16
May
12

Scriptures

Chapter ten of the Teachings of George Albert Smith is about the scriptures and the encouragement to use them.  Whenever the Scriptures are the topic, one of the most visible lines of demarcation between Mormonism and Christianity appears seeing that Mormonism includes three other books as Scripture; namely, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

This has also been one of the most hotly debated topics between Mormons and Christians.  Understandably so.  Nothing influences people’s beliefs more than what they consider the word of God.

Over the years, many Christians have listed many problems they have with LDS Scriptures. They have cited the lack of archaeology proof for the Book of Mormon; its similarity in many places with the King James Version; the Book of Abraham in reality being a funeral Egyptian text to name just a few.

One thing that I always have found curious is that the books of Abraham and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price are supposedly the correct version of the similar accounts in Genesis.  If that is correct, why didn’t Jesus point that out when he walked the earth?  We know that the Genesis account as is contained in the Bible is the one that the Jews of Jesus’ day used.  We know that from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sources. If that account was as corrupted as indicated by the Pearl of Great Price, why didn’t Jesus correct it?  I suppose somebody could claim that Jesus’ correction was one of the plain and precious truths that Mormonism claims were taken out of the Bible.  But that is very difficult to believe.  Just think of how Jesus’ Jewish opponents could have used that to incite the crowds!  “He’s changing our Scriptures!”  It’s difficult to believe that all traces of that could be wiped out, not only from the Bible, but from ancient history.

I doubt, however, that this argument will have much effect on most Mormons.  After all, accepting books as Scripture are more a matter of belief than reason.

Over the years I have found a better way of showing the differences between the Bible and LDS Scriptures.  It is emphasizing the unique and glorious message of the Bible that salvation and my living with heavenly Father is entirely, completely, 100% God’s gift.  That we don’t have to do one single thing to receive that – that we can’t do anything to receive it.  When it comes to being accepted by God the only thing that counts is what Jesus did for me. The more I emphasize that, the more I hear from Mormons wanting to learn more.  That shouldn’t surprise me.  Because, as the Bible says, that gospel message is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

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50 Responses to “Scriptures”


  1. 1 joshtried
    May 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    We know that the Genesis account as is contained in the Bible is the one that the Jews of Jesus’ day used. We know that from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sources.
    I am curious how we know that this is the same account Jesus used. We dont know when any of the scrolls were written. As such, we can not place them before or after Christ. My understanding of how the dates were given of being written is that it is based on the group of people that lived in the area during the suspected writing. Even this has been challenged by other scholars.

    They have cited the lack of archaeology proof for the Book of Mormon.
    While the sites i am going to list are not exactly proof, they are food for thought. Just because there is not proof that something happened, does not mean that it didnt happen.
    http://daveearley.hubpages.com/hub/Ancient-Mysteries-Puma-Punku-in-Tiahuanaco
    http://www.studentprintz.com/mobile/discovery-of-artifacts-in-texas-may-rewrite-human-history-1.2145620
    http://www.pbs.org/saf/1406/segments/1406-4.htm

  2. 2 joshtried
    May 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    It is emphasizing the unique and glorious message of the Bible that salvation and my living with heavenly Father is entirely, completely, 100% God’s gift. That we don’t have to do one single thing to receive that – that we can’t do anything to receive it.

    If this is correct, as i have pointed out numerous times, then God is the sole dictator of who goes to heaven, as He is doing the choosing. If this is correct, then Jesus did not die for every single person on earth. He died simply for the select few that God would choose. The Bible then become pointless. Completely and absolutely pointless. There is no reason for the Bible at all if I have no choice in going to heaven. It simply would not matter. God would choose me and i would go to heaven. End of story. So, now you have Christ as a liar, as he did not die for everyone, and a completely and totally pointless book called the Bible that you claim to be the Word of God, but that in the same breath you claim is pointless because we have no part in deciding our fate with God.
    Secondly, if there is absolutely nothing we can do to receive this gift, then every single word out of your mouth is in vain. There is nothing you can say to me that can make God decide that i go to heaven, right? When then do you continue this blog? I can not come to terms with these things. Please enlighten me as to how it is you have come to reconcile these things

  3. 3 markcares
    May 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Josh:
    Almost every scholar agrees that the latest any Dead Sea Scroll could have been written was 68 AD. Most place them in the first century BC. The copies of Genesis agree with the biblical account and not the Pearl of Great Price. Thus it is proper to say that the biblical version was the version known at the time of Christ.
    Just as you say you have pointed out things numerous times, so I can say the same thing. God’s ways are far above our ways. They are unsearchable – Romans 11:33. All the following are true: Jesus died for all people. God’s Word is the power God uses to bring people to faith. We contribute nothing to our salvation. I can’t understand how those three things go together. But that doesn’t matter. That is what the Bible says.
    And please don’t say : ” that in the same breath you claim is pointless because we have no part in deciding our fate with God.” I never made that claim. That is your deduction – not my claim.
    More importantly, Josh, are you confident that you are going to live eternally with heavenly Father? That is what is important.

  4. 4 shematwater
    May 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    A little correction.

    The Book of Moses is the original account. The Book of Abraham is a completely separate record that Moses likely did not have access to, as it was buried with an Egyptian in Egypt. Being two separate accounts, and truly of two separate events (Moses describes the actual creation, while Abraham describes the preparing and planning) Abraham should not be used in a comparison with the Genesis account.

    As to the correction, concerning the creation itself there is actually very little changes from Moses to Genesis. Regarding the rest, we know that Jude had access to prophecies written by Enoch, which we no longer have (Jude 1: 14). So it is also likely that Christ had access to them, and this would acount for the largest section of the Book of Moses. If we take into account the dozen or so books that the Bible mentions as scripture that we don’t have it becomes easy to see that Christ likely did not need to make any changes, as the information was had in other sources then available. The same cannot be said of our time.

    Speaking of the message of the Bible, I have never seen the message that is frequently discussed on this blog. I have never seen this free salvation that people talk about, but rather a command to do the works that are required, to work out or own salvation through obedience, for God has made it possible for all to saved if they will but follow him.

  5. 5 JBR
    May 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Shem … you don’t see because you do not want to. Rev 22:17

    Revelation 22:17
    The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

  6. 6 JBR
    May 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Rev 22:17 KJV
    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

  7. 7 shematwater
    May 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

    JBR

    Note that in Revelation 22: 17 we are told that we are to come and take the waters of life freely. This would indicate that we have to do something. The gift is available, but only to those that do what is needed to receive it.

    Actually, this sounds an awful lot like a person advertising free sevices if you come down to the store. Like a local swimming pool here that has “Free Thursday.” Everyone can come ans swim for free, but they must first come, and they must follow the rules of the pool (like no nude bathing).

    We are to come, or make an effort to be in the right place, and then we must accept the gift that is given.

  8. 8 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 2:40 am

    seriously, not having a post show up is getting kind of annoying… anyway, response to follow…

  9. 9 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 2:43 am

    More importantly, Josh, are you confident that you are going to live eternally with heavenly Father? That is what is important.

    First and foremost, before i get into deeper response, YES i am confident that i will spend eternity in heaven.

  10. 10 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 2:45 am

    JBR: if you would, i ask that you please elaborate on the word “take.” Specifically, can you describe the word, and what type of word is it (noun, adjective, etc…)

  11. 11 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 3:20 am

    I apologize in advance for anything taken personally. I try to speak with brutal honest, which as i study “The Bondage of the Will”, was what seemed to be the theme of Martin Luther. He spoke what he saw to be the truth and wanted serious debate on the matter. That is where i stand on this matter. I am not necessarily out to hurt any persons feelings.

    All the following are true: Jesus died for all people. God’s Word is the power God uses to bring people to faith. We contribute nothing to our salvation.
    I have to disagree with you mark. These things can not all be true. If it is true, as is all scripture, then we should have a vastly greater number of people acting for God, and believing in God than we are reported to have on this earth. God chooses who will be saved first right? And “God’s word is the power God uses to bring people to faith”, right? Well, if the Bible (which is God’s word) is on this earth, why is not every person that has ever read the Bible a believer in Him? Why are there those people that have read it and feel it is the biggest load of croc ever given to Man? By definition, every one of them should now know the power of God, and that God is truly God. To turn away from truth is not something a lot of people really do. You and i would both agree that 2+2=4, right? Why? Because it is true and irrefutable. The same should be theoretically correct based on your above sentiment. This also still begs 2 highly important questions.
    1. Why in the world do we have the Bible at all if it is not important to our salvation? Is it just meant to be on the earth so that people can read it, because that is the only way God has the power to work?
    2. If we contribute nothing to our own salvation, why do you continue to operate this Blog? Nothing that you say is going to change my mind and make me accept Christ, right? So why do you persist? The only thing that could possibly come from the combination of the 2 is making people mad that they may not be saved. There is another possibility, which, as unfortunate to write as it may be, is that you wish for someone to convert you so that you might know salvation. I know that you may feel that i do not merit an explanation, but i am seriously trying to understand your position.

  12. 12 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 3:26 am

    God’s ways are far above our ways. They are unsearchable – Romans 11:33.
    Mark: Here you have a very reasonable scripture, but with quite unreasonable speculation attached. There are certainly MANY things that God knows that our brain would probably overload on if God were to give it to us as we are right now. One example i give is the creation of Man. This to me is unsearchable. There is no way on earth that we can currently turn dust into bone, into flesh, into neurons and nerves. Man is advancing in this field, and is able to start CLOSER to scratch to be able to create things the human body needs. For all of our trying though, we can NOT create LIFE from nothing. This will be the case until God does reveal it to us. To try and put the scripture in this same light to me seems to be ignorant. The scriptures were given to us specifically for us to understand how one is to return to heaven. They were given to us to understand the nature of Christ and how forgiveness was to work. There is a TON of understanding to be gained from reading the scriptures. To put it another way, God did not give us hundreds of books on how to make Man from dust. God DID give us hundreds of books to understand the sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ.
    It has been said before on this blog that it was not the law that saves. I am in complete agreement with this statement (whether you believe me or not). The problem that some of you seem to be missing is this: people WERE SAVED BEFORE the coming of Christ. They were saved because they UNDERSTOOD the sacrifice that Christ was to make for the people of this world. They UNDERSTOOD that FAITH in the Christ was what saved them (Christ sacrifce being PART of the LAW). We have MANY people we know of that walking in harmony with God. How could they do this save by understanding GOD’S intent for this world, and for the people in it. I have to say, Mark, that what i see in your responses is what i would expect from a Catholic in the 14-1500’s: “It doesnt have to make sense, but you have to follow it.” Martin Luther seemed to disagree with this sentiment. As i begin my study of “The Bondage of the Will”, I currently have taken the stance of Erasmus early in Luther’s rise. I think that Luther has many things to say, and he is correct on a great many of them. One of the greatest things he did (if i remember correctly) was he argued that every member of the congregation should read the scriptures for themselves. Why in the world would Martin Luther preach this, or preach anything on the subject of God, if he found God to be “unsearchable.” Why would he have people personally searching for God? (this last part is based on my assumption that this was part of the list of 95 he nailed to the door. I could look it up now, but am going off of 10y/o high school knowledge instead)

  13. 13 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 3:55 am

    As stated before, having begun reading “The Bondage of the Will”, I have developed additional questions with regard to how the Bible came to be in its present form, and if that form is correct. I know that i have hit this button before, but i am now asking it in a different way with specific regard to a statement in this book (this is the Packer/Johnston version by the way).

    On the very first page, the very first sentence of the translators note is a question posed by Martin Luther. I will quote it as it is in the book, as i do not have access, nor know where to find the original quote.
    “What is the good of giving… a stiff and strict rendering, when the reader can make nothing of it?”
    The paragraph goes on to explain that the “stiff and strict rendering” is referring to translation of the Bible. As such, i have to question how Luther translated what we now have as the KJV of the Bible. The debate has risen before between “strict and stiff” vs “meaning for meaning” translation. This is a very, VERY difficult question to answer with regard to scripture. A question that i have most pressing in my mind though is how people could do this with translation: GOD said this (strict and stiff), but what he really meant was this (meaning for meaning). When i look at scripture in this light, i truly hope each time that i am reading what God said, and not what people THOUGHT he meant (especially if we have people trying to say what God meant if they believe he is unsearchable… Heaven help us all…) I say i hope, because for the most part we could do without the scriptures. All that is necessary to not end up in hell is this: Have faith in Jesus Christ. The problem is that at best, this puts us in the same place the thief on the cross went to, which some refer to as a type of purgatory, or a waiting place. This is not heaven, which is where each of us is stating that we wish to go. If the entire “Bible” was translated in this manner, then every single person reading it should be aware of this. They should be aware that they are not reading God’s actual words, but are reading what people thought about God’s actual words.

  14. 14 joshtried
    May 17, 2012 at 4:05 am

    I want to post something with regard to the BoM. I do not know of its accuracy, as i found it randomly on the internet. If it is true, at least it is food for thought. I am also giving my opinion here specifically, as i have no idea if the stuff i reference is fact or fiction. If someone can verify either way, i can solidify my opinion, and make it an official stance. As it stands, this will be a working opinion, based on loose evidence. Please treat it as such.

    When we look at the “Joseph Smith Translation” of the book of Mormon in this same light (strict vs meaning), i am actually kind of comforted in the manner of translation. JS did not have the opportunity to interject his will into the scripture. He did not have to debate “strict” or “meaning”. As i researched how he translated it, i came upon the whole “head in a hat” thing. Did you know that he did not go word by word? He went CHARACTER BY CHARACTER. Do you understand the incomprehensibility of remembering CHARACTER BY CHARACTER the ENTIRE BoM? THAT is unsearchable to me. How in the world could this man write 3 different books CHARACTER BY CHARACTER for 2 years? Do you know of any other person that can say that they wrote a book in this manner? I cant even say that i have written this response in a similar manner, and it is a whopping 2 paragraphs long. Yes, this does bring into question the reasoning for even having the golden plates in the first place, to a small degree. If JS had pulled these books out his posterior, they would have had even less credence then they now how. At least in this way, there could be others that new that books did actually exist, regardless of if they understood how the translation process worked.

    Again, dont know if:
    A. Head in a hat thing is true
    B. Character by character thing is true
    C. My reason for plates being around is accurate
    Please treat this post as questions regarding other sources throughout the internet, and as a quest for truth even regarding my own faith. As it stands this is a loose opinion of the “facts” i have on hand.

  15. 15 shematwater
    May 17, 2012 at 4:28 am

    JOSH

    I like all your comments, but I will only comment on the last.

    A. The head in the hat is true, or at least is testified two by David Witmir and Joseph’s father-in-law. It is not the only method of translation that was unilized, however. Oliver Cowdry also translated a little, and he did not use this method. In general the method is attributed to the early work, primarily when he was living with his father-in-law. It always strikes me as curious that Oliver Cowdry, who did most of the scribal work int he translation, never mentions a hat, and neither does Martin Harris.
    This is my speculation regarding the reasons for this: He translated by means of the Urim and Thummum. These seer stones and used to look at things. My opinion is that they function in such a way as to focus the eyes so completely that one who is not used to the strain would become fatigued from too much visual stimulation. So, the unexperienced Joseph would place them in the hat so as to block out all other visual stimulous and reduce the strain on his eyes. I do not think that it happened as some have claimed, but that rather he looked first at the plates, and when his eyes became tired he would cover his face with the hat to give him self a little rest. It is just that the hat is more memorable. This is all speculation, of course, as I have never had the plivilage of looking into a Urim and Thummum.

    B. According to most accounts this is also true. However, one must also understand that in the ancient egyptian, and thus likely in the reformed egyptian, a single character is a word, and some times more than one word. So, while he was translating one character at a time it still was likely the equivilant of one word at a time.
    I do also know that when it came to actual names (Like Lehi, or Alma, or Mosiah) Joseph Smith would spell the name, as he was frequently unsure of how to properly pronounce it. The pronunciations we have in the back of the Book of Mormon are more for uniformity than accuracy.

    C. As I said, the plates were not translated solely through the hat, though it is likely that this did happen. The plates were needed for the witnesses, as well as for the fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 29, and 2 Nephi 27). However, as I already mention, he did use the plates directly in the translation more frequently than he ever used a hat.

  16. 16 Kent
    May 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

    But isn’t it supposed to be scripture when one of the Mormon prophets says something especially if he says something is God’s law?

    Well how come Mormons don’t believe that my friend, a white person who married a black person should be put to death on the spot, that it is God’s law, and that this will always be so? After all your prophet said this is the case, that it is God’s law, and that it would always be so.

    Now I am sure that no one, today especially, would advocate killing race mixers but could it be that Brigham Young really wasn’t a prophet of God at all but he was just a product of his time with the racist attitudes that went with it?

    Brigham Young, “The Persecutions of the Saints, etc.,” (8 March 1863) Journal of Discourses 10:111

    “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

    By the way, comparing Young’s comments to the times in the old testament when God said to wipe out an entire race of people doesn’t wash here as those examples were for that time only for those specific situations and God didn’t say, like Young did regarding race mixers, that it would always be so.

    You also can’t say that it just showed Young to be a flawed human being because, again, he said killing race mixers was God’s law and that it would always be so.

  17. 17 JBR
    May 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Shem,
    What one is focused on … is what you’ll see.
    Your eyes focuses on yourself and the efforts, while I see the “free gift” being offered.

    Unfortunatly, Mormonism’s focus isn’t what saves.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Josh,
    Ever heard the phrase… “heeding the Savior’s call” ?

    Well, the Bible reveals that:
    1) “heeding the Savior’s call”, we do not take credit for as something we are responsible for. Therefore it is something that we “take” by our own reason or ability

    2) not “heeding the Savior’s call” the person is held accountable and responsible for

  18. 18 JBR
    May 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Should read ( correction in BOLD )
    Therefore it is something that we “take” NOT by our own reason or ability.

  19. 19 shematwater
    May 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    JBR

    The focus of the LDS is on the gift given freely by Christ to all those who choose for themselves to comes and partake of it. We do not ignore one in favor of the other, but acknowledge both. It is you that has tunnel vision in your focus, seeing only what you want to the exclusion of all else.

  20. 20 Kent
    May 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Mark said, “It is emphasizing the unique and glorious message of the Bible that salvation and my living with heavenly Father is entirely, completely, 100% God’s gift. That we don’t have to do one single thing to receive that – that we can’t do anything to receive it.”

    joshtried replied, “If this is correct, as i have pointed out numerous times, then God is the sole dictator of who goes to heaven, as He is doing the choosing. If this is correct, then Jesus did not die for every single person on earth. He died simply for the select few that God would choose.”

    Well you could choose to reject the free gift as, for example, suppose someone wanted to give you 1 billion dollars and told you it didn’t require any work on your part to receive it but you chose instead to work for it, an almost impossible task. You would still be rejecting the free gift in favor of earning it yourself as the choice would be, accept the free gift or try to do it yourself with no middle ground.

    The same thing about God’s gift of salvation so accept the free gift given to us by God or reject His free gift and try to earn it ourselves which unlike the gift of the 1 billion dollar analogy is not just almost impossible but is in fact impossible.

  21. 21 joshtried
    May 18, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Kent, thank you for the comment. Since you have previously stated you are not here to listen to anything I say, I have no response to your comment.

  22. 22 shematwater
    May 18, 2012 at 3:36 am

    If what Kent says is true than our salvation is 100% up to us, as it is our choice to accept or reject the gift. This directly contradicts what Mark says; “That we don’t have to do one single thing to receive that – that we can’t do anything to receive it.”
    Accepting is a verb and thus it is doing something to receive the gift.

  23. 23 joshtried
    May 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I wanted to list 2 things wrong with the last paragraph of this blog.
    First, the presenting of “free will” based on the Lutheran perception of it which then appears to be that of all Christian religions. I know this has been touched on before, and I know this is a Lutheran pastor running the thread, but to make it seem as this position is held by ALL Christians and this is how ALL Christians differ from LDS is incorrect. There are many Christians that do not hold to the Lutheran view point concerning “free will.”
    Second, you assert that we do absolutely nothing to be saved, but the very last sentence conflicts this: “…for the salvation of all who believe.” If salvations is based on my belief, then I must do something.

  24. 24 JBR
    May 21, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Josh,
    The Lutheran perception is not what all Christian religions agree on.

    Though I may not be saying this theologically correct, the Lutheran denomination to which I belong to basicly holds this view:
    1) Adam & Eve had a free will and they choose to do evil
    2) Since then humanity is DOA spiritually
    3) Because we’re DOA..the human race does not have a free will to choose good or evil
    4) Humans can only choose to do what comes naturally …. evil

    “heeding the call” does not occure because of human capability to believe.

  25. 25 joshtried
    May 21, 2012 at 4:25 am

    You bring up something interesting JBR. LDS hold a more detailed account of the fall of man. In it, we hold that Adam actually rejected the fruit of the tree of knowledge twice. Therefore he chose to be “good” twice. He then elected to choose evil based on commandments of God. If this is true, it negates you free will theory because Adam should have only been able to do good once choosing God the first time.
    Which brings me to my next problem with this line of thinking. Any given person would only really have one choice in there entire life. Once this very first choice was made, all future choices would be predecated by the first. Again, when we look at the LDS view of.the garden, we see that Adam is fully capable of choosing both good and evil.
    Also, God placed emnity (active oposition or hostility) between the seed of woman and Satan. How then can you say that because of Adam, every person is condemned and has no choice in the matter. God made it more likely that we would return to him. What point is there for this emnity if it does not work at all ever in our lives?

  26. 26 JBR
    May 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I can help you very quickly in your domino conclusion theories and your problems:

    …”He then elected to choose evil based on commandments of God. If this is true, it negates you free will theory because Adam should have only been able to do good once choosing God the first time…”

    Begin with what Mormonism holds is not true.

    How can I say everyone is condemned … the curse by God.
    How can I say everyone has no choice in the matter..dead men can do nothing by themself.

    What point is there for this emnity if it does not work at all ever in our lives?

    For the children of the devil to held accountable for not being perfect while they attempt to become it through their works by doing all that they can do by via obedience to the law.

  27. 27 JBR
    May 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Should read: “For the children of the devil to be held accountable …”

    How can I say everyone is condemned …
    A: the curse by God.

    How can I say everyone has no choice in the matter..
    A: dead men can do nothing by themself.

  28. 28 joshtried
    May 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    For the children of the devil to held accountable for not being perfect while they attempt to become it through their works by doing all that they can do by via obedience to the law.
    JBR, i have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say here. Are you able to clarify this thought?

    Second, when you look at the “context clues” in Genesis, you should develop some very interesting questions. First, why did Satan go to the Woman instead of the Man? There are a couple of possible answers. 1. Luck of the draw, he just happened to go to woman first. 2. Man rejected him so he moved to the next possible target.
    IF #2 is possible, then the rest of my story is completely likely.
    We know that Adam obeyed God when he named all the animals, why would it be hard to believe that Adam would obey God again in the fruit department? Even in this, we have the very first time Adam responded to God, he was following, which again means that he should have only from that point forward had God been able to work good through him. The single fact that Adam did ANYTHING bad AFTER first obeying God means free will is alive and well in him.

    How then can you say that because of Adam, every person is condemned and has no choice in the matter.
    They are cursed to PHYSICAL death because of the actions of Adam, they are not condemned to SPIRITUAL death by the actions of anyone but themselves.
    We may be punished for the actions of our children, but that is a one way street. When your child does bad in school, the child may get punished, but the parents of the child are also called in. They are responsible for the actions of the child (up to a given age). Never will a child be called into a parents job and asked to take responsibility for the actions of the parent. It doesnt work that way. My children are not and cannot be held responsible for any sin i do or do not participate in. They go through physical death because of the fall of man. This in itself is not per say a punishment as much as it is necessary for the eternal life of each of us.

    How can I say everyone has no choice in the matter..dead men can do nothing by themself.
    Our spirit is still part of us. Physical death separates us from our spirit. The breath of life is our spirit. Until we physically die, we still have the choice of God or Satan. If our spirit were completely and totally dead, i would never have the opportunity to choose, let alone have a chance to take a breath in this life. It is by grace i continue to breath, and by grace that i still have a choice.

  29. 29 JBR
    May 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    For the children of the devil to held accountable for not being perfect while they attempt to become it through their works by doing all that they can do by via obedience to the law.

    JBR, i have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say here. Are you able to clarify this thought?

    — You asked— what is the purpose of the emnity

    I can understand why you would have such questions when Mormonism stresses “agency”. Fundamentaly, the focus is just not correct. ” He (Adam) then elected to choose evil based on commandments of God.” is just not true.

    God did not command Adam to do anything other than not to eat from that one particular tree. Any other inference is reading something into what is not there…. #2 is NOT factual, so then the rest of your story is completely based on wishful theories.

    Oh… about clarifing the earlier statement:

    You are under the impression that humans arrive on the scene with the at least nuetral if not good. In reality, because we are DOA, humans since Adam & Eve are spiritually children of the devil. WE know this to be a fact because of physical death.

    No one uses their agency to have physical death be optional… thus spiritual DOA is also not an option. Mormonism’s “agency” \ “doing all you can do” will not and does not erease being a child of the devil.

  30. 30 joshtried
    May 23, 2012 at 1:04 am

    So, God did not command them to be fruitful and multiply?
    #2 is not specifically stated in Genesis, that does not make it untrue. The war in heaven was not specifically written in Genesis, we found out about it later on in scripture. Since you have shut your bible to any further revelation, you will be blind to other facts that will be revealed, like a more detailed account of Genesis.
    So, was Jesus spiritually dead because he suffered a physical death? The death of one does not mean the death of the other, until you physically die with no love for Christ, no want for his salvation. At this point you truly suffer both. Christ does not ressurect my spirit while I am alive. My spirit IS the breath of life given to me by God. My spirit is alive throughout this life. If it was not, I could not write you now, and you could not respond.

    BTW, I am still waiting for a rationale regarding having this blog if it is Gods choice that I am saved, anf man can do nothing to influence Gods decision.

  31. 31 shematwater
    May 23, 2012 at 4:06 am

    1 Timothy 2: 14
    “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

    Paul tells us plainly that Adam was tempted, but that he rejected the temptation, not being deceived. He states that Eve is the one who is culpable for the act resulting in the Fall. This verse alone, at leas tin my mind, proves that what Josh has stated is true. Satan first tempted Adam, but Adam choose to follow God and reject Satan. It was only after Eve was deceived that Adam knowlingly choose to follow her, choosing to obey the command to multiply rather than the command to not eat.

    JBR

    It seems you take a very little view of the term “Spiritual Death.” We prefer to think of it symbolically.
    I am reminded of the movie Fiddler on the Roof. For those who do not know, the movie is about a Jewish man, living in Russia just prior to WWI; a time in which Jews were highly persecuted in Russia. In the movie the man’s third daughter married a Christian, thus marrying outside the faith. At the end when the Jews were being driven from their homes the officer spoke to the man. “At first I thought you might be spared because of the marriage of your daughter.” To this the man instantly replied, “My daughter is dead to us.”
    In a similar way to be spiritual dead is to reject the truth and turn to wickedness, thus separating yourself from God, and becoming, in a symbolic sense, dead to the Spirit of God. This is illustrated even more beautifully in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Remember the father’s statement; “this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15: 24). His son was not literally dead, as in not having the power to make choices. But he was considered dead because he had separated himself from the society of his father throguh his extravagant living. But when he made the conscious choice to return he was declared alive again.

    We are all like the prodigal son. Through our actions we separate ourselves from the society of God, and we much make the effort to return, for he has promised to receive us with gladness if we do.

  32. 32 JBR
    May 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Josh,
    I applaud your attempt in being clever with wording… but a careful reading shows that
    in Genesis 2 “God commandanded” them not to eat … but in Genesis 1 “God said” to be fruitful and multiply, not commanded them to be fruitful.

    Yes … that is a difference. The difference is what isn’t mentioned with “commanded” that is with “said” which is “blessed them”.
    ———————————————————————————–

    You claim that we are blinded … yes, in one sense we are. We are blinded to misleading spirits, false revelations that have presented themself by limiting scriptures only to the Bible. Read Mark’s last paragraph in the opening OP again was to why.

    No Josh, Mormonism does not make your spirit alive while you’re physically alive. It firmly keeps you under the curse for only to be righteous one must live by faith, nothing else. The purpose of this blog has several purposes: (not an inclusive list)

    1) to help \ encourage others to witness to Mormons
    2) to reach out to those who are in Mormonism who is looking for the truth

    “faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God” …hopefully people will want to hear and search the word of God from what they read here.

  33. 33 shematwater
    May 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I have frequently been accused of arguing the meaning of words. The impression I got was that to do so was a deceitful tactic made to divert discussion away from what really matters, and should be avoided.
    Since JBR seems to be willing to use this tactic, however, I think I am safe in doing so.

    JBR

    The problem with your distiction between said and command is that in the Bible the word said (or a dirrivative of it) is used to denote commands, and is actually used more frequently than the term command.
    For instance, Moses was commanded to Go to pharoah and tell him to let the Israelites go. In the bible it states that “the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him” (Exodus 8:1). According to your reasoning this would be mroe properly rendered as “the Lord blessed Moses to Go unto Pharaoh, and bless him” This doesn’t quite work.
    Again, in Exodus 20: 1 we read that “God spake all these words, saying” which is followed by the Ten Commandments. So, if we take your reasoning, these are blessings and not commandments. Again this makes no sense.

    In truth, we read in Genesis 1: 28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the dearth” This tells us that there was a blessing, and a command, one given after the other, for “God blessed them and said.” This is different than “God blessed them saying” which would indicate that what he said was the blessing he pronounced, and not a separate statement.

  34. 34 JBR
    May 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Ah …. nothing like good ol’ Shem just lurking around hoping to make a gotcha point.

    Since you must still be pouting, I guess you need to need to have that one statement quailified: the change it will be in ( )’s

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
    God did not command Adam to do anything (that would have resulted in a curse and spiritual death) other than not to eat from that one particular tree.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    As far as I’m concerned, when God spoke the “be fruitful” it wasn’t in the same tone and context as God commanded to “do not eat or else”. But since you’re command obedience for salvation orientated … I see how you can grasp anything to fit the circular lie.

    Again, I’m thankful for being blind to misleading spirits, their false claims for the need for more revelations.

  35. 35 joshtried
    May 24, 2012 at 12:05 am

    JBR, you have almost exactly hit the nail on the head. You know what the difference between a command and a “said” are? Tone. Tone alone is the difference. Both are said, one with more inflection. God SPOKE and there was light. This is no less of a command to the light to begin activity. The difference with the “command” you are listing, and pretty much the only difference, is the curse associated with disobedience. God did not ASK the light to come into existence, and would then have been okay if it didnt come in. God did not ASK man to procreate. He told them to multiply. There was no discussion about it from Man’s side, there was no “If you dont mind, please have sex man and woman.”
    These same rules apply to children, and i see the difference in merely the type of sentence i use to convey my message versus how my wife speaks. My wife ASKS my son to sit down (“Sit down here please”) when he poops in his diaper. He continues to run all around the room and she gets frustrated. She is giving him the choice. I tell him (“Sit down”) and he responds and immediately sits down. I do not have to raise my voice, or to be unduly firm with him. I just have to make it into a statement instead of an option. God did not give them the “option” of procreating.

  36. 36 shematwater
    May 24, 2012 at 5:18 am

    JBR

    It is nice to see that your arrogance is still alive and well. The personal attacks seem to be your only way of actaully answering intelligent comments.

    Of course you prefer to see it having the meaning that fits your beliefs, because to see it in another way would undermine everything you are saying. The fact that the way it is used is not how you choose to see it means nothing to you, for you are blind to reason and the spirit.

    JOSH

    I love the way you put it.

  37. 37 JBR
    May 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Josh,
    I understand your reasoning…but your attempting to give credit for human to do something that was part of the natural order that God established. There would have been no reasobn for them not to because is was a “blessing”.

    The “do not eat or else” is the true law command. Adam & Eve had a choice and they failed 100%….. which brought the curse to the balance of the creation that wasn’t brought about by Satan’s rebellion.

    As a result of Adam & Eve’s 100% failure, humanity now breeds their “own kind” — the 100% failure rate that infests the person from the time of conception.
    (btw: That is why your son doesn’t respond to your wife, sin showing itself alive and well)

    And about your example, since Jesus always obey his mother and father (and Mormonism claims that God would not give any command that a person can’t obey) what excuse are you willing provide for this not being followed:

    “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Shem said so eloquently:
    “It is nice to see that your arrogance is still alive and well. The personal attacks seem to be your only way of actaully answering intelligent comments”

    I suppose you don’t think too highly of Jesus when he called those who stubbornly opposed the truth a brood of vipors either. That the difference between us.. I’m arrogant in the Lord… you’re arrogant in Shem’s worthiness.

    I’ll be nice and give you a hint to help you reach your god status with your wife(ves)someday….
    try following the command in Matthew 7:12

  38. 38 joshtried
    May 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

    I can answer this fully and completely. Most people dont know how to raise children. You cant lie to a child and expect them to always tell the truth. You cant say i am going to spank you if you dont stop, and then not spank them. This is a lie, and children see so perfectly through it, and then also learn to lie. You cant be hypocritical by telling your child to pick up their room, and they walk into yours and your room looks worse than theirs. You cant send mixed signals and expect perfection. I have done my absolute best to remember this at all times with my children, my wife has not performed so well at this. We teach our children each and every sin, which is why we are accountable for them up to a given point in time. Mormons have only put an actual number to that age, which is 8. We were not the ones who decided adults where accountable for their kids.

    And Jesus did not do what his “parents” wanted in all things. He walked off and began teaching as a child, and then chided them when they got angry. He is following what one “parent” (God) would have him do. But what about what mom would like? You dont think she freaked out a little bit when this happened? Basically, the message this sends to little children everywhere is that if your parents dont explicitly tell you not to do something, it is okay. Maybe the quote above is wrong, and it should read “parent” and not “parents”.

  39. 39 shematwater
    May 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    JBR

    The problem is that one can choose to ignore the natural order. How many people today refuse to have children, and use any device they can to prevent it?
    Even in the Bible there were people who knew how to prevent pregnancy. Judah’s son “spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.” (Genesis 38: 9) Again your reasoning ignores scripture in order to allow you to believe what you want.

    As to arrogance, I fully admit that I have a little, or at least I come off that way. I have no problem with a person appearing arrogant when they are simply correcting others in their folly, just as Christ did, and just as I am doing here.
    You will note, however, that it was you who first made a personal attack that was aimed at discrediting me rather than actually answering the point I made. So, I will make it again.

    You say there is a difference between God commanding and God saying. That difference is that a command is attatched to a punishmnet (or curse) while just saying something is a blessing. Fine. But God only said the Ten Commandments, as well as the majority of the commands that are actually recorded in the Bible. We are all very familiar with the phrase “Thus saith the Lord.” If just saying something is a blessing than there are very few actual commands, and the Ten Commandments are merely blessings.
    So, please explain why saying is a blessing for Adam and Eve, but is a Command in the rest of the Bible.

  40. 40 JBR
    May 25, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Josh,
    “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

    Jesus did so obey his earthly parents in all things. He was found to be without sin and if he didn’t obey his parents, he would have sinned ….. just like your child does when doesn’t obey you.

  41. 41 JBR
    May 25, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Shem,
    I also realize that I can get agitated and be less than respectfull than I ought. But you also should understand that the “folly” perception as long as you’re posting in this blog from a pro-Mormon perspective, you know that that is outright rejected. Please understand that I do not attempt to discredit you personally but the theology of Mormonism.

    I have no clue how many people today refuse to have children, and use any device they can to prevent it. As with any situation, it is the motive in the heart that determines sinful actions. Your example of Genesis 38:9 has more to do with the motivation than anything else. For that is what God does anyway … knows the motive of the heart.

    Frankly… there are too many worm hole conclusions to the last paragraph for me to be able to follow. How you end up with the Ten Commandments are meerly blessing is beyond this writer. So I’m unable to answer the last question.

    It is you that is making “be fruitfull and multiply” a command that must be in the same context as “do not eat or else”. God never commanded “be fruitful and multiply or else”. For if he did, Jesus broke the command …. and Paul wouldn’t have revealed that it is better for a man not to marry.

  42. 42 joshtried
    May 25, 2012 at 4:57 am

    And God spake all these words saying.
    These are the words just prior to the list of the 10. It does not say God commanded. You are debating inflection. This is just about the least pertinent thing to debate I can think of. God said do it. He said it for a reason. Everything he says is for a reason. He was not saying procreate to hear Himself talk.

  43. 43 shematwater
    May 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    JBR

    “Since you must still be pouting, I guess you need to need to have that one statement quailified: the change it will be in ( )’s”

    These kind of comments are made to discredit a person, not refute their beliefs.

    As to motivation, I agree with this. My point is that you are assuming Adam and Eve’s motivation by saying they had no reason not to be fruitful. Actually your statement that “There would have been no reasobn for them not to because is was a “blessing” assumes that there can be no motivation to the contrary, and thus no choice to the contrary. This is where I am saying you are in error, as there are many reasons to not want to have children, which I have shown both through the Bible and recent history.

    As to my last paragraph, it is in response to this comment made by you:
    “in Genesis 2 “God commandanded” them not to eat … but in Genesis 1 “God said” to be fruitful and multiply, not commanded them to be fruitful.
    Yes … that is a difference. The difference is what isn’t mentioned with “commanded” that is with “said” which is “blessed them”.

    Now, if said is a blessing then why are the Ten Commandments not blessings, as God only said them, and did not command.

    I pointed out, in a different, that even the wording of Genesis does not connect the blessing with the command to be fruitful.
    Let us do a comparison. Genesis 1: 22 “God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
    We note that in this verse it is indicated that God blessed them to be fruitful, for it states that “God blessed them, saying” thus indicating that what follows was the words of the blessing.
    However, in verse 28 we get a very different recording of God’s words. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it”
    In this verse God blesses them, but he then says to be fruitful. This is not the blessings, but is clearly indicated to be separate as he blessed them and said unto them; not blessed them saying.

    Thus, God may have blessed them to be fruitful, but he also commanded them to be so.

    So, if this saying was just a blessing and not a command, than it is logical to say that everywhere else that it states that God said something that too is a blessing.

  44. 44 joshtried
    May 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    “and Paul wouldn’t have revealed that it is better for a man not to marry.”
    Paul didnt reveal that it is better not to marry. Paul revealed it is ACCEPTABLE not to marry. HE feels it is better not to marry. He also revealed it was better to marry one person and have relations only with that person than to be a whore.
    1Corinthians 7:
    1. Now about what you asked: “Is it advisable for a man not to marry?”
    2. But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
    6. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
    7. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
    8. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.
    9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
    28. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

    Paul also reveals something here which we talked about earlier. Are children born in sin or not? Here is your answer from the same chapter as above:
    14. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
    Therefore, man is not born sinful. They may have a sinful nature, but they must also have a Holy nature if they are born Holy. “Free will” seems to still be in tact for children.

    (this is a combination of versions of the bible, mostly for perfect clarity as our discussion goes.)

  45. 45 joshtried
    May 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    The purpose of this blog has several purposes: (not an inclusive list)
    1) to help \ encourage others to witness to Mormons
    2) to reach out to those who are in Mormonism who is looking for the truth

    You are missing my point JBR. The Lutheran claim (which is the one primarily being debated here) states that I have ABSOLUTELY no control over whether I am initially saved or not. I can do nothing to start this salvation. I can do nothing to persuade God to save me. I have no place in this matter whatsoever.
    IF this is the case, then there is no reason to witness to me. You are going to have just as much affect on my salvation as I have, and that is absolutely NONE. All this blog is attempting to do is say “I am saved and you are not. In your face!” Mormons on the other hand take the same stance as a majority of the rest of Christianity, which is we must CHOOSE salvation for ourselves. We must accept Christ into our hearts and into our lives ourselves. This is not a bragging point, and i can honestly say i have never seen someone brag about this. There is no man boasting “look at me, I accepted Christ.” Every Christian i have ever seen (and the way i know they are Christian) doesnt say “look at me,” they say “I want for you what i have. I want you to return to God. Please hear the love I have for you right now.”
    Lutherans try to say this, but fall very, VERY short. They say “I want for you what i have. I hope God chooses you….” In saying this, there really is nothing more any person can say. Either God chose me or he didnt. There is nothing i can ever do (per Lutherans) to make God choose me, and as such, there is no point for any word out of your mouth telling me that God has or hasnt chosen me.
    It would be different if this blog were for the building up of faith, but it is not. As you have stated, you are about tearing down the faith of “mormons”, and replacing it with a “well, sorry you have no faith any more. I hope God does the right thing and chooses you today. I really dont know though because you and i both have no influence on the matter. Well, see you later”

  46. 46 shematwater
    May 26, 2012 at 3:52 am

    JOSH

    Love the last post, as it really does describe perfectly the appearance of this blog.

    Speaking of 1 Corinthians 7, in the verses you quote it is made clear that Paul is not giving the word of God, but his own opinion (see verse 6). I would also point out that in verse 1 he makes it obvious that he is answering a question the Corithian Saints had asked, and in verse 26 he makes it clear that his advice is due to current events in the area.
    “I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”
    So, he was far from revealing that it is better not to marry. He was merely giving his opinion as to how the people of Corinth could best handle the situation they had currently found themselves in, and made a point of telling them that they would not be wrong in following it.

  47. 47 JBR
    May 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    And speaking of 1 Corinthians 7 ….. it’s not Pauls’ pov when God revealed to Peter that people who distort Paul’s writings also do th esame with other scriptures to their damnation.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Josh,
    That should answer why we witness to Mormons … we don’t want to see you or Shem being damned to outer darkness.

    ” Mormons on the other hand take the same stance as a majority of the rest of Christianity, which is we must CHOOSE salvation for ourselves”

    The Christian churches that teach “CHOOSE” is what we call “decision theology”, and that is not what is revealed in the Bible.

  48. 48 joshtried
    May 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    First off, you nailed it. I have distorted the scriptures. Its not like i pulled out scripture and quoted it exactly to come to my theory. Oh wait, yes i did. How exactly is that distorted? Is it distorted because i came to a different conclusion? If everyone took that to heart, you and i would not have been born today. Everybody all at once would have stopped having children, and you and i would in no way have a chance to be a part of heaven. I am sure that is exactly what God was shooting for. We are both mistakes JBR. God never planned for us. He meant for everyone to stop being married and become celibate monks. Just curious, but have you followed this life?

  49. 49 joshtried
    May 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    That should answer why we witness to Mormons … we don’t want to see you or Shem being damned to outer darkness.
    What should answer why you witness to us? Are you trying to say you coerce God into accepting us? Are you trying to say you have an active role in salvation? I know that there is no way a Lutheran on this board can expect to answer that any way even close to yes. Once I am saved, the Lutheran words may have some meaning. Until then, your words are so totally meaningless that it is beyond belief. You have taken away a key part of the gospel, which is to preach to the “gentiles”, those not already saved. Once you have done that, you create a world of problems. And on top of that, prove to me that God has accepted any of you. What about you Mark, can you prove to me that God has accepted you? How exactly is this determined? Do you get to choose who God has accepted? I know that cant be right, and i would never in all of time or anything beyond that accept your judgement over God’s. So, how exactly does one know that God has chosen them and they are saved and can begin to live this Lutheran life? What tangible evidence do you have to support your claim that you are in fact sent from God? Does he hand out letters of authenticity to prove he selected you? What about non-tangible evidence? Show me some kind of evidence that beyond a shadow of a doubt proves to me that God has accepted you. Show yourself this proof.
    There are so very many problems with this theory of free will that it truly does pain me to see anyone ascribing to it. The absolute biggest problem with this theory is your personal knowledge of your salvation. You have no way of knowing if you are chosen or not, especially since there are people like me who “think” they are chosen, but according to you are obviously not chosen. Well, turn that on yourself. Do you think you are chosen?

  50. 50 shematwater
    May 27, 2012 at 4:35 am

    JBR

    “it’s not Pauls’ pov when God revealed to Peter that people who distort Paul’s writings also do th esame with other scriptures to their damnation.”

    Please reference.


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