Mormon Official Equates Christianity with “a false cult”

Mormons believe that in 1820 a young Joseph Smith went into the woods to pray. In answer to that prayer, they believe, Joseph was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ. Today this is called the First Vision. As Joseph reported this vision (in the version that has since been named “official”), he asked the Deities which sect or church was right, and which one he should join. Joseph wrote,

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt…” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19)

Mormonism entered into the religious scene swinging. According to Mormonism’s founding prophet, if you are not a Mormon, your church is wrong, your beliefs are abomination to God, and you and your fellow professing church members are all corrupt.

I wonder if Mormons would see this as an example of “the blessings of faith [that] carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate” that Mitt Romney has been talking about recently?

Last weekend Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress publically identified Mormonism as a theological cult. Dr. Jeffress used the term “cult” as a theological classification, not as a pejorative, but that point seems to be lost on Mormons and the mainstream media.

Since Dr. Jeffress’ comments have been made known, Mormons have been vocally decrying his “bigotry,” his “hatred,” and his “fanaticism.” Truthfully, this all too common knee-jerk Mormon reaction grows wearisome.

Mormonism’s very existence is unseverable from the “poisonous language” of its founders and leaders. Why was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established? Because all existing churches in 1820 were declared wrong–they had abominable creeds and corrupt members professing those creeds. The Mormon Church was established because (it claims) true Christianity had vanished from the earth; it had fallen into complete and total apostasy:

“Every Latter-day Saint knows that following the death of the apostles, Paul’s prophecy was fulfilled, for there were many ‘grievous wolves’ that entered the flock, and men arose ‘speaking perverse things,’ so that the doctrines were changed and the true Church of Jesus Christ ceased to be on the earth. For this reason there had to come a restoration of the Church and a new revelation and bestowal of divine authority. The Church of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures are, therefore, not responsible for the changed doctrines and unscientific teachings of those times, when uninspired ecclesiastics controlled the thinking of the people.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, pp. 467)

Consider just a few of the “punches” Mormonism has thrown in its fight against Christianity:

“Christians—those poor, miserable priests brother Brigham was speaking about—some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth, and at the same time preaching righteousness to the children of men. The poor devils, they could not get up here and preach an oral discourse, to save themselves from hell; they are preaching their fathers’ sermons—preaching sermons that were written a hundred years before they were born.” (Heber C. Kimball, July 26, 1857, Journal of Discourses 5:89-90)

“Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity.” (Brigham Young, July 8, 1863, Journal of Discourses, 10:230).

“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools…” (John Taylor, May 6, 1870, Journal of Discourses 13:225)

“I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of religion; I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so; but no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called—I call it a false Christianity, untrue to its name—satisfies the wants of humanity at the present time.” (George Q. Cannon, July 15, 1883, Journal of Discourses 24:185)

“The false and corrupt institutions, and still more corrupt practices of ‘Christendom,’ have had a downward tendency in the generations of man for many centuries. …The overthrow of those ancient degenerate races is a type of that which now awaits the nations called ‘Christian,’ or in other words, ‘the great whore that sitteth upon many waters….” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1978, p. 106)

“A false Christ…is a false system of worship, a false church, a false cult that says: ‘Lo, here is salvation; here is the doctrine of Christ. Come and believe thus and so, and ye shall be saved.’…We hear the voice of false Christs when we hear the Athanasian Creed proclaim that ‘whosoever will be saved’ must believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are incomprehensible and uncreated, that they form a Trinity of equals, who are not three Gods but one God, and not one God but three Gods, and that unless we so believe we ‘cannot be saved,’ and ‘shall perish everlastingly.’” (Bruce McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, p. 48.)

“False creeds make false churches. There is no salvation in believing a lie. Every informed, inspired, and discerning person is revolted by the absurdities and scripture-defying pronouncements in the creeds of Christendom…” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary 1:30. Footnote 2)

“To say that Satan sits in the place of God in Christianity after the time of the Apostles is not to say that all that is in it is satanic…Still, ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16) is absent from all but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which the Lord himself has proclaimed to be ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth (D&C 1:30). Satan’s goal of hindering many of God’s children from returning to their Father’s glory is thus realized.” (Kent P. Jackson, “Early Signs of the Apostasy,” Ensign, December 1984, p. 9)

Given the statements I’ve quoted above, I’m astonished that Mormons cry foul when any Christian declares that Mormonism is outside the theological boundaries of Christianity. Do Mormons really believe it is reprehensibly one-sided for evangelical Christians to use strong language to define the fact that there are vast differences between Mormonism and Christianity? Apparently so; a Mormon calling himself Eichendorff went on record with this non sequitur: “no Latter-day Saint makes a point of condemning the beliefs of Evangelicals.”

Mormons who complain about Christians questioning the theology of Mormonism–protesting against any suggestion that Mormonism isn’t Christianity with cries of “bigotry,” “hatred,” and “fanaticism”—need to take a look at the historical discourse found in their own church.  I would like to see Mormons abandon this hypocritical name-calling and (changing sports metaphors here) step up to the plate for real, thoughtful discussion. As Bill McKeever is fond of saying, “If Mormons want to be in the religious Big Leagues they need to knock it off.”

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.
This entry was posted in Mormon Culture, Mormon Leaders, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

136 Responses to Mormon Official Equates Christianity with “a false cult”

  1. Mike R says:

    Well said Rick .

  2. grindael says:

    Nelson,

    http://www.catholicsource.net/articles/mormonism.html

    From the site:

    Always focus the discussion toward these two points:

    Demonstrate that Joseph Smith is a false prophet
    Disprove “Great Apostasy” (no total apostasy, no restoration, no Mormonism)

    That is only one. Apologetics became necessary as the world progressed, and as heretics broke from the faith, methods were developed to counter against them. That is why specific language was needed to define God, and creeds were developed. They don’t take the place of scripture, but they are a tool in helping to define God.

    Unfortunately, many Mormons view anything critical of the church as a personal attack. They don’t fully comprehend the reasons behind what critics do, what ex-Mormons go through, or having to deal with family trapped in a false gospel and how it affects them every day. (You can’t know, until you’ve been there).

    I suppose there were many Greeks and Romans, who railed on Paul for daring to claim that their definition of God was wrong. I’m sure Marcion and other heretics were quite upset with their contemporaries. But Mormons still go door to door, and if they find someone who says that they are a Christian, they will still try to “convert” them. Why is that, if they are Christians too? How do Christians protect themselves from this? They inform others about Mormonism. Since the Mormon Church is completely dishonest and deceptive in the way it presents itself, the burden is on the ex-Mormons, and the concerned Christians to do so.

    For example, why is there a new movie out about Smith, that does not show him translating the BOM with a peepstone and a hat? That is the truth, but it just doesn’t look good. The Bible has the good and the bad in it. Mormons have whitewash. _johnny

  3. Rick B says:

    Nelson,
    I want to say three things here.
    1. Jesus said to some of the religious leaders, You are in error of Scripture. We also find God the Father telling Moses he was wrong and telling Job he and his friends were wrong about who God was. Why is it ok for God and Jesus to tell people they are wrong about who God is and they are in error of scripture? And God tells us that we are watchmen and need to warn of the danger to come? But yet LDS will say, that is wrong? Who do I listen to and follow as my example, Jesus/God, or Mormons?

    2. Your LDS prophets and presidents have said many times, and even the D and C says it, Expose JS if he is a fraud, meet your enemies in the open and talk with them, confront us and correct us if we are wrong. Again, your leaders said this, we do this and you guys get mad.

    3. I have asked this many times and hear the same thing over and over, I cannot do this.
    Why is it LDS members can go door to door, telling people about their added gospel of works, deny the trinity, tell people Jesus and lucifer are brothers, tell people they can become Gods someday.

    But if I were to dress like a MM, and go door to door, said I am A LDS member and teach Grace alone, Trinity is real, Jesus created Lucifer and they are not brothers, and you will never be a God, you guys get mad and say I cannot do that. You guys admit you have a different gospel. Why can you say LDS are Christians, but Christians cannot say they are LDS and teach the gospel I laid out?

  4. Nelson says:

    Johnny: those are a few pages from a website, not an entire book, or an entire “ministry.” All religions do that.

    Why don’t we show Joseph Smith translating with a peepstone and a hat? Why don’t Evangelicals read Bart Ehrman in Sunday School? The reason he wrote those books is that all pastors, except those who attended conservative seminaries, know about problems with the NT being plagiarized, altered, and forged. And they hide that information from their congregations.

    Should all of you write papers on parallels between Jesus and the Osiris myth? How about between Moses and Sargon of Akkad? Faith-promotion only is the standard in all religions.

    We don’t have much information on early Christianity, but the more we learn the more problematic the issues become. On the other hand, Joseph Smith told everyone to get educated and write in their journals.

  5. Nelson says:

    And by the way, the Church has the hat Joseph Smith translated out of on display in Palmyra.

  6. 4fivesolas says:

    Nelson,
    If you want to deal seriously with the claims skeptics make about Christianity, there are books and resources that tackle those topics is a serious scholarly manner – in other words they don’t just gloss over in order to be “faith promoting.” I suspect you are not really interested in the topic of early Christian history and the reliability of Scripture, other than using it as a tool to say “well your religion is false too, see these people say so!” You can’t defend Mormonism, so you believe your arguments reduce the Christian faith to the same level – false. You argue: Mormon scripture is fabricated? Well so is Christian Scripture! Mormon history is problematic? Well Christian history is too!
    There are Christian apologetics that deal with actual questions, and quite well. Mormon apologetics are always left grasping for a response. I always wonder about Mormons who use arguments like yours – it does not make me think Mormonism is true, or even point in that direction really. I reject your argument that all religions engage in Mormon style faith promoting falsehood.

  7. Nelson says:

    To 5 solas: you captured my thoughts to perfection! 90% of the arguments I’ve heard from fundamentalist Christians can be used to dismantle their own faith.

    I’ve been to Christian apologetic sites like godandscience.org and CARM, and I have to say they make all religious people look stupid.

  8. Nelson says:

    And one last point before I jet, I’m not making any positive arguments for Mormonism, just showing where the arguments of fundamentalists fail. Ask yourself why 95% of people who leave Mormonism become atheists.

  9. 4fivesolas says:

    Nelson,

    Honestly – I am convinced that Scriptures are reliable and Jesus is the Messiah, the promised Redeemer who came to fulfill the sacrificial system for our sins. Through Him my sins are paid for in full. Compared to most, I probably have read and listened to quite a bit of infomation on the defense of Biblical reliability. However, it is not an issue I struggle with, so I don’t focus on it, other than to be able to give a defense of Christianity to skeptics. There are resources available for those interested, please read some these and take a listen to this program –

    Liberalism or Christianity – http://www.whitehorseinn.org/free-articles/liberalism-or-christianity-by-j.-gresham-machen.html

    I have read a good part of this book “Fabricating Jesus” by Craig Evans – it is a defense of the Scriptures and Christianity from a top level Biblical Scholar who is NOT a skeptic – he examines the facts and finds evidence for belief, not dis-belief: http://www.amazon.com/Fabricating-Jesus-Scholars-Distort-Gospels/dp/0830833188

    Here is an Issues Etc. program on the historical reliability of the gospels: http://issuesetc.org/podcast/261062909H1S2.mp3

    Take a look into some of these resources, I find the gospel of Jesus Christ engaging and have a firm belief in what He has done for me on the cross, and a trust in His promise of forgiveness. Jesus did what He said He did, and delivers what He promises. He is here today forgiving sins and reconciling to God.

  10. Nelson says:

    It looks like MRM is a creationist site, I can’t swallow that, I am a passionate evolutionist.

    Thanks for the links though, I think the Bible is generally reliable (though I don’t hold to inerrancy) and the issues aren’t irresolvable.

    I don’t believe anything in Mormon history is faith-destroying either, as the vast majority of people who know the most about it remain convinced the LDS Church is true. Mormons suffer far fewer faith-casualties from the secular study of religion than Evangelicals do, i.e., we don’t have to cry in graduate Biblical studies classes at secular Universities.

  11. Rick B says:

    Nelson said

    It looks like MRM is a creationist site, I can’t swallow that, I am a passionate evolutionist.

    It’s really sad that your letting man make a monkey out of you, then it’s even sadder that you dont believe God created us, yet you can believe that Non-Life gave rise to life. Lightning struck a bunch of Poisonous gas and Boom, we have life. Yea Right. Then a little one cell creature was formed and through years of mutations we have humans, but now we never see any “Good” mutations, instead the mutations kill us. Even sadder is, these so called mutations, or even a little scratch on a creature stayed and turned into a better thing. Yet if we crop a dogs ears, or snip his tail, when that dog has off spring, those Cutting dont pass on, or if a man loses a limb, or gets a scar on him, then when he has a child, his child is not born with that same limb missing, or scar. Yet true evolution teaches that things like that happened to these single cell creatures that later turned into eyes, or wings, or what ever. Have you ever watched the Movie by Ben Stine, No intelligence required? He is not a believer, but he exposed the evolutionists as clueless frauds. I love how they admitted, we cannot prove the Big bang, so we can only “ASSUME” IT HAPPENED, and we can go from there.

    Then one guy said, we came from Crystals. I said he meant Crystal Meth since he was smoking it when he came to that conclusion.

  12. Nelson says:

    Rick B: Thank you for confirming what I’ve always wanted to believe: [pejorative deleted] are largely ignorant fundamentalist Christians.

    Take a science class.

    I know that evolution is true, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

  13. Nelson says:

    === MODERATED ===

    The moderator issued a level 1 yellow card on this comment.

    === MODERATED ===

  14. Rick B says:

    Thats it Nelson, Tell me something is true with out providing Evidence and then call us names and run. Typical response from someone who cannot defend their faith.

  15. grindael says:

    Nelson,

    The hat being in Palmyra on display doesn’t answer the question. Nice dodge. They also have the peepstone in the LDS Vault. Big deal. It doesn’t change the fact that it is nowhere portrayed in official LDS literature or movies that Smith translated this way. In fact, many Mormons don’t even know it.

    And Bart Erhman is not a Christian. He was when he was very young, but not for years now. Did he claim to have revelations that restored the Christian Church? Did he claim to be a prophet who spoke for God? To start a church that claims to have the ONLY authority to speak for God? Nope. What an inane question. And Christians don’t hide his theories, but Mormons love to use his agnotic and atheist speculations against true Christians. His information is nothing but conjecture, and theory. It is a FACT that Smith translated with a hat and a peepstone. BIG, big difference.

    A good example of how Christians deal with new manuscript finds is in footnotes. In an insertion after John 7:52, we read: [The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.NIV]

    Are all the changes that Smith inserted after the fact footnoted in the D&C? Nope. Many Mormon authorities have simply lied that they were never changed. And I don’t know what planet you are living on, but there has been a wealth of material supporting the Bible that has come forth. Only the few, the fringe try to say otherwise. Joseph F. Smith ordered his apostles NOT to write details of meetings and doctrine in their journals in 1904, for fear they would be used against them.

  16. grindael says:

    Want the reference? It is interesting that you bring up an agnostic who has published whole books trying to debunk Jesus, yet you have problems with Ex-Mormons who do the same with Joseph Smith. And 95% of those who leave the Church become atheists? Let’s have your official documentation on that whopper.

    What is the motivation for those who “know the most” about Mormonism to stay in the Church and defend it? And what is the logic behind their doing so? The Mormon scholars that I have spoken to at length, all discount most of the information that proves they are wrong, especially the statements of their self-proclaimed prophets, by talking themselves into believing that their words were just “opinions”, when it is clearly not what they say. They have to use words like “progressive” and “line upon line” to try and explain the massive amount of changing of past history and doctrine in an effort to explain away the obvious fraud of Joseph Smith and the later “authorities”.

    When a whole career and livelihood is on the line, most cave in to the system and then use cognitive dissonance to explain the obvious lies away. The fact that Mormon Prophets won’t comment on important doctrinal matters today, shows this to be true. Why can’t they locate ONE city from the Book of Mormon? Why can’t they even make one comment as to exactly where the BOM History took place? They would rather hide behind apologists than come out in public and make any kind of statement that would settle the matter. Interesting that the only time I’ve seen an authority go before the general public in years is Oaks, to plead that charity money keeps being written off as a tax break.

  17. grindael says:

    And folks, Nelson Chung is one of the “progressive” Mormon Bible and Evangelical hater crowd, that when confronted with the facts, uses red herrings and ad hominems when he is cornered. I warn all, that he who won’t listen to reason, and his only aim is to create division and to lob red herrings into discussions. He will throw anyone and anything under the bus to make his points, which are mostly that he is smarter than anyone else. He won’t last long in this forum.

  18. Nelson says:

    Johnny: Thanks for the reply, the Church will be telling seminary kids about the hat pretty soon. Kids think peepstones are cool.

    Whether Ehrman is Christian isn’t the issue, and whether he’s right or not isn’t the issue either. Pastors all know about the problems he brings to light, and withhold that information from the congregation. They don’t even know the issues exist, and didn’t have a chance to evaluate Ehrman’s claims until he wrote the books. I just talked to a MDiv student a couple of weeks ago (she studied under Bruce Birch), and she said that she knows Adam and Eve weren’t real, but doesn’t plan on telling her congregation.

    What the LDS Church is doing is nothing new under the sun.

    Rick: You have chromosomal fusion staring you in the face, and you still need someone to provide evidence?

  19. Nelson says:

    Johnny: thanks for your inquiry for clairfication about the numbers of ex-Mormons. I got confused with the survey on personality types of ex-Mormons.

    Polls show that 62% of ex-Mormons become atheists/agnostics, 27% Christian.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/kenul/what_of_exmormons_switch_to_atheism_as_opposed_to/c2jnvsv

    So while not 90%, still a dominant majority. Thanks for requesting clarification.

    The poll results I had in mind actually showed that 90% of ex-Mormons are introverted:

    http://mccue.cc/bob/documents/rs.do%20smart%20mormons%20make%20mormonism%20true.pdf

  20. grindael says:

    They might start telling seminary kids, (after 180 years now) but don’t look for any mainstream dissemination of that to investigators or the public at large, any time soon. And it is very much the issue that Ehrman is not a Christian. He has an agenda to promote his books. Disbelief. And Christians do know the issues exist, but they are issues that have not been proven at all. They are speculations.

    The Minimalists were all up in arms in the 90’s about how David didn’t exist. Yet we now see credible evidence that there was a house of David, and that there was a “Goliath”, proven by archaeology. Little by little these men (such as Ehrman) have been proven wrong. He is a flavor of the month, and we will survive him, like we have all others. What the Mormon Church is doing, is contradicting itself, and yes, that does prove it’s not what it (the Church and it’s “authorities” – not Mormon Apologists) claims to be. _johnny

  21. Nelson says:

    Well, I’m not aware of the issues surrounding David, but arguments were probably made based on historical criticism. But Adam and Even has been scientifically disproved as the DNA evidence rules out any possibility that all human descended from a primal couple.

    As far as LDS apologists fearing for their livelihood, that explanation works for BYU professors, but it breaks down when you consider that Michael Quinn, who has already been excommunicated, remains [filtered profanity or slur]-sure the LDS Church is true and won’t retreat from his position. Just because they don’t believe everything every General Authority said is nothing new; I don’t either.

    I live in DC and the scholars I talk to all teach at East Coast universities, so their careers are independent of their professed beliefs. I assume that the Mormon scholars you’ve corresponded with were by means of email, so it would be hard to impute their motives. But I’ve spoken with Matt Bowen (PhD Catholic) and Matt Bowman (PhD Georgetown) face to face, and there’s no doubt in their minds the Restoration happened.

    A lot of secular universities are have Mormon studies departments now (Claremont, U. Wyoming, Utah St.). My younger sister took a ‘Mormon Scriptures’ class at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. The Church is inaugurating a new chapter of open history, and from the record of intact testimonies of the vast majority of Mormon PhDs in religion and American religious history, this will strengthen the Church.

  22. Mike R says:

    Nelson, Let me see if I got all this straight. You’re an evolutionist who has saddled- up with
    some teachers of higher education that believe that there was no Adam and Eve in an effort
    to spread the good news that Mormonism is the true religion . I guess I’ve been wrong all this
    time in how I have evaluated Mormonism. I have always took the teachings of Mormon prophets
    and apostles as the authoritative voice of Mormonism, I guess I was wrong .

  23. 4fivesolas says:

    Nelson,
    Did you listen to the Issues Etc. program? They deal with the arguments of Bart Ehrman – this is a mainstream Evangelical Lutheran program (Lutherans were the original Evangelicals). I believe Christians honestly examining the claims of the atheist skeptics like Ehrman and their materialist assumptions is a great thing – their arguments don’t hold up when examined. Doesn’t sound like they are hiding anything when they talk about it right on the radio – it sounds more like they are openly discussing it?? The Church I am a member of gives generously to support Issues Etc. – I guess they just don’t realize what they need to be hiding. In our pastors Sunday Bible class no question is off base. We attend a Bible class with a former atheist and agnostics and we openly talk about anything and everything. We mostly talk about God’s mercy and grace given to us in the Cross.

    On the other hand, I read about the history of Mormonism and I am convinced it is false. After what I have learned, nothing could persuade me that the BOM is genuine or Joseph Smith was not a lecherous false prophet and that the gospel and book he cobbled together bears no resemblance to Biblical faith handed down by the apostles. The clear narrative of man’s redemption from the fall through Christ’s sacrifice laid out in the Bible does not lead to the BOM and LDS theology. I wonder if you believe it yourself, or if you are not rather a devotee of Existentialism where facts and truth don’t matter, but rather what you choose. I reject this philosophy as there is no real truth in it by definition.

  24. Rick B says:

    Nelson said

    I know that evolution is true, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

    You also told me to take a science class, Ok, well are you a big name scientist that had work publised in NoN- CHRISTIAN sources? Better yet atheist/secular sources? Lets see what some of these guys are saying about evolution shall we?

    Talking about the so called, Missing Link?
    The Conventional picture of human evoloution is a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with Human prejudices. To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story–amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.
    Although the team found no intact skulls and no leg, foot, or hip bones, they said they have enough evidence to declare the creature a new species: Australopithecus Ramidus.
    Reseachers dont know yet if it walked upright or on all fours. All they have so far is a few dozen fossil fragments–mostly teeth–from 17 individuals.
    San Jose Mercury news, September 22, 1994

    Ardi Discovery
    But Despite the excitement from the paleontology community, another group of researchers, many of them with advanced degrees in science, are unimpressed by Ardi, who they believe is just another ape– an ape of indeterminate age, they add, and an ape who cannot be an ancestor of modern man for a range of reasons, including one of singular importance: God created man in one day, and evolution is a fallacy.

    Russell Goldman, ABC news.com oct 7th,2009

    The intervals of time that separate fossils are so huge that we cannot say anything definite about their possible connection through ancestry and descent.
    Each fossil is an isolated point, with no knowable connection to any other given fossil, and all float, (cont)

  25. Rick B says:

    (cont)
    around in an over whelming sea of gaps.
    All the fossil evidence for human evolution between ten and five million years ago–several thousand generations of living creatures–can be fitted into a small box.

    The Conventional picture of human evoloution is a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with Human prejudices. To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story–amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.
    Henry Gee, In search of deep time:
    Beyond the fossil record to a new history of life, Nature Magazine, 1999

    There are only two possible explanations as to how life arose: Spontaneous Generation arising to evolution or a supernatural creative act of God…
    There is no other possibility.
    Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others, But that leaves us with only one other possibility…
    that life came as a supernatural act of creation of God, but I can’t accept that philosophy because I do not want to believe in God.
    Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution.
    George Wald “Origin, life and evolution,” Scientific American (1978).
    Harvard Professor Emeritus of Biology, 1971 Nobel prize winner in Biology.

    Can you see why I cannot take you serious. These guys are major players in the field of evolution, and who are you? I have even more damaging quotes from the major players claiming evolution is not fact anymore. Where or what is your evidence? Simply you believe?

  26. Nelson says:

    To 5 solas: Let’s bracket the question of whether Ehrman is right momentarily. I think it’s great you’re engaging Ehrman and attempting to refute him. Kudos to your pastor. But the reason Ehrman wrote those books is most pastors don’t. Matt Bowman, who has been commissioned by Random House to write a history of Mormoninsm, leads a discussion group here in DC wherein we discuss controversial Church history.

    Applying the same standard you apply to Mormonism, that would be like saying “You evangelize without telling people that an Aramaic-speaking peasant wrote 1 Pet. when only one Jew in all of Palestine is known to be able to write sophisticated Greek (Josephus). You are lying to people!”

    Or, “You tell evangelize about Adam and Eve when the DNA evidence has disproved their existence. Liars!!!”

  27. Nelson says:

    To Rick B: evolution isn’t about the generation of life. That’s abiogenesis. Evolution is about how life evolved and new species are created. If you have something to say about that, I’d be happy to hear it.

  28. Rick B says:

    Nelson, No matter what I show you you will reject it because we both know, You want to believe what you want to believe.

    Charles Darwin, in a letter to his friend J.D. Hooker in 1871, speculated about life beginning in a “warm little pond”. Many scientists, however, now believe that life may have begun in extreme environments such as undersea hydrothermal vents and volcanoes, with their abundance of chemicals and engery. While many scientists have attempted to test this hypothesis in the laboratory, deamer was the first to do so in the field.

    The results were strikingly negative: life did not emerge, no membranes assembled themselves, and no amino acids combined into proteins. Instead, the added chemicals quickly vanished, mostly absorbed by clay particles in the pool. Instead of supporting life, the bubbling pool had snuffed it out before it began.

    Later, Deamer repeated the same experiment at Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern Californa, with the same Negative result.

    What went wrong?
    The explantion is simple, Said Deamer, who presented his findings in February at a meeting of the royal society of London. Conditions in geothermal springs and similar extreme environments just do not favor membrane formation.

    We have to face up to the biophysical facts of life, Deamer said. Hot, acidic hydrothermal systems are not conducive to self-assembly processes.
    Deamer has been in this field for 20 years.
    USCS Currents online, vol.10, no. 35;May 1-7 2006

    Here is the best one of them all.

    George Wald “Origin, life and evolution,” Scientific American (1978).
    Harvard Professor Emeritus of Biology, 1971 Nobel prize winner in Biology.

    (George said this):
    There are only two possible explanations as to how life arose: Spontaneous Generation arising to evolution or a supernatural creative act of God…
    There is no other possibility.

    (Cont)

  29. Rick B says:

    Cont,

    Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others, But that leaves us with only one other possibility…
    that life came as a supernatural act of creation of God, but I can’t accept that philosophy because I do not want to believe in God.
    Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evoloution. George wald

    So lets see here Nelson, George is on record saying what I posted to you, George is a noble prize winner and a Harvard Professor Emeritus of Biology. What are you? He denies Creation, but says evolution is impossible. He admits he does not want to believe in God.

    Charles Darwin said “The Old Testament, from it manifestly false history of the earth, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus, or the Beliefs of any barbarian. The New Testament is a damnable doctrine. [I can] hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianty to be true”. Origan of species

    It’s clear Darwin had an agenda and hated God, so he set out to try and disprove God.

    A Chinese paleontologist lectures around the world saying that recent fossil finds in his country are inconsistent with Darwin theory of evloution. His reason: The major animal groups appear abruptly in the rocks over a relatively short time, rather than evolving gradually from a common ancestor as Darwin’s theory predicts…

    When this conclusion upsets American Scientists, he wryly comments: “In China we can critcize Darwin but not the goverment. In America you can critcize the governmaent but not Darwin.
    The Wall Street Journal, August 16,1999

    Charles Darwin, in a letter to his friend J.D. Hooker in 1871, speculated about life beginning in a “warm little pond”. Many scientists, however, now believe that life may have (cont)

  30. Rick B says:

    Cont,( I have a reply in Moderation, so if this makes it through, you will need the one before this for the full context.)

    begun in extreme environments such as undersea hydrothermal vents and volcanoes, with their abundance of chemicals and engery. While many scientists have attempted to test this hypothesis in the laboratory, deamer was the first to do so in the field.

    The results were strikingly negative: life did not emerge, no membranes assembled themselves, and no amino acids combined into proteins. Instead, the added chemicals quickly vanished, mostly absorbed by clay particles in the pool. Instead of supporting life, the bubbling pool had snuffed it out before it began.

    Later, Deamer repeated the same experiment at Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern Californa, with the same Negative result.

    What went wrong?
    The explantion is simple, Said Deamer, who presented his findings in February at a meeting of the royal society of London. Conditions in geothermal springs and similar extreme environments just do not favor membrane formation.

    We have to face up to the biophysical facts of life, Deamer said. Hot, acidic hydrothermal systems are not conducive to self-assembly processes.
    Deamer has been in this field for 20 years.
    USCS Currents online, vol.10, no. 35;May 1-7 2006

    I love this one, It shows you want to believe what you want to believe.

    At Some point in the dim past, non-living matter started to replicate itself. Scientists are still trying to figure out how.
    Astronomy Magazine
    September 2009 page 24.

    Scientists are still trying to figure it out? Do you have the answers that you can give these guys and have them published in a major scientific magazine? I doubt it.

    Ardi Discovery
    But Despite the excitement from the paleontology community, another group of researchers, many of them with advanced degrees in science, are unimpressed by Ardi, who they believe (Cont)

  31. Rick B says:

    (Cont)
    believe is just another ape– an ape of indeterminate age, they add, and an ape who cannot be an ancestor of modern man for a range of reasons, including one of singular importance: God created man in one day, and evolution is a fallacy.
    Russell Goldman, ABC news.com oct 7th,2009

    WOW!!!
    ABC news is calling Evolution a hoax and fallacy and saying God created. So Nelson, Tell me you can go to ABC news and set them straight with your “Evidence” and have it published.

  32. 4fivesolas says:

    Nelson,
    My arguments against Mormonism are not nearly so obtuse as your example. Joseph Smith’s character and the nature of the BOM is readily apparent. For the BOM we have… well, no historical context whatsoever, there’s no archeological evidence, no document evidence (other than the King James Bible from which the BOM was clearly drawn), no evidence period. So you can fixate on some obtuse argument about the likelihood of the knowledge or Greek – and you know what, you actually have history you can examine, people groups and evidence to look at. With the BOM we have Joseph Smith – and the source f the BOM,? We have to take Joseph Smith’s word for it by blind faith, cause there just isn’t anything else out there backing it up. From what we have to examine, the evidence that is available (and NOT available as the case may be) it’s a crushing blow to the BOM and by extension the entire LDS system.

  33. 4fivesolas says:

    Nelson,
    I went to the introduction of 1 Peter in the Lutheran Study Bible sitting in our living room and there was this note:

    “Authorship: The excellent Greek style of this Letter and use of the LXX has led some modern scholars to doubt whether Peter, known as a simple fisherman (Ac 4:13) could have written it. However, early Christian testimony unanimously attributes the work to Peter. The author acknowledges that he had help (1 Pt 5:12). Silvanus, who was a colleague of the apostle Paul (cf Ac 15-17, 18:5; 2Co 1:19; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1), likely acted as Peter’s scribe and assistant.”

    Seems like the notes address the Greek language issue directly, right there in the front of the book.

    I am not going to get into the evolution issue, you have already confirmed that you are religiously committed to evolution (even invoking the name of Jesus), probably with evidence being unnecessary/automatically filtered to fit a naturalistic evolutionary viewpoint. With your last comment though, you seem to have backed some away from your position, saying evolution is not about the generation of life – which is contrary to the many college courses I had which used evolution as a foundational principal (if only in a theoretical construct/organizational tool – it had little to do with the actual science). If in your support of evolution, you mean only change within a species, I don’t know of anyone who would disagree with that. But the entire construct of modern evolution, starting with Darwin and on from there, was to show the beginning or generation of life. So, I don’t quite get your point. I stand with Scripture – there have been many challenges that have fallen before this one.

  34. Nelson says:

    To 5 solas: First, your assertion that there is no historical or archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon is incorrect. There is nothing in the New World, that I will acknowledge. But since Joseph Smith’s time we know much more about the Middle East than before, and there is deep resonance between the Book of Mormon and other ancient near eastern records.

    For example, the Father of Biblical archaeology, William Albright, has acknowledged Egyptian names in the Book of Mormon that no one in Joseph Smith’s time would have known. James Charlesworth at Princeton has noted striking parallels between the Book of Mormon and OT Pseudepigrapha. Harold Bloom at Yale was baffled at Smith’s uncanny ability to recover ancient Jewish elements he had no access to. And Margaret Barker, then President of the Society or Old Testament Studies, has noted that the Book of Mormon preserved imagery and language from ancient near eastern texts only recently discovered.

    The discovery of NHM altars in Yemen were at the exact location (South-Southeast of Jerusalem) and dated to the correct time period (6th-5th century BC) as the Book of Mormon described. This archaeological discovery of the Book of Mormon has been documented in prestigious publications like Princeton University Press and Oxford University Press.

    So while there is no evidence from the new world yet, I’m not sweating it. Christians went without evidence for 500 years.

  35. Nelson says:

    Second, thanks for the strong case for Petrine authorship. I read a much more liberal study Bible than you (HarperCollins), hence that was how I drew my conclusions. I recently bought the conservative IVP background commentary for a better balance.

    As far as evolution goes, your language is a little baffling. Prokaryotic cells are life. Evolution is the story of how life evolved, not how it began. We don’t have a path for how life began yet, but scientists expect to have that solved within ten years.

    And don’t read the Bible like it’s a science book (unless you want to believe there’s big solid dome in the sky to keep the waters in the sky from falling). Like Galileo said, the Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.

  36. 4fivesolas says:

    Nelson, The entire controversy around evolution is that it purports to demonstrate how life arose and evolved apart from God, from amino acids strings in a giant soup (as I learned in one of my first Zoology classes) to the vast array of life we see today. It definitely has spiritual implications:

    Evolution –
    Death leads to Man

    Christianity –
    Man’s Sin leads to Death

    Jesus conquered sin, death, and the devil. If death is the creative/good from which man comes, how does sin lead to death? Why would Jesus conquer it? It all unravels from there.

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