27
Oct
09

The Sin of Trying

     I recently ran across an interesting statement.  “Sin is not just breaking the law but imagining you can keep it.”  Wasn’t that the problem with the Pharisees?  If anybody “kept” the law it was them. They defined it so carefully that they determined things like how many steps a person could walk on the Sabbath before it constituted work.  They were obsessed with keeping the law.

     Therefore it surprises a lot of people to see that Jesus reserved his harshest rhetoric for them. This even startled Jesus’ disciples.  “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?”  (Matthew 15:12)  Jesus responded by describing the Pharisees as the blind leading the blind. 

     They were blind because they didn’t see the deadly folly of imagining that they could keep the law.  This also holds true for Mormonism.  Here are just a few examples from the first few chapters of Gospel Principles

            “By keeping His commandments we can become like Him.”  P. 6

            “Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21-23).” P 7

            “He, like our Heavenly Father, wanted us to choose whether we would obey Heavenly Father’s commandments.” P.13

            “As we obey each of our Father’s commandments, we grow in wisdom and strength of character.”  P. 19

            “If we keep His commandments and make right choices, we will learn and understand.  We will become like Him.  (See D&C 93:28).”

     Paul, as he states in Philippians 3, was one of the most zealous of all Pharisees.  He describes himself this way:  “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (v. 6)  He then says all that he now considers dung.  He continues: “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (v.9)

     The righteousness that is acceptable to God is not any righteousness cultivated by man.  The only righteousness that God accepts is Christ’s righteousness – the righteousness we make our own by giving up on our works and trusting only in Jesus’ works.  That is what Paul discovered.  That is what, I pray, many LDS people will discover.

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229 Responses to “The Sin of Trying”


  1. October 27, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    So you are saying that we must try to sin so we will not “imagin that we can keep the law” of God?

    The real folly you preach is that we cannot keep the Law of God so we shouldn’t even try.

    What commandments do you plan to break today?

    Is there no right and wrong with you?

    Where do you personally draw the line, what sin is acceptable unto you, and what will you not commit?

    Of course the natural man, as an emeimy to God, will sin, but through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can be made whole again and brought beyond the natural man… We can keep the Law, the Law of Christ: “Love thy God with all your heart, might, mind, and strenght, and love your neighbor as I have loved you.”

    I ask you to reconsider your position on the necessity of continuing in sin to be saved, before you commit your planed sinns.

    God bless you,
    -Ditchu

  2. October 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    As we take upon ourselves the name of Christ (as Christians) our actions are those of Christ, thus our righteousness is not ours but that of Jesus Christ. We “Mormons” understand the signifance and importance of Jesus Christ in our daily lives and how it is not by our personal actions that we are saved, but the Atonement of Christ. We “Mormons” attribute this to Jesus Christ as we even call ourselves after his name: Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints.
    We do recongnize that our actions directly reflect upon Christ, thus we try our best to “Keep the Law of God.” That is why we often note a statment, “after all we can do” signifying that we cannot enter into our God’s presense by our marrits alone.

    You, Pastor Matt, need to get off this kick, as this has been explaned to you en infinitum.
    Will you still refuse to acknoledge your own error, and ignore the councel you have received on this issue?

    In the pure love of Christ Jesus that is between us,
    -Ditchu

  3. October 27, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Sorry that should have been pastor Mark, not pastor Matt. I was thinking of a similuar conversation I had with a friend a long while back, his name was Matt, your’s is Mark.

    God bless…

  4. 4 RLO
    October 28, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Ditchu;

    You are reading what has not been written here, and are hearing what has not being said. Please go back and read Mark’s post. Nowhere does he say anything resembling,

    “we must try to sin so we will not imagine that we can keep the law of God.”

    Nowhere does he preach,

    “that we cannot keep the law of God so we shouldn’t even try.”

    And at no time has Mark ever taken a position suggesting,

    “the necessity of continuing in sin to be saved.”

  5. 5 JesusLover
    October 28, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Ditchu – NOWHERE did Mark say we should sin – where do you read that?

  6. 6 markcares
    October 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Ditchu:
    As the others have stated, I nowhere stated that we should sin. What I am talking about is our inability to keep the law. I agree with Paul: “For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19)
    You wrote: “We can keep the Law, the Law of Christ: “Love thy God with all your heart, might, mind, and strenght, and love your neighbor as I have loved you.” I assume by that you are saying that you do love God completely – with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Does that mean than that you no longer sin? Sin and complete love of God are opposites. They can’t exist together.

  7. October 28, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Mark,
    I do not assume to be sinless. Do I presume that it is possible to keep all the commandments? Yes, I do think it is possible, but I have a choice and I do not always choose in the best interest of my eternal wellbeing, thus there are times I choose to sin.

    But it is possible, even probable to live without sin after my heart has been turned by the Holy Spirit to love Christ, when I can do away with the natural man.

    You make the clear argument that even thinking you can live according to the Law is sinful. You implicate the need to actively attempt sin when you suggest that living according to the commandments is wrong.
    Thus the logical conclusion from such argumentation is that it is better to actively sin instead of trying to live by the Law.

    Can you see the error in this logic, and the error in your argumentation against the law of God.

    Jesus said, “If you love me, follow my commandments.”

    The real sin is to go against God and choose to violate his commandments, this is an active choice not a simple slip. Take responsibility for your actions and realize that it is by choice not accident that we sin. As an adult, I realize my responsibility, and that I am responsible only for that which I have some control over. If we cannot keep the Law we then are not responsible for keeping it. However, God has set up the Law that we can keep it, or he would have given us to original law that is too much for the Israelites freed from Egypt to follow.
    That we sin is another issue, but this issue is that we have the potential to keep the Law because of Christ and his help freeing us from the bondage of sin, that we have the law in the first place. How can you explain a Caring and loving God that sets you up for failure, giving you commandments, laws and rules you have no hope of following?
    For your understanding, you are preaching that we should try to sin, when you preach that it is wrong to even think we can follow God’s commandments (the Law as you put it).

  8. 8 RLO
    October 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Ditchu: “Do I presume that it is possible to keep all the commandments? Yes, I do think it is possible.”

    How do you explain passages like Ephesians 2:1-3 (dead in transgressions and sins…objects of wrath), or Romans 8:7-8 (the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so), or Romans 3:20 (no one declared righteous by observing the law), or Galatians 2:16 (no one justified by observing the law), and so many other passagess that warn us of the eternal consequences of thinking we can follow the law perfectly?

    Ditchu: “But it is possible, even probable to live without sin after my heart has been turned by the Holy Spirit to love Christ, when I can do away with the natural man.”

    I guess you’re more righteous than the Apostle Paul himself, who recognized he couldn’t (Romans 7:14-25).

    Ditchu: “You implicate the need to actively attempt sin when you suggest that living according to the commandments is wrong.”

    Implying the need to actively attempt to sin, or suggesting that living according to the commandments is wrong, are things Mark has simply never said. I am bewildered as to where you are coming up with such thoughts from any of Mark’s posts.

    Ditchu: “If we cannot keep the Law we then are not responsible for keeping it.”

    Can you provide a Bible chapter and verse in support of this statement, please.

    Ditchu: “God has set up the Law that we can keep it…”

    If it is possible to perfectly keep the law, then why hasn’t anyone on the face of the planet throughout the entire history of mankind been able to accomplish it? (Romans 3:10-18).

    Ditchu: “How can you explain a Caring and loving God that sets you up for failure, giving you commandments, laws and rules you have no hope of following?”

    Excellent question, the answer of which leads us to an understanding of why God gave us the law. The purpose of the law is to show us our sins, our total inability to perfectly keep it, to drive us to dispair of ourselves being able to do anything to save ourselves. Only when we fully understand this truth, will we appreciate the flip side of the coin, the gospel, which shows us our savior, what God has done for us, because he knows we can’t do it for ourselves. Until we understand the purpose of the law, we will never understand the beauty of the gospel. So you see, He’s not “setting us up” for eternal damnation, he “setting us up” for eternal salvation. It’s all about Him, about what He has done. It’s nothing about us, or what we can do. We can do nothing. We are beggars, and all we can do is stretch out our hand to receive the gift. It’s called grace – undeserved merit. Grasp this simple truth.

    Ditchu: “For your understanding, you are preaching that we should try to sin, when you preach that it is wrong to even think we can follow God’s commandments (the Law as you put it).”

    Well, sorry. But no, that’s not what he’s preaching. And I think once you come to a proper understanding of law and gospel, and of works and grace, you will see that he’s not preaching that we should try to sin. Coming to such a farfetched conclusion is simply ludicrous.

  9. 9 Echo
    October 29, 2009 at 12:42 am

    ditchu,

    You said: “You make the clear argument that even thinking you can live according to the Law is sinful.”

    You think you can live according to the law(obey all the commandments) and the Pharisees thought they could live according to the law. Jesus showed the pharisees that they couldn’t live according to the law. Jesus showed them their sin of believing that they could obey all the commandments, when they couldn’t.

    You said: “You implicate the need to actively attempt sin when you suggest that living according to the commandments is wrong. ”

    Where did Mark implicate that that living according to the commandments is wrong? Can you show me?

    Where did mark implicate the need to actively sin? Can you show me?

    You said: “For your understanding, you are preaching that we should try to sin, when you preach that it is wrong to even think we can follow God’s commandments (the Law as you put it).”

    Where is Mark preaching that we should try to sin?

  10. October 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    It is interesting that Ditchu’s response that Mark’s (and thereby Paul’s) preaching means logically we should sin more, for that is exactly the response that Paul himself received from unbelievers he was preaching to. He responds to this in, among other places, Romans 6:1.

    Darrell

  11. October 29, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    It took me a couple of minutes, but I found the other spot where Paul addresses those who are falsely accusing him of saying this. It is Romans 3:8.

    Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—”Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.

    Ditchu,

    Paul and Mark are not saying we shouldn’t try not to sin. They are saying that it is a sin to think we can achieve righteousness and holiness by trying. This is exactly the problem the Pharisees had… they thought they were better than others because they behaved and obeyed better. Afterall, they didn’t eat unclean food, or walk to far on the Sabbath, etc. As a result, they were so engrossed in their self-righteousness that they missed the righteousness that comes from God that was in front of them the entire time. In fact, they had this righteouness put to death.

    This is why legalism is such a cancer… because people will think they are doing the right thing and they aren’t. Instead, they dive into the pit of hypocrisy and self-delusion. That is the exact spot that the son who stayed home was in during the parable of the prodigal son. He was really just like the most vile of sinners because he thought he was being righteous and was not willing to repent. The prodigal was in reality much better off because he realized how bad off he was and repented. The son who stayed home instead chose to stay out in the field… afterall, he had obeyed “every one” of his fathers rules. He had made himself righteous in his own eyes and missed the forginess that his father was ready to freely give him. In fact, he openly scorned it.

    Legalistic people think they are being righteous and following God – all the while they miss the fact that the righteousness does not come from anything they do. Holiness and righteousness is not about us – it is about God. Even the most perfect person on earth is still the most vile sinner in God’s eyes unless he is covered in the blood of the Lamb.

    Darrell

  12. October 30, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    There is so much to comment on here. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to do a proper job.

    So, I will leave you with a few points to think over.

    ROL,
    “farfetched conclusion is simply ludicrous.”???
    Are you being completely obtuse?
    What is he preaching? “Sin is not just breaking the law but imagining you can keep it.”
    He quoted this line and ran with it in full support. Summation of his monologue: “Trying to keep the Law is breaking it.” He even titles his article: “The Sin of Trying”
    If you cannot see where I came up with my “farfetched” conclusion, then you are simply obtuse.

    I do understand that self-righteousness is not in accordance to the will of God, but Mark does not even elude to this. He simply omits this point, but hammers on the “Mormon” teachings and again shows his lack of understanding, by presuming the context of the statements he uses as being pious and self-righteous, when it is stated clearly to say exactly what the text represents. The piety of these doctrines are not for self-righteousness, but to help us seek after God and do good, to learn of him and develop a deeper love for our Father in heaven and for our Savior Jesus Christ. In no way does the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints preach that we can get to heaven, be saved or exalted without relying on Jesus Christ as our Savior. But it is encouragement to do rightly (as much as we can). When we do good after the example of Christ, we are not seeking salvation, we are seeking understanding, compassion, learning, and growth. Our (my) piety is not for the sake of restitution for our (my) sins, it is out of love for our (my) God and for our (my) own growth as his servant.
    Mark even quotes: “Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21-23).” From this, it should be apparent that we LDS do not think we can achieve Salvation by simply obeying all the commandments to obsession, but that we strive to obey God in all of his commands, “AS BEST WE CAN.” There is no overt meaning in any of this “Mormon” Stuff. However, Mark is twisting his meanings and assumptions into the article and making statements like, “They were blind because they didn’t see the deadly folly of imagining that they could keep the law. This also holds true for Mormonism.”

    I think Mark missed the boat when he assumes that the sin of the Pharisees is that they thought they could keep God’s law. The Sin of the Pharisee is that he makes the law harder than it is, writing upon it and amending it out of his own pious pride. The Pharisee thinking he is righteous in his Piety (to his own Law) when he actually rejects the Law of God out of pride, and self-righteousness. Mark then makes it clear he thinks “Mormon” logic is to achieve salvation/redemption without Christ, but that is untrue and foolishness. I testify that it is the foundation of all “Mormon” Doctrine that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and none shall regain the presence of God the father except by Him and His Atonement.

    God bless,
    Ditchu

  13. October 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Echo,
    The law is fully possible for man to follow. If you want to split hairs, there is a well documented case in the history of mankind on the face of this planet of a person following the law completely, and “perfectly”.
    This one case in point is a man known by us now as Jesus Christ.
    By his example we can know the possibility of man to keep the law.
    The point is not if we can keep the law but it is that we don’t.
    We make a choice when we sin, it is not happenstance.

    Ponder this: many children are born into this mortal world each year. Of these children some die shortly after birth.
    Say there is this child that is born, lives a few short minutes in this mortal world and then dies within 15 minutes of birth. How did that child violate the Law? If that child did not actively sin, it is obvious that the Child did not do anything against God. If that child did not violate the Law then it upheld it and kept the Law perfectly.

    Now if you think that the child inherited the sin of Adam (as I have heard this argument before), the child did not actually do anything to sin. In the case of inheriting the sin of Adam (which I have issue with altogether) it must not go against the Law of God, and thus must not violate the law in any way.
    Let’s look into this a bit.
    If we inherit the Sin of Adam, how do we do this? What action makes us inherit this sin?
    If you think being born into mortal flesh and bone, then it must not be against the Law of God as even his only begotten son was born in to mortal flesh and bone, but kept the Law completely and perfectly.
    If Jesus Christ suffered mortality then it is not a sin to be mortal.

    The transgression of Adam and Eve brought about mortality but did not bring about any sin. I do not think we can inherit sin from anyone. If you think we do inherit sin from another parson, do you have any scriptural references to suggest this?

    God bless,
    Ditchu

  14. October 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Darrell,
    Paul did make himself clear that he was not preaching that we should sin, but that we should strive to do right daily. Mark on the other hand makes no such remark here.
    I stand by my conviction that his folly is that he has yet to preach against attempting sin when he does make a case for active sinning. What do you say to the man who suggests that since he cannot keep the Law, that it is well with him to break it?

    As you have expressed Paul’s remarks on the subject wisely, you have brought out that the sin is not thinking it possible to keep the Law as Mark states, but becoming self-righteous and prideful, thinking you do not need Christ. Please note that I did say, “…it is possible, even probable to live without sin after my heart has been turned by the Holy Spirit to love Christ, when I can do away with the natural man.” Again without Christ I would never be free of sin, but through his atoning sacrifice I can do away with the natural man and be completely free of sin. Christ has given me a choice, Christ has brought me hope.

    God bless,
    Ditchu

  15. October 30, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Mark,
    Please re-read the parable of the good sumaryan and ponder the message in retrospect of how you view people of other faiths, and other religous institutions.

    Peace of the Lord be with you,
    Peace between us,

    Ditchu

    God bless you and keep you,
    may his countance shine upon you,
    and bring you peace.

  16. October 31, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Wonderful post, Mark. So well said. I couldn’t add one word to your thoughts.. other than a hearty ” Amen!”

    God bless,
    gloria

  17. 17 RLO
    October 31, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Ditchu: “What is he preaching? ‘Sin is not just breaking the law but imagining you can keep it.'”

    From a Christian perspective, whether you agree with it or not, but from a Christian perspective, we understand from the Bible that we cannot be saved by keeping the law perfectly, because we are incapable of keeping the law perfectly. And yes, it would be a sin for someone to believe they could keep the law perfectly, because they would be placing their trust in their own abilities for salvation, rather than in what Christ has done for them.

    “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” Matthew 5:48.

    “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23

    ” For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23

    1. Be perfect.
    2. Fail at one point and your guilty.
    3. All have sinned
    4. Sin means death.

    All Law, and a dismal picture at that, were it not for the fact that both Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 finish with pure gospel:

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

    So Christians don’t try to keep the law for the purpose of obtaining the prize of salvation; Christians try (albiet imperfectly) to keep the law out of gratitude for being given the undeserved gift of salvation that we receive by grace through faith. And still, Christians have a regard for the law: “Do we then nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” Romans 3:31

    Mark’s quote at the beginning of his post, (“Sin is not just breaking the law but imagining you can keep it.”) does not equate to your assessment, (“Trying to keep the Law is breaking it.”) It just doesn’t follow.

    Ditchu to Echo: “The law is fully possible for man to follow. If you want to split hairs, there is a well documented case in the history of mankind on the face of this planet of a person following the law completely, and “perfectly”.
    This one case in point is a man known by us now as Jesus Christ.
    By his example we can know the possibility of man to keep the law.”

    I’m thinking this comment should probably have been directed to me (RLO) rather than to Echo, since it quotes my words. And yes, of course. It is only the “God-man” who perfectly fulfilled the law. But it doesn’t follow that man can keep the law perfectly because Jesus did. The Bible tells us otherwise.

    Ditchu: “…In the case of inheriting the sin of Adam (which I have issue with altogether)…”

    Consider:

    “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned -” Romans 5:12

    “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19

    I stand by the statement that Mark is not preaching that we should try to sin. Though I regret having described your conclusions as “farfetched” and “ludicrous,” as it appears you have taken offense by them. The choice of words was perhaps too harsh.

  18. 18 Echo
    October 31, 2009 at 5:49 am

    ditchu

    If you believe you can keep the whole law but you don’t keep the whole law, you have failed to do all you can do.

    you said: “The transgression of Adam and Eve brought about mortality but did not bring about any sin. I do not think we can inherit sin from anyone. If you think we do inherit sin from another parson, do you have any scriptural references to suggest this?”

    Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—”

    Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”

    Romans 5:19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

    Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death”

    If there was a perfect person, they wouldn’t die.

  19. 19 markcares
    October 31, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Ditchu:
    Please reread my first response to you. There I said: “As the others have stated, I nowhere stated that we should sin. What I am talking about is our inability to keep the law. I agree with Paul: “For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19)” what Paul was confessing, I am confessing. I don’t want to sin. I don’t try to sin. But that doesn’t mean that I can stop sinning. “but the evil which I would not, that I do.” The point I want to make is that Mormonism is spreading a deadly falsehold when it teaches that people are to keep all the commandments in order to return to the Father’s preseence. That is something, nobody, but Jesus, could do. The beauty of the Bible’s message is, through faith, I am covered with his perfection. Jesus kept the commandments perfectly for me. “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)

  20. 20 rblandjr
    November 1, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Mark,

    Great post. The heart of mankinds problem is the problem of the heart. We are sinful and the law is the teacher that brings us to Christ and grace. We could never ever merit or become worthy of this grace. No one but God the Son lived a sinless life and proved his worth, to be our offering for sin, to pay the debt in full and nail it to his cross. Resting in this grace gives a peace that passes all understanding. Anything else is a false hope that leaves you trapped in your chains and condemnation.

    Resting in Christ Alone,
    Richard

  21. November 2, 2009 at 7:08 am

    ROL & Echo,
    nice circular logic. But I must disagree as you have given evidance that people do sin, that people break the Law, but nothing that touches on if they “could” follow the Law. I do admit that I have choosen poorly and that my actions are not always in keeping God’s Law. Though I have not always keept the Law, it in no way implies that it was ever imposible for me to have keeped it.

    Echo, how old are you? Maybe it is that you are yet young and take these things at face value, but it is obovious that you are not digging deeper in thought into these things that you are simply handed as “fact” by a minister. Here is the Key that I have found: Though man is capible of keeping the Law, man does not (either due to poor choices, temptations, or the natural man comcepts). As man has sinned he is therefor in need of redemption/atonement and only someone pure, fully keeping the Law, and sinless can atone for those who have sinned, Jesus Christ is the Savior. In no way am I relying upon my own marits for salvation, that is the biggest assumption I see with a lot of the commentators on this site. Sin has nothing to do with our inability to keep the Law, but everything to do with our ability to keep it and our failure to do so. The entire thing about me doing all I can and yet the necessity to rely on Christ is well documented but I think you lot are over symplifying things and how you do it is tossing the blame on the creator that made you flawed, and making excuses for your failures. Instead own up to your mistakes and take responcibility for your choices, then let the holy spirit work in your hearts and turn from your sin. This is where repentance comes in, when you see that you were able but did not live up to your hightest standard.

    I ask you, what are you responcible for according to your scriptures?
    Are you not told to follow the commandments, the Law?
    Have you lived up to that responcibility?
    Are you making excuses for not living up to these responcibilities?

    Can you see yet my point here? I am not saying that you should try to gain salvation by your own deeds, but don’t lie to yourself and say, “Well, I sinned but I couldn’t follow that law anyways.” Why make excuses for yourself? I still stand by my conclusion that we are able to follow the Law but have broken it. As I cannot go back in time and prevent myself from breaking the law, I stand gulty except I accept the gift Christ offers me, he being a scapegoat, the atoning sacrifice has taken upon himself my sin, past and present and future (the sin of the whole world).

    God bless,
    -D

  22. November 2, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Mark,
    If you never suggested that trying to Keep the commandments, the LAW, was sinful (thus we would conclude that we should try to break the Law) why did you Title this Post “the sin of trying” ?

    I will admit it is catchy but if not your intended message, misleading and deceitful.
    I think you should stop lying (if that is what you are doing) and admith the truth or admit your mistake.
    -D

  23. 23 faithoffathers
    November 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Mark,

    You assert “if anybody kept the law it was [the Pharisees].” I could not disagree more. This is a very common claim among evangelicals who are attempting to demonstrate that keeping the law is not a requirement of us.

    Please look at Christ’s statement to and about the pharisees. He never condemned them for keeping the law. He condemned their hypocrisy. They PRETENDED to keep the law so faithfully while being “full of uncleanness.” Their sin was misrepresenting themselves as righteous when they were adulterous and full of hypocrisy.

    The pharisees twisted and manipulated the law of moses, adding countless provisions, to lift themselves up above others. They self-righteously looked down their haughty noses at other people who had little in the way of outward religosity and position yet who lived the Law of Moses faithfully.

    You and other EVs greatly misinterpret Christ’s position on the pharisees, and this leads you to confusion regarding the law and obedience.

    fof

  24. 24 RLO
    November 2, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Ditchu: “…But I must disagree as you have given evidance that people do sin, that people break the Law, but nothing that touches on if they “could” follow the Law…”

    The problem is not that you haven’t been provided the evidence; the problem is that you have refused to consider the evidence. So consider:

    Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

    SINFUL FROM BIRTH, SINFUL FROM CONCEPTION.

    Romans 8:7-8 “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

    NOR CAN IT DO SO.

    Ditchu: “Echo, how old are you? Maybe it is that you are yet young and take these things at face value, but it is obovious that you are not digging deeper in thought into these things that you are simply handed as “fact” by a minister.”

    I’ll let Echo reply to this if he desires. I will only coment that this is an ad hominem attack (But yes, Christians DO take God’s word at face value).

    Ditchu: “Sin has nothing to do with our inability to keep the Law, but everything to do with our ability to keep it and our failure to do so.”

    Again, who, short of Christ Jesus himself, who, who has been able to achieve what you say is possible? If it were possible, then surely there would be someone, somewhere, in all of history, one, who achieved it, right? No, scripture clearly tells us its not possible, and it appears you do not yet see it, or believe it.

    Ditchu: “…and how you do it is tossing the blame on the creator that made you flawed, and making excuses for your failures. Instead own up to your mistakes and take responcibility for your choices…”

    And again, you prefer telling others what they believe, rather than listening to what others tell you they believe. So I will tell you what I believe. If anyone is saved, God gets ALL the credit. And if anyone is not saved, that unsaved person gets ALL the blame. I make no excuses for my failures. I own them. I am no better than anyone else. I’m just forgiven.

    Ditchu:

    “I ask you, what are you responcible for according to your scriptures?
    Are you not told to follow the commandments, the Law?
    Have you lived up to that responcibility?
    Are you making excuses for not living up to these responcibilities?
    Can you see yet my point here?”

    You’ve asked a number of questions in your post and I imagine you would like some answers. Tell you what. I will be glad to answer all of your questions, when you’ve taken the time to answer the questions and provide the information I requested of you in post #8 above. Fair?

  25. 25 RLO
    November 2, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    And Ditchu, regarding Mark’s title of the post, I think you should stop getting so wrapped around the axle over the title, and be more concerned about what it is he is trying to tell you in the post. I think your straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

  26. November 3, 2009 at 12:40 am

    RLO,
    The same can be said for your self when it comes to straining at Gnats.
    As for the “evidances” from the Bible you provide you are reading into the text in a much different way than I.

    For example Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

    Psalms is at frist poetery, and beautifully crafted I might add.
    You seem to view the comment by the poet: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” as remarking on the Sin placed upon the person when they enter this mortal coil. I however see it as the poet remarking on how wrong they were at some point that it is as if they sinned against God from their youth, that they had wronged soo far in error that every action they did wether good or bad must seem an evil deed. That remark is set to say that their sin touched every part of their life even the pure innocense of childhood.
    How i can see that your POV is illigitimate is that I know Christ did no sin, that Jesus Christ was blameless before God the Father and yet he entered this mortal coil as we all do. If we inhearit the Sin of Adam then how do you explain Jesus Christ, that he did not inherit it?

    Use your mind, and know that you are currently relying on conceptions of man, made to explain other concepts of man, made to fill the questions left by the gosple. It is like answering the why questions of a young child. When you really do not know the answer to one question but have a proposition, you offer it and then spirals out many conceptions based on the misleading answer. Think about what you are saying. If we do cannot keep the Law, that we sinn from birth or conception, when we have no control or choice in the matter then we are no longer res[poncible to obey the Law, not one iota because it is said that if you break a small bit of the Law you break it entirely. That logic is dangerous and bothersome, and that is the axel I an getting twisted up with.

    God bless you,
    -D

  27. 27 RLO
    November 3, 2009 at 2:18 am

    I have told you what I believe regarding Psalm 51:5. And you have told me what you believe (even though you never addressed Romans 8:7-8 in your response). Now we will leave it to the readership of this blog to determine for themselves, in the context of all of scripture, which position they feel is more scripturally sound.

    Ditchu: “If we inhearit the Sin of Adam then how do you explain Jesus Christ, that he did not inherit it?”

    Simple. He is the God-man.

    Ditchu: “…and yet he entered this mortal coil as we all do.”

    I disagree. Did all the rest of humanity enter into this world with a dual nature? With both a human nature, as well as a divine nature? No we did not. So he did not enter this world “as we all do.” Not to mention the virgin birth. How many of the rest of us are the result of a virgin birth?

    Ditchu: “Use your mind, and know that you are currently relying on conceptions of man, made to explain other concepts of man, made to fill the questions left by the gosple. It is like answering the why questions of a young child. When you really do not know the answer to one question but have a proposition, you offer it and then spirals out many conceptions based on the misleading answer. Think about what you are saying. If we do cannot keep the Law, that we sinn from birth or conception, when we have no control or choice in the matter then we are no longer res[poncible to obey the Law, not one iota because it is said that if you break a small bit of the Law you break it entirely. That logic is dangerous and bothersome, and that is the axel I an getting twisted up with.”

    And you’re telling me to think about what I’m saying? I’m sorry. But there’s not a coherent thought in this entire paragraph.

    Ditchu: “…If we do cannot keep the Law, that we sinn from birth or conception, when we have no control or choice in the matter then we are no longer res[poncible to obey the Law…”

    Didn’t I ask you in post #6 to provide a scriptural basis for this assertion of yours??

    Yes, I did. From post #6:

    Ditchu: “If we cannot keep the Law we then are not responsible for keeping it.”

    RLO: “Can you provide a Bible chapter and verse in support of this statement, please.”

    I don’t mind you asking questions of me, and I will make a sincere effort to answer them as best I can. I think I deserve the same courtesy when I ask questions of you. It works both ways.

  28. 28 Echo
    November 3, 2009 at 5:15 am

    ditchu,

    Ditchu: “…and how you do it is tossing the blame on the creator that made you flawed, and making excuses for your failures. Instead own up to your mistakes and take responcibility for your choices…”

    Echo: The creator didn’t create us flawed, Adam fell into sin and we inherited that sinful nature from Adam.

    We don’t make excuses for our sin, we own up to what we have done and take responsibility for our own choices.

    The Bible teaches us that “ALL” sin and fall short of the glory of God.(Rom 3:23) There are no exceptions to the “ALL”. The Bible teaches that if we claim to be without sin the truth is not in us.(1 John 1:8) Ecc 7:20 “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”

    Therefore the bible teaches that it is impossible for a person to obey all of the commandments. Therefore it is a sin in and of itself to think that we can obey all the commandments when the bible clearly teaches that we can’t.

    The problem is that we must be perfect to be exalted and God clearly shows us that it is impossible for us to be perfect. We must first admit this truth that God is trying to teach us before we can understand what he has done for us.

    If a person won’t admit the truth that it is impossible for them to obey all of God’s commandments, what do they need Jesus for?

  29. 29 RLO
    November 3, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Correction, from post #8, not post #6.

  30. November 3, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Echo: “The creator didn’t create us flawed, Adam fell into sin and we inherited that sinful nature from Adam.”

    So, what you are saying is that God created us before we were born, before our mortal conception, before the fall of Adam?

    Also, can you find where the Bible says that it is impossible to follow the Commandments? As of yet you keep giving me the message that man has sinned, it is in man’s nature to choose sin, but I am having a difficult time finding anywhere in the Bible that says specifically that it is Impossible for man to follow the commandments.

    That we do not has no contention on the possibility, or ability for us to follow the Commandments.

    I have a window behind me, I could spit out it, I don’t and as far as I understand no one has, does that mean I am unable to spit out this window?
    Likewise, the fact that man does not always keep the Law, has no bearing on his ability to do so.

    We need Jesus Christ to atone for our sin. As you clearly demonstrate that All men have sinned, we have sinned so we need the atonement that is given by Christ.

    Why, do you think we would not need Christ if we have sinned, even if we could keep all the comandments?

    The term perfect is a completion, I contest that we are indeed becoming perfected, through Christ, and at some point we will achieve perfection, completion, as far as is possible to comprehend in this state. ( I also think when we reach what we conceive as completion/perfection, we will see beyond that horizon to a whole new realm of possibilities.)

    But I dare say you have plenty to think about right now. I suggest you start to ask questions about your preconceived notions about what your scriptures actually say and how you have taken to interpreting into them to come out with the inference you have already propose to me, and seek out other instances you may have read more into your scriptures. When you come to an understanding of what the scriptures actually say without added inference, you will notice how simple and wise the true message is.

    God bless,
    -D

  31. 31 RLO
    November 3, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Ditchu: “The term perfect is a completion, I contest that we are indeed becoming perfected, through Christ, and at some point we will achieve perfection, completion, as far as is possible to comprehend in this state.”

    I’m sorry, but God never told us to “become perfect.” He told us to BE PERFECT.

    Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

    However, EV’s do believe in the doctrine of “sanctification” (being made holy), which is a process that begins, once you have been “justified” (made alive in Christ). God justifies, not due to anything we have done, but by his grace, his undeserved favor. Only then are we able to participate in a small way in the process of our sanctification. In other words, from an EV perspective, God justifies, he then begins the process of sanctification, he continues to participate with us in our sanctification throughout our lives, and then he completes the process of our sanctification when he takes us to our heavenly home.

  32. 32 RLO
    November 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Ditchu: “Also, can you find where the Bible says that it is impossible to follow the Commandments?

    Romans 8:7-8 “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

    NOR CAN IT DO SO.

    You’ve asked this question before, and it’s been answered for you before.

  33. November 4, 2009 at 12:40 am

    What version of the Bible are you using, Mine doesn’t read at all like that!

  34. 34 RLO
    November 4, 2009 at 1:15 am

    NIV. And you?

  35. 35 Echo
    November 4, 2009 at 4:17 am

    ditchu,

    Galatians 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

  36. November 5, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    RLO,
    KJV any addition should work.

    Echo,
    I do not argue that righteousness can be gained through the Law, But I do argue that the Law can be followed/kept. Else, we would not be expected to keep it. If we are not expected to keep it then why do we have scripture like:
    1 John 5:2 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”

    1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

    John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my ccommandments.”

    John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

    John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

    Why are we given such encouragement if we 1.cannot possibily do it, and 2. it is not expected of us?

    Again it is not that keeping the Law is impossibile, it is that we do not do it.

    God bless,
    -D

  37. 37 RLO
    November 5, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Ditchu: “I do not argue that righteousness can be gained through the Law, But I do argue that the Law can be followed/kept.”

    So you are saying the 6.8 billion living today were capable of keeping the law, but just didn’t do so. Not to mention the countless other billions of souls throughout all of human history (save one, the God-man) who were also capable, but just decided not to do so.

    You would have me believe this is possible, when you can not point to a single person, with the exception of Christ himself, who has actually accomplished this?

    I think it has probably already been asked of you, but I’ll ask it again:

    If you did come up with just one person who fulfilled the law perfectly all their life, would they ever die? And would they even need a savior?

  38. November 5, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    RLO,
    Finially you get the message I am saying. It is absolutly possible to keep the Law, though we do not. I did come up with one documented case of a person that was pure and kept the Law, Joshua Bin Joseph, a.k.a. Jesus the Christ. You want to disqualify him as he is the Mythic “God-Man” in your beleif system, yet you think if I can only find one person you would then beleive it possible for man to keep the Law. Here let me give you a sideline on to what this issue is all about. I contend that it is possible for man to keep the Law, but man in his natural state does not keep it. All man save one have failed to wholy keep the Law. It is not that we can keep the Law but that we do not.

    You ask a provocking question: “If you did come up with just one person who fulfilled the law perfectly all their life, would they ever die?”
    Case in point Jesus Christ did die, he died for the sins of the world, but he also overcame the grave and resurected, ensuring us eturnal life.

    Now to the question I think you ment to ask: Would a person ever die if they fulfilled the law perfectly all their life.” Well, from this question the only Yes/No answer would have to be Yes. For it is only at the end of their life that we would know that they have succeded in fulfilling the law perfectly all their life. Logic dictates that we would not be certian to answer no if they kept on living.

    How about this question: Would a person ever die, if they never failed in keeping the Law?
    For this answer Let me give you an historical Biblically documented case in which the Person did not die but was taken from this earth. Look at the Prophet elijah, caried into heaven on a chariot of fire (did not die). There are more but at the moment I am not locating them.
    Two questions I must ponder… 1. Did Christ enter into mortality? 2.Did Christ remain spotless from sin, even “the sin of Adam?”

    On that same line, Did Elijah remain spotless from sin? And was he ever mortal?

    God bless,
    -D

  39. November 5, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    RLO,
    Why did Jesus preach to the Gentials?
    He did not come for the Just but the unjust.

    Do the just need a savior?
    Who remainds Just?
    Who can be justified if not for the atonement?

    You are looking at probability not possibility when you offer the stagering figures of people who failed in keeping the Law. All things are possible through him who created you.
    -D

  40. 40 RLO
    November 6, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Ditchu: “It is absolutly possible to keep the Law, though we do not.”

    And around and around we go. You can you can, and we say you can’t. You ask for scripture to support it. We give it. And you dismiss it. So I’d say this one’s pretty much played itself out.

    Mythic? He was 100% God, and 100% man. Like no other. Nothing mythical about that.

    Ditchu: “Now to the question I think you ment to ask: Would a person ever die if they fulfilled the law perfectly all their life.” Well, from this question the only Yes/No answer would have to be Yes. For it is only at the end of their life that we would know that they have succeded in fulfilling the law perfectly all their life. Logic dictates that we would not be certian to answer no if they kept on living.”

    That’s funny, scripture dictates we would have to say “no” if they died. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

    Ditchu: “How about this question: Would a person ever die, if they never failed in keeping the Law? For this answer Let me give you an historical Biblically documented case in which the Person did not die but was taken from this earth. Look at the Prophet elijah, caried into heaven on a chariot of fire (did not die). There are more but at the moment I am not locating them.

    The other one you were probably thinking of was Enoch (and by the way, while Elijah did not die, neither was he carried off into heaven on a chariot of fire – 2 Kings 2:11). But more to the point, are you asserting that Elijah was without sin? Re-read 1 Kings 19.

    Ditchu: “You are looking at probability…”

    Yep, sure am. And when the probability is zero percent, then the possibility is zero percent.

    Ditchu: “All things are possible through him who created you.”

    I believe you’re taking that from Matthew 19:25-26? When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    But now, you’re talking something closer to my language! You’re no longer talking about what WE can do, but what HE can do!

  41. November 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    RLO,
    You need to look closer at your questions from a logical point of view. The only answer: Yes is because due to the end of their life part…

    Also you mistaken my words: Mythic. Myth, Mythical, as pertaining one’s Mythos, a set of beliefs. You seem to take it as me saying Jesus was false. That thinking is archaic and illegitimate in academia. I would urge you to use terms in an intelligent discussion with the appropriate context. I in no way want to tell you that any system of belief is wrong or untrue. As far as I know my system is correct and true but how do I know enough the mind of God enough to invalidate another set of beliefs. All I am attempting here is to promote thought and discourse on the subject not to invalidate your beliefs. As a result of challenging our preconceived ideals we can either alter what we find lacking or incorrect, or we find the basis to support these thoughts and beliefs.
    Please understand that I mean no offense, why would I criticize my God as being false? That does nothing but to elude the truth that I am trying to discover. Jesus Christ is the Mythic Hero, he is also a very real man in historic terms, and a very real God in the Christian religion. You have supplied the term “God-man” and that is a Mythic term, one that came about in the academic realm of Mythology, the Study of Mythos. Mythology is not meant to validate or invalidate any belief set, it exists to understand the belief set in varied ways. It is revolting how quickly people misuse the term Myth/Mythic as “must be untrue” or “not real.” That line of thinking concludes in direct invalidating different understandings of god, faith, and ingrained cultural belief. This need for invalidation stems from hate. The subject either hates some perceived threat to their Mythos or they hate their Mythos and feel the need to invalidate what they perceive as better.

    As to disregarding your statements, I would have you know that I am currently looking them over and pondering your position. I have not disregarded these statements as you are not disregarding mine.

    God bless,
    -D

  42. 42 RLO
    November 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Ditchu:

    Thank you. Back to the topic at hand, your assertion that we are capable of keeping all of the law perfectly, you might also want to ponder the implications of this passage:

    Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 (NIV)

    Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 (KJV)

    When you read the first line of this passage (NIV or KJV), do you still come away believing man is capable of keeping all of the law perfectly? Those words, “…condemnation for all men…” or “…judgment came upon all men to condemnation…” do not indicate to me that fallen man is capable of keeping all of the law perfectly.

  43. November 7, 2009 at 12:47 am

    RLO,
    You seem to equate comdamnation with inability to keep the Law.
    The possibility of keeping the Law is not the action of doing so.

    Let me ask you this. Which one of the ten commandments do all men break?
    Which one of the 2 Commandmante that all the comandmants and prophets rest upon (those that Jesus gave when asked which is the greatest Comandmant) do all men break?

  44. 44 RLO
    November 7, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Ditchu: “You seem to equate comdamnation with inability to keep the Law.”

    Yes, I do.

    They were all condemned because they were “made,” by Adam’s trespass, sinners. If they were “made,” by Adam’s trespass, sinners, they must have been “made,” by Adam’s trespass, incapable of keeping the law.

    (Yes, I know. We see this differently.)

    Ditchu: “The possibility of keeping the Law is not the action of doing so.”

    True, the possibly of being able to do “something” does not necessarily equate to actually doing it. But if no one has ever been able to accomplish “something,” that’s pretty good evidence that it can’t be done. For example, the fact that no one has ever been able to take a running start and jump across the Pacific Ocean is pretty good evidence that it can’t be done (much less, keep the law perfectly).

    Ditchu: “Let me ask you this. Which one of the ten commandments do all men break?
    Which one of the 2 Commandmante that all the comandmants and prophets rest upon (those that Jesus gave when asked which is the greatest Comandmant) do all men break?”

    All the people break all the commandments (all ten of them, and all two of them) in their deeds, or in their thoughts.

  45. 45 Echo
    November 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    ditchu,

    The whole point or focus of Mark’s post isn’t whether or not we can keep or follow the commandments. His point is whether or not we can keep or follow the commandments **to gain eternal life**.

    We cannot keep or follow the commandments to gain eternal life. Yet this is what the LDS teaches.

    What we teach and believe is that those who have the certainty of eternal life all because of Jesus alone and through faith alone, will only THEN begin to follow and keep the commandments. We do this, not to gain eternal life, but as a result of having already gained eternal life.

  46. November 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Echo,
    You are quite wrong about what the LDS Teach.
    The LDS Teach that all will get eternal life due to Christ’s atonement and resurection. It does not depend on one’s worthyness nor their choices. LDS also teach that those you called saved will be able to live with our heavenly father, again through the santification of Jesus Christ. Those who have faith will “do all they can do” to keep the commandments, by faith in Christ, not for eternal life or even for Salvation (and exaltation) but out of love for pour God. This is called obediance. If you want God’s will to prevail then you will do what you can to do his will, yes?

    You just seem to fall in line with Mark on his misrepresentation of LDS Teachings. In reality the LDS are not so different from your own POV with regards to the roll of Christ in our salvation and exaltation.

    What I have an issue with is how Mark (unknowingly) does encurage people to fail in keeping the will of God.

    Eternal life is already gained for us all, it is where you will spend it that is yet to be deturmined. And I agree that the real issue is not that we can keep the commandments but that even if we do, if we fail to have faith in Christ we fail to keep the commandments.
    As We must love God and… John 3:16…

    God bless,
    -D

  47. 47 markcares
    November 9, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Ditchu:
    You are the one misrepresenting LDS teacinng when you say eternal life is gained for us all. This is what True to the Faith states: “Eternal life, or exaltation, is to inherit a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, where we will live in God’s presence and continue as families (see D&C 131:1-4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, it requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’ (Articles of Faith 1:3).” LDS Teqachintg equates eternal life with exaltation and that means the only place you are going to enjoy eternal life, according to LDS teaching, is in the celestial kingdom. People in the lower kingdoms do not have eternal life.
    Ditchu, please be careful whom you charge with misrepresentation.

  48. 48 Echo
    November 10, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Ditchu,

    I agree with Mark that you are the one misrepresenting LDS teachings. The following quote is from the LDS:

    “Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives. The Lord declared, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to live in God’s presence and to continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3).”

    Quote taken from the following link:

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=61810bbce1d98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

    I stated that the LDS teaches that we must keep the commandments to gain eternal life. This quote above says that to inherit eternal life requires our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. That is exactly what I have stated.

    Ditchu said: “What I have an issue with is how Mark (unknowingly) does encurage people to fail in keeping the will of God.”

    Mark isn’t knowingly or unknowingly ecouraging people to fail in keeping the will of God. Your possibly misunderstanding him or reading something into his words that just isn’t there. To understand what Mark means, you have to take the whole context of his post into consideration. The whole point or focus of Mark’s post isn’t whether or not we can keep or follow the commandments. His point is whether or not we can keep or follow the commandments **to gain eternal life**. Hope it helps to clear that up.

  49. November 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Mark & Echo,
    The manual and statment you both pull the term from defines it as such because there is confusion over the subject of salvation, exaltation, and eternal life. Becuase so many different theories exist aroung the use and meaning of these terms, these places define the term they use in order to have some consistancy and understanding in the document’s use of the terms. This is not accross the board definition of the terms else they must need include the definition of life, even the scientific definition as there are LDS Scientist.

    Someone would say I that they live a boring mondane life but another would not consider such an existance life. the second person strives for excitement and only when they can feel the blood pumping in their veins and the rush they get from their activities do they say ther truly live.

    I do not misrepresent LDS Teaching when I say all with bodies (currently living or dead or yet to be born) will be resurected. This I (an LDS) consider some form of life. They will not be parted from these bodies again, as in death. It is often acceptible to define the terms one uses in these “teachings” as there exists some discrepency in the common meaning and use of many termonology.

    As an example look at the term “Rapture.”
    Rapture is often used by many Baptists amoung others as a term depicting the second comming of Christ. Many use it to talk about the righteous people being lifted into heaven before distruction comes to the earth. This, However, is not the common use of the term. More commonly it is used to discribe a state of bliss or a extreamily happy feeling, or even extream desire and lust.

    Thank you for allowing me to clairify my position in my representation of LDS Teachings.

    Echo,
    You have said it before but now you say, “”
    Where in Marks dialouge did he mention “to gain eternal life?”

    Also when he clearly states that one cannot keep the commandments (and fails to offer encouragement to try anyhow) he is offering discuragement to follow God’s will. On top of all of this he also Titles his article : “The Sin of Trying.”
    For your information it is commonly acceted that a Title is to set the mood of an article and should at least be directly related to the topic discussed. If Mark was not attempting to discurage people from “trying” to keep God’s commandments (and thus God’s will), why does he indicate that thei sin is “Trying…”?

    You seem to be beguiled, you are stating he intended to say something he has yet to say here.
    Nowhere so far on this page did Mark use the clairifying statment “to gain eternal life,” “to salvation,” to achieve your own righteousness…”

    He misrepresents LDS Teachings often and again here he suggest that the LDS teach that we don’t need Christ… Which is far from the truth and farm from what LDS Teach.
    Mark Quoted: “it requires our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel”
    One of these ordinances of the Gospel is to have faith in Christ. Thus without Christ, we have no hope for regaining the presense of our Heavenly Father.

    I suggest you study the teachings and docturin that you disparage.

    I have hope, for both our sakes, that the love and atonement of Christ is enough to turn our hearts to the will of our Father in Heaven, that we would have compassion one for another, that we all can find salvation.

    God bless,
    Ditchu

  50. November 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    The only reason Paul’s story is even used as an example is because of stuff he DID after his repentance.

    If he’d just shouted out “Jesus saved me” and then went back to stoning Christians, he wouldn’t be in the New Testament. Nor would he be much of a inspiration for anything.

    Good thing he “tried.”

  51. November 10, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Seth,
    Good point. I did not see it that way until you mentioned it.
    It is good that we all “try,” even if we don’t always “do.”

  52. 52 Echo
    November 11, 2009 at 12:15 am

    ditchu,

    you said: “You seem to be beguiled, you are stating he intended to say something he has yet to say here.
    Nowhere so far on this page did Mark use the clairifying statment… to achieve your own righteousness…”

    Mark did make the clarifying statement to achieve your own righteousness, here is what he said:

    ” The righteousness that is acceptable to God is not any righteousness cultivated by man. The only righteousness that God accepts is Christ’s righteousness – the righteousness we make our own by giving up on our works and trusting only in Jesus’ works.”

  53. November 11, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Christ enables righteousness within us.

    It then becomes our righteousness.

  54. 54 Echo
    November 11, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Just for clarification, Mark is speaking on the topic of how we gain eternal life(celelstial kingdom). There is no room for “works” of any kind, in this doctrine. We call this doctrine: “Justification”. This is where it is a sin to try. It is a sin to try to follow the commandments in order to ***Gain eternal life***(celestial kingdom)

    This doesn’t mean that Christians don’t try to obey the commandments. They just don’t try to obey the commandments to gain eternal life(celestial kingdom). Eternal life(celestial kingdom) is a free gift given by God *BEFORE* we do all we can do.

    The LDS teaches that eternal life(celestial kingdom) is given by God *AFTER* we do all we can do. This is the sin Mark is referring to when he speaks of the sin of trying.

  55. 55 Echo
    November 11, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Christ imputes to us HIS righteousness in an instant. We stand 100% perfect before God all because of Jesus and what he alone has done.

  56. November 11, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Can you fall from grace Echo?

    Does this sound familiar?

  57. November 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Echo,
    Now you really are reaching.
    You were talking about “to gain eternal life” now you’re acting like we were talking about “righteousness” and “self-righteousness” which do not equate. We LDS agree that “self-righteousness” is not enough to regain the presence of our God, (considered exaltation in LDS Culture) what you seem to want to term here as “eternal life” (you use this in spiritual terms as I have prior used it in physical terms) and many what to call “Saved” or “go to Heaven”… ect…

    Echo: “The LDS teaches that eternal life(celestial kingdom) is given by God *AFTER* we do all we can do. This is the sin Mark is referring to when he speaks of the sin of trying.”

    What essentially you state clearly here is that Mark is discouraging the practice of keeping the Commandments. Am I reaching when I conclude that you agree with Mark on this point, that if we try to keep the commandments, when we try to do all we can, that this is sin?

    What I don’t understand is how you can make such statements and fail to see the harm of them. In essence you are telling people to break the commandments so they will not falter in the sin of trying. (and the merry-go-round turns again) We have hashed this out but you have yet to acknowledge the depth of your position.

    Do you honestly think the statement “after all we can do” suggests that we can win our place in heaven by ourselves? that idea would be “self-righteousness” and I agree, and have shown how that is not what LDS Teach. Again, we need the Atonement of Christ for resurrection, life eternal, and exaltation. the most paramount ordinance of the Gospel according to LDS theology, is Faith in Jesus Christ.

    Echo: “Christ imputes to us HIS righteousness in an instant. We stand 100% perfect before God all because of Jesus and what he alone has done.”

    Christ himself put some conditions on his “Imputing to us his righteousness.”

    John 10: 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

    John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    Matt. 7: 17-19
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    Matt. 5: 17-18
    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Matt. 9: 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    I know these snipits may take some inturprating but if you read your New Testament you should see they are used in proper context.

    God bless,
    -D

  58. 58 JesusLover
    November 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Ditchu – Do you seriously not “get” what Mark and others are trying to say or are you deliberately trying to misrepresent their position in order to sway opinion to “lurkers” that might be questioning their faith? I ask this because I have seen other mormons handle different issues in the same way and I wonder often – is it deception or deliberate?

    Christians are of course supposed to live Godly lives – through the power of the Holy Spirit and through making wise choices daily in how we live our lives. Deliberately choosing to sin shows that there is a problem between the person and God.
    The sin that Mark refers to is in people thinking that these choices and good works earn us anything. We do them out of love for God and because our spirits are changed through His indwelling within us NOT because we are trying to earn our way to the Celestial Kingdom. Yes I appreciate that many Mormons do good works because they love God but wrapped up in that is the requirement that they do this for their salvation.

    All those verses you quoted ARE out of context because they are verses speaking of “evidences” that a person belongs to God NOT “requirements” for salvation.

    Come on….can you not really see the difference between the two? Evidence and requirement? Even if you believe something different from Evangeliscals – and that is your right – please do us the courtesy of acknowledging the difference – not twisting our words around.

  59. November 11, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    JL,
    WOW!
    I think you hit on something that underlies this whold debate that no one else said with such outstanding acknowledgemnt before. And I think there is a little bit of deception creeping into how some are handling this because they won’t attack the real issue as you have brought to the surface.

    You all seem to think “many Mormons do good works” out of some “requirement… for their salvation.”

    I think you have said it best with: “We do them out of love for God and because our spirits are changed through His indwelling within us NOT because we are trying to earn our way to the Celestial Kingdom.” “…Mormons do good works because they love God…”

    However, the requirement is not primarily to do good works but to love God. Ultimatly we must love God for our “salvation” (using the term here to represent the idea that we will live in his kingdom with him forever). the requirement of doing good comes not primary but secondary as it is how we love God: John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    How can you love God and love sin at the same time?
    This makes me think of some statment about serving two masters.

    Thank you JL for being bold enough to say what you think. I hope that you can see how people are misrepresenting what the LDS teach. Sure we acknowledge that good works are an essential part of our progression to the Celestial Kingdom, but it is only a result of Loving God. We LDS are not trying to earn our way anywhere, we are trying to do right out of love for God and our fellow man, and in so doing we want to encourage others to do right, we also must acknoledge the truth of the matter that without trying to do all we can to keep the commandments we cannot claim that love. Actions speak louder than words, and it is remarked in scripture that God sees what we do and our motivations (from our hearts), it is not the words we use to claimer about his love, but the deeds we do out of love that he accepts as a righteous sacrifice.

    Also I would not twist your words around, and have yet to do so. I have expressed my feelings about the test I read on this page. There is more conjecture from Echo, RLO, and some others about what Mark is trying to say than what he actually expressed. I hope that people are not to subject to the infulnces of catchy phrases and over simplified remarks, that they would not research out the theories and conclusions they receive by reading the messages on this page.
    I would think there could be more accaptance ampoung our two camps if we would lend a bit more creedance to eachother instead of creating “I’m right, you’re worng” Debates.

    What suprises me is that after reading the original article here, I responded with a fault I saw. the overwhelming sense I received from the entire passage by Mark was how “thinking it is possible to Keep the LAW” was a sin in itself and thus wrong, further amplified by his title which made the over impression that he is saying that even Trying to keep the Law is a sin, and thus wrong. Brings up a catch 22 (damed if I do and damed if I don’t) senario.

    Please understand that I in no way am reflecting this opinion on Evangles, or any group of Christians, but the message from Mark originally and from Echo consistantly seems to say, “don’t keep the Commandments.” I’d hope they would have clairified their position as you clearly shared : Do good out of love for God, not as a means to earn some sort of salvation.
    I agree.

    Let me be clear: I don’t think there is any dilibrate twisting of words by either side of this discussion. I would agree that there may be some twisting of meaning by both sides of a debate here but I grant that this may all be a result of misunderstanding or misinformation. Though I stand by my conviction that Mark is misrepresenting LDS teaching, I do not think it is as dilibrate as it could seem. It would not be christ-like to beguile anyone, and I do not think Mark would dilibratly try to do so, even for some hidden benifit or adjenda. He seems above that pettiness.

    Thank you and God bless,
    -D

  60. 60 JesusLover
    November 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Ditchu: Whoa there Buckaroo! I in no way meant that Mark or the others were using deception in this conversation – I was refering to spiritual deception – as in satan was causing confusion in yours and other mormon’s minds as to what people were really saying.

    You said “You all seem to think “many Mormons do good works” out of some “requirement… for their salvation.” I don’t think – I know. I know because of the long list of requirements for mormons to do to become “temple recommended”. You HAVE to do these things to get to the temple and you HAVE to go thru the temple to even start towards earning a place in the Celestial Kingdom. Don’t tell me these things are optional because we both know that would not be true. You may love God and want to do those things but regardless of your motive – you HAVE to do them to progress to a higher level in the mormon religion.

    And I don’t think anyone is misrepresenting what mormon’s believe – I find Mark extremely knowledgable about Mormon doctrines. I just think that when Mormons see their beliefs written out in print like this it makes them uncomfortable. I have found that although LDS.org is the official website of the mormon church – most Mormons seem to have to justify what it says…as in “well that’s not what it really means…”

  61. 61 JesusLover
    November 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Ditchu: you said: “How can you love God and love sin at the same time?” Because we have sinful natures – inherited from Adam and Eve – that cause our hearts to turn towards sin when we don’t really want to. Paul said in Romans 7:

    14 We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin. 15 I don’t understand what I do. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. 16 I do what I don’t want to do. So I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.

    18 I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can’t. 19 I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do. 20 I do what I don’t want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.

    21 Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 Deep inside me I find joy in God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body.

    24 What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? 25 I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin.

  62. 62 JesusLover
    November 11, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Ditchu you said: “the overwhelming sense I received from the entire passage by Mark was how “thinking it is possible to Keep the LAW” was a sin in itself and thus wrong, further amplified by his title which made the over impression that he is saying that even Trying to keep the Law is a sin, and thus wrong. Brings up a catch 22 (damed if I do and damed if I don’t) senario.”

    It IS a sin to think you can keep the whole law when the bible says in many places that you cannot. What you are twisting around and using faulty logic in is that because that statement is true – then those must believe it go out and sin and just give up. That’s a mormon belief told to people questioning their faith to put down non-mormons so that one stays in the LDS church for fear of becoming evil gentiles.
    It is a SIN to put your faith in anyone else but Jesus. Period. He kept law because He was God and man – we are man and can never become God so we sin. That doesn’t mean we don’t live good lives – we just don’t think we can do it all perfectly.

    You mentioned a few posts back about one mormon you’d heard of who supposedly kept the law perfectly. Well I say to you – you cannot judge a man’s heart – only God can. On the outside a person can appear good and holy but on the inside may be filled with evil and hatred. Only God can look at a heart.

  63. November 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    JL,
    Excuse me but you are far off base.
    Please re-read what I have said. You should find that I have attempted to clairify the “Mormon” (LDS) position.
    It is apparent that you are speaking against “Mormons” (LDS) in general and not directly commenting on my comments. Your attempts to darken the LDS Reputation (and mine in affiliation) saddens me because you are tossing out wild accusations without referencing anything to back them up. I thought your boldness was on the verg of finding peace at last in this dialogue but now I see it for the argumentitive aggression it is.

    Please tell me where the Bible exactly expresses that it is impossible to follow the Law?

    Please qoute me where I said I know of any “Mormon” woh has kept the Law?

    What I had hoped was already obovious is that I am not making a statment on the beleif of the possibility or impossibility of Keeping the Law, but the message that you cannot keep it, that you have no hope of keeping the Law, is complete discouragement for trying to keep it. On top of all of that the Message that it is a sin to try to keep the Law is a direct encouragement to commit sin.

    Agreed that only God can see into the heart of a man and that is where his righteousness shines from. I think you are taking a def-ear to those you call “Mormons” when they try to explain the LDS Position.
    Yes, it is true that lds.org is an official LDS website, it is authored with respect to its use by members of the church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints that would likely already have a basic foundation in the Church’s Docturin. you may want to goto mormon.org for an introduction into this docturin. They really do have the same message but the respect of audiance is different and there may be more understanding if one would not jump deep into the docturin without some introductory understanding.

    I do not know where you, JL, misunderstood me, but it is obovious when you toss out misinformation like you just did.

    Peace between us,
    -D

  64. 64 Echo
    November 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    ditchu said: “What I don’t understand is how you can make such statements and fail to see the harm of them. In essence you are telling people to break the commandments so they will not falter in the sin of trying. (and the merry-go-round turns again) We have hashed this out but you have yet to acknowledge the depth of your position.”

    I have acknowledged my position. You charge me with telling people to break the commandments. Please read my post #45 and tell me in your own words what I said about obeying the commandments. Then answer this question: Am I telling people to break the commandments?

  65. 65 Echo
    November 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    What am I telling people in post#45?

  66. November 12, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Echo Post 45 I can agree with but it is at odds with the over all message Mark has stated and you are trying to support.

    Answer me this:
    What is the natural conclusion to the following statment?
    “you cannot follow the Commandments, it is impossible, if you try that is a sin, and a sin is breaking the commandments.”
    This is the essance of the over all message mark unwittingly put out there, when he failed to clearify his position. I can assume that Mark wanted to deliver the intruging message that if you try to get to heaven without the help of christ you are not going to make it, yadda yadda yadda.

    Instead he shows that he:
    1. neglicting to offer encouragement to attempt to follow the commandments and staging his message the way he did, is discouraging people from following the commandments and thus encouraging sin.
    2. offering slices of domuntation on an LDS teaching that is out of its original context and placing presumption upon the meaning of such quotes, his misunderstanding or disregard of the context and culture of LDS Belief and teaching.
    3. unwilling to clairify his position himself and letting us (me and you) assume his meaning and intent, sorely takes critizim.

    This dibocal all started whith me expressing a problem in the delivered message. i think it should have been remedied long ago. However, I am sensing some underlying issues the author and many commentors may have with the LDS culture and Faith, bordering on prijudicial bias.

    I do not think Mark is as aware and understanding of LDS Teaching he proposes or as other have proposed, the attitude is argumentitive and untrustworthy.

    In retrospect I would like an answer to my question in post 57: “Am I reaching when I conclude that you agree with Mark on this point, that if we try to keep the commandments, when we try to do all we can, that this is sin?”

    Let me simplify:
    Is it a Sin to Try to keep the commandments?

    If it is not a sin to try to keep the commandments, can you see why I have an issue with the article when this is the resulting overall message?

    Please do not presume to know the mind of Mark and add to his words. He still has not confirmd his meaning here that he did indeed intend to add “to gain eternal life” or sume such qualifier.

    god bless,
    -D

  67. 67 Echo
    November 12, 2009 at 1:58 am

    ditchu said:

    “Echo Post 45 I can agree with but it is at odds with the over all message Mark has stated and you are trying to support.”

    Echo:

    So in post 45 I clarified the message that both Mark and I believe. The message that he is NOT teaching that we should break the commandments.
    I made that statement in post 45 and in your post 57 you continue to say that Mark and I are teaching that we should break the commandments. Permit me to give you a freindly suggestion: What you have done is to bear false testimony against your neighbor which is a sin against one of the 10 commandments. Therefore I ask you to try and be more careful what you falsely accuse people of. Perhaps copy and paste someone’s words and let that stand as a testimony of what they said if your unsure you can get it right.
    One other freindly suggestion, could you ask questions for clarification rather than assuming you know what somebody is saying when they themselves have not said what you claim they are saying.

  68. 68 Echo
    November 12, 2009 at 2:07 am

    ditchu said:

    “In retrospect I would like an answer to my question in post 57: “Am I reaching when I conclude that you agree with Mark on this point, that if we try to keep the commandments, when we try to do all we can, that this is sin?
    Let me simplify:
    Is it a Sin to Try to keep the commandments?”

    I did clarify this in a previous post. But I will answer again with different words.
    It is a sin to think that we can keep the commandments to *gain eternal life* (celestial kingdom). It is NOT a sin to obey the commandments.

    ditchu said:

    “Please do not presume to know the mind of Mark and add to his words. He still has not confirmd his meaning here that he did indeed intend to add “to gain eternal life” or sume such qualifier.”

    You ask me not to presume to know the mind of Mark and add to his words but this is exactly what you are doing to Mark by presuming to know his mind is teaching us to sin against the commandments. Mark has never said that so you have added to his words.

    I don’t presume to know the mind of Mark, I take him at his word without adding to his words a false assumption that Mark is teaching us to disobey the commandments when he hasn’t come out and said that.

  69. 69 Echo
    November 12, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Lets move on…

    Ditchu said:

    “Christ himself put some conditions on his “Imputing to us his righteousness….”
    and Ditchu said:

    “…and I agree, and have shown how that is not what LDS Teach. Again, we need the Atonement of Christ for resurrection, life eternal, and exaltation. the most paramount ordinance of the Gospel according to LDS theology, is Faith in Jesus Christ.”

    Echo:

    Is the Atonement of Christ for exaltation void if you fail to meet the “conditions” you outlined in your post?

  70. 70 RLO
    November 12, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Hello Ditchu:

    I stepped away for a few hours and now I’m hopelessly trying to play catch up in the tornado that seems to have ripped through this part of the blog in the past few hours. I won’t even try to address every point that has been made on either side of the discussion. So let me just grasp one small straw out of that tornado.

    Ditchu (post #59): “…You all seem to think “many Mormons do good works” out of some “requirement… for their salvation…”

    Why is it, Ditchu, why, why would “we all” seem to think something like that?

    Well, in one breath you say,

    Ditchu (post #59): “…Mormons do good works because they love God…”

    which sounds great. But then in another breath you follow it up with,

    Ditchu (post #59): “…Ultimately we must love God for our salvation…”

    and

    Ditchu (post #59): “…Sure we acknowledge that good works are an essential part of our progression to the Celestial Kingdom…”

    I don’t know whether this will be helpful for you in understanding why it is so difficult for EV’s to come to terms with those second and third statements of yours. But do you understand? For EV’s, there is no “progression” as you refer to it. We simply have it (his gift), by faith (also his gift), given to us in his promise (his grace), apart from anything we have ever done, or ever will be able to do. He simply took me, when I was in a state of spiritual death, and made me spiritually alive.

    So loving God is NOT something “we must do for our salvation,” but something we do out of gratitude for our salvation. Also understand that for EV’s, “salvation” and “eternal life with Heavenly Father” are synonymous.

    This christian view of grace is referred to by Mormons as “cheap grace.” And it’s followers are referred to as “gracers.” I’ve actually had a Mormon call me a “gracer,” so I know from personal experience it’s true. However I did correct him on one point: It’s not really “cheap grace.” Actually, it’s “free grace.” Free for the recipient. But for the giver of that grace? And for his son? It cost dearly.

    You see, in Mormonism, works are something that precede the receiving of the ultimate gift. In the faith of EV’s, good works are something that naturally flow from having already received that ultimate gift.

    From my perspective, and I dare say the perspective of many EV’s:

    “You’ve simply put your works on the wrong end of your salvation.”

  71. November 16, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Echo,
    Please deal with my direct questions to you before forging ahead. I’d like some common understanding of your position and the answers would greatly help me to see your Point of view.

    RLO,
    Hello again.

    Would you as a representitive of “EV’s” acknowledge anything that we do for “salvation?”

    If we do not do anything for Salvation then what is the worry of anyone not being saved?

    God bless,
    -D

  72. 72 Echo
    November 16, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Ditchu said: “Echo,
    Please deal with my direct questions to you before forging ahead. I’d like some common understanding of your position and the answers would greatly help me to see your Point of view.”

    My apologies if I missed some of your questions. Looking back, here is what I found:

    Ditchu said: “Answer me this: What is the natural conclusion to the following statment?
    “you cannot follow the Commandments, it is impossible, if you try that is a sin, and a sin is breaking the commandments.”

    This isn’t what Mark said nor suggests if you read the context, lets keep the situation realistic. What Mark said was this: ” The righteousness that is acceptable to God is not any righteousness cultivated by man. The only righteousness that God accepts is Christ’s righteousness – the righteousness we make our own by giving up on our works and trusting only in Jesus’ works.”

    Dirchu said: “In retrospect I would like an answer to my question in post 57: “Am I reaching when I conclude that you agree with Mark on this point, that if we try to keep the commandments, when we try to do all we can, that this is sin?” Ditchu’s questions from post 57 “What essentially you state clearly here is that Mark is discouraging the practice of keeping the Commandments. Am I reaching when I conclude that you agree with Mark on this point, that if we try to keep the commandments, when we try to do all we can, that this is sin?”

    It is a sin to try and keep the commandments if we believe that keeping those commandments are the conditions of entering the celestial kingdom. It isn’t a sin to try and keep the commandments if we believe there are no conditions to entering the celestial kingdom and we do them out of gratitude for that reason.

    Ditchu said: “Let me simplify:
    Is it a Sin to Try to keep the commandments?”

    I hope I answered this to your satisfaction above.

    Ditchu said: “If it is not a sin to try to keep the commandments, can you see why I have an issue with the article when this is the resulting overall message?”

    The resulting overall message is that it is a sin to keep the commandments TO GAIN THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM. It is not a sin to keep the commandments out of thanks to Jesus who already gained the celestial kingdom for us as our substitute.
    Hope I answered all your questions?

  73. 73 RLO
    November 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Hello Ditchu:

    Ditchu asks: “Would you as a representitive of “EV’s” acknowledge anything that we do for ‘salvation?’”

    From the perspective of Ephesians 2:4-5… (“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”) …no, we don’t do anything for salvation. In fact, I can’t even take credit for hearing and accepting the truth of the gospel in faith, because that faith (the means through which I heard and accepted) was also a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    But with that said…

    (Ditchu asks: “If we do not do anything for Salvation then what is the worry of anyone not being saved?”)

    …we know from God’s word that not all will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). We know from God’s word that man is capable of falling away (Matthew 13:1-23). We know from God’s word that it is God’s will that all would be saved (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9). We know from God’s word what our responsibilities are regarding his will (Matthew 28:16-20).

    He is ultimately and fully responsible for our salvation. Yet he desires that we concern ourselves regarding our own salvation and the salvation of others.

    “If we do not do anything for Salvation then what is the worry of anyone not being saved?”

    Human reason asks this question. Faith does not.

  74. November 17, 2009 at 12:25 am

    RLO,

    Your statment: “He is ultimately and fully responsible for our salvation. Yet he desires that we concern ourselves regarding our own salvation and the salvation of others.”
    is at odds with the theory that we should do nothing for our salvation.

    How do you concern yourself with your own salvation and the salvation of others and yet keep yourself from doing anything about it?

    You have stated: “no, we don’t do anything for salvation.”

    So, how do you know you will be saved and others will not?
    In your point of view, what is the devide that makes one saved and keeps them from being saved?

    If we do not do anything for Salvation then what is the worry of anyone not being saved?
    If we have no choice and are incapable of taking any action, there is no control of salvation also no decision needed thus no responcibility on us to commit to salvation, thus it being completely out of our hands, what is the point of our concern with salvation?

    What do you mean with this statment: “Human reason asks this question. Faith does not.”
    Why are you concerened with salvation at all if you do nothing for it?

    It is one thing to have faith that all will work out, another to have false faith that you need do nothing. Faith, true faith, prompts for action, promotes decision making, and helps us to overcome fear. If your fate is enavoidable, then you really need not be conserened with it, after all there is nothing you can do about it.

    If it were as you made clear to me that we do nothing for salvation, that it matters not what we decide, do, or think, Why do the scriptures promote so much righteous action, proper choices, and clean thoughts?

    God bless,
    -D

  75. 75 RLO
    November 17, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Such a flurry of questions!

    Ditchu: “Your statment: “He is ultimately and fully responsible for our salvation. Yet he desires that we concern ourselves regarding our own salvation and the salvation of others.”
    is at odds with the theory that we should do nothing for our salvation.”

    “…at odds with the theory that we should do nothing for our salvation.”

    I’m not sure where you came up with a “theory that we should do nothing for our salvation.” I would say that we don’t do anything, or participate in any way, towards achieving the status of “saved.” I would say once we have been granted by grace that status of “saved,” we endeavor (albeit imperfectly) to carry out his will for us, one way being to share the truth with others.

    Ditchu: “How do you concern yourself with your own salvation and the salvation of others and yet keep yourself from doing anything about it?”

    Again, while we don’t do anything to achieve our salvation (indeed we can’t), once it is granted to us by God’s grace, then we endeavor to carry out what God’s will is for us.

    Ditchu: “So, how do you know you will be saved and others will not?
    In your point of view, what is the devide that makes one saved and keeps them from being saved?”

    The second question first:

    “In your point of view, what is the devide that makes one saved and keeps them from being saved?”

    Belief. Belief saves. Unbelief condemns. And by belief I mean three things: knowledge, assent, and confidence.

    The first question:

    “So, how do you know you will be saved and others will not?”

    I am saved because I believe. I don’t know if others will be saved, because I can’t look into their hearts. I can only look at their outward appearances, what people do, what they say, what they confess.

    Ditchu: “If we do not do anything for Salvation then what is the worry of anyone not being saved?
    If we have no choice and are incapable of taking any action, there is no control of salvation also no decision needed thus no responcibility on us to commit to salvation, thus it being completely out of our hands, what is the point of our concern with salvation?”

    As I mentioned in my previous post, and earlier in this post, we don’t do anything before we are saved. Indeed we can’t. We only “do” anything at all, after we are saved.

    “…what is the point of our concern with salvation?”

    The point is our gratitude for the great gift that has been granted to us by God’s grace, through God’s gift of faith.

    Ditchu: “If we do not do anything for Salvation then what is the worry of anyone not being saved?”

    RLO: Human reason asks this question. Faith does not.

    Ditchu: “What do you mean with this statment: “Human reason asks this question. Faith does not.”

    A reading of 1 Corinthians chapter 2 might help you. Especially verse 14.

    Ditchu: “Why are you concerened with salvation at all if you do nothing for it?”

    Sorry, I’m a little lost in the mix. Don’t know if this was part of your last question, or another stand-alone question. I’m concerned with my salvation because it is the greatest undeserved gift I have ever received.

    Ditchu: “It is one thing to have faith that all will work out, another to have false faith that you need do nothing. Faith, true faith, prompts for action, promotes decision making, and helps us to overcome fear.”

    Okay. I don’t know that I necessarily disagree with anything you’ve just said here. But I ask you, where did I ever say you needn’t do anything with your God-given gift of faith?

    Ditchu: “If your fate (faith?) is enavoidable (unavoidable?), then you really need not be conserened with it, after all there is nothing you can do about it.”

    Not sure what you’re trying to say here.

    I would say, there is nothing I could ever do in order to obtain faith. It’s a gift of God. Conversion from spiritual death to spiritual life, justification, salvation, the granting of faith, those are all gifts of God’s grace. Things I could never have acquired on my own, indeed, never desired, never sought after when I was in a state of spiritual death. But once having received those gifts, I have been granted the ability to participate (albeit in a small and imperfect way) with God in my own sanctification.

    Ditchu, could I make a recommendation? Northwestern Publishing House has a series of 25 short topical books (23 currently available), entitled, “The People’s Bible Teachings.” This series of books covers a number of topics which I think would be beneficial to your understanding what I believe. Certainly better than us bantering back and forth. Three topics/titles I think you would enjoy reading are, “Justification,” “Sanctification,” and “Conversion.” You might consider picking them up.

  76. 76 Echo
    November 17, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Ditchu, We were saved by faith alone without any works. That means we were forgiven so totally and perfectly that we stand before God at all times as perfect forever and without spot or blemish. This is why we have absolute certainty that the celestial kingdom is ours even now. Even the moment we believed and even before we did anything at all.

    Because of that standing we have before God, we now want to serve and obey God out of thanks for all that he has done.

  77. November 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    RLO,

    From your last comment:
    “Ditchu: ‘If your fate (faith?) is inevitable (unavoidable?), then you really need not be conserened with it, after all there is nothing you can do about it.”
    RLO: “Not sure what you’re trying to say here.”

    Now I am starting to see the breakdown in communication. You are confusing the situation. Solution: Stop putting words in my mouth.

    This is what I said and meant: If your fate is inevitable, then you really need not be concerned with it, after all there is nothing you can do about it.

  78. 78 Echo
    November 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Ditchu said: “This is what I said and meant: If your fate is inevitable, then you really need not be concerned with it, after all there is nothing you can do about it.”

    If your in a burning building and a fireman rescues you and brings you to safety, it is certainly true that you could do nothing to rescue yourself. But it’s also true that once rescued, you will go on to live and be thankful that the fireman saved your life.

  79. 79 RLO
    November 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Okay, first of all: If you’re going to quote me quoting you, then “cut it” and “paste it” so everyone can see how you originally spelled “inevitable,” rather than correcting your spelling behind the scenes on the re-post, trying to make it appear as if I’m the one trying to put words in your mouth!!! That is incredibly disengenuous!! Go ahead, see if other readers can decipher what your intended meaning was with your spelling of “enavoidable.”

    It was insulting of you to suggest I was trying to put words in your mouth. Especially when I’m only trying to understand (in spite of your often less than stellar spelling and grammar) what it was you were trying to say. Furthermore, I put those possible intended words in parentheses with questions marks in good faith, and I followed up with the statement that I was not sure what you were trying to say.

    DOES THAT SOUND LIKE SOMEONE TRYING TO PUT WORDS IN YOUR MOUTH!?

    Solution:

    1. Think before you write.

    2. Check your tone.

    3. Proofread.

    4. Spellcheck.

  80. November 18, 2009 at 12:39 am

    RLO,
    Take your own advice before you expect others to follow it.

    I did not intend to piss you off but there you show you are irritated way more that is proper.
    Also if it were one suggestion on a misspelled word I could see your addition as “help” but changing the word Fate into Faith… that struck me as creative interpreting, I am done trying to make sense out of your illogical plight that we do nothing for salvation…

    God bless you and I hope you can come up with some reasonable basis for your stance, maybe you will then be able to stand firm in your faith. Until then I think you are just lining up your thoughts with some preacher, without really challenging the ideas, just accepting them.

    The truth will out. Even under extreme scrutiny, the truth will prevail.

    God bless,
    -D

  81. November 18, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Echo,
    But I am removed from that burning building wether or not I am greatful.
    Are you saying that it is random chance for someone to be “Saved” and another to be dambed, or are we all saved no matter what we do?

  82. 82 RLO
    November 18, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Ditchu: “I am done trying to make sense out of your illogical plight that we do nothing for salvation…I hope you can come up with some reasonable basis for your stance.”

    Your god is your own logic. My God is The One, The Only, revealed in the scriptures, not subject to your logic and your understanding of what is “reasonable.”

    Ditchu: “I think you are just lining up your thoughts with some preacher, without really challenging the ideas, just accepting them.”

    Now that’s just plain foolishness. You don’t even know me. What is this baseless thought of yours, that I’m just following “some preacher” without challenging ideas? Do you even know my pastor? Have you ever spoken with him? Do you have any idea how many times I have challenged him?? Because in my faith, we hold our pastors accountable to the Word of God as it is revealed in the Bible. And if any pastors in our synod says anything that doesn’t square with scripture, hey, guess what? Those pastors get their “stuff” jumped into mighty quick. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I know, they wouldn’t have it any other way either. We hold each other accountable to scripture. We both learn more that way. So tell me, who is it, you or me, that is following the teachings of a mere “man?”

    So you’re done with me and my beliefs. Fine. Just don’t ever try to say that I, and so many others here, didn’t try to tell you, didn’t try to warn you.

  83. November 18, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Like I said,

    These grace vs. works debates are pointless chicken-and-the-egg kind of arguments where everyone basically believes the same thing, but is bound and determined to paint their beliefs in terminology different from the other group.

    That’s why I haven’t bothered to comment on this blog in several months.

    Just constant, constant restatements of the same pointless artificial argument. I’m no longer even the slightest bit interested in the subject of grace vs. works. It’s more than clear I’m never going to get a straight answer from the Protestants here on whether you can fall from grace.

    Nor am I ever going to get a clear explanation of why any of you think your own personal conversion to Christ was sincere enough to invoke his grace and assure your salvation. You never answered these questions before (except to hide behind of smokescreen of irrelevant scripture citations), and I don’t see any indication that any of you will do so now.

    Basically, what I’ve been left with after months of arguing with you guys is complete uncertainty as to how your version of the Gospel would guarantee me anything. Your rhetoric and random scripture chases haven’t changed that.

  84. 84 ADB
    November 18, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Seth,

    I’ll try. Yes, a believer can fall from grace.

    Is that clear?

    As for the personal conversion question, I don’t believe you’ll get the “clear explanation” you’re looking for because you’re asking a question that Heavenly Father never sets out to answer. Ask the right questions and the right answers will come.

    As for me personally, it’s quite simple. Heavenly Father has revealed to me that whoever believes in his one and only Son will not perish, but will have eternal life. I believe in his one and only Son. Therefore, I am 100% certain I have eternal life with Heavenly Father. There’s my certainty. It rests in Christ alone, just like Heavenly Father said it should.

  85. 85 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Ditchu,

    “Echo,
    But I am removed from that burning building wether or not I am greatful.
    Are you saying that it is random chance for someone to be “Saved” and another to be dambed, or are we all saved no matter what we do?”

    Well a person can fight against the fireman who is trying to save him from the burning building
    and then his death was his own doing.

  86. 86 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Seth said; ” It’s more than clear I’m never going to get a straight answer from the Protestants here on whether you can fall from grace.”

    I may have forgotten to answer this, if so, I apologize. The answer is “YES” we can fall from grace.

    Seth said: “Nor am I ever going to get a clear explanation of why any of you think your own personal conversion to Christ was sincere enough to invoke his grace and assure your salvation….Basically, what I’ve been left with after months of arguing with you guys is complete uncertainty as to how your version of the Gospel would guarantee me anything.”

    God’s grace doesn’t depend on my sincerity. God’s grace poured into my heart produces sincerity in me. It’s not “sincerity” that leads to “grace”, it’s “grace” that leads to “sincerity.”

    There is nothing I can do to invoke his grace. In fact if I think there is something I can do to invoke his grace, I forfeit Grace and Jesus. You asked: “How does the biblical gospel guarantee you anything?” You don’t have to do anything to invoke God’s grace in the gospel. The guarantee that we have isn’t found in anything we do it is entirely found in Jesus and what he alone has done in his life, his death and his ressurection. That is why it is a guarantee. Ask more questions for clarification if this isn’t clear.

  87. November 18, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Echo,

    I already believe in Jesus Christ. What more do you want from me? Obviously you want me to do something or you wouldn’t be even taking to me and ditchu, etc.

    You say – believe.

    Well, that’s nice.

    What guarantee do you have that you really believe in Christ?

    For all I know, you could be just faking it and telling yourself you believe, but deep down inside, you really don’t believe enough for grace to apply.

    And if you’re going to tell me that it doesn’t depend on your personal belief, then the entire thing becomes pointless, and for all we know – I’m saved while you aren’t.

    Maybe Richard Dawkins is “saved” for all we know. After all, it doesn’t have anything to do with anything we do. So, for all we know Richard Dawkins is “saved” right now, while everyone else here is not “saved.”

    Who’s to say. Your theology provides me with no reason why one person should be saved, but another not.

    If it’s all up to God, then please – let him get on with it and quit wasting everyone’s time here by acting like something you can do in this discussion will actually make a difference. Because, according to you, nothing you are doing here makes any difference at all.

    How utterly pointless.

  88. 88 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Seth, you are misunderstanding some things and that’s why it’s important for us to keep talking. The more questions you ask, the more you say, the more I understand what it is that you don’t understand yet. So hang in there, it takes time to untangle all the webs.

    Seth, It’s not something you do that makes a difference. The problem lays in believing that you must do something as this is what the LDS teaches and when you believe you must do something then you are not trusting in what Jesus has done for you. Belief isn’t solely defined as the belief in the existence of God. Belief (believe, faith) is defined as “trust” in all that Jesus has done for us. When we believe we must do something to be forgiven, as the LDS believes, we aren’t “trusting” (believing in) Jesus, what we are actually doing is putting trust (faith in or believing in) ourselves.

    While God’s forgiveness already has been credited to the whole world, those who don’t believe it forfeit the prize.

    Luther said it this way:

    “Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even though he did not believe it. St. Paul says in Rom. 3: ‘[Does] their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God[?]… Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective. A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have deceived yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it” (LW, vol. 40, 366-367).

  89. November 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Echo,
    So there is something you do for salvation: Resist the temptation to fight the fireman.
    Do I have that right?

  90. 90 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Only the fireman can produce the faith required in the man’s heart to believe that the fireman is there to save him.

    What man, after having been saved from a burning building by a fireman, will then run around waving his hands in the air yelling and screaming with such self absorbed admiration and boasting: “I survived the fire because I didn’t resist being rescued! I am the greatest! I am the greatest! I saved myself from the fire!”

    The point is that in a rescue such as this, a man must be grossly self absorbed and self important to want to take any credit himself for having been saved from the fire when clearly the fireman is the one who is the greatest and who soley was responsible for the man’s salvation.

  91. 91 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    To repeat for emphasis because of the importance: Only the fireman can produce the faith required in the man’s heart to believe that the fireman is there to save him.

  92. 92 RLO
    November 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Add to the firefighter analogy the fact that the victim is unconscious, that the only thing he contributes to his being saved is the resistance of his own dead weight that has to be dragged out of that burning building and resuscitated by someone else, and I think you will be getting a little closer to what Ephesians 2:1-5 tells us. That anyone could read the second chapter of Ephesians, and still come away thinking they contribute something to their salvation is nothing less than tragic.

  93. 93 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    RLO, Could I make a suggestion? Could you leave a reply at the end instead of hitting on reply in the middle of posts? It’s just that the conversation seems and is out of order when you hit reply instead of going to the end and replying there. Do you know what I mean? What I mean is that your reply is squeezed in before mine when you actually replied afterwards. Just a suggestion.

    Thanks for the added dimension to the analogy.

    Your analogy gives a very good picture of what it means to be spiritually dead. And it’s true. Prior to conversion we are spiritually as unconscience as the man in your scenario. In fact we are dead. Thank you for sharing that dimension.

    It’s also true that while we are spiritually dead prior to conversion, we are not physically dead and so I was trying to paint the picture of how the gift of faith is given to us while we are physically alive.

  94. November 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Echo,
    Ok now I am really confused.
    Again are we all then saved or is it random who the Fireman saves?

    What you are over simplifying is the point that we all want to be saved. Is it not possible that there are some who do not want salvation?

  95. 95 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    ditchu,

    The Bible teaches that the entire world has had ALL their sins forgiven. That *IS* salvation. That *IS* what it means to be saved.(past tense)

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling THE WORLD to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (emphasis mine)

    When the verse says “THE WORLD”, that means believer and unbeliever alike have been forgiven and as a result of that, ALL mankind stand in a state of spotless and sinless perfection before God. All this given to man apart from anything man has done or will do. It is given as a gift. Just look to the cross.

    In my fireman analogy where the fireman gives you the faith to believe he is going to rescue you, so also God has just given you the faith to believe he has rescued you and saved you. God gives you the ability to believe him through his very word spoken to you in 2 Cornithians 5:19 that I quoted above. In that verse he tells you that he has reconciled you to himself not counting your sins against you. What does that mean? You are completely forgiven. Completely perfect, completely spotless, without a blemish.

    So the Bible teaches two truths. The first is that THE WORLD is forgiven and the second is that one must believe to recieve.

    If the man in the fire had rejected the faith the fireman gave him (i.e. the ability to believe he was going to rescue him), he would refuse to be rescued, he would die in the fire. Just as those who refuse to believe that God has rescued them will spiritually die in the fires of Hell.

    This takes me back to my quote by Luther which I think is well worth repeating:

    “Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even though he did not believe it. St. Paul says in Rom. 3: ‘[Does] their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God[?]… Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective. A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have deceived yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it” (LW, vol. 40, 366-367).

    Basically Luther is saying that in due time, (either in this life or in the judgement) all mankind is going to learn that he was free and all his sins forgiven. But if he learns of it after death rather than before he dies, he will weep and gnash his teeth because he rejected that forgiveness while he was alive on earth and is now paying the penalty for all eternity in the fires of Hell.

  96. 96 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    ditchu, I hope that answers your questions.

  97. November 18, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Echo: “he would refuse to be rescued, he would die in the fire. Just as those who refuse to believe that God has rescued them will spiritually die in the fires of Hell.”

    how does this play out to the uncontious man?

    You have just agreed and seconded the explanation that we are as uncontious man in the fire and the fireman saved us, thus all we do is only a reaction to salvation, but now you jump back to the explanation that we really do have a choice in the matter, as “one must believe to recieve.” How then is this beleif not an action, something that is done?

    Which is it, either ultimatly we are to do something to “receive” salvation (beleive, have faith, follow the Comandments, stand on one foot while tapping out heads and chanting “I beleive”) or are we as the uncontoius man in the fire that has no control over his salvation but to reject it after the fact, after all is done?

  98. 98 RLO
    November 18, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Echo, Ditchu:

    I think Ditchu’s comments illustrate what all of us already know; that all analogies and comparisons will ultimately fail at some point. Especially, when either intentionally or unintentionally, the main point of comparison is not taken into consideration.

    I think what Echo (and Echo, correct me if I’m wrong) may be trying to say here (and what I believe) is that prior to salvation, man does not have free will in spiritual matters. However, subsequent to the gift of salvation, the new man is granted a free will in spiritual matters, albeit a free will that continues to be influenced by our old man, an influence that we carry with us until God completes our sanctification, the day he takes us home.

    So we are like the unconscious man prior to our conversion. After conversion, we are like the conscious man, made alive in Christ.

  99. 99 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    RLO, I agree with what you said.

  100. 100 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    ditchu,

    you quoted me then responded as follows: “Echo: “he would refuse to be rescued, he would die in the fire. Just as those who refuse to believe that God has rescued them will spiritually die in the fires of Hell.” how does this play out to the uncontious man?”

    Prior to conversion we are spiritually dead but physically alive. These are two realities that co-exist. In order for God to bring a spiritual corpse to life he must breathe the breath of life into the corpses lungs.
    In other words a person can’t believe there is a sale down at the local hardware store on lawnmowers unless he is made to believe it. If he lives in a cave on a remote mountain, he hasn’t the ability to believe. If he lives in a city and reads his local newspaper, he is has been given the ability to believe lawnmowers are on sale because he read about it in the paper.
    The man in the cave is spiritually dead to faith.

    You said: “You have just agreed and seconded the explanation that we are as uncontious man in the fire and the fireman saved us, thus all we do is only a reaction to salvation, but now you jump back to the explanation that we really do have a choice in the matter, as “one must believe to recieve.” How then is this beleif not an action, something that is done?”

    Your misunderstanding. Spiritually we are dead just as RLO stated. His analogy is very expressive of that truth. Physically we are alive, my analogy was expressive of that truth. Both analogies work fine depending on whether we focus on the spiritual man or the physical man. Both co-exist. Faith is a gift not a choice as I have tried to explain in the fireman analogy and the lawnmower analogy. Belief is not an action but it is just like a sponge, it soaks up what was said.

    you asked: “Which is it, either ultimatly we are to do something to “receive” salvation (beleive, have faith, follow the Comandments, stand on one foot while tapping out heads and chanting “I beleive”) or are we as the uncontoius man in the fire that has no control over his salvation but to reject it after the fact, after all is done?”

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling THE WORLD to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (emphasis mine)

    Here in this verse you have been given the knowledge that you have been forgiven for all your sins, you have been made spotless and are in a state of sinless perfection. All of this apart from anything you have done.

    Do you believe this now that God has said it or do you refuse to believe it? Soak it up like a sponge. The unconscience man is made conscience the moment God has spoken the word: “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” The only option you have is to hold your breath and return to the state of unconscienceness.

  101. 101 Echo
    November 18, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Just a second thought. Don’t take my cave man analogy to the extreme. The only single point I want to make with it is that it is impossible for man to believe without God creating faith in him.

  102. November 19, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Echo,
    Enough with the jumping to another analogy before working out what it is you mean to say with the first one.
    I got to the man in a cave and stopped reading.
    People say I have ADD or ADHD, because my Brain works like this:
    “We are like a man in a cave…” My mind says, “We are men in a cave… Plato suggested our view of the truth is like being chained to the floor of a cave and seeing the shadows (made by truth) on the wall, unable to turn around and fully see the truth, until we break the bonds of our conceptions and see truth in it’s full beauty… and we must die to break free of this cave, our paradigms don’t allow us to see truth as it is but only as we decide to interpret the shadows of it… the shadows flickering on the wall of a cave from the fire.. burning near… hot fire burning… fireman rescue… carry… act.. move… run… choose…. What???????????”

    So please enlighten me a bit.

    What I gather after the last few weeks is that your stance is that we indeed do something for salvation, but only after we have been saved and it has something to do with the Gift of faith from God, but we need to believe in order to receive the salvation that we are given and we had no idea of this salvation until we were given the gift of faith that we receive (action) only after we are saved. What is it you really want to say?

    Let’s start simple, as I appear to get easily lost in the circular and random logic you a tossing out. List the chronological steps of salvation and faith, include anything you perceive as a choice or action on our part. Maybe I am just getting confused in what seems to be a rational disconnect, or is it that you are trying to explain something you do not understand well enough yourself?

  103. November 19, 2009 at 12:23 am

    RLO,
    I think you are on the verge of a idea I can understand. About the conversion part being a turning point. You suggest (please correct me on this if I am wrong about what you are saying) that we all are saved, but we only have a choice in the matter, or we can only do anything about the issue at (and after) our conversion. Before then it is completely out of our hands, we being like uncontious. It is only when we are woken that we have a choice in the matter. Is that correct?
    Thus, it is only when we are aware of our salvation that we can lose it. So why tell people about their salvation before they are converted? Why tell people of Christ at all, if you run the risk of having them lose their salvation?

  104. 104 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 1:10 am

    ditchu

    you said:”People say I have ADD or ADHD”

    I have the same dilemna(ADD) That’s probably why I jump all over the place because my mind is off in several directions at once. Thank you for being so patient with me. :-)

    you said: “What I gather after the last few weeks is that your stance is that we indeed do something for salvation, but only after we have been saved and it has something to do with the Gift of faith from God, but we need to believe in order to receive the salvation that we are given and we had no idea of this salvation until we were given the gift of faith that we receive (action) only after we are saved. What is it you really want to say?”

    We don’t do anything for salvation.

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling THE WORLD to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (emphasis mine)

    Here in this verse you have been given the knowledge that you have been forgiven for all your sins, you have been made spotless and are in a state of sinless perfection. ALL OF THIS APART FROM ANYTHING YOU HAVE DONE. (The caps are intended to emphasize, not yelling, I just don’t know how to use bold lettering on this blog)

    The verse is TRUTH, God cannot lie. The verse isn’t hidden behind a shadow. It is plain and clear. By taking it a face value without creating shadows to blur your vision, you are now enabled to believe that you are forgiven. That means you have been made spotless and are in a state of sinless perfection. “Believe” isn’t an action. “Believe” is trust. Trust in God’s word, trust it is truth, and trust that God cannot lie. Who gives you that trust? God does by telling you the truth that he has already reconciled the world to himself not counting mens sins against them. Who does the verse say did the reconciling? When was this reconciling done? Were you there when it was done?

    So to answer your question. We don’t do anything for salvation, we trust(believe) God has already done everything.
    To answer your next question. We are given the ability to believe God’s word through hearing or reading God’s word. Therefore our faith is his doing, not ours. “Recieve” is not an action(active) Recieve is passive.

    You said: “Let’s start simple, as I appear to get easily lost in the circular and random logic you a tossing out. List the chronological steps of salvation and faith, include anything you perceive as a choice or action on our part.”

    1)Man is spiritually dead
    2)God alone creates the ability to believe through his word, thus making the man spiritually alive because the word brings life (no choice or action on our part)Forgiveness is life. God’s word assures us we are completely and totally forgiven. (2 Corinthians 5:19)His word stated plainly and clearly there is truth. Simple truth, anyone can understand it.
    3)The man now spiritually alive because God himself has revealled to him that all his sins are forgiven, has the option to return to spiritual death or remain. But his remaining isn’t what saved him. He was alive before he chose to remain. So really, the only option at that point is to go away in unbelief.

  105. 105 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 1:21 am

    ditchu said: “Thus, it is only when we are aware of our salvation that we can lose it. So why tell people about their salvation before they are converted? Why tell people of Christ at all, if you run the risk of having them lose their salvation?”

    You can’t believe God has forgiven your sins until you are told all your sins are forgiven.

    If you don’t believe you are forgiven you don’t benefit from that forgiveness.
    So the point isn’t that we run the risk of causing you to lose your salvation. The point is you must believe that God has forgiven you otherwise you won’t benefit from it now or in eternity. Forgiveness is an objective fact for everyone. It is subjectively received through faith. Both the objective and the subjective must take place.

  106. 106 RLO
    November 19, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Ditchu:

    Thank you for your very respectful response. It was pleasantly appreciated.

    I don’t really think we can say that we are all saved (universalism), because scripture tells us that not all will be saved. But you are essentially correct that I say free will applies only after conversion.

    I will have to give some additional thought to the question you raise of how the “awareness of one’s salvation” plays part in “losing one’s salvation.” (Mark? ADB? Echo? Can any of you speak to this point?)

    So why do we tell people about their salvation before they are converted? Simply, because scripture tells us that faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. A reading of Romans 10:14-17 would be helpful at this point.

    And why tell people of Christ at all? Because that is what Christ says believers are to do.

    Hope this helped.

    RLO

  107. 107 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 1:36 am

    If you want to make this even more simple, rather than us explaining it lets actually do it (experience it live) one step at a time.

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

    This is God’s word of truth.

    In your own words, what is this verse saying to you?

  108. 108 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 1:56 am

    RLO said: “I will have to give some additional thought to the question you raise of how the “awareness of one’s salvation” plays part in “losing one’s salvation.” (Mark? ADB? Echo? Can any of you speak to this point?)”

    I responded to this above to ditchu, I will repost it for you:

    If you don’t believe you are forgiven you don’t benefit from that forgiveness.
    So the point isn’t that we run the risk of causing you to lose your salvation. The point is you must believe that God has forgiven you otherwise you won’t benefit from it now or in eternity. Forgiveness is an objective fact for everyone. It is subjectively received through faith. Both the objective and the subjective must take place.

    I will add an explanation for clarity.

    Luther said: “A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have deceived yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it”

    The kings gift of a castle is an objective gift. The king expects no money, no work, not anything from you because he has given it to you as a gift.
    Forgiveness is an objective gift. God expects no works or anything from you. It’s his gift to you.
    If you do not accept the fact (passively not actively) that the castle was given to you, then you reject or forfeit the castle.
    If you do not accept the fact (passively not actively) that you have been completely forgiven for your sins, then you reject or forfeit forgiveness. Those who reject forgiveness reject Jesus and lose all that was given to them freely as a gift.

    When I say passively not actively, what I mean is we don’t *DO* something to be forgiven. Rather, God has already done all the *DOING* there is to do. We just believe it.

  109. 109 RLO
    November 19, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Echo;

    Thanks. And no need to re-post. When ever I come back I always pick up from the last post I read. My reluctance to answer the question by Ditchu wasn’t concerning “belief” per se, but more with how the “awareness of one’s salvation” plays part in “losing one’s salvation.” That word “awareness” was what I was a little “wary” of. It possibly brings up a whole number of side issues that could potentially drive us off on a tangent issues, such as:

    The profoundly mentally retarded?

    Those in a coma?

    Alzheimer’s?

    Those are issues that could be discuss at some point, though at this point I would prefer to stay a little closer to the trunk of the tree.

    Sorry for again using the “reply” option below your post, but as you can see, this was more for you than for others. So I’ll try not to use it too often.

  110. 110 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 4:54 am

    RLO, you said: “Thanks. And no need to re-post. When ever I come back I always pick up from the last post I read.”

    I guess I repeated it because I actually posted this before you asked for help so I thought you might have missed it somehow. :-) Sorry about that.

    you said: “My reluctance to answer the question by Ditchu wasn’t concerning “belief” per se, but more with how the “awareness of one’s salvation” plays part in “losing one’s salvation.”

    ditchu said: “It is only when we are aware of our salvation that we can lose it”

    It isn’t our awareness of our salvation that results in our losing it. It’s our unbelief that results in losing it.

    You said: “I was a little “wary” of. It possibly brings up a whole number of side issues that could potentially drive us off on a tangent issues, such as: The profoundly mentally retarded?
    Those in a coma? Alzheimer’s? Those are issues that could be discuss at some point, though at this point I would prefer to stay a little closer to the trunk of the tree.”

    Your right, we don’t want to take a side road here but now that you mention it, it would suffice to say that since faith is a gift, that gift is available to all including those in your list. “Nothing is impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37) If faith were something we do, which it isn’t, then that would exclude this group wouldn’t it, because for this group generating their own faith would be impossible.

    you said: “Sorry for again using the “reply” option below your post, but as you can see, this was more for you than for others. So I’ll try not to use it too often.”
    Thanks. I hope my request sounded like a kind request and not like a rebuke. It was just a freindly suggestion more than anything. There is no need to apologize or even do what I say if you feel otherwise. Use your discretion. I just like things in order in a conversation cause things get confusing enough sometimes as is. :)

    Have a good evening

  111. 111 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Correction: I said: “That gift is available to all including those in your list” It should be: “That gift is for all including those on your list”

  112. 112 RLO
    November 19, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Echo: “Thanks. I hope my request sounded like a kind request and not like a rebuke. It was just a freindly suggestion more than anything. There is no need to apologize or even do what I say if you feel otherwise. Use your discretion. I just like things in order in a conversation cause things get confusing enough sometimes as is. :)”

    No offense taken. When I use that “reply” option, it’s more to keep things in a topical order. Admittedly that can sometimes come at the expense of possibly mixing the posts from a strict chronological standpoint. With an advantage, occasionally comes a disadvantage.

  113. November 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Sigh…

    Echo, trusting someone IS “doing” something.

    Having faith is doing something.

    Believing is doing something.

    Thus salvation is reliant on you doing something.

  114. November 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Echo, let’s take your fireman analogy a little further.

    Suppose your fireman carries me unconscious out of the burning building. Nothing done on my part.

    But he leaves my seven year old daughter to die when he could have saved her because she wasn’t predestined to be carried out.

    Far from feeling grateful to him, I’d probably punch him in the face.

  115. 115 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Seth, who gives you the ability to trust? God does. How does he do that? When God says: “your sins are forgiven” he gives you the ability to believe it by that very word spoken to you. God cannot lie. If he says your sins are forgiven, he means what he says.

    Having faith(trust) isn’t doing something, it’s believing in someone ouside of yourself.

    Analogies are never intended to “take a little further” Generally they are intended to make one single point.

    To respond to your 7 year old daughter thought, we do NOT believe in predestination in the sense that God chooses some to be saved and chooses others to be damned. The Bible clearly teaches that God wants ALL men to be saved.

  116. 116 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    One other thought.

    It would be wrong to say: “Your forgiven IF you believe”

    It would be more correct to say: “Your forgiven therefore believe”

    Seth, you come across as a very highly intellegent man, can you see the difference between those two statements? If not, give it some thought. Stretch your thinking.

  117. November 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    “The Bible clearly teaches that God wants ALL men to be saved.”

    If he wants all men to be saved, and there’s nothing we can do, and God has the power to save all men…

    Then why aren’t all men saved?

  118. 118 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    There is nothing you can do to save yourself. Christ has saved everyone, he has forgiven the sins of the whole world.

    Those who reject this in unbelief forfeit it.

    Your thinking that faith causes forgiveness however it’s the other way around. Forgiveness causes faith. The Free and Full Forgiveness that we believe in can be rejected. The LDS rejects it.

    “God does not forgive us because because we believe, or because we pray, any more than he forgives us because we are sorry. He forgives us only because Jesus died for us and took away the sins of the world. He forgives us for Christ’s sake and not for faith’s sake”… ” The view which insists on regarding faith as a meritorious cause of forgiveness seems to come naturally to men. It is one of the last dying gasps of sinful pride. Man seeks in this way to save something of which he can boast.” (Siegbert W. Becker)

    We don’t want to focus on our faith. We want to always keep our focus on Jesus and him alone. The moment our focus moves off of Jesus and onto our faith, assurance and certainty are in jepardy. When our eyes are focused on Jesus, we have assurance and certainty and we cannot be shaken.

    Why aren’t all men saved? Why aren’t you saved?

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

    Here in this verse you have been given the knowledge that you have been forgiven for all your sins, you have been made spotless and are in a state of sinless perfection. ALL OF THIS APART FROM ANYTHING YOU HAVE DONE.

    Now tell me why you don’t believe it?

  119. 119 RLO
    November 19, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Echo: “Analogies are never intended to “take a little further” Generally they are intended to make one single point.”

    Good for you Echo! You didn’t follow that red herring! I’ve harped on that “single point of comparison” thing a few times here.

  120. 120 RLO
    November 19, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Seth R. says:

    “Sigh…

    Echo, trusting someone IS “doing” something.

    Having faith is doing something.

    Believing is doing something.”

    Seth, I see that yours is a word game. Literally, by your definition of “doing,” simply doing nothing could be understood to be “doing something.”

    Seth R. “Thus salvation is reliant on you doing something.”

    Total non sequitur, Seth.
    And you’ve got your cause and effect reversed there:
    Salvation is not reliant on your “doing something,”
    rather, your “doing something” is reliant on salvation.

    Salvation first. Then “do.”

  121. November 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Echo,

    I fail to connect with you on is your circular contradicting logic.
    Here is a logical and true statement. Either there is something you do for salvation, or there is not.
    I hear you say that there is nothing you do for salvation, that it is a gift given to all before we even know about it, before we have the chance to believe, but then you make it clear that in order to be saved we must believe.
    From this second part, the simple action of believing is the thing we must do for salvation.

    If, as you propose in the first part of your stance, we do nothing for salvation, then (if God is just or fair) all man would receive salvation regardless of what they do or do not do.

    If, as you propose in the second part of your stance, we do something for Salvation in the action of believing, then (if God were just or fair) those who did not do this thing (believe) would not be saved.

    Let’s not B.S. each other. Can we agree that there is some action on the part of the recipient of the gift of salvation that either leads to or ensures the same (Salvation)?

    “Believe” is an action. Look it up in an American English dictionary and you can be assured that it is a verb, all verbs are action words in the form of doing, to do, will do, had did/done. The tense are had Believed: Past, to believe, believing: Present, Will believe: future. Believe is a verb, an action, where Faith is a noun a thing.
    Thus you can believe, be believing, and have faith.

    Here are some quick links to dictionary results for Believe:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/believe

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/believe

  122. November 19, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Echo: “Who does the verse say did the reconciling?”

    Jesus Christ, the reconcilation is often called the Atonement.

    How old are you Echo?
    I can understand if you are yet young how you concieve these innocent notions without really putting too much thought into them but the more I read you the more I wonder if you have yet graduated Highschool. Are the theories you use here from your own study or are they regurgatated from some youth pastor?

  123. 123 Echo
    November 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    ditchu said: “Echo: “Who does the verse say did the reconciling?” ditchu: “Jesus Christ, the reconciliation is often called the Atonement”

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

    If Jesus Christ did the reconciling, which we both agree he did, and he is not counting men’s sins against them, why do you have to overcome your sins in order to be forgiven? What about your sins here in this thread of ungodly and unloving disrespectful comments about my never having graduated highschool and about my regurgatating something from my youth Pastor? What about those sins? You havn’t overcome those sins yet, so what about them? Have you really put much thought into this?

  124. 124 RLO
    November 19, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Ditchu;

    What a disappointment. Just when I thought, from your last post to me, that you had finally decided to start taking the high road by speaking to people with some love and respect, you then go and say something like this?

    Ditchu asks:
    “How old are you Echo?
    I can understand if you are yet young how you concieve these innocent notions without really putting too much thought into them but the more I read you the more I wonder if you have yet graduated Highschool. Are the theories you use here from your own study or are they regurgatated from some youth pastor?”

    Come on. I know your capable of better. Or am I wrong?

  125. November 20, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Echo,
    I do feel sorrow that I have offended you. I did not mean any harm by my comments but wanted to be honest with you. I still have no idea of your real age and station in life. Your comments do indeed suggest to me that of a thoughtful high school student with a vibrant life in a Church organization with youth pastors. Having lived a life during my high school years that included attending a Baptist ministry (with youth pastors) about 3 times a week, I can relate to your position. I am still very curious about this information. If you have already left High school that is a great accomplishment, and I hope you are continuing your education.

    RLO,
    What is disrespectful in that statement? Do you feel it is an insult to attend High school? I think it is more respectful to be honest with those whom you converse, do you not agree?

    God bless the both of you,
    -D

  126. November 20, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I can see now that My comment may have been taken out of its rightful context, as it directlly follows a comment still waiting for moderation approvial.

  127. 127 Echo
    November 20, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Thanks for your apology ditchu. :)

    Let’s get back to the topic at hand.

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

    If Jesus Christ did the reconciling, which we both agree he did, and he is not counting men’s sins against them, why do you have to overcome your sins in order to be forgiven?

  128. 128 RLO
    November 20, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Ditchu:

    “RLO,
    What is disrespectful in that statement?”

    Are you kidding me?

    You can’t see that saying something like, “I can understand if you are yet young how you concieve these innocent notions,” was blatantly condescending? “…innocent notions…” ?

    Or that, “…without really putting too much thought into them…” was something terribly uncalled for, in view of the scriptural soundness of everything Echo has told you?

    And that, “…the more I read you the more I wonder if you have yet graduated Highschool…” was only heaping on more condescension?

    And then on top of it, you had the audacity to turn around and try to put your insolence on me by asking, “Do (I) feel it is an insult to attend High school?”

    You don’t see that by asking, “Are the theories you use here from your own study or are they regurgatated from some youth pastor?” is insulting? “…regurgitated…”?? Do you understand that by saying that you are insinuating that Echo is incapable of anything more than puking back up someone else’s words? Not to mention how some dedicated and aspiring youth pastor might feel about reading your comment.

    I ask you, how many times has a Echo ever quoted a youth pastor? Now compare that with how many times Echo has quoted relevant scripture. How can you justify even asking such an outrageously inappropriate question?

    You are very fortunate for how gracious Echo has been in letting you wiggle off the hook. Frankly, your apology was a “non-apology.” You “apologized” and then immediately turned around and made the same assertions. Either you just don’t get it that your statements were, and are, insulting, condescending, arrogant, and inappropriate, or you are just not man enough to admit that you were just plain wrong and out of line.

  129. 129 Echo
    November 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    dirchu, I have a question before we continue.

    In your Post 102 you begged me to speak in simple terms because you could not understand what I was saying. You said: “So please enlighten me a bit.” “What is it you really want to say” “Let’s start simple, as I appear to get easily lost in the circular and random logic you a tossing out”

    So I spoke in very simple terms as you requested and you said: “the more I read you the more I wonder if you have yet graduated Highschool.”

    I can speak to you the way I did at first or I can speak to you in a simple fashion. Which do you prefer? I want to serve you where you are at. It’s more important to me that you understand what I am saying than it is for me to flaunt myself as a well educated person at your expense and understanding.

  130. November 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Echo,
    Where I get lost is in the contradiction of your statments.

    To help you understand the contradiction I speek of I will repost my statment that is yet awaiting moderation due to some links I placed to on-line dictionary sites to justify my position.

    Echo,

    I fail to connect with you on is your circular contradicting logic.
    Here is a logical and true statement. Either there is something you do for salvation, or there is not.
    I hear you say that there is nothing you do for salvation, that it is a gift given to all before we even know about it, before we have the chance to believe, but then you make it clear that in order to be saved we must believe.
    From this second part, the simple action of believing is the thing we must do for salvation.

    If, as you propose in the first part of your stance, we do nothing for salvation, then (if God is just or fair) all man would receive salvation regardless of what they do or do not do.

    If, as you propose in the second part of your stance, we do something for Salvation in the action of believing, then (if God were just or fair) those who did not do this thing (believe) would not be saved.

    Let’s not B.S. each other. Can we agree that there is some action on the part of the recipient of the gift of salvation that either leads to or ensures the same (Salvation)?

    “Believe” is an action. Look it up in an American English dictionary and you can be assured that it is a verb, all verbs are action words in the form of doing, to do, will do, had did/done. The tense are had Believed: Past, to believe, believing: Present, Will believe: future. Believe is a verb, an action, where Faith is a noun a thing.
    Thus you can believe, be believing, and have faith.

    I hope this helps you see the basis of my confusion in trying to understand your full position.

    God bless,
    -D

  131. 131 Echo
    November 20, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    ditchu,

    Your confusion lays in thinking that faith is the cause of forgiveness.
    Turn your thinking upside down and think of forgiveness causing faith.

    Your not forgiven *IF* you believe
    Your forgiven, therefore believe

    Here is the definition of: “Faith” from Wikipedia

    “Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing”

    Remember an analogy is intended to only answer ONE single question. If you have another question, another analogy may be needed. An analogy is used to show a single point of comparison. My analogy is going to answer the question: “Is faith a cause of something or the result of something?” This question being parallel to the question: “Is faith the cause of forgiveness or is forgiveness the cause of faith?”

    Your doctor tells you that you have cancer, you have faith he has told you the truth.
    Did your faith cause the cancer?
    Or did the truth spoken by your doctor stating the fact that you have cancer, cause your faith?

    Faith does not cause forgiveness. Forgiveness causes faith.

    There is nothing you do for your salvation. Your faith doesn’t cause your salvation, just as your faith didn’t cause your cancer.
    You can forfeit salvation by your unbelief just as you would most certainly die if you didn’t believe your doctor and naturally then refused the cure.

  132. 132 Echo
    November 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Note: I speak of forgiveness, to make it clear read it like this: “forgiveness(salvation)

  133. November 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Echo,
    But you also are saying that if I do not Beleive then I am not “forgiven” and thus not saved.
    Is that a correct summation of what you are saying?

    Again I do wonder who I am speaking with… Is there any Biographical info you are willing to release? Please keep it general like age, gender, religious affiliation (which is related to the topic). Me? I, am a 33 years old male, married with a 2 y/o child, I am LDS with roots in Lutheranism, Catholic influence through my Father, 3 dedicated years in a Baptist Church, who has spent about 3 years at least studying the occult.

    -Ditchu

    RLO,
    You are correct that I did not offer an apology. I did extend my sympathy that I had offended someone. I do not think I am off-base, and you may see it as arrogance but I am honest. I hold honesty to be more valuable than false humility or pride. I do not boast of myself but of the hope within me.

    I can accept that Echo is trying to dumb down his explanations for me but I still do not get his point that the actions we take are not actions at all but are a gift from God only. That for our part, is for naught but we are all saved before we know it but only if we believe it, and we only believe it after we know it.
    This is no red hearing but a catch 22 or chicken/egg conundrum. A paradox that is sprung out of misunderstand or misrepresentation. An issue usually remedied with an entry level argumentative writing class; Standard first year college course like Writing 122, or 123.

    I actually get the feel that Echo is brighter than his peers, so I was asking the question to honestly find out how old he is and what level of education he has achieved. I dare say you see more offense in my words than whom I was speaking with.

  134. 134 RLO
    November 20, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Ditchu: “…Again I do wonder who I am speaking with… Is there any Biographical info you are willing to release? Please keep it general like age, gender, religious affiliation…”

    What difference does it make if he’s eight or eighty?

    It’s not about the messenger – – it about the message.

    Listen to the message.

  135. 135 Echo
    November 20, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    ditchu,

    You said: “But you also are saying that if I do not Beleive then I am not “forgiven” and thus not saved. Is that a correct summation of what you are saying?”

    God says: “You are forgiven” you reply: “I don’t believe it” then you have thrown the gift in the trash.

    You said: “Again I do wonder who I am speaking with… Is there any Biographical info you are willing to release? Please keep it general like age, gender, religious affiliation (which is related to the topic). Me? I, am a 33 years old male, married with a 2 y/o child, I am LDS with roots in Lutheranism, Catholic influence through my Father, 3 dedicated years in a Baptist Church, who has spent about 3 years at least studying the occult.”

    Then in your same post you say to RLO: “I do not boast of myself but of the hope within me.”

    If you truly believe this statement you made, why do you ask me to boast of myself rather than listen to the hope that is within me? All of this information you want about me is completely irrelevant. I shouldn’t have to answer you at all. But since your weak, it should suffice to say that I am older than you, am educated beyond high school and I am a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical LUTHERAN Synod (WELS)

    You may not gain complete understanding of how faith works until you have experienced it first hand.
    Let’s return to our previous unfinished discussion. Perhaps experiencing faith rather than discussing faith will put all these mysteries into a clear light for you.

    Let’s return to this discussion:

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

    If Jesus Christ did the reconciling, which we both agree he did, and he is not counting men’s sins against them, why do you have to overcome your sins in order to be forgiven?

  136. 136 Echo
    November 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the post RLO, I was typing mine up while you posted yours. Looks like we were thinking the same thoughts.

  137. November 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Echo,
    I do not ask you to boast of yourself but I would like to correct my view of you and so far it is solidifying in its current state, and probably not accurate. Do you not care who you are speaking with? Do you not understand that the information requested would help me see your point of view better? The message you offer is not the same message I have heard from other messengers proclaiming the Bible, and that is mainly due to your perspective. I’d like to understand you a bit better. Is that so hard to believe? Or… Are you hiding for some reason?

    A faceless crowd has no power the man who stands up for his beliefs and can show his face. Right now you are just another faceless person, I know nothing about you and that is affecting my understanding of your message as it does not gel as logic as I see it.

    You ask: “If Jesus Christ did the reconciling, which we both agree he did, and he is not counting men’s sins against them, why do you have to overcome your sins in order to be forgiven?”

    Where did I say we must overcome our sin to be forgiven? I don’t entirely agree with that ideal. Which brings me to another thing, as I am LDS, I see that you have a very misconstrued idea of what we LDS Believe, and how we understand things to be. I have at the beginning of my part in this discussion attempted to offer correction in your stigma of our Faith, but you have turned a deaf ear to it (more like a blind eye as it is in text) and perused to “correct” what you think is wrong with what I believe.

    I thank you for your response: “But since your weak, it should suffice to say that I am older than you, am educated beyond high school and I am a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical LUTHERAN Synod (WELS)”

    However, from it I detect some error in judgment. What do you know of my strength? You show a lack of wisdom when you jump to conclusions that are without base. As you have never yet inquired about my Strength, Faith, or anything beyond the matter of the message you are relaying, your statement is complete assumption. Leaving such an open statement that I must be weak, one does not know in what context to take the description. It could be pinned on me as pure insult, or concerning my physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional wellbeing.

    The total disregard for clarification for the context you wish to state my “weakness” lends credence to the thought; either you are just trying to toss out some thought to be witty insult, or you are feeble minded. Leaving the conclusion so open to interpretation is poor judgment. I wonder if that same attitude is what is getting in the way of me taking you seriously anymore.

    Care to dig deeper now?

  138. November 20, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    RLO,

    I’d say it is you who is playing “word games” by trying to assert that belief is NOT “doing” something, when it clearly is.

  139. 139 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 12:21 am

    ditchu,

    You said: ” I know nothing about you and that is affecting my understanding of your message as it does not gel as logic as I see it.”

    If my message to you does not gel as logic to you, my station in life is still irrelevant.
    In fact, my station in life can decieve you.

    I can be 8 years old and teach you either a truth from the bible or a lie.
    I can be 88 years old and teach you a truth from the bible or a lie.
    I can be well educated and teach you a truth from the bible or a lie.
    I can be uneducated and teach you a truth from the bible or a lie.
    I can be in the only true church on earth and teach you a truth from the bible or a lie.
    etc.

    My station in life therefore can actually decieve you. You might fall into the peril of trusting in something or someone other than God. That would be idolatry.

    I am here to teach what I believe is the truth from the Bible. Trust God. Compare what I say with what the Bible says and you will know if what I speak is the truth or a lie.

    The things of God sometimes defy logic:

    1 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”

    So don’t assume that just because my words don’t gel as logic that I am uneducated or feebleminded. It could very well be that you are a man without the Spirit, which is indeed what I believe is truth in this situation.

    You said: “I wonder if that same attitude is what is getting in the way of me taking you seriously anymore.”

    It’s not my attitude that is the problem. You have taken my statement that you are weak out of context, wrongly judged my motives and then blown it way out of porportion from there. It wasn’t intended as an insult, it was intended as an instruction. It was intended as an instruction that your lacking in the understanding of your statement: “I do not boast of myself but of the hope within me”

    Just to clear up some of your misconceptions about me and to make a freindly suggestion to make our conversations go a little more smoothly, I don’t like to insult people wittingly or otherwise. Ask me my motives if something I say bothers you rather than jumping to wrong conclusions.

    Can we please now move back to the discussion on doctrine?

    You said: “Where did I say we must overcome our sin to be forgiven?”

    I asked Seth (an LDS member posting on this blog)the following question:

    Do you have to overcome sin to be forgiven?

    Seth replied: “sure”

  140. 140 RLO
    November 21, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Ditchu;

    Is English your first language or a second language? I ask because you often make word choices, and use spelling and grammar and syntax that sounds a bit foreign to me. I read, write, and speak a second language, so I’m somewhat aware of the difficulties of thinking primarily in one language while having to communicate in another. If English is your second language, I’d like to be sure to exercise an extra measure of patience with you in your communications. One recommendation I would like to make is that you could type out your posts on “Word” or “Microsoft Works.” They can alert you to spelling errors or problematic grammar. After making corrections, you could then just “cut” and “paste” it over onto the weblog here. I think it would be beneficial for you and helpful to others.

    RLO

  141. November 21, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Echo,

    actually the thing is that it is not the Gospel that i have an issue with, but it is your opinion and logic, which directly affects how you view the gospel, your faith and mine. Yet again you fail to be reasonable, in that you make a statment that defyes logic: “It was intended as an instruction that your lacking in the understanding of your statement: ‘I do not boast of myself but of the hope within me'”

    How does calling someone weak, without any explaniation as to what you mean or why you think it so, can possibably be instructional.

    I see now that there is no point in continuing with this conversation as you do not intend to be honest, or take a good close look at your own beliefs. You just want to continue to exist in your current state of faith (not as bad as it sounds) without being abot to effectivally support what it is you believe. I figure, though, that it should not matter to me if you don’t agree with me. You may believe and understand the truth very well but you are unable to communicate it clearly without contradicting yourself.

    God bless you, and I hope we can laugh at this small waste of time when we meet in Heaven.

    -ditchu

  142. 142 RLO
    November 21, 2009 at 1:03 am

    I’ll be out of state and away from all my electronic communication devices for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, y’all behave now, hear?

  143. 143 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Seth,

    You said: “I’d say it is you who is playing “word games” by trying to assert that belief is NOT “doing” something, when it clearly is.”

    Your doctor tells you that you have cancer, you have faith he has told you the truth.
    Did your faith cause the cancer?
    Or did the truth spoken by your doctor stating the fact that you have cancer, cause your faith?

    What we are trying to explain is that faith doesn’t cause or result in your having cancer. It is true that what faith “does” is accept a fact or truth already in place(i.e. You have cancer) But faith “does nothing” to cause your cancer.

    Does that help?

  144. November 21, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Echo, believing him is a decision.

    It’s DOING something.

  145. 145 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 2:12 am

    ditchu

    you said: “actually the thing is that it is not the Gospel that i have an issue with, but it is your opinion and logic, which directly affects how you view the gospel, your faith and mine. Yet again you fail to be reasonable, in that you make a statment that defyes logic: “It was intended as an instruction that your lacking in the understanding of your statement: ‘I do not boast of myself but of the hope within me’” How does calling someone weak, without any explaniation as to what you mean or why you think it so, can possibably be instructional.”

    I do apologize if you found my explanation insufficient. I thought the word in and of itself was instructional. I simply meant you don’t understand your own statement. Nothing more.

    You said “You just want to continue to exist in your current state of faith (not as bad as it sounds) without being abot to effectivally support what it is you believe.”

    You havn’t given me a chance to support what I believe. You keep the conversation focused only on *ME* and on all that I am doing wrong, how uneducated I am, how dishonest I am, how everything I say is just regurgitated up, how I don’t think for myself etc. those are all sinful personal attacks that have nothing to do with the discussion. The focus should be on doctrine and not on me. Several times I have tried to get the conversation back to doctrine, but you are unwilling. I have no doubt in my mind that the reason you don’t understand is because your too focused on me and what I am doing and have lost all focus on doctrine and what God has to say.

    You drop out of the doctrinal discussion right when you are convicted of contradicting one of your fellow LDS brothers. I tire of being told I am blind and deaf to LDS teachings. I believe you should convict yourself of being blind and deaf to LDS teachings.

    Your sins are being heaped up the the heavens already. Don’t you know that the LDS teaches that where there is no obedience, there is no faith? THEY DO. They also say that you must overcome your sin to be forgiven. Both those points made here:

    “To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in him that we obey whatever he commands. THERE IS NO FAITH WHERE THERE IS NO OBEDIENCE. Likewise there is true obedience only where there is faith. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, becomming his obedient disciples, Heavenly Father will forgive our sins and prepare us to return to him” (LDS Gospel principles page 118)

    Repeat: “There is no faith where there is no obedience”

    ditchu, you havn’t been obedient, your works are evidence of that. That means you havn’t any faith, that’s unbelief.

    What happens to unbelievers?

    Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

    Unbelievers go to OUTER DARKNESS, that is the second death, that is the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. How do I know this is outer darkness? Read further:

    Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT FOR EVER AND EVER.”

    I care about your soul and I can help you avoid this path your on but we must get back to the discussion on doctrine and keep the focus off of me. Your works define you as a unbeliever.

    Your ONLY hope is salvation by faith alone and not by works, your works define you as an unbeliever.

    Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

  146. 146 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Seth,

    you said: “Echo, believing him is a decision.

    It’s DOING something.”

    I agree that believing is doing and I explained this in my post. What your misunderstanding is that This “doing” does NOT result in salvation or forgiveness any more than this “doing” resulted in your having cancer. Your faith did no doing in any way that contributed to your getting cancer. Your faith simply accepted the fact that you had cancer already.

    We don’t do something to be saved or forgiven. We believe we have already been saved and forgiven because Jesus did all the doing already.

    Even in the doing of faith, which I repeat has nothing to do with salvation or forgiveness,
    what causes that doing? Truth causes the doing. The credit for your “doing” goes to the giver of truth and not to you.
    God speaks only truth. If you believe he speaks only truth, he is the one who worked that trust(faith) that his word is true into you. All glory be to God.

  147. November 21, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Sure it does.

    You don’t believe in Jesus – no ticket to heaven for you.

    Or do you disagree?

    If so, my “different Jesus” shouldn’t matter, should it?

  148. 148 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Jesus has given you the ticket. You don’t believe in Jesus, that is like throwing the ticket away.

    Your different Jesus believes you have to buy your own ticket, problem is, you don’t have enough money to buy it.

  149. 149 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Seth, Jesus IS our ticket to heaven.
    Your Jesus requires you to be your own ticket to heaven.

  150. November 21, 2009 at 3:56 am

    “You don’t believe in Jesus, that is like throwing the ticket away.”

    Which would be DOING something Echo.

  151. 151 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 4:06 am

    What are you doing?

  152. November 21, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Throwing the ticket away Echo.

    Doing.

    Under your example, doing something can impact your salvation. Thus, your salvation is DEPENDENT on you not throwing the ticket away.

    Which means it is dependent on something you choose not to do.

  153. November 21, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Seriously, the way you guys talk, you’d think that belief was just something that jumps out from behind the dumpster and smacks you upside the face.

    That is not what belief is.

    Belief is a choice – it’s something you DO. And it is either strengthened or weakened by things you DO as well.

  154. 154 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    The bible teaches these two truths:

    God gets the credit for our faith: “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:3

    Man gets the credit for his unbelief: John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

    I have shown how faith isn’t the cause of your having cancer just as faith doesn’t result in your having salvation and forgiveness.

    Salvation/forgiveness that doesn’t depend on us, even just a little bit, is a sure and certain thing. It brings extraordinary peace within! The moment it depends on us,even just a little bit, that certainty begins to crumble to the ground. It robs us of the peace God wants us to have.

    My reccomendation to you is to believe God’s word to be true whether or not you can understand it. Some day God will make it clear to you. perhaps when you experience true faith yourself. If you refuse to believe something UNTIL you fully understand something, you’ll be found guilty of idolatry.

    Have a good day.

  155. 155 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Seth, you said: “you’d think that belief was just something that jumps out from behind the dumpster and smacks you upside the face.”

    NOW your getting it.

  156. November 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    No Echo. I don’t get it.

    And I don’t think you do either.

    You have a very extremist and one-sided view of both your Bible and the meaning of the Christian Gospel. I’ve heard plenty of Christian theologians speak or read their writings. Not just liberal Presbyterians or whatever, but good conservative Christian theologians. And they don’t talk even half as extreme on the grace-only view as you do.

    It makes me wonder if you aren’t making your position more extreme than it really is, just to prove to everyone here that you are different than “those Mormons.”

    Seriously, you’ve taken the grace thing in your rhetoric and gone WAAAY off the deep end.

    Even good Calvinist theologians I’ve read don’t talk like you do.

  157. November 21, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Oh, and incidentally, God gets the credit in Mormon theology too.

    It’s not my fault if you stubbornly refuse to see this and are incapable of conceding anything for fear of “losing face in front of the Mormon.”

  158. 158 Echo
    November 21, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Personal opinions about anyone are but a tool in Satan’s hand to sway people away from the truth. Trust God, not man…

    Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

  159. November 21, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    That’s right Echo.

    Throw out a random Bible scripture.

    That’ll solve everything right?

    Right.

  160. 160 Echo
    November 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Seth,

    Here is something for you to ponder the depths of because even though it is simple, it is also deep:

    A church who’s members fight their battles with the SWORD OF SIN is a church who seeks to ONLY HARM his neighbor.
    A church who’s members fight their battles with God’s word, which is the SWORD OF TRUTH, is a church who seeks to DEFEND his neighbor from the battle waged against him.

  161. 161 Echo
    November 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Even the one carrying the sword of sin is a neighbor to the one carrying the sword of truth.

  162. 163 Echo
    November 22, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    What do you think my point is?

  163. November 23, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I don’t see one. You tell me.

  164. 165 Echo
    November 23, 2009 at 12:49 am

    One of the things that Jesus did often was to teach people to do their own thinking rather than doing the thinking for them. And for good reason.
    So I will leave you to ponder that over on your own.

  165. November 23, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Well, I suppose your point is that somehow my religion sucks and yours is cool. But good luck to anyone trying to figure out how that comment makes this point.

  166. 167 Echo
    November 23, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Just because you can’t understand how my comment makes a point, why do you profess to be so wise as to KNOW that no one else will understand it either. YOU cannot know that, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you know whether or not others will grasp what you yourself can’t grasp. You know this is true. So why do you (hopefully unknowingly) decieve others into thinking they can’t know either. Is it because somewhere along the way, someone has decieved you into thinking that you can’t think for yourself? Who or what did this to you?

    This technique you are using to get everyone to doubt they can understand what I am saying is a technique used in brainwashing. It is designed to keep people from thinking for themselves.

    The very thing Jesus wanted people to do….to think for themselves!

    I believe you can understand and grasp what I have said, just think for yourself.

  167. November 23, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t have time to waste on this Echo.

    I’ve got about half a dozen other religious debates going on right now.

    If you’re just going to pout and refuse to communicate then I’m done.

  168. 169 Echo
    November 24, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Seth,

    You said: “But good luck to anyone trying to figure out how that comment makes this point.”

    That is deception, you are manipulating others through deception.

    you said: “If you’re just going to pout and refuse to communicate then I’m done.”

    This is an attempt to manipulate someone into submission through verbal abuse. That is the accuser.

    I am not pouting nor refusing to communicate with you. Your verbal abuse and deception stop dead in their tracks on the cross of Christ.

    Who is the deciever? Who is the accuser? The answer to both those questions is Satan and the answer to both those questions is you.

    The Sword of sin I spoke about is just that. You resort to sin as evidenced above to bring harm to your neighbor, in this case, to harm me and anyone who might want to consider if what I am saying is true or not.
    Not only do you do battle with the sword of sin, ditchu did battle with the sword of sin as well as GB and others here as well.

    Jesus summed up ALL the commandments when he said in: Galatians 5:14 “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    What have you and others done? Harm your neighbor, decieve him, verbally abuse him in attempt to bring him into submission.

    Sin is all you have to defend your beliefs, you fight your battles with a sword of sin! Your God doesn’t defend you, so your left to resort to sin to defend yourself. I pity you.

    God has this to say:

    Romans 6:23 ” For the wages of sin is death”

    Spiritual death. Your sin should make you fearful, it should lead you to despair. Make no mistake, GOD HATES SIN.

    Revelation 21:8 “But the FEARFUL, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

    Unbelievers go to OUTER DARKNESS, that is the second death, that is the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. How do I know this is outer darkness? Read further:

    Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT FOR EVER AND EVER.

    Now even though you and others come against me with the sword of sin intended to harm me and others, I still believe in loving you because your my neighbor. I have no desire to harm you. You fight in a battle against me,to harm me, Even still, I am still willing to fight in a battle, not against you, but FOR you, to SAVE you and keep you from harm. This is also stated in my message that you didn’t understand.

    Until you are willing to admit that by nature you are as depraved as God himself sees you and as I have pointed out, until you are willing to admit how sinful and helpless you are to become worthy in anyway, the cure that God has provided for your depravity is out of your grasp, you won’t understand it.

    Seth, This is how God sees our hearts. YOUR HEART and mine:

    Romans 3:9-19 “9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11there is no one who understands,
    no one who seeks God.
    12All have turned away,
    they have together become WORTHLESS;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”
    13″Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice DECEIT.”
    “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
    14″Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
    15″Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16ruin and misery mark their ways,
    17and the way of peace they do not know.”
    18″There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
    19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God

    Confess the truth about yourself!

    Then I can share the good news with you.

  169. 170 Echo
    November 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

    2 Timothy 3:1-5 “1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

  170. November 25, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing Echo. I don’t go after other people online who aren’t going after me and my faith.

    So “sword of sin” right back at you. You’ve been waving yours around for sometime now.

    That’s the problem with your statements, they are all so vague and general that they don’t really claim anything at all. I could easily take each of those statements and simply say they are talking about you. And we get absolutely nowhere.

    And incidentally, I’ve already acknowledged my own sinful nature with God. Frequently. You just assume that this Gospel-thing is something you guys have the patent on.

    Fact is, we Mormons have been doing the same thing for a long time now. You may not like acknowledging it, but that’s not my problem.

  171. 172 Echo
    November 25, 2009 at 5:09 am

    If I had spoken to you in unloving words and you pointed it out, I would apologize.

  172. November 25, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Echo, I don’t frankly care whether your words are loving or not.

    Half the guys in history who strangled their wives to death did so with “love” in their thoughts (as they imagined it).

    Tacking “grace and peace in Christ” onto posts where you misrepresent my religion makes little, if any, difference to me. In fact, it’s one of the things that really bugs me about some Evangelicals. It’s the content of your arguments and posts that I look at, not the “nice tone” you smear over the surface of it.

    I think, where the rubber hits the road, there really is little appreciable difference in the outlook of faithful Mormons and faithful Evangelicals on the issue of grace and good works. I think it is an artificial and manufactured difference designed mainly to prey upon Mormons who happen to have become depressed in their own church, for whatever reason. Grace is alive and well in the LDS Church. Humility before God is a big part of our theology. The hopelessness of the human condition is a major component in our human narrative.

    Not that I expect anyone here to acknowledge this though.

  173. 174 Echo
    November 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Seth said: “Grace is alive and well in the LDS Church. Humility before God is a big part of our theology. The hopelessness of the human condition is a major component in our human narrative.”

    What is Grace in LDS theology?
    What is humility before God in LDS theology?
    What do you mean when you say the hopelessness of the human condition?

  174. November 30, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Echo,
    I don’t know if I should bring this up but barring false witness goes against the Commandments. What is sin to you?

    You have accused me without cause: “ditchu, you havn’t been obedient, your works are evidence of that. That means you havn’t any faith, that’s unbelief.”

    Where does my works show that I am disobedient? What sins do you see me committing? Please, be specific as that is the only way to rebuke a brother. Be specific and direct.

    Here are some other items I take issue with:
    You say: “You havn’t given me a chance to support what I believe” (there’s an e in haven’t)
    You are given every chance to report on your beliefs, every change to support them and explain them. You futile attempts at logical explanation have confused me as to what it is you have concluded in your beliefs. In your explanations I find direct contradictions. An example is statements that say we do nothing for salvation and the something we do is a gift.
    Belief is a gift and so is walking, but the mere fact that it is a gift does not make it a non-action.

    I just wanted to adjust the disjointed logic to some personal factor but you try to make it sound as if you are sharing God’s message, refusing to realize that the message is made your own by your influence on the message by how you deliver it.

    I am not focusing on what you are doing but what you are saying and the message is corrupted by your inability to defend your beliefs without contradiction.

    You also said: “You drop out of the doctrinal discussion right when you are convicted of contradicting one of your fellow LDS brothers. I tire of being told I am blind and deaf to LDS teachings.”

    Where was I convicted of contradicting one of my fellow LDS brothers?

    If you are hearing so much (to tire of it) that you are deaf and blind to LDS teachings, maybe there is something to it (more than someone just saying it).

    Finally who here is trying to boast of themselves?
    You said: “I care about your soul and I can help you avoid this path your on but we must get back to the discussion on doctrine and keep the focus off of me. Your works define you as a unbeliever.”

    Allow me to highlight a few things in this last statement:
    “I care about your soul and I can help you avoid this path your on but we must get back to the discussion on doctrine and keep the focus off of me. Your works define you as a unbeliever.”

    Which works define me as an unbeliever? (be specific)

    You want to keep the focus off of you but you keep placing your own view on God’s truth. The message is already delivered but you twist it by your interpretation of it. Also you boast that you can help me avoid the path I am on… you are showing that you know nothing of the path I am on, but I am supposed to rely on your judgment even after you show how it is full of contradiction.

    I think I will trust my Salvation to Christ.

    Thank you for your “efforts” to help but I think you need more help than I and are unwilling to accept it from someone like me.

    God bless,
    -D

  175. December 1, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Echo,
    Are you saying you are weilding the Sin?
    Or are you just trying to slap a blanket insult on all of the people in my Church?

  176. December 1, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Echo,
    You are beyond that fine grey line of being righteous and self-righteous.
    I would ask you to reconsider your witness that what SethR. is doing is in any way deceitful. You really are difficult to understand, and it seems that you have deviated from your discussion on the topic of the doctrine to casting out insult and innuendo.

    Look at it from another point of view.
    You have in the past contradicted yourself in your very statement when talking about what we do for salvation. You have tossed out obscure comments that are easier to understand in the context of your are insulting others that do not agree with the beliefs as you have stated them. The downward spiral is becoming more apparent, and is sharing volumes more than you are about your position. I’d recommend taking a step back and look at the situation before continuing in this vain.

    Echo,
    You are beyond that fine grey line of being righteous and self-righteous.
    I would ask you to reconsider your witness that what SethR. is doing is in any way deceitful. You really are difficult to understand, and it seems that you have deviated from your discussion on the topic of the doctrine to casting out insult and innuendo.

    Look at it from another point of view.
    You have in the past contradicted yourself in your very statement when talking about what we do for salvation. You have tossed out obscure comments that are easier to understand in the context of your are insulting others that do not agree with the beliefs as you have stated them. The downward spiral is becoming more apparent, and is sharing volumes more than you are about your position. I’d recommend taking a step back and look at the situation before continuing in this vain.

  177. December 1, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Sorry about the dobble post… slip of the hand

  178. December 1, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Echo: “What do you mean when you say the hopelessness of the human condition?”

    Seth R. said: ” The hopelessness of the human condition is a major component in our human narrative.”

    My take is that this comment talks about the human condition: that we all must face death sometime. In our mortality we will all have to deal with the fact that we will die, our existance on this planet as mortal beings will end. This condition leads many to depression and doubt. The Human narritive is life itself, or our mortal existance on this world.

    Grace: “The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.” Bible Dictionary, LDS Notated Holy Bible v. King James

    Humility before God: being humble in your heart, knowing that you are a child of God and serving others out of love and compation. Obeying God, doing what you know to be right without boast or seeking praise.

    The entire section of the bible Dictionary about Grace(I will append a link later)
    follows:

    BIBLE DICTIONARY
    Grace
    A word that occurs frequently in the New Testament, especially in the writings of Paul. The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
    It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.
    Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25: 23). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible. This principle is expressed in Jesus’ parable of the vine and the branches (John 15: 1-11). See also John 1: 12-17; Eph. 2: 8-9; Philip. 4: 13; D&C 93: 11-14

  179. December 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    If you do not beleive you have cancer does it go away?
    What about Salvation. If you do not beleive does your salvation go away?

  180. 182 Echo
    December 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    You quoted: “It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.”

    LDS repentance includes overcoming sin in order to be forgiven. You overcome sin and then at some point(weeks, years centuries later) you will be forgiven.

    We believe that Grace = forgiveness. Grace is God’s undeserved, unearned forgiveness for mankind. You believe that grace is only Help that you get to get you to the point of forgiveness. But, our point is that if you must overcome your sin and are only then forgiven, then forgiveness becomes something that is deserved or earned.

    “you have expended your own best efforts”
    What happens to those who don’t expend their best efforts? Can you tell me you have always expended your best efforts? So your salvation/exaltation depends on YOU expending YOUR best efforts because unless you do this, there is no grace for you.

    For us, grace is and always will be something God showers on us without any effort on the part of the recipient. Forgiveness can’t be earned through expending our best efforts. We don’t earn our forgiveness as the LDS does. We don’t deserve our forgiveness. We ARE forgiven already. It’s done. Therefore we will want to serve our Savior out of love for him for that very reason. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that motivates us to love and good works.
    What motivates you?

    You quoted: ” This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.
    Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25: 23). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible. This principle is expressed in Jesus’ parable of the vine and the branches (John 15: 1-11). See also John 1: 12-17; Eph. 2: 8-9; Philip. 4: 13;”

    I pulled this out: “Grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient”

    This is such a slippery slope and it will cause multitudes to fall without grace. Be honest with yourself. Your efforts no matter how great they are never leave you with the peace that surpasses all understanding, does it. No sinner can have peace with God because of their efforts because those efforts always fall short. This is made clear in all the day to day sins that are committed. Without forgiveness, there is no peace for the sinner.

  181. December 1, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Echo,
    So your true intentions come out.

    You would have people do nothing to better themselves? You would have everyone continue in their sinful lusts and just enjoy the misery that sin brings?
    That is in essence what you are promoting when you state: “Your efforts no matter how great they are never leave you with the peace that surpasses all understanding, does it. No sinner can have peace with God because of their efforts because those efforts always fall short.”

    You are correct on one thing: “Without forgiveness, there is no peace for the sinner.”

    We must forgive each other before we can find peace. Also, There is no salvation without forgiveness… There is no salvation without Christ’s Atonement… There is no Salvation without faith. Honestly, there is no salvation without some part played by the recipient of that salvation.

    I think that is the part you gloss over when you suggest it is all on God and we have no part in it, but then you agree that without the action of believing we have no salvation.
    Which is it? Is there action on our part, or are we destined for what comes? Do we have a choice or none at all?

  182. 184 Echo
    December 2, 2009 at 12:14 am

    ditchu said: “Echo,
    So your true intentions come out. You would have people do nothing to better themselves? You would have everyone continue in their sinful lusts and just enjoy the misery that sin brings?”

    Did you know that only a man who is without knowledge of God’s true love for us can respond like you have in asking the question that you have? It’s true. For if you truly knew of God’s love, that question you have asked me would not even enter your mind.

    “We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19

  183. December 7, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Echo,
    Please, for your own sake, take a long good look in the mirror.

    These two “questions” you say should never have come to my mind if I knew God’s love, came to my mind because it is the over-all message you are delivering right now.

    You want me to focus on the message not the messenger… That is your message, but it seems you don’t understand that is the message you are delivering. Please take some time to collect your thoughts and meditate on Christ’s words, before responding out of hate again.

    Yes, I understand that all we do is in response to God’s gift, but you even acknowledged that we do something for salvation. then you try to disregard that there is anything we do but then you are adamant that there is nothing we do…… It keeps going. You, my friend, are conflicted, or confused.

    Though what we do is in response, we must do something.

    Also, I think all of your insults and accusations of others on this page stem from your own action and decisions. You are in violation of your own accusations.

    I suggest next time you act out of love, not out of envy, pride, hate, or anger.

    Please understand that I am trying to help you see the message you are broadcasting. Maybe it is not the message you think you are broadcasting.

    God bless,
    -D

  184. 186 Echo
    December 8, 2009 at 6:40 am

    dirchu, There is nothing in my post that is envious, prideful, hateful and I wasn’t at all angry. My post was intended in love and friendship, okay?

    If you do have knowledge of God’s true love for us then you will understand this reply to your post:

    you said: “ditchu said: “Echo,
    So your true intentions come out. You would have people do nothing to better themselves? You would have everyone continue in their sinful lusts and just enjoy the misery that sin brings?”

    “We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19

  185. December 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Echo,
    I understand you comment.
    I also understand the many comments you made that were not in keeping with your “loving” façade.
    I understand that your pride has created a divide between what you are saying and what you are achieving.
    The mere attitude that you have of me (yup, were now getting personal because you brought it here), your judgment that I do not know “God’s true love” is significant in showing your arrogance and illegitimacy to judge others.

    You are incorrect however that I could not understand God’s love and still say the things I had about your intentions. You have actively discouraged people from keeping the commandments, and implied that it is sinful to try to keep them.
    You, sir, have insulted both Seth and I, and insulted everyone’s intelligence, by indicating that since we do not agree with your statements we are at fault wielding a sinful sword while in your own pride and righteousness you remain stainless wielding the sword of truth.
    You have directly pointed out that I have sinned but fail to indicate how exactly I have done so, thus not offering a rebuke but an underhanded jab at my past.

    Finally when I offer some advice, you insinuate that I do not understand your comment. You really need to listen more, Echo.
    You say your posts are “intended in love and friendship” but you fail to take the responses in kind. You say your posts are “intended in love and friendship” but you make accusations without support. You say your posts are “intended in love and friendship” but many of your posts are dodgy, augmentative, and disingenuous.

    In this conversation you are acting like you want to win some argument; to achieve some victory of honor, put another notch in your Bible( “another soul saved…” ).
    So, Like many a time playing video-games with my brother, I give in before you through the control… You Win! There you go, have your victory. 10,000,000 imaginary points to you, Echo.

    Now that that is settled…
    What is it you ultimately want to achieve in this discussion?

  186. 188 RLO
    December 8, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Ditchu, don’t you realize? Of course you do! Anyone here can just go back through all the posts in this thread and see that it is YOU who has nearly always been insulting and condescending, even from your very first post. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Your post shows all the maturity of a child throwing his sucker in the dirt.

  187. December 9, 2009 at 12:57 am

    RLO,
    So. We are all doing basically the same thing?

    Well, at least I have yet to accuse anyone of not knowing God or his Love.
    I have yet to reprimand someone for their sin whilst at the same time withhold whatever Those “sins” are.

    I have yet to misrepresent my opinions with direct contradiction and illogical statements.

    However, I would like to thank you for your encouragement. I am currently pulling that beam out of my own eye. I just wish others would grab hold of their own before shouting about the sins of others.

    You pointed out that one can easily go back through my posts here and see what I have said and how I have stated it. I ask you where have I accused someone other than myself of sin? I ask you where have I made a direct insult statement (like the following) ?

    Echo: “Did you know that only a man who is without knowledge of God’s true love for us can respond like you have in asking the question that you have?” (184)
    Echo: “Sin is all you have to defend your beliefs, you fight your battles with a sword of sin! Your God doesn’t defend you, so your left to resort to sin to defend yourself. I pity you.” (172)
    Echo: “Personal opinions about anyone are but a tool in Satan’s hand to sway people away from the truth.”(160)
    Echo: “Your sins are being heaped up the the heavens already.”(145)
    Echo: “”()145
    Echo: “ditchu, you havn’t been obedient, your works are evidence of that. That means you havn’t any faith, that’s unbelief.”(145)

    RLO, where do I pin a blanket statement on a group on this page?
    Like the following for an example of why I rarely use blanket statements, as they are often bias and untrue:
    Echo: “Forgiveness causes faith. The Free and Full Forgiveness that we believe in can be rejected. The LDS rejects it.”(118)

    Echo did say something that would suggest Mark has hold of the sin sword…
    Echo: “A church who’s members fight their battles with the SWORD OF SIN is a church who seeks to ONLY HARM his neighbor.”(162)

    I started my comments out by investigating the harm of Marks words, hoping that He just needed to explain his message better so as to not encourage sin and cause people harm.

    Have I misrepresented myself?

    Echo,
    You have some statement in direct conflict, to be clearer so you don’t think I am just harping on you: “Having faith(trust) isn’t doing something, it’s believing in someone ouside of yourself.” (115)
    “I agree that believing is doing and I explained this in my post.”(147)
    Also you have not explained “this” in your post.

  188. 190 RLO
    December 9, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Ditchu;

    For the most part, you confuse someone admonishing you with someone insulting you. Though from your perspective, I guess I can understand how hearing the truth might be insulting to you.

    I know you like to take the direction of conversations off on tangents. But let’s try staying close to the trunk of the tree here:

    You accused Echo of keeping up a loving facade, of being prideful, of judging you, of actively discouraging people from keeping the commandments, of implying that it is sinful to try to keep them, of insulting both Seth and you (do you speak for Seth now?), of insulting everyone’s intelligence (do you also speak for “everyone” now too? Me included?), of taking underhanded jabs, of being dodgy, augmentative, and disingenuous, of wanting to, as you said “put another notch in your bible (another soul saved…”).

    So I called you on being insulting and condescending yourself.

    Ditchu: “I ask you where have I accused someone other than myself of sin?”

    Red herring. I ask you. Where did I ever say you have?

    Ditchu: “I ask you where have I made a direct insult statement…?”

    #1 “The real folly you preach…” to an eminently trained pastor who has dedicated his life to the ministry, who has even written a book entitled, “Speaking The Truth In Love To Mormons” (which, by the way, have you read?) I call that insulting and condescending.

    #1 “Is there no right and wrong with you?” Insulting. Condescending. Disrespectful.

    #2 “You, Pastor Mark, need to get off this kick, as this has been explained to you en infinitum.” Insulting. Condescending. Disrespectful.

    #12 You called me obtuse. Insulting. Arrogant. Condescending.

    #21 “Echo, how old are you? Maybe it is that you are yet young and take these things at face value, but it is obvious that you are not digging deeper in thought into these things that you are simply handed as “fact” by a minister.” Condescending. Disrespectful.

    #22 “…why did you Title this Post “the sin of trying” ?
    I will admit it is catchy but if not your intended message, misleading and deceitful.
    I think you should stop lying (if that is what you are doing) and admit the truth or admit your mistake.” You’re telling a pastor to stop lying? Insulting. Disrespectful.

    #26 “Use your mind…” Condescending.

    #30 “ But I dare say you have plenty to think about right now. I suggest you start to ask questions about your preconceived notions about what your scriptures actually say…” Insulting. Condescending. Arrogant.

    #41 “… That thinking is archaic and illegitimate in academia. I would urge you to use terms in an intelligent discussion with the appropriate context…” Arrogant. Condescending.

    #77 Your post.

    #78 My post.

    #80 “Until then I think you are just lining up your thoughts with some preacher, without really challenging the ideas, just accepting them.” Insulting. Arrogant. Condescending.

    #122 “How old are you Echo?
    I can understand if you are yet young how you conceived these innocent notions without really putting too much thought into them but the more I read you the more I wonder if you have yet graduated High school. Are the theories you use here from your own study or are they regurgitated from some youth pastor?” Insulting. Arrogant. Condescending. Goodness Gracious!

    #141 “I see now that there is no point in continuing with this conversation as you do not intend to be honest, or take a good close look at your own beliefs. Insulting. Condescending.

    #183 “So your true intentions come out.” Insulting.

    #185 “Please, for your own sake, take a long good look in the mirror.” Condescending.

    #185 “Please take some time to collect your thoughts and meditate on Christ’s words, before responding out of hate again.” Insulting. Condescending.

    #185 “You, my friend, are conflicted, or confused.” Arrogant. Insulting. Condescending.

    #187 to which I have already responded.

    You have set, and maintained, an insulting, disrespectful, sarcastic, adversarial tone throughout this thread from your very first post on. You have no basis for a complaint in feeling someone has insulted you back.

  189. 191 Echo
    December 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

    ditchu,

    This post is intended in love and not intended to insult you or harm you but to help you, it is intended in gentleness and respect. You may not understand at this time how this is so because of our differing beliefs, but take me at my word because it is intended in love for you.

    You have been sinning since your very first post, post #1. I admonished you in order to HELP you,(after having much patience with you)in post #145. This came after your ongoing continuous sins for 145 posts showed no signs of letting up. You put words in people’s mouths they did not say and then you verbally abuse them personally for it using Arrogant, Insulting, and Condescending words. Then you sin by judging people’s motives in opposition to the motives they actually have, only God can judge motives. It is a sin and it is not loving to put words in people’s mouths that they didn’t say. It is a sin to verbally abuse people when they say something offensive but even much worse when you verbally abuse people for things they didn’t say, things you conjured up in your own mind and then blame others for. I am not judging your motives in this,only you and God know your motives, I am only pointing out your sins.

    I think it’s fair and truthful to say that you don’t understand the love of God because you show no signs of loving others right from post # 1. Although, that isn’t why I said that to you. Let me try and explain my motive to you when I said that.

    You said: “ditchu said: “Echo,
    So your true intentions come out. You would have people do nothing to better themselves? You would have everyone continue in their sinful lusts and just enjoy the misery that sin brings?”

    In the post that I wrote just before yours to which you responded with the above response, I said:

    “For us, grace is and always will be something God showers on us without any effort on the part of the recipient. Forgiveness can’t be earned through expending our best efforts. We don’t earn our forgiveness as the LDS does. We don’t deserve our forgiveness. We ARE forgiven already. It’s done. Therefore we will want to serve our Savior out of love for him for that very reason. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that motivates us to love and good works.”

    Notice the last sentence: “Therefore WE WILL WANT TO SERVE OUR SAVIOR OUT OF LOVE FOR HIM FOR THAT VERY REASON. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that MOTIVATES US TO LOVE AND GOOD WORKS”

    to which you responded:

    “So your true intentions come out. You would have people do nothing to better themselves? You would have everyone continue in their sinful lusts and just enjoy the misery that sins brings?”

    I am thinking I have one of two choices here because you very clearly contradict what I said.

    1) You intentionally want to slander me into the mud because of the evil in your heart

    or

    2) you don’t understand the love of God

    I chose to give you the benefit of the doubt. I chose the compassionate option.

    I am trying to being gentle here and instructive and not at all abusive but I don’t think you understand how it’s possible for someone who does nothing, to gain the celestial kingdom or forgiveness, will then go ahead and better themselves and want to avoid sinful lusts etc.

    No LDS person understands that love found there in that message because it isn’t an LDS belief. See what I mean?

    And equally intended in love and gentleness is this: Your sins from the beggining should be a sign to you that you yourself havn’t discovered the riches of God’s love because you havn’t loved others here. You have been unloving since post #1.

    The scriptures say: “We love because he first loved us”

    You havn’t loved. I ask sincerely and softly: Why?

    Be truthful with me, pour out your heart to me. We are here to help you because we care about you and because we know how much God loves you. But we can’t help you until you realize we want to be freinds with you and want to be loving and respectful towards you in everything we say. If you remain adversarial, there is no point to continue the discussion with you because it will only make you angrier and we don’t want to harm you in any way.

  190. December 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Echo,
    No, I don’t see what you mean.
    Maybe that is what I have been trying to clue you into. I cannot make see clearly what you say because in the next few days you may contradict what you say today.

    Before I leave you, let me point out something that is nagging me.
    You make rash judgments on a people you have so far shown you know little about.
    Instead of making blanket statments about other groups, maybe you should first sort out your own opinions and resolve the conflects in your own message.

    Good bye Echo, God bless,
    -D

  191. 193 Echo
    December 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    ditchu, I don’t contradict what I say, I assure you that it is all in your misunderstanding. That’s why loving and respectful ongoing conversations between LDS and NON LDS are so important. It takes time to clear up the confusion.

    Anyways, if you ever reach the point in life where you feel like your sins overwhelm you and you feel unworthy, instead of falling into anger or despair, look us up again, we can help you and set you free.

    Bye for now and May God Bless you also.

  192. December 10, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Echo,
    I just have to point it out yet again so you don’t think I am attacking you without cause.

    Echo: “I don’t contradict what I say…”(193)

    Echo:“Having faith(trust) isn’t doing something, it’s believing in someone ouside of yourself.” (115)
    Echo: “I agree that believing is doing and I explained this in my post.”(147)

    How do these two statments not contradict? Either the act of “beleiving” is doing something or it is not.

    Your long running message starts out that we do nothing for salvation. How does this message not contradict, the message that we if we do not beleive we are not saved.

    To put this to rest I understand that your point is that we beleive in response to God’s gift of Salvation. But there are elements that are not understood in your idea of salvation.

    Look at the timeline you suggest: We are saved through no fault of our own, we acknowledge that salvation to secure it. When then are we saved?

    things don’t add up here.

  193. 195 RLO
    December 10, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Ditchu;

    I have a question that just might shed some light on this issue:

    What did Lazarus contribute to his being raised from the dead?

  194. 196 Echo
    December 10, 2009 at 1:48 am

    ditchu said: “Echo:“Having faith(trust) isn’t doing something, it’s believing in someone ouside of yourself.” (115)
    Echo: “I agree that believing is doing and I explained this in my post.”(147)

    How do these two statments not contradict? Either the act of “beleiving” is doing something or it is not.”

    In post 143 I tried to explain it this way:

    Post 143 “What we are trying to explain is that faith doesn’t cause or result in your having cancer. It is true that what faith “does” is accept a fact or truth already in place(i.e. You have cancer) But faith “does nothing” to cause your cancer.”

    I tried to describe here what faith “does” and what faith “doesn’t do”.

    Faith “does nothing” to complete salvation. Salvation was conpleted on the cross when Jesus said: “It is finished”

    That means there is nothing I can do to finish or complete my salvation. Even when faith “accepts” the fact that salvation is already finished. The credit for having the ability to “accept” is a gift from God and not something I can credit to myself. This “doing” (accepting)is or equals: trusting that my salvation was finished when Jesus said it was finished on the cross. I don’t trust that my salvation was finished when I accepted it.

    I hope that clears up what I mean. I apologize for not finding better words or a better or clearer explanation to make in more simple for others to understand. I guess I need to work on that.

    Have a good day.

  195. 197 Echo
    December 10, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Great point RLO.

  196. December 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    RLO,
    We all will be resurected. Where we spend exist after that is in question.

  197. December 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    RLO,
    We all will be resurected. Where we spend existance after that is in question.

  198. 200 Echo
    December 10, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    ditchu, Did my last post clear up what you thought was a contradiction?

  199. December 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Echo,
    You are only offering one half of the coin.
    If your Faith does not affect your salvation then it is unnecessary to beleive for you to keep your salvation.
    However, your message also suggests that if we do not have faith we are not saved.

    Unlike the canser annology, where the issue of cancer is unrelated to your beleif all together, (the cancer does not go away if you do not beleive it) your idea of salvation is a related to your beleif, it does go away if you do not beleive.

    Thus, a logical discription is such:
    Salvation paid by Christ, and the gift of faith given by God, so one can beleive.
    Beleif in Christ = Salvation
    Disbeleif in Christ = no Salvation
    Thus Slavation is a direct result in the act of beleif in Christ.

    Although this is fact the credit can and in my understanding of all Christian faith (including LDS) doen go to God, All glory to God.

    Let me level with you. I thought long and hard about if given the oppertunity to take Christ’s place in the atonement, Would I? Would you?
    My answer came as a suprise to even myself when I got fully honest about it.
    I would if I could, but I realize that I am unworthy. I am not the pure lamb, the unblemished one that is meet for the sacrifice. I am more like the wheat of the field, Cain’s sacrifice in Genesis, unacceptable to God for the Sacrifice.

    I do understand that without Christ’s Atonement we all were doomed.

    I did like your Ticket annology. What you don’t get though is that the LDS theory sees it this way, we do not have enough money to purchase it, but we pay what we can out of respect for the debtor paying the rest. Many Christians look at it as if it is fully paid and so they need not pay any part of the debt/ticket price, but this is disrespectful to the one who paid the debt/ticket price.

    God bless,
    -D

  200. 202 RLO
    December 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Ditchu;

    I asked:

    “What did Lazarus contribute to his being raised from the dead?”

    You answered:

    “We will all be resurrected. Where we spend existence after that is in question.

    True, as Daniel says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

    But that’s not an answer to the question I asked. The question I asked was:

    “What did Lazarus contribute to his being raised from the dead?”

    Or if it helps:

    What part did Lararus play in his being resurrected from a state of physical death back to a state of physical life, after he had been dead for four days?

  201. December 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    There is a great video to explain this idea of a debt and Christ as a mediator who paid the debt off.

  202. December 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    No Echo,
    Your statments directly conflict.

    “We do nothing… and yet we do something.” Is still a contradicting statment.

    Let me say this though,I understand that your point is that we beleive in response to God’s gift of Salvation, in that I understand your message. However, it is difficult to trust a message comming from someone who uses contradicting statments and then says he never contradicted himself.

  203. December 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    If your are using the term Salvation (which is what we are talking about) in terms of a physical resurection then I get the point that there is nothing we DO, nor anything we can DO about it… It will just happen. But, My understanding is that Salvation is in respect to our Spiritual state as well. Thus the question is a distraction rather than directly related to the topic of discussion.

  204. December 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    He responded to Christ’s call, did he not?

  205. 207 RLO
    December 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Ditchu;

    We’ll get to the subject of salvation (spiritual resurrection) in a moment.

    But you are correct. There is nothing Lazarus could contribute to his physical resurrection.

    (With regards to his responding to Christ’s call, dead people are not responsive. In other words, Lararus could only respond if he had already first been made physically alive physically by Christ. Christ didn’t really even have to speak words to raise Lazarus back to physical life. My opinion is that Christ’s words, “Lazarus, come out!” were really for the benefit of those who were present and observing Christ’s miracle. But that’s another topic we could talk about sometime, though not the point I’m presently making.)

    So if Lazarus could contribute nothing to his own physical resurrection from physical death to physical life after having been physically dead for four days….

    What do you think we contribute to our being brought from a state of spiritual death, to a state of spiritual life?

  206. December 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    RLO,
    You may limmit your view to only what can be observed in the physical existance, but having once died myself I can assure you that the spirit is responsive even if the body is not.

    I said he responded to Christ’s call. In all the different Bibles I have read the sections where Jesus resurects Lazarus, say basically the same thing, “43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, aLazarus, come forth.
    44 And he that was adead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a bnapkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11: 43-44)

    Jesus called Lazarus (like we must) responded.

    RLO: “What do you think we contribute to our being brought from a state of spiritual death, to a state of spiritual life?”

    We respond, and that responce is DOING something.

    God bless,
    -D

  207. 209 Echo
    December 11, 2009 at 12:17 am

    ditchu,

    Here’s a story…

    There is a homeless man living on the street, he hasn’t even a penny in his pocket. While he was sleeping on a bench, a stranger came along and put $100.00 in his hand then tapped him on the shoulder to wake him and then walked away.

    What did this homeless man do to get the $100.00?
    Who gets all the credit for the homeless man having $100.00?
    Who gets all the credit if the homeless man loses or throws away the $100.00?

    In your video, the creditor pays your debt but sets the terms. What are those terms?

  208. December 11, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Echo,
    Well I could tell you the back story of the homeless man (bud) and the chap that “gave” him the $100.00 (jeff)
    See in the morning that same day Jeff needed some help with some yard work at his house and Bud happened to be walking by at the time.
    Jeff asked Bud if he’d help him with his work that day, adding in, “I’ll make it worth your while…”

    Bud said sure, worked hard and when he went to the park bench to rest Jeff went to get the money… then you pick up the story.

    Point is that from a shallow story one would assume that the recipiant did nothing for the money, but a creative writer can fill in the wide open blank with just about anything.

    Now back to Salvation, I would agree like my LDS Brothern, that we cannot earn salvation. Just like the man in the video could not pay back the debt entirely.

    You asked what those terms are… following the principles and aordinances of the Gospel.

    Look at the LDS Articles of Faith for more info on this:
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1/

  209. 211 Echo
    December 11, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Okay, I see what your saying.
    So Jeff is only in it for what he himself can get out of it because it is a job that “pays wages”. So Jeff takes the job with self serving(selfish) motives. He isn’t doing it because he loves Bud but because it is “going to be worth his while”, because it is going to pay. In the end, Jeff can boast that he earned all that he had been paid.

  210. 212 RLO
    December 11, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Ditchu: “…but having once died myself…”

    When you “died,” did a doctor declare your time of death? Did those doctors then give up attempting to revive you? Did your body then begin decomposing? Were you then buried for four days? Or did you possibly only have a very “near-death” experience? We know Lararus died. Jesus told us he did. How can we actually know that you died?

    It is not my intention to minimize what for you must have been an extremely unusual experience, possibly even an extremely profound spiritual experience. Nevertheless, I think these are valid questions.

    But back to Lazarus.

    In John 11:11, Jesus says, “Our friend Lazarus had fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.”

    This verse tells me it was Jesus who was about to do all of the “doing.” Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “I am going to try to wake Lazarus up, and see if he responds.”

    So my point is this: Just as a physically dead Lazarus could contribute nothing to his being made physically alive again after having been dead and buried for four days, so a spiritually dead person can contribute nothing to his being made spiritually alive.

  211. December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Matt. 7: 6
    “6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

    Somehow I knew it was a bad idea to give information gleaned from a very sacred experience, Thank you for proving me right.

    I can see your veiled attempts to disparage the very real fact of my experience to solidify your point. I will guardingly keep the details of my experience as the spirit of contention exists on this page.

    When you talk of death, do you need some official declaration for it to be fact?
    I should expect not, as you can identify a being as living or dead… We would however come to some agreement of what is life and what is death.

    What is life? Scientific definition of life is: a being that breaths, consumes (usually produces waste), and reproduces.
    Medically speaking what are the signs of life? breathing, pulse, brain function.
    For all intensive purposes these functions (both scientifically and medically) ceased temporarily in my physical body. Thus my body was dead.

    Our bodies in this mortal state are in a continuous state of decomposition. Dead skin will flake off, we age, ect.
    No I was not buried for four days but neither was Lazarus. As to being near-death, we all are near-death. every breath you take may be your last until you are passed from this existence (life) into death. Though revived (and not through current medical means), I did pass from this existence into that beyond the veil upon this mortal world (in laymen’s terms, I died).
    Jesus told us Lazarus died thus we can know it, I told you I died thus we can know it. You can take me at my word or call me a liar as you wish, but the truth remains untainted.

    I am telling you that Lazarus responded to Christ when he was called back to life. If you cannot accept that now, well I am sure you can ask him when we both see him in Heaven.

    Let me pose a question to you in the like you have been proposing to me. In the incident of Lazarus, When Jesus told Lazarus to arise, did Jesus Pick him off the bed and move his limbs around for him, or did Lazarus respond, stand up and move on his own accord?

    Likewise when Jesus healed the paralyzed man, Jesus said arise and take your mat, did Jesus pull the man to his feet and kick him in the butt to get him to move? No, the man stood and took up his mat and went praising God.

    The healing is not received if we do not respond and follow the command. If we refuse to acknowledge the healing or salvation, how then can we expect to have received it? How do we acknowledge the healing or Salvation, but we respond.

    Lazarus was no puppet, pulled by invisible strings. He operated not autonomously but by his own accord, thus he responded, he did stuff.

  212. 214 RLO
    December 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Ditchu: “…I can see your veiled attempts to disparage the very real fact of my experience…”

    You have found offense where none was attempted or intended. Is your “experience” simply beyond questioning? Would any of my own experiences also be beyond your questioning?

    For me, my own experiences are not even beyond my own questioning. My experiences, my thoughts, my opinions, my feelings, my emotions, and my human reason are not the canon of my belief. Only God’s Word is the canon of my belief. So whenever my experiences, thoughts, opinions, feeling, emotions, or human reason are at odds with scripture, the problem is not with scripture; the problem is with me.

    But back to Lazarus.

    If Lazarus contributed in some way to his being made physically alive again, well then could Lazarus have also decided to “not contribute” and thus not been made physically alive again? Was Christ’s miracle at the mercy of whether or not Lazarus “decided” to allow himself to be made alive again? Your suggestion that Lazarus could contributed in some way to his own being made physically alive again cheapens the miracle Christ performed. Taking your line of reasoning a little further, I could only imagine that those who die in unbelief should be able to just resist being woken up again in order to avoid facing judgment day. Which, of course, is ludicrous.

    Ditchu: “Jesus told us Lazarus died thus we can know it, I told you I died thus we can know it.”

    You don’t think it is just a bit arrogant of you to be placing yourself equal with Christ when it comes to the rest of us knowing what the truth is?

    Ditchu: “In the incident of Lazarus, When Jesus told Lazarus to arise, did Jesus pick him off the bed and move his limbs around for him, or did Lazarus respond, stand up and move on his own accord?”

    When, and only when, Christ had performed his miracle of making Lazarus alive again, did Lazarus respond by standing up and moving on his own accord. Lazarus’ response was not “his contribution” to his being made alive again. His response was to his being made alive again. Give God the glory, Ditchu, not Lazarus.

    Ditchu: “Likewise when Jesus healed the paralyzed man, Jesus said arise and take your mat, did Jesus pull the man to his feet and kick him in the butt to get him to move? No, the man stood and took up his mat and went praising God.”

    When, and only when, Christ had performed his miracle of healing the man, did the man stand up and take his mat. The man’s response was not “his contribution” to his being healed. His response was to his being healed. Give God the glory, Ditchu, not the man.

    Ditchu: “The healing is not received if we do not respond and follow the command. If we refuse to acknowledge the healing or salvation, how then can we expect to have received it? How do we acknowledge the healing or Salvation, but we respond.”

    Try thinking of it in terms of stimulus and response.
    The stimulus is being healed or being saved, or being made alive.
    The response is doing things that the healed, or the saved, or the alive, do.

    The stimulus is not dependent upon the response; the response is dependent upon the stimulus. The response is not part of the stimulus.

  213. 215 Echo
    December 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Ditchu said: “Somehow I knew it was a bad idea to give information gleaned from a very sacred experience, Thank you for proving me right.

    I can see your veiled attempts to disparage the very real fact of my experience to solidify your point. I will guardingly keep the details of my experience as the spirit of contention exists on this page.”

    It’s not a bad idea that you shared that information with us, with RLO. It’s good to share your innermost feelings and real experiences! We aren’t here to use things “against” you. Even when we talk about your sins, we aren’t interested in using them against you in any harmful way. We don’t want you to feel escluded, we do want you to feel included. We aren’t against you at all, we want to be helpful.

    RLO acknowledged that your experience was a truly profound spiritual experience. He doesn’t want to harm you in any way. Believe him, and allow him to use it as a teaching tool for good.

    God Bless!

  214. 216 Echo
    December 11, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Oops, I made a typo.

    escluded should be excluded

  215. December 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Echo,
    Sorry to let you down, but your friend RLO, made it very clear he does not trust what I had to say. He may not have intended harm or insult but he nonetheless questioned my trustworthiness. I had hoped to alleviate his concerns, but it appears he does not want to participate on the level ground that common trust brings. If you said aliens visited you last night, I would offer the trust due to the conversation and ask for more information as it adheres to the conversation. Unlike that, RLO indirectly brought into question my very word. He then deflects by pointing out how arrogant I seem to him that I would think he would trust my words as he trusts the words of Christ, (even though I am only looking for common trust, as I would trust him as he trusts me).

    I am not looking for recognition or your devout following. I am looking for trust due to continue the discussion.

    I am no longer disillusioned about his intentions.

    Good job sticking up for him, though it may land you in problematic situations.

  216. 218 Echo
    December 11, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    One more thing…

    Our desire on this blog – however badly we carry it out because of our own failings, sins or bad choice of words – is to make you and everyone feel welcome here and feel like you can be who you really are deep down inside. The ambiance that I would like to see take place here is where everyone takes off their masks and isn’t afraid to be who they truly are inside. It’s only when we all do that, that we are able to truly grow.

    That calls for unconditional respect, love and acceptance of one another in all that we do and say. There should be no fear on your part that you will be looked down upon, mocked or ridiculed etc. for being who you really are.

    We want you to feel respected, loved and accepted, even in your sins. Even if your sins are improperly motivated. We aren’t going to judge your motives. Only you and God can do that. We are going to try our best to assume you have good motives even in your sins. You can surely feel free at any time to confess any wrong motives you have or have had in your sins. If you choose to do that, we will in turn continue to respect you and love you and let you know you are forgiven before you even attempt to change your ways because we know how powerful forgiveness is in helping us to change our ways.

    You know and we know that God uses “ALL” things for your good and our good. Not to harm you or us but to help you or us. So your profound spiritual experience and even your sins can be used for your good if you’ll allow it to be used for your good as a teaching tool. No harm to you is ever intended.

    I can understand and sympathize with you why your hesitant to believe that we too try to have good motives in all that we say and do. I’ll be the first to admit that my poor choice of words can lead to misunderstanding my motives and I sincerely apologize to you for all the times my poor choice of words has led you to misunderstand my motives. It is also true that Anyone, myself included, can easily fall into sin when discussions get heated. We all need each other’s gentle help to keep from going in that direction. That’s what freinds do for freinds and ditchu, we want to include you in our circle of freinds.

    One thing I would like to ask you to understand. While we love you unconditionally, we are going to speak what we believe is truth and sometimes that is going to hurt even when we try our best to do it respectfully, gently and with love and concern for you. We desire to do only good to you and to not bring you harm. Again, we fail to convey our intent by our bad choice of words that which is truly our intent and yes, we too sometimes fall into sin. So could we ask that you keep our good intentions in mind at all times rather than assuming the worst of us? Ask what our motives are if something we say sounds terrible, you might be surprised to learn that it all was just a big misunderstanding due to our poor choice of words or you might lead us to sincerely apologize to you for our wrongs.

    All in all, we truly mean you no harm and it’s not always easy to convey that intent in our words nor is it always easy to keep ourselves from sinning when discussions spiral out of control.

    Lets be freinds and continue the discussion. Let’s be who we really are deep down inside unconditionally respecting and loving one another even in our sins :)

  217. 219 Echo
    December 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    ditchu said: “Sorry to let you down, but your friend RLO, made it very clear he does not trust what I had to say.”

    Where did he say that, I think I am missing it?

    you said: ” He may not have intended harm or insult but he nonetheless questioned my trustworthiness. I had hoped to alleviate his concerns, but it appears he does not want to participate on the level ground that common trust brings. If you said aliens visited you last night, I would offer the trust due to the conversation and ask for more information as it adheres to the conversation. Unlike that, RLO indirectly brought into question my very word.”

    Can you give him the benefit of the doubt because his intentions are good? That’s the important thing isn’t it? Maybe he just stumbled and used wrong words.

    you said: ” He then deflects by pointing out how arrogant I seem to him that I would think he would trust my words as he trusts the words of Christ, (even though I am only looking for common trust, as I would trust him as he trusts me).”

    Let’s hear what he has to say in response to you. Let’s assume he means well until he responds for himself. Is the problem that you have in his usage of the word: “arrogant”? We all need refining and RLO and I are no exceptions. Maybe it was just a poor choice of words or maybe he was using that word to “instruct” or maybe he messed up and will apologize. Who knows. But we can’t see into his heart and God wants us to assume he has best intentions and God wants us to take RLO at his word when he reveals his intentions to us.

    You said: ” I am looking for trust due to continue the discussion.”

    That’s a very commendable statement. I am going to take that advice, Let’s all work towards that goal.

    you said: “I am no longer disillusioned about his intentions.”

    Let’s let RLO reveal his intent and trust it is his true intent in the same way we would want others to trust our intent and believe it is our true intent.

    you said: “Good job sticking up for him, though it may land you in problematic situations.”

    If he takes me down, I’ll go down with him and lift him up. If you take me down, I’ll go down with you and lift you up. If I take either of you down with me, please, please lift me up.

    God Bless.

  218. December 11, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    RLO,
    In Reply to your comment around #214…

    RLO: “Is your “experience” simply beyond questioning?”
    No, and I have answered your questions.

    I notice and disagree with your personal view on conflicts of scripture and personal experience.

    RLO: “could Lazarus have also decided to “not contribute” and thus not been made physically alive again? Was Christ’s miracle at the mercy of whether or not Lazarus “decided” to allow himself to be made alive again? Your suggestion that Lazarus could contributed in some way to his own being made physically alive again cheapens the miracle Christ performed.”

    Though you have not yet answered my questions, I will respond to yours.
    Yes, If Lazarus did not respond, he would not have been resurrected.

    Christ has the Authority to Call anyone to Rise again. All who have achieved a Physical Body are subject to this authority, as we all followed Christ in the War in Heaven. The third of the hosts of heaven that did not follow Christ, followed Lucifer and they with Lucifer do not have physical bodies, nor will they ever. This goes into a tangent though and you do not want to deal with them as stated prior.

    It is your personal opinion (not mine) that the necessity to respond to Christ’s Call “Cheapens” the miracle. I see it as value-added. Christ knew Lazarus would respond, else he would not call in vain. As far as Mass Resurrection we all will respond to Christ’s Call, as we have followed him in the War in heaven.

    RLO: “You don’t think it is just a bit arrogant of you to be placing yourself equal with Christ when it comes to the rest of us knowing what the truth is?”

    I am not being arrogant, but simply agreeing that we know Lazarus was dead because we have trust for Jesus’ word, that Jesus did not lie, he told the truth. If you would trust that I do not lie to you, as this conversation requires that trust, then we can know I was dead. If you do not trust me to be honest, then let me know now so we can end this charade, as there is no point in continuing this discussion if there be no trust between us. I have given you my trust, I do not believe you wish to outright deceive me. I have extended that trust to you in order to build the necessary trust in this discussion to converse productively.
    If you do not trust my experience or what I say is true, then be bold and say it overtly. If you have experiences that lend to the conversation, I am willing to hear them out, without undue judgment on their validity.

    RLO: “The stimulus is being healed or being saved, or being made alive.
    The response is doing things that the healed, or the saved, or the alive, do.” (quoted for a reference point)

    As to Stimulus and response, The Stimulus and response are both elements of an event. You cannot remove one without making the other in vain. I do not think Lazarus would have lived again or the man would walk again without Christ’s action, but they would not if they did not… Lazarus would not have risen if he did not follow what Jesus Commanded of him. Likewise, the man would not have walked again if he too did not respond.

    In the scenario of Lazarus: What did Jesus do? He Called. What did Lazarus do? He responded.
    Take a moment to look at this: If Lazarus did not respond at all, did Jesus Rise him?

    If the Man did not respond to Jesus healing (i.e. get up) would he be healed? If you suppose he would have been healed regardless, how would you know he was healed?

    There is always an element where the recipient is involved, always some action, some response that is definitely part of the course of the event.

    Thus no response = no healing; no response = no salvation.

    I do give glory to God, Even my small glory is His.

    God bless,
    -D

  219. December 12, 2009 at 12:49 am

    I think Lazarus being called forth from the dead is a rather poor analogy for our role in the Atonement.

  220. 222 RLO
    December 12, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Ditchu,

    You felt I brought into question your trustworthiness. It was never a question of trustworthiness, but a question of the interpretations you made, and the conclusions you drew, regarding your experience. I believe you believe what you believe about your experience. I don’t believe I can agree with the interpretations you have given, and the conclusions you have drawn, regarding your experience. It appears you took offense to my having offered an alternative explanation to your experience, that being a near-death experience, rather than a real-death experience. And for that, you alluded to my being a dog and a pig.

    As I look back over the posts on this thread, I am really beginning to have my doubts whether God is pleased with any of us.

    There is so much more I would liked to have said, and I really would liked to have addressed all of your questions. But I feel it would have only resulted in a continuation of more of the same; twisted words, insults alleged, offenses taken, and recriminations. These are thoughts and conversations I do not desire to carry with me into this season celebrating the birth of our Savior.

    RLO

  221. December 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Echo,
    There is a very well known phrase: The road to Hell is paved with the best of intentions.

    He questioned my experience as if what really happened is not what I said happened. He disregarded good will and removed the trust between us when he assumed that I did not in fact experience what I did. Rather than seeking understanding he sought after his own ratification on events he was not present to experience for himself.

    I have extended good will and trust in this conversation with both of you throughout the conversation but I think it is time to guard that trust, to bring value back to the trust we may have. At this point I trust you Echo not to try to beguile me, or to outright nullify what I have to say, but as for RLO, that trust has come to an end.

    I do commend you on true loyality and friendship, Echo. I however must embark on my journey in truth and honesty.

    God bless you,
    -Ditchu

  222. December 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Seth I agree with your point here. I only endulged RLO with Lazarus to provide him insight that he is not correct in his assumption that the dead can do nothing.

  223. December 14, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    RLO,
    By bring into question my “inturpratation” of events that took place in my existance i.e. my own experience of the event, you have brought into question my word and my trustworthyness by default. If you cannot trust my inturpratation of an experieance, how then can you trust anything I say? My experiences shape my thoughts and thus my words, after all. In a great way they have helped to shape my personality and thus mentire self relys upon the events I have experienced. How can you not understand the result of blantantly disregarding that such an experience took place in reality?

    It is as if you told me of a dream you had last nite about being a butterfly, and then me turning around and telling you that in actuality you are now the butterfly dreamiung you are a man. It is a question not of my inturpratation of an event but of our collective inturpratation of reality as a whole.

    In any case i do hope you have a happy and merry Christmas, I hope that God blesses you and your family this year and through out eturnity, I have hope that we all will come to a full understanding of the truth. Prasie to God in the Highest and Honor to Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, may his redeeming grace, bless us all, and may we do righteously with one another.

    God bless you,
    -Ditchu

  224. December 14, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    RLO: “It appears you took offense to my having offered an alternative explanation to your experience, that being a near-death experience, rather than a real-death experience. And for that, you alluded to my being a dog and a pig.”

    I used the scripture that fits the situation. If that said you were being a Dog or a Pig then so be it, but you must see the real issue was not you being a dog or pig but that you have taken a sacred event and handled it poorly. As for alternitive explanations of an experience:
    1. I have not sought out your coluncel on the event, but offered a jem of truth gleened from it.
    2. I am very capable of understand my experiance and am not seeking you to annolise my thoughts or myself as one would with a psycharitrist. Do you have a Pycheatric degree, or even a counseling certificate/license? I assume not, else you would have uses better tact than indicating that I was either mentally defunct enough to not understand my own experiences, or that I was untrustworthy enough that you could not beleive my words.

    Take my statments and offerings as you may. It is from that action I can see how you assume that i am calling you a dog or a pig from the verse of scripture I applied to the situation.

  225. 227 Echo
    December 14, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Ditchu, twisted words, insults alleged, offenses taken, and recriminations will prove a conversation pointless in the long run. Those are actions that go against trust and goodwill.

    Here is a lesson my Pastor taught me the other day…

    ***Assumptions can be wrong. You need facts, not assumptions.***

    When my Pastor said that to me I realized that he was right about that and I hadn’t really given it much thought before he said that but it is in fact true. I can think of times when I have assumed things one day only to later find out that my assumptions were wrong. I am certain we have all had that experience many times.

    This isn’t just advice for you ditchu, but for all of us, myself included. I think it is something everyone needs to continually work on and keep in mind. We all mess up and sin in this way but that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize the fact that we messed up and sinned and then continue to move forward and keep working at it.

    You make assumtions about RLO that are in fact not true.

    In just your recent post alone you made the assumption that RLO is indicating that you are mentally defunct enough to not understand your own experience.

    You made the assumption that RLO thinks your untrustworthy enough that he could not believe your words.

    If RLO hasn’t literally said those things to you in those exact words verbatim, they are false assumptions and not facts.

    It’s one thing to make assumptions of the best intentions in others, and maybe even later to be proved wrong about those intentions, that’s not a bad thing. But to assume the worst in others and be proved wrong about that. That’s not healthy for either party involved. And God holds us guilty and accountable for those wrong assumptions.

    Rather than making assumptions, get the facts. The words people say are facts. Everything else is an assumption. Take people at their word verbatim. Don’t add to their words, don’t twist their words. Ask questions for clarification if needed if it causes bad feelings, but do it without verbalizing negative assumptions.

    I think this conversation has sadly come to a close.
    Perhaps we can meet up again in another thread in the future as we all try harder to have trust and goodwill towards each other.

    Take Care

  226. December 15, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Echo: “In just your recent post alone you made the assumption that RLO is indicating that you are mentally defunct enough to not understand your own experience.

    You made the assumption that RLO thinks your untrustworthy enough that he could not believe your words.”

    That was one sentense and a correct either/or statment. How was it incorrect that he either was suggesting I am mentally defunct enough to not understand my own experience or that I am untrustworthy? He didi say he dosen’t trust my “interpretations [I] have given, and the conclusions [I] have drawn, regarding [the] experience.”

    That is basically saying he either does not trust what I said to be a true experience, or he does not trust that I understand the experience. Either way he makes it clear he does not trust what I have to say.

  227. December 15, 2009 at 12:52 am

    After over 228 comments i think we are making progress… By ending this futile conversation.
    At the close of this, it appears that you are un-moved from your stance that we do nothing for salvation, and I am more confident that we have a choice, that our faith physicalizes itself in out action for salvation. I give the Glory to God for everything I do, for every breath I take. I also know that we must act correctly to respond to the Call, our responce secures Salvation if by the mere fact that we do not reject it through our inaction or negative responce.

    God bless you this season.

    -Ditchu


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