Metaphors for the Confusing Chaos Called Mormonism

Suggestive theology and plausible deniability: Imagine a religion where people believed in special beings with four legs, a wagging tail, floppy ears, that barked, that was man’s best friend, that loved chasing cats, etc. And imagine if you asked them, “Oh, so you believe in dogs?” And imagine they replied, “HEAVENS NO! We never said that. We can neither confirm nor deny that we believe in dogs.” But they otherwise suggest that they do, and occasionally when you meet a very honest adherent who has yet to learn the art of speaking craftily, they simply tell you they believe in dogs. But the PR department is very careful to say that anyone who claims they believe in dogs is being intolerant and hateful. And there are some adherents who quite genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about when you say his or her group teaches of a belief in dogs.

The Book of Mormon isn’t Mormon: Imagine a bunch of OSX / MacBook enthusiasts who have as their primary “scripture” an IBM PC manual from the 1990’s. Imagine a bunch of polytheistic, Asherah-loving pagans whose primary religious text (by their own confession) was the Book of Isaiah and 1st and 2nd Kings. Or imagine a bunch of gnostics who claim as their primary scripture the book of Colossians and 1st John. That’s pretty much how Mormonism relates to the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Oscillating theology: Imagine a bunch of sport players who have as their rulebooks both a soccer manual and a handball manual. Sometimes they pick up the ball and throw it to each other, other times they kick it around and call foul when people pick up the ball. They seem to play both sports, spontaneously and alternately, but can’t settle on one sport. But the whole going-and-back-forth is particularly unsettling to those who wish to excel at the sport. If you ask representatives of the sport what they are playing, some of them make it sound more like handball, and others more like soccer. When you describe it as handball, they cry foul and say that it is soccer. But those on the field who prefer soccer are careful not to criticize those who teach and practice the tenets of handball. A few participants  feel quite content to simply pretend that the whole game is soccer, and turn a blind eye to those players who play it like handball. You look at the players on the field and they seem confused but quite content with the chaos as a useful form of exercise.

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43 Responses to Metaphors for the Confusing Chaos Called Mormonism

  1. falcon says:

    Now here’s the clincher! It all makes sense to them. That’s the mind of the true believer and it’s driven by an emotion that they call “the Holy Ghost”.
    Folks who can think in the manner that is described in the above article and then attach emotion to it are living in a parallel universe of their own creation. But they like it!
    It gives meaning and structure to their lives and they value it.
    There’s that old axiom that people stay in groups as long as they are getting their needs met and leave the group when their needs are no longer met. So what’s the need? Perhaps it’s to have a “spiritual” experience. Maybe it’s to give structure to their lives. Maybe its because of social pressure.
    The people who are in a category other that those seeking a spiritual experience, will blow-off the odd and illogical thinking processes of the true believers. They don’t have to fool themselves into the group think.
    Let’s face it, for those for whom Mormonism is not driven by their emotional needs, live a totally different experience than those who do.

  2. Mike R says:

    It’s interesting to read about when Mormons arrived in Utah and begin to build their Kingdom.
    They proclaimed that they could now live their religion in peace . This time affords us a great
    way to see what these people were all about , the doctrines they taught, the lifestyle they lived
    once mentored by the founder of their religion they could now preach what he taught them and
    also they would also be exhibiting God’s ongoing instruction to His people , line upon line .
    It’s been a difficult journey for Mormon leaders the last several decades as they have seen
    the benefit of claiming to be christian brothers to all the other churches around them bring in
    multiple converts , yet there has been trade a off . To accomplish their growth in converts
    some of the “unique” doctrines once proudly taught by former leaders had to be down played
    or even denied . Nineteenth century Utah gave way to the Twentyth . So now faced with
    unparallel access to facts of it’s history and doctrines , because of the many christian ministries
    and even some conscientious Mormon researchers , the leadership has to engage in some very
    PR type of behavior in order to keep order in the ranks . This has given rise to some of the
    rationale exhibited by Mormons today mentioned by Aaron ; there’s been so many Mormons
    become inactive in the last several years that we’re going to see a lot more of this reasoning
    from active members and especially apologists . But I give the Mormon people a lot more
    credit than to just go along with this behavior, this excuse making . They deserve better .

  3. fpstudio123 says:

    I came across this site by accident. So what exactly is this site all about? Are you all former LDS members? Are you people that still consider yourselves LDS but are somewhere on the fringe, a so-called intellectual group of writers? Or are you other Christians that are just trying to poke holes in LDS doctrine?

    Next question…what is your purpose? Is it to destroy a religion, to make fun of it, to disprove it’s doctrine? That’s what the posts sound like to me. If this is true, why are you doing it? Does it fill a void in your souls? Does it make you feel better about your life choices? Does it make your coffee taste better?

  4. falcon says:

    fps
    I would suggest you take a trip over to the Mormon Research Ministry and you’ll get an idea what this blog is all about. There are a variety of people who post here who come from different religious backgrounds. Several are former Mormons who have taken the time and trouble to examine the claims of Mormonism and found that what they thought to be true, isn’t.
    I myself was raised Catholic, dropped out and then came to faith in Christ thirty-nine years ago. My interest is in Christian apologetics and that’s why I’m here. It goes without saying that this interest is fueled by a desire to see people come to a knowledge of the living God and His Christ. In so doing obtaining the gift of eternal life.
    Now the tone of your second paragraph sounds like you are a dedicated Mormon who is of the opinion that any questioning of Mormonism is an attack or persecution.
    My guess is that you really wouldn’t like this blog because we do question Mormonism. As to why we do it, it’s because Mormonism claims to be the restoration of original first century Christianity. In-other-words the Mormon claim is that after the death of the original apostles, the Gospel was lost. There was some sort of great apostasy.
    We disagree with this premise and believe there’s ample evidence to prove that Mormonism is a product of the imagination of Joseph Smith and not a restoration of anything.
    If you want to stick around and dialogue with us you are certainly welcome but quite honestly Mormons like yourself generally don’t stick around too long. My hope is that for those questioning Mormonism, we can provide information to them to help them in their quest to find truth.

  5. Mike R says:

    Fpstudi123, welcome. I guess the short answer to most of your questions is what is found
    on the main page MRM , i.e. ” Challenging the claims of Mormonism”, as there is a need
    for those who might be investigating Mormonism to hear the other side etc. Then there is
    the fact that we are responding to the following attack from a “latter-day ” prophet who
    said that God allegedly told him about all the churches and those that worshiped in them :
    ” 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 ….”

    That kind of attack needs to be addressed . So we do .

  6. Clyde6070 says:

    Fps
    Basically their purpose is to tear down Mormonism. Mormonism research ministries does not do very good research into why people join the mormon church but try to get people to leave it.

  7. falcon says:

    clyde,
    We have a number of former Mormons who post here. You didn’t include in your reasons for this blog, why people leave Mormonism. I’m wondering if you’ve ever asked yourself that question? Have you ever considered that they figured out that the Mormon church is false?
    These folks have testified here about their reasons for leaving and it wasn’t for the canned reasons given by Mormons; that is that they were offended by someone or they had fallen into serious sin. Mormon excuse makers also will say that those who leave fall into serious sin after leaving (Mormonism).
    The very idea that someone doesn’t believe Mormonism any more cannot permeate the minds of Arrogant Believing Mormons.
    Ask Kate and grindael why they left the Mormon church. grindael was a dedicated Mormon who was allowed into the archives at BYU to study the documents there. His research led him to conclude that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God and that the religious entity that he created was indeed false.
    clyde you’ve made a serious charge against MRM. I think you need to provide documentation from the MRM site to back up your claims.
    I also think that Bill McKeever, Sharon, Aaron and Eric would be more than happy and able to answer and claims you might have.
    Consider also that two-thirds of those on the rolls of the SLC denomination of Mormonism are inactive and that half of returning Mormon missionaries go inactive. The LDS church is bleeding members and does more, I would say, to turn-off its members than do apologetic ministries.
    The reason for apologetic ministries is not to turn-off the LDS but to bring Mormons to Christ and in so doing to eternal life with the Father.

  8. Rick B says:

    FPS,
    Clyde said

    Fps
    Basically their purpose is to tear down Mormonism. Mormonism research ministries does not do very good research into why people join the mormon church but try to get people to leave it.

    Here is the sad part about what Clyde said. Clyde cannot defend Mormonism, Clyde cannot answer our questions, or refuses to answer them, Clyde cannot give evidence to what he says, or back it up with quotes.

    Clyde can only say we are wrong, yet cannot answer questions. Then Clyde has said many time, we cannot know if what we believe is true until after we die. So if that is how Clyde feels, then he cannot trust his own prophets and the church to know the truth is he must wait until he is dead. So non of us here take Clyde seriously.

  9. Kate says:

    Fpstudi123,
    I stumbled across this site as I was on my way out the Mormon door. There are many LDS blogs that discuss their perceived problems with traditional Christianity. As falcon said, we are here to discuss the problems with a religion (Mormonism) that claims to be Christianity restored. A religion that throws out 2,000 years of Christian doctrine and replaces it with off the wall teachings of men. I am here to witness for the true and living Christ of the Bible. The Christ I never knew as a Mormon. I was LDS for 40 years. What I experienced was a whitewashed, covered up version of LDS history and doctrine and many, many lies by omission. I agree with falcon, your second paragraph sounds like the same tired complaints I have heard from Mormons all my life. It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Mormons judge anyone who does not belong to their church. I’m sorry, but comparing Mormon teachings against Christianity is not persecution. Past Mormon prophets have challenged everyone to compare Mormonism to the Bible to see if it won’t line up. It doesn’t. Mormonism is far removed from Christianity and Christians everywhere have a right to defend their religion against anyone who claims to be a restoration of that religion.

    Clyde,
    People join the LDS church because Mormon missionaries lie by omission. They try and make Mormonism sound like Christianity with Christian sounding words, but fail to tell them upfront who their god is and who their Christ is. Maybe you should be researching just how many of those joiners actually leave after finding out they were deceived. You may be interested in learning just how low the convert retention rate is.

  10. TJayT says:

    Welcome Fpstudio! You asked;

    “So what exactly is this site all about? Are you all former LDS members? Are you people that still consider yourselves LDS but are somewhere on the fringe, a so-called intellectual group of writers? Or are you other Christians that are just trying to poke holes in LDS doctrine?”

    I think the best way of describing the site’s misson is challenging the truth claims of the LDS church. I’m pretty sure all of the staff are Evangelicals that have never been Mormon (that doesn’t make there opinions less valid though). Most of the posters are in the same group, though there are a couple like Kate who are former members.

    You also asked,
    “Next question…what is your purpose? Is it to destroy a religion, to make fun of it, to disprove it’s doctrine? That’s what the posts sound like to me. If this is true, why are you doing it? Does it fill a void in your souls? Does it make you feel better about your life choices? Does it make your coffee taste better?”

    I would vote for disprove doctirin most of the time though there is the occasional boundary maintenance. And they do it because they honestly believe we’re going to burn in the fiery fires of hell forever more. At least thats why I think they do, but I could be wrong (I can’t read anyone’s heart after all, so I default to the best intentions unless there is strong evidence otherwise).

    Anyway welcome and hope to hear from you again.

    I’m an ex-Mormon. And I don’t think anyone here would presume to judge who is “going to burn in the fires of hell forever more”. All we can do is relate what the Bible says about such things. God is the judge. ~grindael

  11. TJayT says:

    Grindael,

    Sorry I forget that you are a staff member and not just a commenter. I was just remembering the people I read about on the MRM staff page so long ago.

    As to my burning in hell comment, a more tactful way of saying what I ment would be “they are concerned for our souls”. I’m not saying you’re judging me or any other Mormon per say, but I also know many people here are worried the LDS faith leads away from God, and then by default leads to hell.

    Isn’t that a main point of this blog and it’s parent website to win Mormons to Christ?

  12. Mike R says:

    TjayT, I think we all knew that Fpstudio was just being coy , he let that be known by what he
    said in the second paragraph of his post. He knows what this ministry is about . I’m wondering
    why you just did’nt cite the following from the Church publication, The Elders Journal , vol 1
    No. 4, p 59,60 : ” Is it any wonder then, that we say of the priests of modern days, that they
    are of their father the Devil…we shall see all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions
    of the day , with all their followers , without exception, receive their portion with the Devil
    and his angels .” [ Joseph Smith editor ]

    Of course you may not embrace this teaching yourself, if that’s the case it would not be to
    surprising since you’ve already acknowledged that you are not completely sold on some
    of the more fundamental teachings of your apostles — like Heavenly Mother .
    I guess we here just take Jesus’ warning seriously about false prophets that would come , and
    in trying to reach those who follow such prophets —like the Mormon people—-hopefully we
    can get across our message with the respect Mormons deserve —-1Pt 3:15 .

  13. Rick B says:

    On the issue of people going to hell, here are my thoughts and I am only speaking for myself.
    I believe what the Bible says, And that is, if you reject Jesus or you believe in a false gospel, then as Paul said in Gal 1:8-9, then yes you are going to hell.

    Paul even says, if you dont Love the Lord Jesus, you will be damned.

    1Cr 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

    Jesus spoke more of Hell and the punishment that awaits those who reject God, and those who are false prophets and those that lie and deceive.

    I hate how are society is so fearful or telling the truth or speaking their mind since they might offend someone.

    It’s not ok for me to speak of hell since that might offend someone, Yet it is ok if I am offended because they can tell me I am wrong.

  14. TJayT says:

    Mike R said

    TjayT, I think we all knew that Fpstudio was just being coy , he let that be known by what he said in the second paragraph of his post. He knows what this ministry is about.

    Most likely. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lurkers that might be wondering the same question sincerely.

    “I’m wondering why you just did’nt cite the following from the Church publication, The Elders Journal , vol 1 No. 4, p 59,60 : ”

    Because that quote has nothing to do with my thoughts on his questions.

  15. vikingz2000 says:

    @ Mike R (and falcon et al at MRM):

    I can understand why you do what you do — at least to some degree.

    I can understand how a non-Mormon would feel about the LDS church considering that it regards their non-Mormon Christian tradition an “abomination” and “corrupt”. I don’t like this particular doctrine of the Mormon church, even though the Mormon church’s doctrines (teachings), policies, practices, have changed (“I don’t really think we teach that anymore.”) time and time again, and hopefully for the better. And then there are some VERY DISTURBING historical events as well .

    Nevertheless, I have to wonder if contending against Mormonism is the right ‘Jesus’ thing to do — you know, the old cliché, “What would Jesus do?”. Would He contend with or confront the Mormon church? I mean, it is “The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS” — a chruch purporting to be Christian just like the Roman Catholic church, The Church of England, and all the other myriads of ‘Christian’ denominations. So why should any Christian church contend against some other Christian church? I can understand making facts available – just the facts, mind you, not sarcastic or derisive opinions about them necessarily, so that people can make an informed decision before joining any particular religion (church), but not to denigrate said church either in a subtle, round-about way, or overtly.

    I found this article by Aaron Shafovaloff to be interesting and analytically (using metaphor) valid in many ways, and I found some of your observations and comments about it interesting as well, but I still have to wonder whether or not this kind of stuff is what Jesus would approve of.

    – to be continued…

  16. Mike R says:

    TjayT, since you were giving Fpstudio123 your own opinion of why we are here ministering
    to the Mormon people , I thought it appropriate to make sure he ( and any lurkers) also see
    what Mormon authorities have said about who goes to Hell , since you broached the subject .

  17. vikingz2000 says:

    continued…

    I’ve been an inactive Mormon for a few years now and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the LDS church even though I was an active member for almost sixty years. And to tell you the truth (my ‘truth’ anyway), there *is* a lot to dislike about the LDS church (the reasons for which I stopped attending), that’s for sure, just as I’m sure there is a lot to dislike about any other faith tradition (Christian or otherwise) as well. But as a follower of Christ — the Prince of Peace, the One who is meek and lowly of heart, I have to wonder if casting stones at the Mormon church is a righteous act and something that a good Christian would do — doing more than just making the bare facts available along with, perhaps, some circumspect, inoffensive commentary?

    I know ‘falcon’ said, “The reason for apologetic ministries is not to turn-off the LDS but to bring Mormons to Christ and in so doing to eternal life with the Father,” but that’s not apologetics in the true meaning of the concept, that’s proselytizing — doing what the Mormons do as well. However, two wrongs don’t make a right, i.e., just because the Mormons say that you people are members of a “corrupt” church , which is “an abomination” doesn’t justify attacking Mormon beliefs with rhetoric like “false prophets” and “will burn in hell” type innuendos.

    I think you should practice your religion and that Mormons should practice theirs, as should the Buddhist, etc, and everyone get along and foster love and acceptance for one another instead of ire, offense and dogmatism.

    Just my thoughts.

    Peace.

  18. Rick B says:

    FPS said

    Or are you other Christians that are just trying to poke holes in LDS doctrine?

    I’m first going to say, I dont think FPS cares as much as he/she says they do, since we have seen no more replys from them. I think they are a hit and run poster.

    As far as the issue of poking holes in LDS doctrine, it is not a matter of us poking holes in anything. It is a matter of LDS not being fully honest about what they believe, and us asking why and using quotes to support this idea, but why do former LDS prophets claim things are from God, or God said them, then more currant LDS prophets claim, those things were not true and it was simply mere opinion.

    Why is it if we simply ask questions and want honest answers, we are accused of poking holes or causing trouble. This simply tells me, LDS know about the problems and simply ignore them. If you think I am wrong, then show me some of the honest answers and replys to our questions? It cannot be done.

  19. Mike R says:

    Aaron used the terms,” oscillating theology ” and ” suggestive theology” to make the point
    of how , given the behavior of Mormon leaders and the system they’ve created, we just can’t
    put our trust in Mormonism . It’s not a question of good people it’s deeper than that because
    it goes right to heart of the claims of these men to be the sole channel of communication
    that God uses to dispense His important spiritual truths through to mankind since 1830.
    These men have claimed to offer what all the other churches have failed to , namely that
    Mormon apostles offer the pure gospel of Jesus Christ restored by God and entrusted to them
    to advertise to everyone , but all other churches have altered Jesus’ gospel and then proceeded
    to exhibit unstable behavior in what they teach as Jesus’ gospel of salvation. Thus these
    well meaning but deceived individuals are not reliable guides in important truths . But Mormon
    apostles claim to offer the remedy for this problem since Jesus is said to have picked them to
    restore His pure gospel and then promised to continually supervise their teaching of it to
    ensure that purity . This being the last dispensation , the ” last inning ” as it were so that would
    only make sense . Trouble is , the track record of gospel doctrine teaching by these modern
    day apostles reveals a different story . Far from offering a consistent pattern of doctrinal
    teachings that are stable and reliable these men have succumbed to vacillating on what they
    offer as spiritual truths , which only reveals confusion on their part . This is behavior is’nt
    new–Eph 4:14; 2Tim2:15-18 [ 2Nephi28:14]

  20. Mike R says:

    Vikingz2000, welcome. Let me say that this is a public forum open to anyone so there might
    be varied emotions shared towards Mormonism , we are all guests here as are you, so please
    don’t confuse what one person may say disparagingly about the Mormon people or their beliefs
    with those who run this ministry as their directive to all of us in how we act is 1Pt 3:15.
    Unfortunately, there are some Christians who treat Mormons not very respectfully ,
    I can’t answer for them ,I can try and set an example in light of 1 Pt3:15 . You did say that there
    is a need for information being available that can help interested persons make a informed
    decision with. I agree , and that’s why MRM is here . For me, I take Jesus’ warning about false
    prophets seriously. The reason is simple : not all prophets are the same . Some can teach
    destructive teachings and practices [ Moses David Berg, Brian David Mitchell; John W. Byrant ].
    Some teach spiritually destructive doctrines . So truth matters. You admitted that Mormon
    leaders were responsible for some ” VERY DISTURBING ” events . Would’nt we be remiss not
    to inform investigators of this ? You said that it was an attack on Mormon beliefs to call
    their leaders false prophets. I disagree . If we believe that Jesus’ warning has any relevance
    today the we should inform people [Matt 7:15] We need to be careful and not assume that a
    false prophet is always immoral and devious , some can be well dressed, polite, individuals.
    Your point on how to treat Mormons is well taken , but remember to love someone is to
    also warn them.

  21. Rick B says:

    Hello Viking2000,
    You and Mike were saying, some people treat Mormons in a less than ideal way. Instead of everyone worry if they will get offended and be bothered by how we say things, how about we simply tell them the truth. Here are some things Jesus and His apostles said or did.

    Jesus told the religious leaders, You are in Err of scripture. So Is it ok to tell others then, they are wrong if Jesus did it? Jesus spoke more of Hell and the torment that awaits people if they follow false teachers, Read Jude and how graphic it is about hell.

    So is it ok For us to tell people, this is what Jesus and the writers of the NT said? Lets not just avoid those teachings, since if they are true, then people are headed their.

    Jesus told the story of the rich man in torment and how he could never leave.
    The apostle Paul called Blindness down upon a false prophet.

    This is just a few things, it really bothers me that people get so offended when a christian speaks the truth, and they feel since a person sharing Christ with someone is not doing it the same way they do it or are called. If someone does it differently that the way another does it, then they get upset.

    I might have a in your face approach, but I can tell you, many MM have sat in my house and told me, they respect my honesty and for saying what I believe. I even have letters, hand written with photo’s of a Mormon missionary who I became friends with from just being Honest.

    Also that is how I came to know Jesus, people not worry about will I be (cont)

  22. Rick B says:

    (cont)
    Offended by what they say. They were more concerned about the truth than what I thought.
    Jesus even went and cleaned out the temple with a whip of cords, When people say, What would Jesus do?

    They seem to forget things He said and did. It sure does not seem Jesus like to clean out the temple with a whip of cords, or call people white washed tombs, Or tell His own Disciples that they are slow of heart, or for Him to call some one a fool, or tell them they are in err of scripture, or that they are going to be tormented for ever in Hell.

    That is not Jesus like according to many people, yet Jesus said and did these things.

  23. falcon says:

    Viking
    Is that as in Minnesota Vikings? If so, as a Packers fan, there could be some good natured derisive comments. Rick isn’t a football fan so I have to think of ways to insult him.

    I think what you are driving at is the “form” vs. “substance” argument. I would guess that Rick and I are the most edgy here. Mike is the peacemaker. We all have our own signature form.
    The point of “can’t we all just get along regardless of our religious beliefs” is well taken. One of the problems we run into however, is that anything that isn’t cheer leading for Mormonism is seen by Mormons as negative and even persecution. We live in a society where people of various viewpoints get offended if you don’t wear their bracelet or button or celebrate their cause and/or lifestyle with unbridled enthusiasm.
    The persecution card is a good one for folks to play if they don’t want questions asked or information presented that draws into question their doctrine, practices or history.
    I know Rick and I’ve been told often on this blog by Mormons that we don’t know what we’re talking about and what we are saying is not true. When we ask them to show us where we are wrong all we hear is crickets chirping.
    The bottom line for me is that Mormonism says that it is the restoration of first century Christianity. In-other-words what Mormons practice today and believe is the real Christianity. My objective is to prove their basic premise wrong. Because without this premise there is no need for Joseph Smith’s religion.
    We have an obligation to reveal the facts and challenge the claims of Mormonism’s false prophets.
    Anyway, I hope you stick around. Don’t allow those of us who have a harder edge put you off.

  24. Rick B says:

    Falcon said

    Rick isn’t a football fan so I have to think of ways to insult him.

    I am not a sports fan, I only like MMA and Fighting. As far as insulting me, Good luck, it really takes a lot to do that.

    As far as Me having and edgy approach, I dont see myself like that, I see my self as following Jesus and giving the entire Gospel, The Grace that God tells us about, and the punishment that awaits also. We should give all or nothing.

    I figure if Jesus and the apostles spoke about it and said it, then we can and should also.
    Also I came to know Jesus because people like me told me about Jesus in a way that I tell people.

    We can view ourselves as tools in a box, God uses me as a hammer, mike as a soft wash cloth.
    The Bible says, we are all different parts of a body, if we all were and Ear, we could not see, if we are all a tongue then we could not walk, we cannot all be the same body part and then do different things.

    But sadly people seem to think if we dont all act the same way, and do what others do, then we are not effective. Like my pastor says, he can reach people I cannot, he wears a suit and and is a police Chaplin, so he can reach police and people he meets when a Chaplin is needed. I fight and lift weights, so I can reach fighters and body builders, that some here cannot. So we are all used by God in different ways, remember, different is not bad. I got saved by people like me, so is it better that I was (cont)

  25. Rick B says:

    (cont)

    So was it better that I was saved, or can people honestly say, I dont like Rick’s style of Sharing Jesus, so I think it would have been better if he was never saved? According to the Bible, Jesus died for me also, and He uses me, I am his servant. People in my church have went to the pastor and complained they dont like the way I witness, the pastor replies with, well what are you doing to share Christ?

    Sadly many of these people have been honest and have said, I’m doing nothing. So the pastor then tells them to quite complaining. It’s really sad that they are honest enough to say, I am doing nothing for Christ, but they still have the guts to complain How I do things.

    I believe it was Paul that said, some preach Christ out of love, others out of envy, but he did not care as long as Christ is being preached. As long as people are being saved and hearing the gospel, then does it matter if I am “Edgy”? if it does, then why? Was Jesus “Edgy” in things He said or did?

    I would say yes. Was it not Jesus that said, follow me? Yes it was, I am following Him. If Paul and the other apostles said and did things that Jesus said and did, then so can I.

  26. vikingz2000 says:

    These are all great responses to my post. Thanks to all.

    The question: “What am I doing for Christ?” is a good one for all Christians to ask *of themselves* and not be concerned about someone else’s plausible answer — Mormon, Baptist, or whomever. Perhaps this is has something to do with my suggested that everyone be left alone to practice their own relgion, “that Mormons should practice theirs, as should the Buddhist, etc, and everyone get along and foster love and acceptance for one another instead of ire, offense and dogmatism.”

    I don’t make the presumption that I can, or that I am suppose to cleanse anyone’s temple — that’s God’s (Christ’s) job, not mine. My injunction in reading what Jesus taught in the Bible was to be “wise as a serpent and meek as a dove.” It was to “judge not” (not to confuse ‘judging’ with making accurate and necessary assessments), i.e., condemn some other religion. Sure, there are so-called ‘religions’ like the Jim Jones movement that needed to be condemned, but Mormonism? Mmm… I don’t think that’s in the same league *today*. As a matter of fact, Mormonism is becoming more ‘main stream’ all the time, and will continue to be so in the future. Mormon doctrines change over time. That has been amply demonstrated. In fact this occurs because they believe in “continual revelation”.

    … to be continued

  27. vikingz2000 says:

    continued…

    What as been more ‘corrupt’ and ‘abominable’ than what has historically transpired in the Roman Catholic church?! But I don’t go around condemning Catholics. A lot of my ‘people’ (family) are Catholics, some more practicing than others, and that’s fine with me as long as they are ‘good’ people. No one would dispute that the Catholic church teachings are amoral or harmful, but are in fact are germane, Christian teachings. Catholics don’t abandon Catholicism because there are so many pedophile priests. They stay in the religion because ‘it works for them’ and the teachings and community of Catholics are beneficial — are good.

    So, the same with Mormonism. Yeah, sure, Mormonism never really ‘worked for me’ in a lot of ways, but there was still a lot of good that I derived from it. If you think Mormon temples are “white sepulchres” and shout that on the roof-tops, then that’s no different than the Mormons who shout (preach) that your particular brand of Christianity is ‘corrupt’ and an ‘abomination’ in God’s eyes. You put yourself at their level.

    … to be continued

  28. vikingz2000 says:

    continued…

    But, you ask a good question, “What am I doing for Christ?”. Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with putting down Mormonism or Catholicism, or even any non-Christian religion. There is a lot that I have yet to do, but right now at least I give to the poor and needy. That’s one thing I do. What I do is endorse Christianity and tell people that I believe in Christ, i.e., I am not ashamed of Him. But like I stated in that what I try not to do, though, is dwell on the negative aspects of some else’s religion. I don’t think that’s incumbent upon me to do that. And yes, Jesus did say that many will come in His name, and that there will be false prophets, but he didn’t give us any specifics, did He.? By calling the ‘kettle black’ is no different than the kettle calling the ‘pot black’. Personal, spiritual experiences abound in Mormonism (I’ve had some) as they do in other Christian practices. Whom am I to say that mine were of Christ, but that the others were of Satan?

    I think that if everyone in this world were the right kind of Christian (something to do with “form” vs. “substance”, perhaps) regardless of the ‘name brand’ people ‘wear’, then the world would be a lot better place. What’s more representative of ‘true’ Christianity: the creed and practices of the Westboro Baptist Church or those of the Mormon chruch?

    Just my thoughts.

    Peace.

  29. vikingz2000 says:

    ERRATUM:

    should read: “No one would ***proclaim*** that the Catholic church teachings are amoral or harmful, but are in fact are germane,…”

  30. Rick B says:

    Viking,
    I honestly dont agree with you, and have problems with what you said.
    You and others have said, dont judge, or it’s not my place to judge. Well Jesus told us, when we do judge, to judge a righteous judgment.

    John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

    Now according to you, why cant we all get along? It’s not a matter of getting along, since if thats all it was, then I can agree with atheists, Buddhists, Mormons, JW, You name any religion. We agree or can get along on the subject of, Murder is wrong, marriage is a good thing, Stealing is wrong, lying is wrong, etc.

    Yet we can take an atheist, they dont believe in God. So according to the Bible, they are not saved. The Bible says, The fool hath said in their heart, their is no God.

    Buddhists do not believe in Jesus, neither do JW. So they are not saved according to the Bible, They have a different god, who is not the God of the Bible.

    Mormons both have a different Jesus from the Bible, but also they believe they will and can be gods someday, But according to the Bible, God the father says, Their are no other gods formed, I know of none. Their will be no gods before me, and none will come after me.

    So according to Paul in Gal 1:8-9 anyone who has a different gospel or teaches a different Jesus, they will not be saved. The Bible even gives a big list of people who will not enter heaven. Jesus even said, people will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not cast out demons in your name? Did we not do miracles (cont)

  31. Rick B says:

    (Cont)
    in your name? People do many things, even good things in the name of Jesus, but according to Him, they are not saved and will be cast into outer darkness.

    Also the Bible tells us, their are wolves in sheeps clothing, and false teachers, and false prophets. So how do we tell if they are wolves, false prophets or teachers? We must judge what they say and do.

    Also Jesus said, I am THE WAY, the TRUTH, the Life, Jesus is not A WAY, A TRUTH, A LIFE. So no these people groups, or religions cannot all claim they know and believe in Jesus and we as Christians dont all believe the same thing, and then say, everyone is saved. If you want to believe that, then show me from the Bible. You cannot do it. So please support your views from the Bible.

  32. falcon says:

    Viking,
    Maybe we would be a little less…….what, militant if there weren’t Mormon Missionaries riding their bikes up and down every street in America attempting to convince people to become Mormons. Add to that the fact that MM don’t give a real clear picture of the basic doctrines of their church including that of the nature of God and Jesus.
    That’s why we get a little fired-up. Mormonism has a well earned reputation for not shooting straight with people. It’s a sin of omission.
    I think its deplorable that people join the Mormon church thinking that the Mormon god and Jesus are the same as that of orthodox Christianity. The truth is hidden. Even past prophet GBH denied on TV the doctrine that Mormons believe that the Mormon men may become gods. He said something like, “I don’t know that we’ve ever taught that.”
    I haven’t seen the MM material but I’d guess the picture showing Joseph Smith supposedly translating the golden plates doesn’t depict what he was really up to.
    So I would guess it’s equal parts the challenge that Mormonism lays down to Christianity and the deceptive nature of the LDS church that fuels our motivation to get the word out to people.

  33. Rick B says:

    Viking,
    To add to what Falcon said,
    I have said to Mormons here on this blog and in person when I meet them on the street or in my house.
    If Mormons claim to be Christians, then it stands to reason we believe the same thing, Right?
    So I have said to Mormons, Can I dress up as a mormon missionary with an elder badge, go from house to house claiming I am a mormon, and saying, Hello My name is elder Beaudin, I am from the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

    I believe in the Bible Only, I believe in Grace alone, works cannot and will never save me or play any part in my salvation. I believe God the father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost are one God, from eternity, I dont believe we will ever be gods and that no other gods exist. I can add more if needed. But you get the point.

    Every single Mormon on this blog who has ever replied to me has said, No I cannot go doing that and saying I am a Mormon. So Viking, why do you think it is Ok for Mormons to claim they are Christians and can say they believe what I do, but I cannot say I am a Mormon and believe what they do, while preaching what I believe? That is what Mormons do, yet you seem to feel from your past responses, it is ok for them to do that and wrong for us to challenge them on it. Plus they can say they are Christians, yet but they also wont allow RLDS, and FLDS to claim they are Mormon. To me this is a double standered and Jesus had a word for that, Lets just say that word starts an (H)

  34. Mike R says:

    Viking, You shared a lot of your thoughts with us so I’ll respond to a few . First off I appreciate
    your desire to follow Jesus . To many Mormons upon learning that their prophets have misled
    them unfortunately resort to ” throwing out the baby with the bathwater” and give up on God,
    that’s a tragedy . As you have chosen to walk away from the church that Mormon prophets have
    created so too I hope you’ll walk away from the Jesus they have created with their teachings
    about who He is etc. That may take some time for you to work through but please start ( if you
    have’nt already). Perusing the information on this issue that MRM has to offer is something I
    hope you’ll consider.
    Now you used phrases like ” putting down Mormonism” and ” condemn other religions” , and
    yet I also see you say that there is a place for an accurate assessment of Mormon teachings
    so that people can make an informed decision . So by this I sense that you are frustrated more
    in how Christians treat Mormons in verbally discussing their religion . That’s how I read your
    statements . I find it interesting how you seem to feel that it is proper to enlighten people on
    the dangers of following false prophets like Jim Jones . I would agree with you , and yet what
    makes Mormon prophets off limits ? Sure they may not be as you say ” in the same league” as
    Jim Jones but they are prophets and we’re are told by Jesus’ apostles to test prophets. Is false
    doctrine that results in physical damage any more important than false doctrine about who
    God/Jesus is ? Both can damage.

  35. Mike R says:

    cont,
    I will also say that I find it somewhat disconcerting to see how you seem to want to distill
    the Christian faith down to just a moral lifestyle , Jesus as only an example of how to live etc.
    I here you saying that since Mormons are good people that if that ” works for them “, then
    that’s all what is important . That to me is short changing people as it is only side of the coin .
    Jesus ministered to a very moral people–the Jewish people—- but He also wanted them to know
    that was’nt enough, they needed to know who He was .Paul preached about the need to live a
    moral lifestyle that was consistent with what would please Jesus , and he also stressed the
    necessity to know who Jesus was ,as false teachers would distort that truth– 2Cor 11:4.
    There is no question that the vast majority of Mormons are good people , but is that all there
    is to being a follower of Jesus ? A follower of Jesus learns of Him , comes to know who He is .
    I would direct your attention to the book of 2 John vrs 4-9 where you’ll notice that the
    Christian faith consists of conduct ( lifestyle–vr6 ) AND confession ( who Jesus is —vr 7-9 ).
    You admitted that Jesus did warn of false prophets . However you feel that He did’nt give any
    specifics about identifying them ? I think that if you look at those who He mentored to carry
    spiritual truth to the world after His ascension— His apostles– you’ll see that they taught
    plenty about false prophets/teachers .
    Lastly, strive to learn about Jesus .He is so Majestic !
    Take care.

  36. vikingz2000 says:

    Here’s a thought: Christians agree that according to Matthew 25: 31-40 that if we do not feed the hungry, satisfy the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, tend the sick, AND visit the prisoner, that Christ does not accept us. However, what if a practicing homosexual is doing all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ? Of course you do know that the Bible condemns homosexuality; I’m not saying whether I do or not, just what the Bible says.

    What about Acts 10?

    “28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

    “34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

    I don’t view the world in a binary way and I very much doubt that God does as well. There are many factors to be considered when determining the ‘righteousness’ of a person. And to be sure, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;” perhaps not you, perhaps not me, but only those who God wants in His kingdom because He knows them by the intents of their hearts. Which begs the question: What kind of heart?

    (cont)

  37. vikingz2000 says:

    (cont)
    If you guys feel in your hearts that you are doing ‘godly’ works by denigrating someone else’s religion — a religion that preaches feeding the hungry, satisfying the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, tending the sick, and visiting the prisoner , then who am I to stop you? If anything, you should take the matter up with God, not with me. You will do what you are going to do anyway, no matter what *my* opinion is.

    I don’t feel in my heart that it is right to contend against anyone’s religion, especially if that religion is a force for good in the world (not meaning ‘perfect’ or without fault, or for everyone which ‘works’), of which there are many ‘brands’ cut from the same cloth.

    Peace.

  38. Mike R says:

    Viking, are you really listening to what is being said here ? Please , stop and think about what
    I said about the Mormon people. Striving to live a moral lifestyle is great but it is’nt enough to
    be identified as a true follower of Jesus . Being a christian is more than living by a moral code ,
    doing good deeds, if that were so then Jesus would never had asked Peter , ” who do you say
    I am ?” You feel we here are ” denigrating someone else’s religion “. That simply is not true .
    Strange though how you make that kind of remark when earlier you felt it was ok to condemn
    a religion like Jim Jones created . Why denigrate his beliefs ? Why don’t we just let Jesus and
    those He taught and sent to teach, His apostles, have the definitive word on evaluating anyone
    who claims to be prophet/apostle ? Frankly, we are on safe ground if we do that rather than
    rely our own opinions because the New Testament is not silent on this issue .

  39. falcon says:

    Viking,
    The Bible tells us that our works are like dirty rags when it comes to justifying ourselves before God.
    You’re attempting to make the “moral man” argument that Paul addresses in the first three chapters of Romans.
    Let’s cut to the chase. The only way we can be justified before God is through faith in Jesus and His finished work of the cross. I sense that you are taking off on all sorts of red herrings and missing the point of Chirst’s death, burial and resurrection.
    Can I ask you bluntly, what hope do you have of being justified before God? I think you’re muddled in a form of thinking that avoids the primary issue.
    Salvation isn’t about moral homosexuals and how Christians should view them.
    This is about you and your position before God. I’ve watched people chase after all sorts of speculation about things they think are important when the real issue is themselves and their position before God. The Bible is plain that we are all dead in our sins regardless of how moral, well-meaning and sincere we are. It’s called “relative righteousness”. The bottom line is we are all reprobates.
    That’s what needs to be addressed. It’s ironic that once someone deals with this primary issue and comes to the place where they understand what salvation is all about and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, these ancillary concerns seem to melt away.
    I would suggest you take your thoughtful energy to the cross and determine its meaning for you.

  40. Kate says:

    As I have read through all of the comments this morning all I can say is “wow”. Instead of worrying about offending someone else’s religion or beliefs, shouldn’t we be worried about truth? Heaven forbid we offend someone who teaches a false god or a false Christ. Jesus himself said that there would arise many false Christs’. Isn’t it our duty to warn people of this when we see that this is happening in their lives? Isn’t this what Jesus would do? Mormons INSIST they are Christian, yet they do not follow the Christ of the Bible. They, like pres. Hinkley, follow the Christ that was revealed in this dispensation to the prophet Joseph Smith. This is a different Christ. Salvation cannot be given to anyone from this Christ. We are dealing with people’s Salvation. Only the true and living Christ of the Bible can Save, not a fictitious Christ made up by a false prophet. In my mind a false prophet is a false prophet, it doesn’t matter if his name is Jim Jones or Joseph Smith. Why should one false prophet be considered worse than another? Yes Jim Jones had people killed, but so did Brigham Young. False prophets lead away from the true and living Christ. Finding, teaching and following the Christ of the Bible, the true Christ who Saves is more important than worrying about offending someone with the Truth. There are many, many good people who do good works such as feeding the hungry and clothing the poor. Do all of these people follow the true and living Christ? Are some of these people Atheist even? I’m sure many of the people who followed Jim Jones did good works. Hebrews 1:1-2

  41. falcon says:

    I remember what I went through for a year or two as I resisted God’s call and the drawing of the Holy Spirit (of me) to the Father.
    I had all sorts of charges that I leveled at religious denominations and the phonies within Christianity.
    But at a certain point the Holy Spirit stripped all that away and I was left to confront my position before a just God.
    For some reason, finally, it made sense to me that I was a sinner and in need of a Savior. Everything else faded into insignificance as I had to confront this fact.
    People find all kinds of reasons; rationale for resisting God. It’s either questions about natives in Africa who have never heard the gospel or children who die before the age of accountability or some other such issue that is thrown into the mix for arguing about religion.
    I’ve reached the point where I don’t entertain questions like that much. It’s just a stalling tactic for not having to confront the only important question(s)? Who is Jesus? Who an I and how does God view me in my un-regenerated state.
    That’s it. Jesus is the only pathway to the Father. He is the Messiah, the qualified Savior. The gift of eternal life is received through faith in Him.

  42. Mike R says:

    Kate, you’re right about false prophets , it’s easy for someone like Viking to compare Mormon
    leaders to someone like Jim Jones , based on that type of comparison Mormon prophets would
    easily get a free pass from being seen as false prophets . I really don’t think he believes some
    of the things he said, I think he just has’nt transitioned out of Mormonism far enough yet to
    think through some issues. I believe he’s going to make it and perhaps we can help him by
    deferring to former Mormons here like you and Grindael .

    Falcon , you are spot on with how you emphasize the importance of getting to know who Jesus is.
    I like how Rob Bowman relates that necessity : ” If we are to experience a healthy relationship
    with God, we need to be intimately acquainted with the biblical teaching about the Divine identity
    of Jesus . This involves more than merely knowing about, and agreeing with the doctrine of the
    deity of Christ, though that is certainly essential . It must become more to us than a line we say
    in a creed . We need to know what it means to say that Jesus is God and why it matters . We need
    to see Jesus as God. We need to think about Jesus and relate to Him in the full light of the truth
    of His identity.We need to appreciate the significance of His divine identity for our relationships
    with God and others. ”

    It’s to easy to succumb to the syndrome of making Jesus only a great moral teacher of the
    highest virtue ; that’s not what He said about Himself nor what those who knew Him proclaimed.

  43. 4fivesolas says:

    Vikingz2000,
    If living a good moral life and serving others is the essence of true religion – in other words doing good works – what was Jesus doing on the cross?? Why did He bother to do that!
    If saving yourself through good works is what its all about, Jesus didn’t need to die for our sins -

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