to claiming that God Himself described the church that I go to, that I assume Lautensack goes to, that Aaron and Bill McKeever attend are all accursed in the eyes of God. So spare us the innocent “we just want to share” line. Your missionaries are out to convert people and baptize them as mormons. At least let’s be honest about that much.

  33. Jacob5 says:

    But the ironic thing is, you take up the very position that you claim that we do with Joseph Smith’s first vision. I mean, when you take up with a particular faith, are you not saying that all other faiths, in your eyes, are not the true course. Otherwise, why even have any protestant churches. Would not not be sufficient to say just have one single church but then have particular groups in that church make up their own specific views on what that church believes.
    However we say that there is one faith and one way. We only take a stance that is the general stance of all religions, we just don’t make these blind statements that, well, they follow a similar set of doctrines, so they must also be acceptable as well. Then what is the difference between your church and theirs. Couldn’t attending their church be just as acceptable as attending your church.
    And here we have the whole “mormonism is a cult” deal. That is original. You know for a while, when I was young, when I thought of cults, I thought of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. You remember the leader would reach into people’s chest and pull out there heart and then the heart would catch on fire as the poor soul would be cast into the lava. Great movie by the way. Come on, can you think of any new material. We worship God, but not like you. We teach about Christ, but not like you. We believe in prophets, you don’t. We have modern revelation, you don’t. Now, simply saying we teach certain things differently makes us a cult. I can turn that argument right around and say you are a cult because you deny everything we teach. But I refrain because I simply believe we have different beliefs and I don’t believe you to be a cult.

  34. Lautensack says:

    Fistfullofsteel, I agree with your exegesis of Romans 1:18 and 20, verse twenty is talking about those same people mentioned in verse 18, those who suppress the truth, even within themselves. God has made known His truth to all men since the creation of the world. this is why Paul says in verse 19 “what may be known of God is manifest in them” this is about any man who has ungodliness or is unrighteous for the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Unless you claim that any are without sin this wrath is directed at man, woman, and child “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26)It is by the propitiation of His blood that that wrath is satisfied through faith.

    Lautensack

  35. Jacob5 says:

    James Chapter two. The words are as plain as the paper they are written on. Faith without works is dead. It even uses Abraham as an example. Please let me know if their is any ambiguity.

  36. Lautensack says:

    Jacob5,
    I agree with James 100%, faith without works is dead, Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. Not Abraham did something for God it was the belief that was counted as righteousness. Faith is trust, so if I truly trust God, of course I am going to do things, however it is not the things I do but the trust I have that is counted as righteousness. Think of it this way, I have a parachute, thats great, but unless I actually jump out of the plane, I really don’t trust, don’t have faith in the parachute. Paul echoes this in Romans 4:1ff Ephesians 3:8-10 and Titus 3:3-8, clarifying it is the belief and not the works that save, but the works are the natural outpouring of faith.
    Another thing to note is “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” (James 2:25) Rahab was not upholding the law here, actually she was breaking it by lying, yet the lie (the work) justified her? No it was the faith that justified her, for had she not believed the spies, had faith in the spies, she would have turned them over, but as it was, she did have faith, she did believe, and because of her belief, she exercised her belief through a lie, a work that broke the law. So was it her lie that justified her or her faith? I submit it was her faith, her belief, from which the lie (the work) flowed from, but thank you for bringing up the topic of saving faith, faith not it our works, but God, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, but to get the full kick read Ephesians1:3-2:10)

    Lautensack

  37. Arthur Sido says:

    Jacob5,

    “We believe in prophets, you don’t.”. Not exactly. We believe in prophets, but we don’t believe in false prophets, the very prophets we are warned about again and again and again in the Bible. The New Testament and the Old both make no provision for ecumenical dialogue with false prophets, for false gods. Ask the “prophets” of Baal who were defeated by Elijah. They believed they were prophets, but God showed them that they were wrong.

    “We worship God, but not like you. We teach about Christ, but not like you.” It is not difference in the manner of worship, it is a difference in the object of worship. There is a huge difference between worshipping the eternal, uncreated, unchanging God of the Bible and the created god, the exalted man of mormonism. There is a huge difference between Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the eternal God of the Bible and the created Jesus of mormonism.

    “Come on, can you think of any new material.” Well no, not really. Biblical truth is timeless, and has not changed. The Gospel is the same 2000 years later, and needs no reinterpretation, no restoration. The lies spun by Joseph Smith are similar to lies spun by early heretics, by worshippers of pagans in the Old Testament times and by a certain serpent.

    As far as faith and works, no one ever says that works have no merit or are to be rejected. Out of gratitude for our salvation and as an act of worship we do works in the name of Christ. The difference is that Christians do work BECAUSE they are saved, mormons do works to BE saved. I don’t believe there is an ambiguity in that statement. All the meritorious works mentioned in the Bible are done not because they are salvific but because they are done in faith. Only one work has ever had any merit, and that is the work of Christ on the cross. All other works lack any ability to save.

  38. Jacob5 says:

    Arthur Sido: You say that you do believe that there are prophets. Yet you try to use the simplicity of the idea that simply because the bible says that there are false prophets that our prophet is false. Some have said that we should prove by the bible that our prophet is true, but I say to you prove by modern revelation that our prophet is false. And if you do believe in prophets, are they only those found in the bible? So if I understand you correctly that there are no prophets sense the bible. If so, the bible doesn’t say there will not be anymore prophets. It only says that there will be false prophets. I agree that there have been and are false prophets. But to stretch the logic that a. there will be false prophets to b. all will be prophets is a bit much. If I do error in this statement, please explain, and then point out any prophet since the bible that was not a false prophet.
    Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7) So, if this true than, if there be no prophets, then surely there is nothing for God to tell us today. But if my statement is not true, then, if there is something that God will reveal, then surely there must at some point be a prophet. Then if that be true, when? And who? I submit to you that we do receive revelation today because God is still speaking to us.

  39. Jacob5 says:

    sorry I slipped up “b. all will be false prophets is a bit much.”

  40. Arthur Sido says:

    Jacob,

    “Some have said that we should prove by the bible that our prophet is true, but I say to you prove by modern revelation that our prophet is false.” As a rule, Christians hold “modern revelation” to be inherently false in that the Bible, and the Bible alone is the standard of what God has said. The Bible has been around for thousands of years, mormon prophets have come on the scene fairly recently and their doctrines directly contradict the Word of God. The issue here is that I and all other Christians hold the Bible to be authoritative, so if what a man who claims to be a prophet says contradicts the Bible, then therefore he is a false prophet. To argue the reverse makes no sense from a Scriptural standpoint. The Word of God is not held hostage to the claims of men, men are held to account by the Word of God. Besides, can you tell me any modern revelation that has occurred since God allegedly changed His mind about blacks in the priesthood? What modern revelation has the mormon church received?

    “point out any prophet since the bible that was not a false prophet.” I am not sure I understand your question. I do not believe there have been any genuinely prophetic voices since the Bible. Some men have spoken with clarity and have a gift for expositing God’s Word, men like Luther and Calvin and Spurgeon, but they are not prophets in the sense that mormonism holds, they did not reveal new “modern revelation” but preach the old Gospel truths.

    “I submit to you that we do receive revelation today because God is still speaking to us.” Certainly God is still speaking with us today, but in His Word not in prophets. Ponder these words “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.(Hebrews 1:1-2) God formerly used prophets, but now has spoken finally and completely in Christ & His Word.

  41. Ralph says:

    Arthur, I guess from these words you have written (and others use a lot) –

    “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.(Hebrews 1:1-2) God formerly used prophets, but now has spoken finally and completely in Christ & His Word.

    that anything after Jesus had spoken is not God’s word and thus either adding onto God’s word or is false. I understand your words this way because you stated “but now has spoken finally and completely in Christ & His Word”. If we take it at face value then all of the NT after the Gospels is not God’s word and thus is false.

    It’s OK though because as Aaron pointed out in an earlier posting it says in the Gospel of John that everything we need to know for our salvation is written in that gospel.

    So I guess from now on, anyone who believes in Bible only and uses this scripture (ie Hebrews 1:1-2) as proof, is limited to using only the Gospels to state their case thus nullifying this argument :).

  42. Arthur Sido says:

    Ralph, you are completely missing the point. I was responding to Jacob regarding “modern revelation” and mormon “prophets”. My point is that the prophets of the Old Testament pointed to the Christ to come, and God spoke through them. As the writer of Hebrews points out, and as I was saying (I thought clearly) God spoke finally and completely in His Son. Therefore we have no need of modern “prophets” because the Bible is complete and sufficient. The writers of the New Testament are not recording new revelation but are witnesses of Christ. Add to that the fact that mormon “prophets” contradict the teachings of Christ and His Word, and what you are left with are men who claim to speak for God, but are instead false prophets preaching another gospel.

  43. Ralph says:

    Arthur, I did get your point, but did you get my 2 points? You say “The writers of the New Testament are not recording new revelation but are witnesses of Christ” What is “THE BOOK OF REVELATION” but revelation! None of it is found in the Gospels so it’s NEW revelation. Peter also received NEW revelation to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. New revelations are found throughout the NT. So according to you the scripture in Hebrews means Jesus is the last word – so all things in the rest of the NT after the Gospels is not from God or is false. A favourite of someone’s on this site says something about if an angel preached another gospel… What about those who wrote new revelations after Jesus? Does this come under the verse in Revelations about adding to the word of God and having the plagues of this book added to them?

    My second point was tongue in cheek. I could use a number of scripture verses to deconstruct the Bible – I’ve done it with some non-believer friends who have a good knowledge of the Bible. Its fun. I’ve also done it to my own faith. It is really a character builder as it makes you think “Why do I believe in that?”. But using this verse in Hebrews, it can mean that everything after the Gospels is not scripture and thus should not be in the Bible. But then once removed from the Bible everything after the Gospels can be included as scripture which means that that verse is again in the scriptures, so … And here we have the classic “There’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza!”

  44. Arthur Sido says:

    Ralph, space doesn’t permit me to go over the canonicity of the New Testament works, but again at the risk of being repetitive, the issue is that the Apostles (including Paul) were witnesses of Christ in His earthly ministry or shortly after the Resurrection. There is nothing added to the Gospel, that is that Christ came to save sinners and died on a cross for His people, rising again on the third day in the other New Testament writings. You pointed out that Peter is commanded to take the Gospel to the Jews. Very true, but IT IS THE SAME MESSAGE that we find in the four Gospels. There is not new doctrine being revealed, new truths that were left out. The Book of Acts recorded the acts of the Apostles in taking the Gospel to the world, not in making up new revelation whole cloth. The Book of Revelation is not a new set of Gospel truths but a prophecy of the second coming of Christ. Again, nothing is added or subtracted from the Gospel.

    What differentiates the mormon doctrines from the Bible is not timeframes, but theology. When a scholar writes a commentary of the book of Romans, he is trying to clarify and explain the writings, but he is not trying to make up a new gospel. What Joseph Smith wrote when he came up with the book of mormon was present a different gospel, a different manner and means of salvation. He speaks of a different gospel that comes from a different Jesus who is the literal son of a different god. The words mormonism uses are the same but their meaning is starkly different from the same words used in the Bible. You asked the question: “What about those who wrote new revelations after Jesus?” My response is this, that there are no “new revelations” in the epistles that impact the Gospel. Sure there are revelations of God commanding the Gospel be taken outside of Jewish circles to the Gentiles, the details of the Second Coming in Thessalonians and Revelation, but these works build upon and clarify the original Gospel message.

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