24
Jan
12

JOYFULLY PAYING OFF THE DEBT

One of the greatest feelings in the world is making your final house payment!  That calls for celebration!

But imagine the following scenario.  A couple has a large balloon payment tacked onto their mortgage.  For years they have been salting away extra money for it.  Finally the day arrives to make that payment.  They eagerly go to the bank.  They are grinning ear to ear as they lay their money down on the banker’s desk.  But as he examines it, he begins to frown.  After further examination he informs them that all their money is counterfeit.  Not only are they still in debt, but the time to pay off that debt has now expired.  They are ruined!

That is what will happen to people on Judgment Day – to people who – in any way – rely on their own works to get to heaven.  Salvation rests entirely on Jesus’ payment for sin.  All those who mix in their works with Jesus’ work are adding nothing but counterfeit money – worthless money that causes them to default on their debt.

This is why Mormonism is so dangerous.  It does talk about salvation by grace, but it denies the teaching of salvation by grace alone.  We see that even in the LDS author who speaks the most about grace, Robert L. Millet.  He wrote a book entitled Grace Works.  His whole premise is, as the back cover of the book quotes him as saying, “We have an obligation to cooperate with God in the salvation of our souls. While the ultimate power of change is in Christ, we can do our part and choose to be changed.”

But the Bible says God’s grace and man’s works don’t mix when it comes to salvation.  “And if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.”  (Romans 11:6)  It’s like the scenario above.  It doesn’t matter what percentage of the mortgage is paid by counterfeit money.  As long as any of it is paid with counterfeit money, the couple is still in debt.  As long as a person is relying on what he does to be saved – no matter what percentage of his salvation he attributes to his efforts – he is still in debt and thus in deep trouble.  Talking about grace is not enough.  The issue is all about salvation by grace alone.

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54 Responses to “JOYFULLY PAYING OFF THE DEBT”


  1. January 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I rejoice in the fact that through Jesus, God has welcomed all those who are unworthy and made them his sons, while the worthy are shut out from his sight.

    Amen!

  2. 2 wyomingwilly
    January 25, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I think influential Mormons like Mr. Millet have used the tactic of wording some of their doctrines
    in such a way as to not sound so ” Mormon ” etc. To an investigator the phrase ” do our part ” does’nt
    sound to bad, but they have no idea how much they are in fact required to do , to work , to earn
    eternal life ( exaltation) . WW

  3. 3 TJayT
    January 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I completely agree that Mormon culture has far to much of a tendency to focus on works, and it’s something we really need to work hard to counter. However I do believe that we have a very synergetic view of Salvation, much like the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions. Both these traditions have written at length to show that there beliefs are both biblical and rely on the grace of Christ alone to save them, so I won’t bother trying to add anything here. But it’s nice to know as a Mormon I do have friends in Mainstream Christianity, at least on this subject.

  4. 4 shematwater
    January 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    “no matter what percentage of his salvation he attributes to his efforts – he is still in debt and thus in deep trouble.”

    Perfectly said and LDS doctrine couldn’t agree more.

    Mosiah 2: 20-25
    I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
    I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
    And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
    And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
    And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
    And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.”

    Nothing we do can ever earn us eternal life. That is a gift of God. Yes, he requires that we keep his commandments, and if we do we are blessed, or changed into a better person by his power. Thus it is that we choose to be changed by obedience (just as a student chooses to learn by studying).

    The biggest mistake people make concerning LDS doctrine is the idea that we believe in dividing the credit for salvation. Salvation is 100% dependent on Christ. This is LDS doctrine.
    Of course most Christians believes that it is also 100% dependent on us, whether they want to acknowledge this fact or not. Anyone who believes that we must choose anything (including belief in Christ) has taught that salvation is 100% dependent on our choice, and thus on us. The only real difference here is in how we acknowledge this fact, and how we understand which of our choices salvation is dependent on.

  5. January 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Both Christians and Mormons believe in obedience to the commandments. What Mormons don’t understand is that whenever there are “requirements” necessary to gain eternal life, our obedience to those requirements are actually what is saving us.

    1) If I give you a gift without any conditions attached. That gift is yours right now because there are no conditions.

    2) If I give you a gift with conditions attached. That gift isn’t yours until you meet those conditions.

    Christians believe in scenario #1 Mormons scenario #2

    In both scenario’s a gift is being given by the gift giver.
    In both scenario’s the recipients are thankful to the gift giver and want to show gratitude.

    So let’s move on to the receiving of the gift and focus in on that.

    The person in scenario #1 gets his gift immediately and then goes on to obey the commandments.

    The person in scenario #2 must first obey the commandments and then he will get the gift.

    Whenever the gift isn’t received immediately, the recipient is earning that gift whether he thinks he is or not, because **he** must first meet the conditions.

    In scenario #1 the gift is very obviously not earned
    In Scenario #2 the gift is very obviously earned.

  6. 6 markcares
    January 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Shem:
    Above you state: “no matter what percentage of his salvation he attributes to his efforts – he is still in debt and thus in deep trouble.”

    Perfectly said and LDS doctrine couldn’t agree more.”

    But just two weeks ago you wrote: “Note that in 1 John he is addressing those who have joined to the Church and are faithful members. As such he is addressing those who have already performed the needed ordinances and works required for salvation.” (Under the post eternal life)

    Don’t you see a contradiction in your own words?

    Or to ask another question. If LDS doctrine couldn’t agree more, would you say that I, who am relying totally on what Jesus has done for me, will live eternally with Heavenly Father without my doing anything else?

  7. 7 TJayT
    January 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Shem,

    Another interesting scripture on the subject comes from Nephi (that same Nephi critcised for saying we’re saved “after all we can do.”

    2 Nephi 23-25
    23 Therefore, a cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are b free to c act for yourselves—to d choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

    24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, a reconcile yourselves to the b will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the c grace of God that ye are d saved.

    25 Wherefore, may God a raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the b atonement, that ye may be received into the c eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.

    How do we choose the way of eternal life? By having faith in the Lord and willingly submitting ourselves and our lives to God’s will.

  8. 8 shematwater
    January 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    ECHO

    “In both scenario’s the recipients are thankful to the gift giver and want to show gratitude.”

    Wrong. This statement shows a lack of understanding of human psychology.
    A person will continue to perform the task that they perceive gained the desired stimulus (reward). Thus, if Eternal Life is the desired reward and it is given without condition the natural response is to do nothing, because that is what gained the reward.

    In your two scenarios, the second one is much more likely to generate a desire to act and obey, as it is reinforcing these actions. The first, while on a fluke may generate this response, is much more likely to generate a lazy approach to action which will actually cause the person to do less not more.

    MARK

    I don’t see any contradiction in what I said at all, because I did not leave my post at that statement. Read all of it and you will see what I mean. The LDS doctrine agrees completely that anyone who seeks to take credit from Christ and give it to themselves will not gain the reward. We acknowledge that it is 100% Christ. However, we also acknowledge that we must do something ourselves, and thus it is 100% us.
    My point is that we do not reduce the power and effect of Christ’s atonement. Without it nothing we do will save us. Thus it is 100% Christ. Just as it says in Mosiah “I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.”
    However, as we must make choices it must also be 100% us. in other words, Christ cannot save us unless we make the right choices. For you the right choice is simply choosing to believe. But it is still a choice. We believe it is choosing to live as he has commanded (all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments). Either way it is still 100% us.
    So, what I said concerning John’s audience was perfectly true. They had already made the choice to be obedient to the ordinances God had given, and so God was faithful in giving them eternal life. It was 100% their choice to obey, and 100% Christ’s choice and power to give the gift.

    I always liked the one seminary video that showed three men lost in the arctic ice flows. Their radio is broken and so they can’t communicate their position. After a large storm they calculate they have been blown off course by several miles, taking them out of the area that the rescue plane is searching in. With no radio they begin to argue over what to do. One wants to head back. Another points out that they don’t have enough supplies to make it. This second one says they need to simply stay and wait. The third one then interjects “You are forgetting one thing. They aren’t looking for us here. Even if they were we drift far enough each day to be out of their search pattern.” He then states that they will have to do all they can just to stay within that pattern so that they can be saved.

    In this story we see the three main doctrines on how to attain eternal life.
    Some teach that it is up to us, that our actions will gain us eternal life. These people are represented by the man who wanted to head back.
    Some teach that since we can’t save ourselves than any attempt to do so will only result in damnation. These people are represented by the man who wanted to stay and wait.
    Then there are those (primarily LDS) who teach that, while we cannot save ourselves, God has decreed a plan by which he will save us if we comply with it. These people are represented by the man who insisted on doing all possible to stay within the search pattern.
    You will notice that this third doctrine does not give us credit for being saved, but it does require that we make the choice and performed the required task so that He to whom the credit is given can save us.

    JAY

    That is a good reference. People get a little too caught up on the one phrase of “after all we can do” that they actually miss the full doctrine being taught.

  9. January 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Shem said: “A person will continue to perform the task that they perceive gained the desired stimulus (reward). Thus, if Eternal Life is the desired reward and it is given without condition the natural response is to do nothing, because that is what gained the reward.”

    To the readers…

    Folks like Shem (not all Mormons because not all Mormons are like Shem) show that they are incapable of loving God. What Shem is admitting to here is that he is incapable of loving God unless there is a reward.

    Shem, has shown clearly that he is only in this for self-serving purposes. i.e. to get the reward.

  10. January 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    The point is, I only had to do one thing in order to secure my place with God for all eternity: put my faith in Jesus Christ.

    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 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
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
    9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
    For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

    I have never had a Mormon missionary knock on my door and ask me to pray about knowing the truth about Jesus. What do they ask me to do? Recognize that Joseph Smith was a prophet of god, read the Book of Mormon which contains nothing about all of the “requirements” and pray to know if the LDS church is true. They say very little about Jesus.

    What must the LDS person do to be with god for all eternity? The laundry list starts with becoming a member of the LDS church, baptism, and on and on and on…………..

    I will be with God because of what Jesus did. It has nothing to do with what church I belong to, if I tithe, where I was married or anything else.

    Salvation is about faith in Christ it is not about the church or putting my faith in Joseph Smith or any other man for that matter.

    Christ paid my debt in full which was a gift from God and as such I am not required to do anything else in order to be with God when I die.

    Ephesians 2:8
    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

    Gifts do not need to be repaid.

  11. January 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Faith is a gift God gives us. So it is God’s gift to us that secures our place with God for all eternity.

  12. 12 TJayT
    January 26, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Echo
    Your gift analogy seems to be based on a false premise, that Mormons believe God would take away someone’s salvation if they don’t follow his commandments. That’s not the case. God will never take someone’s salvation, just as he will never force salvation on anyone. But we have the freewill to accept or reject the gift. We accept it by doing his will, we reject it by not. But the gift is always ours.

    “Faith is a gift God gives us. So it is God’s gift to us that secures our place with God for all eternity.”

    If God gives us everything, even the faith in him, then God doesn’t truly wish all people to be saved, or else he would give all people faith.

    Shem
    “People get a little too caught up on the one phrase of “after all we can do” that they actually miss the full doctrine being taught.”
    Agreed, and sadly we Lds are just as guilty of this at times. In our mad dash to run from what we see as unbiblical we go a bit to far the other way.

    CtC
    “The point is, I only had to do one thing in order to secure my place with God for all eternity: put my faith in Jesus Christ.”
    So did I. and as long as I don’t choose to reject God’s grace I’m guaranteed to live with him forever.

    “What must the LDS person do to be with god for all eternity? The laundry list starts with becoming a member of the LDS church, baptism, and on and on and on…………..”
    Those are the things we believe God has asked us to do (and are his will), so we do them willingly. But they don’t guarantee our place with him. That’s what our faith does.

    “Gifts do not need to be repaid.”
    True, but they do need to be accepted, and they can be thrown away.

  13. January 26, 2012 at 5:15 am

    TJayT said: “Echo
    Your gift analogy seems to be based on a false premise, that Mormons believe God would take away someone’s salvation if they don’t follow his commandments. That’s not the case. God will never take someone’s salvation, just as he will never force salvation on anyone. But we have the freewill to accept or reject the gift. We accept it by doing his will, we reject it by not. But the gift is always ours.”

    But you forfeit the gift if you don’t obey, correct? Did I understand you correctly?

    TJayT said: “If God gives us everything, even the faith in him, then God doesn’t truly wish all people to be saved, or else he would give all people faith.”

    Faith is for all people but people can reject it.

  14. 14 TJayT
    January 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Echo said
    “But you forfeit the gift if you don’t obey, correct? Did I understand you correctly?”

    I would say forfeit is the wrong word. We can relinquish or abandon the gift, but we don’t lose it as a punishment or penalty for an action (or lack thereof).

    “Faith is for all people but people can reject it.”

    Forgive me, I thought you were saying faith was irresistible. I stand corrected.

  15. 15 wyomingwilly
    January 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    TjayT, you replied to ChoosetheChrist and agreed with him that the only thing necessary to receive
    eternal life was to have faith in Jesus. But then you added, ” as long as I don’t choose to reject God’s
    grace I’m guarenteed to live with Him forever.” This is the grace that is supposedly to be given you after
    a consistent working in doing all those things you are told must be done by Mormon apostles , correct ?
    Rejecting God’s grace is connected to not doing all you can; not being worthy enough in fulfilling what these
    men have supposedly relayed from God as being necessary /required to do , i.e. the “laundry list ” that CtC
    mentioned. Is that correct ? When you stated , ” Those are the things we believe God has asked us to do
    and are His will, so we do them willingly.” These “things” that you believe are God’s will are what Mormon
    leaders have said is God’s will , you submit to what THEY ASK you to do . To have a viable faith that will
    enable you to attain God’s presence is to not doubt nor criticize that their list of requirements came from
    Jesus Himself . So to have faith in Jesus is to trust these men . Is that correct ? So when I read where
    these men teach that eternal life (exaltation) is a “blessing” that must be earned, that by working hard
    will merit eternal life , and then I read what has been said on this thread about how to receive eternal
    life it sounds seeing an add for a free brand new car, the salemen says the car is indeed free but there’s
    a , “commandment” a ” requirement” that I must do in order to have the car. To move it : it’s a ” moving law” .
    This will cost $ 20,000 . I tell my friends that the car was free ? When you agreed with CtC that the “one
    thing” required to live with God in heaven was to have faith, that faith had strings “laws” attached just like the
    car analogy . CtC and Echo have clearly stated that the Bible teaches that faith in Jesus , relying alone
    on His merit, His righteousness to stand completely before God , cleansed and pardoned is HOW a person
    is saved/reveives eternal life. The commands, works that He asks us to do all come AFTER receiving the
    gift ( an instant gift) of eternal life, they testifiy that we love Jesus. It’s all about Jesus , not a Temple, nor a
    Church, nor a long list of requirements . May you see this difference. Thanks.

  16. 16 shematwater
    January 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I have to just state one simple fact that everyone seems to frequently forget or simply ignore. first, let me quote two previous quotes.
    CTC said “Salvation is about faith in Christ it is not about the church or putting my faith in Joseph Smith or any other man for that matter.”
    Willy said “To have a viable faith that will enable you to attain God’s presence is to not doubt nor criticize that their list of requirements came from Jesus Himself.”

    I have to point out that CTC is already putting his faith in many men, namely those who wrote the various books of the Bible. He has placed faith that they have accurately recorded the gospel of Christ and His will. All Christians have put their faith, to some extent, in the prophets, the men who have relayed God’s will to us. They have also put their faith in all those who have preserved that record, trusting that these men have been faithful and accurate in that task.
    When we say we believe in Joseph Smith as a prophet we are putting no more faith in him than the rest of Christianity puts in Paul or Peter, or the ancient prophets.
    This ties nicely into what Willy says. He criticizes our trust in our leaders, but he has put the same trust in the apostles and prophets of the Bible. His quote could just as easily say “To have a viable faith that will
    enable you to attain God’s presence is to not doubt nor criticize the words of the apostles and prophets came from Jesus Himself.”

    Of course this is a common double standard that is applied by many Christians (especially those online) to the LDS church. We are just trusting in men, but they seem to only have faith in Christ, bypassing the need to actually have faith in the records that men have kept.

    WILLY

    I see the difference, and it carries the exact same flaw as the analogy that Echo gave. It contradicts the basic functioning of our psychology. Simply put, if what you teach is true than there is not sufficient motivating force to propel the majority of mankind into action. It has nothing to do with whether or not we love God. It has to do with how we are conditioned to respond. If the reward is given for nothing more than a profession of faith the most likely result is a lazy approach to obedience in which a person only obeys when it is convenient for them.

    It is just like raising children. Lets use the care analogy you brought up, though let us refine it.
    You buy your son a car and give him the keys. You then tell him that he should get a license before he drives it, but you aren’t going to require that he does.
    On the other hand, I buy my son a car, put it in his name and everything; but I keep the keys and tell him that he can have them when he has a license.

    Consider the two scenarios.
    In yours what is the most likely outcome? Yes, you may hope that he gets the license, and you may even try to guilt him into by saying that he will if he loves you. However, research and simple experience shows that he is far more likely not to get the license because he does not need it.
    In ours what is the most likely outcome. Research and experience shows that he is likely to do the needed work and get the license because he wants to be able to drive his car.

    What I find truly funny in all this is that most people understand and agree with this when it comes to relationships between people, but simply ignore it when discussing our relationship with God. They seem to think that we have a different reaction to that relationship than we do to others. I simply acknowledge that, regardless of the relationship we will have the same basic reactions to it.

    JAY

    I like to think of it in this way. Salvation is the gift of God, which I compare to a complex machine; say a computer. Now, if we take the time to learn how to use it we become masters of it and are able to use all its functions to their fullest. But, it we are lazy, don’t study and practice, our ability to use it does not increase and we are only able to access a limited number of the functions and only to a certain extent.

    In the same was as practice and study allow us to use all the functions on a computer, and access its full potential, so too does obedience to the laws of God allow us to use all the powers of salvation and access its full potential. Those who achieve the Celestial Glory (particularly those who are exalted) have learned how to use the functions and systems to a greater extent. Those of the Terrestrial Glory have not been diligent in learning and thus are not able to access the full potential of their gift. Those in the Telestial Glory are those who have been careless in handling the gift, dropping it, throwing it, and even intentionally breaking it. They are only able to access a very limited portion of the functions and potential because of the damage they have caused. Of course those who receive no Kingdom of Glory are those who first learn how to use it, but then throw it away because they want to be able to do something that it does not allow.

    CHOOSE

    “What must the LDS person do to be with god for all eternity?”

    Let us explore this.
    First: As long as they do not commit that unpardonable sin and become a Son of Perdition, then they really don’t have to do anything, in a general sense. After all, since at least one member of the Godhead is present in all the Kingdoms of Glory they will be in God’s presence for eternity. This goes for everyone.

    Second: If you want to be specific and speak to God as being the Father, than all they have to do is be baptized and believe (and avoid the unpardonable sin). Baptism is the gate into the Celestial Glory where the Father resides. All those who are baptized and are faithful will enter this kingdom and thus be in the presence of the Father for all eternity. Not that long of a list, is it? (Note again, this applies to everyone, not just the LDS)

    Third: The big list of requirements you later refer to are only really required for those who seek exaltation. for these people they will not only be in the presence of the Father, but will be like him and join him and Christ and in eternal glory of bringing their children to Eternity. (Note again, this applies to everyone, not just the LDS)

    These three points are things that many people kind of ignore, or conceal in their attempts to portray LDS doctrine, but they are very important points that need to be understood.

    And on a closing note, I think your wording of this question is funny. You don’t say ‘according to the LDS what must a person do?’ You make the statement apply only to the LDS, and thus not only make the implication that this does not apply to anyone else, but that nothing else applies to LDS either. It is a subtle thing, and honestly I think it was unintentional, but it does make one think doesn’t it?

  17. January 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    What must the LDS person do to be with god for all eternity? The laundry list starts with becoming a member of the LDS church, baptism, and on and on and on…………..

    Why would you think this funny? The statement does only apply to the LDS. The rest of us don’t have a laundry list of things we need to do for our salvation. By the way, I’m not the one who came up with the analogy of an LDS laundry list. I borrowed that from an ex-LDS couple who left the LDS church and put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation.

    Again, all I did was put my faith in Christ for my salvation. One item (faith) is not a list.

  18. January 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Note to the readers…

    Shem said: “I have to just state one simple fact that everyone seems to frequently forget or simply ignore”

    Shem is the one who frequently forgets or simply ignores all that the posters write here.

  19. January 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    TJayT said: “I would say forfeit is the wrong word. We can relinquish or abandon the gift, but we don’t lose it as a punishment or penalty for an action (or lack thereof).”

    Thank you for clarifying. That’s what I had in mind when I wrote my analogy.

    TJayT said: “Forgive me, I thought you were saying faith was irresistible. I stand corrected.”

    No problem TJayT This is a Lutheran blog, Lutherans don’t believe in irresistible grace although some Non-Lutherans do and maybe even some of the evangelicals posting here might as well.

  20. January 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “Resurrection, or immortality, comes to every man and every woman as an unconditional gift.

    Eternal life, or celestial glory or exaltation, is a conditional gift. Conditions of this gift have been established by the Lord, who said, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”13 Those qualifying conditions include faith in the Lord, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and remaining faithful to the ordinances and covenants of the temple.

    No man in this Church can obtain the highest degree of celestial glory without a worthy woman who is sealed to him.14 This temple ordinance enables eventual exaltation for both of them.”

    from: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/salvation-and-exaltation?lang=eng&query=exaltation

    The Bible does not say anything about “conditional” gifts.

    The gift (Jesus) that I accepted from God was not conditional.

    John 3:16
    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Note this does not say whoever believes, keeps my commands, endures, remains faithful to the ordinances and covenants of the temple, and has a worthy woman who is sealed to him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  21. January 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    “I have to point out that CTC is already putting his faith in many men, namely those who wrote the various books of the Bible. He has placed faith that they have accurately recorded the gospel of Christ and His will. All Christians have put their faith, to some extent, in the prophets, the men who have relayed God’s will to us. They have also put their faith in all those who have preserved that record, trusting that these men have been faithful and accurate in that task.” ~Shem

    I just couldn’t let this one go especially when Shem has pointed out the great deal of respect that he has for the Bible. I put my faith in God alone. The men who wrote the books of the New Testament were with Jesus or in the case of Paul, accepted by the men who were with Jesus. Their letters and writings were well known, passed amongst the churches, and accepted. The earliest church fathers were disciples of the Apostles and knew the teachings of our Lord. Many of the early church fathers fought against heresy and heretical teachings to keep them from entering the church. As for the Old Testament prophets, explain to me how so many different men came up with the exact same messages from God at around the same time when they were in different places and did not even know each other and the events can be backed up historically and archaeologically? What happened when Zedekiah burned Jeremiah’s writings? God told Jeremiah to write his words again and he did. This is a good example of just who is in control. My God is in control of everything and that includes His word. Explain to me how you fool a bunch of Hebrews by changing the written word of God when it was read out loud every year. Not to mention the meticulous methods they used to transcribe the OT. God said his word would not pass away. How can any LDS person who says they trust God actually believe that God would let anything happen to His word? How can anyone who trusts the promises of God claim that God would allow any man to remove “many plain and precious things” from His word? To make that claim is to call God a liar. My God is an omnipotent God of promises and He keeps them.

    Psalm 119:89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

    Matthew 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    In contrast, none of the LDS prophets were ever with Jesus while he was teaching and their teachings contradict the accepted teachings and doctrines of the Christian church that were handed down from Jesus himself. LDS church teachings fail the Biblical tests of truth and the LDS people have not taken heed of the warnings that God gave us in the Bible. Jesus Christ himself said His church would not pass away. His word was true and is documented historically. Yet the LDS church teaches the Bible has been corrupted by men and that Christ’s church disappeared from the face of the Earth. That my friends is a good example of disbelief and disobedience in the highest.

  22. January 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    TJayT,

    Watch this short video but watch the difference it makes when people are asked to do something ( Requirements necessary to gain eternal life) and watch what happens when people aren’t asked to do anything (No requirements to gain eternal life) It’s a deep message.

  23. 23 TJayT
    January 27, 2012 at 6:13 am

    WW

    First an off topic question. There is a person on another Counter-Cult website that I have frequented the last few months that has a different screen name but the same picture as you. Are you said person? If so nice to see you again.

    “This is the grace that is supposedly to be given you after a consistent working in doing all those things you are told must be done by Mormon apostles , correct ?”

    No, it’s the grace that I have RIGHT NOW. It’s already been given to me. God has promised I will be a joint heir with Christ and live with him for all eternity.

    “Rejecting God’s grace is connected to not doing all you can; not being worthy enough in fulfilling what these men have supposedly relayed from God as being necessary /required to do , i.e. the “laundry list ” that CtC mentioned. Is that correct ?”

    Rejecting God’s grace is connected to not freely giving my will over to him. So since I believe the “laundry list” is God’s will then technically yes, though these things don’t earn me his grace, or even make me worthy of it.

    “These “things” that you believe are God’s will are what Mormon leaders have said is God’s will , you submit to what THEY ASK you to do . To have a viable faith that will
    enable you to attain God’s presence is to not doubt nor criticize that their list of requirements came from Jesus Himself . So to have faith in Jesus is to trust these men . Is that correct ?”

    No, I have questioned and criticized quite a bit of Christian and Lds teaching and doctrine in the past. I still don’t have the “standard view” on some issues (infinite regression being one of them).If you are the person from the other site then you know I left Christianity for almost a decade before I gained my faith in Christ from reading the Bible. I don’t follow any teaching or person blindly.

    “…it sounds seeing an add for a free brand new car, the salesmen says the car is indeed free but there’s a , “commandment” a ” requirement” that I must do in order to have the car. To move it : it’s a ” moving law”. This will cost $ 20,000 . I tell my friends that the car was free ?“

    It’s more like a salesman gave me a car fro free, told me how to care for it (change the oil, fuel it, rotate the tires etc) and said if I ever have any trouble I can bring it back and they‘ll fix it free of charge. When I don’t do these things or refuse to see the dealership and the car stops running at peak performance, or stops all together, or I get angry and abandon it on the side of the road is it the fault of the salesman? Did I tell my friends I lost the car, or was it taken from me, or it was never really mine in the first place?

    “CtC and Echo have clearly stated that the Bible teaches that faith in Jesus , relying alone
    on His merit, His righteousness to stand completely before God , cleansed and pardoned is HOW a person is saved/reveives eternal life. The commands, works that He asks us to do all come AFTER receiving the gift (an instant gift) of eternal life, they testify that we love Jesus.”

    Yup, agree with this statement too. And by testifying that we love Jesus we willingly accept his grace.

    Hope that clarified my belief. Good to talk to you.

    Echo

    A very touching little story. I agree that people who truly know and love Christ will do what they believe God’s will to be for no other reason then they love him. I think we just disagree on where the good works come from. You see them as a natural outgrowth of faith, correct? I see them as a natural outgrowth of giving my will to God (Not my will, but thine be done).

    In the end you see what I do as trying to add to my salvation, I don’t. If I understand correctly that’s a big part of why the Lutherans split from the Catholics in the first place. If they haven’t been able to come to an agreement in 500 years I doubt you and I will. Nothing wrong with that, just the nature of the beast. I will say that I can see where your side is coming from, even if I don’t think it’s the correct interpretation. Thanks.

  24. 24 shematwater
    January 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    ECHO

    I don’t ignore or forget anything. On occasion I misunderstand things, but that is not the same.

    CTC

    I know what you are saying, but the fact is that you are still trusting men to have relayed the words of Christ accurately. Unless you have a record that was verified to have been written by Christ himself you are trusting that his apostles are accurate in how they portray him. It is as simple as that, and trying to deny this fact does not change it.
    Personally, I agree with much of what you say, which is why I trust that these people accurately recorded what God told them and what they personally witnessed. But it is still in them that I put a great deal of my trust, for they are the witnesses of God, and without trusting and having faith in them I cannot have faith in the one that they witness of.
    Suppose a man delivers a letter that tells you a certain person wants you to do something. Now, the request may sound like what that person would want you to do, but if you do not trust the messenger who delivered the letter how can you claim to believe the request is genuine? The same thing is true of the scriptures. Regardless of what I believe concerning God, if I do not have faith in his messengers how can I claim to have faith in the message?
    Now, I agree that the primary faith is in Christ and his atonement for us. That is central. But one can only have faith in that if they first have faith that the writers of the Bible were accurate and truthful in what they wrote (or are truly messengers of God). You can try to get around it all you want, but you cannot claim to have faith in God and deny faith in his chosen servants.

    As to the word of God, it is quite simple. I have no doubt that the word of God will stand forever, that everything he has proclaimed will stand. However, this does not necessitate that the written record of what he said will always stand, or be undefiled by men. There is a difference.
    For instance, Paul wrote an epistle to the Corinthians previous to our current first epistle. (1 Corinthian 5: 9) This epistle has been lost, but I fully believe that everything that was written in it will stand through eternity, even though we do not know what it is. The same thing goes for the other dozen or so books that the Bible tells us were inspired, but that we do not have. They will all stand, even though they are unknown to us at this time.
    We also have the precedence of the story of Hilkiah the Priest and Josiah the king. In 2 Kings chapters 22-23 we read about the finding of a Book of the Law that had been lost to the people, which inspired Hilkiah and Josiah to mount a large scale religious reform throughout Judea.

    Just because a book is lost or the wording gets changed does not negate the promise the God’s words will all be fulfilled.

  25. 25 JBR
    January 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I for one rejoice that God has always revealed that what he seeks is not our corporation. He has always revealed that ultimatly it wasn’t the efforts of the people, the blood of sacrificed animals…it was by their simple confession of their sin and by grace God forgives.

    Now God isn’t like the bumbling absent minded professer.
    The Books that have endured that currently which comproises the Bible did so because they were suppose to.

    The fact is Jesus revealed everything what God wanted to be revealed which is recorded (by admission of NOT their [the Apostles] own doing) in the Bible.
    Jesus never once revealed that the OT was not complete… there are missing books.

    The fact is this notion that there must be more than by grace we are forgiven … this there is more books\revelations out there is nothing more than lures from the Great Deciever ……….

    Jesus revealed about those who reject by grace alone:

    “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

  26. January 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    The books that we have are enough to tell us what God wants from us. Josiah is a good example of this. The lost book that he found did not reveal anything that was not already revealed to them in the covenant regarding idolatry. The people knew the law, but they were led astray by their leaders (kings, prophets and priests.) God’s word did not change just because they found a lost book. Josiah’s reform did not save Judah because the people still chose to break covenant in commiting idolatry. They did not listen to Josiah or Jeremiah. They ran to the gods of the people around them in false hope that other gods would give them what they wanted. They did not trust their God. The result: exile in Babylon. The lost book did not change what God wanted from them. Hezekiah also initiated reform by smashing his father’s idols 100 years before Josiah’s reform which indicates that some people were faithful and aware of God’s laws. Hiding a book in the temple could not have changed that for those who were faithful to God and looked to God instead of to their leaders who led many astray by telling them what they wanted to hear instead of what God said. The same thing is happening still today. People do not want to believe that what God has said is enough. They don’t like some of the things that God has said in the Bible. They want answers that are not given. They run after other things that they think are giving them answers, answers that make them feel good about what they are doing in spite of what God said.

  27. 27 wyomingwilly
    January 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    TjayT , thanks for your comments. My point on using the ” car for free” analogy was my way of how I
    understood your reply to CtC where you said having faith in Jesus was the ” only ” thing necessary to receive
    eternal life vrs how Mormon leaders have said that that is necessary PLUS a list of additional requirements.
    You’re aware that , for one example , Mormon apostles have listed as a requirement for eternal life/exaltation
    that Temple marriage is necessary. I’m glad that by reading the Bible brought you into a relationship with
    Christ, however since the Bible does’nt teach Temple marriage as a saving truth of Jesus’ Gospel, do you
    feel as a Mormon that you are not going to get eternal life . ? Are you willing to follow apostles who have
    issued requirements for eternal life beyond what the Jesus’ apostles preached in the N.T. ? Thanks

  28. 28 wyomingwilly
    January 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Shem, I have a busy day so I’ll mention a few things about what you said . I understand that you feel
    that I use a double standard with what I said about Mormon apostles vrs the apostles in the New Testament.
    The standard I use is the Bible, and since Mormon apostles claim Jesus is personally guiding them to
    to direct their Church , then I compare their teachings with what Jesus gave His apostles there to preach
    in the New Testament. This was the main Standard once used by Mormon leaders to proclaim to the world what
    this new movement they headed taught about what was necessary to embrace for eternal life , and also
    a wide range of spiritual truths. They published and distributed these beliefs . They were from the Bible .
    any would-be teaching from any would- be prophet could be evaluated. Today prophets abound , Jesus
    warned of this . I evaluate their message with the Bible– 2Cor 11 :4-15 ; 2 Jn 9 . This Standard was once
    used by Mormons has been superceded and since 1830 the doctrinal pronouncements by “living” apostles
    has become the main Standard. We see prophets like Warren Jeffs today who claims to be the source
    of evaluating who is “worthy” or not , he proclaims what is necessary to be right with God unto eternal life.
    I evaluate his message with the New Testament message . Mormon apostles are to evaluated also.
    It’s not that God can’t speak to us today , it’s just that any man who claims to be an apostle/prophet
    and claims that Jesus is directing their preaching then they are to be tested . Could Mr. Jeffs use the
    “double standard ” argument also ? I carry a Bible , Mormons(most ?) carry a Bible , that’s not
    enough for them to measure apostles teachings, it is for me. I’ve kind of rambled on here as I need to get
    out of the house, perhaps I can be more specific later . Thanks . WW

  29. 29 TJayT
    January 28, 2012 at 6:42 am

    WW

    “I’m glad that by reading the Bible brought you into a relationship with
    Christ, however since the Bible does’nt teach Temple marriage as a saving truth of Jesus’ Gospel, do you
    feel as a Mormon that you are not going to get eternal life . ? Are you willing to follow apostles who have
    issued requirements for eternal life beyond what the Jesus’ apostles preached in the N.T. ?”

    I’m glad that you think I can have a relationship with Christ even though I’m Lds. I know many that would disagree with that. But that’s another topic I’m sure.

    I’m willing to follow apostles that have said it’s God’s will that my wife and I be in a covenant relationship forever, because it does sound to me like something Christ would say, or at least not object to. It would be one thing if the Old and New Testament where full of teaching that Marriage wasn’t important, or that it was something one could take lightly, or that it didn’t really bring a man and women closer to God. But that’s not the case. Marriage is taken very seriously in the Bible. Jesus is very clear that a marriage shouldn’t be broken up over trivial matters and that it’s something one should be committed to and not take lightly. I don’t see any problem with something so serious being carried over into the afterlife.

  30. January 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

    TJayT Said: “A very touching little story. I agree that people who truly know and love Christ will do what they believe God’s will to be for no other reason then they love him. I think we just disagree on where the good works come from. You see them as a natural outgrowth of faith, correct? I see them as a natural outgrowth of giving my will to God (Not my will, but thine be done). In the end you see what I do as trying to add to my salvation, I don’t.”

    Yes, we see Good works as a natural outgrowth of faith. Can you explain to me how you don’t see good works as adding to your salvation?

  31. 31 wyomingwilly
    January 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    TjayT , my question was more like : since Mormon leaders teach that it is only through the
    Temple marriage that eternal life ( exaltation) can be attained do you believe that is in fact
    necessary for you ? Thanks. WW ( to answer a question you asked of me — yes I’m the same
    person , WW is a nickname I was labeled with )

  32. 32 shematwater
    January 29, 2012 at 12:56 am

    CTC

    Sorry, but the account of 2 Kings 22-23 clearly shows that Josiah had no understanding of what was in the book. It had been lost and the people had forgotten it. Even the priest Hilkiah did not know or understand what was written.
    We know what was written in that book. The account tells us in chapter 22 that it was a prophecy, and for that reason Josiah sent to Huldah the prophetess to learn what would happen if he did not do what was in the book. In chapter 23 we read that the prophet that prophesied of what Josiah had done was buried in the temple. This all refers us back to 1 Kings 13, when a prophet of Judah prophesied that Josiah would do all that is recorded in 2 Kings.
    This would have been recorded over 300 years previous, but the record of it was likely buried with the prophets (which burial is in 1 Kings 13) and thus would have been lost to the people, and eventually forgotten, until Hilkiah found it and Josiah read what he was supposed to do.
    This is my point. A book was lost that contained a vital prophecy, and was not rediscovered for 300 years. Thus a precedence is set for vital scripture to be lost, as well as later found in the due time of the Lord.
    Added to this is another point: What if Josiah has dismissed this book? What if he had said “what we have is sufficient and we have no need for what is written in the book?”

    Quite honestly, the idea that God cannot reveal new scripture, or bring to light scripture that was lost, can only lead to problems. Consider this idea. While I know you do not believe in baptism for the dead, the Bible itself is actually rather neutral on the topic. It never states directly that it is doctrine, nor does it state that it isn’t. There is only one reference to it in 1 Corinthians 15.
    So, what happens if God brings to light Paul’s first epistles to the Corinthians, the one we don’t have, and contained within it is a discourse on the ordinance, how it is done, why it is done, and why we should participate?
    Now, I am sure you will dismiss even the possibility, but do you see what I am saying?
    This epistle, and all the other missing books may contain the very doctrines that you are so opposed to. What would you do if such was discovered?
    Me, personally, I would welcome this discovery. Even if it didn’t confirm what I believe. These books are still scripture, and thus would be for our benefit, equally with the Bible. Can you say the same thing?

    WILLY

    “The standard I use is the Bible,”

    And this is the basis for the double standard. That is my point. For you to believe the prophets of the Bible is to only have faith in Christ, but for us to believe in modern prophets is to have faith in men.
    If your standard is the Bible than your standard is the records of men that you believe to be the word of God. This is not different than us believing in the records of men to be the word of God. Thus, stop telling us that we are just trusting men, because that is all you are doing as well.

    Actually, I have to say that my standard is not the Bible, but nor is it the modern leaders. My standard is the witness of the Holy Spirit spoken directly to me. I do not rely on the records of men, but on the testimony of God.

    A few other notes, you really shouldn’t blend Warren Jeffs into the LDS. Yes, he heads an splinter group, but he is more like the priests of Baal that worshiped in the Temple during the time of ancient Israel than. That group has corrupted the true doctrines of the church as taught Joseph Smith and those that succeeded him, just as the priests of Baal corrupted the true doctrine taught by Moses. If you are basing your opinions of our doctrine on his actions, or others like him, you have a false understanding of what we believe in and what we practice.

  33. 33 wyomingwilly
    January 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Shem, what I stated to TjayT about doubting that the list of requirements to gain God’s presence came
    from Jesus thru Mormon apostles is to not have a viable enough faith . i.e. he can’t afford to believe these
    requirements are only the ideas of man . I’m wondering how much of a “double standard ” this actually is.
    The whole point is to handle any new teachings from those we meet who claim to be appointed by God
    with a necessary message that supposedly affects our salvation to beware of them. That might appear
    bias to you but it is what Paul counseled as believers in his day —Gal.1:8-9 ; 2Cor 11 :4 , and it is how
    Mormon church curriculum has used scriptures like Gal.1:8-9; 2 Jn,7-9 relevant for today , people can be
    misled easy as those in his day . Mormon apostles claim to be personally directed by Jesus to instruct the
    Mormon people and to guide their Church, it is wise to see if their message on the saving truths are in
    harmony with what Jesus gave His apostles in the N.T. If Mormon apostles taught the same gospel then
    I might be accused of some bias for telling someone not to trust them , but I see it as cautioning them to
    do as Paul did in Gal.1:8-9 ; 2Tim 2:15 since today there are those who also ” introduce ” false doctrine
    [ 2Pt 2;1 ] . You misunderstood how I used Warren Jeffs , I’m aware that he is not affiliated with your
    church , I merely used him as an example as he might use a “double standard ” reasoning also . I guess
    we’ll disagree on standards . Many years ago I wrote a letter to Gordon B. Hinckley and asked him how
    would I test a prophet to see if he might be a false prophet or not. He was not in good health so his aid
    responded by saying Pres. Hinckley recommended Deut 18 : 20-22 as the criteria . I appreciated that .
    WW

  34. 34 choosethechrist
    January 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Shem, where did I say that Josiah had any understanding of what was in that book? My point was that it is quite a stretch to think that the entire Torah and oral tradition was lost to every single living person from the time of Moses to the time of Josiah. Tell me how Hezekiah knew to smash his father’s idols 100 years before the time of Josiah? Tell me how the scribes and priests knew how to perform their work in the temple? The idea of a complete loss of Torah is as ridiculous as the LDS teaching of a complete apostasy, especially the part where they would have completely lost the 10 commandments. I can see forgetting 613 laws that were built on the 10 commandments, but I find it hard to believe they could not remember the 10 commandments.

    Let me show you where God had said no idolotry:
    Leviticus 26:1 Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
    Exodus 20:3-4 You shall have no other Gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. (Notice this is from the 10 commandments)
    Numbers 33:52 drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.
    Deuteronomy 27:15 “Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol–a thing detestable to the LORD, the work of the craftsman’s hands–and sets it up in secret.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

    Deu 6:4-25 “Israel, remember this! The LORD —and the LORD alone—is our God. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Never forget these commands that I am giving you today.

    Israel turned to other gods. They knew the law and at some point made the decision to ignore/disobey what God had said. They broke covenant with God. Even if we were to consider your view that the Torah was completely lost in all forms (written and oral) we would have to go back to the fact that at some point they had the law and it was a certain generation that turned in disobedience and brought curses to their following generations which they were warned of as well. This is not a problem of losing scripture, this is a problem of disobedience.

    Now you want me to believe that all of us who are not LDS are suffering from a lack of “lost” knowledge like Israel? I’m sorry Shem, but that just doesn’t work. In order for me to buy that, you would have to be able to show me that what you have in the LDS church existed in the past and you can’t do that. There is no documented evidence historically, archaeologically, or scientifically that what you would have me believe about the Book of Mormon ever existed. As a scientist, the DNA evidence against the BOM alone is enough to make me want to through this baby out with the bath water. Have you read the Smithsonian’s statement about the BOM?

    I am still obligated to honor the commands God gave us in the Bible and I can’t accept the the LDS church because it fails several Biblical tests and warnings regarding prophets and gospels. I will be obedient to what I have been given.

    As for baptism for the dead, it will never be proven because it fits your theology and goes completely against everything that Jesus is and will do as judge. As the perfect judge Jesus knows everything about a person and does not need a group of people to perform proxy baptism for dead people. You have to have proxy baptism because of how you have made it a requirement for your religion. Do you seriously think that Jesus does not know the true heart condition of any person to the extent that he needs you to baptise someone so that they can show him their faith. As a proxy, how do you even know if you should be baptzing anyone? How do you know the true condition of their hear. You yourself said a simple dunk in the water meant nothing without true faith. In light of that, you just can’t justify performing an act like baptism for another person. This is just another example of the can of worms that Mormonism has gotten themselves into.

  35. 35 choosethechrist
    January 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I have another point to make and that is the lesson that can be learned regarding the times of Josiah, and what happened to the people when they turned from God’s word and put their faith in their kings, priests, and prophets. They were led astray by men because they did not follow God they followed their leaders. They made the same mistake when they refused to believe Jesus is messiah. The jews were expecting a leader to be their king and take the place of Roman rule. They missed God because they got God and not an earthly king. My pastors continually tell me not to take their word for anything without backing it up with Biblical scripture which are wise words that should not be taken lightly. I don’t follow my pastors. I follow God.

  36. 36 choosethechrist
    January 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    With this chronology of Kings in mind: Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah; I have some additional comments regarding a loss of the law on idolatry.

    As I said, we know that Hezekiah knew idolotry was wrong 2 Chronicles 31:1

    We know that Manasseh returned to idolatry, but returned to God “got rid of foreign gods”
    2 Chronicles 33:15-17

    Amon only reigned for 2 years and worshiped idols 2 Chronicles 33:21-24

    Then Josiah became King at 8, at 16 he began to seek God, at 20 he began to purge Judah of idols, and at 26 he began to purify the temple and it was during this time that the lost book of the law was found. Josiah was so distressed that he tore his clothes. He obviously knew idolatry was wrong. Why was he so distressed? Because the law revealed God’s punishment: “Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord”. 2 Chronicles 34:1-21

    This shows that even though a book of the law was lost, the law against idolatry was not forgotten. The part that shook them up was the prophecy regarding the impending doom that would be brought on them for breaking covenant with God: curses, instead of blessings for breaking the law.

    Now to address Shem’s statements:
    “Sorry, but the account of 2 Kings 22-23 clearly shows that Josiah had no understanding of what was in the book.”

    2 Kings 22:10-11
    10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
    11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.

    2 Kings 22:13
    13 “Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

    Why would a man who had previously started a reform, tear his clothes and state “great is the LORD’s anger that burns against us?” This does not indicate that he had no understanding.

    “We know what was written in that book. The account tells us in chapter 22 that it was a prophecy, and for that reason Josiah sent to Huldah the prophetess to learn what would happen if he did not do what was in the book. In chapter 23 we read that the prophet that prophesied of what Josiah had done was buried in the temple. This all refers us back to 1 Kings 13, when a prophet of Judah prophesied that Josiah would do all that is recorded in 2 Kings.”

    We know that the book was a “Book of the Law”. 2 Kings: 8
    They took the book to Huldah who made a prophecy regarding the exile to Babylon (curse for breaking the law as stated in the lost book) “disaster….according to everythng written in this book” 2 Kings:14-20

    “In chapter 23 we read that the prophet that prophesied of what Josiah had done was buried in the temple.”

    In my Bible, chapter 23 is about the people pledging themselves to the covenant and removal of idolatry, and says nothing that I can see about “the prophet that prophesied of what Josiah had done was buried in the temple.”.

    “This is my point. A book was lost that contained a vital prophecy, and was not rediscovered for 300 years.” Huh? I can’t find this in my Bible. Sounds like deception to me.

    Bottom line: the law against idolotry was not “lost” to the people and “forgotten”.

  37. 37 Kent
    January 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Shem, “Actually, I have to say that my standard is not the Bible, but nor is it the modern leaders. My standard is the witness of the Holy Spirit spoken directly to me. I do not rely on the records of men, but on the testimony of God.”

    So you don’t believe the Bible, or even the Mormon scriptures are truly the word of God?

    Yes, the Holy Spirit is our teacher who clarifies things for us but He gave us the Bible, which is not just the testimony of men but God’s word.

    So since you don’t believe it is the word of God but is in fact just the testimony of men, then what is written in it has no more meaning or authority than anything you or I say.

    From this point on, since nothing except what you believe the Holy Spirit is telling you is your standard, then you can’t argue your points using the Bible as evidence for what you are saying or even, for that matter, what Joseph Smith or any of your church leaders have written or said as well.

    The Bible or for that matter if they are in fact the word of God, the Mormon scriptures, are either the word of God given directly to those who wrote them or they are not the word of God at all and they are all worthless.

    Of course I believe only the Bible is the true word of God.

  38. 38 shematwater
    January 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    WILLY

    You are not understanding what I am referring to as a double standard. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point. so, let me ask a clarifying question.
    You said “To have a viable faith that will enable you to attain God’s presence is to not doubt nor criticize that their list of requirements came from Jesus Himself .”
    The question is, do you believe that people can criticize or doubt the Bible and its authors as speaking for Jesus and still have a viable faith enabling them to gain eternal life?

    This is what I am talking about. Maybe I misunderstood you, but it sounds very similar to the accusation commonly made against our belief that one must accept the testimony of Joseph Smith to gain salvation. This is an attempt to mislead people by trying to show that our salvation is dependent on men rather than God. But it ignores the fact that every Christian believes one must accept the testimony of Paul and the other writers of the Bible in order to gain salvation.
    This is the double standard I was referring to, and what it seemed you were talking about. If not, I apologize.

    Sorry about the comments of Warren Jeffs.

    Personally, I see no contradiction between the any part of the Bible and what the modern prophets have taught as doctrine. I understand that others, because of their perspective and how they interpret the Bible, do see such contradiction, and that is fine. In truth, when I look at the Bible from their perspective I see contradictions in the Bible itself, and rather weak attempts to reconcile them.
    So, using the Bible as a standard I reject every other Christian denomination and cling to the beautiful truths of the LDS church, for it is the only one that does not contradict itself.

    KENT

    Your attempts to color my words into meanings they never had have a poor reflection on you.

    I never once said these books are not the word of God. What I said is that I do not rely on them to know that they are the word of God. It is not the Bible that told me the Bible was the word of God, but the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me has told me this. It is not the Book of Mormon, or any other book of sermon by any man that has told me that that book or sermon was the word of God. It was his Holy Spirit that whispered to my spirit that such was the case.
    I can use the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the words of modern leaders spoken in conference, or written in the church magazines to support my beliefs because the Spirit of God has told me that they are true; they are the inspired word of God to man today. When I read or hear anything spoken by any man and I feel the Holy Spirit touch my soul and tell me that it is true I need no other witness, not even the Bible. If I do not understand a certain point I go to the scriptures and study it, relying on the spirit to guide me to an understanding.

    It is like any author. We rely on the author to claim it as his own work, and to explain the meaning of his words. We do not rely on the book itself to tell us who wrote it and what it means. Take any book as an example: let us say Shakespeare. A scholar my read his plays and tell you what was meant by certain passages. But if Shakespeare himself came forward and declared that his words had a different meaning we would be better off take his word for it than the scholars, because he is the one who wrote it. If a play were to turn up that scholars said he did not write, but Shakespeare himself states that he did, we would do well to accept his word over that of the scholars.
    Granted, Shakespeare may lie, but God will never lie, so what he claims as his, being inspired by him, we can accept as such, regardless of what any scholars or theologists may say. This is the standard I am talking about.

    CTC

    I never once claimed that the Torah and the law were lost. I citing the story of Josiah as setting a precedent for individual books being lost. I very specifically stated what that book contained. So, either you have ignored what I said or you are twisting it to fit what you want me to have said. Either way your comments mean basically nothing in regards to mine.

    However, you did say one very important thing: “Even if we were to consider your view that the Torah was completely lost in all forms (written and oral) we would have to go back to the fact that at some point they had the law and it was a certain generation that turned in disobedience and brought curses to their following generations which they were warned of as well. This is not a problem of losing scripture, this is a problem of disobedience.”
    Now, I must once again state that it was never my view that the entire law was lost, but that a specific book was lost, which contain a vital prophecy.
    However, the basics of this comment are very true. Speaking of the great apostasy, it was not caused by the loss of scripture, but was caused by disobedience, which resulted in the dark ages. However, just as the disobedience of Israel resulted in the loss of this vital prophecy (that was restored in the time of Josiah), we see the precedent for the disobedience of the people during and immediately after the Apostles time can, and likely did, lead to the loss of important scripture, which was restored in the due time of the Lord by Joseph Smith.

  39. 39 wyomingwilly
    January 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Shem, to answer your question I would say : no . The point I was trying to make was that TjayT was
    relying on faith in Jesus derived by his acceptance of the Biblical scriptures concerning faith in Jesus.
    I was working from that position. If this is true then I tried to inform him that submission to the authority of Mormon apostles is’nt necessary for his faith to be valid enough before God ( to lead to eternal life ) . In other words
    we are both relying on the same source ( the Bible) to validate our faith . That simple position of itself
    would not be much of a double standard in my opinion. Now obviously he submits to the other Standard Works
    as do you, and I understand that . My reasoning here is’nt much difference from that of Mormons in 1835 who
    published a treatise on what their new movement believed about God relative to a correct view that would
    enable a person to attain eternal life. To prove these teachings the Bible was cited 99% . [ Lectures on Faith].
    That’s the point I was/am attempting to communicate here ,the teachings of the apostles in the N.T. on what
    is necessary to gain eternal life is all we need, and we can reject any new apostle/ prophet who come to our
    doors today who clam to be directed by Jesus Himself with ” saving truths ” which are piled on top of what Jesus
    gave His apostles to spread in the N.T. This is what Mormon apostles have done in my opinion , and though
    thru good intentions , ever since Mormon men have claimed to have been appointed as apostles by Jesus 170
    years ago thru today to spread His gospel they have “taught for doctrine the commandments of men ” on
    what is necessary for eternal life . Jesus warned of false prophets who would come —Matt7:15;24:11 . Years
    ago I met the representatives of one such person who claimed to be God’s true messenger— Rev Sun Myung
    Moon. He claims that while praying for guidance , as he was troubled by the failure of humanity / organized
    religion to answer many of life’s questions , that Jesus appeared to him . This was soon followed by visits
    from John the Baptist . Rev. Moon claims authority in large part by these visits. He was called as God’s
    instrument to reveal His message for this present dispensation . I tested his message by the testimony of
    Jesus’ apostles since he claimed the same Jesus visited him in 1935 . His message , his “gospel ” failed the
    test. He is a sincere and moral individual, but a misled individual . Remember when your leadership excomm-
    unicated modern day prophet Brian David Mitchell ? The official reason was that he violated the written
    standard of your Church on vital doctrine . The Standard used was the Standard Works, but the
    Bible would have been sufficient for this . Bottom line : the gospel taught in the N.T. is sufficient for today.
    When certain apostles say that salvation ” is once again available ” to mankind after 1700 years because
    of their being appointed by Jesus to reveal it , and it is not in harmony with what Jesus’ apostles taught in the
    N.T. as being necessary to receive eternal life , then I say no thanks. I say no thanks to the Mormon gospel .

  40. 40 TJayT
    January 31, 2012 at 4:45 am

    WW

    “my question was more like : since Mormon leaders teach that it is only through the
    Temple marriage that eternal life ( exaltation) can be attained do you believe that is in fact necessary for you ?”

    Yes, but only because I believe it’s God’s will that I do so. The actual Temple rite has no magic power to save me, only God can do that. But to willfully ignore what I know he wants of me is to willfully reject his salvation.

    Echo

    “Yes, we see Good works as a natural outgrowth of faith. Can you explain to me how you don’t see good works as adding to your salvation?”

    Let me see if I can explain it this way; Imagine that salvation is the number 10. I think what you see the LDS trying to do (and I ‘ll agree some may very well be trying to do this) is doing there very best in life hoping to get a 1-9 and letting God take care of the rest. But that doesn’t work, since God gives 10, not 1-9 to get you the rest of the way. But how I see it is that God has already given me the 10. It’s mine, right now. But I also have the freewill to chose or reject his grace. So if there was a mathematical equation for salvation it would be 10 x (my free will). So if I give my will over to him then it’s 10 x 1=10 and if I don’t then it’s 10 x 0=0. I don’t add to my salvation at all, but I do chose to accept it and let it work through me, by doing his will (good works, temple rites, etc).

  41. 41 shematwater
    January 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    WW

    The problem with this is that Jay never once mentioned his reliance on the bible for his faith until after you made this comment. So, I will assume that you were referring to the other thread that he mentions, in which case it is not surprising that I misunderstood what you were saying, as I am not privy to the information you two have shared in the past. I was also not privy to the fact that you had, and so I had only the information on this thread and blog on which to base my opinions.

    However, I will also say that I don’t think Jay has said that his faith is derived by his acceptance of the bible. From everything he has posted in this thread it seems more that his initial faith, the part that brought him to believe in Jesus Christ was assisted by the bible, but that it has grown since that time to be based more on personal testimony and revelation than anything else.

    As to my question, are you saying that a person can question, doubt, and criticize what is written in the Bible and still have a faith that will save them?

  42. 42 wyomingwilly
    January 31, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Shem, although your original questioning on a comment I made was to TjayT , perhaps I should’nt have
    used my argument the way I did because as you mentioned I was thinking of something in the past . I was
    trying to making a point of if two people rely on the apostles teachings in the N.T. in reguard to what is
    necessary to gain eternal life , then any future apostles/prophets (Mormon) can be reasonably evaluated by
    comparing their teachings etc. I personally think this is a valid way and it’s not to different than how your
    church leadership evaluates the messages of other prophets today.[ i.e. Brian David Mitchell ] As I mentioned
    I believe that the Bible is sufficient for revealing what is completely necessary in order to gain eternal life . I
    realize you have additional Standards . So I really can’t add much more than that . I think that about
    exhausts this subject for me, so I appreciate your comments . I can understand your point of view . My
    reply to your question is : I can’t reject the testimony of apostles in the N.T. and still hope to gain salvation .
    Take care.

  43. 43 shematwater
    February 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    WW

    Always nice talking to you.

  44. February 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    TJayT

    You said: “Let me see if I can explain it this way; Imagine that salvation is the number 10. I think what you see the LDS trying to do (and I ‘ll agree some may very well be trying to do this) is doing there very best in life hoping to get a 1-9 and letting God take care of the rest. But that doesn’t work, since God gives 10, not 1-9 to get you the rest of the way. But how I see it is that God has already given me the 10. It’s mine, right now. But I also have the freewill to chose or reject his grace. So if there was a mathematical equation for salvation it would be 10 x (my free will). So if I give my will over to him then it’s 10 x 1=10 and if I don’t then it’s 10 x 0=0. I don’t add to my salvation at all, but I do chose to accept it and let it work through me, by doing his will (good works, temple rites, etc).”

    I have been thinking about what you said since the time you wrote it. Sorry for the delay in responding.

    But notice that you said: 10 X 1 = 10. Where 1 represents giving your will over to God. The 1 therefore represents what *YOU* do.

    Notice that in your equation, both the 10 and the 1 are necessary if you are to receive the 10.

    So while I can see that your good works don’t add to your salvation. Your good works, in the end, are your salvation because they are necessary. (by Good works I mean anything God has commanded us to do including keeping all the commandments, are we on the same page there?)

    Both Mormonism and Christianity teach that no unclean thing can enter God’s presence.

    Like we say in Christianity, “please remember you’re not obedient to God until you achieve sinless perfection.”

    Since the number 1 represents giving your will over to God. With that in mind, let me shorten that statement to: “works”

    Mormonism’s equation then becomes…

    10 X works = 10 (works)

    The Christian equation is this…

    10 = 10 (grace)

    Romans 11:5-6 ” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

  45. 45 TJayT
    February 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Echo said “I have been thinking about what you said since the time you wrote it. Sorry for the delay in responding.”

    Thanks for honestly thinking about what I said, no worries that you had a delay. I have enjoyed talking to you.

    Echo said “But notice that you said: 10 X 1 = 10. Where 1 represents giving your will over to God. The 1 therefore represents what *YOU* do.
    Notice that in your equation, both the 10 and the 1 are necessary if you are to receive the 10.

    No, the 10 was already given. But I have a choice of what to do with the 10. If you want to try and argue that there is no human element to salvation at all then so be it, but that imo can only lead down the road of irresistible grace, and you have already told me that’s not what you believe. If a man has a choice to accept or reject his salvation then there will always be SOMETHING that man will do in order to accept it. If we have free will then there will always be a human component to salvation.

    Echo said “So while I can see that your good works don’t add to your salvation. Your good works, in the end, are your salvation because they are necessary. (by Good works I mean anything God has commanded us to do including keeping all the commandments, are we on the same page there?)…Since the number 1 represents giving your will over to God. With that in mind, let me shorten that statement to: “works”
    Mormonism’s equation then becomes…
    10 X works = 10 (works)”

    By this logic having faith would also become your salvation, and not merely the conduit that brings you salvation, because faith is necessary. Also your Mormon equation doesn‘t make any sense. The equation with all the words added in would look like
    10(salvation) X 1(works) = 10(works)
    Your trying your hardest to make the 10 into anything other then a 10. But it’s not. It’s still a 10. Just because someone chooses to keep the 10 instead of letting it go doesn’t change the fact that it’s still 10. Just because I choose to accept Christ’s gracious gift of salvation doesn’t change that salvation. It just allows Christ to give it to me.

    Echo said “The Christian equation is this…
    10 = 10 (grace)”

    This is a great equation if you don’t believe that one can willing reject salvation after they receive it. But you’ve already told me that’s not what you think.

    1 Corinthians 9:24-27: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

  46. February 4, 2012 at 9:48 am

    TJayT

    Thank you for your patience and kind response. I am enjoying talking to you as well. :)

    TJay said: “No, the 10 was already given. But I have a choice of what to do with the 10. If you want to try and argue that there is no human element to salvation at all then so be it, but that imo can only lead down the road of irresistible grace, and you have already told me that’s not what you believe. If a man has a choice to accept or reject his salvation then there will always be SOMETHING that man will do in order to accept it. If we have free will then there will always be a human component to salvation.”

    I believe there is no human element to Salvation. That doesn’t lead to irresistible grace. I believe man is incapable of choosing God and that God must choose him. I believe man can resist God and reject God.

    TJay T said: “By this logic having faith would also become your salvation, and not merely the conduit that brings you salvation, because faith is necessary. Also your Mormon equation doesn‘t make any sense. The equation with all the words added in would look like
    10(salvation) X 1(works) = 10(works)
    Your trying your hardest to make the 10 into anything other then a 10. But it’s not. It’s still a 10. Just because someone chooses to keep the 10 instead of letting it go doesn’t change the fact that it’s still 10. Just because I choose to accept Christ’s gracious gift of salvation doesn’t change that salvation. It just allows Christ to give it to me.”

    It appears as though you misunderstood my formula. It’s not your fault though, it’s my fault. My apologies to you, I failed to communicate it how I wanted to…

    Maybe the better way to have typed that out would have been this…

    Mormonism (Works)…

    10 X works = 10

    Christianity (Grace)…

    10 = 10

    And then…Romans 11:5-6 ” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

    TJayT said: “This is a great equation [10 = 10] if you don’t believe that one can willing reject salvation after they receive it. But you’ve already told me that’s not what you think.”

    If I give you a gift, you are free to throw it in the garbage.

    “1 Corinthians 9:24-27: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

    Amen.

  47. 47 Kent
    February 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

    So the choice is:

    What Chiristianity believes, Romans 11:5-6: ”So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

    OR

    What Mormonism believes, 2 Nephi 25:23: “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

    I choose to believe what the Bible says and not what the Book of Mormon says because according to the Bible if it is after all we can do (works), it cancels out grace as it is no longer grace.

  48. 48 shematwater
    February 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    ECHO

    “I believe man can resist God and reject God.”

    Then you believe in the human element of non-resistance.
    If there is no human element that nothing we chose to do could have any effect. Thus our choice to resist could have no effect; which then proves that if you believe we have the choice to resist you believe in a human element.

    KENT

    You obviously don’t understand the meaning of Nephi’s words.
    2 Nephi 2: 8
    “…there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit…”

    2 Nephi 31: 19
    “And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.”

    Other references in the Book of Mormon
    Heleman 14: 13
    “And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits.”

    Alma 24: 10
    “And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.”

    Moroni 6: 4
    “and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.”

    It is by Grace we are saved, after all we can do, but it is also through the merit of Christ and through his grace that we are enabled to do all we can do. Grace works in our lives to our salvation, giving us the power to do the works God has commanded. If we reject this gift and do not do all we can with it we will not be saved. If, however, we use this gift and through it do all we can, then the gift will lead to our our salvation.

  49. 49 TJayT
    February 7, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Echo

    I don’t think you and I are as far off in belief as we think. We both agree that salvation is God’s gift alone to give. While Mormons don’t believe in total depravity I’m willing to give the point that God can offer man faith even when he isn’t looking for it, because that’s what happened to me. And we both feel that man can choose to accept or reject that salvation. All that we disagree with is HOW we reject it. When you give the equation of 10=10 you have to remember that Mormons would agree with that. But what we are talking about is what happens after you receive salvation, not the salvation itself. How does one choose to accept or reject that salvation? If I understand your side of the argument then it’s the acceptance or loss of faith that causes us to accept or reject Grace. I would argue that if I decide to start following the flesh instead of what God’s will is for me. But if I purposefully stop following the will of God isn’t this just a side affect of a loss of faith? I can’t honestly say for sure.

    As I said before I’m fine with us never coming to an agreement on this. Better men then I have debated the issue for centuries without both sides agreeing. I’m not sure how much me we can do without simply running around in circles, so I’m going to drop out now. I do thank you for helping me understand your side a bit more, and I hope I at least did the same. Hope to talk to you again.

  50. February 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    TJayT, I don’t believe man can choose salvation. He can only reject it.

    John 1:13 “children born not of …human decision… but born of God.”

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”

    Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”

    Acts 14:2 “But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.”

    Acts 19:9 “But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way.”

  51. 51 shematwater
    February 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    ECHO

    What you say is illogical. If one has the power to reject than they have to have the power to accept. This has to be because in choosing to not reject you are choosing to accept it.
    It would make as much sense to say that a person can’t choose to go left, they can only choose to go right.

    Acts 7: 51; 14: 2; and 19: 9 do describe people making the choice to reject Christ.

    John 15: 16 does not mean that the Apostles did not choose to accept Christ. It means that they had no say in who Christ was. There is only one Savior of the world. We cannot choose who is going to be our savior, as there is only one. No choice is possible. However, we can choose to either accept or reject that one.
    On the other everything else that needs to be done can be done by a variety of people. Christ had options in choosing who would be his apostles, and he choose the ones he did for the reasons he gave.

  52. February 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Shem, you and I shouldn’t twist scripture to fit our puny and inadequate human reasoning. That’s very dangerous. God’s reasoning is much higher than ours…

    Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

    If we want to understand things the way the God see’s them and to be lifted up into reasoning like God reasons, we must first let both those truths, (that I gave from scripture), stand side by side and reason it out from there. We must ask ourselves this: “both are true, how are both of these true?” And Shem, if you can’t personally reason it out, does that mean it’s not true?…NO. It still is true, it just means you just don’t understand it yet.

    Shem said: “John 15:16 does not mean that the Apostles did not choose to accept Christ. It means that they had no say in who Christ was. There is only one Savior of the world. We cannot choose who is going to be our savior, as there is only one. No choice is possible. However, we can choose to either accept or reject that one.
    On the other everything else that needs to be done can be done by a variety of people. Christ had options in choosing who would be his apostles, and he choose the ones he did for the reasons he gave.”

    Shem, making assumptions is dangerous and leads to doctrinal errors. In light of John 1:13 “children born not of …human decision… but born of God.” and other scripture passages, the meaning is clear…We do not choose salvation. God chooses us. That fact is actually very comforting.

  53. 53 shematwater
    February 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    ECHO

    “we must first let both those truths, (that I gave from scripture), stand side by side and reason it out from there.”

    What truths are those? I see a very different meaning in the scriptures you give, as I have explained. Of course, your real meaning is that you have the truth and I just need to except it.

    I can reason things out, and when reason declares something to be impossible I don’t accept it. God’s ways are higher than ours, but that does not mean we cannot understand them. I don’t care what your interpretation of scriptures is, if it comes to an impossible conclusion than it is wrong. It is as simple as that.

    If we do not have the power to accept salvation than we do not have the power to reject, for one power cannot exist without the other. If one chooses to reject they have chosen not to accept. If one chooses not to reject then they have chosen to accept.
    Your twisted reasoning that one can choose to not reject salvation, but still not be choosing to except it is an impossible doctrine, as it contradicts itself. You might as well tell me that one plus one equals one million, and then declare that it is true, and so I should accept it whether it makes sense or not.

    In light of John 1: 13 you are still wrong, because you teach that which is impossible.

    (12-13) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

    How do we receive him?

    John 3: 5
    “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water (baptism by immersion) and of the Spirit (baptism by the Holy Ghost), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

    We choose salvation when we accept Christ and are baptized. We are born of God when we receive Christ in this manner. We choose or reject salvation. It is our choice either way, and the Bible is perfectly clear on this point.

  54. February 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    How much choice does a dead man have?

    Ephesians 2:1-3 ” As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”

    Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God…”


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