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Monday, July 16, 2012

The wages of theological sin

It's really remarkable how cause and effect seems to repeatedly elude liberal Christians:
IN 1998, John Shelby Spong, then the reliably controversial Episcopal bishop of Newark, published a book entitled “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” Spong was a uniquely radical figure — during his career, he dismissed almost every element of traditional Christian faith as so much superstition — but most recent leaders of the Episcopal Church have shared his premise. Thus their church has spent the last several decades changing and then changing some more, from a sedate pillar of the WASP establishment into one of the most self-consciously progressive Christian bodies in the United States.....

Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace. Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase.
For some reason, despite the observable fact that chasing after the world and attempting to "appeal to today's young people" has been negatively affecting church attendance since I was in junior high, no one ever seems to question an assumption that so repeatedly and reliably fails. It's no different than politics and the fallacy of moderate appeal. People without direction seek leadership, and when the Church refuses to stand for its Christian principles as defined in the New Testament and provide intellectual leadership against the zeitgeist, it not only sacrifices its reason to exist, but counterintuitively, also loses its primary appeal.

Of course Douthat, being somewhat of a moderate conservative, fails to recognize that the gifts of progressive Christianity he cites, "Social Gospel and the civil rights movement", were both intellectually poisonous and societally destructive in the long run. Liberal Christianity shouldn't be saved and it won't be saved. Having cut itself off from its Christian roots, it should be abjured by the rest of the Church and left to its inevitable demise.

There were surely wolves in sheeps clothing who helped engineer the demise of the liberal denominations and congregations, but it should not be forgotten that they were abetted by many foolish and short-sighted individuals who were genuine Christians. One of the great shortcomings of nearly every church I have ever attended is the complete lack of vigilance for the wolves. Paul warns of them, and yet most churches never stop to think that among their most avid volunteers are likely those who seek to destroy the institution.

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226 Comments:

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Anonymous VryeDenker July 16, 2012 10:46 AM  

I read a book called "why men hate going to church". It's a great starting point for anyone wondering what's wrong with the modern church.It's cheap on the kindle.

Blogger jamsco July 16, 2012 10:48 AM  

"People without direction seek leadership, and when the Church refuses to stand for its Christian principles as defined in the New Testament and provide intellectual leadership against the zeitgeist, it not only sacrifices its reason to exist, but counterintuitively, also loses its primary appeal."

Very good.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) July 16, 2012 10:49 AM  

This is so true. The same exact thing is happening with regards to Judaism. The non-orthodox sects are basically arms of the democratic party. Consequently, their numbers and attendance are crashing and burning.

I don't like to be lectured to by a woman rabbi who is an ignoramus and pushes every progressive cause under the sun. That ain't religion, it's bullshit. It should be called out, but people would rather vote with their feet. Either way, all of these groups are going down and good riddance to them.

Anonymous p-dawg July 16, 2012 10:55 AM  

Because as we all know, the Messiah said, "If you would enter into Life, ignore the Commandments," and "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of the New Testament," and "Not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law unless a bunch of religious people claim it does."

All modern Christian churches are just following the words of the Messiah, right?

Blogger Good Will July 16, 2012 11:02 AM  

Mormons don't suffer from that "lack of vigilance for the wolves". With the exceptions of ending polygamy and opening the priesthood to ALL worthy males, that faith has remained largely immutable over the past 182 years. (Of course, the "doctrine" of polygamy really hasn't changed, only the practice. And it was prophesied that the black would get the priesthood after all others were given the chance. So these really aren't major "changes".)

The Mormons work overtime to ferret out the "unorthodox" or suspect. Maybe that's why Romney -- a former bishop and stake president -- is so phenomenally bland. "Rocking the boat" is NOT the Mormon way -- despite the Mormons' belief in "continuing revelation".

Anonymous stg58 July 16, 2012 11:03 AM  

Also, Jesus taught tolerance and love for everyone. You have to remember that one. Tolerance.

Anonymous Beau July 16, 2012 11:06 AM  

Last week our local congregation was encouraged to re-write our vision statement. Here it is:

A company of soulwinners, publicly proclaiming the Gospel, serving the suffering, and fanning the flames of revival.

Thank you Jesus!

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box July 16, 2012 11:08 AM  

Religion is a social club, nothing more.
Most of it revolves around a "conservative" or "liberal" social gospel papered over with parts of Scripture verses to make it appear legitimate, but there is no depth of substantive Word on which it is based, just ancient theologies and private interpretations thereof.
It endures because generations go there seeking comforting lies...and find them.

Blogger Vox July 16, 2012 11:09 AM  

All modern Christian churches are just following the words of the Messiah, right?

And people wonder why I tend to prefer secular friends.... Yes, P-Dawg, that's the problem. The liberal Christian churches are following the New Testament to the exclusion of the Old Testament.

Tell me, do you sacrifice animals to God? Do you stone adulterers?

Anonymous Daniel July 16, 2012 11:10 AM  

The most disappointing factor is that wolf vigilance/combat, esp. these days, is an act of relative ease. Merely speaking up in defense of the truth is enough of a slap on the snout to send them packing to more silent herds. I don't know if that was the case in the past, and I doubt, as the completely rootless churches disintegrate into the lamest forms of bacchanalia and vanish entirely, that it will be so easy in the future.

The would-be lions and sons of thunder in the church, however, need to roar a little less in public and a little more in fellowship. After all, complaining too much of rampant churchianity can quickly ignore that, at heart, it is a complaint about lionless "us-ianity." If we (Christians) are the Church, then the solution is simple: be it.

Don't get me wrong - the analysis is dead on: a little nasty yeast leavens the whole thing, and there's nothing to be done to "save" the U.S. Episcopals - they've already saved themselves in the liberal way: by declaring death preferable to relationship.

The Nicaea Council was not the Niceness Council after all: jolly old St. Nicholas ended up crossing a room to slap Arius in the face. I'm not so sure that Nick wasn't the wolf in that instance, but the point is that there ought to be more conflict in church, and sometimes, in the right spirit, you have to downright instigate it.

After all, how can one be a blessed peacemaker if there isn't some hell regularly raised to be made peaceful?

Anonymous Makaro July 16, 2012 11:12 AM  

--- For some reason, despite the observable fact that chasing after the world and attempting to "appeal to today's young people" has been negatively affecting church attendance since I was in junior high, no one ever seems to question an assumption that so repeatedly and reliably fails. It's no different than politics and the fallacy of moderate appeal. People without direction seek leadership, and when the Church refuses to stand for its Christian principles as defined in the New Testament and provide intellectual leadership against the zeitgeist, it not only sacrifices its reason to exist, but counterintuitively, also loses its primary appeal.----

Very true wasnt it Aristotle who said youth is easily decieved because it is quick to hope

Anonymous Josh July 16, 2012 11:19 AM  

If the church had actual guts, they would refuse to let their children attend government schools. The baptists thought about doing this maybe a decade ago, but they wimped out.

Anonymous Josh July 16, 2012 11:21 AM  

The liberal Christian churches are following the New Testament to the exclusion of the Old Testament.

Jesus of course forgave the sinner, but also said, "go and sin no more" which is a much different message than the liberal church.

Anonymous Outlaw X July 16, 2012 11:25 AM  

Pope Pius XII speaking of the downfall of the church said it will happen when the church becomes as the World and I hear the World clanging all around me.

The next pope initiated Vatican 2.

Anonymous TheExpat July 16, 2012 11:40 AM  

Mormons don't suffer from that "lack of vigilance for the wolves". With the exceptions of ending polygamy and opening the priesthood to ALL worthy males, that faith has remained largely immutable over the past 182 years.

That is not true. The most fundamental aspects of the faith - the temple ceremonies - were gutted and made in particular more woman-friendly in the 90s, and that has trickled down through other aspects as well. Being a younger religion and traditionally male-oriented (polygamy anyone?), they may not have travelled as far down the feminist path as others, but the trend is unmistakably there.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 11:48 AM  

The horror stories I hear in the UMC are proof enough of the wolves. The homosexual community has been hell bent on destroying churches for decades.

Now... in order to be ordained a UMC minister one must take an oath that he is not a practicing homosexual.

The evil wolves get around this lie... by rationalizing... and I quote, "Well... I wasn't practicing at that exact moment."

And the liberals defend this. Not only do they condone homosexuality... they condone lying as well.

Like the Episcopal Church in the South... the UMC in the South is a very conservative church. And as things nationally drift further and further... and rift grows ever larger. I suspect the split will be far.. far more ugly than that of previous churches.

Anonymous The One July 16, 2012 11:48 AM  

The Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn refuse to let children attend their schools unless the parents are Jewish and raise their children Jewish. Wish the Catholics would of done the same.

Anonymous JP July 16, 2012 12:05 PM  

Douthat says,

"What should be wished for, instead, is that liberal Christianity recovers a religious reason for its own existence."

This is of course a contradiction in terms. Liberalism is secular materialism, and therefore the more liberal a church is, the more committed to creating "heaven on Earth" it is, and the less religious are the reasons for its existence.

He concludes, "Today, by contrast, the leaders of the Episcopal Church and similar bodies often don’t seem to be offering anything you can’t already get from a purely secular liberalism."

This is exactly why the liberal church not only cannot be saved, but should not be saved.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) July 16, 2012 12:09 PM  

You can't compromise anything because once you start making accommodations it doesn't stop. Before you know it, your church (or synagogue) has gay priests and rabbis, does gay marriages, and pushes big government and global warming bs.

To top it off, the minister or rabbi is probably a dyke who doesn't know anything about the religion. I've listened to sermons that were basically trying to use religion to back up democratic party talking points. I usually know more than the joke of a rabbi.

It seems a lot of religion these days is filled with retarded idiots. That's the problem. They've went full retard. Never go full retard.

Anonymous Sheila July 16, 2012 12:15 PM  

Along with "blessing" same-sex unions, the Episcopal Church also approved the ordination of transsexuals.

In the five years since we left our church (Episcopal which left ECUSA to become Anglican over homosexuality issue, but then decided women priests were great and more black parishioners equaled a holier and improved church), we've tried various others (Methodist, Baptist, generic evangelical) but find more of the same, plus 7/11 songs and social justice=gospel truth. Lots of nice people with big smiles saying Jesus is love, but without the vaguest conception of holiness and biblical righteousness. We're done with churchianity and our faith has not wavered . . . but I still miss corporate worship.

Anonymous Bobo July 16, 2012 12:19 PM  

The One said:

"The Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn refuse to let children attend their schools unless the parents are Jewish and raise their children Jewish. Wish the Catholics would of done the same."

If the Catholics did that, it would be anti-Semitic.

Blogger Good Will July 16, 2012 12:21 PM  

TheExpat: "...the [feminist] trend is unmistakably there" [in the LDS Church].

You misconstrue an "adjustment" for a "trend". You will NEVER see the day when women lead men in the LDS faith.

The changes of which you speak were undertaken specifically to address the influence of "wolves", namely, males who excused themselves in exerting "unrighteous dominion" over their wives under the guise of exercising "priesthood authority". LDS scripture, doctrine and practice acknowledges men and women to be co-equal partners under God, with men given stewardship (from God) of ecclesiastical leadership over women.

Whenever and wherever women rule, men are weak.

Anonymous Daniel July 16, 2012 12:25 PM  

Leaving church altogether is its own sort of slippery slope - after all, we are promised a lot of trouble and a lot of chaff: leaving the field is sometimes necessary, but only if you plant somewhere else.

I'm not saying that you have to go to a building with an elder board or whatever, but if you really aren't able to gather three or more people for regular corporate worship, it really is time to become a full-time missionary and convert enough so that you can.

After all, where are all the good men dead, in the heart or in the head? The resurrection is not - solely - an individual experience.

Anonymous Luke July 16, 2012 12:29 PM  

Good Will, you couldn't be more wrong about the Mormons. Parasitic, evil wolves run the Mormons, with clearly evil ones having even started the Mormons. The founders of Mormonism were repeatedly known to say that the Bible was largely erroneous, that Mormonism wasn't even Christian. Rather than deeming their defenders of orthodoxy just energetic defenders of Christianity ala Thomas Aquinas, they're arguably more akin to their equivalents under Islam in Saudi Arabia, or under Communism in the late USSR, e.g., NOT Christian, just without state powers and a bit smoother image presented to outsiders.

You would do well IMO to learn much more about Morm theology and history (from non-fellow-traveler sources). If you'll promise to actually do some significant reading, I'll be happy to post some of that for you.

Anonymous Daniel July 16, 2012 12:33 PM  

You will NEVER see the day when women lead men in the LDS faith.

Tell that to the Community of Christ Mormons - full priesthood.

Keep in mind that it was not the major denominations, but the Salvation Army who first ordained women among traditional Christianity.

Now, I'd be surprised if LDS' historical cycle would end up jiving with the spasmodic, dying lights of feminism: right now it looks to me that it would be more likely to restore polygamy and assert itself as the 4th Abrahamic inheritor, but I wouldn't go so far as to think that full women's priesthood would NEVER happen to the LDS.

Anonymous Luke July 16, 2012 12:34 PM  

Nate, your comment about the United Methodists being conservative in the Deep South only is true in my experience WRT some of the membership. My parents attend a UMC place in NW FL. It has multiple women ministers, has been known to extol women leaving their small children and husbands to go play soldier in the MidEast, etc. I witnessed a Methodist pastor tell a (if slightly toned-down) homosexual rape joke from the podium at the beginning of an outdoors Sunday service. "Very conservative"indeed.

Anonymous jerry July 16, 2012 12:40 PM  

You can bet Reverend Wright ain't gonna be marrying any queers in his church.

Anonymous Josh July 16, 2012 12:42 PM  

Okay, who let the mormons in this thread?

Anonymous Stickwick July 16, 2012 12:47 PM  

Sheila,

Our experience has been much the same as yours. We left our ELCA church for good when the leadership decided homosexual clergy were hunky dory. It was bad enough they already allowed women, but that was the tipping point for me. We've tried a few other churches, mostly non-denominational, and it's as you describe -- bland, pleasant Jesus-is-love doctrine without the serious nuts-and-bolts aspects of the Christian faith. We've stopped going to church all together, but continue in our Bible study. Like you, I miss corporate worship.

Anonymous Jimmy July 16, 2012 12:50 PM  

"And people wonder why I tend to prefer secular friends"

To convert them? Okay, I have Christian friends, but we don't talk religion. We do discuss church gossip on occasion.

The worst thing about Liberal Christianity is that they are an extension of Liberal politics. There is an distinction between Liberal and Conservative Christianity in that conservatives are Christians first and politics second or third or fourth. Politics is not my priority.

Liberal Christians use the doctrine of "tolerance" to the detriment of their faith. Jesus does not advocate tolerance. He advocates repentance and faith.

Blogger Joshua_D July 16, 2012 12:53 PM  

Good Will July 16, 2012 12:21 PM
You will NEVER see the day when women lead men in the LDS faith.


Now that made me chuckle a little bit.

Anonymous michael maier at work July 16, 2012 1:12 PM  

" In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase. "

Good riddance to bad (probable literally) DAMNED rubbish. And this from a man whose grandfather helped found the Episcopal church in Bedford, MA. A female preacher led his memorial service. Thankfully, it wasn't the dyke one my grandparents liked so much. I half felt like walking out of the service as it was.

These "churches" cannot die fast enough.


"But if liberals need to come to terms with these failures, religious conservatives should not be smug about them. The defining idea of liberal Christianity — that faith should spur social reform as well as personal conversion — has been an immensely positive force in our national life. No one should wish for its extinction, or for a world where Christianity becomes the exclusive property of the political right."

Colour me confused. Can anyone explain HOW, exactly? This piece sure doesn't even try.

Anonymous RedJack July 16, 2012 1:16 PM  

There is an distinction between Liberal and Conservative Christianity in that conservatives are Christians first and politics second or third or fourth. Politics is not my priority.

Jimmy,
To often that is not the case. The Church has let itself be defined by the GOP and DNC. So much that I honestly wonder who or what god the averabe SBC church worships. My church has had an excellent series of sermons the last few weeks on the Kingdoms of the Left and Right (Left being secular government, Right being the Church). The LCMS is often soft on secular poltics for historical reasons, but that is one thing they try to do right.

Blogger JDC July 16, 2012 1:17 PM  

Rooting out wolves can be difficult on many levels, especially when said wolves are very active in the church body. Recently, we had a couple come out (they had been teaching sunday school). They were immediately removed as SS teachers, and denied the sacrament until they repented of their sin. They of course would not, and joined an ELCA church that would accept them and their lifestyle.

During all of this, the arguments against sanctioning them went like this, "I agree what they are doing is wrong, but what will other people think of us when they see we have kicked out someone just because they are gay. They will think we are mean and intolerant."

...that is often the bottom line. We are more worried about appearing mean to the culture than standing up for what we believe is God's Will as revealed in His Word.

Anonymous stg58 July 16, 2012 1:18 PM  

Sheila,

Our experience has been much the same as yours. We left our ELCA church for good when the leadership decided homosexual clergy were hunky dory. It was bad enough they already allowed women, but that was the tipping point for me. We've tried a few other churches, mostly non-denominational, and it's as you describe -- bland, pleasant Jesus-is-love doctrine without the serious nuts-and-bolts aspects of the Christian faith. We've stopped going to church all together, but continue in our Bible study. Like you, I miss corporate worship.


Sheila and Stickwick, find a Primitive Baptist Church, if there is one in your area. If you want simple, no frills worship that is very doctrine and Christ centered, you can't do better. The singing is done a cappella, the sermons are preached right out of scripture, and fellowship there is genuine. We are pretty good cooks, too.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 July 16, 2012 1:22 PM  

Despite a declining attendance, I think the Episcopal Church will be around for a while because of the sheer amount of property and assets they own (and have stolen from the Anglicans).

But they will wither and die out eventually. Nobody finds anything meaningful with their revised message of the Bible and nobody wants to be a party to it. They are, however, very dangerous solely due to the fact that they have a lot of wealth for the time being.

Anonymous Roundtine July 16, 2012 1:22 PM  

Douthat is wrong on liberal Christianity because the entire society has shifted left. In the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict should be a radical leftist, then that's some good liberal Christianity to balance the right.

Anonymous Stickwick July 16, 2012 1:25 PM  

stg58,

I'll look into that, thanks.

Blogger Good Will July 16, 2012 1:37 PM  

Daniel: "Now, I'd be surprised if LDS' historical cycle would end up jiving with the spasmodic, dying lights of feminism: right now it looks to me that it would be more likely to restore polygamy and assert itself as the 4th Abrahamic inheritor...".

I agree.

Luke, Vox apparently abjures the Mormon faith and considers the Book of Mormon to be literary trash and plagiarized fiction. However, from what I've gathered reading here over the years, the teachings and practices of main-stream Mormonism seem more in line with what Vox espouses than any other "organized" faith I know of!

For example, Vox does NOT believe the Bible to be inerrant (but mostly true, nonetheless). Neither do (and so do) the Mormons!

Vox does NOT believe women should preside over men. Neither do the Mormons!

Vox (I imagine) would welcome a God-ordained polygamous society(even though he is eminently satisfied with SpaceBunny)...and certainly so would many women (who would find Vox a suitable mate). Mormons would be hard-pressed to resist the re-institution of polygamy (if their prophet were to announce that God had reinstituted the practice) and Vox would NOT make the claim that polygamy is "of the devil". If their prophet said so, neither would the Mormons!

Vox does NOT consider that "all men are created equal" in any sense other than their God-given rights -- and even those must be claimed and protected by the individual or society, something that has NEVER been done "equally" anywhere. The fact that the LDS priesthood was once denied to blacks probably no more disturbs Vox than the fact that it was denied to (almost) all but the descendants of Aaron since the time of Moses until the coming of Christ. Racism and discrimination are historical realities -- even necessities, at times -- in Vox's view. He would hardly find such views held by historical Mormons to be impediments to embracing the modern faith.

Vox believes in a living God, a resurrected Christ (the Son of God, not God Himself) and a Holy Spirit. He does NOT believe that these three Entities are "co-equal" or of the same substance in any "Trinitarian" sense. Neither do the Mormons!

I have heard no argument from Vox espousing that modern revelation, new scriptures, spiritual gifts, exclusive priesthood, temple ordinances, etc., must be done away (as do argue most modern Christian denominations). In fact, Vox adamantly argues that he is "non-Christian" in the traditional sense.

He could very well be a Mormon! (We all know of Vox unwavering confidence in "science" and scientists' ability to ferret out the absolute truth of all things. The fact that "science" currently debunks many of the claims of the Book of Mormon shouldn't be too great of an impediment to his embracing the faith.)

Not all religions are abandoning their doctrinal foundations and practices. The Muslims seem to be returning to theirs. And Mormons are one Christian sect that has outspokenly reasserted their adherence to fundamental Christian doctrine.

Anonymous JartStar July 16, 2012 1:41 PM  

We had to leave a local LCMS church that was theologically sound as the pastor thought that an acoustic guitar and violin were work of the devil and instead preferred an organist who literally could not play four versus of a hymn without multiple errors. He lied about the worship style and drove so many people out that it will likely face bankruptcy in the next few years. Just because the pastor is straight and male doesn't mean a church or even a denomination can't commit suicide.

Our previous LCMS church before we moved was fantastic.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 1:58 PM  

Good Will

I think you're leaving out a rather important facet of the cult... I mean.. religion... you know.. that whole "we are just God's way of multiplying" thing?

Anonymous TLM July 16, 2012 2:02 PM  

@ Goodwill

Mormonism never was and will never be a Christian sect. And historically, Mormons never cared to be associated with traditional Christianity. Your religion, like many other false religions/beliefs, pilfers just enough from Biblical Christianity to give it credibility and an appearance of something noble, but for those whose eyes are opened, Mormonism is straight out of the pit of Hell. May your eyes and heart be opened to the truth.

Anonymous Jimmy July 16, 2012 2:04 PM  

@RedJack "The Church has let itself be defined by the GOP and DNC."

Don't you mean the "GOP and RNC"? And then you give an example of a Liberal Church being less political.

I have never been to church that was dictated or defined by the GOP and RNC. I wonder if you're describing a situation where philosophy and politics align rather than pure political activism. There is a difference.

Nonetheless, in most cases, a church might have a sermon on homosexuality and abortion when the need arises, but not much else with a obvious political intent.

Anonymous Luke July 16, 2012 2:09 PM  

Good Will:

Sigh. The Muslims don't believe in female clergy, either. Guess that makes them Christian? No. Welcome to the concept of "necessary but not sufficient".

http://apologetics101.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Mormonism-Isnt-Christian

http://defendingcontending.com/2007/10/31/what-do-mormons-really-believe-about-christians-2/

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num23.htm

http://mormoncult.org/mormonism-vs-christianity.html

http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/bible/mormonfacts2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Mormonism/Archive_3#Are_Mormons_Christians.3F

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 2:13 PM  

Nate, what the hell are you talking about?

Anonymous paradox July 16, 2012 2:13 PM  

JartStar July 16, 2012 1:41 PM

We had to leave a local LCMS church that was theologically sound as the pastor thought that an acoustic guitar and violin were work of the devil and instead preferred an organist...


As an LCMS member... I share that pastor's appreciation of the organ, but I wouldn't find a violin or guitar to be of the devil. I'm just an musical instrument racisss, when it comes to church hymns. You would think that someone who enjoyed organ music would rather hear a violin played well, than to hear beloved organ music played badly.

Just out of curiosity it would be interesting to hear, This is the Feast of Victory on electric guitar.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 2:16 PM  

Luke, make a point, instead of indiscriminately pasting links to hack jobs who don't tell the whole truth. Instead of addressing all the misleading things on each page, why don't you simply point out the ones that interest you?

Blogger JDC July 16, 2012 2:24 PM  

Quote: Just out of curiosity it would be interesting to hear, This is the Feast of Victory on electric guitar.

Played Lamb of God on my Strat this week for VBS. Does that count?

Anonymous RedJack July 16, 2012 2:24 PM  

Jimmy,
I have seen a lot of Baptist churches come out and talk about tax cuts, supporting the (fill in the blank) war, and other things that sound like talking points from the GOP. I have seen a lot of Episipical and Catholic churches talk about fairness, need for higher taxes on the rich, womens "health" (abortion), and of coures, Jesus wants you to be "green".

Neither side is really dealing with the Gospel, but simply what their political faction wants them to say. Both will go against what the Church has traditionally said, and what the Bible says, to support the talking point. Neither is being true to the Gospel.

This is to be expected, as we are all sinful beings that make up the Church. But it is doing the Church a grave disservice to be the mouthpiece of the Red or Blue faction.

Anonymous johnc July 16, 2012 2:25 PM  

So the guy who rejects the doctrine of the Trinity is warning us of wolves in the Christian Church? Interesting.

The fact is, church attendance has cratered across the board except for churches based around the cult of personality (Joel Osteen, etc.) or churches that are nothing more than political soapboxes. People today simply can not bear to hear the Word, period.

It's not like 90% of the nation is composed of prayerful, orthodox Christians who are avoiding churches because they're too liberal. It's an increasing rejection of God, not liberalism.

Blogger Vox July 16, 2012 2:26 PM  

I have heard no argument from Vox espousing that modern revelation, new scriptures, spiritual gifts, exclusive priesthood, temple ordinances, etc., must be done away (as do argue most modern Christian denominations). In fact, Vox adamantly argues that he is "non-Christian" in the traditional sense.

No, he really doesn't. Non-Churchian, not non-Christian. And I prefer comfortable underwear, so Mormonism is pretty much out for me.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 2:28 PM  

@ Goodwill

Mormonism never was and will never be a Christian sect. And historically, Mormons never cared to be associated with traditional Christianity. Your religion, like many other false religions/beliefs, pilfers just enough from Biblical Christianity to give it credibility and an appearance of something noble, but for those whose eyes are opened, Mormonism is straight out of the pit of Hell. May your eyes and heart be opened to the truth.

TLM July 16, 2012 2:02 PM


TLM, projection aside, Mormons do have a distaste for Christianity in that Christianity did persecute, kill, and ostracise from the U.S. boundaries at the time the entire Mormon church, even shot them in the back at the time they were trying to cross a frozen Mississippi River, without even so much as an apology for over one hundred years. So, naturally, many of them hold great contempt for the injustices fueled by the incindiery comments of Christain preachers. However, Mormons believe in a Godhead, in which Jesus Christ is an integral part, and is solely responsible for the law of mercy that forgives us, and offers us salvation. In the way that is important, and that really should matter, they do consider themselves Christians. They don't, however, consider themselves murderers, bigots, hypocrites, liars, or deceivers which compromise their moral integrity for commiting what they consider "acts of God".

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 2:31 PM  

"No, he really doesn't. Non-Churchian, not non-Christian. And I prefer comfortable underwear, so Mormonism is pretty much out for me."

You could get them tailored, you know. Just sayin.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 2:36 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 2:36 PM  

"Nate, what the hell are you talking about"

I am referring to a... No... The primary tenant or mormanism. That we are all God's and will one day be God of our earth.

I hope you're. Not a Mormon mate. It would be a shame if you understanding of your father didn't even rise to the level of a common encyclopedia.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 2:43 PM  

"I hope you're. Not a Mormon mate."

Friends don't let friends type on tablets.

Anonymous Josh July 16, 2012 2:44 PM  

I think I understand what nate was trying to say there...I assume he was writing that comment on his ipad...

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 2:45 PM  

wife's ipad 2...

The thing is such a POS.

Anonymous Josh July 16, 2012 2:48 PM  

Did I win anything?

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 2:50 PM  

Good Will, I have come to understand Paul's comments about wolves in sheep's clothing as not to be watchful of people, but rather the precepts of Mammon wrapped in The Gospel Of The Lamb. And Paul was warning about the immediate future just as well as the future of today. Do I think that Orthodoxy was God's will at the time? Of course I do. Do I think that reforms which addressed Christian inconsistencies were also ordained of God? Yes. God has never revealed the whole truth in recorded history, if He has ever at all, and most gospels, however dilute, do produce good people. The U.S. constitution is something that our prophets have extensively proclaimed "an act of God", or "a sacred document". But there are a lot of interesting conundrums about Christianity that are not consistent with either logic, or the Bible, which puzzles me about why Vox isn't at least investigating the LDS faith right now, if he hasn't already. For instance, Christianity doesn't explain the creation at all. I've brought this up before, and was dismissed by the ilk as someone who was blaming God, but how can someone preach ex nihilo creation without noticing the stark self-contradition contained in it? Yet Christianity, if it has ever made a case against it, certainly hasn't made a very strong one. Let me just illustrate what I am talking about:

MC view:
1. God creates man in his entirety.
2. Man sins, while acting out the natures God creates in man.
3. God holds man accountable for acting out the natures God puts in man, and sends him to hell.

Mormon view:
1. God conjugates man from individual intelligences.
2. Man acts out the natures in man, that are extra-deity in origin
3. Man is held accountable

I do digress the point that Mormonism hasn't articulated where intelligences actually come from, nor have they made very public their views on creation, and that you really have to dig deep into church history even to find what little is said. However, Mormonism has made an extra-biblical case for creation which MC has obviously never addressed, and obviously could never dream of coming close to.

Anonymous Stilicho July 16, 2012 2:51 PM  

Perhaps some of you should try returning to the One True?

Nah, crazy thought...


Sure, skip the female clergy and go straight to homosexual pedophile pastors. It's progress...of a sort.

Anonymous Jimmy July 16, 2012 2:52 PM  

@RedJack: Your complaining about churches talking about modern politics suggests you don't want them to acknowledge reality. It is rather disheartening to think just because a church might have a more liberal or conservative philosophy, they are expressing a "talking point" rather than make clear arguments for or against. Again, there is nothing wrong to express concern about society and government because, yes, churches deal with people and government all the time. Churches do not exist in isolation. Neither do Christians live in isolation.

I would not attend a church if they are expressively Liberal as this post exposes. However, if they church is Conservative, I will attend, but not if they are overtly political. It should be noted that Conservative Churches are singled out by the IRS to audits if they pastors advocate political positions or politicians. This type of scrutiny doesn't exist for Liberal churches.

I can see that your concern is one that will leave Conservative Churches handicapped from making arguments. To keep calling these argument "talking points" is your bias showing through. Almost trolling.

Anonymous Sheila July 16, 2012 3:01 PM  

stg58 - thanks for the suggestion. While I hardly trust Wikipedia to be all truth all the time, its entry on Primitive Baptist theology suggests they hold to the five tenets of Calvinism, including the idea of an elect and limited atonement. I'd have to do more looking, but that does not describe our beliefs.

Anonymous NewAnubis July 16, 2012 3:02 PM  

(Sorry for repeat--accidentally put anonymous)
To my mind, church is business. Nothing more, nothing less. One needn't attend church to be a good Christian nor believe it's some age-old batphone with a direct line to El Dios. (Frankly, entheogens work far better anyway)

Instead, we follow the money. The more in the pews, the more in the bank and as can be seen, the gamble was to 'head left' be 'incusionary' and 'progressive'.

Whoops.

Not to fear though--once the failure of the gambit really sinks in, so the pendulum shall swing back.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 3:05 PM  

"Nate, what the hell are you talking about"

I am referring to a... No... The primary tenant or mormanism. That we are all God's and will one day be God of our earth.

I hope you're. Not a Mormon mate. It would be a shame if you understanding of your father didn't even rise to the level of a common encyclopedia.


Nate, the only reason I asked is because you weren't very clear in your language. Yes, I am a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. And I was almost positive we spelled that out in earlier conversations. It's not a large offense to call one a Mormon anymore. The emotional stigmatism that makes it a pejorative is largely gone, so I usually have no problem in using a nickname given to the church by outsiders.

Regarding the idea that God perpetuates other gods isn't unique to the Mormon faith. Derrick T Evanston, although not a Mormon any longer, still considers himself an apologist for the faith, and has written a highly informative book called "The Gainsayers" which demonstrates clear belief by the early theologians that we have the potential to become Gods, because even the Bible spells it out.

Anonymous Rantor July 16, 2012 3:15 PM  

@ Jimmy,

I attend a Conservative, Christian Church. They don't go all modern trying to espouse political positions, no, they just teach Christ crucified for our sins, from the bible, clearly. I actually am starting to think that Churches that spend much time on politics have forgotten their first love.

If the church is not focused on Christ and God's word, it is lost.

Anonymous Rantor July 16, 2012 3:18 PM  

@ Yukonyon, the first sin in the garden was incited by a snake telling Eve that she could be like God. How did that work out?

Anonymous patrick kelly July 16, 2012 3:21 PM  

Ordaining women or openly homosexual clergy is not even remotely on the radar of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Oh, some women or gays occasionally show up to present all kinds of arguments and critique of how The Church oppresses them, but always go away dumbfounded at how little impact their sincere efforts have. It must be really frustrating to discover that our evil bureaucratic patriarchy is so slow to pay them any attention, let alone make any of their so well argued changes, hah... We're still using Liturgy from well before the schism.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 3:33 PM  

@ Rantor
the first sin in the garden was incited by a snake telling Eve that she could be like God. How did that work out?

Well, that's a really old question that hackers use to disuade people from investigating the church. You're disappointing me.

Lucifer told Eve a half-truth, in that she would not surely die, but become as the gods, knowing good from evil.

Genesis 3:
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

She did become wise, and as such, was capable of sin. However, Lucifer's statement that she would become wise like God was actually true, and Genesis spells that out later in the chapter, verse 22-23:

22 ¶And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 3:36 PM  

I'm assuming you believe the serpent was Lucifer. Was I too presumptuous?

Anonymous TLM July 16, 2012 3:38 PM  

@ Yukonyon

Mountain Meadow Massacre. pot, kettle, black. Your hair-splitting on things/words like GodHead etc are indicative of the same twisting of the truth that Satan used on Eve in the garden. And please spare us any haughtiness when it comes to Mormon behavior. Marriott makes a fortune off their pay-per-view porn. Are we supposed to indulge in that before or after we read from our free copy of the Book of Mormon in the nightstand. Your belief is the worst kind of evil that comes masquerading as light.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 3:55 PM  

TLM, you have obvously taken someone else's word for it that Mountain Meadows was

A. endorsed or even euphemisitcally encouraged by the church, and

B. not an act of presumptive self-defense, not an act of violence over a difference of opinion.

Conflating MM to the extensive persecution of Christianity over one hundred years is disingenuous, and I think you're grasping at straws, myself. It simply demonstrates the perpetual hatred that much of Christianity encourages, and it's a sick, vile display of dishonesty in the name of dogma.

And, just to point out, one reason we use "Godhead" is to distance ourselves from any affinity for the trinity, or the triune. We reject the Nicean Creed as a device of man, and it has no place in our doctrine, so the word needed to be used. And, as has already been demonstrated on this blog, it is entirely self-contradictory.

I don't know if what you say about Marriot is true, and frankly, I don't care. As far as how a private company spends their money, or solicits their services has to do with this discussion, I would certainly be interested if you could spell it out for me. And I can't help but wonder how many Christian hotel lines do the same thing. The Church has spelled out extensively that porn is something that a member would not do, if that member was in fact adhering to the precepts of Christ's Church in the latter days.

It's people like you that persuade LDS members to distance themselves from the label of "Christian". It just seems so amusing to me how people like you try to point out that Mormons don't consider themselves Christian after you've done your fork-tongued dirty work.

Anonymous jerry July 16, 2012 3:59 PM  

My church's membership has gone down precipitously since we started drinking strychnine and handling snakes.

Blogger Paul Eisenbraun July 16, 2012 4:09 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous HumanR July 16, 2012 4:11 PM  

@Jartstar & @Paradox.

I'm also LCMS. Imagine, a bunch of religiously intolerant Lutherans separately finding their way here. Our problem is that the segment of our church most vehemently opposed to feminism is choosing to fight 2nd tier symptoms of it. As the church becomes more more femo-centric worship becomes shallower and more emotive. Therefore, running out everyone who has practiced modern worship is the only way to fix the church! That obviously won't work, in fact, it'll be counter productive. We have things to fix but I'm afraid that the Brother's of St. John the Steadfast aren't going to be doing any favors.

Anonymous Daniel July 16, 2012 4:38 PM  

You do have to admit that the pipe organ sub-cult among the more musical LCMS congregations is a little weird. You know your pastor has gone overboard when he starts calling on you to tract the neighborhood armed with Schantz brochures...

What's next? Pan flutes?

Anonymous freddy July 16, 2012 4:39 PM  

Johnc says,


"So the guy who rejects the doctrine of the Trinity is warning us of wolves in the Christian Church? Interesting."

Dude, that was my thought exactly!?


All heresies appeal to the "intelligence" of the autonomous man.

Anonymous Josh July 16, 2012 4:40 PM  

Mormons are anti porn?

What the hell do you guys do for fun?

Anonymous Stilicho July 16, 2012 4:47 PM  

Josh, they make rice krispy treats and have family game night. Don't you watch South Park?

Anonymous TLM July 16, 2012 4:57 PM  

@Yukonyon

I'll wear the badge of fork-tongued anti-Mormon with great honor. Your belief is a perfect example of what Jesus called a whited-sepulcher. An image of cleanliness on the outside, but internally filled with filth and corruption.

And as much as I enjoyed the thread here on the Trinity, and Vox's opinions on other various matters, there were plenty of Christians in the comments section that showed how off-base VD was on that matter. Repent of your idolatry in Joseph Smith and be washed in the blood of the true Christ, not the false Mormon jesus.

Anonymous Boetain July 16, 2012 4:58 PM  

I have been going to LCMS church for a few years. I don't agree with everything they do or believe but I find it does still have some good Biblical underpinnings. I have decided that all churches are flawed, so you just have to find one that is most acceptable to you and go with it. If they get too crazy with the gays and such you can always leave. Not a perfect solution, but the best I have found, since we are supposed to join together with other believers in corporate worship.

btw..we have drums, guitars, etc and even an upbeat song or two sometimes.

And another thing - I think Lutheran theology is a good alternative to Calvinism and Arminianism (not that the Bible study gets that deep usually)

Anonymous Daniel July 16, 2012 5:10 PM  

"So the guy who rejects the doctrine of the Trinity is warning us of wolves in the Christian Church? Interesting."

Nonsense. I can't recall any of the New Testament false teachers who were thrown out or challenged for questioning the later concept of the Trinity (after all, more than 300 years later even Arius himself would have had no problem baptizing believers in "the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Considering that Arius wasn't officially censured until the 4th Century or so ought to be sufficient to demonstrate that thoughts about the Trinity aren't exactly "wolf" material.

False Christs, anti-Pauline instruction, Jewish requirements, idol worship, etc., provide plenty of biblical symptoms of wolves. Anti-trinitarianism isn't one of them.

I agree that plenty of cults include anti-trinitarianism as a feature, but there are also plenty of cults that hold the ten commandments as law. Does this mean that the ten commandments are the domain of wolves?

Anonymous Holla July 16, 2012 5:16 PM  

The first step to hell for any "church" is allowing contraception.

Doom and gloom follows.

Anonymous Suomynona July 16, 2012 5:32 PM  

Here's another recent article about the Episcopal Church (of Satan): ‘Cross-Dressing Clergy’: These Are the Reasons the Episcopal Church Could Be Near Collapse. How could anyone listen one of these vile creatures' "sermon" and imagine anything other than a demon standing at the pulpit?

If people had any kind of backbone, the minute one of these snakes in bishop's clothing opened up her blasphemous mouth, they would pick her up and throw her out the door. Actually, she would never have gotten a foot in the door in the first place. This is probably the reason God despises tepidity.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 5:47 PM  

"The first step to hell for any "church" is allowing contraception."

Yes... because there can't be a church without radically screwing up basic scripture then constructing a massive discipline based on that screw up.

here's a clue... You're not Onan.

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 5:47 PM  

"If people had any kind of backbone, the minute one of these snakes in bishop's clothing opened up her blasphemous mouth, they would pick her up and throw her out the door. "

Preach.

Blogger JohnG July 16, 2012 5:55 PM  

The King James is pretty straight forward and to the point, I never got why there needed to be all the denominations - except that somebody was spinning something out of context to foster an agenda. Christianity doesn't require a genius IQ or a degree in rocket science...Luke 10:21. Reminds me of the back and forth with the local JW recruiter on whether the soul goes away or not...(whether the cross is a tree or an X...bah!)

But I agree, libtard church is going down, and it's divine. That whole "be hot or cold or I will spew you out of my mouth" thing.

Anonymous Suomynona July 16, 2012 5:57 PM  

An excerpt from the article:

Why are Episcopalians leaving one of the oldest denominations in America? Perhaps that can be answered by New Hampshire’s V. Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual Episcopal bishop. When he addressed the fifth annual Planned Parenthood “prayer breakfast” April 15, 2006 in Washington, D.C., he declared that “religious people” are the enemy.

“We have allowed the Bible to be taken hostage, and it is being wielded by folks who would use it to hit us over the head,” he said. “The sin of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexual sex but was a failure to care for the poor, the widows and the orphans. Scripture is not as plainspoken as some would have us believe.”
==========================

The filthy little faggot should be hiding deep inside a dark closet, instead he's making a living preaching his lies and depravity - publicly, loudly, and proudly as an ordained bishop.

Blogger Spacebunny July 16, 2012 6:09 PM  

And I prefer comfortable underwear, so Mormonism is pretty much out for me.

Wait, when did you stop going commando?

Blogger Nate July 16, 2012 6:20 PM  

"Wait, when did you stop going commando?"

oh... thanks... that's just great...

Anonymous bw July 16, 2012 7:41 PM  

but it should not be forgotten that they were abetted by many foolish and short-sighted individuals who were genuine Christians. One of the great shortcomings of nearly every church I have ever attended is the complete lack of vigilance for the wolves

Exactly. A lazy, zealous belief in authorities who are either ignorant or the willing enemy.
After all, the wolves are always in other people's churches. "Not Ours. We couldn't possibly be wrong and fooled and be a part of the actual problem".
It is the simplest ego trick in the book - and the most common across all subject matters. A "unique and exclusive" gathering; a comfortable "belonging", in a desperate need to "be somebody" and to share the only correct view of things.

Anonymous TheExpat July 16, 2012 8:04 PM  

NACALT

Anonymous johnc July 16, 2012 8:08 PM  

"It is the simplest ego trick in the book - and the most common across all subject matters. A "unique and exclusive" gathering; a comfortable "belonging", in a desperate need to "be somebody" and to share the only correct view of things."

Yup. Just like those 12 Apostles. A big ego trip for them.

That's why Jesus stood on every street corner handing out Bibles saying, "Here you go folks! Good luck!"

ohh wait...

Anonymous bw July 16, 2012 8:09 PM  

TLM, you have obvously taken someone else's word for it that Mountain Meadows was...

Actually, American Massacre (2003) by Sally Denton covers the whole thing very nicely in an intellectual and historical exposition.

I have said nothing in Secret...

And the Marriot thing is hardly the only fiscal evidence of Morman mammon.
The initial financing of modern LasVegas by Mormon Corporations and the Mormon Church is interesting - again, something Denton has written extensively on in The Money and the Power (2001).

Anonymous bw July 16, 2012 8:11 PM  

Just like those 12 Apostles. A big ego trip for them.

Fascinating! You have the Son of Man in your presence.

Oh, wait...

Anonymous Alat July 16, 2012 8:48 PM  

Considering that Arius wasn't officially censured until the 4th Century or so ought to be sufficient to demonstrate that thoughts about the Trinity aren't exactly "wolf" material.

Maybe the reason was that "until the 4th century or so" Arius hadn't yet been born?

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 8:50 PM  

TLM, its not clear to me what exactly makes one Jesus false, and the other one real. As for your badge of honor, its an interesting choice of words. I've never heard of a Christian willfully deceiving, and being proud of it, especially since there's supposed to be a commandment that says you shouldn't bear false witness. I'm trying to keep a straight face while talking to you about this. It's getting painful. I hope you cam appreciate that.

And as far as I can recall, nobody showed Vox anything that corrected him, except calling him petty names. Of course, I don't consider that correction, but hey, to each his own.

Blogger Good Will July 16, 2012 9:31 PM  

"TLM July 16, 2012 2:02 PM
@ Goodwill

Mormonism never was and will never be a Christian sect. And historically, Mormons never cared to be associated with traditional Christianity. Your religion, like many other false religions/beliefs, pilfers just enough from Biblical Christianity to give it credibility and an appearance of something noble, but for those whose eyes are opened, Mormonism is straight out of the pit of Hell. May your eyes and heart be opened to the truth."


We shall see. Joseph Smith claimed that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and said that all the Christian denominations then extant in 1820 (and there were many, at least one of which Joseph supposed to be the "right" one...that's why he knelt and prayed, asking God which one to join) were wrong. As Joseph reported: [T]he Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

The "Christian" sects referenced in this post preach celebrating homosexuality, homogamy, female clergy, social justice, "sinning boldly", the worship of Mary, and all manner of "abomination".

The claim that Mormons, however, are somehow a "cult" while these denominations are somehow "Christian" is perverse and laughable. Do any sects today (Christian or otherwise) have living prophets and apostles, as did Christ's Church of old? Continuing revelation? Healings? Visions? The gifts of the Spirit? Angelic ministrations? An expanding body of sacred scripture? Priesthood ordination? Missionary work? The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost? Baptism by immersion for the remission of sin? The practice of sacred ordinances and covenant making? Temple worship? Tithing and alms giving? Serving the poor and needy?

All of these things existed in the primitive Christian Church. Mormons claim they exist today in their Church, a Church which bears the name of Jesus Christ. Which of the other Christian churches out there share these distinctions and characteristics in common with the faith Christ preached and practiced?

Name one.

If you can't, please stop calling Mormonism a "cult". Clearly it is modern Christianity that has "gone astray". The Mormons haven't claimed, historically, to be "Christian" not because they aren't, but because they're different. They're not Catholic. They're not Protestant. They're the Church of Jesus Christ restored.

That fact is more apparent now than ever.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 9:36 PM  

BW, Sally Denton either seemed to have a disdain for the truth, or she just didn't do her research very well. She has a very heavy reliance on sources that expressed anti-Mormon sentiment in the 19th and 20th century, and left out many key witnesses which were unaffiliated with the Mormon church, or Mormon interests, so its clear that as a researcher she's either shamefully dishonest, or incompetent.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 10:19 PM  

Touche, Good Will, touche. But I think the ones badmouthing Mormons are more interested in who's right, not what's right, hence the lying (with pride!) and the bearing false witness. I almost tossed a brick out of my mouth, laughing at the absurd claim that Las Vegas money us somehow tied with LDS interests. I don't need to read a book that tries to counter years of teaching and instruction, or the church taking the stance that if you win money gambling, don't bother paying tithing on it because they won't want a cent of your evil gains. BW has obviously never studied the church, outside of anti-Mormon propaganda, and knows absolutely nothing of what he's talking about. I suppose I should be more polite, and use the euphemism "strawman attack" but it just seems to miss the mark

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 10:36 PM  

You dont route wolves from their own pack.

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 10:41 PM  

I have always wondered why those calling themselves Jews dont just actually read and follow the Bible. Even if you throw out the entire NT. Why would they trade the words of Yahweh for the words of men?

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 10:42 PM  

Again, a wolf pack you are referring to.

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 10:53 PM  

Were you going to deal with the whole getting to be god on your own planet thing too? Vox might like it.

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 10:56 PM  

It is ugly too.

Blogger Good Will July 16, 2012 10:57 PM  

Vox July 16, 2012 2:26 PM
I have heard no argument from Vox espousing that modern revelation, new scriptures, spiritual gifts, exclusive priesthood, temple ordinances, etc., must be done away (as do argue most modern Christian denominations). In fact, Vox adamantly argues that he is "non-Christian" in the traditional sense.

No, he really doesn't. Non-Churchian, not non-Christian. And I prefer comfortable underwear, so Mormonism is pretty much out for me.


Thanks, Vox. That brought out a laugh from me.

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 11:01 PM  

well, if it was only a half lie.....

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 11:05 PM  

Preach Brother PREACH! We use the Word of God to find our standards.

Anonymous yukonyon July 16, 2012 11:09 PM  

If I'm not mistaken, that just sounds a lot like Spacebunny answering under Vox's blogonym

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 11:15 PM  

Mormons sure write alot. We were bashing Christians for not following the Bible. If you wait your turn we will be with you shortly.

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 11:17 PM  

Seriously, aren't the Osmonds terrifying enough?

Anonymous Kickass July 16, 2012 11:23 PM  

It is amazing the delusion. So when the entire town was wild with lust and the men wanted to rape the male angels....even after being struck with blindness......that was really to illustrate a lack of cheerful giving to the poor?

Anonymous jerry July 16, 2012 11:36 PM  

I'm sorry but, lol, to plagiarize huge swaths of the King James Bible and then claim that it was buried 1400 years earlier?

Come on, guys. This is a kid's prank.

Anonymous jerry July 16, 2012 11:48 PM  

"and I have not written but a small part of the things I saw."

-Joseph Smith (page 35)

ROFL!

Anonymous yukonyom July 16, 2012 11:56 PM  

Jerry, if you ever obtain the stomach to google "evidence for the book of Mormon", whether you believe it or not, you won't be calling it a kids prank. Assuming, of course, that you're a reasonable person.

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 12:08 AM  

"Adam and Eve, which was our first parents." (p. 15)

ROFL!

Anonymous oregon mouse July 17, 2012 12:12 AM  

The episcopalian church's gamble on moving left in order to entice new mambers into joining is laughable. Those seeking a religion of tolerance, and "God is love good feeling" already have plenty of religious options without the scripteral gymanstics it takes to excuse the Bible's take on homosexuality and women. They can join a Bhuddist sect or buy some New age energy crystals. There is no need for these people to show up in a church and they are generally repelled by any hint of christian faith.
People who seek out the Christian church generally are looking for moral boundaries, structure, and a sound rationale for limiting the excesses of human nature. remove the limitations and you alienate your target customer base. Seems pretty obvious to me.

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 1:01 AM  

Jerry, if you ever obtain the stomach to google "evidence for the book of Mormon"...

Where do you think I found all this garbage? LOL!

That's the funniest part - Mormon scholars actually point to Joseph Smith's poor grammar, plagiarism and anachronistic references as "evidence for the book of Mormon"!

Anonymous bw July 17, 2012 2:44 AM  

Thomas and Eccles and Cosgriff and Continental and Las Vegas Bank. International finance, the Teamsters, Texas Insurance Companies, the Morman Church, U.S. Intelligence.


It is always fun to note masonic mormon's ignorance of their own history.
You'd better bone up on what your authoritarian masters haven't taught you and how they'd have you respond.
You'd do better just to defend Freemasonry, since you are nothing more than a low-level, Zionist cultic adept in a heirarchy of secretive power. Of course, being ignorant of that as well, you wouldn't know to recognize it.
Where EXACTLY has Denton erred again? Knowing nothing whatsoever of what she wrote, you wouldn't know anyway, right? You'd never heard of her or any of her writings before my mention. True or False? If you were familiar with her, you wouldn't have babbled on in generalities and an attempt at condescension. You'd be up on where she was in error specifically and why.

And your little passive agressive "no one would listen to you at all Vox if you were Mormon" bullshit reveals all anyone needs to see about your PRIDE in your supposed martyrdom and victimhood...for the Secretive, Ancient Mystery Religions Heirarchy you are servile to.

Getting off on that WhiteHorseProphecy about now, are you?

And wash those undies.

And see "Jesus" about that forbidden drink.

Anonymous bw July 17, 2012 2:58 AM  

Sally Denton either seemed to have a disdain for the truth, or she just didn't do her research very well. She has a very heavy reliance on sources that expressed anti-Mormon sentiment in the 19th and 20th century, and left out many key witnesses which were unaffiliated with the Mormon church, or Mormon interests, so its clear that as a researcher she's either shamefully dishonest, or incompetent.

You have never heard of her. You have no idea who she is or what she has written.
Your appeal is nothing more than an appeal to your secretive, heirarchical cult.
There was heavy anti-mormon sentiment in 19th and 20th centuries (the entire duration of the cult by the way) because the (somewhat) Christian culture saw the cult for exactly what it was, and what most still see it for - and always will.
Your defense is brilliant: "if she would have only asked the cult itself she would have been told how they have never murdered anyone in cold blood".
The "interests of Mormons". Genius!

That Salamandar letter had the Heirarchy scrambling didn't it? I wonder why?

Anonymous Anonymous July 17, 2012 3:12 AM  

I appreciate Spong, greatly, actually. Him and the gay bishop drove me right into the Catholic Church. Where, as I understand it, I belong, mostly.

Anonymous freddy July 17, 2012 4:49 AM  

Yes, that may be true...but what about your freewill? No, God wouldn't break it to break through would he?

Our wills are in bondage to our nature.

Certain Vox has never read Bondage of the Will.

Read and critique it.

Anonymous Holla July 17, 2012 7:08 AM  

Mormons are just a bunch of creepy Freemasons in disguise.

Anonymous FrankNorman July 17, 2012 7:33 AM  

Looks like a thread derail here - the observation about liberal denominations losing any reason for anyone to take them seriously getting drowned out by the squabble about Mormons.

There are other fringe sects that don't have feminists and gays taking over yet, you know.

Anonymous yukonyon July 17, 2012 8:51 AM  

BW, you poor chap, you must have put a lit of emotional stock in Ms Denton, and you're obviously suffering from a great deal of cognitive dissonance, because your reading comprehension is crap right now. And while I admire such faith and tenacity in such a negative campaign as tearing Mormons down, you do need to get some new material. The Salamander Letter is one of the biggest embarrassments to the rational side of the Mormon hackery club. You should drop your campaign of telling everyone about it. I'd certainly hate to see yet another schism in that crowd. Ok, I actually lied, no I wouldn't. But I can't help but feel sorry for you, dear boy.

Anonymous yukonyon July 17, 2012 8:59 AM  

Holla, I can't tell you how many people have investigated the Mormon church and have become Mormons simply because they heard Mormons were connected to Masons somehow. Fantastical, sensational claims such as this only serve to pique curiosity, and they're right up there with Dennis Rodman's comments about Mormons practicing voodoo. The mission president in Chicago had so many people asking for the discussions that he to call good ol' Dennis and thank him for such an overwhelming, positive response. Baptismal that quarter increased about 150%, IIRC. So, I must thank you. Keep up the good work.

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 12:19 PM  

Rantor July 16, 2012 3:18 PM
@ Yukonyon, the first sin in the garden was incited by a snake telling Eve that she could be like God. How did that work out?


The "lie" wasn't that they would "be as gods, knowing good and evil" (they would), but that they would not die (they would).

Even Jesus reaffirmed the psalmist's affirmation that we are gods, children of the Most High (Ps 82:6; John 10:34). Was Jesus a liar, too?

Digression from eternal truth is evident in modern Christianity. Luke 3:38 clearly says that Adam was "the son of God". Yet modern Christians will deny man's potential to become like our heavenly Father. (In fact, it's sad that any Christian would call God "Father" and then claim He's not.)

In relative terms, believing we are not God's literal offspring (Acts 17:28) or that we cannot become like Him (Rev. 3:21) is a far greater (and more damning) heresy than embracing homogamy, heterosexual clergy or the gospel of social justice.

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 12:25 PM  

Josh July 16, 2012 4:40 PM
Mormons are anti porn?

What the hell do you guys do for fun?


I have six kids.

OpenID meistergedanken July 17, 2012 12:26 PM  

yukonyon wrote: "I can't tell you how many people have investigated the Mormon church and have become Mormons"

That's right - you can't. But can you tell us how many ex-Mormons were murdered by deluded relatives in the name of "blood atonement"?

Anonymous yukonyon July 17, 2012 12:31 PM  

Honor killings in the LDS church? Wow, I must admit that's a new one by me. Please do elaborate

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 1:03 PM  

Of course, I meant to write: "...than embracing homogamy, homosexual clergy or the gospel of social justice."

That's because a misguided man -- who knows his ultimate divine potential includes becoming like his literal Father in heaven -- may "repent" of homosexual tendencies, may refrain from committing homosexual acts. (Heck! he may even abstain from committing heterosexual adultery and fornication!)

But the man who doesn't known his potential is divine has nothing to strive for. He is "condemned" to his baser instincts, his fallen nature.

I cannot count the number of "Christians" who have told me it is useless -- even counter-productive -- to "repent" of sin, since "no amount of 'do-gooding' can save you, you are saved by grace alone". If they willingly abstain from sin, they say, it is because they "love" or "honor" God by doing so. (And I applaud them for that.)

But how many "Christians" have excused themselves in committing sin by saying "It's in my nature. I can't help it. God made me this way. Jesus paid the price anyway, so chill out and rejoice!"?

The devil teaches we are not the children of God, but merely evolved animals. (In fact, he says "sin" doesn't even exist and, if it does, Christ has paid the price, so stop focusing on keeping the commandments!)

Satan knows how to destroy souls.

Sadly, many modern "Christians" embrace his "gospel".

Blogger Markku July 17, 2012 1:13 PM  

There, right from the horse's mouth. You MUST say "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 1:13 PM  

"Now the object of these lawyers were to get gain." (page 251)

ITAIROFLMAO!

Look, guys, if you dig deep on this stuff it becomes blatantly obvious. It's a prank, or a scam, or a sham or whatever. It sure as hell ain't divine revelation.

Good God, if changing the name of Benjamin to Mosiah in 1937 isn't a clear enough indication of outright fraud to send Mormons running to the nearest protestant church then obviously some people will believe absolutely anything.

Smith was counting on that, I suppose.

Blogger Markku July 17, 2012 1:16 PM  

...straight...

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 1:40 PM  

*1837

Anonymous TLM July 17, 2012 2:33 PM  

@ yukonyon
...TLM, its not clear to me what exactly makes one Jesus false, and the other one real...

For starters, the Mormon jesus was the first spirit child created between the heavenly father and heavenly mother. But let me guess,you have an answer for that as to why it contradicts historical Biblical teaching, some Mormon Prophet or Apostle said blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You guys have an answer for all your whacked out heresies. Seek the truth if it's still possible for you to do so, and may God free your mind from crossing the Rubicon of grasping the truth if you've already been turned over to having a depraved one (Romans 1).

@Goodwill

Joseph Smith would have been wise to heed the words written in Galatians 1:8-9 after his encounter with Moroni. But just as I mentioned to your Mormon homie above, you guys probably have some story as to why that doesn't apply to Mormonism.In fact, I think one time I heard some Mormon actually say that Paul "was" preaching the same gospel as Joseph Smith. You boys need help.

Anonymous Papapete July 17, 2012 3:18 PM  

I am reminded of C.S. Lewis' warning in the Screwtape Letters of the dangers of "Christianity And..." The liberal mainline churches have swallowed the poison pill of attaching Christianity to a "cause". And lest conservatives become smug, I've seen conservative causes derailing as well. Several years ago I let the foxes loose in the henhouse when I said in a Sunday School class that Christians aren't called to end abortion, we are called to make disciples.

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 3:24 PM  

Plagiarism?
Anachronistic scripture references?
Blatant revisionism?
Chariots and elephants in pre-Columbian America?


There's an app for that!
https://tech.lds.org/wiki/images/b/b0/Mobileappinfographicregpdf.pdf

ROFLMAOAATSMWBTC!

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 3:39 PM  

Markku July 17, 2012 1:13 PM
There, right from the horse's mouth. You MUST say "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."


Markku,

God is your literal Father. He is the Father of your spirit and - by extension through Adam -- the Father of your body as well. You are a son of [a] God!

Jesus said, "But go and tell your brethren that I ascend unto my God and your God, to my Father and your Father."

Lucifer's sin was striving to usurp God, to stand in His place, not just to be like Him. (He later tried to get Jesus to worship him.) There have been (and will be) many who are true sons of God. But no righteous heir would ever think to "de-throne" the Most High. Indeed, none ever could.

That was Lucifer's goal -- for which "sin" he "fell" from heaven and was forever precluded from gaining a physical body (which thus disabled him from following his erst-while Father's example). Thus he was damned, eternally.

I have a father on earth. And while I may (and have) become a father myself, I will never replace my dad. He will always be my father, superior to me in rank and station. Indeed, he is a "grand"father now. Any good I do or achieve only adds to his glory.

Christ (and the Father) have no objections to sharing Their glory with all those who follow Them and "overcome", even as They have. Indeed, the glory of the celestial is ONE. All those who dwell with God are ONE with Him, even as Christ is "one" with the Father. (Read John 17.)

Once Satan gets God's children to disbelieve in their own divine nature and potential, to forget (or deny) that they are God's children (and should live accordingly), his work is largely done.

Those who teach that God is not our literal Father preach "another gospel", Markku, not the gospel Jesus taught.

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 4:04 PM  

Righteous Stephen said -- to the "orthodox" Jews who claimed to follow the "true" religion and called themselves the "sons of Abraham" before they stoned him to death -- "which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?"

It's seems almost commonplace that the "orthodox" believers persecute the true saints of God, driving them out of their midst or killing them outright, from age to age.

Abraham fled the idolatry of Ur. The Israelites fled the idolatry of Egypt. Christians feared the wrath of Jews and being cast from the synagogue (or worse). Protestants fled from Catholics, Puritans from other Protestants, Mormons from the descendants of Puritans. Each, in turn, thought they had a greater claim upon the "truth". And perhaps they did.

But heresy is at the heart of all of it. Each new "prophet" and "saint" has always been a "heretic", their religion always "another gospel".

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 4:18 PM  

"They did not fight against God no more" (p. 290)

I knowed the grammer was right cuz the angel done tol' me!

LOL!

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 4:49 PM  

jerry July 17, 2012 4:18 PM
"They did not fight against God no more" (p. 290)

I knowed the grammer was right cuz the angel done tol' me!

LOL!


At least we know Joseph Smith (and not someone else) "translated" it. Mormons believe Joseph Smith did so "by the gift and power of God".

Even after 182 years, there is no other adequate explanation.

(And, please, don't regale me with "scientific evidences" PROVING the BoM to be a fraud. I am as convinced of the truthfulness of such "evidence" and "arguments" (and the ability of the learned "scientists" to "know it all") as Vox is of those supporting the theory of evolution.)

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 5:12 PM  

Even after 182 years, there is no other adequate explanation.

Yeah, God is a plagiarizing moron with a 4th grade education. There is no other adequate explanation.

Blogger Good Will July 17, 2012 5:52 PM  

Look, jerry

The Mormons may be "the mother of all heresies" (or just one of the many).

I don't know why the Book of Mormon contains direct quotes from the KJV of the Bible, mistranslations and all (as if he copied it directly).

I do know that eye-witness accounts of the translation process (as South Park episode 712 accurately depicts) report that Joseph Smith "translated" the BoM from beginning to end by placing a stone in a hat and, holding the hat in his lap, covering his face with the hat, so as to exclude all light, he was thus able to "see" what he was "translating". A scribe would write down what he spoke "out of his hat".

That's a remarkable accomplishment, all grammatical errors (including the King Benjamin-King Mosiah controversy) aside. The Book of Mormon is (largely) the prophet Mormon's synopsis of various synopses of other histories written by different authors over a thousand year period of time. One would expect errors. Anyone who has endeavored to make such a record (including writers of fiction like Vox) surely understand how easily one can make mistakes. (If, indeed, this was a mistake. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe Joseph Smith translated it correctly...and Mormon (or someone else) erred in the recordkeeping.) Even so, I make mistakes in my own journal! And I should know better! Mormon was writing about events that occurred hundreds of years before. And we don't know what documents he had access to -- or the quality thereof.

Regarding JS's "plagiarism" of the Bible: My personal opinion is that "translating" (as Joseph did) is a difficult, time-consuming process. When he came to large swaths of text that, clearly, were already included in the Bible, he "switched" (again, through the stone) from (1) reading the record in "reformed Egyptian" and "translating" it to English to (2) reading the text from his King James Bible (again, through the stone). This was A LOT less work! Joseph was content that the "translation" was sufficiently accurate. (He never claimed it was "perfect".)

If I were translating a lengthy (531-page) document, and came to discover that a part of it had been previously translated, I might well use that translation...especially since JS accepted the KJV of the Bible to be "the word of God" as it was written. (Only later did he realize that book, too, contained errors.)

Again, I don't know. I'm willing to suspend my doubts and disbelief -- because I've found the evidence to believe more credible.

Anonymous jerry July 17, 2012 6:58 PM  

all grammatical errors (including the King Benjamin-King Mosiah controversy) aside
That's not a grammatical error. It's whitewashing a mistake in the timeline years after the fact. There's dozens of examples of this.

One would expect errors.

Several eyewitnesses testified that the words would appear to Smith until they were translated correctly (including correct spelling). Once translated correctly with proper spelling the words would disappear and a new verse would appear.

One would therefore NOT expect a divinely translated document to appear as if it were written by a dumb hillbilly.

When he came to large swaths of text that, clearly, were already included in the Bible...
...he should have realized that the King James Bible was written hundreds of years after Mormon. DOH!

If I were translating a lengthy (531-page) document, and came to discover that a part of it had been previously translated, I might well use that translation...especially since JS accepted the KJV of the Bible to be "the word of God" as it was written. (Only later did he realize that book, too, contained errors.)

But you just finished telling us what a "remarkable accomplishment" it was to translate a document by sticking your face in a hat.

But if Smith just wanted to throw a little KJV in too? Well that's cool too. It's what you would have done, after all. Nevermind that the witnesses and scribes never mentioned this little shortcut, or pointed out that it's a little too obvious that "reformed egyptian" translates word for word into King James English 1000 years after the fact.

Again, I don't know. I'm willing to suspend my doubts and disbelief

No doubt Smith was counting on that.

Good luck, sucker.

OpenID meistergedanken July 17, 2012 9:06 PM  

yukonyon wrote: "Honor killings in the LDS church? Wow, I must admit that's a new one by me. Please do elaborate"

Fine I will, though I'm sure you are being disingenuous - the history of this is well-known, though kept on the 'down low' by the mormon establishment.

For the benefit of everyone else here, though, here is a pretty thorough, exhaustive article about it:

http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/bloodatn

OpenID meistergedanken July 17, 2012 9:09 PM  

OK, I can anticipate the whining now: "But that was only one link!"

So how about this one?:

http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_bloodatonement.html

OpenID meistergedanken July 17, 2012 9:12 PM  

Or this one?:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ldsblood.htm

OpenID meistergedanken July 17, 2012 9:13 PM  

Or maybe this one?:

http://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Death-Mormon-Blood-Atonement-Killings/dp/0735100454

OpenID meistergedanken July 17, 2012 9:22 PM  

How about these, then?:

http://www.mrm.org/blood-atonement

http://www.watchman.org/lds/ohioblod.htm

http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk/murder.htm

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/mtn_meadows/7.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzLpdx1-Lc8

http://www.watchman.org/lds/bldaton2.htm

http://www.ldsvideo.org/2011/07/blood-atonement-and-mountain-meadows.html

Etc., etc., etc., etc.

Blogger Andrea July 18, 2012 2:32 AM  

Well, meistergedanken, you've provided a veritable orgy of "blood atonement" links. I shant bother to visit them -- unless you have some point to make. What is your point?

In the 35 years I have been an active member of the LDS faith, I've never once heard a sermon, read a Sunday School lesson, or observed anything that would suggest that "blood atonement" was an ongoing practice in the Church, an espoused doctrine, or anything other than a intellectual "hobby" perhaps undertaken by Brigham Young or other early leaders of the Church. (They had lots of zany ideas...as do we all.)

The Church teaches that Jesus Christ, on the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane, atoned, once and for all, for the sins of all mankind, on conditions of personal repentance. His sacrifice rescues ALL mankind from the chains of death and hell. Because of His atonement, ALL MANKIND shall live again in the flesh. It is a free gift, by grace. "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall ALL be made alive."

However, for those who embrace the gospel of Christ, live His commandments, repent of all their sins, and follow Him in faith, additional blessings are reserved beyond mere physical, resurrected existence. (These blessings will be enjoyed in what most Christians refer to when they speak of "heaven". However Mormons distinguish between three spheres of existence after this life, all of which they call "heaven".) In Mormon futurity, hell is eventually shuttered (once men choose to repent) and her inhabitants set free, again through the grace, work and agency of Christ. Wherefore, (nearly) all men are "saved" from death and hell. (There are a few exceptions, but not many.)

The concept of "blood atonement" -- suggesting that a sinful man must spill his own blood in order to be redeemed -- has no bearing upon the average man or woman, if anyone at all. It certainly would be "just" that a murderer's blood be spilt -- an eye for an eye, as it were. But the Book of Mormon is very clear on this matter: even murderers may have their sins forgiven, through the atonement of Christ, upon conditions of complete repentance. It is NOT necessary for one to die in order for that one to live. Christ did that for us.

Blogger Andrea July 18, 2012 3:30 AM  

jerry,

Though it's nearly midnight now, I wanted to reply to some of the points you addressed at 6:58 p.m.

"all grammatical errors (including the King Benjamin-King Mosiah controversy) aside"
That's not a grammatical error. It's whitewashing a mistake in the timeline years after the fact. There's dozens of examples of this.

Actually, we don't know who made the mistake. Was it Mormon? The scribe who compiled the record from which Mormon got his material? We don't know. Joseph Smith corrected the apparent error once it was discovered. In light of the amazing complexity of the Book of Mormon, it is apparent that no man could keep track of so many details in his head -- as Joseph is reported to have done (if you believe he was making it up as he went). And the internal consistency of the Book of Mormon -- geographically, theologically, chronologically, etc. -- plus the public manner of its creation suggests that the Book could not have been fabricated "on the fly" or by collaboration, as you suppose (or propose).

One would expect errors.

Several eyewitnesses testified that the words would appear to Smith until they were translated correctly (including correct spelling). Once translated correctly with proper spelling the words would disappear and a new verse would appear.

No one, of course, saw this except Joseph -- if he did indeed experience the "translation" process as you (and others) have described it (by looking into his hat). So you believe their statements, that this is how the BoM was written?

One would therefore NOT expect a divinely translated document to appear as if it were written by a dumb hillbilly.

Except that a "dumb hillbilly" was the one God selected to do the work. It was translated into Joseph Smith's language (not ours).

When he came to large swaths of text that, clearly, were already included in the Bible...
...he should have realized that the King James Bible was written hundreds of years after Mormon. DOH!

Do you know what parts of the King James Bible are in the Book of Mormon? Many chapters of Isaiah. (These were brought to the New World on brass plates, carried from Jerusalem prior to 586 B.C.) The Book of Mormon has no other Old Testament prophet writing after that date, except as were delivered by the Savior to them several centuries after the fact. There are several New Testament passages, but the Book of Mormon explains that Christ taught these things to His faithful disciples thoughout the dispensations of earth, but forbade those who received them from revealing them to the world until after Christ should minister in the flesh. (In other words, they were to keep His "message" secret so as not to steal His "thunder" when He should appear. Consequently, no "beatitudes" or Sermon on the Mount in the OT.) It is in the BoM, however, since Christ visited and taught in the New World after His resurrection.

Blogger Andrea July 18, 2012 3:33 AM  

(cont.)

If I were translating a lengthy (531-page) document, and came to discover that a part of it had been previously translated, I might well use that translation...especially since JS accepted the KJV of the Bible to be "the word of God" as it was written. (Only later did he realize that book, too, contained errors.)

But you just finished telling us what a "remarkable accomplishment" it was to translate a document by sticking your face in a hat.

He "translated" the King James Bible quoted in the BoM, too. (His face didn't leave the hat.) He never opened his Bible during the translation process. If he accessed the English translation already in use in his day, he did that, too, by supernatural means (i.e., "the gift and power of God"). I'm guessing Joseph used the KJV because it was easier and more sensible to do so. Why re-invent the wheel, even if the old wheel is not quite as perfect as the "new" one you could make -- if the "old" one's good enough? Joseph just may not have seen the need.)

But if Smith just wanted to throw a little KJV in too? Well that's cool too. It's what you would have done, after all. Nevermind that the witnesses and scribes never mentioned this little shortcut, [precisely] or pointed out that it's a little too obvious that "reformed egyptian" translates word for word into King James English 1000 years after the fact.

You seem to be making my point, not yours. How do you propose Joseph spoke the KJV, page after page, verbatim, from his hat -- as you've said multiple witnesses claimed he did?

Again, I don't know. I'm willing to suspend my doubts and disbelief

No doubt Smith was counting on that.

Good luck, sucker.

Rather than feel like a sucker, I feel very blessed. The Book of Mormon (and the LDS Church and faith) have greatly enriched my life (and those of my family).

I wanted to address a point you made earlier: "They did not fight against God no more" (p. 290)

You made fun of that. Obviously, it's not good English. But it may be perfect "reformed Egyptian"! Many of the changes made to the Book of Mormon since 1830 have obliterated what were, otherwise, examples of perfect Hebrew constructions. For example, in English, we say "if...then...". But in Hebrew, they say "if...and...". Joseph's original translation had many such "if...and" constructions -- even though such were completely foreign to his language and experience. Yet they were perfectly fine Hebrew constructions.

The Church has since obliterated most of them, by re-working the translation to fit modern standardized English. That's unfortunate. The original work testifies to its authenticity. (Fortunately, you can still see the original translation in many books now published.)

This is one example -- and there are many for those who wish to seek them out -- of "criticisms" of the Book of Mormon that actually turn out to be "testimonies" in support of the same.

Blogger Good Will July 18, 2012 3:34 AM  

Somehow my last three comments above were attributed to my wife (Andrea) and not me (Good Will).

Anonymous Luke July 18, 2012 7:11 AM  

It doesn't matter, Good Will. Once you were clearly identified as Mormon instead of logical, consistent, or Christian, I largely stopped reading your posts on this thread past the first line, and I suspect I have considerable company.

I do wish for the fate of your soul and quality of life here on Earth that you'd abandon Mormonism and come back to Christianity, but I wouldn't take bets on how or when that will come to be. Ah, well, the apostasy rate from Mormonism back to Christianity (or at least secularism) amoung young Mormons is extremely high now, even typical, thanks to the Internet unmasking for them the largely-fraudulent theological foundations Mormonism comes from, and rests upon today. Mormonism can arguably be viewed as most significant in American now (the Romney blip aside) as simply an inefficient/onerous way to breed a few more (ultimately secular or "normal" Christian) whites than would otherwise be born [which result I consider good], especially in the nonPacific West. I figure that it's somewhat analogous to how Reform Jews are rapidly largely disappearing via intermarriage (and voluntary reproductive barrenness in the latter case), or uber-liberal "Christian" churches. If your foundations are built of salt, they can't be expected to hold up to the inevitable high waters of history/life/reality/whatever term is in vogue today.

OpenID meistergedanken July 18, 2012 8:06 AM  

The hermaphrodite Andrea/Good Will wrote: "Well, meistergedanken, you've provided a veritable orgy of "blood atonement" links. I shant bother to visit them -- unless you have some point to make. What is your point?"

Of course you won't bother to visit them - you prefer a state of ignorance (even if that ignorance means not reading the words of YOUR OWN PROPHET). That's your perogative. But if you won't read the links, then how about the actual comments in this thread? I provided them because another commenter specifically asked for "elaboration". That is the point.

Read more. Type less. Then you may gain the wisdom you so sorely lack.

OpenID meistergedanken July 18, 2012 8:10 AM  

"I've never once heard a sermon, read a Sunday School lesson, or observed anything that would suggest that "blood atonement" was an ongoing practice in the Church, an espoused doctrine, or anything other than a intellectual "hobby" perhaps undertaken by Brigham Young or other early leaders of the Church. (They had lots of zany ideas...as do we all.)"

That "hobby", or "zany idea", as you so disdainfully put, was responsible for the deaths of quite a few people - even some in the 1980's. Why do you not care that your church has murdered people, justified it with church doctrine, and then covered it up?

Blogger Good Will July 18, 2012 11:25 AM  

meistergedanken July 18, 2012 8:06 AM
The hermaphrodite Andrea/Good Will wrote: "Well, meistergedanken, you've provided a veritable orgy of "blood atonement" links. I shant bother to visit them -- unless you have some point to make. What is your point?"

Of course you won't bother to visit them - you prefer a state of ignorance (even if that ignorance means not reading the words of YOUR OWN PROPHET). That's your perogative. But if you won't read the links, then how about the actual comments in this thread? I provided them because another commenter specifically asked for "elaboration". That is the point.

Read more. Type less. Then you may gain the wisdom you so sorely lack.


I've read ALL your comments. I didn't read the links because I am already familiar both with the allegations and the historical quotes. (But I would read them if you'll entice me with a claim or statement.) However, I have found those arguments (and history) wanting...for reasons you probably won't accept.

If you have a specific claim or charge and are willing to support it, do so. Don't just say "blood atonement", drop bombs on the floor, and think you're work is done. That's like me saying "The LDS Church is true! Look it up on LDS.org! A here are 10 pro-Mormon links!"

Look, my friends, I realize I'm not going to convince anyone (and I understand when you, Luke, and others "turn off". I get it.)

But that won't always be the case (I imagine). I can't "prove" the Book of Mormon's true "scientifically". (In fact, much of the "evidence" -- or lack thereof now -- seems to discourage faith in that work.) Just as the empty tomb is ambiguous, at best, about the Risen Lord. (Even Thomas wouldn't believe...and he knew the other apostles weren't liars!)

But would your opinions change if a steel sword were found in a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican tomb? Or if a picture in ancient Guatemala were found showing a horse and chariot? Would a cache of gold plates unearthed somewhere in Mexico cause you to exercise a particle of faith? Would a discovery in Siberia mentioning the prophet Zenos or Zenoch (both referenced in the Book of Mormon but nowhere else) make you say "Woah! That's freaky!"

My testimony comes from other "witnesses". The "multiplying of the loaves," "walking on water" and other such "evidences" are not necessary for me now. I know by another means.

Even so, I appreciate your skepticism -- even your conviction -- regarding my particular "heresy". At least you can be comforted in knowing that Mormons, by and large, do not go out and seek to seduce your children to have sex or do drugs; they live good, clean lives in accordance with Jesus Christ's teachings; they'll mow your lawn and clean your kitchen in a pinch and, if you put one in charge, he'll run your business or organization with exception skill.

Mitt Romney (while not my choice for president) will do about as well as any "post-America" president can do. (If he picks Pawlenty I'll know he's an idiot and probably destined to lose. He should pick Rand Paul and sweep the election.) But he's no "anti-Christ". Your children are safe.

One could do much worse than be a Mormon. I love Jesus Christ with all my heart and seek to serve Him and keep His commandments. I rely upon Him for my salvation. What more could you want?

Anonymous yukonyon July 18, 2012 12:01 PM  

@ Goodwill and Andrea, I left the conversation a while ago, because it was getting same-old boring. But I feel I should mention, I think you good folks are taking this way too seriously. You seem to be confusing this with missionary work, and it's not. I've learned a long time ago that the people who frequent this blog, and who are very rational, generally speaking, become very irrational on this topic, as demonstrated by the comments above. Or perhaps just intentionally lazy.

And GoodWill, I think you have to stop attacking Christianity as a lesser religion, because Jesus scolds Christianity for dismissing Judaism, and Christianity is to Mormonism as Judaism is to Christianity. There is a good reason the Church leadership forbids disparaging remarks about other faiths in our walls. And, remember what the main discrepancy was when Joseph Smith was inquiring about which faith he should join, because he went into great detail about it, and paid an awful lot of attention to it. So, I wish you'd just stop slamming Christianity. It does nothing for the dialogue.

Attack the person for what he is; a religous demagogue who simply pulls talking points out of the latest edition of the anti-mormon handbook that he happens to own, whether it is out-dated or not. After all, these are good soldiers for the handbook, who believe in what they are doing, and don't see the anti-mormon establishment for what they are; simply a movement to dissuade brand-new members of the Church from continuing their membership. The Mormons who have been around for a couple of years see very clearly the anti-Mormon movement for what it is, and this is what galvanizes them from associating with Christianity, generally speaking. Christians will always see Mormonism as an implicit attack on their faith, just because of the bold claim that Mormons do in fact posess the power of the priesthood, and the authority handed down from Jesus directly, after it was taken off the earth because of the assassination of the apostles and prophets. So naturally, they are going to attack it any way they can; it leaves a size 15 bootprint in their sacred cows' posteriors.

I mean, just look no further than some of the latest comments, because we have a whole fruit salad! Here we have TLM and BW making some very amusing comments by regurgitating talking points straight out of the anti-mormon handbook, without even bothering to fact check anything on Google! A third grader would know better. TLM is bitter that we have an answer for everything, and he obviously never bothered to realize that

a. The first chapter of John the Apostle spells out that Christ did in fact create the earth, and

b. that Mormons aren't the only ones espousing the belief.

I mean, good god, TLM, pull your ass out of the stone ages! Jerry's regurgitating links that we obvioulsy know are intentionally misleading, somehow thinking we've never actually read a facsimile of them before, which demonstrates he's afraid to make any statement which he knows we can probably refute, Markku is saying the same line that the Pharasees said to Jesus, with Jesus recusing them, not by demonstrating his authority, but by pointing out their misunderstanding of the Law, saying "is it not written in your law that ye are gods?", (also another old line, btw, Markku) Vox scoffs at our temple garments without bothering to acknowledge that the same existed in the temple rites back in those days of the Bible.

You should stop taking things so damn personal. Use these otherwise rational people for what they are; good soldiers of the deceptive anti-mormon movement, and hone your skills in counter-attacking the anti-mormon demagogues. Remember, the Lord uses even the most evil of people for His purposes, and these are generally very upstanding people.

Anonymous yukonyon July 18, 2012 12:02 PM  

I'm sorry, it wasn't Jesus, it was Paul, I'm still sleepy

Blogger Good Will July 18, 2012 12:09 PM  

meistergedanken July 18, 2012 8:10 AM
"I've never once heard a sermon, read a Sunday School lesson, or observed anything that would suggest that "blood atonement" was an ongoing practice in the Church, an espoused doctrine, or anything other than a intellectual "hobby" perhaps undertaken by Brigham Young or other early leaders of the Church. (They had lots of zany ideas...as do we all.)"

That "hobby", or "zany idea", as you so disdainfully put, was responsible for the deaths of quite a few people - even some in the 1980's. Why do you not care that your church has murdered people, justified it with church doctrine, and then covered it up?


I can speak of the murders in the 1980s, as they were well-reported. (There was no "cover up".) The FREAKS that killed that woman under the guise of "blood atonement" were no more "Mormon" (nor sanctioned by that faith) than Anders Behring Breivik is "Norwegian" (and his acts are approved by his countryman).

That being said, some Mormons have acted badly, even evilly. Spurious ruminations about "blood atonement" perhaps led some to commit atrocities. No excuses for that ought to be made. (Peter slashed the servant's ear. No doubt he would have done worse, had not Jesus stopped him. Mortals have their "breaking point" and err in judgment and understanding.) The Church has been very clear about the central role of Christ's atonement satisfying for our sins, upon conditions of repentance.

If anything, this demonstrates why living prophets are so necessary. (The dead ones may be wrong in something (or misunderstood) -- and a new guy is necessary to expound and clarify, if not correct.) That being said, the "new" guy may be wrong, too.

I know that may shatter your understanding of what a "prophet" is, but unlike some in the Christian faith, who perhaps idealize and idolize their prophets, Mormons realize that they are just men with a special calling from God. They are not perfect, flawless and inerrant. And whatever they say and do must be sustained by the Holy Spirit, otherwise it is not of God. We are under no obligation to follow prophets into error. Each of us must seek the Spirit as our Guide. (The prophets are only there to help us out. They are NOT the "oil in the lamp".)

Did you have a specific allegation or historical point that you wanted to address? (I don't want to have to slog through all of those links, looking for it.)

Blogger Good Will July 18, 2012 12:22 PM  

Thanks, yukonyon. I didn't realize I was "attacking" Christianity, only highlighting the differences between "Mormonism" and modern-day Christendom. (But I guess that's already obvious to most.)

Surely some see how the changes that have taken place in the Church since 2000 years ago are evidences of a host of "heresies". The modern phenomena of homogamy and homosexual clergy is just a continuation of the same. The Mormon Church seems very "orthodox" by comparison.

When society breaks down and the LDS re-institute polygamy (and maybe even "blood atonement") Vox himself may be among the first to be baptized LDS and made an elder!

OpenID meistergedanken July 18, 2012 1:42 PM  

Brigham Young preached this in a sermon given on September 21, 1856:

"There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.

"I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them....

"And further more, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further;

I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins.

"It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit.... There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, or a calf, or of turtle dove, cannot remit, BUT THEY MUST BE ATONED FOR BY THE BLOOD OF THE MAN." (Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 53-54); also published in the Mormon Church's Deseret News, 1856, page 235)

Good Will/yukonyon - this is YOUR guy saying this. Was he one of you principle leaders, or not? Was he a true Mormon, or not?

OpenID meistergedanken July 18, 2012 1:46 PM  

On another occasion Brigham Young made this chilling statement regarding a person's obligation to spill the blood of those who committed serious sins:

"Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved... and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, 'shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?'

"All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers and sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant....

"I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance... IF THEIR LIVES HAD BEEN TAKEN AND THEIR BLOOD SPILLED ON THE GROUND as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the Devil... I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them....

"This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it.... if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind." (Sermon by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, February 8, 1857; printed in the Deseret News, February 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 219-220)

I did add the caps for a little emphasis, as some of you have expressed a distaste for reading a lot of material. But again, I feel compelled to ask: Good Will/yukonyon - this is YOUR guy saying this. Was he one of you principle leaders, or not? Was he a true Mormon, or not?

Anonymous jerry July 18, 2012 2:55 PM  

"How do you propose Joseph spoke the KJV, page after page, verbatim, from his hat -- as you've said multiple witnesses claimed he did?"

According to witnesses, he saw the words in his mind, spoke them, his scribes transcribed them, the words would not disappear until they were properly translated and spelled correctly then the words would disappear and a new verse would appear.

But according to you he figured that was too much work and chose to ignore the hat and copy directly from the KJV.

Really, these rationalizations are beyond stupid.

Blogger Good Will July 18, 2012 3:22 PM  

jerry July 18, 2012 2:55 PM
"How do you propose Joseph spoke the KJV, page after page, verbatim, from his hat -- as you've said multiple witnesses claimed he did?"

According to witnesses, he saw the words in his mind, spoke them, his scribes transcribed them, the words would not disappear until they were properly translated and spelled correctly then the words would disappear and a new verse would appear.

But according to you he figured that was too much work and chose to ignore the hat and copy directly from the KJV.

Really, these rationalizations are beyond stupid.


No, you misunderstood (or I wasn't very clear in my explanation)...and, really, it's only my opinion...neither of us was there to witness the translation for ourselves.

But what I thought I said was that Joseph Smith looked into his hat and read the KJV of the Bible (written somewhere). Joseph was a seer. As such, he could see anything God ordained for him to see. He was not limited to translating the golden plates. He could read anything God wanted him to read...or know. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST), the Book of Mormon (BoM), the Pearl of Great Price (PoGP), the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) -- they were ALL received by revelation, some requiring the use of a seer stone, others not. (Joseph gave the seer stone he used to translate the BoM to Oliver Cowdery, who passed it on to his descendents, who gave it to the Church. It's of no use (practically) to anyone other than the seer for whom it is ordained to be used.)

So what I'm saying is, Joseph may have "read" the KJV when it suited his purposes (while still looking in his hat) because it "meshed" with what he was translating -- then perhaps reverted back to the BoM when it covered "new" material.

I don't know. (And neither do you.)

But don't you think it's extraordinary that someone -- anyone! -- could recite a whole book of that quality and complexity off the top of his head?! Could anyone? He was inspired either of God or of the devil.

The Book of Mormon stands on its own as a witness of Christ. It is filled with His voice and words. I cannot accept the notion that the devil wrote it.

And that's really what it boils down to: "My sheep hear my voice."

Blogger Good Will July 18, 2012 3:42 PM  

Good Will/yukonyon - this is YOUR guy saying this. Was he one of you principle leaders, or not? Was he a true Mormon, or not?

Absolutely, this is our guy! One of the great ones!

Was he right? Was he wrong? I don't know exactly.

Theorizing about the legitimacy of killing someone in order to save them (or to improve their lot) is callous. But it's not necessarily wrong. I think BY was making a point: You need to be "all in". No quibbling. This isn't a game.

And sermonizing on this fact doesn't make BY (or those who listened to him) killers any more than Jesus' disciples became killers upon hearing His teachings.

Brigham Young taught that some sins couldn't be repented of.

So did Jesus.

Matthew 12:31
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Brigham Young said it was better for some sinners to die (or be killed) rather than live.

So did Jesus.

Matthew 18:6
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

So I have to ask you, meistergedanken: This Jesus...this is YOUR guy saying this. Was he one of you principle leaders, or not? Was he a true Messiah, or not?

Anonymous TLM July 18, 2012 4:04 PM  

Yukon
It's funny how agitated you modern mormons get when people bring up traditional mormon beliefs and teachings. Why are you embarrassed by them? Atleast Goodwill has the balls to defend his beliefs where you just babble on and on with one excuse/story after another. And your tendency to play poor little picked on Mormon victim is unbecoming of any man regardless of religion.-

Blogger Markku July 18, 2012 4:08 PM  

Jesus said, it WOULD have been better. Only, it didn't happen. The sin happened. Young actually commands the murder: "This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it"

Anonymous jerry July 18, 2012 4:56 PM  

But what I thought I said was that Joseph Smith looked into his hat and read the KJV of the Bible (written somewhere).

Lol. Complete with non-ancient verses not added until 1611 AD.

It's caught-red-handed plagiarism. Lol!

The hilarious part for me is when Smith wrote about "King Benjamin" and a couple years later realized that King Benjamin had died earlier in the narrative so he went back and changed "Benjamin" to "Mosiah".

Come on, guys! This is a Mr. Bean sketch, not a divine dispensation.

OpenID meistergedanken July 18, 2012 8:39 PM  

Good Will wrote: "So I have to ask you, meistergedanken: This Jesus...this is YOUR guy saying this. Was he one of you principle leaders, or not? Was he a true Messiah, or not?"

Nice try. You are laboring under a misapprehension - he is not my guy. He is not one of my leaders. He is most likely not the Messiah. I am an Agnostic. But I am a stickler for consistency. And it irritates me when supposedly staunch adherents of a given faith don't know their own scripture or the history of their espoused religion.

And if you bothered to READ the material I linked to you would see that this was NOT theoretical sermonizing. It was put into practice. Yeah, it would be a pain to read and watch all that stuff. All those facts. All those eyewitness accounts. But there are a lot of murders to cover and recount, after all. A lot of crimes to document. Who has time for the truth these days, except for a searcher and questioner like myself who makes the effort?

Anonymous Tom B July 18, 2012 9:31 PM  

"There were surely wolves in sheeps clothing who helped engineer the demise of the liberal denominations and congregations, but it should not be forgotten that they were abetted by many foolish and short-sighted individuals who were genuine Christians. One of the great shortcomings of nearly every church I have ever attended is the complete lack of vigilance for the wolves. Paul warns of them, and yet most churches never stop to think that among their most avid volunteers are likely those who seek to destroy the institution."


Or, to grossly paraphrase the Bible: "Bonhoeffer wept."

Anonymous Luke July 18, 2012 9:43 PM  

Good Will, here's what I expect from you (since you won't read the articles I linked to):

1) Accept the Nicene Creed in its entirety, without reservations or any Marxist-level (let alone Mormon-level) redefinitions of terminology away from its normally understood definition.

2) Accept the Commandment that "thou shalt have no other gods [before me]".

3) Accept that the clause in the Book of Revelation that to add or subtract from the Gospel means hell is really there, and applies to all Christians, as do the other places in the Bible speaking comparably.

4) Apply the Biblical tests for false prophets to the founders of Mormonism, casting out (words/writings/teachings/examples, not just names meaninglessly) any who fail. (Hint: there are arguably over a thousand such failures just in the writings of Joey Smith.) Dumping anyone who ever said post-conversion he wasn't a Christian would be integral to this. (Again, bye-bye pedo horsethief convicted career scammer Joey Smith the well-rid-of POS.)

5) Cast out A/A any early Mormons who stole for personal gain, used thin religious claims as ways to scam other men's wives and young daughters into bed, or showed hypocrisy in any significant way after their supposed conversion (not a disqualifier for Saul of Tarsas, once he --> the Apostle Paul).

6) Accept that salvation is by faith, not by works. This of course includes no more accepting validity of buying better heavenly status via tithing necessarily going to Mormon, Inc., who mainly use it for increasing power and not good works in any event. You do know that purchasing indulgences has been found unBiblical (and thus unChristian), don't you?

7) Either accept (as does any genuine Protestant Christian) that no human intermediary is required between the scriptures and God, or go join the Roman Catholic Church, where they accept that kind of stuff.

8) Ditch the pagan underwear, special white "temple" slippers ala something the Muslims would have, etc.

9) Stop having the weird made-up meaningless/Satanic-appearing (but probably mostly ripped off from the Masons in simplified form) secret rites, such as the throat-cutting gesture.

10) Stop denying well-behaved nonMormie family and close friends the right to attend Mormie weddings. Yeah, that means stop having your temple wedding ceremonies be something that you have to hide, you're so ashamed of what goes on there.

11) Skim the articles I linked, and where ever there is a chart contrasting what Mormos believe with what Christians believe, unreservedly accept the latter as true and what you believe.

12) Alternatively to items 1 - 11, stop lying and calling yourself a Christian. It's mendacious (without doing the above), and sets you up for even your positive aspects to be dismissed.

P.S.: Whenever I see the word Mormon, I'm likely to be reminded of this passage from H.P. Lovecraft's book "The Horror at Red Hook":

"
“O friend and companion of night, thou who rejoicest in the baying of dogs and spilt blood, who wanderest in the midst of shades among the tombs, who longest for blood and bringest terror to mortals, Gorgo, Mormo, thousand-faced moon, look favourably on our sacrifices!”

Anonymous Luke July 18, 2012 10:37 PM  

Oh, and the "Gorgo, Mormo" reference above precedes Lovecraft. It's apparently from a Hecate rite, a pagan goddess of the Underworld and demons. Lovely term...

OpenID meistergedanken July 19, 2012 7:41 AM  

Luke - You and I could get along nicely, I think. Even many Lovecraft fans aren't acquainted with "The Horror At Red Hook".

Blogger Good Will July 19, 2012 11:14 AM  

Alright, Mr. meistergedanken, I will peruse (slog through) the links you posted (just because I want to see "a lot of murders", as you put it, attributed to the doctrine of "blood atonement"). It's not high on my priority list, but I will read them in the next day or so and get back to you (so "bookmark" this post).

As for Luke,


1) Accept the Nicene Creed in its entirety, without reservations or any Marxist-level (let alone Mormon-level) redefinitions of terminology away from its normally understood definition.

I doubt that Vox himself believes in the Nicene Creed. (I guess he's not a "Christian".) Upon what authority or evidence do you believe the Nicean Creed?

2) Accept the Commandment that "thou shalt have no other gods [before me]".

Jesus said "I said ye are gods, and children of the most high." I guess you're not disputing the existence of other gods, merely suggesting the possibility that I might be worshipping some of them before (or in addition to) Heavenly Father/Jehovah/Jesus Christ. (I don't.)

3) Accept that the clause in the Book of Revelation that to add or subtract from the Gospel means hell is really there, and applies to all Christians, as do the other places in the Bible speaking comparably.

Only if you'll accept a similar clause in Deut. 4:2 and throw out everything written after that. (And hell can exist -- and does! -- even if it's not your version of it.)

4) Apply the Biblical tests for false prophets to the founders of Mormonism, casting out (words/writings/teachings/examples, not just names meaninglessly) any who fail. (Hint: there are arguably over a thousand such failures just in the writings of Joey Smith.) Dumping anyone who ever said post-conversion he wasn't a Christian would be integral to this. (Again, bye-bye pedo horsethief convicted career scammer Joey Smith the well-rid-of POS.)

Joseph Smith prophesied that his name would be spoken of for both good and evil among all people. (That's a pretty impressive prophecy! I wouldn't make the same claim about myself!) Your words (coupled with mine) here have substantiated Joseph's prophecy (at least among "these" people). It's now a world-wide Church (with world-wide "unbelievers" like yourself). Prophesy fulfilled.

That being said, I am familiar with the "biblical tests" for false prophets. One might assume that a true prophet would never utter a false prophecy. Let's put that to a test, shall we? First, find me a living prophet....

Oh? You don't believe in living prophets? Only dead ones? Why is that?

Well, anyway, after you find a living prophet, we'll follow him around and record everything he says and does -- and look for inconsistencies. On the basis of any unfulfilled "prophecies", we'll kill him for "blasphemy", shall we?

Wait, didn't they already do that with Jesus? Joseph Smith doesn't stand a chance!

If it's any consolation to you, a prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as a prophet. Otherwise, he is just like any other man, subject to weakness, frailty and error. Only his prophecies accompanied by the witness of the Holy Ghost have validity, for the Holy Ghost bears witness of all truth. (If you can't hear or feel the HG, you can always wait around with the "wicked and adulterous generation" to see if the "signs and wonders" occur later.)


5) Cast out A/A any early Mormons who stole for personal gain, used thin religious claims as ways to scam other men's wives and young daughters into bed, or showed hypocrisy in any significant way after their supposed conversion (not a disqualifier for Saul of Tarsas, once he --> the Apostle Paul).

I won't fish for these red herrings.

Anonymous Luke July 19, 2012 11:37 AM  

Good Will Hunting:

You've gone with alternate choice #12, then -- or decided to be a liar.
Which one is it?

Blogger Good Will July 19, 2012 11:54 AM  

(Cont.)

6) Accept that salvation is by faith, not by works.

Only if you'll accept that faith without works is dead.

7) Either accept (as does any genuine Protestant Christian) that no human intermediary is required between the scriptures and God, or go join the Roman Catholic Church, where they accept that kind of stuff.

Wow! Do I really get to be a "genuine Protestant Christian"? (And not one of those "phony" Christians who lived before the Protestant Reformation?) Really, it amazes me all the Christians who appeal to this or that "authority" (the Bible, the Pope, the Council of Nicea, etc.), but who won't ever, not ever, accept any living prophet who stands in God's place as did Moses, who even commanded that sinners should be put to death! (And under his orders they were killed! Oh, the hypocrisy!)

And, BTW, my friend...

Matthew 10:40
40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Romans 10:13-15
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

No one here is advocating that you can't read your scriptures without an intermediary. But remember...

2 Peter 1:20:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Has the Holy Ghost ceased to move holy men today? Where are your living prophets? Your new scriptures?


8) Ditch the pagan underwear, special white "temple" slippers ala something the Muslims would have, etc.

Really? Sacred garments have no place in Christian worship? (I realize it's only an analogy, but it means more than you suppose....)

Matthew 22:11-14:
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Blogger Good Will July 19, 2012 11:55 AM  

(Cont.)

9) Stop having the weird made-up meaningless/Satanic-appearing (but probably mostly ripped off from the Masons in simplified form) secret rites, such as the throat-cutting gesture.

You don't know what you're talking about.

10) Stop denying well-behaved nonMormie family and close friends the right to attend Mormie weddings. Yeah, that means stop having your temple wedding ceremonies be something that you have to hide, you're so ashamed of what goes on there.

It's because you do not understand or appreciate what goes on in the temple that you think it appropriate to expose it to the world.

11) Skim the articles I linked, and where ever there is a chart contrasting what Mormos believe with what Christians believe, unreservedly accept the latter as true and what you believe.

As you can see (and for good reason) I have difficulty skimming this list of Christian "requirements" you've made. I doubt that I will be more embracing of another chart somewhere.

12) Alternatively to items 1 - 11, stop lying and calling yourself a Christian. It's mendacious (without doing the above), and sets you up for even your positive aspects to be dismissed.

Apparently I'm not your "breed" of Christian. Mormons weren't their breed of Christian, either (in the days of Joseph Smith), not because we don't love and serve Jesus Christ (We do!), but because other "Christians" refused to acknowledge that fact.

Heck! We even have the name of JESUS CHRIST in the title of our Church! (Not that that proves anything, but it certainly excludes a lot of other churches who DON'T bear His name, shouldn't it?)

On a closing note, Mormons do not want any Christian to give up ANY truth they now have. We only want them to receive MORE truth.

(And I hope Vox keeps this dialogue -- even though it's wildly off-topic -- as it is an example of how Christians wrestle with modern-day "heresy" among the saints.)

Blogger Markku July 19, 2012 12:29 PM  

Apparently I'm not your "breed" of Christian. Mormons weren't their breed of Christian, either (in the days of Joseph Smith), not because we don't love and serve Jesus Christ (We do!), but because other "Christians" refused to acknowledge that fact.

The claim that all Christian churches were under condemnation was the foundational belief of your religion, and then you act all surprised that those churches refused to acknowledge you. Classic passive-aggressiveness.

Blogger Good Will July 19, 2012 1:50 PM  

Markku,

It's one thing to say someone's wrong and another to say they're not Christian.

Joseph thought some church of his day was "true". He just didn't know which one to join. The Methodists? Presbyterians? Catholics? Baptists? Even though they all contested with each other over converts and doctrines, he didn't believe or claim they weren't Christians!

I embrace ALL Christians -- even those on the "fringe" (such as Jehovah's Witnesses...even though I have serious misgivings about their several important -- even fundamental -- heresies, principally their refusal to acknowledge Jesus as our very God, the Creator, the Great I AM, Jehovah of the Old Testament). That does not mean that I recognize their organizations as divinely sanctioned, authorized or approved. (There are many Christians in "non-Christian" churches.)

Blogger Markku July 19, 2012 2:00 PM  

Quote from Joseph Smith: "all their creeds were an abomination in his sight"

This goes way, way beyond an organization not being divinely sanctioned, authorized or approved.

Blogger Good Will July 19, 2012 9:07 PM  

True. God does not approve of false doctrine. It is an "abomination" in His sight.

In my mind, the biggest "abomination" is the "doctrine" that we are NOT the literal offspring of Deity, that He does NOT have a physical body (after which ours are patterned), that we CANNOT become even as our Father through the grace and merciful atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ.

What could be more damning or heretical than believing and acting as if these truths were false?

Anonymous Beau July 20, 2012 1:57 AM  

What could be more damning or heretical than believing and acting as if these truths were false?

Easy, acting as if these falsehoods you, Good Will, profess are truths.

Blogger Markku July 20, 2012 5:50 AM  

What could be more damning or heretical than believing and acting as if these truths were false?

You are begging the question. Of course you believe that the claims of Mormonism are true, and I that they are false. At least one side of the issue is necessarily heretical. But that was not the original point. Everyone should be entitled to hold their opinions as far as other human beings are concerned, but they cannot expect to on one hand claim that the other's doctrine is an abomination, and on the other, expect the other to accept them as fellow Christians.

Anonymous FrankNorman July 20, 2012 9:44 AM  

Good Will - this notion of people committing some sin for which the only atonement was the shedding of their own blood. Did Brigham Young teach that or not?

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 11:43 AM  

Markku July 20, 2012 5:50 AM
"...they cannot expect to on one hand claim that the other's doctrine is an abomination, and on the other, expect the other to accept them as fellow Christians.


With all due respect, that's kind of silly.

The fact that we have so many different Christian sects today suggests that each, in turn, has found something "abominable" (unacceptable, wrong, sinful or unworthy) about the others, necessitating a "schism", a "reformation", a distancing from or re-defining to correct the apostasy, error, omission or deficiency of the other.

Or it may suggest that several well-meaning "sheep" eventually evolved into "wolves" and found that a proprietary religion or congregation had its own earthly and "heavenly" benefits.

It may suggest that we Christians just can't get along, that we're not "one". (And "if ye are not one, ye are not mine" saith the Lord.)

Yet the Eastern Orthodox don't consider the HRCs to be "non-Christians", neither do the Baptists reject the Methodists.

Most Christians today don't claim to be able to tell with any kind of specificity or authority where God came from (other than that "He's always been"), in what manner or form He "walked and talked" with Adam in the Garden of Eden, where He (the Father) resides now (or what He is doing), what He looks like, in what material sense (if any) He is different from the Son or the Holy Ghost, etc. They can't agree on or account for the whereabouts or doings of the Father or the Son at any time since Christ appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus and they are unwilling (as a group) to recognize that their God hasn't breathed so much as a word (that could be regarded as "scripture) to anyone since the last apostle of the primitive Church last took up his quill.

Yet they'll be the first to condemn Mormons for being "non-Christians" for not worshiping the same "unknown God" they worship!

Mormons couldn't proclaim more plainly their faith in and devotion to Jesus Christ.

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 12:02 PM  

FrankNorman July 20, 2012 9:44 AM
Good Will - this notion of people committing some sin for which the only atonement was the shedding of their own blood. Did Brigham Young teach that or not?


He obviously taught it. And what were the sins he spoke of? Who were capable of committing such sins? (These are questions that need to be answered.)

Jesus didn't say to the ones who would lead astray or offend those who came unto him "better for him that he repent and be baptized and believe in me and be forgiven of his sins". No, he said "it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

That's not very nice!

Why not repentance and forgiveness and sweetness and love? How could drowning be better than other (obvious) options: repentance, flogging, prison, forgiveness?

Jesus said there were some sins that were so heinous that they cannot be forgiven and some for which it would have been better for the offender to have never been born.

How do you deal with that?

Anonymous Luke July 20, 2012 12:19 PM  

Joey "Snuffy" Smith and Brigand Youngshagger considered themselves nonChristian, and that all nonMormons were headed for hell:

http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,27699

And: “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 1, p. xl

=============================================================

http://brighamyoungquotes.com/

"...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289)

".I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture" (Brigand Youngshagger)

============================================================

Notable pieces here:

http://www.seafox.com/mormons.html

"Only those who believe in the real Biblical God and Jesus Christ have the right to use the name "Christian." The Mormon prophets historically have openly ridiculed those who believe in the God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit that the Bible reveals.

One question that I would ask all Mormons is this: "If I accept you as a Christian, will you accept me as a Mormon?" Would you accept me as a Mormon if I reject Joseph Smith and all the LDS prophets as being prophets of God. If I do not believe in the Book of Mormon or the LDS Scriptures, baptisms for the dead, the temple endowments, the LDS gospel, would you accept me as a Mormon? The answer is obviously, you would not.

In like manner, when Mormonism denies the Bible and every Christian doctrine do you think that Biblical Christians should accept Mormons as Christians? Again the answer is very obvious, no we will not. You cannot legitimately claim to be Christians when you refuse to accept what the Bible teaches and what a true Christian believes.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Note the following quote from, "What Mormons Think of Christ" (LDS publication, pages 32-34):

"Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much is believed and taught on this subject, however, it is utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one's salvation."

It goes further to say that salvation is "conditional on faith, and repentance, and baptism and keeping the commands of God."

I would like to add, yes, it is very true that Christians do speak much of the blood of Christ. Note the emphasis the Bible places on the blood of Christ:

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrew 9:14).

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelations 1:5).

The ejection of this Biblical truth by the LDS church shows again it is not a Christian church.

Note that in the following verses the Bible says salvation, which is forgiveness of sin and receiving of eternal life, is a gift of God, and it is not obtained by "works":

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness"
(Romans 4:5).

Anonymous Luke July 20, 2012 12:29 PM  

Some Mormonist false prophecies:

http://carm.org/false-prophecies-of-joseph-smith

"Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, claimed to be a prophet of God. Was he a prophet of the true and living God? There are two ways to find out. First, compare what he says to Scripture and if what the Prophet teaches contradict Scripture, then he is false. The second way is to examine any prophecies that he has made. If a single prophecy fails, then the person is a false prophet.

Please note that having several fulfilled prophecies and even a single false prophecy still means that the person is not a true prophet of God. The test for a prophet is not if he gets them most right, but all right. The Bible tells us...

"But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 "And you may say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 "When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him," (Deut. 18:20-22). emphasis added.

We can see that the criteria of a true prophet is not failing when predicting the future. This is because God, who is outside of time and the creator of the universe, makes no mistakes when he tells us what will happen. Those prophets whom he has called will not make a mistake and prophesy the future, since to do so would mean the person is not speaking on God's behalf. Therefore, if anyone claims to be a prophet of God and speaks in the name of God and gives a prophecy that fails, then the person is not of God.

Did Joseph Smith make any prophecies? Yes he did."

------------------------------------------------------------------



Prophecy about Jesus' return within 56 years

Prophecy that the temple would be built in Missouri within Smith's Generation

All Nations would be involved in the American Civil War

Prophesy that the earth will tremble and the sun be hidden in "not many days": "For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree," (Doctrine and Covenants 88:87) See context

The sun hasn't yet been hidden nor has the moon hidden its face.
This prophecy was given on 12/27/1832. "Not many days hence"? Since the writing of this article on 6/22/06, it has been 63,364 days or 173 years, 5 months, 26 days. I think that 63,364 days is more than "not many days".

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Prophecy that Isaiah 11 was about to be fulfilled

"...soon would come," (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, History, verse 40). See context

Isaiah 11:6-9 says, "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. 7Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea."
This has not yet been fulfilled. The wolf is not dwelling with the lamb, the calf and the lion are not together, nor are the cow and bear grazing together. The lion is not eating straw like an ox. Nursing children are not playing in the dens of cobras.

Blogger Markku July 20, 2012 1:41 PM  

The fact that we have so many different Christian sects today suggests that each, in turn, has found something "abominable" (unacceptable, wrong, sinful or unworthy) about the others, necessitating a "schism", a "reformation", a distancing from or re-defining to correct the apostasy, error, omission or deficiency of the other.

First of all, "abomination" is an extremely strong word, implying utter disgust. Second, not "something" abominable. Smith names the abominable thing: the creeds. It is the contents of their beliefs that are supposedly abominable.

Yet the Eastern Orthodox don't consider the HRCs to be "non-Christians", neither do the Baptists reject the Methodists.

Which only makes the point of things working out a bit better when you don't call the other's beliefs an abomination. The differences are mostly about different opinions on what is the optimal way to do the daily walk.

Yet they'll be the first to condemn Mormons for being "non-Christians" for not worshiping the same "unknown God" they worship!

And I completely agree with them. I, in fact, do consider Mormon doctrine an abomination - something that fills me with utter disgust. So I have no problem with Smith's words per se. What's sauce for the goose and all that. But I don't pretend that if Mormons then find religious fellowship with me somewhat problematic, then it is them who is being difficult.

I don't know everything that's true about God, but I know many things that are false about Him. And therein lies the problem.

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 5:04 PM  

Markku,

Your comments are reasonable and well put. Thank you for the dialogue. But, again, it is you who is calling the "abominable" Mormons "non-Christians"....

You know, I take it back. I'm sure Brigham Young (and others) said that those professing to be Christians in his day (you know, the ones who murdered and raped the Latter-day Saints and drove them out of Nauvoo and Far West in the dead of winter, causing thousands to die along the way...those people who shot and killed the innocents at Haun's Mill...the ones who murdered Joseph Smith and his brother at Cathage...okay, Brigham Young said those people (and the ministers who supported them, including the governor of Illinois, who issued an "extermination order" against the Mormons) they weren't "Christian".

But the LDS Church hardly considers Baptists, Catholics, etc., to be "non-Christian". Quite the contrary! It was the "abomination" of their creeds, however, that required God to restore the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in its purity and fulness.

You don't deny or disparage the Protestant Reformation, do you? Do you think the Catholic doctrines of trans-substantiation, last rites, the worship of Mary, selling of indulgences, females sitting as pope, papal infallability, etc. -- were those all "good"? (Or are they "abominable"?) I think Martin Luther would have called them "abominations". And live fruit can't come from a dead tree.

The priesthood "died" with the Catholics. God had to restore it afresh.

That being said, it wasn't "restored" all at once. And early Mormons -- just like Mormons today -- weren't perfect, all knowledgeable, always right, or anything like that. (Same with Peter, Paul, Moses, Adam and the rest.)

Mormon doctrine is a big pill to swallow. And those who followed Jesus anciently turned from Him, as well, when He revealed "heavy" things to them. "Are you going to leave me, too?" He asked His disciples. "Where would we go?" they replied. "Thou hast the words of eternal life."

That's why I stick around. The Mormon Church isn't "perfect". (The Church itself admits that "[God] will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God", so the Church couldn't possibly know everything.) But it is a definite improvement, in my estimation.

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 5:15 PM  

As for you, Luke, what are you...like five? Most of your quotes didn't say anything like you apparently thought they said.

I take it you thought this BY quote...

"...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289)

...was particulary inflammatory (and damning). I don't. I fully support it.

The key was "this dispensation". Mormons believe that Joseph Smith is the prophet who heads this depensation (under Christ), just as Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and others headed their dispensations. Joseph holds the keys of authority -- to bind and loose on earth and in heaven -- just like Peter did. (In fact, Joseph got those keys from Peter.) So, you see, my friend, everyone who will be saved since the time of Joseph Smith will need to acknowledge the validity of Joseph -- either on earth or in heaven.

(Would you think it preposterous to say "Oh, I believe in Jesus! It's that Peter fellow I can't stand and won't obey!" Or "God I believe in! It's Moses whose a damn fool, a murderer, and pretend prophet. He's going to hell!"

You see, if you don't receive God's servants, you can't receive God. (At least, not the the degree that you would receive Him if you received His servants.)

Blogger Markku July 20, 2012 7:42 PM  

Your comments are reasonable and well put. Thank you for the dialogue. But, again, it is you who is calling the "abominable" Mormons "non-Christians"....

I said Mormon doctrine is abominable, not Mormons. I'm sure at least the rank and file don't teach it in order to insult God. Of the highest echelons of the hierarchy, I don't know.

Do you think the Catholic doctrines of trans-substantiation, last rites, the worship of Mary, selling of indulgences, females sitting as pope, papal infallability, etc. -- were those all "good"?

Most of those fill me with equal anger as Mormonism, and I would call them abominable any time. Catholicism and Mormonism are the only two doctrines that really anger me. Islam to a smaller degree. But Catholicism doesn't contain any such beliefs that would endanger the salvation of every individual Catholic. The errors do not go into the core of Christianity; the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ. That would be the case with Mormonism.

Now, I can guess your next question: What about Vox and his denial of the Holy Trinity? I don't know. I am concerned, though. But I don't have his beliefs spelled out with such detail as I have Mormonism's. I know only what he doesn't believe.

Let's take Jehovah's Witnesses, for example. The problem is not that they reject Trinity as a doctrine. Those dogmas were grouped into a doctrine only after Arius came around, and the name of the doctrine has no special significance. If they don't like the name, fine. The problem is what they believe instead.

Would you think it preposterous to say "Oh, I believe in Jesus! It's that Peter fellow I can't stand and won't obey!" Or "God I believe in! It's Moses whose a damn fool, a murderer, and pretend prophet. He's going to hell!"

It would only be preposterous because there is a clear chain of authority. Jesus proved himself by rising from the dead, and Peter and Moses were in turn affirmed by Jesus's words. I have no such affirmation from Jesus about Joseph Smith.

Blogger Markku July 20, 2012 7:58 PM  

You do know the stock Mormon answer to the polygamy issue, right? Something along the lines of "why are you blaming us for what our fathers have done, would you like to be blamed for the actions of your relatives?" Now, I have never been satisfied with this answer. The present day Mormons get their claims of authority from those very people. It is extremely problematic if they say they were wrong. There goes their own authority too.

But here come you, and predict that polygamy will be reinstituted the moment it becomes politically viable. Now THIS is consistent indeed. But the problem is that it puts the lie to the stock answer. I smelled a rat, and the rat turned out to be there.

But then, what about the abominable creeds? Again, the consistent approach would be to go the Jehovah's Witness way; to say that "we are the only Christians, all you others are pagans". But no, you say, we're all Christians here, abominable creeds notwithstanding.

I smell a rat again. What I think is going to happen is that the moment Mormons think that they no longer get any advantage from being identified with rest of the Christendom, they go back to the roots quicker than you can say Moroni.

Blogger Markku July 20, 2012 8:04 PM  

I would even go so far as to suspect that you personally are considered to be inner circle enough to be let in on the secret that polygamy is coming back. But hush hush, don't let the neophytes know, they just couldn't handle it yet.

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 10:28 PM  

Markku July 20, 2012 7:42 PM

Would you think it preposterous to say "Oh, I believe in Jesus! It's that Peter fellow I can't stand and won't obey!" Or "God I believe in! It's Moses who's a damn fool, a murderer, and pretend prophet. He's going to hell!"

It would only be preposterous because there is a clear chain of authority. Jesus proved himself by rising from the dead, and Peter and Moses were in turn affirmed by Jesus's words. I have no such affirmation from Jesus about Joseph Smith.


Thank you! That was a very reasonable thing to say, Markku!

No Mormon would give a rat's navel (or be a Mormon) for Joseph Smith's sake if he or she weren't convinced that Joseph Smith did receive that divine authority from Jesus Christ.

And once they conclude that he had (has) that authority, what doctrine or commandment would be too crazy? As Vox likes to say: "God's game, God's rules."

A lot of people assume that Mormons today (and earlier) were simply duped, dumb, brainwashed, or downright intrinsically evil to embrace Mormonism and Joseph Smith -- especially in light of the circumstances surrounding Joseph Smith's upbringing, the Church's "unbelievable" origins, "outrageous" doctrines (polygamy anyone?), the opposition of virtually every Christian denomination extant, some things the Book of Mormon asserts that are inconsistent with what we "know" to be true, and government persecution.

You'd have to be an IDIOT (most people conclude) to be a Mormon.

I get it. It's an amazing thing. I'm sure most Jews of Jesus' day were asking "Jesus who? You think he's the Messiah? The carpenter's son? That guy who's mom got pregnant before they were married? Ya, right! What are you, an idiot?"

The thing I guess I should regret the most (if I cared about it, which I don't) is that people must seriously question my intelligence, my education, my morals, or my understanding of the scriptures when I tell them I'm a Mormon, given all of the above.

But the truth is (despite all the above) I have received a firm witness FROM GOD -- by many evidences and means, and on thousands of occasions -- that Joseph Smith DID receive that authority from God. The Book of Mormon (if anyone cared to read it) is the principal evidence of that authority. Together with the Bible, it proclaims the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 11:00 PM  

Markku July 20, 2012 7:58 PM
You do know the stock Mormon answer to the polygamy issue, right? Something along the lines of "why are you blaming us for what our fathers have done, would you like to be blamed for the actions of your relatives?" Now, I have never been satisfied with this answer. The present day Mormons get their claims of authority from those very people. It is extremely problematic if they say they were wrong. There goes their own authority too.

I've never heard the "stock" answer, Markku. (And I'm an old Mormon.) In fact, I don't repudiate polygamy in the slightest (anymore than I repudiate Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon or any of the other prophets who were both polygamists and approved of God).

But here come you, and predict that polygamy will be reinstituted the moment it becomes politically viable. Now THIS is consistent indeed. But the problem is that it puts the lie to the stock answer. I smelled a rat, and the rat turned out to be there.

I really don't believe polygamy will be re-instituted any time soon, Markku. (I was just kidding.) Even if everyone else were practicing polygamy, the Lord will not re-institute it (in my humble opinion) until the earth is decimated of her inhabitants and a child can count the number of men remaining (figuratively speaking). The Book of Mormon actually condemns polygamy in general. (Most people don't know that.) Sorry, no rat here. I'm proud of our polygamous heritage. And I believe in polygamy (even if I don't practice it).

But then, what about the abominable creeds? Again, the consistent approach would be to go the Jehovah's Witness way; to say that "we are the only Christians, all you others are pagans". But no, you say, we're all Christians here, abominable creeds notwithstanding.

Is that so bad? What's wrong with that? If I said "You suck as a painter! All your colors are wrong! Your representation doesn't look anything like the subject!", would that mean the artist wasn't a painter? No. Just that his work was an "abomination" in my eyes!

God told Joseph Smith that those professing to be Christians didn't know what they were talking about. They were misguided in several important points -- so much so that the salvation of many souls, then living and dead, and generations yet to come, were in danger of not being saved unless corrective action was undertaken. The gospel would need to be "refreshed" or "restored". This was prophesied in the Bible.

To those who rejected Christ during His ministry, Peter spoke:

Acts 3:19-21:
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

One of those prophets was Daniel, who prophesied that God would establish His kingdom in the last days (during the kings of Europe) to supplant all other earthly kingdoms. This kingdom would never be taken from the earth. (See Daniel 2.)

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 11:02 PM  

(Cont.)

I smell a rat again. What I think is going to happen is that the moment Mormons think that they no longer get any advantage from being identified with rest of the Christendom, they go back to the roots quicker than you can say Moroni.

Really, there's no rat! There's nothing to be gained by Mormons contending against Christendom. We don't want other Christians to give up any truths that they now have anyway. ("They who are not against us are for us!" Jesus said.) Mormons will never be claiming "Hey, all the Christian denominations and their creeds are just swell!" That's not going to happen. It can't happen.

But the truth will be revealed, by and by. Either Mormon "prophecies", more and more, will come to pass (or perhaps more and more "Christian" churches -- like the Episcopal -- will go off the deep end into greater apostasy) until the honest in heart will be forced to exclaim, "Hey, I guess I was wrong!" They'll then get baptized, become Mormons, and go on with their lives (either in this life or in the next, pretty much as they live now).

Or Jesus will come back, repudiate the Mormons, and all the Mormons will go to hell.

So the truth will be revealed soon enough.

Meanwhile, let's all try to show brotherly love and do as Christ would do.

Blogger Good Will July 20, 2012 11:28 PM  

Now, back to Luke:

http://www.seafox.com/mormons.html

"Only those who believe in the real Biblical God and Jesus Christ have the right to use the name "Christian." The Mormon prophets historically have openly ridiculed those who believe in the God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit that the Bible reveals.

I'm sorry, who is the arbiter of "the real Biblical God and Jesus Christ"? Christians can't even agree among themselves what the Bible teaches! Do you get to decide who is and is not a "real" Christian?

One question that I would ask all Mormons is this: "If I accept you as a Christian, will you accept me as a Mormon?" Would you accept me as a Mormon if I reject Joseph Smith and all the LDS prophets as being prophets of God. If I do not believe in the Book of Mormon or the LDS Scriptures, baptisms for the dead, the temple endowments, the LDS gospel, would you accept me as a Mormon? The answer is obviously, you would not.

That's a great question, Luke. (I'm serious. I loved it!)

No, of course we would not accept you as Mormon if you repudiated (everything else) we belive.

However, what you don't understand (apparently) is that Mormons, by and large, believe almost everything most (Protestant) Christians believe, a few things the Catholics believe...and even some things the Jehovah's Witnesses believe! So we don't ask you to give up any truths you now have! Come (by and large) as you are! Just receive more truth! You won't be any less "Christian" for doing so.


In like manner, when Mormonism denies the Bible...

We don't deny the Bible.

...and every Christian doctrine...

We don't deny every Christian doctrine, just the wrong ones!

...do you think that Biblical Christians should accept Mormons as Christians?

No, they wouldn't. And they shouldn't! (But your arguing with false premises.)

Again the answer is very obvious, no we will not. You cannot legitimately claim to be Christians when you refuse to accept what the Bible teaches and what a true Christian believes.

You'd be amazed what the Bible teaches. Have you ever read it? :o)

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