Posts Tagged ‘Robert Millet

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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13
Dec
08

Robert L. Millet – continued

 

     In the discussion following my post of December 10th, I was asked what might be something specific that the average Mormon might struggle with in Robert Millet’s writing.   Millet answers that question himself.  For example, throughout his book, Grace Works, he sprinkles in examples of how grace is not emphasized much in the Mormon Church.  He talks about how a person’s comment that the LDS Church is willing to talk about mercy and grace makes the brethren nervous and uncomfortable. 

    He also relates how his father reacted when he, before going on his mission, asked him about being saved by grace.  “He stared at me for a moment and then said firmly, ‘We don’t believe in that!’  I responded, ‘We don’t believe in it?  Why not?’ He said promptly, ‘Because the Baptists do!’”  He continues by saying that that statement speaks volumes to him now.

    I know many LDS people today who would still respond as Millet’s father did.  And I submit that they would respond that way with good reason.  They would respond that way because Mormons still don’t hear about grace very much from the church.  For example, I did a word search on the word grace in the last General Conference.  It was mentioned only once and that mention was not even in the context of salvation.  Millet’s emphasis on grace is not only not being echoed by Church leaders, it is often repudiated by grass-roots Mormons.

10
Dec
08

Robert L. Millet and the LDS Church

 

     The most prominent Mormon author that writes about grace is Robert L. Millet.  Some Mormons rely on his work quite extensively. But do his views represent official LDS teaching?  A couple of his books that I have read include a statement like the following:  “This work is a private endeavor that does not presume to speak for either Brigham Young University or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

     So how much of his work does the LDS Church recognize?  I did a search on LDS.org and found some articles that he had written for the Ensign in the 80’s and 90’s but nothing since.  Especially noticeable by their absence were any articles written by him on grace – one of his key topics.  I did find him mentioned in a couple of footnotes by other authors in some later editions – but that was about all.  I don’t see his emphasis on grace being echoed or even recognized by the leadership of the LDS Church.  The disclaimer that he puts in the front of his books is accurate – his work does not speak for the LDS Church.

     Therefore, when speaking with Mormons who refer to Millet it is important to establish the fact that his ideas do not represent official Mormonism.  In fact, he relates in the preface of his book “Grace Works” how one Church leader told him how some of the brethren were quite uneasy and uncomfortable with this emphasis on grace.  He says that he does not presume to speak for the LDS Church.  The LDS Church hasn’t said that he represents it.  Therefore it would be wrong for us or anybody else to say that his words represent official Mormonism.  If we want to see what the LDS Church officially says we need to study the sources it says represents it – especially its scriptures, living prophet and apostles.

29
Nov
08

The Insidious Cancer of Sin

     I recently read the following from a popular Mormon author.  He was talking about mankind’s condition after the Fall.  “No matter how noble his own efforts to overcome spiritual death, to love and serve others, or to keep the commandments of God, man will forevermore fall short of the divine standard.  His works, though acceptable to God, will always be insufficient to save him.” (Robert Millet, Grace Works, p. 70)

     Compare that to what Scripture says:  “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;  10As it is written,  There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  (Romans 3:9-17)

     There’s no indication there that God considers their works noble – that there works are acceptable to God.  On that Scripture is consistent.  As God said after the Flood, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”  (Genesis 8:21)

     The most deadly types of cancer are the ones that don’t make the person sick.  About this time last year I went to the doctor for a check-up.   I felt good – it was just time to get checked over.  In the course of the examination the doctor felt my thyroid and thought it was enlarged.  A long story short – last December I had two surgeries because I had thyroid cancer.  My point is that I felt great – even though I had cancer.  In many ways, it would have been better for me to not feel so good.  Then the doctor would have caught it earlier.

     Sin is like spiritual cancer.  Sometimes we see signs of it as it causes people to act badly.  But many times it doesn’t cause people to outwardly act worse.  In fact, it often causes people to outwardly act better!  Scripture says that the devil loves to portray himself as an angel of light.  He also loves to make people act outwardly better – because then they won’t realize that they are infected with the cancer of sin.

     Contrary to what Mormonism teaches, our works, in and of themselves, are not noble.  On the contrary they are sinful through and through.  “For whatever is not of faith is sin.”  (Romans 14:23)  People often need to see their desperate straits before they cry out for help.  Instead of highlighting those desperate straits, Mormonism obscures them.  That is another reason why it is so deadly.

25
Nov
08

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.  I’m presently reading his book, “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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