Building Up the High Places

At NewsOK, November 30, 2009:

Utah’s Spanish Fork has Krishna temple

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Ask any Spanish Fork resident and they will be able to point you in the direction of one of the most unique buildings in town and possibly in the whole state. Perched on a hill just south of downtown Spanish Fork stands the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. Completed in 2001, the Krishna Indian Hindu Temple certainly stands out among the surrounding rural fields.

Hare Krishna is an Eastern religion that worships Krishna, a god who appeared in India about 5,000 years ago. To followers, Krishna exhibited divinity unlike anyone before, during or since his time on earth. Krishna devotees, or Vaishnavas, spend their life studying and serving Krishna. Vaishnavas study a sacred Hindu scripture called the Bhagavad Gita…

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported the temple since its inception. In fact, the church gave $25,000 to help build it.

Hmmm. Passionate zeal for exclusive devotion to the true God is demanded throughout the entire Old Testament history of God’s dealings with His covenant people. When He led them into the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, God ordered the complete destruction of all the marks of idolatry found in that place. The altars, the sacred pillars, the carved images were to be torn down. “You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree” (Deuteronomy 12:2). God demanded that His people be holy — set apart — and that they, like Him, not tolerate pagan religion. They were to guard the purity of their worship of the one true God lest the presence of false gods become too great a temptation and compromise that true worship.

Destroying places of false worship is not what God’s people are called to do in this current age of grace. Instead, followers of Christ are instructed to be patient while reasoning with those who are in opposition to the truth, and always be ready with an answer for the hope that is within them. Even so, in the New Testament the Apostle Paul reissues the call for God’s people to be set apart. He argues, “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion dies a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:15-16).

A question arose in the New Testament church regarding the eating of meat sacrificed to idols in pagan rituals. Within the context of this discussion Paul asserts that, though an idol is nothing, behind pagan ritual is the reality of Satan’s work. These sacrifices are made to demons and not to God. “I do not want you to be participants with demons,” Paul says. His mandate is that believers flee from idolatry; have nothing to do with paganism (1 Corinthians 10:14-20).

Paul has given followers of Christ a rule to live by which is easily discerned: Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. All Christian behavior should be for the glory of God and for the salvation of the lost, taking care that nothing is done which would cause anyone to stumble (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).

So I wonder: What would the Apostle Paul have to say about the LDS Church’s large donation toward the building of a temple for the worship of a false god?

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Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.

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About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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149 Responses to Building Up the High Places

  1. mobaby says:

    Subgenius,

    Absolutely there is work to be done. The 10 commandments are not 10 suggestions. We are COMMANDED to obey God’s moral law. And we fail miserably – like rvales said, and my own life testifies, we fail everyday. Only through Jesus is there salvation – there is no other name for salvation, it is Christ alone or no salvation. Our good works are as filthy rags.

    Rvales did a good job of explaining the role of “law.” A couple more comments about law – when most Christians refer to the law, they are referring to God’s moral law, basically the 10 commandments. The ceremonial law (such as eating restrictions, circumcision, etc.)has been fulfilled in Christ and does not and never will apply to non-Jewish folks. God’s moral law – which would condemn sacrificing to or worshiping idols has never been revoked. We are COMMANDED to obey God’s law. Does this law save us? Not at all – not even a little bit. The law condemns – it shows us our sin and unrighteousness and reveals how we need the Savior. Often people think “love” is a doctrine of grace, when in reality, when we are commanded to love God and love others it is really the summary and meaning of all the moral law. Following God’s law has NOTHING to do with salvation, and yet we are commanded to follow God’s law. We are saved completely apart from the law through Jesus Christ alone – Jesus is the only one who fulfilled God’s law for us and purchased our redemption on the cross. As rvales pointed out, for those who believe and trust in Christ, Jesus righteousness in given to us, and our sin is given to Christ. We are freely forgiven apart from any works we could possibly do.

    Contrary to your position I would argue spiritual wickedness is much greater than physical wickedness – for as you correctly pointed out, it is the source for physical wickedness.

  2. grindael says:

    Sub,

    I am truly amazed at how much you twist the scriptures to suit yourself. The cross debate is an old one, no Christian worships the cross. It is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus. ‘Take up your cross and follow me…” (Mark 8:34) Signifying our individual struggles in this world.

    On the other hand, the Israelites WERE worshipping the golden calf. It was a deity idol, it was NOT a graven image of I AM. In Egypt, from where the Hebrews had recently come, the Apis Bull was the comparable object of worship, which the Hebrews were reviving in the wilderness. Where do you get this stuff?

    Your scripture is wrong. It talks about donkeys going astray and that you should return it to the owner. Am I missing something? Perhaps you meant Exodus 20?

    You do not need to be a prophet to know God’s purpose. Perhaps I can educate you on that. Jesus told us what God’s purpose for us is. It is simple, like his Gospel:

    “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered….” John 15:4-6

    If you are worshipping Krishna, or Vishnu, you are not obeying the Lord. This goes back to Exodus 20, which you nicely brought up. The direct translation out of the Hebrew says:

    “There shall be to you no other powers above My face,” or from the Abarim Publications translation: “And there are to be no lesser powers between you and Me.”

    No one, not Krishna, Vishnu, Joe Smith, Thomas Monson, or anyone else, or any graven image, or power of nature is to come between us and God (Jesus).

    That is why I don’t believe in ANY denomination. I believe the Bible and worship Jesus. He is all I need, and I am ‘the praise of His Glory.”

  3. grindael says:

    This is for the benefit of all those who visit this site: (since we are accused of ignorance)

    Origin of the Hare Krishna’s (ISKON)dates back to 1486. Mahaprabhu taught Krishna was supreme Lord above every god. He advocated a devotional method of faith thru dancing and chanting (like the Sufi Muslims or whirling dervishes).

    Krishna is still quite Hindu since he is a manifestation (Avatar) of Vishnu, one of the classic deities of Hinduism. They also retain the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, as well as the doctrines of Karma and Re-incarnation. See any problems here yet?

    The ultimate goal for Hare Krishnas is a transcendental loving relationship with Lord Krishna. The ISKON is quite demanding of its adherents. Becoming a member involves choosing a guru and becoming his disciple. (There is a whole discourse on WHY you NEED a GURU on their Website)

    This guru is so critical that it is said, “without [the Guru] the cultivation of Krishna consciousness is impossible. From the devotee’s side, “initiation means that he accepts the guru as his spiritual master and agrees to worship him as God.” (I’m seeing real problems here)

    Their view of God is basically pantheistic – for Hare Krishna’s, God is everything and everything is God. (It is also the worship of ALL or many deities) Christians believe God is transcendent—He is above all that He created, and he is the ONLY deity.

    The goal of the Hare Krishna is to reach a “Krishna consciousness,” a kind of enlightenment. This is the deepest identification with Krishna. In so far as ISKON is truly Hindu, it ascribes to a pantheist view of God and therefore teaches that man is ultimately identical to God. Shades of the Garden of Eden and joe smith! “you will be as God”(Genesis 3:5).

    Like all FALSE religions, salvation for the Hare Krishna is reduced to a series of works. Yes, they believe in devotion and relationship, but these are built up from WORKS. In practice they need to chant more, dance more, and always work harder

  4. grindael says:

    to avoid that “karmic debt” which will keep them from entering into “Krishna consciousness.”

    Salvation for Krishna’s is based on the Hindu concept of karma, (retributive justice). It requires belief in reincarnation and/or transmigration of the soul. (Which even Joe said was a doctrine of the devil as found in TOTPJS)

    One is judged for his works. You continue to be reincarnated into higher life forms if your deeds are good, or lower life forms if your deeds are bad. If you do more good than bad you can cease the cycles of rebirth and realize oneness with Krishna.

    From the Sri Sri Radha Temple Website: “If you don’t believe in reincarnation, don’t worry. You probably will in your next lifetime.” Swami Beyondananda

    How different this is from the compassionate and merciful God of the Bible who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

    The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    No amount of good deeds can ever achieve salvation for anyone. And even where Hare Krishnas rightly assert that a loving relationship is necessary for salvation, Krishna is still the wrong object of devotion.

  5. grindael says:

    Hare Krishnas, like all humanity, have only one hope for eternal life: Jesus Christ, crucified, resurrected and exalted forever. All other paths, sad to say, lead to destruction. Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me ” (John 14:6) for “there is salvation in no other One; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

    Karma (found in Buddist & Hindu Religions) is the idea that what you do in this life will determine your status in the next. Do good, you might become a cow. Do bad, you might become a [filtered profanity or slur]roach. Karma is based on belief in re-incarnation. This is rejected by the Bible, so must Karma be.

    Hebrews 9:27 states, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” After death we face judgement: there are no second chances.

    We must always remember that it was Jesus whose death on the cross resulted in the reaping of eternal life for us, and that it is faith in Jesus that gives us this eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Therefore, we see that the concept of reincarnation and karma is incompatible with what the Bible teaches about life, death, and the sowing and reaping of eternal life.

    Belief in reincarnation is very old, and is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism.

    Many other modern pagans also believe in reincarnation as do some New Age movements, along with followers of spiritism. For Christians there can be no doubt: Krishna & reincarnation are unbiblical and must be rejected as false.

    Credit to college textbooks I still have….(from BYU) & Web Research at Krishna sites…

  6. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Martin said

    “Amen, Grindael, and an important point: the Gospel of the Bible is public, transparent, open to scrutiny, available for inspection.”

    This was made as a contrast to Smith using a stone, alone or with limited people, in translation (with the assumption that because this was not ‘available for inspection’ it must be false.

    I just want to clarify to make sure I understand. Martin and Grindael: Are you saying that miracles must be public, transparent, open to scrutiny, and/or available for inspection as a criteria or test for validity? Please clarify that I understand your position before I proceed.

  7. jeffrey b says:

    Sub, thank you for answering my question, I appreciate your honesty.

    You had posted some scripture about loving your neighbor and not condemning or exacting vengeance upon people. To which Grandael Stated:

    “No one here has posted anything about hating the hindis. They are NOT christians, and so it is our task to convert them to the true way. It does not serve God’s purpose to help them build temples to false deities.”

    That is exactly the response I would have given. Do you understand those verses better now? It is very dangerous and sad to me that you interpret those verses as saying to support people in their walk AWAY from Jesus Christ. Because that is just it, that religion (which grindael did an awesome job of giving us some information on it) is definitely not in support of Jesus Christ and THE one true God.

    Would you catch Christ using his carpentry skills to help build a place of worship where the worship that took place there WASN’T focused on Him? ANSWER THIS PLEASE. If your answer is Yes, please explain why you think so.

    I think God would destroy such a place of idolatry, but hey, I’m only judging that upon what God has done in the past with groups of people leading others away from Him. Maybe he is a schizo in your mind?

    I will explain my thoughts on Spiritual evil and physical evil next…

  8. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Liv said:

    “God never gave Joe a command to use the rock to prove that He was working in Joe for any purpose.”

    I will quote from the title page of the Book of Mormon (remember the book that this so-called magic rock produced)

    “….To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof…

    Liv, for what purpose? Precisely to show that Joe and the magic rock (I am quoting the Ev’s here) were the means God was using to deliver His message.

    “…And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.”

    The same reason Moses had the staff! It was indisputable evidence that God was working through him. It was tangible, verifiable, etc. All the things you guys like. I see no difference

  9. jeffrey b says:

    Which is worse? Physical evil or Spiritual Evil?

    Someone said earlier that they believe Spiritual Evil seems worse.. And I would side with them on that.

    I would much rather be raped, tortured, and have the most awful things happen to me (think Job) then to be led down a path away from the Love of Christ which is Salvation unto men. I can endure all things through God because He Loves me, and has prepared a place for me. Whatever I go through on earth ends when Jesus picks me up from the grave and brings me to His kingdom.

    You answered that rape/murder is worse than spiritual darkness and I couldn’t disagree with you more. Both are wicked and evil.

    To me Sub, it sounds like you fear evil more than you fear the Lord.

    This is also a form of idolatry. What/Who is more powerful in your life, your enemies? Enemies of Mankind? or The Almighty God? By building up a temple that practices such idolatry is to support leading others into spiritual darkness. You’re fighting against his Gospel through the twisted Mormon interpretation of Scripture.

    My God is amazing sub, he can use evil acts such as Rape and Murder to bring someone to know Him. The depravity of mankind should be enough to show us how much we need him.

    Instead of worrying about doing “all i can do”, I can immediately feel loved, accepted, and righteous because of what He did, not what I do.

    I love you sub, and I’m serious. My wife was LDS her whole life until about a year ago when God opened her eyes and she can now feel peace instead of that worry about “being worthy”.

    Night Sub

  10. grindael says:

    DOTF
    I am not foolish enough to put limitations on God. I see through your feeble attempts to try and trap me. You take one example and then try to put words in our mouths. Good thing God gave us guidelines so that those who claim his power can be verified. You know them, I won’t bother to reiterate them.

    If Joe was ‘the greatest prophet who ever lived’ (his words) I see nothing but parlour tricks that he ‘performed’ in front of relatives and naive people he could bamboozle. I see failed prophecies, dishonesty, lying, adultery, arrogance, violence, hypocrisy & hate. He was no Moses.

    Moses qualified his prophetic calling by doing so in miraculous fashion in front of thousands of people. God reassured His people be allowing it to be so. joe, the greatest prophet the world has ever seen (so he says) used a stone in a hat to produce a book riddled with errors, devoid of any archeological proof, and numerous other revelations he changed and added to (in a devious way) to promote himself as a prophet.

    There is no comparison between joe and moses. Miracles happen everyday, because we have a loving and caring God who watches over his children. Joe claimed to be a mighty prophet who spoke for God and claimed he was a god to his followers. He never stood his ground, he always ran. Seems the devil & his followers had more power than ol Joe & his god, they drove him out of every state he ever lived in and then killed him to boot. He was planning to run from Nauvoo too.

    The focus on joe is DIFFERENT because of WHAT HE CLAIMED. My point is: he withers under scrutiny. You and others from your cult have a bad habit of comparing him with Bible prophets and the Saviour. He was’t a prophet, and the Bible Prophets have been confirmed by God and History. Joe has not, nor will he ever meet the test.

  11. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Grindael: You can refuse to answer my question if you want, but I am just trying to understand Christian doctrine. Maybe someone else will weigh in. Repeat question

    “Are you saying that miracles must be public, transparent, open to scrutiny, and/or available for inspection as a criteria or test for validity.” YES OR NO will suffice.

  12. grindael says:

    DTOF,

    I answered it. Read the post. Miracles happen everyday. Joe’s circumstances are different because of what he claimed. What don’t you understand?

  13. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Grin, you said

    “Joe did his ‘magic trick’ hidden from view among a very small number of people. Moses stood among the whole court of Pharaoh.”

    I am just trying to figure out how you decide if an act is divine or a fake. This quote makes me think that your criteria is hidden vs. open is, at least one of, your determining criteria. I am just asking for clarification.

  14. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Can I just say that Jeffrey B is my favorite EV on this blog. I don’t mean to play favorites but I really think his comments display a spirit of genuine concern and love. Although I don’t usually agree with his interpretations, his comments are usually what I would expect from a real follower of Christ. “By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.”

    That is one of the reasons I joined the LDS church. Love for one another is clearly present.

    Kudos to Jeffrey B

  15. jeffrey b says:

    You’re making me blush Defender, lol.

    Seriously though, thank you. I must say though, it is hard to hold back from getting frustrated and lashing out towards Mormons for having faith in something that I think has deceived them and that I feel is so easy to see through.

    I have a strong disagreement with the religion of Mormonism and I hope my comments reflect that and are not taken as personal attacks. Simple fact that we can agree on is we aren’t all perfect and our passions can overtake us.

    I get frustrated that my in-laws continually try to bring her back to the dark side (just a poke at humor there, lol), especially because she told them she doesn’t want to discuss it, but I totally understand where they come from. Whenever I challenged her faith it ended up in us not talking to each other for a while. This is why I love this blog because she wanted to know what I was saying on this blog and it brought to surface some doctrinal questions she had. So I would just like to thank all of those on here that express their opinion, LDS as well.

    I attended a ward to support my wife for 5 straight years when she was Mormon and I know that Mormons aren’t weird brainwashed robots, they are exactly like me but hold to a different view of God. Some people seem fake, but there are fake people in all religions.

    Anyways, there’s my rant for the night.. It’s time to be a nerd and play some computer games 🙂

  16. DoF asked

    Martin and Grindael: Are you saying that miracles must be public, transparent, open to scrutiny, and/or available for inspection as a criteria or test for validity?

    For me, its neither one or the other. The issue is not about the validity of the miracle, but rather why do it at all? Miracles come in the Bible in all shapes and sizes; some are on a grand, public scale and others are more intimate and personal. So, what’s the “unifying” purpose behind them (assuming there is a “unifying purpose”, and God isn’t simply showing off)?

    The simplest and most profound explanation I have come to is that God delights in revealing Himself to us. Its a reciprocal process; as we behold God, we also see ourselves as we truly are, because His light brings our true nature to light.

    This idea is most clearly expressed in the incarnation. God reveals Himself to us in the person of Jesus, and as we interact with Jesus, we get to find out what we’re really like. Its not all pretty, either – remember the episode at Calvary?

    We also see the people of God bearing His witness to world, firstly through Israel and then through the Church. The fact that you can read this at all has much to do with the Protestant Reformers promoting reading and learning so that people could know and understand the Bible without relying on someone else to interpret it for them.

    Then, Joseph Smith overturns all of this with his secret gospel and exclusive rituals. The god(s) of Mormonism are closely guarded and revealed only to those who have proven their allegiance. Even your so-called prophets won’t tell the world what they preach (“I don’t know that we teach it…” Gordon B Hinckley, 1997)

    Oddly, the internet is now doing the job that your incompetent prophets should be doing by bringing the full mission and teachings of Joseph Smith to light. Thank God that we can see him for what he is, despite the efforts of the LDS Church

    It seems that God is not silent after all

  17. grindael says:

    DOTF,
    I have never related this story publically, but I do so now to show you that yes, I do believe God works in our lives today.
    My Brother-in-law got colon cancer in 2005. He had operations, but after a year and a half sat wasting away in a cancer hospital with a doctor’s death sentence hanging over him. I was in Florida then, and he lived in New York. While this was going on God saw fit to change my heart and draw me to Himself.
    Soon after my conversion in Florida my wife’s elderly aunt got very ill, she was in bed for months deathly sick. I had painted a large oil painting of her dead sister, (my wife’s mother) and she asked me if I would bring it by and hang it in her room to comfort her (she felt she was going to be seeing her soon.) She had pneumonia (among other things) and could not get out of bed. (She was in her 70’s & had not been out of bed in weeks.)
    I had a habit then of bringing a Bible with me everywhere, and on that day I hung the picture and she (a devout Christian) was lamenting the fact that her beautiful back yard was in a shambles because she was sick and could not tend it and asked me if I would. I then spent 3 days cleaning it up to cheer her up and reading my Bible when I took breaks. When it was done, I was sitting in her back yard reading the Bible and a thought came to me.
    I went in the house to her room and laid my hands on her and blessed her. When I first went in the room, she looked me in the eyes and said “I know what you are going to do,” and she smiled and said “go ahead.” When I blessed her, I said things that mortified me, like she was going to be completely well, have a big family re-union (a year from then) and that God was not ready to take her then or anytime soon because her family needed her. Her immediate family had given up on her, and I knew what the Doctors had said.

  18. grindael says:

    She told me afterward not to worry, that the back yard was her favorite place and that for 40 years God’s spirit had comforted her there, and she had sent me out there to talk to Him, for she had seen the change in me. She got out of bed that day and took a shower. She is alive and doing well today, and it was a powerful testimony to me of her faith in God.

    Skip ahead 6 months later. I moved to NY (reluctantly), and my brother-in-law was in Roswell Cancer Hospital in Buffalo. I had some problems in my life at that time. Out of the blue my other brother-in-law came to my house and said he was going to see our sick brother, and could I come? On the way he said it was for the purpose of blessing him. At the time I was amazed, because he did not visit me often.

    To make a long story short, my brother-in-law had a complete turn around, and has his old job at Fed-Ex back, and his life. He also is a devout Christian, and had been his whole life. And my other brother in law did not know of the incident in Florida. Looking back, I feel the Lord had a purpose for all that happened. Was all that for my benefit or theirs? I don’t know. I just know God works in our lives today, and I am NOT in any way special or unique.

    My observation about joe (because YOU compared him to Moses) was that God called him (Moses) to be a prophet, and his prophetic credentials were revealed openly to ALL. joe manipulated the circumstances of what supposedly happened to him, using parlour tricks and tall tales. The criteria for judging his supposed miracles? His life. Everything done in secret, around a select few he could manipulate. A history full of holes and lies and self aggrandizement. God is with us today, and joe and his magic rock and priesthood are not, and never have been needed to fulfill the purposes of God.

  19. subgenius says:

    Does anyone here actually know who the following quote is a description of?

    “All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of—and beyond—the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within”

    a rose by any other name is still a rose, is it not?

    Not one poster has been able to provide evidence that the Hindu worship a “false” god. Yes, there is evidence that they suffer from idolatry, but again, the reverence to a graven cross is also in violation of Exodus 20:4 , a law that even the Ev believe is still in effect….and violation of that law will still be judged, will it not.

    jeffrey b
    is your faith based on fear? mine is not. You may want to re-visit that argument.
    you say
    “Instead of worrying about doing “all i can do”, I can immediately feel loved, accepted, and righteous because of what He did, not what I do”
    this sums up many of the distracted Ev…they only have interest for the instant gratification, they have only an interest in what is fearful, and what can serve them best, here and now.

    Though i am glad your wife has found a supposed “relief” from her spiritual burden, i know that her course will one day be set straight again and she will be given the true peace she seeks.

  20. grindael says:

    Subgenius,

    I find your blanket attacks on the EV’s amusing. Looking for something to attack in your frustration, and finding nothing, you resort to the old ‘they worship the cross’ blather.

    You cannot refute the problems with your cult, (you don’t even try) and you misinterpret and twist the scriptures to suit yourself. The Hindu worship Vishnu, a FALSE GOD. (YOU can liken him to OUR God, (not MORMONJESUS) which you fail miserably at, but he is NOT).

    The Hindi practice re-incarnation, a FALSE teaching which nullifies our Saviours sacrifice on the Cross. They practice pantheism, another FALSE teaching. They WORSHIP GURU’s. How many FALSEHOODS do you need? You would support a system that suffers from idolatry? Anything to get a dig at the EV’s, eh?

    Your quote above about Vishnu (or Krishna as they call him) and your conclusion makes no sense. You remind me of the Pharisees, trying to put anything out there to trip good people up. You are transparent. Their Temples may be beautiful of the outside, but like whitewashed tombs they are full of dead mens bones.

    The ancients believed in Zeus, Apollo, Athena, etc. & described them as having powers like Vishnu. Are you going to defend them too?

    Because Hindi’s DESCRIBE Vishnu as all-pervading, etc., does not MAKE him what they say he is. (Like Adam-God) Give me a GOOD explanation for that one, since I answer ALL your questions.

    As I get to know you better sub, I see that you live in a fantasy world, where you make it up (like joe) as you go along. You can’t stand the fact that your cult can’t live up to the PR it puts out about itself.

    I’m telling you now, for your own soul, leave the path of destruction you are on. Stop playing devil’s advocate. You don’t know what you are messing with.

  21. subgenius says:

    grindael
    the cross and other like imagery (even in the LDS tradition) is a transgression of Exodus 20:4. You can not argue around that simple commandment. We also see this commandment taken very seriously in the middle east, where you see in more “fundamental” senses not even birds, flowers, or rocks are “graven”. Their historical record shows only images of abstract organic and geometric patterns. That is a strict adherence to Exodus 20:4….what continuous revelation did our churches receive that suddenly permitted loopholes to this commandment?
    With regards to the support of building a hindu temple, how do view the christian tradition of the christmas tree? (a seasonal appropriate analogy)…was the incorporation of the tree none other than a mediation between the christian and pagan traditions? Do we scream abomination at the evergreen within our homes? Is it a far stretch that long ago many a “better-knowing” christian claimed that utilizing the tree was merely a condoning of sacrilege? a going against the true God …and was there not others who saw the tree as something else?

    i never claimed the Hindu doctrine had falsehoods, nor have i considered that Vishnu is actually a false god. That is why i referenced the “rose”…I do not liken “our” God to anything else (nice choice of words from you by the way..”our” is most revealing)
    Zeus, Dinah, etc…is a totally different an irrelevant theology to our discussion.

    As for the fate of my soul…that is not really for you to determine…is it?

    and i am not playing devil’s advocate….i advocate for Our Heavenly Father.

    By the way…your post…brevity may not be lost after all……the light of passion seems to have found it.

    cya on the next thread

  22. grindael says:

    subgenius,

    blah blah blah blah blah. I determine nothing. It was a warning. And it is not passion that motivates me to respond to you, but simple bewilderment at your flawed logic. Your motives however, are transparent, as you are. How’s that for brevity?

    Still did not answer my question on Adam-God, and you won’t because you would rather flood these threads with inane questions than respond intelligently to doctrinal issues as I have done.

    By the way, Our God is the real one. Not MORMONJESUS or Vishnu. Maybe they are related?

  23. setfree says:

    grindael, thanks for sharing what you did above, about you and your family and getting healing from God.

    sub, the worship of the cross thing again? i seriously don’t know anyone who worships the cross. And i know quite a few Christians by now. The reason we use one is because we know what happened there…

    The thing the entire Bible is about – Jesus, btw. And the salvation that God promised was going to come through Him being the perfect lamb who bore our sins on Himself (became our curse), died the way God said He would after fulfilling everything in His life that God said He would…

    Mormons do not understand that the Bible is only about one thing. That is the real sadness of it. Jesus/Salvation/God’s love for us. All together, wrapped up in Jesus and what He did.

    And no… if salvation only meant that all of us are resurrected, some to each kingdom, some to outer darkness, then it wouldn’t be such a big deal as to have a book written over thousands of years, God come to earth, live sinlessly and die horribly, and raise again. He had to bear the burden of FORGIVENESS for all our junk.

    Which… until you see yourself as junk, Sub, will be mostly what you are. Same as the rest of us.

  24. mobaby says:

    Subgenius,

    It is impossible to take you seriously on the cross issue. Have you seen what sits on top of Mormon temples? Have you seen what sits in the Mormon visitors center in Temple Square?
    http://www.lds.org/placestovisit/location/0,10634,1881-1-1-1,00.html

    The Bible forbids idols of worship. I know of no one who worships the cross, or the crucifix for that matter. I am sure no one worships the statue of Jesus in the Mormon visitors center. You suddenly sound like an iconoclastic reformer – when it suits your purposes. Unfortunately, judging by the Moroni and Jesus statues the LDS religion does not agree.

  25. subgenius says:

    mobaby
    you are actually incorrect, as most have been on this issue.
    Exodus 20:3 forbids “worship of other gods” not to say these gods do not exist, just don’t worship them.
    Exodus 20:4 forbids “graven images” of that which is in heaven or on earth…this does not necessarily imply worship (which is aptly covered in verse 3)
    ….and yes, the graven image atop Mormon temples would also be in violation. So, one can’t help but wonder when Christianity felt that it was acceptable to “compromise” on this commandment…and if compromise is possible without condemnation (i hope) then surely this slippery slope applies elsewhere…in context…in a continuous revelation sort of way….right?
    personally, as a mormon, the cross is a less desirable symbol because it is an emphasis of His death and of His suffering which ultimately turns to the self (“because this was done for me”)…..i prefer to remember Gethsemane and not with a momento or graven image per se…furthermore our emphahsis is on His life…which, in my opinion, has a greater significance and a gretaer impact on our souls and lives.

    so the point of whether the moroni statue or the cross are “worshipped” or are “objects of rememberance” is irrelevant to the commandment in Exodus 20:4. Nonetheless, interesting aspects in the evolution of that commandment.
    And i never claimed that my church was guiltless on this point, did i?

    setfree
    i never claim anyone “worships” the cross…see my comments herein to mobaby.
    and for the record…saw myself as junk long ago, arrogant of you to assume otherwise.

    grindael
    “Our God is the real one”
    yes, and won’t you be surprised one day.

    sorry, i missed your question (and could not find it above)…i would gladly respond – what was the Adam-God question?

  26. setfree says:

    sub, you seriously think you’re junk? what are you going to about that?

    Spencer Kimball, in his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness” says that even when we think we are wearing a white shirt (that we are sin-free), God can see the itty-bitty little specks of dust on our shirt that we don’t see. And those are still sin, in his eyes.

    He also says, you can’t say “I tried”. Trying isn’t good enough. like Yoda “Do or do not, there is no try”

    How will you account for yourself, if trying is not good enough, and you have sins you don’t know about?

  27. grindael says:

    sub

    I won’t be, because I know Him.

  28. mobaby says:

    Sub,

    In an interesting note, I think you would be much better served if you followed the theology of someone who would agree with you on graven images for the most part – John Calvin. Reformed/Calvinst Churches (that are true to their heritage) tend to be devoid of artwork of any kind. Maybe a cross, although Calvin spoke against a profusion of crosses and said it is better to focus in personal devotion on Christ crucified rather than have an abundance of crosses on the walls. I used to sit under a pastor who once preached a sermon on how Christians should not have any depictions of Jesus (in children’s books, artwork, etc.). He did not even go see The Passion. He knew his sermon would be controversial and prefaced it as such. I now disagree with this, and I disagree with you. The verse you are pointing to is in the context of idolatry and false gods – if this association is not meant the verse falls in a strange place. It is not a blanket condemnation of all artwork. On a philosophical level – why would God gift people with the arts only to say this is strictly forbidden?

    Setfree,

    A Joseph Smith Nativity Scene! That’s outrageous. Now, that’s something I can agree is idolatry. A work of devotion to a mere man – and a false prophet at that.

  29. jeffrey b says:

    Is there someone other than Sub that wishes to comment? He’s obviously outnumbered and losing his temper and the “battle” when his comments may as well be “Evangelicals are dumb.”

    I would love to see what some of the LDS and Evangelical lurkers think on this issue. That’s why I’m here because I know there is no changing Subgenius’ mind. God may in the future with seeds planted, but I’m not here to attempt to help change the mind of someone who willfully fights against it.

    Sub, it’s looking a lot like your defending Hare Krishna just as much as Mormonism, perhaps you want to start an offshoot with doctrine from both?

    Anyways, time to watch my nephew’s music performance.. Adios muchachos.

  30. mobaby says:

    Two stories in the scriptures where God asked for sculptures to be made:

    1) the serpent that Moses lifted up, that the people of God could look upon for healing.
    2) the angels on the Ark of the Covenant

    So, the prohibition must be interpreted to go with false worship of idols.

  31. setfree says:

    Two cool things that God was foreshadowing

    1)Jesus on the cross, as our sin, becoming our healing
    2)two angels in the tomb after Jesus resurrected

    So, seriously Sub, God was just showing us Jesus again. Not giving us an idol to worship. Not condoning worship of graven or otherwise images. It’s always about Jesus. He’s the only one.

  32. subgenius says:

    mobaby
    talk yourself into what you want…Exodus 20:4 is not about false gods…and it is not about worship…but many today interpret things as they will.
    a gift for the arts is also displayed throughout work that does not have “graven images”…you can not win this argument because you argue against the scriptures…so, how do respond to my point about when christianity “compromised”?
    Surely you are not attempting to imnpose man’s logic on God…why does he give some the “gift” for violence? your hypothesis is flawed my friend.

    As for your “God commanded 2 sculptures” ergo it must be about worship…???? please, worst inference ever…try again…i mean are you really comparing yourself to Moses, Ezekial, or Solomon?..did you not bother to read the explanation God gave for those “sculptures”…are you claiming that God has commanded people to wear gold crosses on chains around their neck, etc..?…after all God also commanded Abraham to sacrifice Adam, right?-what loophole does this provide the Ev?

    grindael
    then why do you deny Him.

    setfree
    like many here, you miss the point….me not being good enough does not mean i stop trying…you see you fail to understand that Mormons also realize that the key to our salvation is the atonement. We do not substitute what Christ did for us, both in His life and His death.

    jeffrey b
    not defending anything…simply pointing out the short sightedness of prejudice….and those seeds will surely grow tares.

  33. setfree says:

    sub, you missed the point. it is not good enough to try

  34. mobaby says:

    Sub,

    Your response is very blustery, but does not address my point. Why would God ask these images to be made if it is strictly prohibited? I am only interpreting scripture in light of scripture and in context. Setfree explains how God used these 2 images to proclaim Christ! A ban on all sculpture/images is not supported by scripture. It is a ban on idols and idol worship and forming an idol for worship. Idolatry – this is exactly what the Mormons supported when they gave $25,000 and their support to the building of a Hindu temple.
    Look at the verse before Exodus 20:4 and the verse after:
    Exodus 20:3 – You shall have no other gods before me.
    Exodus 20:5 – You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,…
    Pretty apparent what these verses are all about.

    I think your analogy of violence comparing it to artwork is not a good parallel, however, being willing to do violence in defense of the weak is a good thing. I am glad there are police officers that are willing to do violence to protect my family and all the citizens of our city.

  35. mobaby says:

    Also, Moses was correct in making the bronze serpent as God asked for God’s purposes, however, the people went on to turn this very bronze serpent into an idol – 2 Kings 18:4

    Was it wrong to make the bronze serpent as God told Moses to do? Or was it wrong of the people to turn it into an idol and worship it? Where does the problem lie – in the object itself, or in the people and their false worship? The problem is man’s sinful heart.

  36. grindael says:

    subgenius,

    Transparent. Brevity over substance, eh?

  37. liv4jc says:

    Sub, seriously, you cannot say that the second commandment is not against bowing down and worshiping the idols created in Exodus 20:4 in light of Exodus 20:3-6. Are you seriously saying that it is a violation of Exodus 20:4 to create a graven image for any purpose?

    The second commandment is directed at bowing down to graven images representing God or gods. This includes making any graven image and bowing down to it even if you are praying to Yahweh (Isaiah 40:18 and Isaiah 46:5 come to mind). This is why some churches forbid even artistic renderings of Jesus or God. They don’t want to implant an image of what Jesus looked like into the mind of worshipers. I don’t think any Christian thinks Jesus or God looks like a cross.

  38. subgenius says:

    setfree
    you missed the point…it is actually not good enough to NOT try…to accept Jesus and still not try will surely bring about a different judgement…after all one can not even be judged unless you “know” Him…He will turn you away, right?…so why would He bother to judge those that “know” Him unless it was because “knowing” Him is not enough….one must still do…yes Yoda is right.

    mobaby
    Since God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, sacrificing your child must be an acceptable practice, so long as you do it in “remeberance” of God, right?
    Sounds like you are trying to make God adhere to His law…sounds like you are trying to say that since God did it, I can do it……you are bold my friend..but you are wrong.
    and instead of violence, how about music..God gives the gift of music to many..does that mean that all music is righteous? All music is pleasing to God? All music is reverent?

    grindael
    brevity over substance? does not brevity rely on substance, by definition?..seems like you may be unfamiliar with both terms.

    liv4jc
    seriously, what i am saying is that many here pass judgement on things they know little about…like Hindu faith..or like how a community compromise will actually open doors to save others, or like how it was a temple that was built, but a bridge.
    If the Ev can subscribe to the you gotta be cruel to be kind philosophy, why can’t the LDS church be paradoxical as well?

  39. rvales says:

    Sub-
    If God were to ask you right now what level of heaven you deserve what would you tell him?

  40. mobaby says:

    Sub,

    Yes – there is idolatrous music and good music. And even faithful, good music can become idolatrous in our sinful hearts. Likewise, there is idolatrous graven images used and created for idolatry, and there is artwork used to inspire, uplift, and turn the viewer to Christ! Besides, a simple cross does not even qualify as a graven image. What about the compass and bee hives and sun faces and numerous relief sculptures on the Mormon temples? Those seem NOT to point the viewer to Christ and be more pagan. Didn’t Joseph Smith oversee this use of Masonic imagery being incorporated in the LDS temples in many places and ways? THIS is troublesome,

    http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/masonicsymbolsandtheldstemple.htm

    not a cross that reminds the viewer of Christ crucified for our sins.

    Your reasoning on Abraham’s sacrifice is not relevant. For one, the final sacrifice has been made – the Lord Jesus Christ atoned for all my sins on the cross. Abraham himself raised questions about God’s direction on sacrificing Isaac, but knew that God could raise his son from the dead if need be (a foreshadowing). And, finally, the sacrifice never actually happened – God Himself provided a sacrifice – another amazing foreshadow of God HIMSELF providing the sacrifice for our sins.

  41. grindael says:

    sub,

    Transparent & irrelevant. But you got one thing right. Your cult IS full of contradictions, & it shows in your posts.

  42. setfree says:

    no sub, Jesus never does, and will not, turn me away. Why? cuz I’ve “put all my eggs in His basket”, meaning, I believe He is who He said He is, what He said He did, and how it applies to me. I am 100% resting in Him as my Savior.

    And for me, this does not just mean resurrection, but life with God, after this one.

    The “Yoda” thing does not apply to me… it wasn’t my prophet who said it (it used to be, but I left that prophet for Jesus)

  43. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I am a little late in getting back to Grindael. But I want to thank him for sharing the experience. Before I point out a few things, I want him to know that I believe his experience was real and valid.

    The thing I don’t understand is how Grindael can have an experience like that and still treat Joseph Smith like he does. I will use his quote and then treat him like he treats Smith.

    “joe manipulated the circumstances of what supposedly happened to him, using parlour tricks and tall tales.”

    Grindael, I could accuse you of the very same tactics, saying that you used your family members’ illnesses (tall tales) as a way to push your own agenda and boost your own ego (laying on of hands miracle). How would you feel if I accused you of this? Surely, you would say I wasn’t there, I could I possibly know…or maybe it doesn’t matter what I believe because you experienced it.

    And then you follow with this…”The criteria for judging his supposed miracles? His life. Everything done in secret, around a select few he could manipulate.”

    So did you manipulate grandma and wasn’t that miracle done in secret? (only the two of you) If I were to judge you with the same harshness that you apply to Joseph Smith, where would your own story stand? It is a double standard that I cannot understand.

  44. setfree says:

    DOTF, grindael isn’t setting himself up as prophet, leader of a new group, president of the united states, etc. He isn’t claiming no one’s truth is true but his. He is only allowing God to use him to help others. No fame, no fortune, no headquarters involved.

  45. grindael says:

    DOTF,

    My motives are not the same as joe’s. Im not using the experience to dupe people into believing rubbish as smith did. I only related the story to say I still believe God does miracles in this time. I did not preach certain doctrines and then disobey, them disregard them and dismiss them. The only double standard is the one smith applied to himself.

    (thank you setfree for seeing the obvious)

  46. Ralph says:

    For those who are daring, go to the Sydney Morning Herald website (smh.com.au) and look at the headings in the video news section. There is one about a billboard in New Zealand with Mary and Joseph in bed. The writing on it says “Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow”.

    If you want more info google ‘Mary Joseph New Zealand billboard’ and you will find more.

    It was a Christian church that put the billboard up. Lucky they are saved by their faith in Jesus not their works.

  47. setfree says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6832468/Christians-outraged-by-poster-showing-Mary-and-Joseph-after-sex.html

    Ralph, something you’re not “getting”?

    “Christian” doesn’t mean “saved” unless it means “saved”. Get it? God knows who are His. Even Mormons claim to be Christian, and yet teach an entirely different God and Jesus than the Bible does.

    So… some “Christian” church puts up this billboard, and some “Christians” are already “outraged” by it. When I first saw it I thought… how Mormon!

  48. mailinator12345 says:

    "What would the Apostle Paul have to say…"

    Paul, specifically? Not sure. But hopefully it would be something on topic, like "judge not…", "if any of you are without sin…", or "love one another". I'm no Biblical scholar, but I am *pretty sure* that the salient message of the Bible is NOT "only use this book to argue about the fine print and to justify reasons to place your ignorance and arrogance higher than the Word of the Almighty". Though I suppose it is possible that I read a different version than you did.

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