Video Now Online: “Those Abominable Creeds”, by Ron Huggins

This seemed like a relevant post given the recent discussion on Jehovah.

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97 Responses to Video Now Online: “Those Abominable Creeds”, by Ron Huggins

  1. GB says:

    Megan,

    “That is why God sent Himself to us”

    Wrong!!! God sent His Son! The Bible is clear on this.

    “but they believe that God was once a human who worked His way to godhood.”

    Although that doesn’t accurately describe our belief, I will say that what we believe is clearly stated in John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what HE SEETH THE FATHER DO: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (emphasis mine).

    If you look at what the Son did, then you know what the Father also did. Jesus, Himself said it and we believe it. Now you are free to not believe Jesus if you don’t want to.

    “In contrast, Jesus was not born to work His way to godhood, He already was God.”

    Another inaccurate representation of our beliefs. We believe that prior to the physical creation, the Father fully authorized the Son, thus making the Son divine. This is clearly shown in John 1:1-3.

    But Jesus Himself declared that He had not yet achieved perfection. Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

    Now, one might ask what happened to Jesus on the third day that would complete His quest for perfection?

    And yet Jesus Himself had already declared that the Father was already perfect and that we should strive to be like Him. Matt 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Now I ask you, can you obey Jesus and be perfect like the Father without putting in effort?

    “Fully God and fully man.”

    Why do you use phrases that are NOT found in the Bible and yet claim that the Bible is complete and inerrant? That is a contradiction.

    “He was with God,”

    That makes two beings any way you look at it. And you have to go through a lot of mumbo jumbo to try to make the two beings into one being.

    “It’s important to remember that Jesus, God the father, and the Holy Spirit have different roles and functions.”

    True, because they are separate beings.

    In Heb. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, . . .

    In other words Jesus looks exactly like His Father. Again this verse clearly shows them to be separate beings/persons.

    “The Greek word for exact representation in this verse is the word “charakter”, meaning “exact representation or exact duplicate.”

    Again, you are clearly stating that They are two separate beings. One is the duplicate of the other. Thank you for supporting my position.

  2. Megan says:

    GB, the Bible (and Jesus himself) claim that he was both the Son of God, and, also, that he was God. That is why we believe that God sent Himself to us. How do you reconcile those 2 claims? In John 1:1-3, the verses state that Jesus was both with God and was God. I would love to get into evidence for Christ’s deity in the Bible. Maybe we could do that next. But let’s really look at the phrase “made perfect”:

    This phrase in the verses you cited doesn’t mean made without sin, it means ideally suited to a task. When Jesus says in Luke 13:32 that on the third day He will be perfected, it means that his sacrificial task will be finished, and that He will be made perfected for His task.
    Let’s look at Hebrews for more of this kind of context:
    Much of Hebrews describes Jesus as our ultimate High Priest. Just as some background, the book was probably written to Jewish Christians who were starting to have doubts about the fact that they did not partake in the temple’s rituals. Hebrews stresses over and over the superiority of Christ to the old covenant. It seems that some readers were tempted to revert to Second Temple Judaism (it is almost certain that the temple was still standing at the time of the letter). The letter shows its readers that they don’t need temple rituals and high priests; they have the Great High Priest, Jesus Himself.
    Through suffering Jesus was “made perfect” (Heb. 2:10). Jesus was made fit vocationally and functionally (we both agree that Jesus has specific roles), but not morally. Through suffering Jesus was fashioned to perform his role in the work of redemption. He is the mediator who makes peace between God and man. Jesus participated fully in human life, and was made perfect for his task in the sense that His suffering joins Him completely to humankind.
    This is the context of Heb. 2:10-18, 5:7-10, 7:26-28.
    “Made perfect” can also be seen as being “made complete”. Heb. 10:1-18, and specifically Heb. 10:12 are examples of this. “But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” Heb. 1:3 also mentions Jesus sitting down after providing purification for our sins. One thing that is so interesting is that in the old temple, there were no chairs. The priests’ work was never finished. But Jesus, being both the sacrifice AND the High Priest, sat down afterwards. His work was finished. There were no more sacrifices to be made, representing completion.

  3. Megan says:

    Okay, I made an error. In Heb. 10:1-18, it does not refer specifically to Jesus being “made perfect”. But it does describe a sense of completion (Jesus sitting down). Off to bed…I am tired.

  4. MDavis says:

    Hopefully this comment will attach to the appropriate person. This is in response to Martin_from_Brisbane:

    Your comment on December 22 was interesting to me, “I grant that you won’t find a discussion on “essence” in the Bible, but neither will you find a discussion on “refined matter”. You certainly won’t find a discussion about God living on a planet near a star called “Kolob”, or about his wives and forebears.”

    I find an assumption in there that we LDS do not make, that is, that all authoritative answers must derive from the Bible. Thus, the strawman argument (intentionally or unintentionally) is made through two incompatible assumptions. The argument basically boils down to since essence is not talked about in the Bible neither are other LDS topics covered. Therefore it is ok for the Creed to talk about essence because LDS talk about other things not in the Bible.

    Your second part of your comment interests me too:

    “Another important point needs to be made; that the Nicene Creed, and others, is subordinate to Scripture. It is derived from Scripture, and it does a pretty good job of describing the God that is described in Scripture. I have some sympathy with the perceived problems folks might have with the Creeds or the Trinity (though these problems are usually associated with some dissatisfaction with orthodox churches) , but I still maintain that they are much better than any of the various alternatives that have been advanced since NT times.”

    You say that the Nicene Creed is subordinate to Scripture. This is saying it is, in essence, of lower rank than Scripture. I could not disagree anymore considering this Creed is an attempt to describe God. What more important topic in all of faith, religion, scripture, etc. can be to describe the very author of our existance!

    Regardless of whether the ranking is of these two texts (higher or lower), it is a fact that the Nicene Creed’s impact has been far and wide. The very nature of who God is comes from this creed as fact in most faiths today. It has usurped Scripture and placed itself on the throne as fact.

    To me, the creed is illogical. No group of people would have to come together to discuss the qualities of God. Any acceptance of this fallacy is to accept the very fact that the Apostles, who knew and saw the Savior did not know who He was or His very nature. The logical conclusion to be made is the simple fact that the knowledge the Apostle’s had was taken away, distilled or perverted. Thus, there were many opinions and a vote…a vote was taken as to who God was. God was reduced to brilliant political move done by an Emperor trying to make everyone happy.

  5. falcon says:

    Megan,
    Thank you very much for your posts. They help calm me down. I must admit, I get beyond irratated when Mormons reduce God to nothing more than an image of themselves. The pulling God down and diminishing Him to nothing more than a god among millions of others is not only Biblically inacurate but human lunacy. The harmony of God’s being is the result not of a perfect balance of parts but of the absence of parts. Between His attributes no contradiction can exist. God doesn’t need to suspend one to exercise another. In Him all of His attributes are one. All of God does all that God does; He does not divide Himself to perform a work, but works in the total unity of His being. Joseph Smith couldn’t find a place in traditional Biblical Christianity, so he did what all founders of heretical cults do. He attacked the nature of God, the inerrency of the Bible and God’s plan of salvation. He invented a new god, a new scripture and a new plan of salvation. No small ego had Smith. Mormons have decided to accept Smith’s invention and reject God and His Church, the mystical body of Christ. What a poor bargain indeed!

  6. MDavis says:

    falcon,

    I do not believe that LDS “reduce God to nothing more than an image of themselves.” Quite the opposite actually. We realize our eternal heritage as children of our Father. We know who we are because we know who God is. That is not reduction, but rather that is expansion.

    “The pulling God down and diminishing Him to nothing more than a god among millions of others is not only Biblically inacurate but human lunacy.” Failed assumption here. We pray to but one God, our Eternal Father in Heaven. It does not matter if there are millions of other Gods, we answer to but one. This is not pulling down but worshipping our Father in Heaven.

    “The harmony of God’s being is the result not of a perfect balance of parts but of the absence of parts. Between His attributes no contradiction can exist. God doesn’t need to suspend one to exercise another. In Him all of His attributes are one. All of God does all that God does; He does not divide Himself to perform a work, but works in the total unity of His being.” There is no scriptural support for this statement. You contradict yourself here from your previous statement. You cannot on the one hand dismiss for human lunacy due to the fact of no support and on the other point to language and assumptions not supported either.

    “Joseph Smith couldn’t find a place in traditional Biblical Christianity, so he did what all founders of heretical cults do. He attacked the nature of God, the inerrency of the Bible and God’s plan of salvation. He invented a new god, a new scripture and a new plan of salvation. No small ego had Smith. Mormons have decided to accept Smith’s invention and reject God and His Church, the mystical body of Christ. What a poor bargain indeed!”

    Or restored what was once lost due to apostasy, the ultimate bargain or Good News.

  7. Pingback: Not “Those Abominable Creeds” again… « GUNDECK

  8. mrgermit says:

    MEGAN: I will echo Falcon here and repeat, GOOD POSTS; keep up the good work. I find a glass and a half of good merlot to be helpful when cranky posters get under my skin……just a thot.

    falcon: good post as well, I’m sure you were not expecting the LDS audience to give you a rave review, but your points are well said. I am quite certain that JS had not a clue as to what he was REALLY doing regarding the nature of God or man, he was just winging it as seemed best to him, and from what I can discern (though he did have good friends) no one was about to correct or amend anything he said or did. That’s a red flag, FYI, for all of us TODAY and the current leadership situation we happen to be in.
    I think JS had it in his mind to see man exalted to levels never imagined. Doesn’t seem that bad a goal until you realize that when the end justifies the means……..God got dragged down to our level so that we could all be ONE. Yukkkkk.
    Anyway: good job and keep your truth and love lamps lit, everyone. MrGermit out

    ps to MDavis: we will agree to disagree about how important it is or isn’;t concerning the “multitude of Gods”. I cannot, and will not, worship one God among many. Just my luck to get the minor league god with the lowest budget and lousy draft picks. No, I’ll stay with ONE TRUE God, but thanks for the offer.

  9. Megan says:

    Falcon and Germit (or should I say MRGERMIT? 🙂 ),
    You are welcome. I don’t know if you remember, Falcon, but I was on here quite a bit a year ago. Not sure if you were on here then, Germit. I took a break from Mormon Coffee for quite a while because I used to get too worked up whenever I got on here. Last year I naively thought that if I just pointed out the verses that explicitly point to “one God”…..if they just knew that Smith had relations with married women….if they just knew that Smith preached that men live on the moon (moon-men)….well, you get the idea. The LDS worldview/scriptural view is so much more complex and convoluted than I originally thought (and I don’t mean that as a good thing, either). So, I’ve kind of given up. I can present what the Bible says (not that I’m always right, of course). I can pray that God uses our comments and this blog to plant seeds and minister to people. I can do my best to understand everything I possibly can about the LDS worldview/scriptural view. But it’s not up to me to change people’s minds on here. And besides, reading all the comments and doing my own Bible study has increased my knowledge of the Bible tenfold. I never would have examined scripture so closely if it wasn’t for my LDS friends in real life, and the commenters on this blog. I am sure both of you have experienced the same thing!
    I think more than any thing though, coming up with the perfect biblical exegesis will not do much unless it is accompanied by prayer along the lines of 2 Cor. 10:3-5. A reminder to myself that whenever I put a comment up I should pray in that way. I have to admit I haven’t done enough of that!

  10. falcon says:

    There’s no getting around what LDS believe about the nature of God. They can get all pious and wax eloquent about it but at the end of the day, the Mormon god is an exalted man…..period. It’s a fairy tale world the LDS live in with pappa gods and mamma goddesses procreating spirit children that can procur humaniod bodies and grow-up to become gods and goddesses themselves and rule planets and solar systems. They can see themselves in a long line of dieties. And the interesting thing is, the more bizarre this whole program becomes as it unfolds, the more Mormons battle to believe it!

    Megan,
    You and I have had a similar epiphany regarding apologetics with Mormons. I thought the same thing as you expressed in your last post. Not that I want to get into a discussion regarding “election”, but the more I do this the more I am getting bumped over into the Calvinist camp. I guess Mormons need a “I should have had a V8 moment” to get it. It’s so simple and obvious. My rage moment came about a year ago when one of the Mormon posters demanded evidence that the BoM wasn’t true. So I laid it out. His comment? “That’s not evidence because it comes from man, not from God.” WHAT?????? I screamed at my computer. I was beyond indignant. That’s when I learned that to the Mormon their revelatory testimony is, to them, reality and all evidence to the contrary is false. Then the other moment came when one of the Mormons said that Mormonism wasn’t in the Bible because there was a conspiracy to keep it out. Those two things put me over the edge. I couldn’t believe it. It’s encouraging to me when our exMo friends explain what it was like coming out of Mormonism. One told me it was like getting his finger tips torn off and new ones put on. That’s painful.
    Keep writing Megan. The Falcon enjoys your posts and scholarship.

  11. mrgermit says:

    Megan: I’m with you on the “ups and downs” of apolgetic blogging. Add to that the people , and I mean Bible believing folks (some of them), who just look at you like “why in the world would you WASTE TIME by doing x, y, and z ?? And sometimes I’m asking MYSELF exactly the same set of questions.

    I recommend getting away from pure apologetics once in awhile, and finding something beautiful, humorous, true, or some combination of the above. “Blue Like Jazz” was good for me…….a web site run by Brant Hansen “Letters from Kamp Krusty” has been theraputic also. Walks, hikes, and nature trails come highly recommended. Reminding ourselves that WE are nowhere close to indispensable to what God wants to do, though we are dearly loved and cherished (indispenable to God’s own heart, perhaps…..)

    anyway, keep your worship flame lit, and your brain waves awash with His pleasant surf
    remind yourself that lost people are prone to act……..lost.

    MrGermit

  12. gundeck says:

    Megan,

    I read somewhere that the process of leaving Mormonism, from the first questions until the final departure is 7 years. I do not know if it is true but I firmly believe that many people touch ex-mormons and help bring them to Christ. It might be a single verse or a single historical fact, but it is a help on a long process. I am also convinced that we may only get one chance to present the Gospel to a non-believer.

    I applaud your effort and understand your frustration, in the end all we have is faith, prayer and patience.

  13. falcon says:

    One of the basic problems with Mormonism, when it comes to understanding the nature of God, is the Mormon misunderstanding of the reason for the Councils that hammered out a basic creed which contains the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. There is this folklore meandering around Mormonism that supposes that an emperior called a bunch of people together for the purpose of “creating” a creed. Even an elementary understanding of the historic backdrop from which the Creeds emerged blows that concept out of the water. The purpose of the Councils was not to establish doctrine, but confirm what the apostles and church fathers had articulated and handed down regarding the basic tenents of the faith. The idea that the original was “lost” and had to be restored by Joeseph Smith may make it out in the wards, but anyone who takes the trouble to do some research can see through Joseph Smith’s self-serving and delusional proposition. For example, the thinking about the Trinity did not begin with philosophy but with the apostolic text, the Scriptures. Reading Paul’s benediction in 2 Corinthians 13:13: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” This was written in the early 50s. What we find embedded in this statement is a very early oral tradition that understands God in a triune way. Irenaus of Lyon (130-200) wrote in Against the Heresies: “What if there should be a dispute about some matter of moderate importance? Should we not turn to the oldest churches, where the apostles themselves were known, and find out from them the clear and certain answer to the problem now being raised? Even if the apostles had not left their Writings to us, ought we not to follow the rule of the tradition that they handed down to those to whom they committed the churches?”
    There is no ancient written record or oral tradition for Mormonism. Joseph Smith created it out of whole cloth. Something can’t be lost if it was never there. Grasping at staws, Mormons must come up with plots, conspiracies and a total disregard for historical accuracy in order to perpetuate a myth and a hoax created by Joseph Smith. It wouldn’t matter much, I guess, if the stakes weren’t so high.

  14. mrgermit says:

    GUNDEK: i’ve seen the exact same statistic used in context with the Muslims, so maybe someone applied it to the LDS as well, I don;t know. Interesting that the two faiths work (seems to me) basically the same:
    1)accept the prophet (JS or Mohammed)

    2)everything else (logical or not, consistent or not, what has been up to now known as moral, or not) then follows

    this being the case, whether it’s exactly 7 yrs or not, the point is that this “trust in the prophet as the basis for truth” is a high mountain to climb, and the social, emotional, communal fallout is great for those who make the journey.

    And yet there are some bold and Jesus loving enough to make the trip. Praise God for His ability and desire to find the lost coin, the wayward sheep (like ME). HIS love is so much bigger than any fog of darkness and error.

    PRAYER intention: please pray that my step daughter would wake up and smell the mormon coffee and allow their daughter to go to something other than an LDS church, and that Gabrielle would not be too scarred by the experience. And that all this could happen quickly. THANKS MrGermit

    PS: the fact that we (Gab’s folks and I) were able to talk about this over the holidays is a total God thing, all praise is due HIS name, HE loves us so much more than we love each other…..

  15. GB says:

    Megan,

    As far as John 1:1-2 is concerned, just look at the Greek. Literally it is translated (and I will add the definite article “the” from the original Greek in the proper locations) as;
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was toward the God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning toward the God.

    The Greek is very clearly speaking of two separate beings.

    If you want to get a better understanding of YOUR monotheism problem you could read evangelical scholar Michael Heisers peice here.

    http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/MonotheismProblem.pdf

    Although I don’t agree totally with his conclusions, I find his work honest, logical and thoughtful.

    The supposed statements of “monotheism” found in the Bible are statements of preeminence NOT exclusion.

    Being made perfect or becoming perfect means exactly that. Jesus, at His resurrection became perfect. Perfect in being, having an immortal body of flesh and bones from which His spirit would NEVER again separate.

  16. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Martin,

    You wrote that the scriptures are at war with each other if you follow my line of thinking. You then go on to state that “Surely, “all things”, means “all things”?”

    And so then we go back to the age old question of whether God created evil. If I follow your line of thinking then I would have to accept that God created evil, which to me is blasphemous.

    I just find this discussion silly because Huggins is suggesting that I must take all things in the scriptures exactly as they read. ie Christ is the God who created “all things” and so is he willing to then say that He also created evil? I doubt it, but I am curious as to what you think.

  17. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Martin,
    I am surprised that you would quote Isaiah. Here we have Jehovah speaking. From a trinitarian perspective if there is a God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit how would this statement make any sense? Wouldn’t Jehovah mention that there is also God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and they are one God in this statement?

    There is no God beside Him as far as we are concerned.

    I would submit that the Trinity theology was made up by the early church for one reason. They were being charged with Polytheism. Something the 1st century church was willing to take on the chin, because that is exactly what they were teaching, that God the Father was a seperate being from the Son. Not so in the third century. Smith is simply teaching the same doctrine as found in John 17 and I see no conflict with Isaiah.

  18. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Falcon,

    You said, “Mormons reduce God to nothing more than an image of themselves.”

    If you lived in the time of Jesus I would have loved to see your reaction when the Savior told the multitude that “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”. Your comments would have read like this instead

    JESUS reduces God to nothing more than an image of HIMSELF.

    When He appears, exactly what are you expecting to see? As for me, I expect to see Him as He really is!

  19. DOF said “I just find this discussion silly because Huggins is suggesting that I must take all things in the scriptures exactly as they read. ie Christ is the God who created “all things” and so is he willing to then say that He also created evil? I doubt it, but I am curious as to what you think.”

    Its not just Huggins who suggests that you should believe Scripture. Don’t your articles of faith have something to say on the matter? If I remember correctly “We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, so far as it is translated correctly…”

    Now, I think the ‘translation’ qualification is a red herring, so let’s move on to ‘interpretation’. The problem both you and I must face is that Scripture does say “all things”, and we the only way to deny it is to claim that we’ve got a better revelation than Scripture (btw, if this is the case, you’d better jettison your article of faith).

    If we allow Scripture to guide our thinking, then we need to answer the age-old question of whether God created evil. Michael Palin came up with a theory in his film “The Time Bandits”, but it wasn’t at all Biblical. You’ll find a debate about the nature of Good and Evil in the ancient Greek Philosophers, but they weren’t guided by scripture either.

    The Bible itself does not answer the question directly, but we do know that God cannot lie (Heb 6:18) and he cannot be tempted by evil (Jas 1:13). Philosophically, it is impossible for God to sin, because he would have to sin against himself, which would be oxymoronic.

    My own view is that evil exists, but it exists in our actions, not as a created entity. It is definitely a present reality, but what is it and how did it get here? In reconciling Gen 1-3 with the corpus of scripture, my interpretation is that God has created an environment in which we can exercise free will, and we have chosen to act in ways that are contrary to God’s purposes for us.

    The responsibility for evil rests squarely on our shoulders, corporately and individually. The Good News is that the Lamb of God has come, who bears away the burden of our sin (John 1:29, John 1:36). Blaming God for our sins is a sign that we have failed to acknowledge our culpability and that we are unwilling to turn from our sins.

    I am sure we could get a number of opinions on the nature of evil from Christians of all persuasions. However, the Christian response is less “who created sin”, and more “what should we do about it?”

  20. MDavis said ” Therefore it is ok for the Creed to talk about essence because LDS talk about other things not in the Bible.”

    Christians have been debating “essence” (and that long Greek word that I’ll probably misspell; homoousis?) for nigh on 17 centuries, so we’re not going to resolve it overnight. However, how else do you explain John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”? If the Word is somehow separate but the same, maybe describing him as being of the same “substance” or “essence” is not such a bad idea after all. The alternative is polytheism, which is repugnant to scripture.

    MDavis also said “The logical conclusion to be made is the simple fact that the knowledge the Apostle’s had was taken away, distilled or perverted.”

    Exactly what knowledge had been taken away? Perhaps the idea that God was once a mortal man, who married many wives and was not the ultimate creator of all things. Are you seriously suggesting that the Apostles believed something contrary to what they wrote? Or has the Bible been so badly corrupted that we can’t believe a word of it? If the latter is the case, why bother referring to it at all?

    Contrary to your argument, the Creed does, in fact, summarize the Apostles’ view of God. It was written when the heretics came knocking at the door, and it shut them out.

    As to the circumstances under which it was written, I’ll grant that Constantine wanted to unite his newly sanctioned Church and I see no stigma in that. I’ll also venture that it won the day because its proponents did a better job of proving it from Scripture than its opponents, namely Arius and his following.

    Huggins does a good job in linking the development of the Creeds in the first few centuries AD and the circumstances about why they came about. He certainly gives a more researched and credible account than James Talmadge in his “Articles of Faith”.

    I like Huggins’ conclusion; that the Nicene Creed does a much better job of describing the relationship between God the Father and God the Son than the alternatives put forward by LDS and other similar movements, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The opposing views fail because they either have to embrace polytheism, or they have to deny scripture. In either case, they profoundly depart from the beliefs of Jesus and his disciples.

  21. DOF said “I would submit that the Trinity theology was made up by the early church for one reason. They were being charged with Polytheism. Something the 1st century church was willing to take on the chin, because that is exactly what they were teaching, that God the Father was a seperate being from the Son. Not so in the third century. Smith is simply teaching the same doctrine as found in John 17 and I see no conflict with Isaiah.”

    DOF, are you seriously proposing that Jesus and his disciples were polytheists?

    If I understand you correctly, you’re saying something like this; Jesus and his disciples believed in two Gods (the Father and the Son) and it wasn’t until the 3rd century that the church forgot about it and kludged them together into one God, throwing in the Holy Ghost for good measure. It wasn’t until the appearance of Joseph Smith in the early 19th Century that the polytheism of the primitive church was restored.

    OK, first up, you propose that the LDS church is indeed polytheistic. How do your fellow members feel about this? I’ll grant that JS was a polytheist in his later years (King Follett sermon and Book of Abraham), but he was monotheistic in his early years (Book of Mormon). I guess that gives you license to have it either way. Personally, I wouldn’t trust someone who so profoundly changes his story without acknowledging that his former views were wrong.

    Secondly, you’re ignoring all the available evidence. Israel was monotheistic, Jesus and his disciples were monotheists, the Apostles were monotheists and we can see this in what they wrote.

    If God has the “name above all names” (Phil 2:9), then there is no other name that is higher. If God is the “first and the last” (Isa 41:4, Isa 44:6, Isa 48:12, Rev 1:11, Rev 1:17, Rev 22:13), then there cannot be anyone before him or after him. The LDS doctrine of eternal progression fails because God is certainly not the first, because many have preceded him, and he is not the last, because many will follow him. Is God lying to us in his Holy Word?

    So, if you embrace polytheism, then you reject a fundamental teaching of the early church. Of course, you don’t have to believe what the early church taught, but if that were the case, why promote the rather silly idea that you have somehow restored it?

  22. Megan,

    You make a good and important point; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have distinct and separate roles. It seems they even have separate minds (Mark 13:32) and wills (Mark 14:36).

    Much anti-trinitarian rhetoric is based on the idea that the trinity denies these scriptures. Actually, the ideas that deny these scriptures (modalism and Sabellianism) were the driving motivation for the correctives of the Creeds.

    Getting to understand a trinitarian God is difficult for anyone with only a little Bible knowledge, but its understandable given the fact that most people start out with a concept of God that looks like a big bloke in the sky with a beard.

    The question is whether we allow scripture to mould our understanding of God. I like the Creeds, but what were to happen if they weren’t there? I think that after considerable reflection of scripture, we’d come up with something that’s not too dissimilar to the Trinitarian formulae that are found in the orthodox creeds.

  23. Megan says:

    Martin: ‘What would happen if we didn’t have the Creeds?” Absolutely nothing. Our doctrine would be the same. (I know you already know this, just thinking out loud). I wish Mormons would stop attacking the Creeds and just attack the scriptural basis for the nature of God itself. The Creeds are sort of a non-issue. Now that I go to an Episcopal/Anglican Church, we say the Nicene Creed at every service (it still gives me chills sometimes), but growing up in a non-liturgical church I only saw it a few times. Very occasionally the pastor would bring it out as a historical supplement to a sermon, but my general feeling of it at the time was as a sort of a historical oddity. Now when we stand and say it in unison every Sunday, I am thinking of the scriptures behind it. Thanks to you people here on Mormon Coffee, actually!
    The Creeds are merely an expression of doctrinal truth, and, as you mentioned, were only written as a response to specific heresies of that era. Indeed, heresy about the nature of God has plagued the Christian Church since its earliest days, as is mentioned in the NT itself.

  24. mrgermit says:

    Megan and all: it seems to me that what NOW functions in most churches as the replacement for the creeds are the official doctrinal statements of that particular church. These are statements that say: “We believe the bible to be saying x, y, and z. If you don’t like the doctrinal statement, then you sure won’t like the church itself. Like the creeds, the doctrinal statements are not scripture, but are built off of what that group believes scripture to be saying.

    Here is my thot provoking question of the day: what do the Mormons have , if anything, that functions as a doctrinal statement , or doctrinal outline ?? Nothing comes to my mind, but my mind is remarkably small (if size matters…..). And perhaps with continuing revelation and all, maybe my LDS friends see such a statement as counterproductive. I’m wondering IF, and this is a big IF, some of the trouble in nailing down what the LDS really believe is the absence of just such a statement. Just wondering. MrGermit

    Happy New Year one and all.

  25. gundeck says:

    DOF,

    I have a question regarding Mormon beliefs and do not want to misstate your views. Don’t Mormons believe that “Elohim” is the proper name for God and that “Jehovah” is the proper name for his son?

    As you correctly pointed out the word used in Isaiah 44:6 for Lord is “Yĕhovah” (Strong’s H3068). The problem is that the word for God used in the same verse is “‘elohiym” (Strong’s H0430). So what you get is Jehovah claiming to be the first and the last and the only Elohim. A quick word search finds the same situation in Deut 4:35 and I Kings 18:45.

    You should also understand that the Trinitarian nature of God does not change His essential Oneness. I think that the Athanasian Creed states this well when it says “…That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity… Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance…” Go check it out http://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html I know that the Lutheran Church uses this Creed and I think it is beautiful in it’s simplicity.

  26. GB says:

    Megan,

    As far as John 1:1-2 is concerned, just look at the Greek. Literally it is translated (and I will add the definite article “the” from the original Greek in the proper locations) as;
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was toward the God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning toward the God.

    The Greek is very clearly speaking of two separate beings.

    If you want to get a better understanding of YOUR monotheism problem you could read evangelical scholar Michael Heisers peice here.

    thedivinecouncil.com/MonotheismProblem.pdf

    Although I don’t agree totally with his conclusions, I find his work honest, logical and thoughtful.

    The supposed statements of “monotheism” found in the Bible are statements of preeminence NOT exclusion.

    Being made perfect or becoming perfect means exactly that. Jesus, at His resurrection became perfect. Perfect in being, having an immortal body of flesh and bones from which His spirit would NEVER again separate.

  27. GB says:

    gundeck,

    Please explain how in Isa 47:8-10 Babylon is depicted with similar language? Is Babylon really claiming exclusion or preeminence?

    Please explain how in Zeph 2:15 Ninevah is depicted with similar language? Is Ninevah really claiming exclusion or preeminence?

    Also please explain the use of comparatives and superlatives in describing God if there is only one? Some examples are “the most high God” or “the highest God”, which clearly indicate that there are other Gods which hold stature, but of a lesser degree. See, for instance, Gen. 14:18, 19, 20, 22; 2 Sam. 22:14; Ps. 7:17; 18:13 ,47:2, 50:14, 57:2, 78:56, 82:6, 83:18; 91:9; 92:1,8; and Heb. 7:1.

  28. falcon says:

    germit,
    If you go to the website of the Community of Christ denomination of Mormonism, you get a real straight forward statement of faith/doctrine. They seem to me to be a lot more honest than the Utah LDS. They don’t sin by omission when it comes to what they believe. Utah Mormonism has raised obfuscation to an art form in order to look like Baptists. The other issue, of course, is that of continuous revelation. Utah Mormonism can change on a dime when it comes to doctrine and practice. To be a Utah Mormon, you have to have a high tolerance for ambiguity. That’s why Utah Mormons just shrug when one day you have to be polygamous to get to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom and the next day you don’t. That’s why blacks can’t than can hold the priesthood. That’s why “ancient” temple ceremonies can be omitted and the introduction to the BoM can be changed with a wave of the hand. You gotta love these folks.

  29. GB says:

    mrgermit,

    I am surprised that a hyper critic like yourself would be unaware of the LDS articles of faith.

    1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

    2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

    3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

    7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

    8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

    9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul–We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    Does that answer your question?

  30. mrgermit says:

    GB: let me answer a question with a question: do your articles of faith (which I did cosider as I posted my comments) pretty much do it as far as your doctrine?? In other words ARE THERE ANY MAJOR OMISSIONS OR GAPS IN THIS LIST ??? I’d recommend thinking carefully before answering, I’ve got more to say, but I’ll wait to you deal with question #1. THANKS GERMIT

  31. gundeck says:

    GB,

    I don’t understand what these verses have to do with the question, “Don’t Mormons believe that “Elohim” is the proper name for God and that “Jehovah” is the proper name for his son?” They are not even using the same hebrew words. We were looking at ‘elohiym” (Strong’s H0430) and “Yĕhovah” (Strong’s H3068). The word translated “I am, and none else beside me” in your KJV is “opa ‘ephec” (Strong’s H0657). But I will be happy to look at these passages with you.

    The 47th chapter of Isaiah is in a part of the book (chapters 40-55) where Isaiah the Prophet is showing how God’s glory will be revealed in the future. Chapter 47 is addressed to Babylon. In verse 8 we read Isaiah call Babylon a lover of pleasure who while sitting securly says ” I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children.” The key hear is that this is Isaiah quoting Babylon. Isaiah then goes on to Prophesy about what is going to happen to Babylon, proving that he is a true Prophet of God passing the Deuteronomy 18:21-22 test of a Prophet (unlike some people who will remain nameless). We see much the same thing in Isaiah 47:10-11.

    The Prophet Zephaniah, also passing the Deuteronomy 18:21-22 test (unlike some others who will remain nameless), Is doing much the same thing but this time to Assyria and the City of Nineveh who arrogantly boasted “I am and there is no one else.” Re-read Zephaniah 2:13-15 and note the judgement and prophesy of wrath.

    Of interest is that both of these Cities are, from the prophets perspective (and has been from ours) punished severely by God for making such claims.

    You ask about the use of comparatives and superlatives and the fact that there is Only one true God. My first response is that the use of a superlative such as “most high” does not in fact mean that there is a lower. My second thought is that the use of a comparative between God and an idol or some other pagan god does not in fact give credence or validity to the effectiveness or for that matter truthfulness of said idol or pagan god. My third thought is that one of the overarching themes to the OT is neatly summed up in the Law (cf. Exodus 20:1-18) Israel’s constant fall into Idolatry and Gods righteous Judgment.

    Finally let me recommend you read Ezekiel 28:1-10. Ezekiel was anther Prophet who passed the Deuteronomy 18:21-22 test (unlike some others who will remain nameless) he has a couple of things to say about Idolatry and God.

  32. mrgermit says:

    GUNDEK: this actually follows your response to GB above.

    LOL: was there something you wanted to add about Duet 18 in your response to GB ?? Think carefully, I think you are holding back…………….NOT.

    LOL: GERMIT

  33. gundeck says:

    I must commend you again on a consistent argument. You do not shy away from the polytheistic, henotheistic, or Monolatristic (however you choose to define your beliefs I will leave up to you) implications of your religion. You are consistent in your denial of monotheism and I commend you for your honesty in this.

    I disagree with your exposition on John 1:1-2. With your approach we can just toss out John, Paul, Jude, Peter, James, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, the Cappadocians, Augustine, Boethius, Gregory, Gottschalk, Bede, Lombard, Thomas, Bradwardine, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Brunner, Edwards, Neibuhr, Warfield, Machen, Berkof etc. Thankfully the point of John 1:1-3 is also found in these verses, John 1:14-18; John 8:58; John 10:30; John 17:11; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2 etc. So all is not lost.

    Your claim that “the supposed statements of “monotheism” found in the Bible are statements of preeminence NOT exclusion”, would have us remove or ignore all of the singular exclusive language in the Bible. The easiest example of this is the Shema Deut 6:4-5. I know that some LDS apologists claim that this was a late redaction or that Deuteronomy was written after the exile but this fails to deal with 1 Nephi 4:38 and 5:11-16 in your BoM and Matt 22:35-38 and Luke 10:25-27 in the New Testament.

  34. gundeck says:

    Does your interest in the work of Michael Heiser stop at his
    speculation on divine councils, or does it continue into his theories
    concerning UFO religions? http://michaelsheiser.com/UFOReligions/

    Far from denying divine councils the bible does shows us some clear things. First, there is only one Sovereign Creator and God, divine councils are used to show God’s power and authority. Second, unlike Ugaritic texts there is no creation myth for God (i.e. how God came into existence). In this the Bible is not ambiguous, simply He always existed and always will. Third, Unlike Ugaritic texts there is not a 3 tiered pantheon of gods only the 1 God and those doing His bidding. Fourth, no matter the language used for those in attendance at a divine council there is no power sharing and no counseling of God going on. God makes his decries those in attendance comply. Sixth, and most important in the Bible God is always portrayed as unique and incomparable to those in attendance. He alone is God.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be pointing to divine councils as if they show some form of Jewish theology of eternal progression or confirm Joseph Smith’s teaching of a divine council where in a premortal state, Jesus Christ was chosen to be the Savior, and we chose to accept the plan of salvation. Neither of these is seen in Heiser’s work. You must admit that Heiser does not at all present some form of premortal democracy where we accept the plan of salvation. All that you can claim from Heiser is that he proposes a form of early Jewish Monolatristic belief.

    Is there more to be known about the workings of heaven? John Calvin warns us about this very subject…

    “Not to dwell on this, let us here remember that on the whole subject of religion one rule of modesty and soberness is to be observed, and it is this, in obscure matters not to speak or think, or even long to know, more than the Word of God has delivered. A second rule is, that in reading the Scriptures we should constantly direct our inquiries and meditations to those things which tend to edification, not indulge in curiosity, or in studying things of no use. And since the Lord has been pleased to instruct us, not in frivolous questions, but in solid piety, in the fear of his name, in true faith, and the duties of holiness, let us rest satisfied with such knowledge.” Institutes 1.14.4

    It does not take a very close reading of the Old Testament to see that many of the Children of Israel must have believed in and worshiped pagan gods. It also does not take a deep study to see what the results were.

  35. Megan says:

    GB: So wait….if you are saying that I have a “monotheism problem”, does this mean you are going on record by saying that technically you are polytheistic? If so, you are the only Mormon I have come across who is willing to admit as such. I think it would be a real shock to one of my real-life Mormon friends if I told her that you are actually polytheistic. She firmly believes she is monotheistic, even if it is obvious that Mormonism is technically polytheistic.
    On another note, would you please stop treating me as your enemy? (And I have noticed this kind of mindset from both sides on here). You believe X. I believe Y. Let’s explain our positions, see if there is any middle ground (there must be something), and leave it at that. I want you to know, that even though I disagree with you on most things, I respect you. What I mean is, even though I do not agree with your beliefs, I respect the fact that they are important to you. Let’s disagree and leave it at that.
    “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1. Pet. 3:15).

  36. gundeck says:

    MrGermit,

    Thank you, I always feel privliged when asked to pray.

  37. GB says:

    Megan,

    Be honest! The trinity is not truly monotheistic doctrine either.

    There is a difference between acknowledging the existence of other gods and actually worshipping other gods. It is obvious that you didn’t read the link that I gave.

    As Paul said in 1 cor 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
    6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    Instead of throwing out stupid accusations of polythesim why don’t you read some of the research of your own “Christian” scholars?

    Perhaps you might consider reading “The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God” by Margaret Barker

    Or perhaps you could read a review of it here; atheistalliance.org/jhc/reviews/RPbarker.htm

  38. GB says:

    mrgermit,

    What part of ” and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” don’t you understand?

  39. GB says:

    John?

    2 Jn 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

    John clearly separates the Father from the Son, making two beings.

    Peter?

    1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

    Peter clearly separates the Father from the Son, making two beings.

    Paul?

    Phil 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Paul clearly separates the Father from the Son, making two beings.

    James?

    James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

    James clearly separates the Father from the Son, making two beings.

    Jude?

    Jude 1:1 JUDE, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
    . . .
    4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jude clearly separates the Father from the Son, making two beings.

    Now I don’t recognize the others you have mention as having authority to declare doctrine, (also they are not found in scriture) but I did find this.

    Justin Martyr?

    Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 48, “Now assuredly, Trypho, [the proof] that this man is the Christ of God does not fail, though I be unable to prove that He existed formerly as Son of the Maker of all things, being God, and was born a man by the Virgin. But since I have certainly proved that this man is the Christ of God, whoever He be, even if I do not prove that He pre-existed, and submitted to be born a man of like passions with us, having a body, according to the Father’s will; in this last matter alone is it just to say that I have erred, and not to deny that He is the Christ, though it should appear that He was born man of men, and [nothing more] is proved [than this], that He has become Christ by election.”

    Justin Martyr clearly separates the Father from the Son, making two beings.

    Enjoy!!

    I suggest you read that article you pointed me to. The one by Peterson. It was very deep and well documented.

  40. Megan says:

    GB: You’re right. You got me. I didn’t read the article. I probably should have read it before responding, but I had to take my daughter to the playground. I actually did plan on reading it though.
    But you really caught my attention when you said that I have a monotheism “problem”. I was being honest. Christianity is monotheistic. I don’t think it’s a stupid accusation to say that Mormonism is polytheistic. We can get into all the verses in the Bible that say there is one God next.
    So listen….I am going to go read that article, and I also am going to look into the background of 1 Cor. 8:5-6. Did you read 1 Pet. 3:15?

  41. GB says:

    Megan,

    Yes you have a monotheism problem. At least the evangelical sholar I pointed you to says so.

    Also you have this to consider.

    Near Eastern archaeologist William Dever notes:
    “A generation ago, when I was a graduate student, biblical scholars were nearly unanimous in thinking that monotheism had been predominant in ancient Israelite religion from the beginning—not just as an “ideal,” but as the reality. Today all that has changed. Virtually all mainstream scholars (and even a few conservatives) acknowledge that true monotheism emerged only in the period of the exile in Babylon in the 6th century b.c., as the canon of the Hebrew Bible was taking shape. . . .
    I have suggested, along with most scholars, that the emergence of monotheism—of exclusive Yahwism—was largely a response to the tragic experience of the exile.”
    William G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005), 294–95, 297.

    The problem you have is that the idea that true religion has always been monotheistic is being exposed as error.

    It is apparent that the Old Testament was “scrubbed” (although not thoroughly) of its polytheism by the Jews around the time they were returning from their Babylonian exile.

    Of course the “sheeple” of the “flocks” aren’t being told about this. It could call into question the rightness of the abuse heaped upon the Mormons over this issue by “well meaning” (ha ha) defenders of “the” faith.

  42. Megan says:

    Sorry, GB. You have the air of one pulling a rabbit out of a hat and saying, “Ah ha! What do you think now?” I read the article a couple times through, and looked up some of the scripture references. Tomorrow I would like to go through the whole thing again and look up all the scripture references. I would also like to contact the author (he has an email) and see if he replies with answers to a few questions I have. Hopefully I will feel ambitious enough for all that.
    For the most part, my views are unchanged. I had always learned that the Israelites didn’t follow God until God called Abraham and his descendents to Him. (I think that is right–feel free to correct me, anyone). Even then there was a lot of flux for a long time. Many of the Israelites had household idols and worshipped Ba’al, etc, which the Bible relates in detail.
    I guess monotheism really isn’t the best term. But even the gods worshipped by the nations of the earth were created by God, they started out as angels, and, after they followed Satan, became demons. The thing is, when I always read the Bible and saw the word ‘god’ or ‘gods’ (in the context of a being worshipped by either the Israelites or other nations), I read the term to be interchangeable with ‘demon’/’demons’.
    I don’t really see how this helps your case. Mormons point to the verses mentioning gods and say, see, this means that we will be gods in eternity. But whenever the Bible speaks of gods being worshipped, it is referring to demons. Not how Mormons like to think of themselves in the afterlife! The ‘hosts of heaven’/’sons of God’ in the Bible, on the other hand, is usually referring to angels, whose work is to praise and worship God. They are never worshipped themselves. Regarding demons/idols, I am specifically referring to the 2.3 “The Host of Heaven: Idols Only?” section of the paper, and especially the Deuteronomy scriptures.
    Well, it is 12:02 and a New Year, so Happy New Year!

  43. gundeck says:

    GB,

    Once again what does this quote have to do with anything? The title of Ch 48 is “Before the divinity of Christ is proved, he [Trypho] demands that it be settled that He is Christ.”

    This quote, “they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens…” is also from Justin Martyr dialog.

    What you cannot seem to get is that Just like Trypho, Justin’s protagonist, John, Paul, Jude, Peter, and James were all Jewish. Each morning they said the Shema , “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deut 6:4-5). You just seem to have difficulty with that fact that Jesus Christ taught this (Matt 22:35-38; Luke 10:25-27) calling this the greatest law.

    But your insistence that the early Church was pagan is not all that you need to prove from Justin. You should also be able to prove a new multi-tiered priesthood, a new temple system replacing the Jewish temple, a new temple ceremony system, new levels of salvation, a new understanding on eternal progression to godhood with all this entails including a newly changeable god, that man and God are now the same species allowing for progression, some form of polytheism, henotheism, or at least a Christian belief and acceptance of monolatrism, etc. If you cannot find it in Justin this should all be able to be seen early on in the writings of the first and second century and be systematically different from Christian teachings of the third century.

    I did read the article I gave you. Try reading some of the people from my list (the ones you don’t know). Start with Berkof’s Reformed Dogmatics. He may show you a different scholarship.

  44. Arthur Sido says:

    GB, the gentleman you are quoting is not someone I would trust in matters of theology. From William Dever…

    “I am not reading the Bible as Scripture… I am in fact not even a theist. My view all along—and especially in the recent books—is first that the biblical narratives are indeed ‘stories,’ often fictional and almost always propagandistic, but that here and there they contain some valid historical information. That hardly makes me a ‘maximalist.”

    So you are turning to a man who is not even a theist at all to support your polytheism. Hmm. Well done, who are you going to pull out next, Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens? Christianity is monotheistic. We have one God who exists in three persons. Pointing out that Jesus and the Father are separate beings is not a refutation pf the Trinity. That is a key aspect of Trinitarian theology. So congrats, you fellas have pointed out a major theme of the Trinity to refute the Trinity. The Trinity is a deep concept, as you should expect from a glimpse of he very nature of God. Just because it requires some mental efforts to begin to comprehend doesn’t mean you should chuch the whole thing and buy into the fanciful musings of a farm boy from the 19th century with an active imagination.

    BTW, ironic that you bring up the sheeple being misled by their leaders. Kind of like the way that the mormon leaders have tried to bury innumerable crackpot theories and blatant lies by their predecessors.

  45. GB says:

    Megan says “The thing is, when I always read the Bible and saw the word ‘god’ or ‘gods’ (in the context of a being worshipped by either the Israelites or other nations), I read the term to be interchangeable with ‘demon’/’demons’.”

    Megan says “But whenever the Bible speaks of gods being worshipped, it is referring to demons.”

    I have a question for you Megan. If these “gods” you speak of are really demons, then shouldn’t your “infallible” and “inerrant” Bible call them such?

    When Paul mentions 1 Cor 8:5 For though there be that are called GODS, whether IN HEAVEN or in earth, (AS THERE BE GODS MANY, and lords many,)
    6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (EMPHASIS MINE)

    Would these “gods many” “in heaven” be demons?

    There are other scholars who also have something to about monotheism.

    “Jewish monotheism, which gave birth to the Christian movement, was not, as clear cut and simple as is generally believed.” John J. Collins “Jewish Monotheism and Christian Theology,” 82.

    Also you keep implying that we worship these other gods. How many times do I have to say that there is a difference between recognizing their existence and actually worshipping them?

    We only worship the Father and the Son, thank you.

    If you call that monotheism, then we are monotheists. If you call that dithesim, then we are dithesist. Regardless of what you “call” us, we worship only the Father and the Son.

  46. Enki says:

    Meagan and GB,
    After doing a simple search, I found a link which came to the conclusion that a fallen angel is NOT the same as a demon. I am sure this isn’t the end all of the discussion, but its input. It does say that the same word is used to discribe an angel and a fallen angel, using context or modifier to indicate that its an evil angel. It remains to be seen what ‘gods’ are refering to.
    http://www.biblestudying.net/angels-demons3.html

    Another source describes the term “daimon” as having a rather neutral character, mostly meaning “replete with knowledge.” But there could be good ones and bad ones, protectors, guardians. “Daimons, in Greek mythology, included deified heroes.” So its possible that ‘daimon’ in a sense could be a person who attained godhood. Not necessarily immediately pejoritive, using the original greek understanding of the word.

    “Socrates said he had a life-time daimon that always warned him of danger and bad judgment, but never directed his actions. He said his daimon was more accurate than omens of either watching the flights or reading the entrails of birds, which were two respected forms of divination of the time.”
    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/daimon.html

    Wikipedia places Socrates about 400 years before the birth of christ. So, this term ‘Daimon’ predates that of the New Testiment. The general pejoritive understanding and pejoritive use of the word seems particularly connected to Christian understanding from New Testiment times and or later.

    Another source takes an in-depth look at “Demons” in the Old testement. In actual fact, the original hebrew does not use this term, and does not have an equal for what is understood as demon in english, even though some english translations use the word ‘demon’ in the O.T. Mostly its used in reference to pagan gods and ‘abhorrent things’. Its interesting to note that there is a comment on ‘elohiym’. ” gods [they did not know] (אלהים, elohiym)

    http://www.crivoice.org/demonsot.html

    ——————————————————————————–

  47. mrgermit says:

    ENKI: welcome to Mormon Coffee, or welcome “back”, whichever the case describes your travels through the blogospher. Hope you gain something of heaven thru your time spent here. a friend asked me about “preterism” just yesterday, maybe I can use the link you gave, and others, to get up to speed on that .

    thanks will that be “expresso” or “postum” sir/maam ???

    GERMIT

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