Where did the Mormon doctrine of polygamy come from?
Emma knew.

Image provided by Images of the Restoration

On July 12, 1843 Joseph Smith recorded what Mormons believe was a revelation from God “relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives” (Introduction to D&C 132). In this section of what is now Mormon scripture, Joseph’s wife, Emma, is called out and told to “abide this commandment” (i.e., live The Principle of polygamy), or be destroyed.

Nobody disputes the historical fact that Emma never really warmed up to the idea of sharing her husband with other women. Nevertheless, she remained married to Joseph until he was killed a few months after their 17th wedding anniversary.

Catherine Baldwin Johnston was a young woman who visited Nauvoo with her husband in the early 1840s. She had a noteworthy encounter with Emma Smith related to polygamy, recounted below by her sister, Eudocia Baldwin Marsh.


About two years after the settlement at Nauvoo it was reported that Smith had received a “revelation” in regard to “Spiritual wives” or “celestial marriages” as they were called. This was strenously denied by the better class of Mormons, but the document as put forth and circulated by Smith, among his confederates has since been published and openly advocated by Brigham Young and the Church at Salt Lake, as all the world knows. In this “revelation” great pains had been taken to conciliate Emma, Smiths wife, and to prepare her for the new dispensation. In it she is addressed by name and commanded to “obey” or she will be destroyed. She was apparently obliged to acquiesce in some degree, at least outwardly, but no doubt felt much the same degree of indignation that any other woman would under the same circumstances. That she was not at all reconciled to this state of things I think is proven by the reply she once made to a question on the subject.

Some time after my first visit to Nauvoo one of my sisters accompanied her husband on one of his business trips to that place. They went to Smith’s Hotel and after supper were shown into a large parlor where seated around the room in groups of three or four were ten or twelve well dressed young women. They were laughing and chatting together in a lively manner, some engaged with light needle work, others quite idle. Leaving his wife in the parlor her husband soon after went out into the town to attend to the business which had brought him there. He was detained until rather late, and my sister feeling somewhat fatigued asked to be shown to her room, where she began making preperations to retire for the night.

Her husband whose business to Nauvoo had been with some of the Gentile citizens–and who had been during the evening, regaled with terrible stories of kidnapping and sudden disappearences of visitors to the city–came in shortly afterwards and not finding her in the parlor where he had left her, immediately began storming around inquiring for and calling her loudly by name. As he passed through the long corridors, his wife heard his voice and much surprised opened her door and asked him what was the matter. When he saw her he ran and clasped her in his arms, exclaiming, “my dear wife I feared these wretches had spirited you away and I should never see you again.” She laughed at such an absurd idea, but he said, “If you had been listening to some of the tales I have heard to night, you too would have been alarmed. I shall never again permit you to be out of my sight when in this town.”

When they came down stairs next morning they were ushered into the parlor to await the announcement of breakfast. Most of the young women of the previous evening were again assembled there and presently Mrs. Emma Smith came in, and seated herself near my sister whom she had met before, and with whom she began talking in a friendly way. My sister’s mind however had been a good deal “wrought up” by what she had seen and heard, and she determined to express something of what she felt to some of these people. So she turned to her and said, “Mrs. Smith where do your people get this doctrine of Spiritual Wives?” The woman with a face flushed to a dark red, and with eyes blazing with fury said “Straight from Hell–Madam.” Some of the young women blushed, too. Some giggled, others looked stolid and indifferent, but a call to breakfast relieved the situation and no more was said.

(“Mormons in Hancock County: A Reminiscence,” reprinted in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society [spring 1971], Vol. 64 No. 1, 40-41. Punctuation minimally standardized. Paragraph breaks added for readability. Italics in the original.)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Early Mormonism, Nauvoo, Polygamy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

150 Responses to Where did the Mormon doctrine of polygamy come from?
Emma knew.

  1. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    If your theory were true. How could Mormons be missionaries? Missionaries pre-force come in contact with different cultures and belief systems.

    What do you say about the whole Mormon mommy bloggers? This is a bunch of presumably the 90% Mormon women running blogs. While I don’t frequent blogs about making cup cakes, and something special about earrings and Morman women, sewing… these for some reason are hugely popular among urban fully secular young women. We aren’t talking evangelicals here, we are talking atheists, agnostics, liberal Christians, Jews, new agers… The LDS is thrilled to have this new type of outreach so they are being encouraging. But just think about that type of contact. Most right-evangelical blogs don’t want regular secular posters, as commenters they bring in secular issues and their names link to their blogs which often link to blogs about anything. So secular woman X runs a blog on local moveon.org activities and reads the Mormon Mommy blogs, posts. Her blog is going to link to CodePink, Planned Parenthood, a news feed from the Huffington Post (which puts then 2-3 clicks away from every New Age guru in the US)….

    And its not Mormons don’t own TVs. These aren’t the Amish.


    Where are the complaints about those rules? For example I see a lot of people on exmormon talking about how much they hated the accountability rules on mission.

    Its not that I don’t believe you, its just that it seems your experience is atypical or something.

  2. It’s that time again. Time to remind you all that the conversations here at Mormon Coffee should be focusing on the issues, not on one another’s assumed shortcomings. Some recent comments have been caught by the moderation filters and will remain unapproved. Some have (unfortunately) escaped the filters and are online. I have no plans to remove any of these already-posted comments, but ask you all to please take a couple of deep breaths, refocus on the issues, and when you disagree, disagree with one another respectfully. Thanks, friends.

    (I will be posting this comment on a few different threads this week in the hope that everyone will see the reminder.)

  3. Rick B says:

    Like it or not, I only have 6 posts and 300 words per post just like you. I dont have time to debate with you over weather you believe I am influenced by Luther, Calvin or others.
    I really dont care what you think, It is clear you hate God and really dont know where you stand. If others want to reply to your 5 questions than they can, I will touch on a few things, but I will not waste all 6 posts trying to reply. My main goal is to talk to the LDS and cover the new topics.

    But for starts you said,

    In the end the bible by itself sits on a desk.

    Despite what you believe, or possibly what many Christians do, My bible does not just sit on a desk going un-read. I read my Bible daily and carry one every where I go. My Church teach’s the Bible Chapter by Chapter, verse by verse, every single book, not skipping books saying, this book is to hard to understand.

    Then you said

    Saying the bible is your final authority is saying you are your own final authority.

    How do you figure if I say the Bible is my final authority, then I am saying I am my own final authority? The Bible says thou shalt not kill, so lets say some guy breaks into my house and rapes my wife and I get my hands on him, if I listen to the Bible, I wont kill him. Yes I will see he goes to jail, I wont simply say, Enjoy my wife and be on your way. But now if I use myself as the final authority, then yes the guy will die, but first he will suffer more pain than he can imagine. So again

  4. Rick B says:

    you are wrong, I am not the Final authority, the Bible is.

    CD said

    Seems to me if you really were going by the bible, then the bible would tell you to go by the church.

    Really I must go to the church? I guess you really dont understand then, We are the church, I am the church, not one man like in the Catholic Church that has the pope. I dont go to any man in the Church and say, I am a clueless idiot, I cannot think for myself, Please tell me who I can marry, what car I can buy, where I can live, Etc. I guess you really need to read your Bible better.

    CD said

    Where did you pick your interpretive methodology from? Again that doesn’t come from the bible.

    My method does come from the Bible. Jesus quoted from the OT, so did the apostles, if they can quote it and trust it so can I. Acts. 17:11 says, They searched the scripture, we are told to search the scripture. Also I take Jesus at His word. Jesus said in John, The only work we must do to be saved is to believe upon whom God sent. I either take him at His word or I dont. Read John 3:16.

    It says, For God. Who? God. wow that was really hard. So Loved the world. He did what? He loved the world. That He gave his only Son. What did He give? See thats not hard. But you make it hard by saying we cannot really understand and need some one to interprit for us. I let the Bible speak for it’s self. In many places the disaples said, Lord we dont understand, so Jesus explained it for them. I believe Jesus and his explanation, not mans.

  5. CD-Host says:

    you are wrong, I am not the Final authority, the Bible is.

    No Rick you are. You decide completely for yourself, which books in the bible to use, which type of translation, which method of interpretation, which passages are still in effect and which were “completed” by Jesus, what is allegory and what is literal. The God who has revealed himself through scripture to you is Rick.

    But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church’s interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another. Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation. ….

    Here, possibly, some one may ask, Do heretics also appeal to Scripture? They do indeed, and with a vengeance; for you may see them scamper through every single book of Holy Scripture,—through the books of Moses, the books of Kings, the Psalms, the Epistles, the Gospels, the Prophets.


  6. CD-Host says:

    Whether among their own people, or among strangers, in private or in public, in speaking or in writing, at convivial meetings, or in the streets, hardly ever do they bring forward anything of their own which they do not endeavour to shelter under words of Scripture. Read the works of Paul of Samosata, of Priscillian, of Eunomius, of Jovinian, and the rest of those pests, and you will see an infinite heap of instances, hardly a single page, which does not bristle with plausible quotations from the New Testament or the Old.

    [65.] But the more secretly they conceal themselves under shelter of the Divine Law, so much the more are they to be feared and guarded against. For they know that the evil stench of their doctrine will hardly find acceptance with any one if it be exhaled pure and simple. They sprinkle it over, therefore, with the perfume of heavenly language, in order that one who would be ready to despise human error, may hesitate to condemn divine words. They do, in fact, what nurses do when they would prepare some bitter draught for children; they smear the edge of the cup all round with honey, that the unsuspecting child, having first tasted the sweet, may have no fear of the bitter. So too do these act, who disguise poisonous herbs and noxious juices under the names of medicines, so that no one almost, when he reads the label, suspects the poison. (Vincent of Lérins, The Commonitory)

  7. CD-Host says:

    Good lets work one example
    Jesus quoted from the OT, so did the apostles, if they can quote it and trust it so can I.

    Ah good the Catholic Canon:

    Matt. 6:19-20 – Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 – lay up your treasure.

    Matt.. 7:12 – Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 – what you hate, do not do to others.

    Matt. 7:16,20 – Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 – the fruit discloses the cultivation.

    Matt. 9:36 – the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 – sheep without a shepherd.

    Matt. 11:25 – Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 – Lord of heaven and earth.

    Matt. 12:42 – Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.

    Matt. 16:18 – Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.

    Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 – Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.

    Matt. 24:15 – the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.

    Matt. 24:16 – let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.

    Matt. 27:43 – if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.

    Mark 4:5,16-17 – Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.

    Mark 9:48 – description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.

  8. Kate says:

    Here’s the problem. You claim that you do not belong to any religion, yet you study all religions. You have studied Mormonism. You have blogged with some Mormons and visited some Mormon mommy blogs and you have created a perception of Mormonism and Mormon culture. I have LIVED Mormonism for 40 years. Taught Mormonism from the LDS church and a multigenerational Mormon family. My experience is not “atypical or something.” I live in Utah, born and raised. Where I live, 99% are LDS. I know what I have been taught in the LDS church for my entire life. I have had discussions with family and friends all my life. How can you compare that to your (4 years did you say?) study and blogging with some Mormons? I’ve also blogged with Mormons. All of them have had similar experiences at church and when they researched for themselves and “come across” the things hidden or things not taught in church, some say they just find a way to “incorporate” that stuff into their testimonies. I can not do that. Truth is either truth or it isn’t. Oh yes, I was taught in church not to read anything not church approved. When I started asking questions about LDS doctrine to my Mormon family, I was told that what I was reading wasn’t church approved. I was told that I was just losing my faith and that I needed to stop researching and just follow the prophet. He would never lead me astray. Sorry, but this is typical.

  9. Rick B says:

    OK, CD,
    It’s like this. I left you a second reply to your 5 questions, It was posted, but then later removed. Not sure why, I dont recall saying anything worthy of having it removed.
    I know thats not your fault, But here is my thoughts. In all my years of talking with atheists, I notice that all atheists that have website/blogs all have a “religious” Background, be it former Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Etc.

    All these types of atheists are very hostile towards Christians and God. I notice Atheists that were atheists all there lives, simply born and raised that way dont waste all their time writing websites and blogs spewing hatred towards Christians and God. I am not going to keep wasting any more time debating you about if I follow some man and what he taught years ago. No matter what I tell you, you simply come back and say, No Rick You really do follow this man and His teachings. I know what I believe and why. You clearly do not know what I believe and even what you believe. Strange that an atheist Attacks Christians and Defends Mormons with more passion than even TBM. So for me it is two fold, No point writing reply’s to you that will be removed with out notice or reason, and no point giving you answers to why I believe something if you simply will tell me I really dont believe what I say.

    I also agree with Kate, How can you claim to know more about Mormonism from a meager 4 years of talking with Mormons, than a person who lived it for 40 years and their family history goes back to the Founding fathers of Mormonism? Kate wrote me a private E-mail telling me her family history.

  10. CD-Host says:

    Rick —

    There are actually 2 posts 2 you of mine in moderation. That’s fine if you don’t want to reply, thought the issue is going to keep coming up. When you say the “the bible says X” the response is going to be “the bible applying a Protestant filter says X and Mormons don’t apply that filter”. If not soon then sometime over the next few years I’d suggest you sit down and read something from outside your tradition which is taking the bible seriously. Catholic fathers, particularly Saint Jerome would be excellent, the list Vincent of Lérins gave (when that post gets out of jail) is also excellent.

    The video Sharon just posted (ironically) also makes my point wonderfully.


    Kate —

    Its worse than that.
    Study religions – 25 years
    Atheist 16 years.
    Blog — 4 years
    Mormon contact — 7 weeks.

    Which is not to say I haven’t know Mormons but I’ve never discussed Mormonism with them before. I don’t know much about Mormons at all. On the other hand the problem I have is what you are claiming about the community and what I’m observing are in 100% contradiction to one another in terms of the nature of the community. And you aren’t really giving me a good argument as to how a community as shut off as the one you are describing could have a blog culture as wide open as the one I’m observing. Without that model, you are essentially asking me, “what are you going to believe my assertions or your eyes”. To which my response is “my eyes”.

  11. Kate says:

    This will be my last post to you. I understand that there is a Mormon blog community out there. Let’s put that into perspective. There are 5 million active Mormons. Are you telling me that 5 million Mormons are blogging to you? We have the older generations who probably don’t even own a computer or want one (such as members of my own family) they are more traditional Mormons. They are old school (like me) and they still believe what they were taught as youngsters. The LDS church has been changing radically. For example, I have read that Mormons are now welcome to believe whatever they want as long as they don’t share it with others. This is new. In the past when you went into a bishop’s interview and were asked questions, you had better sustain the church in everything or face disciplinary action. Now we have a younger more hip generation who love the internet, this is the reason the LDS church is having to back track. As more and more people have access to church history and publications, it has been harder for the church to teach the old school stuff. Believe what you want. I have lived the truth of it. There’s a difference in seeing what you perceive and actually living it. I’m not talking about a little community that is shut off from the world here either. This is the culture in the state of Utah. I have huge families on both sides and they are scattered all over the state. Just curious, do you live in Utah? If not, then I rest my case.

  12. Rick B says:

    It looks as if my second reply was posted.
    I dont know why your telling me to read stuff from the Cathloic church. I’m not Cathloic and never have been and never will be. I have lots of problems with them and dont believe for one minute the Pope knows Jesus and IMO He does not know scripture and IMO has never read the Bible.

    I find many currant Catholic Church belief’s and practices very unbiblacal, and so I have no desire to read from their teachings. And unless you can prove with evidence I follow these men, you cannot make such a claim about me. You cannot say, Rick you do read from these guys or follow their beliefes, when I sit here and tell you I never read any book by them and I read and believe the Bible only.

    It’s not like mormonism where they might say, I dont believe my prophet taught…
    Yet we can show them with evidnence their prophets did teach X-Y and Z.

    And we can show them where their prophets said, we are the only people who speak for God and if you dont listen to us you could lose your salvation.

    You cannot do that with me, because like I said, even if a guy, name any one who says I speak for Rick or I speak on his behalf, I will tell you thats not true, Jesus said Follow Him, I follow Him. No apostle ever said, Follow everyman who claims to know Jesus, or follow some man who claims to be a prophet, They said Follow Jesus. I follow Jesus, not you or any man. You simply dont like this and really fight tooth and nail to try and tell me I follow man and what they teach and believe. Please stop.

  13. 4fivesolas says:

    You say:
    “Actually I would strongly disagree with you here. They most certainly did found Protestantism. Nothing like Protestantism exists prior to the early 16th century, and arguably the kind of Protestantism you practice really doesn’t exist until the late 18th century.”

    How do you know so much about Kate’s Christian beliefs that you know these beliefs did not exist until the 1700s? I would be completely shocked if her beliefs date back only a few hundred years.

    I beg to differ with you that “nothing like protestantism exists prior to the early 16th century.” Luther read through the Scriptures and came to understand the gospel. He was not a “restorationist prophet” as in Joseph Smith, not even close. Luther was a reformer. The Lutheran Church today is very much a reforming of the Catholic/Christian Church. My Church body fully embraces the early Church Fathers, as a matter of fact we claim them as our own as they agree with the doctrines of grace – Salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection. Error crept into the Church over time, and error continues to creep in – so the Church is in need of constant reforming – today there are those denying the deity of Christ, denying salvation by grace through faith, denying God’s moral law, denying the importance of baptism, etc. etc. Error is always creeping in – it is the nature of our fallen sinful world. Luther understood the good news of the free gift of forgiveness won through Jesus death on the cross for our sins as the central message of the Church – Christ crucified for our sins. This message did not start with Luther, it started with the Apostles sent out by Christ.

  14. Rick B says:

    One more things. When I came to know Jesus, I was told to read the Bible, Why do you think that was? So I could get to know more about who Jesus is/was. I can read what man wrote and what they think, or I can read what God said about himself. If you wrote a book about your life, and someone who does not know you and only knows what they read from what you said on various blogs and what others said about you, would you rather I read the Book written by you, written about you? Or should I read the Book written about you by some one that does not know you?

    Then we have very detailed prophecys to know that God really did speak to us. When I share with people and they either come to Christ or ask about Him, I always tell them Read The Bible. I never say, Read this book about God or read what this person says about God. Let God speak for Himself.

  15. CD-Host says:

    4fivesolas —

    OK fair enough. You call yourself 5 sola guy so I assume you know them and consider them important.

    For sola scriptura I have some good quotes from Vincent of Lérins. Can you name me one church father who supports that position before say 1300?

    For Sola fide can you name church father after Augustine who denies the doctrine of merit?
    RC church: Faith and good works yield justification
    Luther: Faith yields justification and good works
    Give me some people who agree with Luther from the middle ages. Say 600, 800, 1000, 1200 any?

    For Solus Christus apostolic succession is one of the the absolutely primary doctrines of the Catholic Church throughout its entire history. Arguably for them one of the cornerstones of the faith. Can you find me any Church father after 250 and prior to 1400 who denies apostolic succession.

    For Soli Deo gloria is essentially a denial the doctrine of the church. One god, one bishop, one confession. Again a key Catholic doctrine. I’ll let Pius XII respond to that onemystici corporis Christi.

    For Sola gratia I’d agree with your point above, that’s relatively consistent through Christian history.

    Should I keep going? OK how about your canon. Can you name any church ever, that supports your canon? Any church council. Was there even a single doctor of the church between Saint Jerome and Luther that agrees with Luther’s position. What we see in the Western church is discussion about Prayer of Manasses, 3Ezra, 4Ezra no one is taking Luther’s position.

    I’ll agree that Luther didn’t mean to create a whole new type of Christianity, and Joseph Smith did.

  16. CD-Host says:

    When I came to know Jesus, I was told to read the Bible, Why do you think that was?

    I thought you were done responding to me. Well to answer your question because you had lousy teachers, who probably themselves don’t know much church history.

    Lets see in the last few days,
    (*) you got caught up regarding the issue of divination,
    (*) you got caught up regarding the issue of NT quotes of using the standard of Jesus and the apostles quote for your OT without realizing the argument you were using actually supports a totally different Old Testament canon than the one you use
    (*) you got caught up on 3rd heaven where you picked a verse where Paul is saying the exact opposite of what you wanted him to say.

    Oh and I forgot this gem
    dont believe for one minute the Pope knows Jesus and IMO He does not know scripture and IMO has never read the Bible.

    A guy who did a dissertation in theology
    Worked closely with Hans Küng (possibly of the 20th century) and Edward Schillebeeckx in the 50s
    Was chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tübingen (possibly the best Christian university in the world)
    Founded and chaired Communio for many years, a theological journal so important and influential it’s been translated into 15 languages for decades
    Headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is one step below the pope in terms of doctrinal authority
    And then was elected the best qualified man on the planet to head the largest church on the planet by some of the most theologically knowledgeable people from all over the planet.

    I’m sure he couldn’t handle reading the bible in the dozen languages he’s written about it in.

  17. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, Are you looking for them to say the words “Sola…” or for them to affirm the ideas those terms represent? The ideas that the reformers clearly articulated due to the error confronting the Church at the time may not have been spelled out in precisely the same way earlier, but nevertheless the truths are there in Scripture and in the assumptions of the early Church Fathers. The need to defend Scripture as reliable and the foundation of Christian belief was not even an issue in Luther’s time.
    For Sola Fide I will point you to the Apostle Paul where it is recorded in Holy Scripture:
    Galatians 3:1-9 where we see that not only is justification by faith, but sanctification as well:
    1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? 7Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

  18. Rick B says:

    Wow CD,
    You mention a guy and a school I never heard of and I’m supposed to be impressed. Well I’m not.
    I said IMO I dont believe the Pope or any pope knows Christ.

    So tell me from the Bible where Mary is a coredemptrous next to Jesus? The Catholic Church Teaches this. Show me from the Bible where Mary was sinless in order to be able to give Birth To Jesus. Catholics claim the priests cannot marry, this IMO is why we have priets molesting little kids. They sit in the little box, listen to people confess all sorts of sins, some very sexual in nature and the priests have no outlet, so that does not make it right what they do.

    Then time has shown Priests or “Fathers” know about priests molesting little kids and instead of removing them from the church and going to the police, they move them onto another perish.

    Show me where this is OK from Scripture. Show me where Perdtion is and how the buying of indulginces gets us out. The Bible says call no man father, and Jesus is the only mediator between Man and God, Yet the Catholics teach the “Fathers” can fill this role. None of these things are in the Bible and they are not of God. I dont agree with any of these teaching and never have, never will.

    Until you can show me where Jesus allowed this or the Bible teaches it, stop quoting from any Catholic sourses and telling me I believe them or practice them in any way, shape or form. These examples show you dont know me or anything about what I believe.

  19. 4fivesolas says:

    Church Father Ambrose (340 – 397): “And for this reason let no one boast about works, because no one is justified by his deeds. But he who is righteous has righteousness given to him because he was justified from the washing of Baptism. Faith, therefore, is that which frees through the blood of Christ, because he is blessed “whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered””

    Sola Christus is affirmed throughout Scripture and in the Church – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sacrificial system, and His gift of salvation is delivered to us by faith. Christians have never taught that there are many ways to God.

  20. Rick B says:

    CD, Two thoughts here.
    1. The guy you mentioned and said

    Founded and chaired Communio for many years, a theological journal so important and influential it’s been translated into 15 languages for decades
    Headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is one step below the pope in terms of doctrinal authority
    And then was elected the best qualified man on the planet to head the largest church on the planet by some of the most theologically knowledgeable people from all over the planet.

    Does he that your aware of support the doctrines and teachings I mentioned? If so then I dont care what he did, these things are of the devil and not God. Priests molesting Children, other preists turning a blind eye to that, thats not of God.

    2. Since your such a big Cathloic lover read the Book, A women rides the beast by Dave Hunt. He talks about the Catholic church and much of the evil it has done and how ungodly much of it’s teachings are. Then come back and try telling me I follow them and practice what they do.

  21. CD-Host says:

    4fivesolas —

    I’m looking for them to affirm the ideas, and not their absolute opposite.

    I think I was pretty specific in asking for the names and I gave you date ranges. Galatians (i.e. Paul) was not written by a “church father after Augustine” or in that range of 600-1400. Your argument was that Luther represented historical Christianity that I was wrong in asserting that Protestantism didn’t mainly exist in the pre-reformation. That Protestantism was not a new faith. I’m well aware of the Protestant position that their theology is what the bible teaches.

    For the purpose of this argument I can grant you that Luther was absolutely 100% correct in every single aspect of his biblical interpretation and it makes no difference what-so-ever in whether he represents a break with historic Christianity. I don’t think Paul is a Protestant, but he’s far closer to being a Protestant than almost any other church father. The vast majority of them aren’t remotely Protestant on virtually every area Protestants disagree with Catholics the overwhelming majority of church fathers agree with the Catholic church.

    Give me a church father in 850 who denies merit. He can phrase this anyway you like as long as long as her clearly is rejecting the notion that good works are a prerequisite for salvation/ justification (in an adult of normal intelligence and ability…). We both agree Luther made up the term Sola Fide I’m saying he also created that concept.

  22. CD-Host says:

    The need to defend Scripture as reliable and the foundation of Christian belief was not even an issue in Luther’s time.

    You are right about the reliability of scripture. That’s was not the debate. Again just read up a few posts to those by Vincent of Lorens. The issue was not the reliability but rather interpretive authority.

    Let me remind you of what he was convicted of at Worms:

    He despises and condemns the doctrines and authorities which the holy doctors preceding us have left for our instructions…Furthermore, he is not ashamed to detract from and speak evil of the sacred and holy general councils. … declaring in our presence and in that of the diet that the apostolic decrees and the holy general councils contradicted each other more than once. As far as he was concerned, he did not hold these decrees and councils to be true, and he would not revoke one thing of what he had written until he was convinced otherwise by the Holy Scriptures or by divine authority.

    And this was made general:

    Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,–in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, –wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,–whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,–hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published. Contraveners shall be made known by their Ordinaries, and be punished with the penalties by law established. (Council of Trent)

  23. 4fivesolas says:

    Sorry I am not following your assignment. I find it curious that you are looking for those who came after the early Church Fathers – it would seem to me that at some point the errors that the Reformers (Luther and others) corrected would begin to slowly creep in. In other words, those who wrote Christian Scripture (Paul, Peter, John, etc.) and those that immediately followed after them would be a better source than someone from say 890.

  24. 4fivesolas says:

    Church Father Jerome (347 – 420): “Then we are righteous when we confess that we are sinners, and that our righteousness stands not in our own merit, but in God’s mercy.”

  25. CD-Host says:

    4solas —

    One of your posts just got out of moderation jail. I have a response in there right now before this one. Ambrose is still too early, but that was a good quote so it deserves a response. Notice he says “baptism” i.e. joining the church. That’s baptismal regeneration its not an ongoing process that a Christian gets to use again and again. That’s sacramental theology, not Lutheranism. Now Luther agrees with the Catholics on sacraments (mostly). Its the baptists and the reformed who reject sacramental theology. It would be helpful if you gave a source.

    However, when talking about the ongoing process, Ambrose doesn’t work for you he preaches the same old Catholic faith + works:

    13 Whether, then, you join to faith already present in the soul, bodily acts agreeing thereto; or acts come first, and faith be joined as their companion, presenting them to God— here is the robe of the minister of religion, here the priestly vestment.

    14. Faith is profitable, therefore, when her brow is bright with a fair crown of good works. (Ambrose on Faith II.13-14)

    So in short he agrees with Luther on one of the areas where Luther agreed with the historic Catholic church, which is an area which the vast vast majority of present day Protestants disagree with. As an aside since we are supposed to be talking about Mormons, Mormons also believe in sacramental theology agreeing with the historic faith against Protestant innovations (though Mormons use the terms ordinance and sacrament backwards for reasons I can’t figure out).

  26. CD-Host says:

    Sorry I am not following your assignment. I find it curious that you are looking for those who came after the early Church Fathers – it would seem to me that at some point the errors that the Reformers (Luther and others) corrected would begin to slowly creep in. In other words, those who wrote Christian Scripture (Paul, Peter, John, etc.) and those that immediately followed after them would be a better source than someone from say 890.

    A much better source of what? Your thesis was that Luther was reforming and not engaging in restoration. If you have a model where some time in the distant past there was a “true church” that over time was corrupted and a leader arose centuries later who restored “correct path” that is restorationism. You were arguing the opposite, that Luther is a continuation of the Catholic Church. Which means no playing the “pure church of the distant past” game. So for purposes of argument even if say everyone were Protestant till 300, and then “errors crept in” and they all were Catholic by 1300 and then Luther comes along and creates a new Protestantism he’s a restorationist. Your point originally was that’s doing something entirely different than Joseph Smith. That’s your thesis. If your poing really boils down to, “well when I read the bible I think it agrees with Luther and not with Joseph Smith” that doesn’t advance your argument.

    And that’s what really happened historically. The reformers made claims that the Catholic church of their day had only recently fallen into heresy, while making doctrinal claims which were totally original to them, which creates an incoherent view of history.

  27. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, Mormons may have things they call Sacraments, but they are not – they’re not even done right (as prescribed in Scripture).
    I can tell you that despite what you may think, Lutherans agree with Ambrose. (BTW Baptism is much more than joining the Church). Even your quote would be affirmed. A pastor whose class I was in once said “no one is saved by good works, no one is saved without good works.” In other words – good works have nothing to do with salvation, but they will always accompany faith.
    I would love to talk with you more, but I have to go to work now. I will post more on the Reformation (and how it was not a Restoration) later hopefully.
    The quotes are from “Apology of the Augsburg Confession.”

  28. Rick B says:

    CD mentions this guy

    A guy who did a dissertation in theology
    Worked closely with Hans Küng (possibly of the 20th century) and Edward Schillebeeckx in the 50s

    Still waiting for a reply, but did this guy teach anything I asked about? Did he teach that priests cannot marry? Or we need to go to a priest or “Father” to ask for forgiveness of sins? Or Mary was sinless in order to give birth to Jesus, or any of the other thingsa I asked?

    I see you keep harping on how we have ties to the Catholic Church. These teaches are like Mormon teachings, They are made up fasle teaching that are not taught in the Bible. You could even give me a list of 100 sp called Christian churchs that teach a whole host of things and say what you want about them, But if what they teach goes againt the teachings of the Bible, then these people and churchs teachings are to be rejected.

    This is the best example that proves you dont know as much as you claim and you keep grasping at straws to make you case that we are the clueless people. You reject the truth if favor of lies. Now you really should back up your favorite teachers saying from scripture or stop harping on about how we/I follow the catholic church. One more thought. The Catholic teach Peter is/was the first Pope. Yet Popes are not allowed to get married, and Peter was Married, thats a sad way to start a religion, you get it wrong from the start and everything is based upon lies.

  29. CD-Host says:

    Thanks for the reference to Apology of the Augsburg Confession. You can google and see lots of Catholics complaining about the translation, or outright misquoting. No reason to drag that whole argument here, especially since I’m looking for quotes in general from the dark ages on. That is, no reason for us to use quotes from Latin -> German -> English rather than deal with the translated originals Latin -> English, IMHO.

    As far as the quote from Jerome, Jerome while quite Protestant in his style couldn’t be further away from Luther in sola fide. The whole theme of contra Jovinianus is that works have irreparable influence on grace. The specific of interest is that a Christian once having partaken of marital sexuality is in a permanently reduced state of grace contrasted with a virgin. Most Protestants today would consider Jerome’s position to be a denial of the efficiency of cross. There is no way you can use Jerome as an example for Luther’s position.

    “Marriage is the work by which it is possible for a female having lost God’s grace through fornication to regain it”. Similarly on issues like fasting vs. eating, fasting was for Jerome intrinsically better, and the opposite position was to Jerome was a heresy.

    Jovinian’s position (which is still far stricter than Luther’s) was considered at length by an full synod in Milan and declared a heresy. The ruling was then appealed to Rome where another full Synod was conducted involved people from throughout the empire. Again the declaration was that Jovinian’s position was a heresy.

    I don’t the context of the quote but Jerome has a lifetime of literature contradicting Sola Fide.

  30. CD-Host says:

    Rick —

    I said you followed Luther, and yes Luther follow the Catholic church on most issues. Not the ones you are harping on. I don’t actually care what you believe regarding Mary. I will fully grant in your theology having made yourself Pope that whatever doctrine you want to be true are true and whatever wants you want to be false are false. The church of Rick teaches the theology of Rick. Luther is (indirectly) the one who gave you permission to make yourself a personal Pope, as well as many other doctrines that have crept into Rick’s church.

    That being said if you want to actually read what historical Christianity has said on Mary’s sinless state:

    Justin (Dialogue with Trypho 100),
    Irenaeus (Against Heresies III.22.4),
    Tertullian (On the Flesh of Christ 17),
    Julius Firmicus Maternus (De errore profan. relig xxvi),
    Cyril of Jerusalem (Catecheses 12.29),
    Epiphanius (Hæres., lxxviii, 18),
    Theodotus of Ancyra (Or. in S. Deip n. 11),
    Sedulius (Carmen paschale, II, 28).

    And of course Ineffabilis Deus

    In practice a good deal of the argument rests on the Latin, not the English:
    Luke 1:28 Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non est in te

    And you are going to reject the Latin as being authoritative…

    But mostly the argument is going to turn on verses like Exodus 25:10-11, Deuteronomy 10:3 that Jesus is the new convenant; Mary is the arc of the new covenant and the verses that applied to the arc of the old covenant apply to Mary. You being a Protestant are going to reject that interpretative hermeneutic and hence you don’t buy it.

    Now you still owe me a response of why Jesus’ frequent use of the apocrypha didn’t disprove your argument that he accepted your Old Testament canon.

  31. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, Catholics complaining about the Augsburg Confession! Stop the presses!!
    Jerome is remembered as a translator of Scripture. Here is an interesting quote from Jerome on importance of Scripture in truly knowing Christ:
    “I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: Search the Scriptures, and Seek and you shall find. Christ will not say to me what he said to the Jews: You erred, not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God. For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” I don’t see any qualifiers such as “translated correctly” in Jerome’s high view of Scripture. His recommendation holds true today – if only those who are caught in false teaching would read the Scriptures and study them, not for proof texting, but for the message of God’s salvation given to us in Christ – which is the overarching message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus was the final sacrifice for our sins – and those who trust in Him and receive God’s mercy have eternal life in His death and resurrection.

  32. CD-Host says:

    4fivesolas —

    I was disagreeing with you that Jerome supported sola fide. He and just all the church fathers had a very high view of scripture. However….

    Reread what I said in my post regarding sola scriptura link … the dispute was not about a high view of scripture but interpretative authority. And there he disagrees with you for example:

    The safety of the Church depends on the dignity of the High Priest. If to him is not given a certain independence and eminence of power (exsors et eminens potestas), there will be made in the Church as many schisms as there are priests. This is the reason that without chrism and the command of a bishop neither a priest nor a deacon has the right to baptize.” (C. Lucif 9, vol II, 182[173])
    priest is then the same as a bishop, and before party-spirit in religious matters arose by the devil’s suggestion, and it was said among the peoples: ‘I am of Paul, I of Apollos, and I of Cephas,’ the Churches were governed by a common council of presbyters. But after each of them came to think that those whom he had baptized were his own and not Christ’s, it was decreed in the whole world that one of the priests should be elected to be placed above the others, and that to him the whole care of the Church should belong, and thus the seeds of division should be destroyed. (commentary on the Ep. of Titus)
    As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! (To Pope Damasus)

  33. Rick B says:

    CD said

    That being said if you want to actually read what historical Christianity has said on Mary’s sinless state:

    I dont care what these people said, What does the Bible say. I am pretty sure the bible was around before what these Guys said. So they had to get their info from some place, and it was not from the Bible.

    As to you saying I am my own Pope and my own Church, where did I say that? I never said I was a Pope. Also you quote from the Catholic Church and try saying I believe what they teach. I dont believe what they teach and if you going to claim that we take some or all of our teachings from the Catholic church, then you better say it’s all or nothing. I asked about things the Catholic Church teaches, that we clearly dont believe. If they are wrong on those things then maybe they are wrong on much more, like the things you say we believe. Its not a choose your poision type of deal.

    If you saying I do follow them, then I follow everything, but that is clearly false since I showed you much of what they believe is false and I dont follow it. So you better re-think your postion and admit I am right and you are wrong, or show me where I believe these clearly false teachings. You can use all the big words you want and all the words you want, but over all you are just grasping at straws and defending a postion that is sinking as fast as the titanic.

  34. 4fivesolas says:

    CD – Here is a great quote from John Chrysostom (349 – 407) on justification through Christ:
    “‘[Jesus our Lord] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification’ (Rm 4:25). See how after mentioning the cause of His death, he makes the same cause likewise a demonstration of the resurrection. For why, he means, was Jesus crucified? Not for any sin of His own. This is clear from the resurrection. For if He were a sinner, how would He have risen? But if He rose, it is quite plain that He was not a sinner. If He was not a sinner, why was He crucified? He was crucified for others, and if for others, then surely He rose again. Now to prevent your asking, ‘How, when He became liable for such great sins, did we come to be justified?’ Paul points out the One who blots out all sins, using both Abraham’s faith by which he was justified, and the Savior’s suffering and death, by which we were freed from our sins to confirm what he said. And after mentioning His death, he speaks also of His resurrection. For the purpose of His dying was not that He might hold us liable to punishment and under condemnation, but that He might do good to us. For this cause He both died and rose again, that He might accomplish righteousness.”
    St. Augustine wrote on the free gift of salvation through Christ. John Chrysostom was Augustine’s pastor. So Luther, the reformer, brought a return to the doctrines of grace contained both in Scripture and expounded by the early Church Fathers (one being Augustine who is the namesake of the monastic order of which Luther was a member and Chrysostom who taught Augustine).

  35. CD-Host says:

    4fivesolas —

    First off you are still picking guys too early to prove your point even if this meant anything. This isn’t contradicting the church. Which sola do you seem him asserting.? Every Catholic believes we are justified through Christ. Again that was never the debate.

    In reading a lot of your quotes you seem to be picking quotes where Church fathers asserted stuff that both Catholicism and Protestantism agree. What you are looking for is areas of disagreement where church fathers after Augustine are agreeing with Luther. So let me just repeat these criteria:

    a) After Augustine but before 1400.
    b) Area of disagreement between Luther and the Catholic church
    c) Agree with Luther

    There are examples BTW this isn’t impossible. But they are rare and very isolated. And that’s the point. On the areas where Luther disagreed with the Catholic Church he was not continuing the traditions of the church he was breaking with them.

    Luther BTW agrees with this:

    For where He does not cause it to be preached and made alive in the heart, so that it is understood, it is lost, as was the case under the Papacy, where faith was entirely put under the bench, and no one recognized Christ as his Lord or the Holy Ghost as his Sanctifier, that is, no one believed that Christ is our Lord in the sense that He has acquired this treasure for us, without our works and merit, and made us acceptable to the Father. (Of the Creed)

  36. CD-Host says:

    I am pretty sure the bible was around before what these Guys said.

    And there you’d be wrong. Quite a few of those guys were instrumental in you having a bible. Irenaeus (from the list) was instrumental in picking which books were going to be in it, and which books were not going to be in it. Tertullian (from the list) was instrumental in choosing between various textual traditions and compiling chapters and resolving discrepancies between verses. Jerome (who we’ve been talking about ) is instrumental in your entire translational methodology. He’s the reason your translation uses Hebrew/Aramaic and ultimately via. Luther and the British Bible Society where you got the list of books for your Old Testament. Without them you don’t have a bible. You have a collection of about 200 early Christian works, many of which (including the canonical ones) wildly inconsistent between churches and no clear way to decide.

    And Epiphanius who is on the list is the reason that Jerome’s bible found wide usage rather than alternatives coming from the Syrian Peshitta community which would have had the Diatessaron not the 4 gospels and epistles from Tatian in place of many of the Pauline works.

    The bible is a product of the Catholic Church in the same way a pew or a steeple is.

    As to you saying I am my own Pope and my own Church, where did I say that?

    You didn’t I did. You just talked about only reading the bible, being your final authority on what it means and how to interpret it, ignoring reading of the church even your tradition. I think that’s fair.

  37. Rick B says:

    Again CD,
    You really have no clue.
    You said

    The bible is a product of the Catholic Church in the same way a pew or a steeple is.

    A pew or a steeple does not make it a church, The church I go to is a building and we simply rent out a room, but we meet in the park on Thursday and we have meet in a school and rec center before. We dont have what you would call a “Church”Building.

    These buildings are man made and my pastor wears jeans and a t-shirt while teaching and never went to a school to be a pastor.

    As to saying I got my Bible from a Catholic Church and I said

    I am pretty sure the bible was around before what these Guys said.

    I guess I should have worded it better and said, Jesus and the apostles were around and Jesus spoke and the apostles wrote the Books before these people came along.

    We have the dead sea scrolls and we use them to prove the Bible and we dont need man. As far as who decide what books we have and what we dont, Really, I dont care. I read the Bible and see the evidence to prove it is from God. I can either look at the evidence, things like the Jews still existing and Prophecys that prove the Biblem Or I could listen to you, and your saying the Bible is false and God is not real. I choose the evidence that the Bible provides over some one who clearly hates God.

    I know you will make a big deal over me saying I dont care who decided what books we have, I choose to look at the evidence the Bible provides as evidence or you and your ideas.

  38. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, Just one last thing. Justification is the gospel, it is the heart of the Reformation. Being freely justified through the blood of Christ as the quotes from Chrysostom and Ambrose quoted here affirm is precisely what the Catholic teachings at the time of Luther were missing. Luther knew only works and more works and frustrating depression in his inability to please God through his own efforts. Luther came to hate God because he was unable to keep God’s law. He thought salvation was through his own efforts. Then Luther read the Scriptures – he came to understand that salvation is through the blood of Christ (precisely what Chrysostom and Augustine speak of in their teachings on justification). The Church has Scripture which it affirms, and this Scripture tells us how to know God – Luther, Chrysostom, Augustine, Ambrose understood the atonement. They knew Jesus. This was the very gospel (good news) that was lost in Luther’s world. This is what Luther brought back to the forefront and center in the Reformation. You may not want to believe it, but do think and consider some more. I don’t know where you live – but go to a good Church, listen to the Word preached – if you live near a solid conservative Lutheran Church, go and consider what you see take place there , if you think it was all invented by Luther in the 1600s I would say you are very wrong. The Reformation was built on the good news of Jesus bloody death on the cross for our sins. It was not a new invention.

  39. CD-Host says:

    Being freely justified through the blood of Christ … is precisely what the Catholic teachings at the time of Luther were missing. Luther knew only works and more works. He thought salvation was through his own efforts…

    Thank you. Exactly.

    And what was the solution:
    Then Luther read the Scriptures

    Exactly. He rejected the historic church read the bible and came up with his own theory.

    As for Ambrose agreeing with you salvation by faith alone:

    You have heard, O parents, in what virtues and pursuits you ought to train your daughters, that you may possess those by whose merits your faults may be redeemed. The virgin is an offering for her mother, by whose daily sacrifice the divine power is appeased.link

    Salvation through vicarious virginity? You sure he agrees with you on “by faith alone”?

  40. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, The Church trusts the Scriptures – the early Church Fathers were not making it up. Augustine is still studied in the Catholic Church today. These teachings were part of the Church – Luther was one of the reformers who came to understand the gospel through the teachings and Scripture of the Church – and together with others sought to reform the Church and bring it back to teachings it held, but had been corrupted by false teaching over time. I think you can understand this, but it does not fit with your theory that no one ever believed this way before Luther and the Reformers – this is simply not true because they were not inventing any new doctrine, they simply realized the Church had lost the central teaching of Jesus sacrificial death for our sins and everything He accomplished for us on the cross.

  41. CD-Host says:

    4fivesola —

    The church did not trust the scriptures in and of themselves, they trusted the scriptures via. apostolic authority.

    As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it…

    (quote continues)

  42. CD-Host says:

    But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth ( Irenaeus, Against Heresies, I.10.2)

    The 2nd century church fathers knew about draw your faith exclusively from scripture and rejected it firmly, including the people you keep citing one line from their body of work. Those people were from Gnostic groups and the church attacked them as heretics and schismatics.

    Ignatius was familiar with the doctrine of election and totally rejected it,

    If anyone is truly religious, he is a man of God; but if he is irreligious, he is a man of the devil, made such, not by nature, but by his own choice….there is set before us life upon our observance [of God’s precepts], but death as the result of disobedience, and every one, according to the choice he makes, shall go to his own place, let us flee from death, and make choice of life.

    I’m willing to grant Augustine as a father of Protestantism, even though he rejected the legitimacy of any church even if it had the correct belief in schism. Those proto-Protestant themes were present in his work, and at the time he was writing Christian Gnosticism was essentially dead as a threat. Phillip Lee today has a terrific book (which you can read about 1/2 of online) called Against the Protestant Gnostics which addresses this theme that step by step on those issues on which the Catholics and the Gnostics disagreed, Protestantism has/is adopting Gnostic position via. sola-scriptura.

  43. CD-Host says:

    I don’t want you to believe anything I’m saying. I just want you to pick any church father other than Augustine and read something at length by him. My experience is Protestants like Jerome because his hermeneutic has a Protestant feel, Perpetual Virginity would be a great choice where you see him make a strong scriptural case which totally denies sola-fide. Or just about anything from Ambrose whose interpretative methodology will offended you.

    Take a few hours and knock off one of their books. You will see Protestant themes, in isolation in all the fathers, but also their opposites, the Catholic positions, in most areas. Prior to Luther you never see the mixture. The mixture came from Luther, of if you want Augustine, he was a unique voice in the wilderness.

    Good talking to you.

  44. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, Don’t know if you’ve read much of John Chrysostom, but he is also an excellent Church Father. I read a daily devotional piece that alternates between quotes from Chrysostom, Augustine, and Luther.

  45. 4fivesolas says:

    ok, this is 4fivesolas’ wife talking — It may be inconceivable to us, but very FEW people actually read the Scriptures, Luther himself did not actually read them until he had been a monk for quite some time. The Scriptures are quite clear throughout that Sin is atoned for by the shedding of blood and this by faith and not external obedience to law. Look at Genesis, God did not solve Adam’s shame and sin problem by giving him a list of rules to keep, he sacrificed the first animal and provided covering for Adam’s shame. The same with Noah, he did not give Noah a list of rules to give to the wicked people around him. He gave Noah a prophecy of coming destruction and a promise of deliverance. The same with Abraham. He “cut” a covenant with Abraham. The circle cut borne in the flesh of his offspring acknowledge that God will be faithful to his promise without end. The promise of deliverance from sin for ALL peoples was included.
    Moses is where SEEMS a tad bit different, since Moses was establishing a nation, he gave moral law, (and directions for representative governance that even excited deists like Jefferson) but even so, this contradiction is only an apparent one, not an actual one, for within all the Levitical law is the understanding that sacrifices are required and through the blood of the sacrifice, or more clearly the faith of the one offering the sacrifice, sin is both atoned for AND righteousness is imputed. (It is apparent it is by the faith of the person because “sacrifice without repentence is detestable” and when they sojourned in the wilderness, no one made sacrifices! Yet, they were delivered.

  46. 4fivesolas says:


    I LOVE what you said about him being “a unique voice in the wilderness” All the prophets that make up the Cannon of Holy Scripture were to a degree “lone voices in the wilderness.” Some were actually called this and one wailed even mourned about it to God. The people had a nasty habit of murdering God’s prophets from Cain onward. The fact that they were listened to at all– only points to the power of God’s Holy Word.

    The story of the Old Testament and the New also prophesies it, is that the people of God were perpetually descending into error, and rejecting God and his Word, and it was the duty of the prophet to call them out of error!
    And the descent into error that protestants are plummeting into (gnostic error at that) is not something my husband would disagree with. Trust me I hear about it OFTEN!

    But slow down for a minute and stay on topic, the Old Testament and New teaches atonement is by blood and that sacrifice cannot be made or participated in without inward faith, nor does it NEED to be made or participated in, by a person of faith, if they are somehow prevented from doing so. This effectually throws works under the bus. EARLY church fathers were in tune with this. As for the later ones, who rejected this, well my husband would rank them in value with Benny Hinn and Charles Finney.

    Sorry to butt in and I will now butt out!! Have a good one!

  47. CD-Host says:

    Mr. and Mrs 4fivesolas —

    I’m trying to sign off for a while since actually discussing the bible seems to tick people off around here. I’d be happy to take this up at your or my blog. Just drop me a note at church-discipline.

    As for Chrysostom here is my read:

    Sola scriptura — He had a very high view of scripture but he saw the liturgy as representing the core of Christian practice and knowledge. The liturgy and the rites were the final authority. For most doctrines the liturgy isn’t going to say much. So I’ll go 90% here.

    Sola fide — I can see an argument for that from his writings.
    Sola gratia — I think this is true of essentially all Catholic thinkers as well as Protestants, check.
    Solus Christus — Denies the priesthood of believers. So I can’t see how you make a case for this one from him. No check.
    Soli Deo gloria — He’s the one who wrote the appeals to the saints for blessing. So nope.

    Ms Sola
    The same with Noah, he did not give Noah a list of rules to give to the wicked people around him.

    I’d argue Gen 9 he hands down 7 moral laws:
    Prohibition of Idolatry
    Prohibition of Murder
    Prohibition of Theft
    Prohibition of Sexual immorality
    Prohibition of Blasphemy
    Prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive
    Establishment of courts of law

    EARLY church fathers were in tune with this. As for the later ones, who rejected this, well my husband would rank them in value with Benny Hinn and Charles Finney.

    You are actually agreeing with me here not your husband. 🙂 I was arguing that 600-1400 you don’t have anything Protestantism. Pick a spot to continue.

  48. Rick B says:

    Talking about the Bible does not tick people off as you say. We talk about the Bible with the LDS.
    What bothers us is, You claim to be an atheist and hate God, You might not say, I hate God, but we clearly see hostitly towards the God of the Bible from you, many have said this.

    Then you come on here and try telling us we believe things we dont. I know the LDS have accused us of that. But here is the Difference. LDS will say, we dont believe Adam is God, yet the LDS prophets taught this and even said, Your salvation hangs upon knowing this. And it is the LDS prophets who said, you must listen to them or you could lose your salvation, and they are supposed to be “true prophets” Of God teaching this stuff.

    Then you come on here and tell me I follow Luther, Calvin and others, I’m telling you they dont spoeak for me and never will. The Apostle Paul said Follow me as I follow Jesus. Jesus said I am the Way, The Truth The Life. Jesus did not say, Follow the men that will come down the line in many years.

    I keep telling you, if Luther, Calvin or any one else believes what Jesus said and Taught, then great, we both agree on the Bible. If they teach or say something that goes against what Jesus said or taught, then they are to be ignored. The LDS only ignore some teachings while still believing in the false prophets. This is the difference, and yet you dont care and dont believe it. you still try and convince us we follow these men even when we tell you we dont.

  49. 4fivesolas says:

    CD, No I agree with my wife. Many of the teaching during the middle ages became corrupted and moved towards a works righteousness, rather than through the atonement of Christ. A lot of false teaching arose – thus the need for the reformation. I objected to your statement that Luther and the reformers introduced something new, never before seen – which is false. Luther specifically condemns many of the false teachings. If there were no falsehood, the Reformation would have been unnecessary. So I very much appreciate and understand the way God used the Reformers to bring the Church back to the truth of Jesus crucified for our sins, the centrality of the gospel. I also believe a lot of what passes for Christianity today is really Gnosticism. I think Mormonism is really a form of Gnosticism or mystery religion. I think the “mystery religion” is the great enemy of the true faith – it is the false religion that takes on many forms.

  50. CD-Host says:

    4fivesolas —

    Like I said I’m trying to drop off from here I’d be happy to take this up on another blog. I don’t want to do it here. I’m actually not disagreeing in fact I have a 3 part series on my blog where I talk about Mormonism as Hermetic Christianity. Just drop a note at my blog if you want to continue and where.

    As an aside, another from Chrysostom I ran into today:

    [Paul commands,] ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter’ [2 Thess. 2:15]. From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there is much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further” (Homilies on Second Thessalonians [A.D. 402]).

    Rick —

    Go file a complaint with the church of atheism to get me excommunicated for liking Mormonism. As for the rest, you do follow Luther. I understand you want to equivocate the two but that doesn’t change the facts, and frankly changes ignorance to idolatry. Your freaking out about that perhaps is caused by a little doubt you might be having about all those scriptures being so clear cut.

    Maybe Eph. 2:19–20, with its vision of an apostolic church. Maybe 2 Thess. 2:15, 1 Cor. 11:2 with its support for tradition “the words of man”. Maybe how often Jesus quotes the apocrypha. Maybe laying on of hands Acts 8:14–17. I don’t know nor do I care. Live in peace.

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