Evangelical Christians Could Be Wrong

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151 Responses to Evangelical Christians Could Be Wrong

  1. falcon says:

    I must admit that I do take a little pleasure in watching our Mormon poster squirm. The German word is “schadenfreude”; taking pleasure in someone’s pain. It can also mean pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. The word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages, including Dutch, Danish and Swedish. The word derives from Schaden, “adversity, harm”, and Freude, “joy”. A distinction exists between “secret schadenfreude” (a private feeling) and “open schadenfreude” (Hohn, a German word roughly translated as “scorn”) which is outright public derision.
    Now there is a Buddhist concept of “mudita” or a “sympathetic joy” or “happiness in another’s good fortune”. This would be seen as opposite of schadenfreude.
    There is a transposed variant “Freudenschasde” which means sorrow at another person’s success.
    There’s another phrase “morose delectation” (delectatio morosa-in Latin). It means the habit of “dwelling with enjoyment on evil thoughts”.
    The Book Of Proverbs (one of the Falcon’s favorites) says, “Rejoice not when thine enemy faleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth; Lest the Lord see it, and it displeases him, and he turn away his wrath from him.” (Proverbs 24:17-18)
    So I’ll curb my schadenfreude a little here but I know it will probably surface, as these things do, when I’m pounding away on the treadmill and exercise bike.
    So where did the falcon get all of this incredibly interesting, deep and profound information? I don’t know, I guess I must just “know” it.

  2. Rick B says:

    Hank said

    but by your constant complaining

    I’ a guy that has no problem calling BS on people, I am not a PC/seeker friendly type of person.

    So Lets do this Hank, Put your money where your mouth is. You said I have “constant complaining” Issues. Sounds like your a story teller just like your Prophet.

    Let me remind you and other here, I personally wrote One of the Mods a letter stating I am back in college for 21 months, I will not be around much, then I left a letter on this blog stating that, In part so people did not think I was booted because of my lack of PC seeker friendly ways, and to let people know so they did not think I was running scared.

    So I think in the last 3 months I have posted less than 10 times, and in those 10 posts the very last one was to You Hank, the rest their was no complaints about the things you are accusing me of. So this shows you are either Lying intentionally or your simply saying stuff to avoid the bigger issues.

    I strongly suggest if you think I am wrong, Show me exact quotes by me with times, or man up and apologize for lying and misrepresenting me and the facts. Even after you do that, if you do it, People will have a hard time taking you serious since I can prove your doing exactly what I said.

    Then along with that the fact remains I showed you really have no love for the lost, Your not trying to help us as I pointed out and you know you cannot hang with me on my blog, because unlike this blog where they have rules about playing nice, I play honest, truthfully but also I play hard. I have a fighters background, and lived on the streets, I call BS when I see it and I am doing it now. Ball is in your court, Prove me wrong or admit you were wrong.

    Dont come back and make excuses or dodge the issue, If people dont notice you doing that I will and will call you on it. Rick b

  3. falcon says:

    I don’t think the Mormons really want to go down this road regarding Joseph Smith and the sources for his “revelation”. There was a guy named Swendenborg from whom Smith lifted the Celestial Kingdom nonsense. There was another guy running a religious scam, whose name escapes me right now, who was into polygamy and the Mormons had contact with him early on. We all know about the storyline for “A View of the Hebrews” that Smith “borrowed”.

    In an interview on Mormon Stories:

    http://mormonstories.org/?page_id=102

    Mormon John P. Dehlin is interviewing Grant Palmer (who has the distinction of being disfellowshipped from the Mormon church for telling the truth) and Dehlin asks Palmer, “Where did Joseph Smith get this stuff.” To paraphrase Palmer, “He got about 25% from the Bible, 25% from the evangelical revivalism of the time, 25% from things that were common in the environment at the time, and 25% from his own creativity.”
    Palmer says that “the spirit” people sense in the BoM comes from the Christian revivalism integrated into the BoM story.
    The folks who became the Temple Lot sect of Mormonism figured out early on that Smith was creating things out of thin air after about 1832. They have accepted the “thin air” prior to that. The RLDS/CoC saw the whole deal collapse under the weight of the evidence and now give their members wide latitude in seeing the BoM as a “spiritual” book rather than actual history.
    Smith was one of those people who could be very convincing and could get people caught up in their/his ideas. Unfortunately, Smith got his ideas from others and claimed them as “revelation”.

  4. mossface says:

    Subgenius:

    Yes, I suppose I have a more limited definition of knowledge than some. I guess I would argue that you can only know something that is factual. To “know” something that is false, is not knowledge, but delusion, in my opinion.

    Regarding certainty not being a predictor of reality, I am pretty darn confident in this position. I’d say I’m roughly as certain of the disconnect between certainty and reality as I am of the accuracy of, say, the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem can be proven mathematically, and the certainty/reality disconnect can be just as easily proven with prepositional calculus. Simply put, some people are certain of things that are demonstrably false, therefore, certainty exists independent of reality.

    Regarding faith, according to some definitions of the term, yes, I have a degree of faith in science. Specifically, I have confidence and trust in science. However, I do not have said trust in absence of evidence, and often faith is understood to exist independent of evidence. So, it’s semantics, but sure, I acknowledge your point.

    Martin from Brisbane:

    I don’t believe in a god that has any influence over our observable universe. If I might take license to read between the lines a little, I wonder if you’re not getting at the difference between the LDS God(s), and the more commonly understood Christian God. It’s an interesting point, and I wonder, as I suspect you do, how many ex-mormons deconverted specifically from the LDS concept of God. In my case, I reached the conclusion that God wasn’t necessary to explain anything before concluding the LDS church wasn’t true. Of course, the conclusion that the LDS church wasn’t true followed by about 0.5 seconds. I may be in the minority of ex-mo atheists here, I don’t know.

  5. Bill McKeever says:

    I have to agree with David when it comes to the silly name calling here. If you can’t make your point without ad-hominem prepare to be carded. Respect the rules and behave like adults. No more “Church of Scholars” and no more “Smithian,” and any other type of word that is meant to demean.

  6. mossface says:

    Rick B:

    It’s tempting, as an atheist, to respond to religious certainty with a similar expression of certainty. When someone says “I know God exists”, it’s tempting to say “I know God doesn’t exist”, but it’s not strictly true. I’m just really confident God doesn’t exist. I am not 100% certain, as you appear to assert. I believe I addressed this in my initial comment.

    I think it might be important to acknowledge that I’m not trying to influence your belief. I commented to express agreement with certain ideas presented in the video, and in the interest of context, stated my position as an atheist.

    When you state I “can only hope God doesn’t exist”, I get the feeling your view of atheism isn’t particularly nuanced. My views aren’t based upon a hope to avoid punishment, but a dearth of positive evidence for God.

    JesusFreek:

    I respectfully disagree. I self-identify as an atheist because I do not believe in any God. I am not certain that I am correct, but am very confident, based upon what I can observe. The agnostic would likely hold the position that he/she does not or cannot know whether God exists or not.

  7. subgenius says:

    mossface,
    i am 100% certain that this forum is not the place for a discussion on the blatantly philosophical state of “certainty”. Unless secular endeavours are now welcome on a theological board.
    Besides, as an atheists, you have rendered man to what you can have “evidence” for..therefore human beings are simply flesh covered systems of chemical reactions which are completely reactionary to their immediate environmental influences. This, of course, renders thoughts, individuality, conceptions, freedom, and wonder as illusions. The supernatural can not exist for you and an “open mind” is not possible.

    “Mathematics” as a source of reality? wow, bold assertion since mathematics are man-made.
    This is an indicator that you define “real” with a limited palette.
    Real quick, what is the square root of negative one?…now that is real.
    To imply that religious faith is without evidence is a rookie mistake.
    If all you ever want to see is what “reliable, replicable scientific evidence” can show you, you will have a very dim vision of this life indeed.

    That being said, it is, of course, your choice by my belief, but according to you it is merely chemistry.

    falcon
    glad you are a fan of german language
    Laher, Spülen, und wiederholen Sie …
    die Haarwäsche

  8. gundeck says:

    Sub,

    Do you believe that “Quite simply science equals apples and religion equals oranges”? This seems to present a bifurcated view of God’s creation and His revelation. Is this the LDS position or yours?

    And the word you were looking for is “einseifen”.

  9. Rick B says:

    Mossface said

    When someone says “I know God exists”, it’s tempting to say “I know God doesn’t exist”

    The problem with what you said is this, I can use evidence to prove God exists, You have no evidence to use to say He does not exist, But then any evidence me or others put forward, all you or any atheist can then do is, (A) attack that evidence and (B) say I dont agree with it and here is why. Outside of that you have nothing and are even at a loss to explain much, like how did life arise, the so called “great minds” or the big names in evolution like the sagan’s and others cannot even explain, they must just assume life was already here and go from that point. Rick b

  10. mossface says:

    Subgenius:

    I’m a little puzzled at your assertion that this isn’t the forum for discussing the nature of certainty. Was that not the subject of the video posted?

    I think I’ll decline to engage on the rest of your points, as we’re venturing further and further afield of the original subject. Elsewhere, perhaps.

    Rick B:

    You are correct in that I cannot disprove the existence of God. It is impossible to prove a negative. However, I am unconvinced by the evidence I’ve seen put forth for the existence of God.

  11. subgenius says:

    mossface
    as i stated in an earlier post…Mr Koukl tries to blur the line between science and religion, leaving both rather out of focus.
    Certainty is philosophical concept, in my opinion, thus outside of the discussion of religion or science.
    What is the requisite for certainty in science is truly not the same as the requisite for certainty in religion.

    for the record, start out with referencing the law of non-contradiction. claiming that “one can not prove a negative” is a common error made by many would-be atheists.

  12. subgenius says:

    gundeck
    And the word you were looking for is “einseifen”.

    now this is funny, quite a pleasant surprise, thanx gundeck.
    to answer your question, in the manner of discussion that we engage in here, imaintain my apples/oranges.
    ironically, science is but one of the many man-made instruments by which we behold and utilize the many gifts that Our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. science is rather like a language, the words do not define God, they just communicate God to us. i believe shakespeare sums up this concept rather nicely in Romeo and Juliet where we read “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

    ee cummings excerpt:
    “While you and i have lips and voices which
    are for kissing and to sing with
    who cares if some oneyed son for a b**ch
    invents an instrument to measure Spring with?”

    (emphasis mine)

  13. mossface says:

    Subgenius:

    I’m having some difficulty parsing what you’re trying to communicate, but I’ll take a crack at it.

    First you’re saying philosophy is outside the realm of both religion and science. I would assert that philosophy is at the core of both; thus certainty is an appropriate topic, especially considering the importance of the concept in the initial video.

    What you’re calling the “requisite for certainty” seems to me to be something akin to the concept of the standard of evidence. Basically, when can we be sure of the truth or factuality of an idea? Here, I agree with you. The standard of evidence science requires is different than the standard of evidence religion requires. The standard of evidence in the world of science is quite rigid, where with religion it’s rather fluid.

    The law of non-contradiction, as I understand it, is that a given assertion cannot be both true and untrue. God cannot both exist and not exist, given the same context and definition of the terms exist. How does this law factor into our discussion? Have I made contradictory claims somewhere?

    As to whether one can prove a negative or not, I stand by my claim. Can you give me a counter-example? I’m wide open to changing my position.

  14. subgenius says:

    mossface
    the example you request is before us.

    the law of non-contradiction is a negative (it says “cannot”) , and can be proven, therefore a negative is proven. This is also proof of my “negative” above wherein i state that the claim “one can not prove a negative” is wrong.

    for those keeping score, that is 2 negatives proven.

    Initially i had you reference law of non-contradiction, now look at inductive arguments (especially how they relate to ‘certainty’).
    Bertrand Russel once said something about how a chicken always expects the farmer to bring food until the one day the farmer brings an axe. but i assure you, we probably don’t have the time to dissect and debate God’s existence from Mr. Russell’s perspective….besides a chicken has got to eat, right? 🙂

    From this ‘inductive’ point, and without the parlor trick of Pascal’s wager, there is more evidence that God Is, than evidence that He is Not. In other words it is more scientifically/philosophically probable that there is a God.

  15. mossface says:

    Very well, I concede your point. I have done a bit of reading since my last post, and acknowledge the “unprovable negative” argument is a myth.

    That said, I question whether the general concept of God is even theoretically disprovable. Specific claims about God probably could, though.

    I agree that inductive reasoning is of huge importance. Where we differ (and you’ve really struck at the heart of the matter, I believe), is in what evidence there is, and what the evidence means. You and I have apparently looked at many of the same things in this world, and drawn very opposite conclusions about God.

    Anyway, we’ve really gotten beyond the scope of this post. I’m happy to continue, but I really don’t think this is the appropriate forum.

  16. grindael says:

    Hanksaint, you said:

    “Once you commit plagiarism you loose all credibility, do you not agree?”

    I don’t. But you have to attack people. I don’t agree with the plagiarism stick. But here is another instance of your doing the same thing you accused falcon of:

    (beginning of post)

    HankSaint on September 2nd, 2009

    Setfree,

    “In summary, the Qumran sectarian scrolls indicate that God created all things, including good and evil spirits, as well as the spirits or souls of people before they existed in the flesh, and that God determined which people would be saved and which people would be destroyed. These passages are echoes of the war in heaven and of God’s foreordination of his spirit children, concepts that Latter-day Saints believe were known and understood in previous gospel dispensations.

    Latter-day Saints understand that mortality is a significant stage in our eternal progression. When asked about the purpose of mortality, a Latter-day Saint will often respond with a statement similar to this one:

    There came a time [in our premortal existence] when . . . we were taught that we would come down here for two purposes: first, to gain bodies, mortal bodies, which would be given us again in immortality, in a resurrected state, as a consequence of an infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice which would be made; and secondly, that we would come here to be examined and tried and tested, to see if we would believe the truth, accept the truth, live the truth, walk in conformity to the mind and will of the Lord, as that was revealed to us by his prophets.

    The classic scriptural statement on the purpose of mortality is in the book of Abraham:

    And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

  17. grindael says:

    And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. (Abraham 3:24–6).” (end of post.)

    This is hanksaint’s entire post (like the one with Jefferson). Here is the cut and paste that made it SEEM like it was ‘hanksaint’s’ summary.

    “Dana M. Pike further observes that “the Qumran sectarian scrolls indicate that God created all things, including good and evil spirits, as well as the spirits or souls of people before they existed in the flesh, and that God determined which people would be saved and which people would be destroyed. These passages suggest . . . corrupted echoes of the war in heaven and of God’s foreordination of his spirit children, concepts that Latter-day Saints believe were known and understood in previous gospel dispensations. However, by the time of the Qumran community it appears that their understanding was well off the track of true doctrine.”58

    Quoted from: http://mi.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=51&chapid=229 WORD FOR WORD. No source.

    The Purpose of Mortality
    Latter-day Saints understand that mortality is a significant stage in our eternal progression. When asked about the purpose of mortality, a Latter-day Saint will often respond with a statement similar to this one:
    There came a time [in our premortal existence] when . . . we were taught that we would come down here for two purposes: first, to gain bodies, mortal bodies, which would be given us again in immortality, in a resurrected state, as a consequence of an infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice which would be made; and secondly, that we would come here to be examined and tried and tested, to see if we would believe the truth, accept the truth,

  18. grindael says:

    live the truth, walk in conformity to the mind and will of the Lord, as that was revealed to us by his prophets.18

    The classic scriptural statement on the purpose of mortality is in the book of Abraham:

    And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. (Abraham 3:24–6)

    As quoted from:

    http://www.byub.org/deadsea/book/chapter3/sec2.html WORD FOR WORD with no source.

    Looks like someone is using “blatant and obvious [uses of] the thoughts and ideas of others in a constant barrage of criticism that is hard to tell where he is speaking for himself or for another.”

    I do not want to pursue this further hanksaint. WE all make mistakes. But your saying “seems I attributed everything I wrote to a source,” isn’t quite accurate & the Qumran Post conclusively proves it. Admit you have left out sources too, and it will be over. (Your advise to drop it is good, but you should also admit you do the same thing).

    Your comment about the link on Jan. 03, 2008 is shady to say the least. And I did post your ENTIRE post. You know that and you lied. You did give credit for the Wil Durant quote, (as credited in the link which was NOT posted.) but not for the Jefferson quote.

  19. grindael says:

    Your wholesale melding of quotes on the BOA & Qumran without sources is blatant. Your comments about Falcon were totally out of line, given the fact that you are guilty of the same thing. I did not quote you ‘out of context’ and we do not quote your leaders ‘out of context’. And I did not search hard. [Some people read the old posts – I do – they are fascinating – and I’ve got a fantastic memory.] I could put more out here, but why? Point made. (If you can SEE it).

    What led you down this road is your penchant to divert the issues by attacking falcon & others because you cannot answer any questions except with your testimony, quoting mormon apologists and that all the quotes used are ‘out of context’. How does “What happened to honesty, integrity, and good Christian principles” sound in the light of your foray into the same tactics?. Funny how you NOW want to get ‘back on topic,’ isn’t it?

    Admit your mistake, apologize to falcon and move on. (Or will you keep pointing the finger and calling him names?)

    And how do ‘Cr***** Christians’ rely on the translations of men rather than the ‘original’ writings? Another ‘blanket’ statement with nothing to back it up. If your ‘religion’ finds the KJV so ‘totally not correct’, why do they keep using it when they know there are ‘translation’ errors in it? Is it so they can denigrate the Bible as ‘not being translated correctly’ to promote phony ‘modern revelation’? Very transparent & redundant.

  20. liv4jc says:

    Greg Koukl made the point that there are many people who are sure they are right, when in fact they are actually wrong. We see this in religion when we have people killing innocents from the false belief that they are engaging in a justified religious war against infidels and their supporters. There are billions of people practicing faiths other than biblical Christianity. They believe they are right, when in fact they are wrong. This is the position I must take as a Christian, because according to the collection of writings that is the basis of my belief system, they are wrong. Do I know they are wrong? Yes. There is this nagging feeling that crops up sometimes in the back of my mind that says, “What if the agnostics and postmoderns are right? What if “religion” is just part of the human condition and there is no right and wrong? What if some people who claim to have had near-death experiences are right, and everyone goes to heaven?” That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Part of the reason I know I’m right is because I have been in those places. That’s where I came from. The other reason I know I’m right is because I have studied the reasonableness of those positions. I don’t believe just because. When I first became a Christian I wasn’t quite sure how exclusive Christianity was. Someone has been throwing around the phrase, “Church of Scholars”, and I’ll proudly raise my hand as a member of that group. Without the scholars that have devoted the entirety of their adult lives to study of the language, culture, and history of the Bible, I would be just like much of evangelicalism and Mormonism today. I would feel free to interpret the Bible according to my interpretation or the interpretation of the leader I chose to sit under. There wouldn’t be bible commentaries, concordances, Hebrew/Greek-English dictionaries, lexicons, scriptural cross-references, etc. Scholarship matters.

  21. liv4jc says:

    (cont) When I find a passage of scripture that isn’t clear I grab for those scholarly resources. Those resources help me understand what is written and the way the writer meant it to be understood. I have a foundation and a basis for my theology, soteriology, ecclesiology, etc., and that basis is the Bible. I understand what the Bible says based largely upon the scholarship of men who are much more devoted and intelligent than I am. I have had very few original thoughts, and I may be wrong about my interpretation of certain areas of my faith, but like I have said before, I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and have a great Christian scholar and teacher like John Macarthur tell me that there is more than one God, Jesus was just an angel, or something like that. I know that because we both base our faith upon the written word that has been preserved and handed down to us, and that word declares that there is only one God, and Jesus Christ is His only unique Son, and God. If John Macarthur proclaimed differently I would call him a heretic and separate myself from those teachings. The Apostles Creed is not my standard, but it expresses my faith. The Westminster Confession of Faith is not my standard, but it expresses my faith. They are both based upon a common standard: the Bible. I would say to the Mormon that you have your creed too. It is your LDS testimony. But is your testimony backed by reasonable scholarship? Is it backed by creeds that are hundreds or thousands of years old? Can the BoM, D&C, PoGP, TotPJS, JoD, or any other compilation of doctrine stand up to scholarly scrutiny? Can you say, “This is what our church has always taught, and will always teach”? You can’t say yes, because those questions are the basis for this ministry. I can look to a standard, the Bible, and say, in areas of major salvation doctrine, “This has always been taught. This is what this passage means, and if someone teaches something other than this they are wrong.” You can’t do that.

  22. falcon says:

    grindael,
    Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to look in our Mormon poster’s history of directly quoting sources without attribution and then crying “foul” when I did the same. His protestations and excuse making are so transparent as to be embarrassing. This is Mormon tactics 101. That is accuse, accuse, accuse, deny, deny, deny and muddy the waters as much as possible in an effort to divert attention away from whatever issue is being discussed at the time.
    I think our Mormon poster must have some real issues with pride. I know this is generally an issue with Mormon men who are trying to work their way into the Celestial Kingdom and become gods. I would say that from a Mormon perspective, he’s definitely gotten off the fast track to godhood with his recent actions.
    I readily admitted that I quoted from another blog without attribution and said I wasn’t going to do an Adam and Eve explanation for my action. That’s it, period. Now of course the Mormon poster wants to claim that anything I write is tainted, regardless. Now why would that be unless of course what I write is highly effective and it’s in the interest of the Mormon posters to undermine my credibility.
    I would say our Mormon poster has some real personal issues that are on display here including having a hard and unforgiving heart. If he’s unwilling to accept my admission and wants to retain my “sin”, then I would remind him that his sins will also be retained as Jesus clearly taught.
    One thing my Catholic upbringing did for me was instill that sense that if you do wrong to fess-up, gain forgiveness and move on purposing to do better. There really seems to be a need within the culture and religion of Mormonism to assign blame and then not let it rest and at the same time not allow blame to ever fall on you personally. There’s a lot of “face saving” behavior and finger pointing that is practiced in cults. We’re seeing it first-hand here.

  23. falcon says:

    Never having been Mormon, I can’t speak first hand about the topic of guilt and shame within the sect but I’ve done enough reading from those who have been or are Mormon to know that this (guilt/shame) are significant psychological/emotional ploys used within the sect/families to keep people under the thumb of the organization. Also, in Mormonism, life here on earth is just a proving ground for future godhood. So we can see why it’s important for Mormons, especially the men, to try and avoid blame and guilt and to rationalize their behavior.
    I was doing a little reading on the topic of guilt and shame within Mormonism on “exMormon.org”.
    From someone named Kakan, a couple of observations:
    *Mormonism creates rigid, defensive, judgmental personalities–painful to be and painful to be around.
    *Mormonism creates self-critical, perfectionist, self-hating personalities, who often battle depression.
    Now the topic of this thread has to do basically with owning our behavior. For some reason our Mormon poster just cannot do it even though he has clearly done the things himself, he is finger-pointing about. This is very strange behavior and is all apart of the Mormon experience I’m afraid. But it has all been very instructive and I would hope the Mormon poster could accept responsibility for his behavior and use it to grow both emotionally and spiritually.
    One of my favorite verses in the Bible comes from Genesis 4:7 and reads, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
    As Christians, we live by God’s love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. We live by what the Bible says about sin and forgiveness for example First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
    I just rejoice that I don’t live under an oppressive shame based religious system that riddles people with guilt.

  24. falcon says:

    A guy with the handle of “lightfingerlouie” on the Recovery from Mormonism blog, highlights what a shame-based religious system does to folks.
    “I have been thinking back to my Mormon experience, and all I endured during those years. There were things that I could not tolerate then, and cannot think about now, without feeling angry.”
    *The Word of Wisdom is a huge bore, and it turns coffee drinkers into sinners, and tea drinkers into evil people with no hope in the afterlife. None of it had anything to do with spirituality, goodness, Christianity, or common sense.
    *Another one I cannot forget, or get over, was the hamfisted nonsense one had to take from ‘Priesthood authority.’ Members have their lives pried into through offensive and intrusive interviews. Minor sins, once confessed, can be used as leverage to beat someone over the head, or get them kicked out of BYU. The knuckle dragging ‘Priesthood leaders’ were, as a whole, a bunch of dopes who could not think, forgive, or see beyond the end of their own noses. They were incapable of answers, good advice, or practical thought. They made Mormonism a huge and offensive intrusion……..”
    *I will also never be able to forget the social pressure, and the constant concern my family had with what everyone thought. My poor mother was terrified of what the neighbors….would think.
    *Image was everything. Appearances were paramount. One said the right things, wore the right clothes, and went to the right places. Being caught out of the pattern could be damning.
    *So many things felt wrong, because they were wrong. A person is not supposed to be owned by a religion, or turned into a robot. People were meant to enjoy life, and think for themselves. You cannot do that in Mormonism.
    Of course these folks are dismissed by Mormons and their character impugned and the validity of their opinions denied. But it can be seen how in a system like this, avoidance of blame is essential.

  25. subgenius says:

    anecdotal evidence is a favorite arrow in the quill of the Ev. Unfortunately that arrow is blunt.
    There is a certain irony in someone who constantly accuses Mormons of having no reasoning skills or being illogical, yet they themselves make the error of putting forth anecdotal evidence as “truth” – a technique which is a fundamental error in logic and is usually just filled with rhetoric; this is an intellectual pitfall most undergraduates learn as freshmen.
    Some Ev insist on appealing to the lowest common denominator, i wonder why that is?

    Most people are intelligent enough to realize that regardless of the church’s denimination an individual will likely have a variety of experiences. People are, after all, just people.
    I have been fortunate in my LDS experience, for at every ward i have ever been a member of, or ever had the chance to visit, the people have been reliably welcoming, reliably humble, and reliably eager to live in the manner by which Our Savior has taught.
    There are no feelings of guilt, shame, or fear imposed upon a LDS member. To put forth an “anecdote” to the contrary is easily refuted by thousands of opposite “anecdotes”.
    The mormon church does not use coercive tactics, intimidation, or social pressure to manipulate, control, or command members. Just attend a meeting and experience for yourself.

    grindael
    perhaps Hank just thinks the Ev are in the proverbial burning car wreck?, ergo –> no holds barred, right?

    liv4jc
    when it comes to determinations of “right” and “wrong” in the arena of religion, where in the writings are you the one who is to make that judgement?
    when i hear someone “grab for scholarly resources” i get nervous.
    you say above that “scholarship matters”;
    You also note “the way the writer meant it to be understood”…shocking testimony from an Ev…how can you permit such “adding to” of the Gospel?

    begin rationalizing here

  26. Rick B says:

    Mossface said

    I am unconvinced by the evidence I’ve seen put forth for the existence of God.

    Well I dont know what you have seen for evidence, And I know for a fact that even if Jesus stood face to face with you, if you do not want to believe you would reject Him anyway.

    But here are two brief examples of evidence, 1,800 prophecy in the Bible, Not vague things like, their will be an earthquake somewhere in the world in the next 100 years. Very great detail to the Prophecy’s to the point that many secular people claim they were written after the fact.

    2. The existence of the Jewish nation. For the most part, why does the entire world hate the Jews and nations want to wipe them from the face of the earth? A nation the size of New Jersey, and they are more highly hated and persecuted by the world. Then the Bible says this tiny nation will be a cup of trembling to the entire world, and guess what? They are.

    Hank saint where are you? I’m still waiting for your response to accusing me. Rick b

  27. grindael says:

    genius

    Did not understand your comment totally. Could you clarify? What do you mean by ‘no holds barred?’ As for Hank, he brought that on himself, but you got to lay it on the shoulders of all the EV posters, right? (That is how I perceive what you said, anyway).

    I actually like the way you address different posters, when you are not too sarcastic, and (I see – yes, my opinion) a person with convictions and an intellect that is obviously too aware of the shortcomings of his own religion. But you still believe it, and that is all that counts for you, isn’t that the bottom line?

    The EV posters here do not, and that is the bottom line for us, is it not? Are we not aware too, of the shortcomings of our own?

    What I do not see any mormon doing, (except you, to an extent) is taking their leaders comments and statements in the light that they were originally given. There is always some kind of ‘explanation’. (Which is where we do not agree).

    Hank is stuck in ‘denial’ mode, and puts the blame on all who take the statements at face value, like WE made the statements, not his leaders.

    Men are men. But mormons have put forth the notion that their prophets are infallible, (those statements again) and that everyone else is wrong. I have not ‘hidden’ my disdain for smith & Young, et. all, just as you do not for what we put forth.

    But sarcasm begets sarcasm, does it not? And I find when you are reasonable, I am reasonable. Go over Hank’s posts again, and tell me what you HONESTLY think, and maybe we can discuss that burning car in more detail.

    As for you genius, I look forward to the next thread, as always.

  28. grindael says:

    What is right and what is wrong? And is admitting you are wrong a bad thing? Well, I’ve been ‘wrong’ for most of my life. I feel I made the wrong choice with Mormonism. I was sold a bill of goods that did not measure up to what it was purported to be.

    What is a creed, except a man’s interpretation of God’s word? That is all it is, and these creeds are not binding on anyone unless they allow them to be.

    As Christians, we believe in Jesus and what He and His Apostles taught in the Bible. That is what is truly ‘binding’ on us.

    The burden of ‘modern revelation’ is to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the authenticity of such ‘revelation’. That it comes from men is not in question. What IS in question, is who those men were, what they said, how they acted and if they can live up to having the moniker of ‘prophet’ attached to their names. Did the messages come to men from God?

    Personally, I try not to get into the ‘mind control’ aspect in relation to Mormonism, because it is too subjective. Everyone is different. I agree with genius totally in his statement of how mormons are in an everyday setting. My opinion is that to go down this path leads to endless debate over a issue that will never be resolved in any meaningful way. That is where I part company with falcon and those that want to post those kinds of opinions. That stuff is too deep for me.

    I would rather focus on statements and doctrine, and that is what I try to do. I would rather say I make mistakes and if you can enlighten me on them I’m better for it.

    I’ve learned a lot from some mormon posters here, the most from genius. I don’t agree with him a lot, but he makes me think and and keeps me on my toes. He may not be aware of how many times I have to go look up what he casually refers to in his posts. I’m disappointed sometimes that we are on different sides – but it doesn’t take away from how we can learn and be better for having put ourselves out here.

  29. grindael,

    “But mormons have put forth the notion that their prophets are infallible”

    I got to disagree with you here. I would state that is true of some Mormons.

    Lately, I have encountered Mormons who are fully aware of the flaws of their leaders (past and present). The problem is that no contradiction, no heresy, not anything is ever proof that God is not in the mix. That’s why I wrote the “What would be a problem” post almost a year ago (has it been that long).

    The phrase “I could be wrong” does not seem like a problem for them, because if the individual is wrong, or even the first presidency, their church is still true. The theological spectrum is so large it is truly something to contemplate; go here to see what I mean – http://www.newcoolthang.com/index.php/2006/05/the-father-has-a-father/253/#comments

    Pay attention to # 48, #66, & #74 where Blake Ostler calls other Mormons “non-Christian” and more traditional Mormons (though still “out there”) chide him for doing so. It seems like it is freely admitted that Young taught Adam-God (and was wrong about it), but that is not a make-or-break thing. To which I respond, “then what is”. Young can still hold apostolic authority (even though he is dead wrong on the nature of God and “salvation”), yet if bishops in the first few centuries of Christianity disseminate “the teachings of men” – a.k.a. heresy (I am not saying they did just that Mormons allege it) then their breech of doctrinal purity is considered apostasy.

    I think there is a big difference in how Mormons and Christians view what is loosely called “apologetics”. For many Mormons (although probably not all) I get the vibe that it is merely putting up a good reply and defending their church even if the exercise would not and could not break their faith if the “evidence” pointed towards a false church. I would point others here –
    http://blog.mrm.org/2009/02/what-would-be-a-problem/ to get my view of things.

  30. subgenius says:

    grindael
    “I’m disappointed sometimes that we are on different sides – but it doesn’t take away from how we can learn and be better for having put ourselves out here.”

    to me this means we are not on such different sides at all, thank you for the kind words.
    That was an eloquent statement of my sentiment towards this board as well.

    as for “no holds barred”..
    it was mentioned to me, here, that the abrasive nature of some Ev posts were acceptable because they viewed “us mormons” as being trapped in a burning car, and survival was more important than any sort minor injury inflicted during what must be viewed as a nothing less than a “heroic” rescue….and honestly, my comment was a little facetious…good sauce for the goose/gander sort of thing.

    the rest of your comment is interesting, and i think it speaks to something outside of the intent of this discussion. When a person’s ego is involved it becomes difficult to both be self-aware and church-aware. This is also, at many times, a distraction to any topic at hand….other times it is just entertaining and sometimes its like sport.
    But like the mafia “its not personal its business”.
    As for Hank’s posts, those points are between the two of you. if there is something you want to know from me, please, just be specific and ask.

  31. mossface says:

    Rick B:

    You are partially correct about me seeing Jesus in person. If I saw what appeared to be simply a man, as we are told the apostles did after the resurrection, then yes, I would be Doubting Thomas. Even if the individual had the right scars in the right places. I have seen men, I have seen scars, and the chances of me looking at a scarred man would be much greater than the chances of looking at the Christ himself. However, given something more remarkable, then yes, I think I would believe. Atheism isn’t about wanting or not wanting to believe, for me. Given what I know about the world and how it works, I am literally unable to believe.

    Regarding your evidence in the 1800 prophecies contained in the Bible, that’s a rather vague statement on your behalf, don’t you think? Care to describe a few in detail and explain why critics are incorrect about them?

    You’ve made some rather broad statements about Israel, which you haven’t backed up. First, why do you claim “the entire world hate[s] the Jews”? Even with the disclaimer “for the most part”, I just don’t see evidence of that. Yes, the Palestinians have a beef with Israel, and yes, there are a fair number of Arab states who side with the Palestinians, but beyond that, I see little evidence of hatred for them. Certainly not on a global scale. Second, what is meant by “cup of trembling”? Perhaps you are aware, but I am not. Without knowing what that means, how can we know whether it applies to Israel?

    Anyway, you bring up a good point in that we allh have a difficult time changing our beliefs. Frankly, we all believe our current beliefs to be largely correct, else they wouldn’t be beliefs, would they?

  32. liv4jc says:

    Sub, when it comes to right and wrong in the area of religion let’s try this exercise in rational thought: I believe that Elvis was God. I believe that if I listen to Blue Suede Shoes four times a day, dance suggestively while speaking to other members of my church, visit Graceland once a year on Elvis’ birthday, enthusiastically tell others that Elvis is God and that his music will change their lives, solve world hunger, bring wealth beyond their wildest dreams, and bring world peace, when I die I will go to heaven, which is a place where Elvis fans sit around and eat fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and pop barbiturates for eternity. Am I wrong? Please don’t mistake my tone. I’m being sarcastic to illustrate a point. Please tell me you would say, “You are wrong. Elvis is not God, and doing those things will get you nowhere near to heaven.” In the area of religion I am right to tell someone that believes contrary to the truth revealed in the Bible they are wrong, because that is what is commanded in Matthew 20:18-20. I’m not judging anyone’s eternal state. I’m judging their beliefs based upon what I believe God has revealed in His written word, and through the Living Word, Jesus Christ, who taught us all we know about God through the writings of His servants. If you believe it’s wrong to judge another’s faith, then please tell me that the missionaries should turn in their bikes and backpacks and head home. Isn’t that fair?

  33. liv4jc says:

    (cont for Sub) Why do you get nervous when a person reaches for scholarship? Let’s try another exercise in rational thought: I had a horrible sore throat so I went to my doctor. I told him that my throat hurt, was red and swollen, and I had particular trouble swallowing. The doctor picked up one of those popsicle stick things, said, “Open wide and say ‘aaahhhhh'”. I opened my mouth so he could look at my throat, but he began trying to look into my ear canal while holding my tongue down with the stick. I immediately stopped him and asked him what he was doing? He replied, “I’m trying to see if your tonsils are swollen.” “Then why are you looking in my ear?” I asked. “Truthfully, I have no idea what tonsils are. I don’t put much stock in anatomy and medical scholarship.” I asked the doctor to show me the book he used to treat patients. He picked up book, turned to the section on “sore throat” and read it to me. “Have the patient open wide and say, ‘aaahhhh’. Use a tongue depressor to hold the tongue while looking for redness and swelling of the tonsils.”

    How did the writer of the medical book expect the passage to be understood. And did it matter how it was understood? You see, the writer of the medical guide expected the practitioner to have a basic background knowledge of anatomy and medicine. He didn’t feel compelled to explain what inflamation and redness were, nor did he think it would be necessary to define what tonsils are. Had the patient been as ingnorant as the doctor about anatomy the doctor may have prescribed no treatment, the wrong treatment, etc. Authorial intent matters, and when dealing with ancient literature, scholarship matters. Understanding authorial intent is not “adding to scripture”. It’s the only way to properly understand his writing. How would you feel if I had completely ignored your questions and began talking about carbeurators? Your intent was to get me to explain what I meant in my previous post, not learn about auto mechanics.

  34. liv4jc says:

    Grindael, the comment about ripping someone from a burning car came from me, and it was a paraphrase from this interview with John Macarthur about contending for the truth, and the way Jesus treated the false teaching of the Pharisees: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/GTY124 You can also listen to it from the same page. It’s well worth reading. This is the exact quote from John Macarthur who is being interviewed by Phil Johnson.

    PHIL: So there is a time when it’s right to fight.

    JOHN: There always is a time when there’s a right to fight and it’s not a personality thing. It’s not jealousy over somebody’s success in ministry. It is not a style thing. You know, fight over the way a certain person does what he does. It’s…the legitimate battle is for the truth, contending earnestly for the faith.

    PHIL: Now, not only is it sometimes right to fight, chapter 1 in your book is “When it’s wrong to be nice.” Are there times when it’s wrong to be nice?

    JOHN: Absolutely. You know, it’s wrong to be nice…you can look at that on a lot of fronts. There are times when, you know, if somebody is trapped in a car that’s about to explode, you know, niceness goes out the window. You grab the person by the arm if you can, you rip them out of the car any way you can to save their life. And, you know, Jude talks about snatching brands from the burning. There are people who are on the edge of the fires of hell because they’re engulfed in false religious systems and we snatch them out of the fire like a brand being singed. There are times when being nice, if you mean by being nice, being accommodating to whatever it is people choose to believe is really the greatest harm you could ever do.

    Me: This does not excuse being personally mean.

    Hope that helps.

  35. Rick B says:

    Mossface,
    This blog is not the place for us to debate long term what you believe or dont believe. Write me at iplayjudo19[email protected]
    put your name or something in the subject line so I know it’s you and we can talk more.

    The majority of posts here is about Mormonism, I dont think they care about a side debate on a small scale, but I also cannot speak for the mods about that. Rick b

  36. grindael says:

    David,

    The infallibility thing I do not attribute to the members, I must clarify that. I attribute it to the leaders. My sentence was not well thought out or put well, thank you for catching that. It is obvious, very obvious from the mormon posters here that some do not feel that way. Although, it is published in ‘official’ teaching materials and publications. Again, it is as I said, and genius said respectively: men are men and people are people. I am of the ‘freewill’ thinkers along those lines. That is why I have a problem with what the leaders have said and taught, not with how it is ‘interpreted’ by members.

    What some mormons CAN come to grips with, I could not. Does that make them wrong, or me? It’s a question I turn over in my mind quite often. It is also perspective, ‘why can’t they see what I see? There have been enough ‘forest for the trees’ quotes here to justify that line of thought.

    liv4jc

    I must have missed the burning car analogy, thank you for clarifying that. Sometimes it is hard to drink in all the coffee being spilled around here.
    Like I said to genius, sometimes we give what we get, or THINK we are getting. To blog on these kind of topics carries it’s own risks, don’t you think? The big question is, and now I understand what genius was referring to: is the car burning?
    Maybe to some it is all the time. There is also the ‘let go and let God’ line of thought. Sometimes that is all we can do.

  37. subgenius says:

    for the record, i just checked…i am neither trapped in a car, nor is anything burning in my vicinity.

    liv4jc
    my counterpoint would be that we are not talking about sore throats, and your example assumes that the medical writer has omitted information (eg. look in the throat) – are you stating that the bible has omitted information similarly?.

    But to continue your ‘metaphor’ (which is a bit unrefined), the medical writing is not meant to be ‘interpreted’ by a supplemental source, but rather it is meant to be implemented, applied, or put into practice.

    “…Elvis..am i wrong?”
    wrong?, that is not for me to say. I do not agree with you (though i am from the great state of tennessee), but the determination of religious right or wrong is not in my “jurisdiction”..is it in yours?

    “It’s the only way to properly understand his writing”
    reading the writing for yourself is the only way to “understand”. otherwise you just understand what someone else “thinks” about what is meant.

    p.s. when did passing judgement on another’s faith become a pre-requisite for missionary work?

    Mossface
    good point about israel, i concur.
    Also
    you said “I am literally unable to believe.” to which i would respond, then what brought you here? confusion? my stunning commentary?

  38. liv4jc says:

    Sub, I knew you would bring up those points. The analogy was not meant to be an all inclusive illustration of all the possible what ifs. It was meant to illustrate the fact that authorial intent has a great meaning on interpretation. Perhaps it was a bit too vague, but in my mind the medical book author was writing to a person versed in medicine, so he left some commonly understood things left unsaid. There are areas of the Bible where background information was left out, not to hide it from us, but because the writers had no intention of writing to us. In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth for example, there is a passage in chapter 15 about baptism for the dead. I have found many possible explanations for that passage in commentaries (supplemental sources), which tells me that its meaning is obscure to us. But I guarantee the people in Corinth who received that letter knew exactly what Paul was talking about. What is clear from reading the entire chapter, though, is that Paul believed in a resurrection, and encouraged the church there to believe also. This belief was founded upon Christ’s resurrection. If I layed hold of one interpretion of 1 Cor 15:29 and held it as true, then by some miracle was able to ask Paul what he meant, he might say, “No, that’s not what I was talking about at all. Your interpretation is wrong. This is what was happening in the church…” So that verse is not something I would build a doctrine around. Paul’s intention is not clear. To my knowledge, the circumstances surrounding that passage have been lost to history. However, based upon other biblical passages where Paul’s intentions are clear, I know that he did not believe someone could hear the gospel and be saved after death by being baptized by proxy by one still living. This is one instance where academic study of history, culture, language, and systematic theology are necessary to determine what an author did not mean even if we can’t determine what he did mean.

  39. liv4jc says:

    David, I read a large portion of the link you posted and was amazed at how wide the interpretations that are allowed in LDS theology are. No wonder we can’t get a straight answer.

    Maybe somebody else can help me because I’m about to pull my hair out. Are all religions not exclusive? All religion seeks to say, “This is the way to God, the mass conscienceness, whatever, etc.” Mormonism is definitely included in that category. When a missionary comes to my door, whether it be a Buddist, Jehovah’s Witness, or LDS, aren’t they trying to get me to come to their faith? If I tell the missionaries that I’m a Christian, do they say, “Oh cool, then you’re good.” and walk away? Aren’t they making judging my beliefs part of their jurisdiction (see Subs reply to my post 2 up)? If not, then what are they doing?
    Post-modern thinking is what says, “I can’t say you’re wrong in your belief system, but I can say you’re wrong to tell others that they’re wrong.” What if my belief system tells me to tell you that you’re wrong? Now can you tell me that my belief system is wrong? Did Jesus not say, “I am the way, the Truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me?” Is the Bible not meant to point to the One True God for the salvation of lost souls, while unbelief leaves men lost and doomed? An improper understanding of the Biblical text leads to an improper understanding of who God is, who Jesus is, and what true salvation is.

    Is Sub just playing games with my head or is he really representative of LDS members? Is there really no sense of ability to judge another’s belief system or is he just toying with me? I honestly hope he could tell me that my Elvis religion wouldn’t get me anywhere close to heaven. If not, that’s just plain bonkers and it’s impossible to have a meaningful religious dialogue with someone whose standards are that squishy.
    Sub, if you truly feel that I can’t judge your faith and you can’t judge mine, then what are you defending, and why are you here?

  40. grindael says:

    liv4jc

    Here is part of a dialogue P.P.Pratt wrote about Smith talking to the devil in 1844. Seems Pratt is making your point. There is a LOT of judging going on here, as there has always been with smith & his early apostles. Also, notice how he uses ‘history’ to bolster his point. That would take some ‘scholarship’, would it not?

    “[12] Smith: Why sir, in the first place, I knew that I had the truth on my side, and that your systems and forms of Christianity were so manifestly corrupt that one had only to lift the veil from your foileries on one side and to present plain and reasonable truth on the other, and the eyes of the people could at once distinguish the difference so clearly that except they chose darkness rather than light, they would leave your ranks and come over to truth. For instance, what is easier than to show from the history of the past, that a religion of direct revelation was the only system ever instituted by the Lord, and the only one calculated to benefit mankind? What is easier than to show that this system saved the church from flood, famine, flames, wars, division, bondage, doubt and darkness, many times, and that it is the legitimate way and manner of God’s government of his own peculiar people in all ages and dispensation.”

    The whole dialogue is revealing. It basically states that ALL Christianity is from the Devil, except Mormonism, and that it is corrupt and cannot save anyone. It is very judgmental. Pratt was out doing missionary work. This was published as a pamphlet and handed out. Read it here: http://mldb.byu.edu/PPPRATDI.HTM

  41. grindael says:

    Matthew Chapter 7, Verses 1-2, JST:

    1 Now these are the words which Jesus taught his disciples that they should say unto the people.
    2 Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged: but judge righteous judgment.

  42. falcon says:

    If someone is determined enough, it is possible to ascertain the facts. What tends to be (or sound) subjective, is when people start talking about the truth. The above quote by Pratt is nothing more than his opinion. Perhaps there’s more to the quote, but when Mormons talk about the great apostasy, for example, it becomes more of a Mormon slogan or talking point to justify a need for a restoration.
    Some Mormons might be able to repeat a phrase they have been taught that the Council of Nicea and the creeds prove there was a great apostasy. If you ask them to go a little beyond the recitation of that little motto it’s blank city.
    Andy Watson was telling me he picked-up a ten volume set of the writings of the early Church Fathers and he has been slugging his way through it. He mentioned how small the print is and how you have to really concentrate while reading it. Now it’s a lot easier, and I suppose sounds a lot more “spiritual”, to say that God revealed thus and such to me. Andy could do that and save himself the money he has invested in the books and the effort it takes to actually read them and process the information. Andy is doing the hard work of real scholarship in an attempt to get to the facts and then the truth.
    I am exposed daily to information regarding this or that revelation someone has received from God. I have one on my e mail list right now. What do I do with these things. I think “That’s interesting” and leave it at that. A lot of these revelations have nothing to do with anything I can find in the Bible. But, it’s claimed, God has spoken to this person about something. As a sidebar, when Mormons talk about Christians not having or believing in revelation; they obviously are missing something because I’m exposed to a constant flow of “revelation”.
    Bottom line; this is why many Christians are more comfortable with God’s Word and digging into the history of the Church. It’s factual and provable when intellectual discipline is applied.

  43. falcon says:

    Mormons believe the claims of Joseph Smith are true because they suppose that God has revealed this to them. That’s pretty exciting and puts them in an exclusive club of people to whom God has spoken to directly and provided a warm confirming “I know” feeling. The problem is that facts are stubborn things. I’m not going to believe anything someone tells me regarding a message God has spoken to them regardless of how good it makes me feel when I hear or read it.
    I’ve gotten an emotional high off of reading and thinking about the truths that are contained in the various creeds. Do my feelings provide a confirmation of the truths listed in the creeds? No!
    How do I “feel” about the revelation Joseph Smith got from an angel that appeared to him with a drawn sword threatening to kill him if he didn’t start “marrying” more women. Yea, that’s close! “Hay, I’ve got to have sex with lots of women or God’s angel is going to kill me.” Try that one at home!
    Once someone swallows the Joseph Smith story, they end-up having to swallow a bunch more stuff that came from Smith and his successors right down to the present day. The idea that it could possibly be “wrong” isn’t even on the Mormon radar screen. And for many Mormons, if they dump the Smith story, what are they going to replace it with in their lives. Nature hates a vacuum. Something will have to go in that emotional void. Why do so many exMormons become atheists, and proud ones at that. Once they’ve determined that Mormonism is “wrong” (not true) they’ve got a problem. It’s like the guy I know who quit smoking. Oddly enough, he found he had time on his hands that he didn’t know what to do with. He was always “early” for everything because he used to get to where he was going in plenty of time so he could smoke.
    Jesus Christ can fill the void left when the Mormon finally determines that Smith’s revelations were not true and that the LDS church is a false religious system.

  44. subgenius says:

    liv4jc
    seems like you are backstepping on the arguments presented by the Ev when we debated the “chinese telephone”, and you are perhaps even dabbling in a little momrmon speak?
    you reference
    What is clear from reading the entire chapter, though, is that Paul believed in a resurrection, and encouraged the church there to believe also
    but you claim that it is necessary to “add” more to this chapter…is it “clear” or is it not clear?
    Afterall, are not the scriptures God’s word…and NOT what man meant but rather, what God meant? Has the Ev not maintained that the Word is infallible and complete?
    To ask Paul what he “meant” seems to be a contrary position as to the divine nature of the writings….unless you are admitting that the flaw and influence of the writer(man) have a part in the scriptures?

    Matthew chapter 7
    another fine scripture indeed.
    except is it not its intent that we judge only oursleves?

    missionary work is not about judgement. Matthew 28:19 is clear about what is intended by “missionary work”. It does not have a qualifier of “unless they are a member of this church or that church or my church”.
    Begin with Mark 8:34 (which is nice because it accents “voluntarily”).
    The intent to inquire what another’s faith is does not necessarily constitute judgement, but is rather an assessment (not an evaluation).

    why am i here? well, its not pass judgement, like i said, i believe it is not my “jurisdiction”; i can not claim to know if it is anyone else’s jurisdiction.
    I try to provide information that may or may not be contrary to another’s; with the hope that those who read it may ultimately decide for themselves. I do not “defend” because no offense has be imposed…

    i simply try to clarify and promote.

  45. grindael says:

    Matthew 7 does include judging ourselves but:

    From the Official LDS Church Site:

    “Sometimes people feel that it is wrong to judge others in any way. While it is true that we should not condemn others or judge them unrighteously, we will need to make judgments of ideas, situations, and people throughout our lives. The Lord has given many commandments that we cannot keep without making judgments. For example, He has said: “Beware of false prophets. . . . Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15–16) and “Go ye out from among the wicked” (D&C 38:42). We need to make judgments of people in many of our important decisions, such as choosing friends, voting for government leaders, and choosing a spouse.” http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=fbbd9daac5d98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____

    I think there is a difference in ‘passing judgement’ and using judgement to make decisions.
    Hence, there is judgement of ‘ideas, situations & people.” That is what liv4jc is really getting at, and it is supported by the official LDS church site.

    I see geniuses point of view, that it should not be a passing of judgement, but an evaluation to proceed. The word obviously has more than one meaning.

  46. liv4jc says:

    One thing has become very clear to me from reading the posts on this and other threads. I am the least “educated” person that consistently posts here. This is what is driving me insane about reading Sub’s replies. He is either a highly educated evil genius bent on keeping me busy chasing my tail, or he really does not understand the basics of reading comprehension and rational thought. God used man to write the works compiled in the Bible. However, God did not put them into a trance and use their hands to write His message. The apostles were taught by Jesus. They understood those teachings, but needed to convey those teachings to others using their own language, and related ideas many times in the context of the culture they were living in. Many messages cross cultural boundaries and are clear. Some are not. Since nobody alive now is a native Koine Greek speaker or was born into an ancient civilization, we need to properly understand the grammar, word definitions, and culture of the original language to properly understand the writer’s meaning. It is not “spiritually discerned”, but spiritual concepts are conveyed. This is not “adding to scripture”. It is properly translating scripture from Hebrew/Greek into our language for proper comprehension through proper interpretation. Some things are clearly translated and understood. Some things do not translate well from Hebrew/Greek into English. In all communication there is “the true meaning”, and the communicator is the one who determines that, not the recipient. If I throw out trying to accurately comprehend what is being conveyed to me according to the speaker/writer’s intent, and instead interpret all things according to my own desires or ideas, I’m going to have a hard time getting along in life. We exegete communication every day of our lives whether we are read newspaper articles, sports reports or cooking recipes. Properly understanding a text is not “adding to it.”

  47. Mossface replied to me

    I don’t believe in a god that has any influence over our observable universe. If I might take license to read between the lines a little, I wonder if you’re not getting at the difference between the LDS God(s), and the more commonly understood Christian God. It’s an interesting point, and I wonder, as I suspect you do, how many ex-mormons deconverted specifically from the LDS concept of God.

    Mossface,

    Your instincts are fairly accurate on this one. I am not an ex-Mo, and I do not like the Mormon concept of God. More broadly, though, I don’t like a concept of God that is something like “big bloke in the sky (with a beard) whom we can manipulate through our religion”. That’s the theology of the Simpsons, not the theology of the Bible, and its not confined to Mormonism.

    Your observation on influence is interesting. I take an ontological view of God, which can be summed up by saying that everything that has been created must have been created by some uncreated “thing”. The ancient Greeks referred to this originating cause as the Divine Logos – the “Word” or “Wisdom” that started everything off (see John 1:1). Whereas you don’t see God influencing anything, I see God influencing everything (see Col 1:17).

    This ontological approach, however, gets us to theism, but it does not get us to Christianity. If God is in everything, then it is impossible for us to know what he is like. John addresses this issue directly in his Gospel (see John 1:18). The revolution of the Christian revelation is that THE Divine Logos (not “a” god) has walked and lived amongst us in the person of Jesus, so that we can look at him and know what God is like. John did this and concluded that God is love (1 John 4:8).

    There’s much more to this than I can put in a short post (including a more thorough discussion of influence). I hope we can sustain a dialog here.

    …ctd…

  48. …ctd…

    Mossface,

    You should know, at the outset, that I will attempt to answer you from the Biblical perspective. I acknowledge that this might not be enough to persuade you of the truth of the Biblical perspective (I note your comment that certainty is no predictor of reality). But if you disagree with it, you might at least know what it is that you disagree with.

    Regards,
    Martin

  49. Footnote:

    Mossface acknowledges that there is a difference between the Mormon concept of God and the more commonly understood Christian concept of God.

    In this respect he (or she?) understands more than many Mormon apologists.

  50. grindael says:

    I am troubled by some statements by mormon authorities and mormon scriptures on the issue being discussed. Perhaps our mormon friends could clarify? This is the first in a series of statements & questions on this topic. (I am striving for brevity).

    In the Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer Kimball defined the gospel as a “code of laws and commandments” by which we “might attain perfection and, eventually, godhood.” He says: “this set of laws and ordinances…is the ONLY plan which will EXALT mankind.” (MOF:6)

    Gospel Principles tells us that Jesus is a mediating “creditor” who essentially refinances our sin “debt” and sets the “terms” and conditions by which we can “pay” the “debt” to him through strict adherence to gospel “laws.” (page 75,77). This is expressed in the BOM: “…for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, AFTER all we can do.” (2 Ne:25:23)

    Kimball again:

    “This progress toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection. Living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation through that perfection which comes by complying with the formula the Lord gave us. In his Sermon on the Mount he made the command to all men: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:48) Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal.” (MOF:208)

    Kimball tells us we MUST do this in THIS LIFE (MOF:7,9-10) This is reaffirmed in the BOM: (Alma 34:32).

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