Bill McKeever urges Christians not to misuse Revelation 22:18 when dealing with the issue of an open or closed canon.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download ()
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS
Bill McKeever urges Christians not to misuse Revelation 22:18 when dealing with the issue of an open or closed canon.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download ()
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS
You must be logged in to post a comment.
You said “Ralph: Wow. There’s so much unreliable information out there. Yet you hold so fast to the Book of Mormon. All because Joseph Smith said you should. You believe he was correct, accurate and speaking for God. But remember, he restored the gospel so in essence he’s giving himself the authority.
That’s a lot of authority and I believe it’s so unhealthy to fall in line behind that. God is so much bigger than that. He doesn’t need one man to change the course of His Word.”
I do not know what you mean by ‘unreliable information’ so I cannot comment on that (unless you are talking about LDS critics 🙂 ), but I do not hold fast to the BoM just because JS told me to. I have received my own witness that it is true from God – so I hold fast to it because God told me to. Also, God chose JS to restore the gospel so JS did not give himself authority – God did. Jesus taught that His house is a house of order and that a house divided against itself will fall. He also taught that man cannot serve 2 masters. This is why we need a Prophet – he is the only one that can direct us in God’s path on this earth. Otherwise we will have one person saying that they believe the Bible is saying one thing and someone else disagreeing with their perspective and another person getting a different interpretation and so on. Then we end up having numerous denominations all set-up around the Bible with differing doctrines. Oh, I think I’m too late – its already happened!
As far as your last comment about keeping an open mind – I have said this a couple of times. I lost my son about 10 years ago, he was still-born. It made me question everything I believed in except the existence of God. I did question ‘did I really believe in God or was I just following my parents/childhood traditions?’ So I did go searching about religion and found many things about the LDS church, hence I found the MRM site and over the years watched the development of this site. But nothing persuaded me that the LDS church was false. I did plenty of study from the scripturess and research on the internet, and everything I found just strengthened my belief in the LDS faith. So you cannot say that I have not kept an open mind I did and I received a stronger testimony for it.
Germit gave a quote from some Traditional Christian in a past post which basically said that after a witness from the Holy Ghost any evidence to the contrary can be discounted because the Holy Ghost wins out. So yes there is much controversy about the LDS faith, but if the Holy Ghost has given me a testimony, then I cannot go against God, can I?
One of the posts above said the followoing:
“The apostles and writers of the NT were not just Prophets in the OT sense of the word; they were personal witnesses of Jesus Christ and to the work that he accomplished on this earth, his death and resurrection.”
This is a true statement when applied to the original twelve apostles. However, Paul was not one of the original Twelve, and was not a ‘personal witness’ the same way the others were. In fact, we know that he held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen and he vigorously prosecuted other followers of the upstart Christian sect until his conversion. Paul eventually received a witness from the Lord, and from that time forth worked tirelessly to preach the gospel.
Paul wrote much of our New Testament. The Pauline Epistles are traditionally organized not chronologically, but in order of length, from longest to shortest, with the exception of Hebrews. Why is Hebrews out of order? Because its authorship is controversial — there is much scholarly evidence which suggests Paul may not have been the author. (I personally believe he was, in fact, the author, however.)
Due to Paul’s prominence in the New Testament, much of our understanding of Christ’s mission, Atonement, and Divinity come from Paul’s writing. We would be at a serious loss had his words been lost. Glory be to God, a number of them were preserved.
So let’s put all this into perspective: Paul was not one of Christ’s disciples, and therefore had no personal knowledge of the Savior until he received a witness from heaven. I would call Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus nothing more or less than a ‘vision’ or ‘revelation.’ The scripture reads (Acts 9:3-4), “And as he journeyed, he came to Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and hear a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
In a very real sense, Paul was a prophet as the term is used by the Mormons.
Reading further in the same chapter of Acts we discover another man receiving vision or revelation:
“10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said Behold, I am here, Lord.
“11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go…enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
“12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
“13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
“14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
“15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
“16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
“17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
So not only did Paul receive a vision or revelation, but Ananias did as well. Neither of these men were Apostles at the time, yet we see the Lord speaking to them in vision or ‘revealing Himself to us by prophets’ as one commenter put it above.
I think a lot of the discussion in previous posts involves either disagreement of a semantic nature or disagreement of what the scriptures say. It also seems to me from my reading of all the posts above that most are willing to accept that God could choose to act through one or more prophets if he so chose. The important question is whether Joseph Smith was one of them.
A recent commenter stated about discerning a true ‘prophet’ :
“1 How does the message align with what God has already shown us in the Bible?
“2 Looking at that person’s life, is he (or she) someone who can be trusted? ”
I think those are the correct questions for us to ask, for as the Lord said, “…by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt 7:20)
It appears as though I have jumped to conclusions
I’m not use to the idea that people from the same religious persuasion could fundamentally disagree on the matter of prophets. Your views are strikingly different than many ev’s that I know. My father-in-law, for one, staunchly advocates the notion that Christ fulfilled ALL things meaning there is no longer a need for prophets (like there was a need in the OT before the fulfillment of promises to the House of Israel regarding the Law of Moses).
Here is your personal prescription for spiritual verification:
1 How does the message align with what God has already shown us in the Bible?
2 Looking at that person’s life, is he (or she) someone who can be trusted?
I wonder if you would defer to the wisdom set forth in the bible regarding His prescribed process of verification: James 1:5-6 😉 Surely you must acknowledge that our own prescriptions for finding truth are FAR inferior to the approach the God of the Universe has prescribed FOR us.
11th article of faith
“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
you asked, “Does this mean that the LDS people feel at liberty to hinder atheists or agnostics?”
Good question. No. We believe the concept of liberty IS OF GOD–even if those use this principle to reject Him. All should be allowed to do so because in order to be held accountable for our choices at the last day–we have to actually be allowed to make them.
“what about phenomena which is not particularly associated with religion, but conflicts with LDS ideals?”
I have a hunch that you are trying to reference our general support of Proposition 8…am I wrong?
If not, sorry, but I will use this as an example anyway. No church member was forced to support prop 8. Our leaders asked us to–and to those who did not certainly have a curious dichotomy of interests to answer for- but they were not forced. Furthermore, it is not contradictory to personal freedom of others to VOTE your conscience either.
Welcome to Mormon Coffee, Jonas. Being new here you are most likely not aware of our comment length limit which is currently enforced by the honor system (until we can get the software working). Others (who shall remain nameless) have no excuse. A reminder to the Mormon Coffee community: Please respect the comment length limit of somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 characters per comment. Thanks.
Who says one should pray about the Book of Mormon – how does one arrive at that being the right way to test if it is true? Joseph Smith wrote that, and then Joseph Smith wrote the answer one will receive – you will find it is true. Enough said. All of the contraray DNA/RNA evidence, lack of archeological evidence, anachronisms in the BOM, lack of any actual source for the BOM (alas the Golden plates are gone and not a single other historical copy exists), the undeniable truth that the Book of Abraham is not an actual translation of the Egyptian papyrus – and the papyrus dates from nowhere near the time of Abraham, Joesph Smith’s polygamy and participation in polyandry, all of this doesn’t matter, because Joseph Smith said to pray and you WILL know it is true. That is, if you’re sincere you will know it is true, otherwise all the contrary evidence may get in the way, showing your insincerity. I believe God has made it clear to me that the BOM is false. I believe He has also shown through my mental, spiritual, emotional, and life experiences that the Bible is true and the BOM is not. You cannot separate experience from reality, because the heart is deceitful and wicked above all things. I must test my beliefs – if they don’t hold up, and I cling to them, then I am only deceiving myself to my own detriment (perhaps eternal detriment). The same is true for everyone.
I have wondered if Mormons have prayed about the Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scriptures), or the writings of some of the religious leaders that sprang from the same ground/century as Joseph Smith – Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science), Ellen G. White (7th Day Adventists), Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah’s Witnesses), etc. If prayer and personal testimony is the way of testing all truth – it would be necessary to pray about each of these and all other religious writings and belief systems. As a matter of fact, I think each of these faiths would have members who could speak of personal testimonies as to the truth of their respective faiths. There has to be something beyond feelings and testimony. At it’s most basic, I think religious writings need to be able to demonstrate that they are indeed real and not a fabrication. The BOM failed to pass that test.
I have always wondered about that concept of ‘free will’ which is so central to the LDS faith, and some other religions.
“We believe the concept of liberty IS OF GOD–even if those use this principle to reject Him. All should be allowed to do so because in order to be held accountable for our choices at the last day–we have to actually be allowed to make them. ”
I’m not so convinced that god is for liberty. The christian bible condemns any acts of rebellion against god, and any voilation against gods law. (sin) So apparently god doesn’t support liberty. In a legal sense this country allows people to make a lot of choices about belief and personal action, but that is human law. One of the criticisms of RHP (Right hand path) religions made by the temple of Set has been that they usually claim that people have the god given right of ‘free will’ but then god denies them the right to exercize it, by way of punishment. Some eastern religions go so far as to even deny that ‘free will’ even exists.
I certainly wasn’t singling out prop 8, but that is certainly a good example, there could be others.
“No church member was forced to support prop 8. Our leaders asked us to–and to those who did not certainly have a curious dichotomy of interests to answer for- but they were not forced. Furthermore, it is not contradictory to personal freedom of others to VOTE your conscience either. ”
That sounds suspect, because if you did not show allegence to the authorities, you probably would not be good church members to ignore their request. I beg to differ, prop 8 is contradictory to personal freedom, and supporting it violates the 11th article of faith. Voting for personal rights is also suspect. It wasn’t that long ago that sunday blue laws were in effect. These required non-christians and sabath observing christians to close their businesses on sunday. If a majority vote can determine personal rights, then I guess sunday blue laws made ‘sense’. But what I see is was that the majority was forcing others to comply with their belief.
What I meant by unreliable information was LDS view of the Bible (unreliable because there is no way to validate the accuracy of the transcribers) and the journals of George Watt (because there was “no endorsement as to the accuracy or reliability of the contents.”) It just seems to me that when evangelicals try to pin down a specific writing, LDS members have reasons why it’s not a reliable source or a reason why practices have changed. But there’s never a doubt about Joseph Smith’s authority. Yet he’s just as human as all these other writers you are discounting.
You said: “God chose JS to restore the gospel so JS did not give himself authority – God did.” This is where I think we’ll always have an impasse. To me, if JS said it and wrote it, then he gave that authority to himself.
Also: “Then we end up having numerous denominations all set-up around the Bible with differing doctrines. Oh, I think I’m too late – its already happened!” Doesn’t LDS have different sects as well? FLDS? RLDS? Wouldn’t you say we’re even on that score?
Lastly: “So you cannot say that I have not kept an open mind I did and I received a stronger testimony for it.” Please accept my condolences on the loss of your son. Obviously that’s a sorrow I wish no one had to bear. Despite our differences, I’m glad you did not lose faith. I myself was widowed at the age of 29 with children ages 4 and 2 at the time. I was so mad at God. Their father did not deserve to lose his chance to see his children grow up. But somehow I also never lost faith in God.
Maybe we have something in common after all.
Thank you for expressing your concern about my use of language. Sometimes I think I tone it down when actually I manage to keep my angry undertones intact. I actually thought the wording in that post was mild!
I’m still trying to find a voice here that is not mocking and angry, but it’s hard to do because I am still angry. That’s because I engaged in conversation with LDS missionaries for months in my home but there was an abundance of information that they did not give me. They wanted me to get baptized before they even told me that the God and Jesus of their restored gospel is very different than the God and Jesus of the Bible. And to me, that’s deceptive recruitment, which is a tactic; I don’t know what else to call it.
But again, thank you for expressing your concern. I’ll try to keep it polite.
Matt 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
Matt 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
I know that if I ask God, he shall answer my prayer – it was not JS that told me that. I need to determine somehow if the BoM AND the Bible are true. Or did they really find Jesus buried body the other year?
And was it not Jesus that said “Blessed are the pure in heart”? Was not David described as being a man after the Lord’s heart? We are told to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. “Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? The list can go on, but I have to respectifully disagree with your interpretation of the scripture about the heart being decietful. Otherwise there can be no pure in heart, no one who is after the heart of the Lord, no one who can claim to actually love God with all their heart, and no one who is truely converted (and if true conversion is the only way to gain grace, then no one will receive grace). I think the Proverbs verse says it all – as a man thinks in his heart, that is how he will be – ie if he is not converted and has sin and deciet in his heart, then he will be a sinful and deceitful person; but if a man is converted then he has a changed heart and it can be pure and full of love, thus he will be pure and full of love.
As for the other religions’ holy books – they do not profess to teach Jesus as my Saviour and Redeemer and the Son of God like the Bible does, so I know from the start that they are incorrect. Whereas the BoM does – so I do need to find out if it is true.
I have not said anything in any of my past posts about people not being sincere if they get the answer that the BoM is wrong. It is a personal thing between God and man when it comes to prayer and answers. You believe you received the answer that it is wrong – fine by me. But your answer does not sway mine either – I know I received the answer that the BoM is true. As I said – I have done a lot of study about the BoM and the LDS church and questioned if I really believed in it. Regardless of all the ‘problems’ you have written down, I do not see some of them as problems because they equally affect the Bible, in which you believe. Thus you are shooting yourself in the foot using some of those arguments.
The only thing I can see about the difference in our answers is that one of us is listening to the wrong source. Again, I have my evidence that I am correct and you have yours.
my heart felt condolances to you as well. I cannot conceive my life without my wife being there, especially with young children to raise. I too am glad that you kept your faith in God, and I am sure that even though you were angry with Him for a while, it was your faith that has helped you through it all.
I would like to clarify the ‘many denominations’ comment I made in comparison to your ‘Doesn’t LDS have different sects as well? FLDS? RLDS? Wouldn’t you say we’re even on that score?’ question.
There are many Christian denominations out there which except for some core doctrine, have differing doctrines, for example divorce, contraception, Baptism by immersion vs sprinkling vs no baptism needed at all etc. Although these may seem small to you, they do make a difference and were the original reasons they split from each other. Originally they called each other heretics (eg RC vs Protestants/ Lutheran), but they all accept each other these days under the one banner. For example, the Methodists and Presbyterians are now one church in Australia under the title ‘Uniting Church of Australia’, most here will accept someone from the Baptist church and Anglican church as being Christian and being saved. Now if we look at the LDS church, yes we have many offshoots (over 100 I believe) BUT we do not accept them as being part of our membership, nor do we say that they will be able to attain the Celestial Kingdom unless they repent and be baptised into the true LDS church. We have listed them as heretics and all who believe in those denominations, who are on our records are excommunicated. That is the difference – we are (for want of a better phrase/word) exclusivists/the one true church. We do not recognise any other including those that are our offshoots as being true with us. Whereas Traditional Christianity in general has become accepting of most offshoots as long as they believe in a small core of doctrine.
Hope that helps with your question.
Yes it did, and thank you.
I didn’t realize the offshoots of LDS were considered heretics and were ex-communicated. Interesting, and harsh I think. But it does help with my question.
You asked “When has God taken away man’s agency?” A couple of examples,
Deut 9:20 Sihon the king of Heshbon
Exodus 4:21 Pharaoh
Daniel 5:20 Nebuchadnezzar
Isa 63:17 Tribes of Israel
To assume that “agency”, “free agency” “freewill” or “freedom” (whatever term you like) is an anthropological reality governing man is to remove man from his relationship with God. A man who declares himself completely autonomous is breaking his relationship with God and looses all freedom to sin. Freedom only comes when man is in a covenant relationship of love and obedience to God.
I see no reason to accept that God would harden Pharaoh’s heart but is incapable of using men to preserve his Word.
There are a number of verses that imply that God will keep preserve his Scripture. Always quoted first is 2 Timothy 3:15, where Paul tells Timothy that the Holy Scriptures are able to make him wise for salvation etc. Paul of course is speaking of the OT canon preserved by the Jews, but implied is that God preserved these texts. Timothy did not have access to the original autographs of the OT, all he had were copies. Despite the fact that all Timothy had were copies of the OT Paul still considered them inspired texts. These copies were still authoritative for his correction and instruction in the teachings of God.
My personal favorite is Luke 24:44-49, where Jesus Christ opens the Scripture to the disciples and shows that “that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled…” Once again Jesus only has copies of the OT not the original manuscripts. The fact Jesus would use copies of the OT to teach his disciples the fundamentals of the faith shows that Jesus must have found them authoritative.
Before you complain that this only proves the OT, Peter in 2 Peter 1:19-21is speaking of not only the OT but the NT writings being inspired during the apostolic age.
Claiming that God will preserve his Scripture has nothing to do with physically protecting prophets, in fact by preserving the words of his prophets he has enabled them to speak to us today something that would not have occurred with simple physical protection.
I was a little busy with my experiment and results I was thinking on the run – now that I have reread my comment maybe the word apostate would be better to use than heretic.
There are 3 main sources for the OT (4 if you wish to count the Dead Sea Scrolls). What we have is a conglomerate of these 3 as they do not always agree with each other in text. We believe the Bible to be the word of God and authorative and we teach from it. However, we also know that man is not perfect and that the Bible is not 100% accurate. I guess this is most likely how Jesus and His apostles viewed them as well.
This is from the LDS Bible dictionary under Bible –
The Bible and the BOM are not equivalent. What I have written does not equally affect the Bible. For one, we have numerous copies that come down from different groups (thus a few minor textual variants, which actually reinforces the authenticity, if someone just made it up, there would be no variants and no source material) – the BOM has no historical documentation and the only variants it has are not based on documents but rather on the decisions and calculations of Mormon leaders, in addition to some grammar corrections. The Bible has numerous archeological confirmations – you can go to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, etc. today. There are coins, dishes, housing, etc. from Biblical times that can be dug up and examined. The BOM does not have ONE archeological confirmation, not one. The Jewish people are a real people that existed (and exist) in real time and space. No one has seen a Jaredite, Laminite, Mulekite, or Nephite – we can’t find one shred of their supposed civilizations, not a coin, not a gold, bronze, silver or any written plates whatsoever – zip, zero, nada. We don’t have the problem with polygamy or polyandry – Jesus never participated in that and the Bible is clear that the Church is to be lead by men married to one woman – rules which we follow. The BOM shows all the signs of a fabricated document unsupported by the facts. The Bible is thoroughly supported by the facts – that doesn’t mean that one accepts all the religious arguments it sets forth, but it is undeniably a historical document. The BOM does not meet the qualifications for being a historical document. Since the BOM can be seen to be false as a reliable historical testimony, it cannot be assumed to be a reliable in any way.
The verses you cite don’t have anything to do with praying about the BOM and receiving a testimony of it’s truth. But rather speak of God’s ability to meet all the needs of His Chosen, those who are trusting in Him. If you did pray about the truth of the BOM could it be that God is using this website and the people you are interacting with here to show you that it is not true? God does work through people many times to bring us where he wants us to be. Could God use this website to answer that prayer? I don’t know what you think about this, but could it not at least be a possibility?
On praying about other books, for one, some do profess a “Jesus” just as the BOM does (Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witness, Koran, and Ellen G. White all discuss their take on Jesus). But why the limitation on only praying about those that confess Jesus? Before you pray about the BOM do you first pray to get a confirmation about Jesus as savior? If someone asked you to pray and see if Baal worship was correct, would you? Can you see why Christians will not pray about whether the BOM is true? The God and Jesus that Mormons confess is not the God of the Bible. Thus, we would never ask God if this is true. The God of the Bible clearly teaches that our hearts are deceitful and wicked and we cannot save ourselves, apart from His divine intervention – reaching down to save us – we are hopelessly lost in our sin.
If you’ve never wrote anything about knowing the BOM is true if you pray with sincerity, Joseph Smith did. It was Joseph Smith who wrote “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” So if you are sincere you will know it’s true, if not, then you are by definition insincere. I think this is a manipulation – ignore the facts, just pray and if you are SINCERE, “he will manifest the truth of it unto you.” I feel that God has shown me that the BOM is false, and not to even trust the premise that I should pray about it (taken from the BOM – haven’t you already accepted the Book of Mormon as true just by praying?) Scripture commands us to reject any gospel that is different from that handed down by the apostles, even if it were given to us by an angel. Having an angel present you with a “gospel” would be far more convincing than a burning in the bosom – but the Bible says NOT to believe it.
Sharon (and everyone else) — I apologize for the long comments. Guess I’ve been a bit giddy about having a place to chat about Christ and the Bible. I’ll try to keep my enthusiasm under control.
Linda, I can understand that you feel deceived by the fact that the missionaries were witholding what in your opinion was critical information. However, from an objective point of view, don’t we all learn to crawl before we can walk before we can run? I have heard this criticism of the Mormons on numerous occasions. In one meeting at a Methodist church I attended, a class was taught about the Mormons in which the instructor expressed similar sentiments about the missionaries “not telling you everything.” Within 15 minutes of her angst about how horrible this was, the instructor was advocating almost the exact same thing for the reverse situation. Stating that when talking to your Mormon friends, “You’re going to have to start with the basics and give them a little at a time. They can’t eat meat before they drink milk and they have a lot of attitudes they need to change.” Honestly, I can’t see how this is any different. We all start with 1+1 and with enough persistence we may even make it through calculus. I’m sure each of us has had to explain something to someone — whether religous or other — where we intentionally didn’t complicate our message by including details that weren’t central to the current discussion.
We are all responsible for how we walk within this world, and in my experience, most faithful people truly have good intentions and others’ welfare in mind, so I have a hard time interpreting their behavior as deceitful or disingenuous.
Let’s also not forget that these missionaries are 19-24 yr old kids who, in most cases, certainly did not become scriptorians/historians before going on a mission. It is likely that many of the “deeper doctrines” and historical facts are not well known to them either. So they focus on the basics: Christ is our Savior; Repentence is necessary; We must take upon ourselves the name of Christ by being Baptized; We desire the companionship of the Holy Spirit; We want to leave this life with Christ in our hearts so we can be eternally happy. As my statistics professor would say, “These are the big ideas. Everything else is detail.”
(Sorry looks like my post was too long again!)
There are more than 3 sources, we have the proto Masoretic, unified Masoretic, LXX, Qumran mss, Palestinian Masoretic family , Babylonian Masoretic family, and more. A couple of things we know about OT textual criticism. First there are far fewer OT manuscripts for textual critics to compare than we have with the NT making it more difficult (A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible). Second the quotes and references to the OT in the NT generally match the LXX (Commentary on NT use of the OT Beale and Carson). This does not mean that only the LXX is authoritative for Christians but it does mean that the LXX was used by Jesus Christ and that he found it authoritative. Third this is not new to Christians. The Church has been involved in OT textual criticism before Origen created the Hexapla. Last the addition of vowels to the Hebrew began in the 5th – 6th century AD.
None of this affects the inspired and authoritative nature of Scripture. None of this has affected any Christian doctrine. No where are there any texts that suggest Joseph Smith’s translations of the OT are accurate.
Amanda wrote “Your views are strikingly different than many ev’s that I know.”
I’ll grant that there are different views in the Ev community about the need for present day prophets; I’d say that the spectrum runs from the Presbyterians who insist that there should be no prophets today (in the same sense as the OT prophets, see Heb 1:1-2) to the Charismatics who maintain that the gifts of the Spirit should remain operational in the church today, especially prophecy (see 1 Cor 13:2).
My view is that we need to understand what the Biblical authors meant when they used the term “Prophet”, or even “the Law and the Prophets” (for example, Matt 5:17). In general terms, the NT insists on two things and I think that the Ev community would generally agree on these, no matter where they sit in the spectrum that I’ve suggested above;
1 That the Prophets point towards Christ
2 That the Gospel held out by the NT Christians was the Gospel that was held out from the beginning.
The latter point becomes apparent if, for example, you read Romans and ask why Paul goes on and on about Abraham (his appeal is based on the idea that the Gospel he preaches is the same as the Gospel found in the story of Abraham, upon which the Jews based their self-identity). I find it interesting that the NT authors regard themselves as keeping the true faith of their forefathers; they don’t see themselves as inventing a new religion. Where does their God-given system of “Law and Prophet” go? It finds its fulfilment in Christ (Rom 10:4, for example). In other words, if you follow the system of temple, law and prophet from generation to generation, you’ll end up with God sending his Son to inaugurate the heavenly kingdom of Israel.
Modern prophets therefore need to follow the same pattern; they point to Christ and they don’t depart from the Gospel that was there in the beginning. I’ll let the others expand on how Joseph Smith measures up to these criteria, so I’ll just say that our alarm bells should be ringing out pretty loud when we start hearing about a “New” Gospel.
Having said that, I don’t think I could name any modern people as having the same stature as Isaiah, for example, though there are some prominent souls who have a message for our times and whose personal lives back up their “revelatory” credentials.
Sorry, but still not buying it. Part of becoming baptized in LDS is to start tithing immediately and stop drinking coffee as well. I was already obeying the law of chastity so fortunately that wasn’t an issue. But six months in I should have known about the huge differences. They kept telling me to read the book of Mormon and I didn’t get very far with that. I’m not sure if that doctrine is even in there though. Maybe someone can clarify that for me.
But the first baptismal interview question reads: Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
There was never discussion about Satan being our spiritual brother, nothing about exaltation, nothing about God once being a man. I believe they should be very clear on such an important belief.
Also, the LDS articles of faith don’t mention it either.
Before I proceed, please allow me to express my sorrow for your experience. I pray the Lord will heal your wounds and help you rejoice in your salvation.
What do you think their intensions are? (Or were with you?) I perceive from your comments you feel strongly that there was an ulterior motive, but I have a hard time imagining what that could be. Do you feel they do not believe what they preach?
It seems to me that the baptismal interview questions you mention above would be appropriate for any Christian. I could confidently answer what you just mentioned in the affirmative. Should they have started with a different question in your opinion?
The doctrine about who Satan is appears to me to be an unimportant detail. The only thing I really need to know about Satan is that he does not have my best interest in mind and will lead me astray if I let him. Does it matter that the LDS have an explanation of who he is?
Thank you for attempting to assuage my anger. It’s actually working, even though I still believe LDS should be more specific in their discussions with potential converts. I had heard many years ago that LDS did not believe in the Trinity but their first article of faith states: We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. So in six months they never mentioned that in their view, these are very separate entities. Isaiah 9:6 says: And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. But LDS does not believe this, and to me that is huge.
I am sorry that you feel your heart is deceitful. This means that you cannot be sure that you love God and Jesus with all your heart. Nor can you be sure that you love your spouse/partner if/when you have one. I mean, how do you know your heart isn’t deceiving you every time you say that you love Them? If its as deceitful as you say then you don’t.
The scriptures I quote do not say anything about praying about the BoM? They both say to ask God and you will receive – they do not give any borders on whether it is a physical object, mental/emotional peace, assistance with a difficulty or an answer to a question. When asking about the BoM, it is an answer to a question that one is seeking.
I will go back to a quote that Germit gave in the blog ‘Fruits of the First Vision.’ It was from an Evangelical preacher William Lane Craig. This is the last part of the quote which has the main part of my point but for the full quote see the blog.
…that such an experience provides one not only with a subjective assurance of Christianity’s truth, but with objective knowledge of that truth; and that arguments and evidence incompatible with that truth are overwhelmed by the experience of the Holy Spirit for him who attends fully to.”
So it appears that we LDS do not have a monopoly on using only the Spirit as our evidence DESPITE external evidence, some Evangelicals believe that too. As I asked, how sure are you that the tomb they dug up the other year that they showed statistically was a very close match to Jesus Christ and his family of the Bible, is not His? Do not quote from the Bible that Jesus is risen, I know that – but what external evidence do you have? When science says that there is no such thing as a resurrected, immortal being what proof do you have apart from the Holy Ghost testifying it to you? As far a I know there is none. If you can prove it to me then I might be able to convert my staunch atheist friend to religion. If you can’t, then stop saying that I can’t use The Spirit as my evidence and testimony of the truthfulness of the BoM. We will just have to agree to disagree as to how true it is.
Ralph quoted this for me,
Ralph, I love how LDS Always claim the JoD cannot fully be trusted and they state why, when it goes against what LDS believe.
Yet you guys use the KFD as Doctrine even to this day, you run the risk of having eternal damnation because you could be wrong. I see the Adam God as only two pages long, and LDS believe it is full of error, yet KFD is 11 pages long and it is accurate to the point it is todays Doctrine. Then many a prophet from the LDS church has quoted pages of the JoD. Even Bruce M, who I know was never a Prophet or president quotes from it. Sad, how you risk your etenity over it. Rick b
Linda, I experienced similar feelings of anger a couple years ago. I live in a tightly packed development, and at least a couple times a year the LDS missionaries make their rounds. I spent a couple hours discussing doctrine with 2 of them (this is when I first started to study Mormonism), and I asked them about the whole God having once been a man and progressing to godhood (doctrine that JS first “revealed” in the King Follett Discourse). “Oh no,” they told me emphatically. “God has always been God. He was never a human who progressed to godhood.” I was so confused, because I had read this was their doctrine, and asked them at least 3 times to state their position on this subject. Each time they denied following such a doctrine. After they left I called up the LDS hotline, and the nice, embarrassed young man on the other end assured me that Mormons do indeed believe that God (Heavenly Father) was once a human being who progressed to godhood. I was SO angry. I asked a Mormon friend about it, and she said, “I don’t know why they denied that doctrine. It’s what I’ve always been taught.” The thing is, Linda, there is a strong practice of obfuscation and denial to seekers of the LDS Church until they are “ready” to receive further doctrine or spiritual “truth”. A big part of this is because of the Mormon emphasis on “milk before meat”. Or, think of Hinckley being interviewed by Larry King and asked about this doctrine. “I dont know that we teach it”, he said. Now, does that sound like a straight answer to you? No. Or what about the LDS apostle who once said, “Facts are not always useful?” (Wish I could remember who said it exactly, but unfortunately I can’t.) In contrast, when I used to go out and do evangelism in college, there was no subject that was off-limits to seekers. So, I don’t think Mormons mean to be dishonest in their approach in witnessing, but it’s impossible to not feel an element of dishonesty. This kind of thing still bothers me, but I guess I’m used to it at this point.
In contrast, when I used to go out and do evangelism in college, there was no subject that was off-limits to seekers. So, I don’t think Mormons mean to be dishonest in their approach in witnessing, but it’s impossible to not feel an element of dishonesty.
very well, and graciously, put; nice job Megan,
and my apporach is the same: no quesion off limits (within the limits of human decency: if I’ve already given that question a LOT of attention, and someone still doesn’t like the answer…..there’s always the internet 🙂 )
Regardless of what you wish to think, official statements like the one I quoted from the Ensign are official statements – the JoD was never doctrine or scripture. It can be used as a teaching aid or historical settings, etc but it has never been doctrine or scripture. So in the future stop referring to it as such. Now you know and you have seen official statements you are not ignorant of our position, and to say different you are just bearing false witness. As far as the KF discourse goes, I don’t know much about it nor how much we use as part of our doctrine, but I doubt we see the whole of the discourse as doctrine or scripture because it is not incorporated in anything official.
I am sorry about your experience with the missionaries. I never lied on my mission like that. We had one investigator who, after our initial contact with her, told us to come back in 2 week when school holidays started. During that time she went to the local library and borrowed 3 books about the LDS church. One was ‘Truth Restored’, the second was about all the Christian sects that had been formed in tha past 200 years and the last was by an excommunicated member being paid by the Finnish Lutheran Church to write material ‘exposing’ the LDS church (which he borrowed most from Ed Decker). When we returned she told us what she did, showed us the books and then said that she had no questions from ‘Truth Restored’ – it was an easy and pleasant read. However, she had questions from the second book and had quit reading the third because it was too ‘nasty’. So we sat down with her and answered her questions truthfully. They were ones like premortal existence, the ‘As man is God once was, as God is man may become’ couplet, etc. When we said that yes we believe that God once lived on a planet like we did, and that because we are His children we believe that we can become like Him she said that she can see that we believe that but she couldn’t at that point in time. She kept investigating and eventually joined the church.
On the flip-side, we had one lady from England, claiming she was Anglican, deny her faith just to prove us wrong. Her husband was in the room listening in on us and he claimed to be atheist. She had a pamphlet about some of our beliefs from an LDS critic, and she asked us how we could believe that we can become like God. We showed her a few scriptures in the Bible using the fact that Jesus was a God and that we are joint-heirs with Him, etc. She turned around and said that she did not believe that Jesus was a God. So it can go both ways with lying or not understanding one’s own beliefs properly.
I am sorry for not replying to you sooner concerning your take on John 1:1. While many modern scholars attempt to harmonise all of the worlds religions and philophosies into a single interrelated system it seems difficult if not impossible to apply stoicism to John in general or to John 1:1 in particular.
Stoics believe that the logos was the rational principal by witch everything existed. They believed that everything that ever existed sprung from the seminal logoi. Even a cursory reading of John shows that Stoic beliefs had no influence on his theology.
Others have proposed that John is borrowing from Philo a Jewish philosopher influenced by Plato. The logos to Philo has no distinct personality and his dualism is also not found in John.
A much more compelling view is that John was influenced by the actions of “the Word” of God in the Old Testament, especially when it is considered how often John either quotes from or alludes to the Old Testament. The Word is connected to creation (Gen 1:3, 6, 9ff.; Psalms 33:6). This connection to creation is important when looking at John 1:2, 3. In fact the Word is also connected to other divine activities such as revelation (Jer 1:4; Isa 9:8 and others) judgement (Isa 55:11 Psalm 29:3ff.) and particularly important to the message of the Gospel of John deliverance (Psalm 107:20; Isa 55:1).
I did not appreciate your ‘nameless’ reproach, and wonder why I even waste my time on your blog…
You will eventually drive away every Mormon who posts on this site with snide characterizations like this recent display at my expense. I wish you could afford me the respect that I have earned over a significant period of time as a commenter. I thought your blog was about antagonizing the LDS faith–not personally antagonizing its’ members.
Thank you for your response.
“I’m not so convinced that god is for liberty. The christian bible condemns any acts of rebellion against god, and any voilation against gods law. (sin) So apparently god doesn’t support liberty…”
This contradicts the claim many of your philosophical persuasion make, ‘if God really exists, then why does He allow those to sin against others, rebel and wreak havoc on the earth? Why doesn’t He stop suffering?’ Because God would cease to be God if He was a TYRANT. The devil claims the throne of a tyrant–God claims the throne of virtue, faith and truth! Anyone who believes God is tyrant is worshiping a false god. It is important to note that condemnation is not an act of FORCE. You can condemn sin, and teach correct principles…but must allow individuals to govern themselves.
I said in a previous post,
“No church member was forced to support prop 8. Our leaders asked us to–and to those who did not certainly have a curious dichotomy of interests to answer for- but they were not forced. Furthermore, it is not contradictory to personal freedom of others to VOTE your conscience either. ”
to which you responded,
“That sounds suspect, because if you did not show allegence to the authorities, you probably would not be good church members to ignore their request. ”
Actually, questions about my political vote is NEVER a concern at church. So you assume incorrectly. However, I wonder why someone would find veracity in supporting two contradictory principles…but that is a personal matter between them and God.
“I beg to differ, prop 8 is contradictory to personal freedom, and supporting it violates the 11th article of faith.”
How does it violate my faith to vote my conscience? The 11th article speaks of PERSONAL freedom…and is it not my personal freedom to vote ANY way I chose? My vote represents the individual mechanism in a democracy. You have to have a majority mechanism that inevitably establishes law and amendments to OUR constitution. I don’t vote for you–if I did, THEN I would be violating the 11th article of faith.
If a majority vote can determine personal rights, then I guess sunday blue laws made ’sense’. But what I see is was that the majority was forcing others to comply with their belief. ”
The majority threshold is basic principle to democracy. Do you suggest the minority should determine the laws of our states and amendments to our constitution? How else do we govern? By judges? The majority rule doesn’t always accomplish what is ‘right’–but you cannot write off that mechanism simply because you disagree with the outcome…otherwise, I have a legitimate argument to remove Obama from office because the majority should not determine who runs the country!!! That violates my right to put the candidate of MY choice in office..
Prop 8 was an amendment to the CA constitution, it wasn’t writing law–and there is a difference. The constitution was meant to represent the will of the people…which is a mechanism of the majority. Government 101.
It is a considerable stretch to argue from scripture that God has intervened to preserve holy writ and His intervention has directly resulted in our Bible. I appreciate that you believe that, but nowhere in the Bible does it say this.
The older I get, the more I think the concept that all of God’s word is found in the Holy Bible is naive. Why does Christ quote scripture in the New Testament that is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament? Anybody really think the relatively short book of Genesis is a full treatment of the first 3,000 years of this planet? Do you really think folks like Adam, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Melchizedek, Seth, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and Joseph didn’t record their revelations and communications with God. Some of these people lived over 900 years if you believe the Bible account. I believe these people were very sophisticated and intelligent and knew every bit as much as us about Christ if not more.
My argument is not that the Bible is flawed, but that it is not everything God ever uttered to man. The book itself never makes this claim, only some of those who read it.
I have heard many argue here that for me to say the Bible is not all of Gods word is to claim that God is not powerful enough to preserve His word. If He wanted to do that, He certainly has the power to do that. But nowhere do we have record of Him or His prophets ever saying such a thing.
I think what we have today is the tip of the iceberg. Truth be known, there has probably been enough scripture recorded throughout the history of the world to fill rooms or warehouses- my opinion.
Mobaby- ever read the Book of Mormon? You speak about it as if you have a great knowledge of it. I am always interested how and why people so quickly dismiss it without first hand investigation. Amazing.
By the way- why do you not practice the ancient religion of the Pharoah’s? There is plenty of archeological evidence that their society existed- probably more so than any other ancient civilization. Does archeological evidence of their existence prove the truthfulness of their religion? This is the argument you are making with the Bible and ancient Israel.
“Modern prophets therefore need to follow the same pattern; they point to Christ and they don’t depart from the Gospel that was there in the beginning.”
The ‘restored’ gospel claims that early Christians deviated from the original Gospel of Christ…there are many evidences that support this claim of an apostasy. The remark you made about ‘new’ faith renders itself mute since that is your opinion of what is, not what is actually claimed by modern day prophets. You negate their authority because of your characterizations of reality–not theirs. You clearly base your perception on complete confidence that the bible is like unto a god–unchanging and omnipotently authoritative–which I believe is a flawed assumption, and akin to worshiping a book rather than the Almighty God it testifies of.
Christ Himself spoke of ‘other’ sheep that were not of ‘this’ fold (House of Israel–symbolic references to scattering and directional North make this very clear)…so obviously the bible does not tell the complete picture of all of God’s purposes! How could it? How could thousands of pages even come close? They don’t. Acknowledging the limited ability of any text to dictate personal faith is important, but we can simultaneously utilize these texts as testifying entities in our pursuit to live with God again, and share the evident messages they do in fact provide. The bible is ONE tool in the toolbox that is the restored gospel.
“Having said that, I don’t think I could name any modern people as having the same stature as Isaiah, for example, though there are some prominent souls who have a message for our times and whose personal lives back up their “revelatory” credentials”
How can you compare modern day people to the stature of a man you cannot possibly measure?? Isaiah was merely a prophet–the only virtue that enlarges his stature! Can you not concede that you have limited knowledge of Isaiah’s personal life and sins? Nor is that important, which is my point. You hold Joseph Smith to an impossible standard–the same standard contemporaries of Isaiah, Moses, Paul (as a priesthood holder) and Abraham applied. Hind-sight is 20/20… prophets of ANY dispensation were reviled and persecuted by those in their day! Joseph Smith is certainly contemporary enough given we are only separated by little more than 100 years and have significant means of record-keeping and forums for gossip (ahem, mrm, ahem).
Thanks, Martin. I appreciated your response. Look forward to your reply.
Please read the 11th article of faith over again, your only getting half of the equation.
“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
The second half of the equation your not stating is ‘allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.”
Is the Christian god a tyrant? It seems that he might be. He has absolutely no tolerance for sin and rebellion, he made a special place for billions of people to roast for all eternity for disobedience, and those that aren’t covered by the blood of christ. At least that is the fundementalist version of christianity. The LDS version of this punishment is a bit more complex, and appears to be more fair, but its not considered orthodox chrisitianity by many people. The punishment doesn’t seem to be as severe, but there is still a punishment. But this topic was covered more in detail in ‘hellish heavens, heavenly hells’ .
About the constitution, I found a very interesting statement from “democratic underground.com”
“The United States of America is not just a democracy – it is a constitutional democracy. What that means is that our government is designed to express not only the will of the majority (democracy), but also to simultaneously protect the unalienable rights of minorities and the powerless. That is an extremely important point because it is the constitutional protections of minorities and the powerless that add civility, humanity, and decency to what could otherwise be a barbaric nation – democratic or not.
In other words, democracy alone does not ensure that a nation will act humanely and decently. A majority can at times be quite cruel and unfair. Lynch mobs will generally express the will of the majority (of the mob that is). The majority of whole nations can at times approve of and do terrible things. Even genocides can at times express the will of a majority. And that is precisely why our Founding Fathers recognized the need for a Constitution that would protect the rights of minorities and the powerless. ”
I wish I could give credit where its due, but its not obvious to me who the author is on the webpage. The title on the top of the page is “The U.S. Constitution, Minority Rights, and the Need to Remove those Who Would Destroy them”
“Why does Christ quote scripture in the New Testament that is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament?”
Thats very interesting, what are a few examples?
How do you know that Egyptian religion isn’t correct?
You wrote, “Some of these people lived over 900 years if you believe the Bible account”
Do yo believe that there are people on earth that are 2,000 years old?
Matt. 16: 28, Mark 9: 1,Luke 9: 27, 3 Ne. 28: 7, 25, 37-38
I don’t know if that would be a blessing or a curse. In china there are stories of taoist immortals living in the woods for a very, very long time, hundreds if not thousands of years living on wild herbs, and living near waterfalls. Probably not the same thing, but thats what it makes me think of. How would you know if you came across one of them? If they exist, they are probably amoung the undocumented workers or homeless, or perhaps travelers and wanderers wherever their identity will not be discovered. Something to think about when dealing with the poor, uneducated and homeless.
If you go to Skeptics annotated bible on the internet and look under ‘Prophecy” you will find in the NT section many examples. A few of them are here.
Matt 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
* There is no such prophesy in the OT
Matt 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
* There is no such verse in the OT
Matt 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; CR: Zechariah 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
* The prophesy was attributed to Jeremiah (Jeremy) but it was actually Zechariah.
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
* Where did Moses write about Jesus? Yes, the Law of Moses was a similitude of Jesus, but where did Moses specifically write about Jesus as implied here?
Yes I know, this is an anti-religion site, but they have done the work so why should I repeat it? Besides, is there anything in the above verses and interpretations that are wrong? There are a few that I disagreed with their interpretation so I did not include them in here.
It appears from your post above that you may not accurately understand of the LDS view of God. He does not seek to punish His children. The opposite is true- He uses all of His resources and power to promote their growth and happiness. But He has given them moral agency. Therefore, as the BOM says, “they are their own judges” in a certain respect. We determine what will become of us. There are eternal laws that are not changeable. If I jump off a building, the law of gravity results in my fall to the earth. Similarly there is eternal moral and spiritual law that is just as demanding. It is this law to which we are subject. God is not the bad guy here. He is trying to teach us about these eternal laws and how to live with them.
Bottom line, if we are punished- it is our own choice. But that is not what God desires for us.
I fear we veer off-topic…and believe our conversation should resume in a private email ([email protected]). I will respond to you here since I do not have your email, and you can email me any further comments you have so we can respect the rules of the blog.
11th Article of faith:
-We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
“The second half of the equation your not stating is ‘allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.”
Exactly what part of my position contradicts? How am I keeping you from voting your conscience or ‘not-worshiping’ as you see fit? Maybe you could clarify what you perceive as hypocrisy before we resume that rationale.
“Is the Christian god a tyrant? It seems that he might be. He has absolutely no tolerance for sin and rebellion, he made a special place for billions of people to roast for all eternity for disobedience, and those that aren’t covered by the blood of christ.”
Definition of tyrant:
a sovereign or other ruler who uses power oppressively or unjustly.
Sin is a damnable reality. When you make mistakes, there are negative consequences that negate our ability to dwell with the nature of God, which is without sin and full of righteousness. But the element you are missing is that God LOVES His literal spirit children (another break in doctrine from ‘orthodox’ Christianity-which would ironically make it ‘heretical’ and not ‘orthodox’). So He sent HIS SON to Redeem us from our sins! There is a reality that one must accept: Wickedness NEVER was happiness…and God has paved the way for redemption from our own choices. If you acknowledge our ability to chose for ourselves, then you must acknowledge that we are responsible for the consequences. Damnation is a consequence of the sinner–it is not FORCED upon you by God. God actually allows us to make those choices, and if we repent, will DELIVER us from our choices! God teaches correct principles and condemns actions that damn souls and damn progress and delivers those who have faith that He can and WILL redeem them—that is thematically and actually the OPPOSITE of a tyrant.
“At least that is the fundementalist version of christianity. The LDS version of this punishment is a bit more complex, and appears to be more fair, but its not considered orthodox chrisitianity by many people…The punishment doesn’t seem to be as severe, but there is still a punishment… “
In terms of what Damnation really is, heretical Christianity (which you and others refer to as ‘orthodox’) believes you will suffer endlessly. And they misunderstand what ‘Eternal’ is. Eternal is the name of God. Therefore, you suffer even as God did…who caused Him to tremble because of pain (D&C 19-6-18, http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/19/18#18). I wouldn’t say the difference in doctrine here is a matter of severity…only a matter of definition and reality. For all intents and purposes, we both agree the punishment is severe.
Whether ‘orthodox’ Christians justify this or not doesn’t change the truth- consider the rejection of the Savior by ‘orthodox’ Jews at that time. Orthodoxy is not a title of authority–merely a trend of belief. I think you garner much of your perceptions from heretical versions of what Christ taught–which is an important consideration when attempting to understand His true identity (at least according to the concept of a restoration of real truth) and purpose for YOU, individually.
“The United States of America is not just a democracy – it is a constitutional democracy…”
This is redundant. The constitution is the will of the people, which denotes democracy. The constitution wasn’t dug up out of the earth, or didn’t fall out of the sky.
…” What that means is that our government is designed to express not only the will of the majority (democracy), but also to simultaneously protect the unalienable rights of minorities and the powerless…”
Minority will and ‘minority rights’ are two different concepts. For instance, the title of ‘minority rights’ does not refer to minority will. Those who voted against prop 8 were the minority will, but not all of them were ‘minorities’: gay (arguably not a true minority), black, or hispanic. The majority determines ‘minority rights’ and enacts laws/amendments that protect that minority–such as affirmative action and reversing slavery laws. Brown V Board was an interpretation of the constitution (will of national majority) that reversed existing laws–it was still the majority will of a nation trumping the minority will of those supporting segregationist laws.
“In other words, democracy alone does not ensure that a nation will act humanely and decently. A majority can at times be quite cruel and unfair. Lynch mobs will generally express the will of the majority (of the mob that is).”
The majority does not have to answer to the constitution when they have the power to change it. And the reason things have changed is because of the majority will, not the minority will. Interestingly enough, the majority of citizens in Missouri did not reverse ‘mobist’ laws until the 1970’s that legalized the extermination of ‘mormons’. And today, it is legal to abort a baby for any reason…talk about ‘minority rights’.
You are proving that God does allow our agency. It seems as if you believe you can FORCE people to be good by ‘Remov(ing) those Who Would Destroy them’ . You can’t. As long as this world is ruled by mankind, there will be oppressions and wickedness. That is the work of Satan. Ironically, you believe it is God that is working this wickedness. He is allowing it for a time, but He will return and allow the natural consequences of wicked people to consume them, and will reign in the midst of those who chose Him and chose righteousness.
I should hire you to release condensed versions of my comments…You said the same thing I did in one paragraph. What is wrong with me???? Verbosity is not a virtue.
I’m sorry, I cannot find your recent comment. I read it once..and would like to respond…do you mind emailing me your response? I’d prefer a one-on-one with you so that I can respond to everyone without going over allotted comments: [email protected]
Amanda, If I may, I will say Stop Crying and playing the Victim. I was one of those nameless people who broke the rule, I deserve to be rebuked if I break the rule, so does everyone, You dont see my crying over it.
Plus your making a judgment and you LDS tell us we cannot judge. Either you did break the rule and as a result have a guilty consience or you did not break it, and your bearing false witness in assuming you were being spoken of. I know for a fact I did it and admit such, so maybe it was me Sharon was talking to and not you.
If she was speaking to/about you, then if your guilty then grow up, dont break the rules, or face a mild deserving rebuke. Rick b
Thanks Ralph, that was a very nice response you left. I think it was unfair of me to tar all LDS missionaries with the same brush, as regards their witnessing efforts. But after I got off the web yesterday, I got to thinking that some of the clash is a result between the two faiths’ philosophy/approach to spiritual growth. While Mormons certainly use the Bible and life circumstances for spiritual growth, it does seem that the LDS approach takes a more sequential tack in growing spiritually. For example, one doesn’t get to the temple until certain study/obligations have been fulfilled. There’s also a strong history of one not obtaining spiritual truths until certain things have been revealed by those in authority (ie, revelation). Spiritual growth seems to happen at specific times, after certain stages have been reached. In contrast, the Evangelical (I would much prefer to use the term “Christian”, but I know Mormons claim that title as well) have a more organic experience in growing spiritually. There are few steps to follow in growing in the Lord; it just seems to happen naturally and is tailor-made to the individual. If I want to grow spiritually, the more time I spend with God, and the more I study the Bible, the more I will grow. Also, God has a real habit of taking things in ones’ lives that need to change, and engineering circumstances so these changes can occur. It’s more Sprit-led, or at least it is from this perspective. I think to the Mormon, spiritual growth for the Ev. seems haphazard and sketchy. Again, the things I’ve described for the Ev. are followed by Mormons too, it’s just that we don’t have as many formal steps to follow to reach certain levels. So, I think LDS missionaries’ reluctance to answer certain questions probably reflects this difference. The whole “milk before meat thing”.
Amanda, I probably won’t get time until tomorrow (trying to curb my internet addiction, ha ha), but I’ll try to send you a response tomorrow.
And now, I’m off to my duties!
The are in fact a number of places that the Bible teaches preservation of Scripture. Isaiah 40:6-8 is quoted by Peter in 1 Peter 1:23-25 to show “the living and abiding word of God” is reliable, “imperishable . . . seed.” In Isaiah 30:8 God instructs His prophet to write down his word so that “it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.” Since we have been discussing OT textual criticism some Masoretic text end this passage, “forever and ever.”
I agree that what we have recorded in the Bible does not give us all of the revelations of God nor his interactions with man. In fact the Scripture tells us this (John 21:25). Do I think that the Book of Genesis has all of Gods interaction with man from Adam to Abraham? No. In fact there are plenty of questions that I have but, humility and gratitude for what has been revealed keeps me from needless speculation. Unfortunately speculation about what else is out there is just that speculation and not that grounds for knowing God’s will. To borrow your metaphor, If you spend to much time sailing near icebergs, you sink.
There are many doctrines in Christianity that seem naive. I don’t know if Adam, Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Melchizedek, Seth, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and Joseph recorded their revelations. To assume that they did and to allow a modern day human to present their revelations without any form of evidence seems to go beyond naive and to be dangerously misguided.
My claim is not that the Bible records all of God’s interaction with his creatures. It is that the Bible records the “whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life.” My claim is that this is well documented in the Bible and to seek for more than is revealed shows a measurable disregard for the history, covenants, and commandments contained in the Bible.
Matt 2:23 Matthew is not quoting a single prophet but is following the theme that the Messiah will be despised (Psalms 22:6; Isaiah 49:7; 53:3; Dan 9:26). That Nazareth was despised is supported by John (John 1:46; 7:41, 52).
Matt 12:5 Matthew is referring to the fact that the priests are allowed to “work” on the sabbath.
Matt 27:9 This is a combined quote from Jeremiah (Jer 19:1–13) and Zechariah (Zech 11:11–13), Matthew is deferring to the more prominent prophet.
John 5:46 All of salvation history points to Christ (Luke 24:27, 44; John 1:45; 3:14; 8:56; Acts 26:22; 28:23; 1 Cor 10:4; Heb 11:23–26; 1 Pet 1:10–12; Jude 5). But specifically Moses wrote about Christ in Deut 18:15.
If you have questions about the Bible ask a Christian not an atheist.
“… Either you did break the rule and as a result have a guilty conscience or you did not break it, ”
I actually full on admitted to accidentally making too many comments before Sharon said anything. So if she was referring to only you, then I would absolutely be wrong.
I addressed my comment to “Sharon”…which usually means it was not directed at anyone outside of the addressee–implying Sharon would have all the information necessary to respond. Your approach only added perspective about your own behavior, and conjecture on the part of Sharon’s and my behavior. It really had little to do with you. This is between Sharon and I…and I absolutely welcome a response from HER. And in the event that I am wrong, I owe HER an apology. You are not equipped to mediate this misunderstanding, nor do I welcome your attempt to do so.
What I would welcome is your responses to my addressing YOU. And also, a shipment of your dandy spices. I have yet to even go to your website, which I will as soon as I submit this comment…I hope you have recipes as well?
I hope you can permit this off-topic comment: I really wanted to express my deepest regrets for what that congregation in Michigan has suffered. The pastor left a faithful congregation–and more importantly a lovely wife and two beautiful girls behind. Sad, sad day 🙁
I’m not going to change my postion on what I said to you if that is what your hoping for.
As far as my food blog, I have lots of recipes. rick b
I have all the hope in the world pertaining to matters of import–and your validation in this instance is far from reaching that threshold.
I will ask my culinary questions on your blog…
The very notion that Christians need to ‘agree’ on this matter shows the hypocrisy of those same people who poke fun at the ‘herd mentality’ of LDS–and deferring to one that might seem authoritative. Otherwise, who is Bill to suggest any Christian is misusing the scripture–unless he claims they must have a scholarly approach to interpretation…which seems to contrasts with the humble theme of protestantism. Is Mr. McKeever the authority here? I’m confused.
Ev’s want to have their cake and eat it too. Deny the possibility of prophetic authority and personal authority (through witnesses of the holy Ghost..or what Falcon characterizes as ‘feelings’) while simultaneously claiming authority to characterize another person’s faith as ‘fake’ and ‘heretical’ based on THEIR feelings/guesses of scriptural interpretation. It’s a joke, really.
Can I then extrapolate on your logic from this quote “If you have questions about the Bible ask a Christian not an atheist.”
If you have any questions about the LDS faith ask an LDS-member, not an evangelical or outsider.
If you look at the first scripture, Matt 2:23, it gives a SPECIFIC QUOTE from a prophecy, not just a theme from a conglomerate of prophecies, hence the quotation marks written in the text. So any person who studies literature will balk at that one.
The Skeptics annotated Bible (and BoM and Koran) brings up some very good points about the books, whether you like it or not. I can live with it, as you already know – can you? Or are you just going to brand them as no-brainers and ignore them? Many of my lecturers at uni belong to the skeptics society and believe me, they know how to research and are also very smart.
Actually, the Skeptics Society is very much like most of you Evangelicals about the BoM and the LDS faith. They will not believe in God nor the Bible until they see hard physical evidence for it. You will not believe in the BoM nor the LDS church until you see hard physical evidence for them.
There is of course a parallel if Christians should not misuse Revelation 22:18 then Mormons should not misuse James 1:5.
So your answer is to reject Scripture based on quotation marks that were not used in Greek? Interesting.
As I have said before I do not use the Skeptics annotated BoM. I have looked at skeptics commentary of the Bible and am not disturbed by their findings. Generally I find their analysis of the Bible to be inane. I am not saying that there are not problem passages that are difficult to understand but as is the case for Matt 2:23 there is often a reasonable explanation that is found with study of the whole council of God.
Christians are much better informed concerning problem passages in the Bible as books like “DIFFICULTIES IN THE BIBLE Alleged Errors and Contradictions” By
R. A. Torrey show. Torrey recommends, “It is not wise to attempt to conceal the fact that these difficulties exist. It is the part of wisdom, as well as of honesty, to frankly face them and consider them.”
One of the glorious gifts of the Reformation was bringing Scripture to the people. Everybody who has a bible in their home should thank the Reformers The Reformers were very concerned with the proper interpretation of Scripture and in Confessional circles we still acknowledge that there is only 1 proper interpretation of the Bible, God’s.
There is in fact a serious concern that we get a proper understanding of the meaning of biblical passages. With this in mind the Reformers were very concerned with hermeneutics. The fist two rules that all the Churches of the Reformation agree upon for hermeneutics are: (1) we can only truly understand Scripture with “Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” and (2) “the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself”. Both of these hermeneutical rules are in fact contained in most of the Reformed and Lutheran confessions.
If as we beleive Scripture can be used to interpret Scripture and that the Bible is an organic whole, made up of 66 separate books written in different times to different peoples and for different reasons, we must acknowledge that Revelation 22:18 needs to be examined in light of verses that have the same intent or meaning such as Deut 4:2; 12:42; 18:20-22. I see no hypocrisy in expecting people to follow a biblicaly based hermeneutic.
I believe the pastor was killed in Illinois, not Michigan. Our sympathy to his family and church.