The Dying Christ

As we approach Good Friday, the Cross of Christ is on our hearts and minds. The cross, the great symbol of the Christian faith — the symbol of our hope and assurance — is not embraced by all as an apt expression of one’s faith in and devotion to Christ.

The Mormon Church chooses different symbolism to represent the faith of its members. At lds.org we’re told,

“The cross is used in many Christian churches as a symbol of the Savior’s death and Resurrection and as a sincere expression of faith. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Savior. But because the Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith.”

CrucifiedHeel

Heel bone of a crucified man, Israel Museum

Past Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley explained,

“For us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ…”

“This was the cross, the instrument of his torture, the terrible device designed to destroy the Man of Peace, the evil recompense for his miraculous work of healing the sick, of causing the blind to see, of raising the dead. This was the cross on which he hung and died on Golgotha’s lonely summit…

“On Calvary he was the dying Jesus. From the tomb he emerged the living Christ. The cross had been the bitter fruit of Judas’ betrayal, the summary of Peter’s denial. The empty tomb now became the testimony of His divinity, the assurance of eternal life…” (“The Symbol of Christ,” Ensign, May 1975)

This thinking has filtered down through the church’s membership to often be expressed something like this:

“Most Mormons find displays of the cross to be distasteful.  On my mission, I remember being asked why Mormons don’t show the cross.  My standard response was that if Christ had been killed by a knife, gun, or electric chair, would we hang one of those weapons around our neck in remembrance. The cross was a very gruesome, tortured way to die.”

Indeed, on the face of it, it does seem incongruous to wear or display an instrument of torture and death as a symbol of eternal hope; but there is good reason for it. Please read on.

The Wondrous Cross

by Keith Mathison

I sometimes wonder how many Christians stop to think about how incredibly odd it is that crucifixes are used as works of art. Crucifixes adorn church architecture, classic paintings, sculpture, and even jewelry. But consider for a moment what a crucifix was originally. It was a means of execution. In fact, it was and is one of the most ghastly means of execution ever devised by man. So horrible was it that it was reserved for the lowest of the low: slaves, pirates, and rebels. Roman citizens were exempt. Cultured Romans considered it unworthy of discussion in polite company. Yet today we wear this symbol of degrading and humiliating death around our necks. The jarring nature of this is not immediately apparent to us because over time, the symbol of the cross has lost many of its original connotations. To get some idea of the oddity, imagine seeing people wearing necklaces with images of a guillotine or an electric chair.

What happened, then, to account for the change? We know Jesus was put to death on a Roman cross, but what was it about His death that transformed this symbol of horror into a symbol of hope? In the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion we read, for the most part, about what any observer on the hill that day would have seen. We do not read as much about the interpretation of what was going on until we get to the book of Acts and the Epistles. In Paul’s preaching, for example, he explained from the Old Testament that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and that Jesus was the Messiah (Acts 17:2–3). But where would Paul have gone in the Old Testament to prove that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer? There are a number of texts to which he could have turned (for example, Ps. 16; 22), but one of the most significant was likely Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

Isaiah 52:13–53:12 is one of Isaiah’s “Servant Songs.” In the first Servant Song (42:1–9), Isaiah describes the Servant’s mission to establish justice and a kingdom across the earth. The second Servant Song (49:1–6) describes the Servant’s mission to restore Israel. The third Servant Song (50:4–9) reveals the obedience of the Servant and the suffering he endures as a result. The fourth and final Servant Song then reveals how the Servant will redeem his people. It reveals that his suffering will be the means by which he delivers his people from sin. It reveals that he will take their sin upon himself. Isaiah writes (53:5):

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

This is what happened on the cross as Jesus was crucified. He was God’s Servant. He was the one whom God revealed to Isaiah eight centuries before His death. On the cross, He took our sins upon Himself and bore God’s wrath. His death was the atonement for all of our sins. We who have placed our faith in Jesus have forgiveness of sins and peace with God because of what was accomplished on the cross. Is it any wonder that Paul declares to the Corinthian church: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

Think on this. Let it sink in. Christ suffered and died on the cross because of sin. Your sin. My sin. Since the fall, sin has been the problem in the world. We do not think much of sin in our day and age. We are beyond such things. Sin is an “old-fashioned” and outdated concept, or so we think.

If you want to know the true perspective on the seriousness of sin, however, look to the cross. Look at the extreme nature of the solution to this problem. If sin were “no big deal,” would God have sent His only begotten Son to die a shameful death on a cross to deal with it? And what kind of love is this? What kind of love is displayed when God sends His only begotten Son to die for the sins we commit against Him? This is love of a kind and degree that we can hardly fathom. This is what changed the cross from a symbol of fear to a symbol of faith. This is what led Isaac Watts to write:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: [email protected] Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

 

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 Christianity, Jesus Christ, LDS Church, Mormon Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

161 Responses to The Dying Christ

  1. falcon says:

    I was praying today and the Lord Jesus impressed on me the necessity of asking the Mormon posters when they think He became a god.
    So in obedience to what I believe He told me to do, I will ask them.

    Mormons, when do you believe that Jesus became a god?

  2. Clyde6070 says:

    Grindael
    Very good blog. One thing to ponder is that Jesus died on a cross. Like He was a common thief. We are suppose to respect somebody who died that way? If I lived back then I probably would not respect him due to the fact that he bought shame to his family by dieing that way.
    What happens a couple of days later? He is walking around again. Wow!!!
    Falcon
    Ask Andy Watson about that. He may be able to provide you with a better answer than I could. You see that was one of the problems before the Trinity became the doctrine of Christianity. Where Jesus stood in the line of deity-subordinate, equal to, or same as. My simple answer to you would that he became God so long ago, that the Universe wasn’t in existence.

  3. MistakenTestimony says:

    Clyde,

    You said, “My simple answer to you would that he became God so long ago, that the Universe wasn’t in existence.”

    That almost sounds like Nicene Christianity: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten of the Father in eternity, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father”, except for you saying “he became God” meaning that he was made as not God and then became a god. However, Mormonism teaches that there was no time when the Universe was not in existence. D&C 93:33 states that, “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy.” The seminary study guide’s commentary for the word “element” is “basic unit of physical matter”, thus the basic units of physical matter are eternal. Along with this revelation that was given to Joseph Smith he also gave a sermon before his death stating that the elements “may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They had not beginning, and can have no end.” Joseph Smith would therefore disagree with you that Jesus “became God so long ago, that the Universe wasn’t in existence.”

  4. Clyde6070 says:

    I believe Joseph Smith also said that the material God is ‘Made of’ is purer than the stuff we are made of now. Another thing is did God make or organize things to bring things into existence?
    These are interesting things to speculate about but how do these things help in understanding human nature? How can I make the world a better place? How can I do the right things without thinking I am doing them for the glory of God? In other words I am making it look natural and it has become second nature to me. If we are to follow a creed then that locks us in to a possible limitation of our understanding of what God is.

  5. grindael says:

    Just wondering why Christ would say, “take his cross & follow me” if the greater part of the atonement took place in the garden.

    Good point, OM. The fact that Jesus apostles, who transcribed his words used the Greek word for CROSS in describing the manner of the atonement is because they wanted the word inextricably linked to the atonement of Christ. Jesus knew the manner of his death,

    And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside along the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him. And the third day He shall rise again.”

    Therefore his apostles, with great clarity wrote “take up your cross”, not take up your sacrifice, burden, hardship or any other Greek word to describe it. The word CROSS was extremely important to them, and they used it freely to describe these events and how Christ took the shame of it and transformed it into an honorable and noble event. Using the imagery of the CROSS is a natural progression of Christian tradition used not in imitation of pagan ideology or any other reason some had postulated, but as something Jesus apostles stressed as important and unique to the whole movement from the very beginning of it.

  6. grindael says:

    One thing to ponder is that Jesus died on a cross. Like He was a common thief. We are suppose to respect somebody who died that way? If I lived back then I probably would not respect him due to the fact that he bought shame to his family by dieing that way. What happens a couple of days later? He is walking around again. Wow!

    I’m not sure what you are getting at here Clyde. Those that knew Jesus and weren’t affiliated with one of the Jewish factions that opposed him, knew that he was not a criminal and that he was innocent. Also, I would respect him (as I would anyone) that healed the sick, fed the hungry, taught love and peace and did not try to aggrandize himself or Lord it over those that followed him. If he was then hung on a cross it would only make me respect him more for dying for his convictions.

  7. falcon says:

    clyde,
    Wait a minute, in the Mormon scheme of things, don’t people “become” gods only after having gone through some probationary period on a planet like earth? Even the Mormon heavenly father god had to do that didn’t he?
    Your response that Jesus became a god so long ago doesn’t make sense. Did you become a god a long time ago clyde or are you having to wait until you have done enough and then die to become a god?

    So in Mormon doctrine, the Mormon Jesus couldn’t have been fully God and fully man when He died on the cross unless he had done all of his temple work (borrowed from the Free Masons) on another planet, right?

    Looking at Mormonism, Jesus wasn’t “a god” when He was spirit born via the Mormon heavenly father and one of his many wives on or near the planet Kolob.

    Did the Mormon Jesus, after spirit birth, go to another earth like planet, get his god credentials then become a humanoid again on planet earth, the one we are living on?
    That’s apparently how it worked because wasn’t there, in Mormon lore, a meeting of the pantheon of Mormon gods where Jesus volunteered to come to earth?
    So was the Mormon Jesus a god before he came to earth, having become one after doing “the work” on another earth like planet?

    Help us out here clyde.

  8. falcon says:

    clyde,

    So the Mormon Jesus would have to had been a human twice, the way I figure it.
    And actually the Mormon Jesus would have had to have been a Mormon heavenly father prior to coming to this planet. The Mormon Jesus would have already have had his own planetary system to rule prior to his time on this earth and a stable of wives.
    No wonder Mormons like this stuff.
    It makes so much more sense than the Doctrine of the Trinity and is very easy to understand.

  9. falcon says:

    So clyde this is how it works.

    Mormon doctrine, especially when it comes to the Doctrine of God, is like a big ball of string. The Mormon prophets are really like Mormon cats playing with the string. As they bat the doctrinal ball of string around with their speculative Mormon cat paws, it becomes tangled around their paws, their ears, their necks and their Mormon tails.
    Pretty soon the Mormon cat prophets are so entangled with their speculative Mormon doctrinal ball of string, that they are hog tied.
    So someone comes along, cuts all of the string from the prophet cats and declares that the Mormon prophet cats were just playing all along. It was just a game. It doesn’t count any more.

  10. jaxi says:

    Clyde,

    <"If we are to follow a creed then that locks us in to a possible limitation of our understanding of what God is."

    The Creed protects the faith from people that try to say God was something he wasn't or say he was not something that he was. Im really not sure why you think the Christian God is limited by the Creed. THe LDS God is limited. He is limited by matter because he can only work with the matter that already exists and the amount that is exists. He is limited in knowledge because he is still progressing. He is limited by existing in a linear time frame. So if you mean that the Creed puts limits on God, I would disagree. If you mean that the creed puts limits on what anyone wants to think about God I would say thats accurate. The creed is not to limit God, it is to limit man from turning Him into whatever they fancy. Which is exactly what Joseph Smith did.

  11. Old man says:

    Falcon

    Spot on! I don’t see how any LDS member can work around that although I’m sure some will try. I thought about adding some remarks of my own to show just how nonsensical the man becoming god doctrine really is but it’s not necessary, as you’ve covered what is probably the most serious issue. So, instead of adding to what you’ve said I’ll ask you a question,
    Do you ever wonder how Alice felt when she followed the white rabbit? I ask this because I sometimes feel that LDS doctrine comes straight out of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.

  12. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    You didn’t give a better explanation, as I was not asking you to explain the suffering, but the blood. If his sweat had the appearance of blood but wasn’t blood, then what was it. Explain that description that Luke gives us.

    “the writers are simply describing what they witnessed.”

    Actually, none of them witnessed this event. Recall that he separated himself from them and then found them asleep. While two of them went to the garden with Christ, none actually say what he experienced. They are not describing what they witnessed, but what was later revealed to them. The fact that it appears in all four is significant for the fact that very few things appear in all four. Thus the fact that all of them felt it important enough to mention is significant.

    “The reason you can’t show me from the Bible is because it can’t be found in the Bible”

    No, it is in the Bible. It is just that you refuse to see it there as you don’t believe in it.

    “The argument wasn’t about whether it took place fully or partially in the garden, it was whether any part of it happened there.”

    No, this was your argument.
    “Most members of the LDS believe that the atonement not only began but was completed in the garden & I provided quotes to show what was said. I’m sure you will tell me that LDS doctrine doesn’t teach that but nevertheless ordinary lay members of the LDS believe it so someone must be teaching it.”
    You then tried to support this argument with two quotes, giving only partial information and thus a false understand of what these men meant. If you were not arguing this, as you claim, then giving the quotes you give is pointless.

    Jaxi

    “He is limited by matter because he can only work with the matter that already exists and the amount that is exists.”

    I am sorry. This just sounds funny. The amount of matter that exists? There is no limit to how much matter exists. You cannot run out of matter. To say he is limited by a limitless thing is to say he is unlimited.

    Falcon

    To answer your question I would need you to clarify as to what you mean by God. If you are talking about a divine being with authority to rule in heaven and earth, then he became God long before this world was ever created. If you are talking about a physical being capable of continuing his species through eternity, then he became God at the moment he was resurrected. But these are two very different things, so please clarify which you are referring to.

    Kate

    I love how you try to define Christianity by what symbols it uses. Falls right along with what Oceancoast said about the appearance of idols. If you claim that a church can’t be a Christian church without a crucifix displayed in their chapel for people to look at while they worship you are definitely helping this impression along.

  13. jaxi says:

    <"I am sorry. This just sounds funny. The amount of matter that exists? There is no limit to how much matter exists. You cannot run out of matter. To say he is limited by a limitless thing is to say he is unlimited."

    Okay, so matter in unlimited. Is he limited by the types of matter? He can't create his own matter, he just organizes what's there. The point is, LDS God lives within space and time. Christian God lives in and outside of space and time. To live within space and time on a sequential time frame, continually progressing, is to be limited.

  14. MistakenTestimony says:

    Kate said: “What symbols do Mormons use? Mythical golden angels on top of temples, occult symbols including an upside down pentagram plastered on some temples and spires on church buildings pointing to the exaltation of man. These are not Christian symbols and are out of harmony with Christianity.”

    Shem’s reply: “If you claim that a church can’t be a Christian church without a crucifix displayed in their chapel for people to look at while they worship you are definitely helping this impression along.”

    She did not say that a church has to have a crucifix, she said that if a church has an unbiblical angel and occult symbols then they are out of step with Christianity. Nice straw man, “If I only had a brain…”.

  15. oceancoast says:

    Jaxi,

    I too am confused at the point of the objection to my comments.. My point was quite simple.. That the church doesn’t overtly encourage or discourage crosses, but IMO, there is a valid reason not to place any ICON like a cross in a chapel where people may appear to being praying to it.. And as I mentioned it seemed some here are so defensive of the need for a Cross, they tend to interpret biblical texts in a way the supports the practice, such as we have seen in the lengthy posts by grindael, which seem to disagree with me simply for the sake of disagreeing, even though I believe that interpretation is incorrect. But that’s the gist of most of the problems here.. You folks want to interpret the Bible in a way that supports your own parochial ideas.. and yet you hypocritically criticize LDS for doing the same thing. Some here even going so far to say that LDS can’t be Christian if they don’t honor the Cross in the same way you do.

  16. Brewed says:

    The point is, the LDS don’t honor what happened on the cross. They shy away from the cross, not only it’s image but also the suffering savior placed upon it. Maybe some individuals within the church do but corporately the church does not. Interpret the bible to support our own parochial ideas? Speak for yourself. Your church has an agenda and it is not the same one that Jesus had some 2000 years ago.

  17. falcon says:

    Let’s go with the deity of Jesus because that’s what I asked. I asked when Jesus became “a god” in Mormon folklore doctrine. I didn’t ask when He became a man. I know that. I want Mormons to tell us when their Mormon Jesus became “a god”.

    This is how it works.
    1. One of the Mormon gods and one of his wives procreate a spirit being named Jesus.
    2. This Mormon Jesus is then assigned to live on one of the planets created by his Mormon heavenly father.
    3. This Mormon Jesus goes to that planet and is a sinner. But he goes to the Mormon temple on that planet and goes through all of the Free Masonry rituals and keeps the Word of Wisdom.
    4. When the Mormon Jesus dies, if he’s done enough, then he becomes a god; another heavenly father. I’m wondering if the Mormon Jesus had to have a savior on the planet that he lived on because the Mormon Jesus is a sinful man transformed into a god.
    5. So this Jesus who is now a god, a Mormon heavenly father, creates our earth and the planetary system.
    6. He procreates spirit children with the wives he had sealed to himself when he was on his probationary planet. These spirit offspring people his planet named earth.
    7. At some point, his planet earth goes haywire and the council of the gods assign him to go and redeem this planet. This is a little strange since this is his own planet since as a god and heavenly father he created it. I would have thought that he would have procreated a spirit being to go and redeem the inhabitants of this planet instead of doing it himself.
    8. Anyway, he goes himself, so when he’s on earth the Mormon Jesus is both the savior and he is the heavenly father. But he’s a sinful man again so he has to go through the whole process of going to the Mormon temples, doing the rituals and keeping the Word of Wisdom. The Mormon Jesus has to become a god twice which I imagine makes him twice the god as the rest.

    OK that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it. Pitch in with your own thoughts if you will.

  18. Old man says:

    Shem

    I hope this will be the last time we debate this topic I for one have nothing more to say apart from what follows. You constantly distort the things that people say, you accuse Rick of setting ‘word traps’ but for you, words are a game, you shuffle them around, you falsify what people say & then to cap it all you seem to be claiming that you know more about Christianity than Christians. Is that your way of telling us that you have very little in the way of genuine answers?

    You said
    “You didn’t give a better explanation, as I was not asking you to explain the suffering, but the blood. If his sweat had the appearance of blood but wasn’t blood, then what was it. Explain that description that Luke gives us.”

    Strange isn’t it? You accuse me of being dumb but when I answer your question you tell me I haven’t answered it. Can’t you understand that the suffering was what caused Luke to use the simile of blood? So, once again I’ll give a better explanation.

    “The suffering in the garden was a prelude to the atonement. Christ knew He was going to suffer Gods wrath. His prayer that His cup might be taken from Him indicates a future event, not something that had already begun”

    Do you get it now? The agonies of knowing what awaited Him on the cross caused him to sweat profusely, Luke says “and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” That, as I’m sure you’re aware is a simile & rather different to “His sweat had the appearance of blood” If Christ had sweated blood Luke would have told us exactly that. Someone wiser than me commenting on this verse has said
    “The picture loses none of its poignancy with the loss of sanguinity. There is no need nor place for sacrificial shedding of blood in the Garden. That would take place on the Cross.”
    Incidentally, Luke 22:43,44 is probably a later addition to scripture, it isn’t found in earlier accounts & his is the only mention of such a phenomena.

    “Actually, none of them witnessed this event. Recall that he separated himself from them and then found them asleep. While two of them went to the garden with Christ, none actually say what he experienced. They are not describing what they witnessed, but what was later revealed to them. The fact that it appears in all four is significant for the fact that very few things appear in all four. Thus the fact that all of them felt it important enough to mention is significant.”

    You’re dissembling; none of what you say above has any bearing on what we’re talking about. You say it’s significant & yet, apart from those brief descriptions in the Gospel accounts, the garden, unlike the cross, is never mentioned again

    “No, it is in the Bible. It is just that you refuse to see it there as you don’t believe in it.”
    Please show me where I can find it. Not just for myself, as I’m sure there are others here who would like to see it

  19. grindael says:

    And as I mentioned it seemed some here are so defensive of the need for a Cross, they tend to interpret biblical texts in a way the supports the practice, such as we have seen in the lengthy posts by grindael, which seem to disagree with me simply for the sake of disagreeing, even though I believe that interpretation is incorrect. But that’s the gist of most of the problems here.. You folks want to interpret the Bible in a way that supports your own parochial ideas.. and yet you hypocritically criticize LDS for doing the same thing.

    Wah. Now he’s whining. Poor OC. He can come here and call Christian Tradition all kinds of names, misinterpret the Bible, and when he gets called out on it, the whining starts. As can be seen by my first comment, I acknowledged that there are many Mormons who don’t have the obvious phobia for the CROSS that those like you have OC. Yet, you come here and take the LOW ROAD, claiming WRONGLY that it is EVIL for Christians to do so. As Sharon quoted in the OP, Mormons believe:

    “The cross is used in many Christian churches as a symbol of the Savior’s death and Resurrection and as a sincere expression of faith. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Savior. But because the Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith.”

    But you ignore all of the obvious references to the word in the New Testament, the fact that they used the word over and over again, and even that exact word in Jesus very teachings, because it was exactly as Christians say, an important symbol to them, which is born out in tradition which was handed down by the apostles of Jesus. There is not even the appearance of evil in it, only to those such as you who go to great lengths to make sure you denigrate it with post after post.

    In your very first post on this thread you denigrate Christians by saying that the celebration of Christ’s resurrection and his birth are nothing but an excuse to go out and get members:

    “So these non-LDS churches use the holiday’s as a promotional period to bring people into church..

    The Apostles themselves changed the very day of worship in celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Should this be taken as a “membership drive”? This offended Jaxi, but did you live by your own made up rule? No. You didn’t even apologize to her for offending her or ABSTAIN from the behavior you CONDEMNED, when you said “IMO Paul’s admonishment is to AVOID the very appearance, lest it be a stumbling block.”

    If you LIVED by that rule, you would avoid the very appearance of denigrating the CROSS because it is revered by Christians and your words are a stumbling block to them. But you didn’t. You then said,

    But I know some of you LOVE your crosses and anyone suggesting that maybe that’s might give onlookers the wrong impression you resist.. A resistance which in itself tends to confirm the appearance that your worshiping the cross, otherwise it would be easy to acquiesce to that admonishment.

    You, of course built your STRAW MAN by CLAIMING that the CROSS is an IDOL, when it is not, and no one with any COMMON SENSE thinks so. Because it is NOT an IDOL, your argument is simply HATE FOR THE CROSS, a personal visceral hate that shows in every post. That’s ok, but please admit it for what it is.

    You then go on and make a classic blunder with this comment,

    “I see a parallel possibility that placing a Cross in front of a congregation of worship that someone MIGHT see that as worshipping an Idol (in this instance the cross). So better to abstain from that which might cause your brother to stumble.”

    This is simply using a scripture out of context to support a faulty argument, in other words a STRAW MAN. Peter himself DESTROYS your ill-logic here by saying,

    “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.” 1 Peter 2:6-8

    You disregard the MESSAGE OF THE CROSS, which all Christians follow and which I have outlined in detail above. You transfer the simple act of abstaining from food sacrificed to idols, with Christians having to summarily denounce and abstain from using the CROSS as a symbol of Christ’s triumph over death, which his very apostles did time after time. You misunderstand Paul, and mix two teachings together to form a faulty conclusion. As for abstention of meat sacrificed to idols, if someone is trying to be self righteous in their abstention, (like Mormons with the Word of Wisdom by FORCING it on EVERYONE) Christians are duty bound to be a stumbling block to them so that they can see that Christ is the corner stone of their faith, not their abstention for self righteousness. This is what Christ did.

    Mormons abstain for the sake of self righteousness (which none of them will admit) and they are not the weaker brother, — but the prideful brother that needs to be shown their sinful acts. This is why Jesus didn’t care if he drank in public, ate with the sinners and loved the prostitutes. He did it partly to show the self righteous Pharisees their stupidity. We find further evidence of this when Peter has his vision and then eats with the Gentiles. Notice what the self righteous Jews do:

    “So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” Acts 11:2

  20. grindael says:

    Did Peter then decide to abstain from eating with them? No, he corrected their self righteousness by telling them the vision of God and using this an opportunity to show the gospel to them. Someone who loves Jesus and not their self righteous deeds will react to this by not condemning the brother living in his freedom but will praise God.

    When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18

    Could this have been a stone of stumbling for these Jews? Yes. Did Peter refrain, or teach? He taught. Their reaction is an insight to their heart towards the love of God. They reject their self righteousness and cling to their new found Saviour. If you are with a BROTHER that is weak, or is coming out of addiction you simply don’t have a beer, or smoke (if you do such things) around them. But for them to condemn those acts by FORCING EVERYONE to abstain is simply self righteousness, and admitting that your own members have no self control. It is Pharisaical. You teach them that they are wrong as Peter did, and let the glorify God.

    But not in the Mormon Bubble of OC. He simply misapplies the scripture and then ignores all of the commentary by Christians who TAUGHT him what was right and true about the CROSS. He has to rewrite the GREEK, and then have us substitute senseless words that take away the true meaning of what was said in order to support his faulty bubble logic. He makes the CROSS into an IDOL, and then claims that Christians worship it.

    People like you like to use Paul’s hyperbolic term to bear witness against them when Paul says, “Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.” Paul is using this in speaking to someone he is directly in relationship with at all times, not for the sake of believers out there somewhere who have issues with this. Meaning, if Timothy had issues with this, Paul would never eat meat in fellowship with Timothy. He doesn’t mean, he will literally never touch meat again. We see this clearly in the following:

    If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake — the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:27-31

    Paul states to enjoy your freedom, but to refrain when among someone who has a conscience against something. He condemns those that would impose THEIR CONSCIENCE ON OTHERS, like the Mormon “prophets” do. We should refrain from certain ACTIONS when around others who are weak, and we do this with those we KNOW have deep issues with certain things that is related and identified to their old life of sin. But, it doesn’t stop here. You don’t just refrain when you see these people, but you take the opportunity to teach them. That is what we have done with the CROSS. But you reject it, and cling to your false assertions that it is an IDOL, which no one in their right mind believes except those that PURPOSEFULLY make it a stumbling block in order to promote their agenda of HATE for the CROSS.

    The current distaste for the CROSS evidenced by MODERN Mormon “prophets” was just a product of the anti-Catholicism of those like David O. McKay. They would rather use an angel with a trumpet that might be offensive to some, because they don’t want to be identified with Christians, even though they call themselves such. That some Mormons ignore this, and do wear a CROSS, or have pictures of the Crucifixion shows that your leaders are wrong in taking this stance, because according to you, it MAY cause some to stumble. But they continue to do so, because they TEACH their reasoning, instead of taking down all the angels on top of the temples. That was what Sharon was doing here.

    Your arguments here OC are silly, strained and self defeating.

  21. MistakenTestimony says:

    oceancoast said, “Some here even going so far to say that LDS can’t be Christian if they don’t honor the Cross in the same way you do.”

    Not a single non-Mormon or ex-Mormon here believes for one second that LDS are Christian. For Christians there is only one type of Christian: orthodox; and everyone else who claims to be a Christian but rejects orthodoxy is in fact not a Christian. And yet you and your religion teach that there are 2 types of Christians: orthodox and LDS. You said the following about orthodox Christians above:

    “That LDS are not “Orthodox”.. No surprise there, LDS don’t claim to follow the “Othodoxy”.. In fact it was the testimony by Christ himself to Joseph Smith that the “Othodoxy” was not truly the Lords way.. That Othodoxy has lost its way is almost self evident to anyone with more than two living brain cells.. You speak of “Biblical” understanding but I see very few so-called Christians here that actually understand the Bible, instead they simple promote the ‘Dogma’ they have been indoctrinated with and force that into their biblical interpretation.. a process known as eisogesis.”

    So let me get this straight, your definition of “Christian” is so watered down and utterly meaningless that you are willing to lump orthodox “indoctrinated … so-called Christians” together with LDS “who actually understand the bible” under the same banner of “Christian”? It would be better if the LDS said that they were the only Christians and that “so-called Christians” were not Christians at all. Instead, the LDS keep riding their pebble and are trying to pony-up to the mountain of orthodoxy and say to them, “See, we are Christians too!” which is typical cult- like behaviour, and it is (as you so well put it) “self evident to anyone with more than two living brain cells”.

  22. shematwater says:

    Jaxi

    “The point is, LDS God lives within space and time…To live within space and time on a sequential time frame, continually progressing, is to be limited.”

    Actually, God is outside of time; at least outside time as we know it. He has revealed this in D&C 130: 7
    “But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.”
    If they are all before him than he is not in any of them, is he.

    Mistake

    “unbiblical angel”

    Revelation 14: 6 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people”
    So much for unbiblical.

    As to what Kate said, you really need to read what I am saying. She did try to define Christianity by the symbols used. As she gives only one symbol in her post I used that as an example of how using symbols for such a definition does really work.

    Brewed

    “The point is, the LDS don’t honor what happened on the cross. “

    Only one truly ignorant of our doctrine would ever make this claim. Anyone who has even the smallest understanding of what we teach should know that we honor everything that Christ did, including the cross. The only argument you have to even support this claim is the fact that we don’t usually display crosses in our buildings and art. That means nothing.

    Falcon

    Your twisting our doctrine proves nothing. I know you like to sensationalize everything, preferring to shock people rather that accurately portray what we believe; but it really doesn’t do any good.
    Jesus became God, in the sense of having authority to rule in heaven and earth, and thus being worshiped as God by those in creation many eons before this world ever existed. However, he did not gain a physical body until he was born into mortality; did not have a resurrected and glorified body until after the atonement, at which point he entered into a state of existence in which he has the power to continue his race throughout eternity.
    If you can’t get this straight then maybe you should stop claiming to know what we believe.

    Old Man

    Really? More insults from the man who never put an insult in any of his comments? I mean, at least have the honesty to admit what you are doing.

    Quite honestly, I don’t get your argument. There are much better ways to say what you are claiming.
    Here is a more intelligent man then me that explains it better.
    “The intention of the Evangelist seems clearly to be, to convey the idea that the sweat was (not fell like, but was) like drops of blood;—i.e., coloured with blood,—for so I understand the hosei, as just distinguishing the drops highly coloured with blood, from pure blood…. To suppose that it only fell like drops of blood (why not drops of any thing else? And drops of blood from what, and where?) is to nullify the force of the sentence, and make the insertion of haimatos not only superfluous but absurd (1874, 1:648, italics and parenthetical items in orig.; cf. Robertson, 1934, p. 1140).”
    I found the quote here http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1086, where it is summarized as the word translated “As it were” indicates condition, not comparison. Thus the Greek is not using a simile, a figure of speech based in comparison. It is rather describing the actual appearance of the sweat, distinguishing the mixture of sweat and blood from pure blood, as Luke, a phycisian, would have done.

  23. Brewed says:

    Shem,
    Every Mormon I know focuses on Gethsemane, sometimes on the resurrection too. The second I speak of the cross they get really uncomfortable. Maybe not you, probably not all mormons, but everyone I know. Also, I always hear “The Atonement” referred to, never the cross. “The Atonement” is a comfortable word for Mormons, The cross is not. I think that says something.
    As for Maroni, tell me again where it says in the Bible that humans become angels? I’m pretty certain they are completely separate, created beings. The idea of Angels being what we become in the after life is cultural, not Biblical.

  24. Brewed says:

    I agree, I think Jesus really did sweat blood. I think he was sweating blood because he knew what he would face. In periods of extreme stress the capillaries near sweat glands can burst causing blood to mix with sweat. I don’t think that means the atonement started there. The atonement could not happen until Christ bore our sins and died. He probably bled many times throughout his life, this doesn’t mean that this blood was shed for us. The blood that was shed for us was shed upon the cross. He said “why has thou forsaken me?” probably because God had to look away from the sin that Jesus took on. It was not finished until he said “Tetelestai”.
    Just like when an animal was sacrificed, the sins of the people where placed upon the animal, then it was killed. Any bleeding done by the animal prior to this was inconsequential.

  25. jaxi says:

    Shem,

    “If they are all before him than he is not in any of them, is he.”

    Pretending that I acknowledge that as scripture,

    That is saying that he can see all time, not that he exists inside and outside of all time. There’s a difference. The LDS scripture also says, “where all things [for their glory are manifest], past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.” He is not talking about all past, present and future, he is talking about the past, present, and future for them and “their glory.”

    Your trying to say that God was in the sequential time frame but evolved through exaltation to becoming outside of it? The big difference here is that my God never had to evolve.

  26. Old man says:

    Shem

    Have you read on the site you mention what is said about Mormon belief? Perhaps you should & perhaps you should take as much notice of what is said there as you do with the quote you gave. I find it interesting that you would say that quote is true but everything said about your beliefs on the same site is false. It seems to me that you’re doing the very thing that people say you do, you cherry pick

    Ps. Why do you constantly accuse me of being insulting? Is it because I say you play word games? You accuse others of doing that but when the shoe is on the other foot you act like a spoiled brat. Don’t you think that accusing me Rick & others of setting ‘word traps’ & telling me I’m dumb is insulting?

  27. Kate says:

    Shem,
    Like it or not the Cross is very important to Christianity. Not the actual symbol, but what it represents. This is the part Mormons don’t fully understand. Let’s take this a step further, we as Christians know how important the Cross is and what fully happened there. Tell me, what does the angel Moroni represent? The moon, sun, stars and inverted pentagram? Just what are the symbols of Mormonism representing? Where is Jesus in any of those symbols? For a Christian, it’s not about symbols it’s about Jesus. So no I was not “defining” Christianity by a symbol, I was trying to get you to see what symbols your religion uses and what Christian meaning they represent. They are out of harmony with Christianity. You belong to a made up religion that has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity. Mormons insist on being included as Christians but deny the Cross of Jesus and all it represents. All one really has to do is look at the symbolism that Mormons use to see Jesus and him Crucified is not what’s important. The angel Moroni gets a better seat than Jesus in Mormonsim.

    Brewed,
    You are correct about the Atonement in Mormonism. I had a ceramic piece of Jesus in the garden that I had on a table for years. I have always been taught that the Atonement happened in the garden and the garden was the focus of lessons on the Atonement. Every Mormon I know (which is about 95% of everyone I know) believes and talks about it happening in the garden. As I’ve said before, most of the Mormons who post here are not Utah Mormons and do not live the culture and “folklore” of Mormonism. I guess that’s a good thing.

  28. grindael says:

    Shem,

    Are you saying that there are two definitions for a Mormon God? With and without a body?

  29. MistakenTestimony says:

    Gosh, I sure am glad that Shem did not take Rev. 14:6 out of context and read something else into it! I am so thankful for Shem showing us that Rev. 14:6 is so much more important than, say, Gal. 2:20. Guys, we have doing it all wrong! We should take the crosses off our steeples and replace them with golden angels because CLEARLY Rev. 14:6 is the core of the Gospel which saves! It all makes sense now, we have all just been refusing to see it!

  30. MistakenTestimony says:

    Clearly the entire narrative of the Bible is about an angel that is only referenced in passing and not about the death of the Son of God for the forgiveness of sins of the whole world! The Mormons have been doing it right all along by putting this symbol which represents the core of the Bible on top of their most sacred buildings! Atonement-shmonement, the angel is where it’s at!

  31. MistakenTestimony says:

    The hokey-pokey only WISHES it could be the golden angel, just sayin…

  32. falcon says:

    Shem,

    “Shocking and sensationalizing”………well duh! Did you just figure out what the Mormon process of becoming a god is like when it’s applied to Jesus? What you could also have added is that what I wrote is “accurate”.
    See here’s the problem with Mormons. When we lay something like this out i.e. unpack it, it not only appears shocking and sensational, but it also appears stupid; which it is.
    You want your religion to be something that it isn’t. You want to fill it all up with your own meaning. The fact of the matter is, we read what has been presented by Mormon leaders and prophets and then draw logical conclusions.

    BTW you said Jesus became a god eons ago and as a god deserves to be worshiped. So do Mormons worship Jesus? He is, after all, if we connect the dots, the heavenly father of this planet since he created it and must have been a god when he did.

    No Shem, it’s not that we don’t understand Mormonism or mis-interpret it. We see it for what it is, a false religious system and a huge mess. You just keep making it what you want it to be. It doesn’t really matter because it’s all a fantasy anyway.

  33. falcon says:

    So do Mormons worship Jesus? Bruce McConkie is one of those Mormon gifts that keeps on giving. Mormon theology regarding the nature of God is one of those things in Mormonism that is “evolving”. Mormons just don’t seem to be able to nail it down. Thus when they claim that we are mis-interpreting or purposely mis-stating the Mormon doctrine what do they expect?

    “The god Mormons worship with adoration is usually called “Heavenly Father,” their version of God the Father. “Heavenly Father” is, according to Mormon theology, the maker and supreme god of this world (not to be confused with the way the term is used in 2Cor. 4:3-4). Other worlds have their own supreme gods, each worshipped with adoration by the faithful people of his own world. Moreover, the supreme god of each world is believed to have once been a human man in some other world, who worshipped his own “Heavenly Father” (and so on in infinite regress). It would be impossible to number the gods Mormons believe may exist in various worlds: “there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, “Plurality of Gods”). ”

    “Moreover, as implied above, Mormon authorities have discouraged what they call an “inordinate… improper and perilous” desire for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ: “some may be offended at [our] counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ” (Bruce McConkie, “Our Relationship with the Lord,” 2 March 1982). This is the clincher. The same Bruce McConkie who wrote Mormon Doctrine, a late Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, gave the address called “Our Relationship with the Lord” in Provo, Utah, on 2 March 1982. Here is another excerpt:”

    “I shall express the views of the Brethren [the teaching authorities of the LDS church, the Mormon “magisterium”], of the prophets and apostles of old, and of all those who understand and are in tune with the Holy Spirit…. Everyone who is sound spiritually and who has the guidance of the Holy Spirit will believe my words and follow my counsel…. We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son and we do not worship the Holy Ghost. I know perfectly well what the Scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah [Mormons use the name “Jehovah” for Jesus Christ only], but they are speaking in an entirely different sense -the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first [a Mormon term for the Father], the Creator (Bruce McConkie, “Our Relationship with the Lord,” 2 March 1982).”

  34. falcon says:

    You see there’s all sorts of problems with the Mormon god making scenario. First of all there is suppose to be a system by which those who follow it, become gods.
    There’s various problems with this system when it comes to Jesus and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost became a god without ever having a body. That’s a real trick and a major exception to the rule in Mormonism.
    We’re told in the Bible that Jesus created all things (see Colossians 1:16-17). We know that in the Mormon system, men who become gods get to create their own planetary systems. So Jesus must have been a god when he created our solar system. He was then, a heavenly father.
    See how this all breaks down pretty fast. But it’s a good thing that Mormons can invent any explanation that they want to in order to keep this whole ruse going.

    Is it any wonder that it’s nearly impossible to have a logical discussion with a Mormon about their religion? It’s all blue sky speculation and Alice in Wonderland. The only thing necessary is that Mormons keep believing and pay their tithe.

  35. jaxi says:

    This is my issue with the Mormon god making set up. Christ is taught to be the brother of Mormons because Mormons teach they are all literal spiritual children of Heavenly Father. So Christ really had to get a body for his own purposes, because if he wanted to become exalted he had to get a body. Traditional Christianity teaches that Christ did not have to enflesh himself. He did so because he loves us. He did it for us, and no other reason.

    “7 Instead He emptied Himself
    by assuming the form of a slave,
    taking on the likeness of men.
    And when He had come as a man
    in His external form,
    8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
    to the point of death—
    even to death on a cross.” Philippians 2:7-8

    He emptied himself into flesh. He became less than He was for us.

    Now I am sure Mormons have their own twist but this is where I think things start to get strange.

    Christians believe Christ could save us because He is fully God and fully man. Because he is fully God he can do all things. He was not like us, but became like us, for us.

    Now is Mormon thought, how can Christ do what He was sent to do? He was an intelligence just like the rest of us, just a little older. So what made Him able to perform the task? Was it that he was half human, half God kind of like Hercules. He has half Mary and half God DNA right? Someone is going to say I’m telling lies but this is what I was taught when I was a teenager. So I grew up believing Christ was just like me but was given an advantage to do the work that Heavenly Father wanted done. If Christ couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, God could just get someone else to do it. The advantage was the God DNA. I guess my question is, if God could give us all God DNA so that we would have power over sin, why not do that from the start?

  36. falcon says:

    I don’t know why Mormons would get upset with me for tracing the process by which Jesus became “a god”. It appears that while Mormon men believe they will become gods there is controversy regarding how this happens or if it happens at all. The process is wide open to endless speculation and is not served well by Mormon prophets who don’t seem to know what they’re talking about.
    Dare we inquire about one of Mormonism greatest prophets Brigham Young who declared that “Adam” was really a god and Eve was one of his wives? If a Mormon prophet can be said to be mistaken, isn’t all of this talk about their (Mormon prophets’) ability to get messages directly from some deity questionable? Even the Mormon prophet GBH declared that he wasn’t aware that Mormon men becoming gods was even taught any more.
    So why should Mormons get all upset when we enter into the mix with our own speculation based on what Mormons themselves see as pretty murky teaching?
    Mormons don’t want these things discussed because in fact it’s all pretty embarrassing. It’s the result of endless speculation by a bunch of men who were playing at the game of religious revelation. They were so impressed with their own imaginative meanderings that they went completely off the spiritual rails. We even have Brigham Young declaring that the god who was revealing information to him had actual physical sex with the Virgin Mary.
    So if Mormons say that I/we don’t know what we’re talking about then they have to also say that Brigham Young, one of their mighty Moses like prophets, didn’t know what he was talking about either. And if the mighty Mormon prophet, the key cornerstone in Mormonism doesn’t know what he’s talking about, isn’t the foundation of the religion non existent?
    It’s the same thing as when Mormons start to speculate about the cross. Pretty soon they are inventing all sorts of doctrine regarding what took place in the Garden.
    With Mormons it’s just one endless game of speculation and playing at religious revelation. It’s a playground for ignorant people who reject the Biblical message of salvation and the Christ who is revealed there.

  37. falcon says:

    Jaxi,
    What Christians believe about the Lord Jesus Christ is Biblical and is supported by the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers and traditions of the faith.
    What Mormons believe about Jesus is the result of some mindless speculation of a bunch of no talent religious dunce entrepreneurs. These Mormon inventors don’t even make good heretics.
    When Mormons try to take shots at Christian doctrine, it is apparent that they have no knowledge of Church history and the revelation that was once and for all delivered to the Saints.
    We have the recorded revelation and the teachings of the first century primitive Christian church confirming for us who Jesus is and what the significance of His death has for those who believe in Him.
    There is no Mormonism there. The speculation of Mormons isn’t even up to the level of folly. It would be as if I sat here and reflected on spiritual matters and I came up with some bizarre notions that made me feel good so I conclude that God has spoken to me. It’s all out of thin air. It would be a whole cloth production manufactured with a pattern of my own choosing. That’s Mormonism in a nutshell.
    Why do these people reject the Lord Jesus Christ for some sort of inferior god? Who knows? Maybe it’s ignorance. Maybe it’s indoctrination. None-the-less it’s blasphemy which in and of itself makes Mormons think it’s true. It a form of spiritual pathology.

  38. Old man says:

    Brewed

    I’ve just noticed your comment so I apologise for not responding sooner.

    “I agree, I think Jesus really did sweat blood. I think he was sweating blood because he knew what he would face. In periods of extreme stress the capillaries near sweat glands can burst causing blood to mix with sweat.”

    I’m aware of this phenomena & you may well be right, it finally comes down to opinion. Information both for & against is readily available but the whole point of my argument with Shem was that this ‘blood’ if such it was, is used by the LDS in support of their version of the atonement. My focus wasn’t on the blood rather it was on the fact that the atonement took place on the cross & had nothing to do with the garden, sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

  39. Brewed says:

    OM,
    I didn’t mean it as a correction to what you said, more to make the same point as you. That His blood being shed in the garden, if it was shed there, was inconsequential. Like I said, he probably bled at various times throughout his life. What made the blood shed on the cross different was the fact that he had taken upon our sins. At least thats my understanding of the sacrificial system before Christ being applied to Christ. You made it perfectly clear, I probably didn’t make myself very clear. Not the best with words, ya know?

  40. grindael says:

    For clarification.. That’s NOT the current membership.. That was the membership reported in 2011.. It’s now 2013.. And I believe the current estimate is about 16 Million.

    Let me clarify… Released yesterday, Mormon Church Membership at the end of 2012….

    Total membership………………………………………………………………………………… 14,782,473

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/2012-statistical-report-2013-april-general-conference

    I guess all those new missionaries aren’t doing very well now, are they?

    Concerning numbers include congregational growth occurring at less than one-fifth the rate of membership growth, a decline in convert baptisms notwithstanding an increase of 3,580 missionaries serving, and a 2.80% decline in the number of districts

    .

  41. Old man says:

    Brewed

    Thanks for that.
    I’m not the best with words either & I might come across at times as being too forthright or even aggressive but I’m really not. I have a passion for the truth & when I see Scripture being twisted to support a false organization & Christ’s sacrifice being made almost secondary to the proclamations of false prophets, that passion can cause me to get a little uptight & I don’t always say things in the best way. Anyway, the important thing is that we’re in agreement over the things that really matter.

  42. Kate says:

    Wow, only 341,127 new members in 2 years and how many of those are children of LDS couples who turned 8 and were baptized over the last 2 years. Remarkable growth. Not quite up to 16 million, but close!

  43. Brewed says:

    341,127 people sucked in by false promises and constantly changing doctrine…
    It amazes me that the church could grow at all.
    It also amazes me the number of people who leave and become atheists because the church has damaged the truth about who God is.

  44. shematwater says:

    Old Man

    “My focus wasn’t on the blood rather it was on the fact that the atonement took place on the cross & had nothing to do with the garden, sorry if I didn’t make that clear.”

    I realized your focus. However, you did try to discredit our beliefs by claiming that there was no blood in the Garden, that this reference was just a simile to illustrate his suffering at the time. You even submitted references to support this point. You then tried to discredit my use of references, rather than actually accepting them. Of course, when a person you accept as a fellow Christian expresses the same opinion as me (that Christ did in fact bleed in the Garden), you immediately accept that he can believe that, and then turn back to the original focus, trying to basically dismiss everything said on this point.
    While I have no real problem with this, please admit to what you have actually done.

    [Text snipped by moderators]

    Brewed

    I would ask you in what way do you mention the cross. In my experience if we talk about the suffering of Christ on the cross, even go into somewhat graphic description of what it involves, and even discuss the spiritual aspects of it all, there has never been any real reticence in discussing it. So, maybe it is your approach. I honestly don’t know.
    I do know that if someone came up to me and told me that I wasn’t really a Christian because I didn’t have a cross of crucifix in my house (as some people have said here) I would not be inclined to discuss the matter with them. I am not saying this is what you do, only giving an example.
    Now, I agree that much of the focus is on the Garden and the resurrection, as these events mark the beginning of the Atonement and the end of the Atonement. That does not mean we do not appreciate the event of the cross. It may mean that we see it in a different way than you, and I will admit that.

    Kate

    Hardly anything you say makes any sense.

    ” Just what are the symbols of Mormonism representing?”

    The work of Christ and the plan that he and his Father have set forth for our salvation. You can claim anything you want, but these symbols draw our thoughts to God just as must as any cross draws the thoughts of other Christians. Christ is in everything, and everything points us to him and the Father.

    “I was trying to get you to see what symbols your religion uses and what Christian meaning they represent.”

    I don’t care what they represent to you. It is what they represent to me that is important. I can look at the carvings of suns and moons and stars and see Christ and his atonement in all of them. I see the statue of the Angel Moroni and see the gospel of Christ once more preached on this earth.

    “Mormons insist on being included as Christians but deny the Cross of Jesus and all it represents.”

    No we do not, and you really need to stop spreading lies about our faith. We embrace the sacrifice of Christ, in all its aspects. To claim we deny the cross because it isn’t hanging in our buildings is an attempt to define our religion by symbols, which you claim you are not doing.

    “All one really has to do is look at the symbolism that Mormons use to see Jesus and him Crucified is not what’s important. The angel Moroni gets a better seat than Jesus in Mormonism.”

    You have to be joking. Go into any church building and you will find more pictures of Christ than of anything else. They may not have him hanging on the cross, but they are almost all of him. Go to the visitors centers of most temples and you will find statues of Christ displayed prominently. The most famous statue being that of Christ standing with his hands outstretched showing the wounds in his hands to all who come.
    Christ is the symbol of our faith, and our devotion to him. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply ignorant.

    Falcon

    No, I could say that what you claim is accurate, because it isn’t. You are not accurately portraying our doctrine. I don’t know if it is simply that you lack sufficient knowledge to understand these things, or if you are intentionally ignoring parts of what we believe so that you can twist the rest. Honestly, I don’t care.
    The simple fact is that you are wrong because you are trying to force one definition of the word God onto every use of the word in the scriptures. This doesn’t work. There is more than one definition for the word, and until you learn and recognize these definitions you will never be able to fully grasp the truth of our doctrine.

  45. Kate says:

    Shem,
    Joseph Smith plagiarized Free Masonry. That’s where the moon, sun, star, inverted pentagram, etc. come from. The markings cut into the garment are the same as the Free Masons. I have a friend who’s husband is a Free Mason and she described them to me. Yes the Free Masons wear temple garments too, but only in their temples, not everyday. The death oaths sworn by Mormons up until 1990 were identical to the Free Mason’s death oaths. It’s so sad that Mormons can’t see that Mormon temple stuff comes straight from Masonry. I really feel sorry for you. I mean that.

    “All one really has to do is look at the symbolism that Mormons use to see Jesus and him Crucified is not what’s important. The angel Moroni gets a better seat than Jesus in Mormonism.”

    “You have to be joking. Go into any church building and you will find more pictures of Christ than of anything else.”

    Tell me, can you live with God again after you die without performing Masonic rites and rituals in your temple? Without keeping the WoW? Without paying a full 10% tithe? Can Jesus alone Save you? By Save I mean give you eternal life with, and in the presence of God? This is the work that Jesus did on the Cross. By adding the “after all we can do” you deny what Jesus did for you. That’s what I mean, nothing to do with the fact that Mormons don’t hang Crosses in their buildings.

    “I was trying to get you to see what symbols your religion uses and what Christian meaning they represent.”

    “I don’t care what they represent to you. It is what they represent to me that is important.”

    If you have applied a different meaning to Masonic Symbolism then that is on you.

    One more thing, Mormonism teaches that men and women get a new name in the temple and the woman can’t know her husband’s name, but the husband has to know her new name to call her from the grave. Thanks, but I’ll be waiting for Jesus to do that. This is also what I mean when I say Mormons deny Christ and him Crucified.

    I am well aware of the Christus. It’s a sculpture by a Christian named Bertel Thorvaldsen, found in a Danish Christian church. The Christus is used by Christian churches all over the world and there’s also a HUGE Christus in the foyer of John Hopkins Hospital. What does that have to do with the Cross?

  46. Old man says:

    Shem

    You said
    “Of course, when a person you accept as a fellow Christian expresses the same opinion as me (that Christ did in fact bleed in the Garden), you immediately accept that he can believe that, and then turn back to the original focus, trying to basically dismiss everything said on this point.
    While I have no real problem with this, please admit to what you have actually done.”

    I have no desire to be drawn into yet another meaningless war of words with you. I made it perfectly clear that I have a different point of view to Brewed & that was the point of view I argued in the earlier post. To be honest I’m not exactly sure of what it is you want me to admit but anyway I’ll briefly explain my position.

    The focus of our argument was whether or not the Atonement started in the garden; you used the one verse in the Bible that mentioned blood in support of your position. Obviously I disagreed with that view & the points I made about the blood were very important in that context. You claimed that the atonement started in the garden & by using the blood issue to support that doctrine I had little choice but to use my own beliefs, i.e I don’t accept that there was blood, to argue the point.

    When Brewed said that she (apologies if I have the incorrect gender) agreed with you on the blood issue I had no problem with it because she also said that she did not believe the Atonement started at that time I was thus able to say in all honesty that the blood was a matter of opinion. Perhaps you don’t understand that but I can’t explain it in any other way.

    Now, as I said I’m not really sure what it is you want me to admit & I’m being honest with you when I say that. I don’t really see a problem but if you do & your problem is that I didn’t say to you what I said to Brewed then I’ll say it now, ‘it’s all a matter of opinion’ but that being the case perhaps you shouldn’t use what can only ever be an opinion as partial proof of a doctrine.

  47. Brewed says:

    Shem,

    Just to be clear about what OM said and what I said.
    I said EVEN IF HE DID BLEED IN THE GARDEN THIS IS INCONSEQUENTIAL. At least in speaking of the atonement. That’s because bleeding did not signify the atonement in and of itself. The garden was important because He had a clear understanding about what was about to take place and chose go forward anyway. His atonement for us could not start until He took our sins upon Himself. Evidence would indicate that this did not happen until the cross. The atonement was complete when He died. His resurrection was the proof that it worked. It wasn’t part of the atonement.

    This is why OM and I are not at odds about the garden even though we disagree on whether or not Jesus bled real blood there.
    I never said that the garden is where the atonement happened, I was simply making the point that even if He did bleed from His pores, that doesn’t mean He was atoning for our sins. This notion would be contrary to the sacrificial system being applied to Jesus.
    Jesus probably bled at different points in His life. He was made of flesh and bone. Does that blood count towards the atonement? No. Why? Because He hadn’t taken our sins upon Himself.
    If an animal being used as a scapegoat bled before the time when the sins were placed upon it, that blood wouldn’t have mattered.
    Jesus is our eternal scapegoat and our sins could not be atoned for until they were placed upon Him.
    Make sense?

  48. shematwater says:

    Kate

    I really don’t care what you think or believe concerning the ordinances of the true gospel. That is on your head, not mine. I am not going to discuss them in this forum, so rant all you want. I will not be replying to those topics.

    “Tell me, can you live with God again after you die…”

    No, that is not what you meant, as is clearly shown in the fact that you were arguing symbols. None of this has anything to do with symbols, but with doctrine. Stop trying to alter the discuss. You claimed that our symbols make us not Christian, and also claimed that Christ and his crucifixion are not part of the symbols of the church. These claims are false.

    “What does that have to do with the Cross?”

    Did I not mention that the wounds in his hands are prominently displayed on this statue. Actually there is no statue or picture, or any work of art depicting the resurrected Christ that does not show these wounds. What do these wounds symbolize? They symbolize his Crucifixion, when he was raised on the cross for the sins of the world. The Christus statue is all about the crucifixion and resurrection. Don’t tell me what the symbols of my faith represent.

    Brewed

    I never claimed that you did. I understand perfectly what you believe concerning the event of the Garden and how it relates to the atonement. [Text snipped by moderators]

    Speaking of the Atonement, I honestly don’t see any direct evidence anywhere in the Bible that explains exactly when Christ took on him the sins of the world. The only evidence is that it was on the Cross that the price of those sins was fully paid, as he cried “It is finished” and then died. However, the Bible does not really tell us clearly where it all began.
    As to the resurrection; we include it as part of the Atonement because that was when he won the victory over the grave and thus redeemed us from the physical effects of the Fall. In his death he atoned for our sins, but in his resurrection he made it possible for us all to be resurrected, and thus the final victory of the atonement was not won until this point.

    Old Man

    The problem is that if you concede that others can believe that Christ bled in the garden, [Text snipped by moderators. Old Man has answered this charge and explained his position several times. It is enough.]

  49. Brewed says:

    Shem,
    I’m pretty sure that you are correct, there is no explicit indication as to when the atonement started. My best guess would be that it happened around the time that Jesus cried out”why has thou forsaken me”. I think that because, when Jesus took on our sins, God the Father could no longer be in an uninhibited relationship with the Son and had to look away. In the garden Jesus was deep within prayer, He was obviously in a very personal place with God and that could not have happened had he been saturated in our sin. Thats why we can’t truly come into a relationship with God until we put on Jesus, literally like a cloak. God cannot look upon sin, sin separates us. Jesus was not separated from the Father within the garden and that doesn’t appear to have happened until the peak of Christ’s agony. I could be wrong, if someone wants to jump in at this point, by all means!

  50. Old man says:

    Brewed

    You said
    “I’m pretty sure that you are correct, there is no explicit indication as to when the atonement started. My best guess would be that it happened around the time that Jesus cried out”why has thou forsaken me”

    I don’t think that your ‘guess’ is a guess at all. Some things are known in a spiritual way. It’s not through logic or any form of human reasoning but rather because the Spirit who dwells within us tells us in some indeterminate way that what we believe is the truth. I’m not talking about the LDS testimony as that is a ‘feeling’ preconditioned by confirmation bias. A genuine testimony will never conflict with Gods revealed word & your ‘guess’ is exactly that, Gods revealed word.
    I mentioned Christs separation from God in a much earlier post as being the ‘real’ atonement & as yet no member of the LDS has come forward to refute it, possibly because they can’t, the best they can offer is that it was ‘part’ of the Atonement & thereby show no real understanding of the doctrine.
    It’s great that you should recognise that the real suffering wasn’t the pain of crucifixion it was the agony of sin laid upon Christ resulting in separation from God. All too often the pain is talked about but the whole point of the cross, namely The Atonement, is missed.
    Your understanding of the Atonement, as you have shown in your post, is greater than the combined learning of all the false LDS prophets.

Leave a Reply