07
May
09

SALVATION OR A PLAN OF SALVATION

 

     I have just returned from a trip on which I had the opportunity to give a number of presentations on the differences between Mormonism and the Bible.  One simple comparison I make in those presentations is that the Bible talks about God giving us salvation while Mormonism talks about God giving us a plan of salvation.  There’s a whole lot of difference between the two.

     I realize that Mormonism often defines salvation differently – sometimes equating it with resurrection; other times including within it exaltation (Mormonism’s belief that people can become gods).  But to me, the important word is the word “plan”.  Plan implies that it is not completed.  As the popular saying goes, “Plan the work and then work the plan.”

     Significantly, the Bible never once uses the word “plan” or mentions a “plan of salvation”.   But it does talk a lot about salvation.  “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things:  his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.  The Lord hath made known his salvation; (note not his plan of salvation), his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.”  (Psalm 98:1-2)  Note how it is a done deed.

     Again, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”  (Isaiah 61:10)  The garments of salvation are already made.  The Lord even puts them on the person.  There’s no plan here.  Rather this describes a wonderful gift.

     Salvation or Plan of Salvation.  A simple comparison.  But also a profound difference.

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76 Responses to “SALVATION OR A PLAN OF SALVATION”


  1. May 7, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    “word” or “offender for a word”?

  2. May 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Well said Mark. There is a vast difference between being given a plan whereby you MIGHT be able to get home to God versus being given a Gift. The Bible constantly refers to the gift of salvation. I find nothing which refers to a process or plan.

    Darrell

  3. 3 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    What is presented here is a false dichotomy.

    1 Pet. 1:20 (Christ) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

    So Christ was “foreordained before the foundation of the world”, if that doesn’t express a plan of salvation, what does?

  4. 4 markcares
    May 7, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    GB:
    We can consider Jesus’ being foreordained as a plan although the Bible never calls it that. But what Peter had in mind bears little resemblance to Mormonism’s plan of salvation. Peter’s “plan” began and ended with God. It is a completed plan. It is not a plan that God gives us to work.

  5. 5 faithoffathers
    May 7, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Mark,

    If God’s work of salvation is completed, why are you not in Heaven yet?

    fof

  6. 6 Brad
    May 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Where in the Bible does it say that at the moment you receive salvation, you automatically go to Heaven?

    Let me know, FOF, I’d like to study that passage.

  7. 7 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    The plan was completed before the foundation of the world, however its implementation has not been completed.

    Philip. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
    13 For it is God which worketh (<=notice the tense) in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    Or from some other translations;

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.

    American King James Version
    For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    Notice that God is still implementing His plan by “producing in you”, unless of course God isn’t “producing in you”.

    markcares:Significantly, the Bible never once uses the word “plan” or mentions a “plan of salvation”.

    GB: the Bible never once uses the word “trinity” or “rapture” or mentions “faith alone” or “grace alone” or “bible alone” or “scripture alone”.

    Waiting to hear your outrage about that.

  8. 8 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Brad: “Where in the Bible does it say that at the moment you receive salvation, you automatically go to Heaven? Let me know, FOF, I’d like to study that passage.”

    John 5:24 “”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS crossed over from death to life.

    The verse uses “HAS” in past tense. We can know this now! The verse does NOT say: “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me and is obedient to all of my commandments WILL get eternal life and then won’t be condemned: He WILL cross over from death to life if he is obedient to all of my commandments”

  9. 9 Brad
    May 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Echo, sorry, what I meant (and just didn’t word very well) was the emphasis on the “go”, as in “where in the Bible does it say you immediately go to Heaven at the point you receive salvation?” I understand, and agree with, what you said above.

    I just phrased my response to FOF poorly.

  10. 10 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    “The verse uses “HAS” in past tense. We can know this now!”

    GB: What about these verses?

    Matt 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    Future tense there!

    Mark 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
    30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

    Future tense there!

    Matt. 10: 22
    22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Has the end come yet?

    John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture

    Future tense there!

    John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
    • • •
    40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Future tenses there!

  11. 11 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Brad and GB: It’s not about being there right now. It’s about having 100% assurance right now.

  12. 12 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Echo: Brad and GB: It’s not about being there right now.

    GB: Thank you for that concession.

    The assurance comes by way of the Holy Ghost.

    1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
    19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall ASSURE OUR HEARTS before him.
    20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
    21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
    22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
    23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
    24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

    Also

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

  13. 13 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    GB: Does your heart condemn you? Or do you keep all his commandments?

  14. 14 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Echo,

    Do you know Jesus, or do you sin?

  15. 15 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 2:17 am

    GB: Since you continue to preach that we must keep all the commandments to gain eternal life in the celestial kingdom, I have asked you repeatedly if you sin or if you keep all the commandments. I am not sure why you don’t want to answer that since that is what you believe, but I want you to know that your not obligated to answer.

  16. 16 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 2:46 am

    GB: I know Jesus. Thank you for asking. Jesus means everything to me.

    Jesus did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. He kept all of the commandments in my place, (in my behalf). He credited his perfect righteousness to my account in exchange for my sin. I have been made perfect forever all because of Jesus. Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified”

  17. 17 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Echo: I know Jesus. Thank you for asking. Jesus means everything to me.

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we (<=notice that it says “we” NOT Jesus) keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

  18. 18 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 3:38 am

    GB,

    So you’re a liar? Is that what you’re finally admitting? You’re finally acknowledging that you haven’t kept his commandments? Phew … I was beginning to wonder if we had a second Jesus on our hands here, but it turns out GB is in fact human. Thanks for acknowledging that Jesus is still the only one who’s ever been without sin.

  19. 19 faithoffathers
    May 8, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Brad,

    I was being facetious in making my point. Mark is arguing that since God’s work in saving His children in done, we have no work to do or commandments to obey- it’s all done. Using the same logic, one could ask why are we still here on earth- shouldn’t it all be done? Why are we not in heaven if it is all done? Why are we here?

    Mark is taking simple statements and reaching waaaayyy too far in his interpretation. I could interpret the statement from Christ “it is finished” to mean that all things would literally end. People will no longer be born. The earth will no longer circle the sun. Electrons will no longer circle protons and neutrons.

    It is just this type of logic that says we have nothing to do in our salvation- it has all been done.

    Question- if this argument is true- that salvation and all work associated with it are in the past tense, what about people before Christ. Was salvation only to be understood in the future tense. In other words, there would be no salvation for those people before Christ because it hadn’t happened yet. This argument brings up serious metaphysical and theological issues.

    Fortunately, the Book of Mormon clears this up. Because the atonement of Christ was “infinite and eternal,” it transcended time, and therefore applies to all people no matter when they live(d).

    Now that I think of it, the whole idea of God’s work being done is false. The Book of Mormon explains clearly that “have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?”

    Is God’s work “done?” I think it must be work to listen to the prayers from all His children (I am sure that is true in my case). It must be work to answer those prayers. Is it work to make miracles happen? Get my point?

    fof

  20. 20 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 5:38 am

    faithoffathers

    There is nothing wrong with Mark’s interpretation. It is your interpretation of what Mark is saying that is flawed.

    Salvation is a free gift from God to us. We have no works or commandments to obey in order to recieve this gift from God. This gift is free.

    Anyone who recieves this gift by faith is NOW FREE to do good works and obey the commandments out of thanks for the free gift God gave them.

    The LDS on the other hand have no freedom. They are slaves to God’s law.

    Those who recieve the free gift of salvation serve God because they WANT to.
    Those who recieve salvation by obeying all of God’s commandments serve God because the HAVE to.

  21. 21 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Correction: I said: “Those who recieve salvation by obeying all of God’s commandments serve God because they HAVE to.”
    To make that clearer I would like to reword it like this:

    “Those who “believe” that they recieve salvation by obeying all of God’s commandments serve God because they HAVE to.”

    Of course, nobody can obey ALL of God’s commandments so this approach to salvation is impossible.

  22. 22 Brad
    May 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I was being facetious in making my point. Mark is arguing that since God’s work in saving His children in done, we have no work to do or commandments to obey- it’s all done. Using the same logic, one could ask why are we still here on earth- shouldn’t it all be done? Why are we not in heaven if it is all done? Why are we here?

    Mark made no such argument – where do you see that in what he said? He never said above that we “have no work to do or commandments to obey” – in fact, Mark would say the opposite, that we ARE supposed to work and we SHOULD obey the commandments given to us. However, Mark would also say, and I would agree with him, that the work we do and the keeping of the commandments don’t do anything for us in regards to salvation, b/c that work has already been completed. We do them BECAUSE of the gift we have received, and BECAUSE we show our gratitude and love for Christ – NOT to gain salvation. You have read into what he wrote, and put something in it that’s not there.

    Mark is taking simple statements and reaching waaaayyy too far in his interpretation. I could interpret the statement from Christ “it is finished” to mean that all things would literally end. People will no longer be born. The earth will no longer circle the sun. Electrons will no longer circle protons and neutrons.

    You could – you’d be wrong, but you could.

    It is just this type of logic that says we have nothing to do in our salvation- it has all been done.

    They have nothing to do with each other. The logic Mark is using is based entirely in the Bible, and I and many others agree with him. You don’t – we’re used to people disagreeing, just as I’m sure you’re used to people disagreeing with Mormonism.

    Question- if this argument is true- that salvation and all work associated with it are in the past tense, what about people before Christ. Was salvation only to be understood in the future tense. In other words, there would be no salvation for those people before Christ because it hadn’t happened yet. This argument brings up serious metaphysical and theological issues.

    Absolutely no problems are presented. How were people saved in the OT, before Christ came? Same as they are saved now, by their faith. What does both the OT and the NT say about Abraham – his faith was credited to him as righteousness. Did he show his faith through his works? Absolutely. But it wasn’t his works that were credited as righteousness – it was his faith.

    Fortunately, the Book of Mormon clears this up. Because the atonement of Christ was “infinite and eternal,” it transcended time, and therefore applies to all people no matter when they live(d).

    I agree that Christ’s work was effectual for all people of all time. You don’t need the BOM to know that, the Bible doesn’t say any different. That still doesn’t imply a works-based salvation, or that we need to “work” or “keep commandments” in order to gain salvation.

    Now that I think of it, the whole idea of God’s work being done is false. The Book of Mormon explains clearly that “have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?”

    Well, then you’d have to define “work” as it relates to what has been done for salvation, or what you think still needs to be done for salvation. I don’t deny that God still “works” – He’s active, He doesn’t just sit around and wait. Of course I believe He still works. But He doesn’t still do anything that needs to be done for our salvation – that work happened on the cross 2,000 years ago, and was completed then.

    Is God’s work “done?” I think it must be work to listen to the prayers from all His children (I am sure that is true in my case). It must be work to answer those prayers. Is it work to make miracles happen? Get my point?

    As I said, I don’t deny He still “works”, but not in the sense that He still must do things for us to have salvation. That has been completed by Jesus’ death.

  23. 23 faithoffathers
    May 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Echo and Brad,

    My contention is: Mark argues that the LDS use of the phrase “plan of salvation” shows an underlying misunderstanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ because it implies there is work required of us. Ultimately, this is another way of getting to the argument over grace/faith vs. works.

    I am saying that the whole argument is very flawed. First, it is simply short-sighted to say God didn’t have a plan for our salvation. He had arranged, blue-printed, whatever you want to call it, a way for our salvation. Seems strange to me to argue over the wording of it all.

    Our work is required for salvation- it has always been this way from the beginning. It is a major misreading of the scriptures to argue otherwise. Our works do not save us, but we are required to obey and follow Christ. This is the law of the harvest which Christ so often referred to.

    fof

  24. 24 markcares
    May 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I appreciate Brad’s answer. The context here is salvation. In that context, and in that context alone, works have no place. “for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any many should boast.” As I read the comments of the numerous LDS contributors I hear a lot of reliance on and boasting in their works. GB: I’m still waiting to hear how often you sin. Are you saying that if you sin, ou can’t know Jesus?
    Also GB: John 5:24, the passage Echo quoted, doesn’t say they know it now. It says they have eternal life now. Eternal life is life with God. It is not as Mormonism defines it, life as a god. Do you believe eternal life is a gift of God? “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

  25. 25 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    FOF,

    Here’s another example from your most recent post of how confusing LDS terminology is to Christians: “Our work is required for salvation- it has always been this way from the beginning. It is a major misreading of the scriptures to argue otherwise. Our works do not save us.”

    To non-LDS, it sounds like you just stated that our work is required for salvation, and immediately followed it with “our works do not save us.” While I think I’m starting to understand what YOU mean by it (don’t confuse that with “agreeing” with what you mean by it:), it’s awfully confusing. Christians can’t reconcile that statement the way LDS do. Either we have to do something or we don’t (I’m speaking strictly in terms of salvation). We have difficulty finding any middle ground there.

    We’d agree that there’s nothing we can do to be saved. But the LDS then confusingly state that you must do something to receive the benefit of the “doing nothing to be saved.” We can’t see how that’s any different than saying “unless you meet this requirement, you won’t be saved” (i.e., Christ only counts for something if you first meet some requirement; otherwise his life/death was a waste of time. Furthermore, salvation then isn’t a free gift, as Ephesians says, but rather some sort of payment we receive for our services rendered).

    Over in the “Sin” post Christians are being accused of being illogical because we believe the Bible states that a man can choose to reject God but not, as our logic would assume, accept God. IMO, to say that we can’t earn salvation but that we have to do something to earn salvation is about as illogical as it gets.

  26. 26 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    “for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any many should boast.”

    NOWHERE in that, OR ANY OTHER, verse does it say that works/obedience are not required for eternal life. Works/obedience alone are not sufficient but they are NECESSARY. In fact the very next verse declares

    “. . . good works, which GOD HATH BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.”

    And then later on in the same epistle.

    4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
    25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
    26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
    27 Neither give place to the devil.
    28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
    29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
    32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

    And still later in the same epistle,

    6:6 . . . but as the servants of Christ, DOING THE WILL OF GOD from the heart;
    7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
    8 KNOWING THAT WHATSOEVER GOOD THING ANY MAN DOETH, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

    Again it is interesting to note, that the foundation of your theology is the (misunderstood) words of Paul. You let the (misunderstood) words of Paul cloud the clear and plain meaning of the words of Jesus. Rather than letting the clear and plain words of Jesus clarify the words of Paul.

    markcares:Significantly, the Bible never once uses the word “plan” or mentions a “plan of salvation”.

    GB: the Bible never once uses the word “trinity” or “rapture” or mentions “faith alone” or “grace alone” or “bible alone” or “scripture alone” or “original sin”.

    Waiting to hear your outrage about that.

    Also your attempts to change the subject by asking me personal questions are a red herring. A logical fallacy used to distract from the fact that your position is flawed. :-)

    Good try though.

  27. 27 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    ADB,

    Do you understand the statement “necessary but not sufficient”?

    Mark,

    I believe that if I keep His commandments and endure to the end I will have eternal life, which GIFT is the GREATEST of all the gifts of God.

  28. May 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    In my experience, when faith, works, and grace are discussed between evangelicals and Latter-day Saints, it takes a lot more than just arguing over scriptures in order to really get to the heart of what is meant by the other person. Often times we actually mean the same thing, we just usually discuss things differently.

    See, for example, my recent post (“Grateful for Grace”) and the comments at the end: http://latterdayspence.blogspot.com/2009/05/grateful-for-grace.html

    On an older post of mine about faith and works, an evangelical weighed in and actually helped me clarify what I believe. When we’re not on the “offensive” or “defensive”, we can actually learn from each other.
    http://latterdayspence.blogspot.com/2008/06/upon-further-review-faith-and-works.html

  29. 29 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    GB,

    “Do you understand the statement “necessary but not sufficient”?”

    I think so. Is that what Jesus was talking about when he said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9)?

    GB: “I believe that if I keep His commandments and endure to the end I will have eternal life, which GIFT is the GREATEST of all the gifts of God.”

    Let me be the first to say I will be impressed. First Jesus did it, then GB … the only two people who will ever have kept His commandments perfectly. By the way, as you are reading this post, with its ever so slight tinge of sarcasm, I trust you are loving me perfectly the whole time and that no evil thoughts about me have entered your mind. If so, then whoops, there went your chance at perfection.

  30. 30 faithoffathers
    May 9, 2009 at 2:28 am

    ADB,

    Thanks for the response.

    I have said this elsewhere, but I am finding the many evangelicals cannot see that grace and works are not mutually exclusive.

    I have alluded to this example before. Will do it again. The example is the idea of an inheritance from a parent or grandparent. A parent may very reasonably bequeath to an honest, faithful, loyal, and dependable child all the wealth they have created over their lifetime. That child did not earn or deserve that wealth by any means. But they were good and loyal, and as a result were given the inheritence. The same parent may refuse to bequeath anything to a child who is selfish, rebellious, dishonest, and proud.

    Mark- who has boasted of works? I don’t recall reading any LDS comments that I could consider boasting in their works. Recognizing the role of honoring and following God is one thing- boasting is another.

    fof

  31. 31 Echo
    May 9, 2009 at 5:34 am

    FOF: “Our work is required for salvation- it has always been this way from the beginning. It is a major misreading of the scriptures to argue otherwise. Our works do not save us, but we are required to obey and follow Christ. This is the law of the harvest which Christ so often referred to.”

    You said: “Our work is required for salvation” and then you said: “Our works do not save us”

    It “appears” to me that you are contradicting yourself but I know your not. It’s just that I am misunderstanding something. Can you explain these two statements to show me how they aren’t contradictory?

    Thanks

  32. 32 Echo
    May 9, 2009 at 6:00 am

    GB:

    Asking you questions like: “Do you keep all the commandments?” and “Do you sin?”
    should be the first questions you should very willingly want to answer considering you believe that you gain eternal life in the celestial kingdom by obeying all of the commandments.

    We can sin in our thoughts as well as our words and deeds. Every time we commit one “little” sin we aren’t committing just one “little” sin but rather we are breaking ALL of God’s commandments at once.

    Galatians 5:14 “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    So one little sin and we have broken the entire set of commandments.

    It is impossible for you to obey all the commandments isn’t it? Admit your human like the rest of us won’t you?

  33. 33 markcares
    May 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    GB:
    How is sking you about sin a red herring? Rather that gets to the heart of the matter, namely, does a person have the ability to work the plan. I admit and I have posted that I sin a lot. With that admission I am saying that I do not have the ability to work a plan of salvation – that God has to work it for me. I can give a Jr. High football team a plan to win the NFL Super Bowl – but no matter how good the plan is – it’s not going to happen because of their inability to work the plan. That’s my point.
    Secondly, your answers give the impressino that you don’t think you sin very much. I’m just checking to make sure that that is a correct impression.

  34. 34 markcares
    May 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    FOf:
    What about an ineritance given to a undeserving child? That is what God did for me.

  35. 35 faithoffathers
    May 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Mark,

    Rarely does a child reallly “deserve” an inheritance. No matter how good they are, they did not actually work in a job, etc. to directly earn the money they inherit. But that does not mean a good parent will unconditionally give all they have to a child who is spoiled, disobedient, lazy, or dishonest. In other words, there are typically conditions, spoken or unspoken, on receiving an inheritence. And, no, the conditions are not simply to accept the inheritence. How many times does a father and mother decide not to leave everything to a rebellious, rotten child? There are scriptural examples of this. Why is this difficult to see?

    BEING REQUIRED TO OBEY COMMANDMENTS AND NOT DESERVING OR EARNING SALVATION ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE CONCEPTS.

    fof

  36. 36 markcares
    May 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    God saved me – he gave me the inheritance of heaven before I obeyed one single commandment. I was dead in sin. Ephesians 2:1-5.

  37. 37 Echo
    May 9, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    The inheritance is conditional on the perfect performance of the sons but the truth is that neither son can perform perfectly.

    The thing that is missing in this family is LOVE. The unconditional love of the Father.

    Both the son who is selfish, rebellious, dishonest and proud and the son who is honest, faithful, loyal and dependable are loved based on their performance in meeting the conditions rather than being loved unconditionally.

    Therefore both sons are selfish, rebellious, dishonest and proud. But it’s the son who is acting faithful, loyal and dependable and honest who is living a lie. He is the one who pretends he is something that he is not in order to gain the inheritance.

  38. 38 faithoffathers
    May 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Echo- Your reasoning sounds like the people who say it is wrong for us to try to be righteous. I could not imagine a more flawed and devilish doctrine. It is a lie to be a faithful, loyal, dependable and honest son or daughter? Who said anything about the child expecting an inheritance? In my mind- I was thinking of a parent bestowing an inheritence that was a surprise to a child- something they had no expectation of. What about this is difficult? This is a very real-life example of how mercy, grace, and obedience can meld and mesh.

    Do you think it is wise or appropriate for a parent to truly give everything (materially) to a son or daugher even though that child is a wreck of a person. Because I sure wasn’t raised that way, and I don’t raise my children that way. Such gifts or endowments to spoiled and undisciplined people actually ruins lives- it happens all the time. Hate to mentioned politics, but look at what is often termed the “welfare mentality.” Few things are more destructive to human beings.

    Life has consequences. Behavior has consequences. I have always known that my parents loved me unconditionally. But this does not mean they always treated me the same way.

    Mark- I am glad you have felt Heaven’s love and grace. But do you really, honestly believe you don’t have to obey one commandment to go to heaven? Is that what you are saying?

    In summary- a person does not have to obey one commandment to go to heaven. In fact, to try to be righteous counts against you. Please tell me I am misunderstanding you guys.

    Thanks,

    fof

  39. 39 Echo
    May 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    It is NOT wrong for us to try to be righteous. It is most definately wrong for us to think that by being righteous we will earn God’s favor and gain his inheritance.

  40. 40 markcares
    May 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Fof:
    Yes, in order to go to heaven I don’t have to obey one commandment. Jesu’ perfection and righteousness has become mine. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30) Jesus has washed away all my sins. He has fulfilled the law for me. That is why etrnal life is God’s gift to me – Romans 6:23.
    Just to make the picture complete, I will in gratitude now try and keep the commandments. But that, in no way, contributes to my salvation. Please try to understand my mindset. Salvation was a done deed. Therefore if everything was accomplished by Jesus, how can I contribute anything to it? In fact, from my persepective, saying that I have to contribute anything disgraces Jesus and his perfect gift to me. It is saying that his work was incomplete, shabby – that God wasn’t telling the truth when he said eternal life was a gift and salvation was not of wors.

  41. 41 faithoffathers
    May 11, 2009 at 3:35 am

    Mark,

    Your logic is flawed- because Christ achieved the atonement, I don’t have to achieve anything.

    Are you able to see how, at least to me and LDS, it is possible to reconcile the two concepts of grace and the need for our works? You may disagree, but please at least acknowledge that you can understand how it works for us. I think I understand your view. Yet I am not confident that the EVs posting here even understand what we believe. None of them have been able to at least restate or describe what it is that LDS believe. We know you think we are wrong, but I am not sure you know how our doctrine works. (Please don’t just claim to understand our doctrine better than us).

    Thanks,

    fof

  42. May 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    FoF: I haven’t jumped in much to the whole “works/faith/salvation” threads lately because they’ve kind of worn me out , and seem redundant.

    let me say that even though your view of grace and salvation are somewhat different than mine, I think the lds view on WORKS and FAITH is much more holistic and conjoined, and to me this is a good thing: I don’t think the Jews parsed things out the way bloggerworld is today. I think to them REPENTANCE, FAITH, and WORKS were of the same cloth. SALVATION was not just a ‘decision’, though I’ve been banging on free agency for a few weeks, but a leaning into GOD that assumed a change in direction….no change in direction ????….well, no saving faith…something ersatz instead.

    I won’t restate your position for you, I wouldn’t get it quite right (I’m rusty on that) but just thought I’d let you know that there are more than one ev. positions on all this (surprise, surprise)

    peace and the shalom of GOD rest on you and yours
    GERMIT

  43. May 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Germit, that’s one of the best comments I’ve read. Thank you, and agreed.

  44. 44 ADB
    May 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Could someone give an LDS take on the difference in how “faith” and “belief” are defined? I’m still trying to wrap my head around things, and this may help a little in my understanding of the LDS view on salvation.

  45. 45 GB
    May 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    “How is sking you about sin a red herring?”

    Because it is irrelevant to this discussion and therefore a distraction from the fact that you argument is flawed.

    “Rather that gets to the heart of the matter, namely, does a person have the ability to work the plan.”

    Is a person able to lay hold of the gift of repentance from sin and thus put sin in the past?

    Gen. 6:9 ¶ These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah dwalked with God.

    1 Kgs. 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.

    Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
    • • •
    8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

    Ps. 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

    Prov. 11:5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

    2 Tim. 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

    How did Jesus walk?

    The Bible says that you need two witnesses to establish every word.

    Matt. 18:16 . . . that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    2 Cor. 13:1 . . . In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

    You guys keep quoting Paul. Do you have a second witness?

  46. 46 GB
    May 11, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    ADB,

    Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11: 1; Alma 32: 21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation. Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Rom. 10: 14-17). Miracles do not produce faith but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, strong faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one’s faith.

    Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can command the elements and/or heal the sick, or influence any number of circumstances when occasion warrants (Jacob 4: 4-7). Even more important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God.

    All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results. Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel and is more than belief, since true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity.

    Although faith is a gift, it must be cultured and sought after until it grows from a tiny seed to a great tree. The effects of true faith in Jesus Christ include, 1) an actual knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is acceptable to the Lord (see Heb. 11: 4); 2) a reception of the blessings of the Lord that are available to man in this life; and, 3) an assurance of personal salvation in the world to come. These things involve individual and personal testimony, guidance, revelation, and spiritual knowledge. Where there is true faith there are miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and all the gifts of God that he gives to his saints. Jesus pointed out some obstacles to faith in John 5: 44 and John 12: 39-42 (cf. James 1: 6-8).

  47. May 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Clean cut: thanks ….I’m good for maybe one quote a quarter…tune back into my channel sometime late summer ….. :-)

  48. 48 markcares
    May 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Fof:
    Over the years I have had a number of LDs leaders; stake presidents, Institue instructors, bishops, etc. attend my presentations. Many of them have told me that i presented LDS doctrine accurately – some have even taken the time to thank me for giving a fair presentation. Therefore I feel that yes, I have an understanding of LDS dcotrine -since that is what LDS leaders themselves have told me.
    Let me now share one of my frustrations. I have had numerous LDS explain a doctrine differently than the way it was explained officially and then criticize me for not understanding LDS doctrine. I remember one case when a member was debating quite vigorously with me over an LDS doctrine, only to have an Institue teacher call him aside to tell him that I was protraying it accurately and he was the one in error.
    Take 2 Nehpi 25:23 and the prhase “after all we can do”. I don’t know how many different explanations I have heard of that from Mormons. But the officicial sources, “the inspired Church handbooks” (Elder Neider, General Conference, April 09) all explain it quite consistently. As a result, I often wonder if many Mormons understand Mormonism correctly.

  49. May 11, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Quoting from a fellow LDS blogger, because he says what I would want to now say:

    2 Nephi 25:23 is the most quoted verse about grace in Mormondom. It says, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Many people believe that this means we are only saved if we do all that we can do – if we obey every commandment to the best of our ability. That simply isn’t in line with the rest of our scriptures and, more importantly, it leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety about whether or not “I am doing enough.” I see this all the time in my discussions with [my wife] and as I listen to and read the blogs of many women, especially. Rather than seeing the grace of God as a freeing, enabling gift that already has been given, they often internalize it as a reward dangling enticingly in front of them, ready to be withdrawn if they screw up too badly and fail to repent immediately. That leads to guilt and pain and lack of self-confidence, instead of the rest that is promised so beautifully in Matthew 11:28-30.

    When I read 2 Nephi 25:23, I explain it by employing a common linguistic technique – switching the phrases to reflect the proper emphasis. In this case, the sentence becomes, “(Even) after all we can do, it is (still) by grace that we are saved.” Of course, we are to try to do all that we can do, but exactly what we can do pales in comparison to what He has done – saved us by His grace regardless of what we can do. It takes the pressure off of us and puts the focus where it should be – on His incomprehensible grace that so fully he proffers us.

    (I provide the link to this on my most recent blog post).

  50. 50 markcares
    May 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Clean Cut:
    Please show me from an official source that explanation. Wihtout that backing, it only carries the weight of an indivdual’s interpretation.

  51. May 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Mark, do you ask the same from the bishops and stake presidents, and institute instructors? This is LDS doctrine! It’s right there in the “official” scriptures. Anyone who interprets it differently ought to gently be asked how that view jives with the rest of the LDS Standard Works, which are replete with the doctrine of grace. I could provide many scriptural references if you’d like.

  52. 52 markcares
    May 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    What I am asking is that you support the interpretation that you gave with a reference from an official source. Since this is an interpretation of LDS Scripture, I think it is only fair of me to ask you to show me the source of that interpretation from an official source. After all this passage has been referred to and expalined in General Conference, church manuals.etc. more than a few times. That is all I am asking.

  53. May 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I understand that Mark. And I’m just asking if you also ask the same of every bishop, stake president, and institute director.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve think church manuals and curriculum have improved immensely in the last decade or two to better reflect the teachings of the Standard Works on grace. Perhaps it’s still true that many individual LDS views still fall sub-standard of the Standard Works in this regard, but there’s been a tangible shift in the proper emphasis and teaching of this doctrine in the Church. Many trace it back to President Benson’s emphasis on returning to the Book of Mormon and the doctrine found in abundance there, rather than focussing solely on the differences between LDS Christians and Traditional Christians, which leads easily to an unhealthy balance in the grace vs. works. As always, the official “standard” for “official doctrine” is not church manuals (which are not binding), past homiletic sermons, or even all general conference addresses, but rather the STANDARD Works. My view is that the Church as a whole (as reiterated by recent general authorities) has improved immensely with placing the proper emphasis on the teachings in the scriptures.

  54. 54 markcares
    May 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Clean Cut:
    Yes I do ask that of LDS leaders whatever their positions.
    How do you understand Elder Neider’s use of the word inspired in his General Conference talk when he spoke of “inspired Church handbooks”?
    It would also be appreciated if you give me some of the references from the church manuals you mentioned above that better reflect the teacings on grace. Thanks.

  55. May 11, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Well, I’m not sure what your exposure is to the in’s and out’s of the Church. But since you asked, I’ll just quickly clarify that, first off, Michael A. Neider was not a “general authority”. (He wasn’t an “Elder” in either of the Seventies). He was the Second Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency. (Parenthetically, he just recently visited my home ward before he was released and I personally met him.) In his conference talk, in conjunction with the word “inspired”, he spoke of “the inspired direction of latter-day prophets”, “inspired direction from God and His prophets”, “inspired questions given of the Spirit”, and “inspired Church handbooks”. The handbooks are prepared by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church (ie: “inspired living prophets”), in contrast to Church manuals which are written by curriculum department writers. In this context, he was speaking of the young men learning their duties from the handbooks for their calling.

    Perhaps I can be allowed to provide a link to my own blog where I already discussed what is and is not “official” doctrine.

  56. 57 markcares
    May 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Clean Cut:
    Still waiting for those official references that you referred to above. Without those I can only consider the interpretation you gave as the opinion of individuals members of the LDS Church and not the position of the LDS Church.

  57. May 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Well, Mark, that’s unfortunate for you then. Because there isn’t an “official interpretation” nor an “official position” on this scripture on the part of the LDS Church. We members don’t really have a problem with that either. We thus have the liberty to believe and read those scriptures with the light of the Spirit, rather than being boxed in by the “light” of a creed.

  58. 59 markcares
    May 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Clean Cut:
    I’m confused about your comment about Michael Neider. I never called him a General Authnority. But I get the impression that you thought I shouldn’t be calling him elder either. I did that because, “All Melchizekek Priesthood holders are elders.” (Gospel Principles, p. 90) Why did you put elder in “”?

  59. May 13, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I really didn’t mean to cause any confusion. I tried to be very careful in how I described it. Yes it’s true that I am also an “elder”, or that I hold that office in the priesthood. But we also use “Elder” as a title. I was merely trying to say he was not a general authority. The semantics aren’t that important here. The point only was that his words carry less weight than those of a general authority, and especially of those bretheren we sustain as “prophets, seers, and revelators” in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency.

  60. 61 markcares
    May 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Clean Cut:
    So…according to your post #58 all the various interpretations of 2 Nephi 25:23 that LDS members have given me over the years are all correct – even if they contradict each other. Secondly, there is no way a non-Mormon like me can discover what Mormonism teaches by that passage since there is no official interpretation and there are numerous individual interpretations. Thirdly, can a Mormon ever interpret it falsely? If so, how can that be detected? What standard will it be measured against? 4) No creeds? Since creeds are statements of belief (credo = I believe) what are the Articles of Faith since each article begins with “We believe”.

  61. May 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Mark, are you sincere here, really? Or is this some kind of game to you? Please don’t put words in my mouth. You seem to jump to illogical conclusions based on assumptions you bring to the table and which I do not believe.

    The Articles of Faith can certainly be described as a creed if that’s what you’d like to call it. But those are all statements that are canonized and “official”–part of the Standard Works. We ARE bound by the Standard Works. We’re not bound by any one particular interpretation of 2nd Nephi any more than we’re bound by the speculations of Orson Pratt on this or that, etc. Some interpretations are more correct than others (in my view) and there are probably some I would reject outright.

    Here’s a fresh interpretation which also may very well be true. It’s given me something to think about, at least:
    http://katielangston.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/after-all-we-can-do/

  62. May 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Some people just don’t want any openness in their theology.

    That’s not what I want from a religion. I don’t want a definitive set of doctrine that spells out everything. I don’t want a single legalistic master-text that binds all. I don’t want a God who is a neurotic micro-manager. And I don’t want an irrevocable iron-clad guarantee of salvation.

    The entire worldview is incredibly obnoxious to me.

  63. 64 ADB
    May 14, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Seth,

    Unfortunately, the kind of God you WANT is irrelevant. What matters is how God has revealed himself to us (that’s where good ole’ John 3:16 comes in handy).

    “And I don’t want an irrevocable iron-clad guarantee of salvation.”

    Who in his right mind would not want an iron-clad guarantee of salvation? Would we be better off gambling or leaving everything up to chance when the outcome is so serious as spending eternity in heaven or hell? Why else would God have given us his Word but so that we could be certain of how to be right with him?

  64. May 14, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I don’t want an iron-clad guarantee ADB.

    What a joke of a universe it would otherwise be. Maybe you like being the lucky winner of the cosmic lottery.

    To me it’s disgusting.

  65. 66 markcares
    May 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Seth:
    You might find this worldview obnoxious and disgusting, but that really is not the point. Sometimes I get the impression that you place God into a democracy where humans can vote him in or out. Or else there’s a multitude of gods from which you can choose the one we want as our god. But that is not what the Bible says. God is God – period. We can’t vote him out – we can’t pick another god – we can’t walk away from him forever. Eventually every one of us will have to stand before him and be judged. And we won’t be able to avoid that summons. When that happens I will want to be standing clothed completely in Christ’s righteousness.
    The question is not what kind of god you or I like. No, the question is what has the all-pwerful, eternal God revealed to us about himself and about his will. I say that he has given us that revelvation in the Bible.

  66. May 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Given all that GOD has said about “persevering to the end” or “enduring until the end” , am I the only one here who is little skittish about the phrase “iron clad guarantee” ??? I’m not doubting GOD”s promises…but I’m also not discounting HIS conditions…they are BOTH in the WORD.

    GERMIT

  67. May 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Very well said, Germit.

  68. May 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Mark, it really doesn’t matter what’s true, if what’s true is wrong.

    This is something that I’ve noticed a lot of Calvinists just don’t seem to get.

  69. 70 ADB
    May 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Germit,

    “am I the only one here who is little skittish about the phrase “iron clad guarantee” ??? I’m not doubting GOD”s promises…”

    With all due respect, to not see God’s promise of salvation to all who believe as an “iron clad guarantee” is very much doubting God’s promises. Either the Bible is telling the truth when it says that all who believe will be saved, or it isn’t. There is no middle ground.

  70. May 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    ADB: I think our differences might be in this “believe” thing and how it works; I don’t see it as a “stamp to get into the movie” situation; “believe” is not only a verb, but a continuous verb; so do I “believe” ?? well, yes, I’d say so….based on my trust in Jesus RIGHT NOW. this does not have to be morbid introspection (checking my level of beleif every 3 seconds to make sure it’s strong enough) but the other extreme ( I ‘believed” at the Wed night prayer service as a 8yr old…. so I’m therefore “IN”) is no more biblical.

    I’m not into morbid introspection as to the level of my belief; but the admonitions to ENDURE and PERSEVERE are still there…and they are preceded by a very troublesome word: IF….

    I can’t ignore that either.

    GERmIT

  71. May 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    ONe reason that many today make such a big deal about ASSURANCE is the privitization of faith, as opposed to a emphasis on Kingdom community: the BODY of believers…. I think the modern mindset is all about MY level of assurance…. I’m not at all convinced that the NT , Jewish, mindset was like this at all. Food for thot.

    GERMIT

  72. May 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I’ve always felt that modern Evangelicalism runs very high risks of selfishness in individuals.

    They avoid calling it self-centeredness by transferring personal identity to Jesus. People are self-absorbed, but to avoid thinking about how selfish they are, they transfer personal identity onto Jesus. Then they claim they’re worshiping Jesus, when in reality, they are worshiping nothing more than their own personal insecurities and sense of self-importance.

    When you are selfish and insecure, taking those feelings and calling it “Jesus” doesn’t make you any less selfish and insecure.

  73. 74 GB
    May 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    As I have said before, instead of having some of the (misunderstood) words of Paul be the foundation for your theology, you should let the plain and clear words of Jesus be the foundation of your theology. And always reconcile the words of Paul to the words of Jesus instead of the other way around.

    From Deu 18:15 ¶ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
    . . .
    18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

    Moses prophesied that a preeminent prophet would be raised up, whose teachings would be preeminent among ALL the teachings of ALL the prophets.

    Who was he talking about?

    Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
    24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
    . . .
    26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

    So was Moses talking about Jesus? Yes he was. The teachings of Jesus supersede and are preeminent to ALL others.

    Paul verified the preeminence of Jesus and His teachings with this statement. Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    So then, where there are apparent conflicts between the statements of Paul and Jesus, Jesus wins.

    So what does it mean to “believe” in Jesus or to “confess” Jesus? Do any of you think that these things can be faked and still count?

    Can you really truly “believe” in Jesus and NOT believe what He taught? Can you really truly “confess” Jesus and NOT follow His example?

    Is God not a God of truth? So when the scriptures say “believe” or “confess” can they mean anything other than true belief or true confession?

    What did Jesus mean when He said;
    Matt. 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    Is he not talking about faked belief or faked confession?

    And,
    Matt. 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

    So again I ask, do any of you think that these things can be faked and still count?

  74. May 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Seth and others: I’m not against assurance, per se, but it’s also easy to turn “Jesus” into whatever, and whomever, we want it to be; behold the dog and pony show that is much of modern “christianity” where Jesus will see to it (John 10:10….righhhhhht) that MY LIFE is successful… BTW I’m not suggesting that this is the gospel that ADB and others are putting forward.

    A real danger, NOT an inevitability (I’m hoping), with Protestanism in general is some kind of reductionism of focus and even bibical interpretation where the bible says WHAT I think it says..and the message for many is just molded to fit the selfishness we all have as fallen people. so much for a life transforming gospel.

    meanwhile the REAL gospel very much sets us free from ourselves and our whacky religious ideas.

    Praising GOD for a new day of salvation.
    GERMIT

  75. May 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I wasn’t talking about “Prosperity Gospel.”


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