Does the lack of clear and exact boundaries mean the collapse of all meaningful distinctions?

On a public Facebook thread I asked the Great Pumpkin question. A Mormon responded with the following:

Aaron, by going to an extreme and wondering about the absurd belief in a great pumpkin, I understand that you are attempting to draw out a principle. The principle seems to be that you believe there is an established Christian tradition and theology which must be adhered to. A person who’s beliefs fall outside such traditions and theology would therefore be non-Christian.

Let’s handle Christian tradition first, then we’ll talk about doctrinal tradition. Protestants differ AMONG THEMSELVES in the amount of accumulated Christian heritage they accept. Many Protestants don’t venerate the saints, or observe Lent, or know that Saint Swinith’s day is July 15th. Is there some critical percentage of non-biblical traditions that must be believed, some specific amount of the accumulated customs that one must accept in order to be a true Christian, so that by accepting 50 percent, say, of the post biblical material one is Christian, but not with 49 percent? Or are there certain key non-biblical traditions that must be accepted such as observing Easter on the right day, while other trivial traditions may be safely ignored, such as eating fish on Friday? And exactly who decides which customs are dispensable and which ones are not, and by what authority do they do so, if the traditions are admittedly non-biblical to begin with? Who preserves the REAL post biblical “Christian tradition,” the Greek Orthodox monks at the Mar Saba monastery or the faith-healing TV evangelist from Texas?

What exactly is THE Christian tradition, and how can Mormons be expected to accept it, when “mainline” Christians disagree among themselves on virtually every aspect of it? To quote David Steinmetz, Kearns Professor of the History of Christianity at Duke University: “Christians have argued over every conceivable point of Christian doctrine from the filoque to the immaculate conception. There is scarcely an issue of worship, theology, ethics, and politics over which some Christians have not disagreed amongst themselves.”

Like the modern Latter Day Saints, the Puritans rejected any practice or custom from the Christian tradition that could not be found in the New Testament. And according to Kenneth Scott Latourette, (author of the two-volume History of Christianity and former president of the American Historical Association, the American Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society . . .as well as the recipient of honorary doctorates from seventeen universities in five countries) the Christian Seekers, among them Roger Williams and George Fox, “held that Antichrist had ruled so long that no true churches or valid office-holders existed and could not until God sent apostles to establish and ordain new ones.” Now, this is very similar to the Latter Day Saint view. Does that make these venerable Protestants non-Christians? Remember, the question here isn’t whether their belief was correct; rather, the question is, If the Puritans, Separatists (among them our own Pilgrim Fathers), and the Christian Seekers can utterly reject the historical Christian tradition beyond the warrant of the New Testament and still be Christians, why can’t the Latter Day Saints?

Now, on to doctrinal tradition:

One might argue that it is not the customs and traditions of the historical church that must be accepted, but only the DOCTRINES of the historical councils and creeds. But if the councils and creeds teach doctrines not found in the New Testament, on what authority must they be accepted? And if one assumes that the councils and creeds merely repeat or summarize the doctrines of the New Testament without adding to them, then why is it necessary to accept them IN ADDITION to the New Testament itself? Only by making the councils the primary source s of Christian doctrine and the New Testament scriptures secondary can you exclude Mormons as Christians, even theoretically.

Iif you argue that it is necessary for Latter Day Saints to accept the councils in order to be Christian, then I might well ask. WHICH councils must be accepted? Some denominations place their break with the traditional church at A.D 451, while others put it at 787, 1054, or 1517. Regardless of who was right and who was wrong in any of the schisms, in each case SOMEBODY was rejecting the authority of a mother church and refusing to be bound by its traditions and doctrines. Yet no one seriously accuses the Armenians, Copts, Syrians, Greek Orthodox, or Protestants of being non-Christian for having done this. If you argue that Mormons aren’t Christians because we reject the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), couldn’t Catholics argue that Protestants aren’t Christians because they reject the Council of Trent (A.D. 1545-47)?

Suppose for a moment that the Latter Day Saints were to take seriously the demand that they conform in every particular to “Christian” doctrine, and that they then made the attempt to do so. Having complied with such a demand, would the Latter Day Saints find themselves in total agreement with Protestants or with Catholics? Would they believe in apostolic succession or in the Priesthood of All Believers? Would they recognize an archbishop, a patriarch, a pope, a monarch, or no one at all as the head of Christ’s church on earth? Would they be saved by grace alone, or would they find the sacraments of the church necessary for salvation? Would they believe in free will or in predestination? Would they practice water baptism? If so, would it be by immersion, sprinkling, or some other method? Would they believe in a substitutionary, representative, or exemplary atonement? Would they or would they not believe in “original sin”? And on and on . . .

It is unreasonable for other Christians to demand that Latter Day Saints conform to a single standard of “Christian” doctrine when they do not agree AMONG THEMSELVES upon exactly what that standard is. To do so is to establish a double standard; doctrinal diversity is tolerated in some churches, but not in others. The often-heard claim that all true Christians share a common core of necessary Christian doctrine rests on the dubious proposition that all present differences between Christian denominations are over purely secondary or even trivial matters — matters not central to Christian faith. This view is very difficult to defend in the light of Christian history, and might be easier to accept if Protestants and Catholics — or Protestant and PROTESTANTS for that matter — had not once burned each other at the stake as non-Christian heretics over these same “trivial differences.”

I responded with the following.

That an exact boundary is not known between two things doesn’t disqualify the identification of those two things as distinct and different. I don’t know when exactly night becomes day, or day becomes night, but the two are clearly different. One classical example is that of a bearded man. We know the difference between a beard and mere stubble, even though we can’t identify when exactly one becomes the other.

If a lack of clear and exact boundaries means the collapse of all meaningful distinctions, then anything and everything can be associated with traditional Christianity, including a belief system that says Jesus is Xenu the Galactic Warlord of Scientology, or that the Father is a Great Pumpkin in the sky. Because Christianity cannot give a consistent, exact boundary line between the two “countries”, as it were, do you want to legitimize the invasion of one of those countries with almost anything and everything that can conceivably be thought of?

You throw your arms up in the air over diversity within traditional Christianity, but overlook the staggering diversity of thought within Mormonism, not just over philosophical issues, but over tenets that Christianity has always held fundamental to its center. Mormons disagree over whether Heavenly Father once perhaps sinned, just how horrifically sinful he could have been, whether men can be worshiped someday by billions of their own spirit children, whether the Holy Spirit prepared Mary’s body so that Heavenly Father could have physical sex with her, whether God has always been God, whether there is an infinite regression of Gods, whether Heavenly Father is our “literal” father via sexual union between Heavenly Mother(s) and Heavenly Father, etc. None of those issues are unclear or disputed in traditional Christianity. Every one of them is immediately identified as pagan, non-Christian heresy.

This really is about differing value systems. Let me put it starkly: Mormonism has a clear position on the correct mode of baptism, but it can’t tell me whether or not Heavenly Father was a child predator before becoming an exalted God among the genealogy of the Gods. Christianity happens to value knowing the latter more than knowing the former.

On a last note, if lack of clear and exact boundaries means the collapse of all meaningful distinctions, then that comes back on Mormonism as well. Surely Mormonism is *something*, and not *something else*. But if Mormonism cannot define its own boundaries, at least with regard to the boundaries of its tradition of acceptable thought, then (according to this logic) anything and everything can be attributed to Mormonism, including the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Taoism, Buddhism, and Islam. I don’t think you have thought through the implications of this.

Either both Christianity and Mormonism have their own limits, or they have none. It’s one thing to push the limits or show the lack of clear and exact boundaries. It’s quite another to abandon limitations altogether.

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21 Responses to Does the lack of clear and exact boundaries mean the collapse of all meaningful distinctions?

  1. falcon says:

    In his book “Essential Christianity”, Walter Martin lays out the basic doctrinal points of what is considered orthodox Christianity. I’ve listed them several times on this blog. It’s not that difficult to delineate the specific points.
    Mormons aren’t even within the mainstream of Christian thought when it comes to the very basic question and that is “Who is God?” Mormons have a different God. In fact they believe in the existence of a pantheon of gods and believe that men can become gods just like the god who rules our particular solar system. Their god lives on the planet Kolob with his many wives where they pass their time procreating spirit children who will procure human bodies and start their journey to becoming gods themselves. This is just plain nutty. It’s not even good heresy!
    Mormonism is the result of the mental meanderings of a man, Joseph Smith. Like several other “prophets” of his day, he got caught up in the zeitgeist of the time he lived in and created a religion. He mixed together some evangelical Christian revivalism, some of the Bible, Free masonry, a common theory of the origin of the American Indians, and his experience in folk magic to create a religion. His foray into polygamy satisfied his own lustful desires by sanctioning it as sacred and claiming it as a necessity for becoming a god.
    Smith’s concoction isn’t good enough to be heresy. It’s just plain looney tunes.
    Anyone with an once of sense and a modicum of spiritual discernment can smoke this fraud out in a second. The problem is, there is a segment of society that will believe the absurd because it’s absurd. The convoluted nature of the claim proves it’s legitimacy in their view.

  2. Clyde6070 says:

    Wow as the blog turns has taken a cool twist. A lot of question arise from what has been said some implied by ones own belief. One good question Aaron ask is whether God ever sinned. But where in this line of progression are we if God had to live on a planet like us. Do we have a Grandfather God, a great grandfather God, a great great grandfather God and I could carry this on forever but I will stop there. We are trying to learn about God and Jesus. I believe in pre-existence-implications I lived with Jesus. Do I remember anything about it-no but I am left with a basis which God can judge me by. Comparing this life with my pre-existent one. Am I correct in what I believe? I am not sure but I know I need to study and learn more. So I await on what others can come up with.

  3. Tom says:

    falcon is spot on. Personally, it doesn’t matter whether Mormons are categorized as Christians or not (although, I like the idea of calling them Christians, albeit heretical Christians). What matters to me is that they are wrong. To me it is/was an unlivable belief system, one with which, to my satisfaction, God is NOT pleased.

  4. falcon says:

    Well is there anything in the Bible that talks about a preexistence? Mormons have to do a lot of massaging of the Scriptures to come up with the view they hold but taking a disciplined, systematic approach to Biblical interpretation isn’t going to yield support for such a notion.
    That’s the problem with “revelation” as practiced by Mormons. A “prophet” gets a notion and then scrambles around to find support (for it). To be fair, I see the same thing done by the Word of Faith Christians who would find support for their premise on the role of faith and the Scriptures and the ability of Christians to accomplish certain ends by using their means/methods.
    Catholics hold fast to the Word and tradition. There is a place for tradition because you can look to the tradition of the Christian faith to see how the Scriptures were implemented (for lack of a better word). The Church Fathers had to approach the early heretics this way because the heretics would twist the Scriptures to support their heretical notions. The Church Fathers would walk them back and ask for any support in the traditions of the Faith for what the heretics were proposing.
    This is where Mormonism has a lot of problems. There are no Biblical or extra-Biblical writings by the Church Fathers to support Mormonism. There is simply no documentation that Mormonism ever existed in the early, primitive Christian Church. Mormonism was an invention of Joseph Smith. He defined it the way he wanted it and those who followed him adjusted it to their own particular ideas and creative bent.
    Today, there are all sorts of sects of Mormonism, mainly due I’d say, to this tradition of certain men getting thoughts, attributing those thoughts to revelation from God, and canonizing them.

  5. Rick B says:

    One thing said by the person on face book to Aaron was,

    or observe Lent,

    I and every Believer at the Church I go to observes lent every year, Every year for Lent the thing we all give up is, (Lent). What a great thing to give up, it real Free’s us to know we can follow some man made rule and yet fit in with everyone one else. So we simply give up lent, for lent every year.

  6. Mike R says:

    Clyde, you stated, ” So I wait on what others can come up with .” Clyde consider taking this
    step : face the reality of what your prophets and apostles have ” come up with” and taught as
    spiritual truth concerning who God and Jesus are etc. This ministry has provided you with ample
    evidence that Mormon leaders are false teachers, Jesus warned us all of such men —-Matt 7:15.
    Being a member of an organization that constantly stress doing good things is great but a lifetime
    of being a nice person can’t make for following a false prophet , there is a steep price to pay for
    such —Isa.9:16; Matt.15:14 . Do the right thing and dismiss these men from your life and step
    out and ask Jesus to guide you to a complete relationship with Him and a place to worship Him.
    This won’t be easy. We’re all pulling for you .

  7. falcon says:

    I’ve referenced the book “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer several times in the past. It presents a very good example of the legacy of Joseph Smith regarding “prophets” and the process of personal revelation. This type of revelation is what Smith used to hook people into his religion. The problem was that if every person could receive personal revelation from the Lord, why did they need Joseph Smith? Why was his revelation any more valid than that of anyone else?
    Smith said that his job was to restore God’s one true church and usher in the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. So when he got a new idea, it became revealed truth. His religion morphed into something other than what it was in the beginning based on his new revelations.
    So God became someone other than He was in the BoM. Smith also took his original Book of Commandments and came up with a new and improved version which he christianed the Doctrine and Covenants.
    Subsequent Mormon prophets have seen fit to define Mormonism according to their own particular “revelations” thus polygamy, which was once necessary for achieving the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom, was canned. It was the same for the denial of blacks in the priesthood. The sacred temple rituals preserved by the Free Masons, were changed because they offended modern sensibilities.
    Of the 70-odd sects of Mormonism that exists today, all claim a prophet, a revelation and the coveted title of keepers of the truth.
    Without a firm foundation to stand on, Mormonism heads in which ever direction the wind blowing throw the prophets mind drives him. Operating under the cover of progressive revelation a Mormon prophet can’t be said to have gotten it wrong. The vision just became clearer.

  8. falcon says:

    OK, here’s something that I’ve posted once in the past and I think it’s a good time to post it again. This man, William Branham, is an interesting religious figure and I believe it gets to this idea of folks receiving visions, dreams, revelations and “a word” from the Lord.
    I would especially invite Mormons to view a video of this guy, especially his “testimony”, and ask themselves why would they believe Joseph Smith any more than a person like William Branham. Now if the reply was that they prayed about the BoM and got a confirming feeling that they just know came from the Lord, then I’d say that’s a test that I think is pretty unreliable.
    It’s about the same as any of the “prophets” of Mormonism who are running about the countryside out in the west proclaiming their own visions, dreams and revelations.
    Here’s another one, a contemporary of Joseph Smith and a Mormon leader.
    The point is that there are countless individuals who conjure up their own particular brand of Christianity. Some are a little off the bubble but many are so far fetched that it’s amazing that they draw believers, but they do.

  9. grindael says:

    I am continually amazed at the growing dichotomy of modern Mormonism. On the one hand, we have modern “leaders” speaking of the Church as “divinely inspired” from it’s inception to the present day, but on the other, we have “apologists” crying in loud voices that the Mormon “god” is a blundering idiot that allows men to teach false doctrine, racism and a plethora of other man-made speculations (and wrap them up in a cloak of “officialism” for years and years – like Adam-god, the priesthood ban, etc., etc.).

    To get out of the obvious dilemma this creates, they have instituted a series of PR moves to make doctrine more constricted and often “vague”, and make their “leaders” into those who only work within the framework of social convention. I’ve had more than one Mormon “apologist” tell me that the church’s obvious racism (doctrine of Cain) was a product of the times, and that their “god” actually just let it run it’s course in the church until they were ‘ready’ to accept the fact that this was indeed racism. Bruce McConkie attested the same for Adam-god.

    Yet we have those modern “apostles” and “prophets” regurgitating the same old message that all the rest have from the beginning, that their “god’s” “guiding hand” has been with the church since the beginning and that it is “he” that is running the show, and that in no way the “leaders” can be led astray by anything. “It’s NOT in the programme”.. blah, blah, blah.

    In Mormonism, it’s all about what you can get away with, and any excuse will do. Throw the former leaders under the bus, but don’t REALLY throw them under the bus. This approach is unsustainable, but their money will keep it going for a while.

  10. falcon says:

    Yesterday I was listening to a radio talk show and they had a segment with the Mormon fella who wrote “Mormonism For Dummies”. He’s an affable sort who answered a variety of questions about Mormonism from the host and callers. One question that I thought was very good was one where the caller asked about “Kolob”.
    The answer was handled in a way I thought was quite interesting. I believe the words “obscure” and “folklore” was used. I thought that was pretty clever. It went something like, “Yes, there is an obscure reference to a star called Kolob by one of our early leaders but it isn’t something that’s talked about much and has taken on a sort of folklore status in the church.”
    All better now! It’s obscure, it’s folklore, it’s not talked about and the implication is, of course, that it was a long time ago. This is pretty standard Mormon stuff when talking about things written and said by leaders that is down-right embarrassing and weird.
    I think former prophet Hinckley said about the men to god program that he didn’t know if it was taught any more and it wasn’t discussed much.
    grindael is right. Mormons are stuck with all of the goofy things that their infallible prophets proclaimed including the ever shifting view on the nature of God and of course the qualifications for human deification. What was right at one point in time is no longer applicable. It portrays the Mormon god as a being that is incredibly fickle and given to change.
    I didn’t realize until I looked it up, that Todd Compton who wrote his tome on the wives of Joseph Smith was what appears to be a liberal Mormon. Now these folks really have a struggle, I would think.

  11. SR says:

    falcon, I’ve always wondered about the whole Kolob thing, so I did a quick Google search and found that Kolob is referenced many times, and very directly in the Pearl of Great Price. In particular, it’s in Abraham 3. Now, (here) states that the Pearl of Great Price is one of the 4 Mormon scriptures, I find it odd that a Mormon would refer to the word and idea of Kolob as “obscure” and “folklore” — unless obscure means something else entirely to him? Because to me, nothing that is mentioned more than once in text considered to be Mormon scripture is obscure.

    On that note, I find it exhausting to try and figure out what JS was writing in either the BoM or the PoGP. To be honest, it’s why I don’t read the King James Bible. Why make it difficult to read? (Oh, maybe because they want to obscure actual meaning? Sorry, low blow.)

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone here who’s done more reading and studying than me (maybe even a Mormon who’s lurking around!) can explain to me just what everything in Abraham 3 means with regards, in particular TO Kolob? Just a thought …

  12. Mike R says:

    Grindael, those who are in false prophet led organizations have no choice but to throw out any
    type of excuse as to why their leaders are not false teachers. These people have been convinced
    that to revere their leaders as hand picked by God to relay His truth mankind is the most vital
    spiritual truth they embrace. To doubt /reject their prophets is akin to doubt God and that can
    lead to Satan gaining a foothold in their lives etc. So it’s premium rationalizing at it’s best from
    such people. I know you realize all this, but I just want to encourage you to keep doing what
    you’re doing. You’re planting seeds and you may never get to see the end result until they come
    up to you in heaven and thank you for being faithful to Jesus in warning about false teachers
    who claim to be modern- day apostles of Jesus —-Rev 2:2

  13. falcon says:

    If what you say is true, why is there so much confusion in Mormonism over “what counts” and “what doesn’t count” in Mormonism?
    That’s been a theme that has emerged on this blog over the years. Even when Mormons give us their criteria for “counts” it doesn’t hold up. For example, if something is proclaimed from the pulpit at a General Conference, it is said to “count”. However when we produce statements that have been made in this venue (GC), Mormons will still say that the leader or prophet was just expressing an opinion.
    Andy Watson used to carry about a satchel with documents with the LDS publishers trademark and show it to those Mormons he was interacting with. Even producing a document published by the LDS church isn’t enough proof as Mormons will sputter and stutter and be at a loss for words regarding what their own church puts in print.
    I was reading on another blog about the boys at FARMS trying to back-pedal on the “we will rule our own planets” statements by past Mormon authorities.
    These things often are defended by Mormons as “nuanced”, “obscure”, “a long time ago”, “folklore”, and “one leaders opinion”.
    I wonder if liberal Mormons “nuance” their interview with the Bishop when they go to pick-up their ticket to the temple?
    Remember that line?; “In Mormonism you can believe whatever you want. You just can’t teach it”.
    Documentation and information published by the LDS church is (the church”s) main problem when trying to defend and define Mormonism.
    In-the-end Mormonism is a religion of speculation, personal opinion fueled by imagination and a cauldron of bubbling ideas masquerading as divine revelation.

  14. Clyde6070 says:

    On rereading the blog I find several things very interesting. Aaron seems to worry more about what God might have been(according to mormonism) than what God truly is. All of the things he states seem to be just speculations in mormonism. I rarely hear them. I worry more about my behavior than God’s behavior during his mortal existence. I think more about what I might have done during my premortal existence that made me fit enough to get me to this place. There seems to be a lot of things that are implied but are left unanswered. To take his thought in another direction where in our progression are we? Where do we lie on the pedigree chart? Is this body we have the last piece of equipment we get before Godhood or do we have more phases to go through.
    I seldom worry about this or think about it. I know I have duties to perform and obligations to others and I hope that I can fulfill them with the help of God almighty.

  15. Mike R says:

    Falcon, you bring up some very good questions. The rationalizing done by influencial Mormons
    in trying to protect their leaders’ claims of being reliable guides in spiritual truth is something
    we need to expect. I expect them to come up with any type of response . I’ve also learned that a
    response can be far from an answer . For the Mormon Church to become accepted as another
    christian church in the public’s eye it has to deny in any manner possible some of their “unique”
    doctrines. To accomplish this the Hierarchy uses BYU professors , or those who work in their
    “unofficial ” apologetic organizations. This way if there’s ever a controversy then the leadership
    can always distance themselves from those “apologists” and blame the problem on them . This is
    what takes place when those in leadership are lawyers and business executives , they’ve learned
    to think ahead one step etc. The Mormon prophets are so similar to the leadership in another
    large prophet led organization in their authoritative claims and the way they’ve dealt with all
    their doctrinal problems over the years . This other false prophet led organization is the Watch-
    tower Society ( Jehovah’s witnesses ). They also resort to creative excuses to protect themselves
    against being seen as unreliable guides in spiritual truth. ( I started in witnessing to them before
    before Mormon prophets caught my attention, I was involved in a National ministry to them ) .
    These two groups have to try and deny their false prophets , and they’ve become very seasoned
    at doing it . Bottom line here is do’nt allow all the rationalizing they resort to cause you to give up
    ministering to them. We only plant seeds , God does the convicting and saving.

  16. Mike R says:

    Clyde, you’re a perfect example of why Jesus warned of false prophets that would come
    spiritually seduce people with a “another gospel” — 1 Jn.2:26; Gal.1:8-9. These type of
    prophets would heap so many rules, laws, commands, on their followers to get them in
    striving to earn their salvation/eternal life that they would have little or no time to step
    back and make sure these prophets are actually relaying truth from God or not. It appears
    all your ” duties and obligations” are causing you to fail to do just what needs to be done —test
    your prophets teachings with God’s word— 1 Jn.4:1 . Aaron is’nt worried about what your
    God may have done when He was a man, he is worried about YOU being deceived into embracing
    false doctrine, and when this doctrine concerns who God is then there are severe consequences
    to being wrong . Please note : it’s Mormon prophets and apostles who have been the ones that
    have promoted speculation under the guise of ” spiritual truth” — 2 Thess 2:2,3 ; 2Nephi 28:31 .
    Remember this fact: you don’t need these men to direct your life , you really don’t. There is a
    group of spiritual leaders who have been faithful to Jesus in what they have relayed from Him
    in the way of doctrinal purity . Thankfully , the teaching of these men can be easily accessed by
    anyone today by opening the N.T. — Jn.17:18-20; 2 John 9

  17. falcon says:

    So Mormonism is really just a lot of speculation and what’s really important is personal behavior?
    A couple of points. Why are you behaving yourself? What’s the point? So, I am behaving in a certain way so that……………………………….
    I’m wondering if the Mormon prophets and general authority types who made statements regarding all things Mormon were just speculating?
    Was Joseph Smith a true prophet of God? Speculation.
    Is the BoM an accurate account of a real people? Speculation.
    Is the Mormon church God’s one true church? Speculation.
    Is the current Mormon prophet God’s spokesman on earth? Speculation.
    Mormonism, I would agree, is mere speculation. Take it or leave it, right?

  18. Clyde6070 says:

    No Aaron is speculating. I was offering different ideas for thought.
    Why am I behaving myself? I find it interesting when a friend of mine said he was good for goodness sake and another was good because he feared God. I wonder which way is better in the eyes of God. So you might say I behave in a certain way so that I could be a prospect magnet and people will ask me what I believe in and why.

  19. Rick B says:

    Clyde said

    I find it interesting when a friend of mine said he was good for goodness sake and another was good because he feared God.

    See Clyde, This is why it is good to know your Bible. Jesus said, No man is Good. and the Bible tells us that our Hearts are desperately wicked. So much for being good, We are wicked evil people that do good things, but over all we are still no good and wicked.

  20. Clyde6070 says:

    Rick B.
    It seems that one has to explain in great detail what one means and not take a simply approach that I thought was easy to understand. What is interesting is what one does not do when one is doing good. A person sets standards for himself and tries to stay with them. It might seem that one is working for his salvation but he is not lowering his standards. I could mock christianity for saying your saved and don’t have to do anything and a person can still lie, steal and cheat. One changes his life so turns from what he has done before. It is like quiting smoking. Some can do it cold turkey and some need help.

  21. Rick B says:

    Clyde said

    I could mock christianity for saying your saved and don’t have to do anything and a person can still lie, steal and cheat.

    Sadly Mormons do, do this and as a result will hear from God when He says, Depart from me you workers of evil, for I NEVER KNEW YOU.

    You guys really need to read the Bible and stop throwing it under the bus. You guys really ignore all the verses that say stuff like, You are saved BY GRACE and NOT of WORKS, Lest any man should boast.

    You ignore Jesus saying, the only work you must Do is BELIEVE upon the one God sent.

    Or Paul saying to the Jailer, just believe and you will be saved. Yet if you want to insult God by saying His sons death on the Cross was not enough and you must add to what His Son Did, then go right ahead, but just remember when you die and awake in hell, you were warned by many that your leaders are not telling you the truth and leading you on the path to eternal damnation. And Gods word that you reject tells you this also.

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