In a gift to prophecy wonks, the “Doomsday Clock” has been set ahead two minutes.
This will undoubtedly elate Rapture enthusiasts, even though they tend to disbelieve the reasons why these scientists feel we’re getting closer to the end.
Expect to see a lot of clock faces on Facebook for the next few days…
Last week I put a link up in the weekly “Linkathon” that was a little historical snapshot about John Wesley that painted a less holy picture of the man than we normally read in Wesleyan hagiography. In the very same article was a link defending Arminianism, written by (shudder) a Calvinist. I thought it was a good balance. As a result, I’ve been “unfriended”, called a drunk, a heathen, and some other things I can’t print. Had the article been critical of Calvin or Luther, the same folks would still be applauding…so my counsel to them is “don’t let the door hit you where the dog bit you”…
In a rare trifecta, Miss Kitty managed to dump a cup of coffee on my keyboard, phone and iPad in one move. So far, all have survived except my shift key…try typing without one.
My favorite observation from N.T. Wright is actually quite classically Reformed in character…and quite radical when you really think about it.
The born again believer is “in Christ”…and thus, what is true about Him is true about them.
This is where all the debates about justification and sanctification should both begin and end…in my opinion of course.
“In Romans 6.11, the result of being baptized “into Christ”… is that one is now “in Christ,” so that what is true of him is true of the one baptized–here, death and resurrection. This occurs within the overall context of the Adam-Christ argument of chapter 5, with its two family solidarities; the Christian has now left the old solidarity (Romans 6.6) and entered the new one. 6.23 may be read by analogy with 6.11; whose who are “in Christ” receive the gift of the life of the new age, which is already Christ’s in virtue of his resurrection–that is, which belongs to Israel’s representative, the Messiah in virtue of his having drawn Israel’s climactic destiny on to himself. Similarly, in Romans 8.1, 2 the point of the expression “in Christ” is that what is true of Christ is true of his people: Christ has come through the judgment of death and out into the new life which death can no longer touch (8.3-4; 8.10-11), and that is now predicated of those who are “in him.” In Galatians 3.26 the ex-pagan Christians are told that they are all sons of God (a regular term for Israel…) in Christ, through faith. It is because of who the Messiah is–the true seed of Abraham, and so on–that Christians are this too, since they are “in” him. Thus in v. 27, explaining this point, Paul speaks of being baptized “into” Christ and so “putting on Christ,” with the result that (3.28) [translating Wright’s reproduction of Paul’s Greek here:] you are all one in Christ Jesus. It is this firm conclusion, with all its overtones of membership in the true people of God, the real people of Abraham, that is then expressed concisely in 3.29 with the genitive [again translating]: and if you are of Christ… When we consider Galatians 3 as a whole, with its essentially historical argument from Abraham through Moses to the fulfillment of God’s promises in the coming of Christ, a strong presupposition is surely created in favor both of reading Xpistos as “Messiah,” Israel’s representative, and of understanding the incorporative phrases at the end of the chapter as gaining their meaning from this sense. Because Jesus is the Messiah, he sums up his people in himself, so that what is true of him is true of them.”
N.T. Wright: Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993]
Were people angry about the Wesley article or were they angry at your response (“Apologize or be banned”) to a favorite poster here?
When I’m accused of being a dishonest hack, I will respond.
Mostly, it has been response to my audacity in posting the article.
Such nerve you have to post that article, Michael!!! I’m offended…NOT!!! Is that a baby I hear whining in the distance?
“In Him” – WOW!!! What depths of grace we have yet to uncover. Thank you for sharing this.
In Galatians 3.26 the ex-pagan Christians are told that they are all sons of God (a regular term for Israel…)
Say WHAT? Find me a verse where the expression “sons of God” is used in the Old Testament of Israel.
I’m not even making a dispensational argument here…just a basic observation. The expression shows up in only two books/contexts, and BOTH actually predate Israel’s existence on the planet (whether one believes they are angels or not is immaterial to the point…they are pre-Israel. The Flood story in Genesis, and Job)
What it means to be “in Christ” is so mind-blowing it beggars description…check out Eph 1…and make your own application. 🙂
I have to find a spare keyboard before I go any farther today…
I agree with the importance and significance of being “in Christ” – which is why the comparison of being called a child of God (in Christ) with what Old Testament Jews had is something I will strongly disagree with…
But I’m on the run today….Blessings
To the NT Wright quote “… so that what is true of him is true of them.”
This should lay to rest that sanctification is a separate entity onto it’s own. Sanctification is totally in your justification.
Steve, I was interested in what you said so I googled “Sons of God Israel” and came up with:
“In Him”….that is my mantra, meditation and only hope for this life and whatever The Resurrection” is.
Nonnie, Maybe I should have been clearer. When a writer says “a regular term” and that term is not found once in the manner expressed, and the context is a comparison to the same term used of believers in the New Testament in multiple places, I think that is poor expression or at the least, very unclear.
Yes, Israel, the nation, is described as God’s son (and thus the individuals of that nation).
But is the Bible making an equivalency? Far from it. As John wrote “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” BECOME. All those early Jews who became Christians did not remain sons of God in the same OT relationship they had before Christ. Far from it.
Power is the Greek word used in the sense of authority (not strength). Peter, Paul/Saul and all the rest of them did not have the authority to be called sons of God, even though they were Jews like anyone else in the Old Testament….until of course they were born again.
We are in Christ, adopted children and joint-heirs with the only begotten Son Who is Heir of all things! And there is neither Jew nor Gentile in this reality (though of course people ethnically are still what they are, just like we remain male and female in gender but with no distinction in Christ)
Like I said, I agree with the larger point of the magnitude of the ramifications of being in Christ.
There is zero comparison to anything found among the Old Testament saints in this regard. And of course, in calling the entire nation of Israel the child of God, that includes all those unfaithful Jews who actually were damned too. The New Testament knows no such thing. Only believers in Christ (pun intended) are sons of God…
(no matter what Oprah or anyone else might say about us all people being God’s children 🙂 )
Now I really must run. 😉
Is this blog a good representation of Orthodoxy?
Michael, yes it is a very good representation although you will notice in the comments they are attempting to fine tune it a bit.
from the link:
“Orthodox Christians can confidently state that Orthodoxy does properly regard the biblical teaching of justification as being by faith apart from the works of the Torah, though faith is rightly understood as a life lived in faithful obedience to God.”
^^^ This is what I was trying to say the other day.
I look at justification this way – do we sing with the great multitudes clothed in white;
“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
or do we sing some version of “Lord, thanks for the help!”
Bravo to the Calvin via N T Wright construction… we are on the same page with this one… today I am …
Jean Cauvin Dread
Not much of a hym person. Since JW name came up again, i googled a favorite song of his by his bro. Almost brings tears to eyes
And Can It Be That I Should Gain Words: Charles Wesley, And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood! Died he for me? who caused his pain! For me? who him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 2. ‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! Who can explore his strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries to sound the depths of love divine. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; let angel minds inquire no more. 3. He left his Father’s throne above (so free, so infinite his grace!), emptied himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race. ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me! ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me! 4. Long my imprisoned sprit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee. 5. No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine; alive in him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine, bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own. Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own. – JOhn Wesley
Steve sparked a thought about sons of God and its use.
Like all things being on the same page is half the battle if understanding. I find Christians often go on and on about the topic of Justification and yet seem to miss the associated walk it should bring. Then when challenged another word pops up, sanctified, to describe both the condition and process of the walk of the justified. I like to keep it simple, NT authors often use the idea, “walk in a manner worthy…” which should make it clear, but somehow doesn’t.
Somehow should sons of God walk and does it matter. They’ve been justified and sanctified by the King so how should a true son “clothe” himself? Is it as simple as being washed in the blood of the Sacrifice or is there something else here.
In light of the previous thread on the guru and his marriage ideas, maybe there’s a point where the spiritual becomes the dusty path which covers His people. What kind of dust and dirt covers Jones and what kind cover each of us. Who will be known as sons of God or sons of Satan?
How should sons of God walk…
Damned auto text feature!
Appreciate your “ramblings.” So much so, wanted to share a moment of my own.
” They’ve been justified and sanctified by the King so how should a true son “clothe” himself?”
Because I am in Him and He is in me, I now live and that which was is not longer, as I have been washed in the blood in the Lamb and clothed with his righteousness, therefore, it is not I that live, but He than is within me. Thus, I walk accordingly. Not within that which was, but that I now am by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not that one sees, but He that does those good works through me and in me.
My heart have been changed. I am born again, not of the flesh but of the Spirit. That person I once was is no longer—-for now the law is good and is not a stumbling block but a joy to behold for that which it was given. By His grace and by His sacrifice I have been set free and now able to do His will, not out of being compelled, or obligation, but instead simply due to the new mind and heart that is entwined in Him and seated upon Him.
Does that make sense to you, Bob?
I think 1 John chapter one (and really the whole epistle) answers the question of how believers ought to walk now that Christ has washed us from our sins.
Short answer…In the light (as He is in the light)
It is not that one sees
It is no longer me that one see, but He
I am no longer under the condemnation of the law, but set free to embrace it, thus:
Hebrews Chapter 6
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
To walk in the light as He is in the light (thank you, Steve) and:
Hebrews Chapter 12
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For now, being born again and having the Holy Spirit to guide, teach, comfort, and to convict me:
Hebrews Chapter 10
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 [Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Linda and Steve:
Linda said this:
“it is not I that live, but He than is within me. ”
So how come men who claim to be so spirit and Messiah filled still live like the devil and even justify it? This guy who dumps his wife and comes up with such a grand scheme of justification is so much like how all of us often live out our lives. We want to see and walk in the dark while holding the option to jump into the light when it suits us.
Living in the light also means all things are revealed, not just to God, also to those who live around us.
For those who might say such talk is being bound by the “Law” or “Torah” plainly demonstrate an ignorance of what such talk and ideas mean. There is a substantial difference between those who rely and put their trust in living right verses those who live right (or at least attempt to) because they love the one who provides their justification.
Ironically I believe one can live, behave and act most of their life in a right manner but yet still deny and hate the one who both created them and justified them through His love. I also believe those who yell “GRACE” the loudest are also some of the most evil acting people I meet.
Rambling away. Have to do something legit now. Thanks.
The recorded words of the first man in scripture who had more than one wife.
Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah,
Listen to my voice,
You wives of Lamech,
Give heed to my speech,
For I have killed a man for wounding me;
And a boy for striking me; If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
I agree with what you have shared. Another thought:
As I walk in the light as He is in the light, my character is being changed, whereas, what I would have done before, I do not do now, as it has no hold or to tempt me any longer. The flesh has died and the world is not desired, thus I find myself a foreigner/stranger to those things that once held me in bondage and more anxious to be at home with Him.
There are many things that I may have been tempted to do prior to being born again, but now when situation presents themselves I simply cannot and will not do simply because it is no longer within me to do. It’s not in my heart, my mind, or in the deepest part of my soul. Such as scheming—this is so foreign to me that I have to exercise my brain to wrap my head around in order to understand the process that take place when a person goes about doing these types of things. It scares me when I think that people are capable of such things, yet at the same time, I know without a doubt that many people do for various reasons. But admittedly, my heart grieves greatly while my mind is boggled when people claim to be in the Lord and persist in perpetrating such things.
Lamech–this is why I had mentioned him on the other thread.
It reminds me when Paul tells us: So shall we sin all the more? Because of His grace? I believe the reference is Romans 6.
I really enjoyed reading your post.
You are a wonderful person!
I know so many Christians that follow political leanings more solidly than Biblical leanings.
Political correctness is only temporary.
Whereas Biblical correctness is eternal.
So many of my friends participate in attitudes that are unbiblical because the consensus orthodoxy of their side of politics dictates their actions towards others.
Actions that the Bible does not condone at all.
It was so refreshing to me to read what you posted.
A true Christian attitude that all of us should have.
God bless you!
Like I’ve noted many times here and elsewhere…there is an ironic Simpatico between Global Warming cultists and End Times cultists.
“The born again believer is “in Christ”…and thus, what is true about Him is true about them.”
Yes, that’s what my LDS friends say, what is true about Christ is true about them…”sons of God”
…or was should your statement “The born again believer is “in Christ”…and thus, what is true about Him is true about them” come with a bunch of asterisks and fine print to note that only some things are true about the believer while other things aren’t true and then make a long list of “this is same as Jesus, this isn’t, nope not this one, not this one either…but this one is” and so on 😉
Alex, Ted Cruz can call himself a liberal all day long but that does not make him one.
Mormons can say Jesus all they want, but that does not get them any closer to the kingdom.
There is no close in Christianity – Jews deny Christ – Muslims hold him high … both are in the Mormon category – lost.
I think Alex touches on a good point at 28 and 29. In mathematical terms, think of a Venn Diagram. I understand myself to be a much smaller circle inside Christ. Just because I am in Christ does not mean that all that is true about Him is true about me, for we are not equal.
I am so thankful that he is much, much “bigger” than I am.
I think the context is righteousness and not beyond that.
Lutherans call it the Great Exchange. Whatever righteousness Jesus has he gives to us and whatever sin we have Jesus takes away from us and assumes it upon himself.
I don’t think it is how Big Show (7′ 471 lbs) would fit into 5′ 8″ 150 lbs Jesus 😉
What’s the big idea, MLD? Keeping it in context takes away all the fun.
Mr Cub has died
You beat me to it Dread. Just put my tribute on my facebook.
This is probably stupid and emotionalism which is disgusting. We had several LDS families move onto the court I lived on as a kid. They were not perfect but they were nice people. One day I heard a fire/ambulance roaring down our court, which was different from police which were on our court on almost a semiweekly basis. Apparently the LDS family that were our neighbor were care providers for infants I E child care providers. I ran over to see what was happening, I was two houses away and I saw my neighbor being comforted by another person I did not know. After sometime I came to understand that it was the mother of the infant was comforting my neighbor who was lost and distraught. This truly impacted me as a new Christian because it was made clear to me that LDS had a false Gospel and they basically worshiped Satan and God was their eternal Enemy. I was blown away by this act of kindness and one of the super Christians in my faith community basically told me non elect children, babies, pre born babies are lost and will suffer an eternity in hell. I basically told her she was well a nutcase. Which she turned out to be but that is another post.
What utter nonsense that is of course babies are “saved”, actually babies dont need to be saved but that to is another post. I saw God in the act of the mother of that child that past to the care provider who was my neighbor. It was one of the most holy moments I have ever seen. Someone once told me what LDS folks believe is utter nonsense, well, never mind. I just wanted to share that.
hey brian, did you go try out CR?
I don’t know if you saw my response to your question and I can’t remember what thread it was anyway….
MLD said, “Alex, Ted Cruz can call himself a liberal all day long but that does not make him one.”
Yes, correct…you would assert that Ted Cruz would have to act like a liberal, and “be” a liberal to be truly a liberal.
So your definition of “true” Christianity is to “be like Christ”…which means you are asserting Good Works.
Mormons/LDS have that in spades (many of them).
Then you will pivot and say, “Well, that’s not what I meant…they have to believe in a list of things correctly in order to be saved”
…and then I’d point out that you saying you salvation is by “correct doctrine”
And, then you’d pivot again and claim salvation is a “mystery” and it’s not those other two things.
And, they I’d say, well if it’s a mystery then why do you always say you are so certain about it and why are you so certain Mormons/LDS aren’t saved?
Then you’d start over with your Good Works and “Correct Doctrine” salvation formula…
1 John Chapter 5 (KJV)
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
Ezekiel Chapter 28:12-15 (Satan was created)
12 “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering,
sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared.
14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you
John Chapter 3:18 (Jesus begotten—only son)
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
There is on one God in all the universe: Mark Chapter 12
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.
Other Jesus being preached and Paul’s defense
1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
The Maze of Mormonism:
Start at: 11:37
You can purchase on Amazon: Maze of Mormonism
“4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Paul was exhorting those who were contending with him. For they were listening to the voices of others who were preaching a false gospel.
For those who would like up front and centered information on the Mormon church and doctrines, I would highly recommend contacting Sandra Tanner who with her husband (deceased) work closely with Dr. Walter Martin in ministering to Mormons and others being pulled into this cult.
I truly miss Dr. Martin——and hope God would bring another to fill his shoes.
Utah Lighthouse Ministry
1358 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
“”Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet…When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409) [Whole sermon click here.]
— Joseph Smith: founder, prophet, seer, and revelator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
See Sandra Tanner’s Utah Lighthouse Ministry for links.
I did not say one word about good works and I did not say one word about correct beliefs.
You are so theologically immature that you keep stepping on your … well you know.
The answer can be found in any introductory type Christianity course. Go look up something relating to Christianity 101 and if you have trouble with the big words or Christian thought, give me a call and I will help you.
My point was why call yourself Christian, if you are not (I am speaking about Mormons) – at least be an honest Mormon like Joseph Smith who in the end believed that whatever “so called” Christians were – Mormons were not that.
Can you post the link for your #43. I have many Mormons I do business with. That quote was profound. Sounds like Satan talking. Thanks
I would encourage you, if you have not already to listen to the two videos posted in the above. The second is long, but well worth it.
MLD said, “Alex,
I did not say one word about good works and I did not say one word about correct beliefs.
You are so theologically immature that you keep stepping on your … well you know.”
That’s name-calling and insulting and what I’ve been told is off limits on this blog.
If I responded in kind, I’d be moderated or banned.
Please stop that sort of discourse. If you can’t refrain from the insults, then I’ll start insulting you and things will devolve from there. One warning. I won’t take your abusive language. Either stop it or you’ll ruin the blog again b/c I will respond in kind.
MLD said, “I did not say one word about good works and I did not say one word about correct beliefs.”
Yes, you did. You said, Ted Cruz can say he’s a liberal but that doesn’t make him so.
It’s an ANALOGY you posited and used.
That analogy assumes that in order for Ted Cruz to be a liberal he’d have to act like a liberal, believe certain doctrines that liberals believe and “be” (or practice) liberal.
You are the one who made the analogy whether you accept the correct logic I presented or not.
Joseph Smith’s boasting is not really any different than Paul the Apostle’s:
“5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”[a] 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Paul Boasts About His Sufferings
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.”–Paul the Apostle in the bible.
Martin Luther’s brashness and boasting is legendary.
Many other Guru’s and stalwarts of the faith boasted about how mighty they were in God of course. Joseph Smith was just being human like the rest of them.
I don’t know why this subject keeps coming up.
There is a baseline of historic doctrine that defines what is “Christian” and what isn’t.
Until about 20 years ago Mormons agreed with their founder that they held to none of those historic doctrines and felt that they alone had the true faith.
That was bad for marketing, so they started pleading for inclusion in the broader category of “Christian”.
Mormonism is a non Christian cult…it is a faith called “Mormonism” that steals names and some concepts from historic Christianity and twists them into a rather bizarre bunch of doctrines and practices that have nothing to do with historic Christianity.
I’m not interested in debating this…the Mormons weren’t either until the numbers started to drop when people were exposed to some of their “unique’ teachings.
“Joseph Smith was just being human like the rest of them.”
He was in a class (world) of his own, Alex—–totally and irrevocably.
Your argument is without substance. It is only kicking against the prick.
Mormons are no more Christian than Messianic Jews are Jewish.
They can try to convince the larger Jewish population “we are just like you” – but hey, they lie like the Mormons – for the sole purpose of inclusion.
Define “messianic Jews,” please
Basically people who come from some Jewish background, who become Christians, or at least Christianized and then open up ‘synagogues’ calling Jews in and slipping in the Jesus stuff saying, we are all the same.
They do all the jewish functions in their church – dress and customs.
Jews for Jesus are like this – but the group Jews for Judaism tear them apart.
Would that be like saying messianic Americans are not Americans?
Or that Paul was a messianic Jew? But not Jew.
Or are just speaking of the Organization: Jews for Jesus or similar.
Thanks MLD—appreciate the clarification.
???? “They do all the Jewish functions in their church – dress and customs
Do they teach the gospel and do they use the Bible as a basis for their teachings: old and new testaments? While calling to remembrance those things that were a shadow of what was to come, like the Meshiach (Messiah). Proclaiming the blood of Jesus and His diety?
I guess what I am asking is this: do they emulate that which was known regarding the early Christian Jews as in the time of Jesus and His Apostles, including Paul.
Linda, to me you are Jewish (as I once was) or you are Christian. Not both. We Don’t put up with people retaining their Muslim religion while claiming to be Christians.
Muslim, Islam, and Arab are necessarily synonymous.
Muslim are people who practices the religion of Islam, but not all Arabs are Muslims, though Arabs.
Muslins who follow Islam, can be Americans, but not Arabs.
Jews and Muslims do not worship the same God.
Some Jews hold to the Orthodox teachings of Judaism.
Some Jews hold to the reformed, or Haskalah; which began during the Enlightenment Period of History providing a more “liberal” view, if you will, and others hold to Conservative, but Zionist (return to Israel) view.
Some Jews are Jews by heritage, but practice Christianity and proclaim Christ as their Messiah. Yet, by heritage they still Jew, some nationally. Some Jewish-Americans.
Jews and Christian worships the same God, but are blinded for now Romans 11.
Jews can be a Jew without a religion, just as any other ethnic or cultural group can.
So Jews can dress and join in to commemorate their heritage while also being a Christian.
“We Don’t put up with people retaining their Muslim religion while claiming to be Christians.”
Gosh, I hope it’s not a case of “put up with,” but rather, diligently teaching and coming alongside on such a one to help them understand that Islam is not the same God that Christians believe upon.
Not so with Jews. They just haven’t recognized that Jesus is the Messiah whom their very own prophets have written about. But they will and they are, more and more each day. Praise God!!!
.Muslim, Islam, and Arab are NOT necessarily synonymous.
Sorry, hate messing up on the introductory statement. 🙂
“Jews and Muslims do not worship the same God. ”
Sure they do – they both worship the false god.
“Gosh, I hope it’s not a case of “put up with,” but rather, diligently teaching …”
This is how we have ended up with Santeria and Voodoo in the church.
The main problem with Mormonism, from whence cometh all their other heresies, is the inability to distinguish between God and the creation. They worship a god who is a creature, created by another god who is also a creature. They do not worship the Creator of All. This alone disqualifies them as Christians. You don’t really need to look any further.
And I know this is what they believe because I had a snail-mail correspondence with a Mormon elder a while back where he tried his darnedest to convince me that all the One God passages in the OT only referred to the god of this planet. So while they may attempt to gray out some of their wackier beliefs, their doctrine that the god of Earth is a created being makes them more heretical than the Muslims who at least believe there is only one God.
According to you, and maybe some others who comment here, but not so, according to Scripture and Romans, particularly chapter 11.
Even Jesus worshipped and taught in the synagogue and celebrated the Passover. Paul told the early Christian Jews not to put a burden upon those who were Christians, but not Jews. Yet when it came to ironing this all out, Paul agreed with the Jerusalem church, the first Christian church, I might add, that although they would require circumcision or not eating meat and a couple of other things, there was nothing wrong with the Christian Jews from still maintaining certain traditions. Heck, Paul even shaved his head, which was symbolic of a nazaretic vow, practiced by the Jews to being able to be heard by the Jewish people.
Christianity started long before the Greek scholars layed hold of it. It amazes me that what Paul told the Christian Jews not to do, the Greeks/Roman Jews did precisely what the told the former not to do.
I understand that many are quite stoic on their insistent that early Christianity as founded upon the Fathers of the Orthodox church. I get that, but I disagree. It began in Jerusalem with the Christian Jews, the spread out from there. All the books or scrolls and letters were long written before the “Fathers” came on board. They just took them put their own interpretation on them — sometimes getting it right and other times, not so right.
Yet, the miracle of it all—the Old testament being preserved and used by the Jews and then the New Testament being written by all Jewish Christian has stood throughout all times and have been preserved above and beyond anything else that has been written that gives testimony to God and to Jews and to those who are in Christ Jesus.
” there was nothing wrong with the Christian Jews from still maintaining certain traditions, however, the Greeks or non Jew Christian did not need to do this, . . . “
The early Christian Jews didn’t act like Jews for very long because the Jewish Jews persecuted them and a distinction and animosity between the two groups arose very quickly.
In the early years, Christians attended the Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath and on the Lord’s Day, they gathered to share the Eucharist. It didn’t take long for the Jews to ban them from their synagogues and the Christians combined the salvageable parts of synagogue worship with the celebration of the Eucharist with the resulting Christian liturgy consisting of Psalms, prayers, Epistle and Gospel readings and the Eucharist.
The Liturgy (EO, RC, Anglican, Lutheran) is based on the framework of synagogue worship (prayers, readings, teaching) with the addition of the Eucharistic celebration. Jewish feast days that pertained to Christianity, such as Pentecost, were retained and the others were dropped.
By the way, Kosher eating does not fit within the Christian framework. Jews ate Kosher because certain foods were considered unclean and we all know that the Lord told St. Peter that no foods are unclean anymore and that everything is to be received with thanksgiving.
The Christian practice of fasting is unrelated to keeping Kosher. We don’t eat bacon, for example, during Lent not because pork is unclean but because it is good for us to deny ourselves certain pleasures periodically, part of “deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Jesus.”
“Jewish (as I once was) or you are Christian”
MLD, by your own testimony here on PP you were never really a “religious” Jew. You seem to know very little about the both faith and tradition sides of being a Jew and if I remember correctly your heritage is from the European side of the Jewish family.
I guess I have more faith in your descriptions and knowledge of being a Lutheran than I do of your being a Jew. So please quit saying you were something you probably weren’t.
One of the problems inherent with Christians in general is they are dangerously ignorant of the historic Jewish roots, the anti-Semitic history of the organized church, and more importantly the tenants and beliefs of the religious side of being a Jew.
Most, if not man, of our Christian ideas about the religious Jews are taught via the glasses of the two major Christian world denominations. So to say Jews worship another God is just plain ignorant and intellectually dishonest. It is fair to say the both reject Jesus as Messiah and Lord, but to say they have another God, I don’t think so!
I do understand that from any orthodox Christian theology the idea of rejecting Jesus is synonymous with the rejection of God. So if that is your position then state such, but the text we share with Jews explains the same God, just no Messiah.
I can state factually when I was Jewish – no matter how deeply involved, we all worshiped a false god.
Do you deny that today, all Jews worship false gods?
“This is how we have ended up with Santeria and Voodoo in the church.”
Not so—each one of these incorporates a belief system that worships Satan.”
The Jews do not worship Satan.
Why on earth would our Bible contain the Old Testament and why does Jesus confirms and uses the Old Testament. And why does Peter and Paul use the Old Testament to confirm prophecy and so many other things in teaching how God worked through the Jews as His chosen people to bring forth the truth of who He is and how He would bring a Messiah one day to save them? Because they were worshipping another God? I don’t think so. Yes, they were rebellious and yes they did not walk in obedience, and absolutely they picked up and began to practice and incorporate pagan practices into Judaism, but not all did and for those that did, the whole nation suffered terribly, but yet God always promised He would bring a remnant out of His people–now didn’t He?
As for pagan practices, those who believed in the God of the Bible – this unfortunately have been an ongoing practice to this day, even among those who calls themselves Orthodox Christians. And just as God told them to get rid of these things, we are to do the same.
Anyway, something to consider and perhaps even to reconsider in light of Romans 11.
Also, consider this, God told us that the blindness He has placed upon the Jews concerning the Messiah would be removed and would be grafted back in to the vine. In Revelations, we are told that 144,000 (12 from each tribe of Israel) would be, in the last days going about witnessing to the entire earth to repent and to be saved. God has forgotten the Jews, nor does He denied them, MLD. And neither ought you.
My grandfather was a “religious Jew”, went to shul almost daily in the Fairfax district and did not believe in god.
My mother goes weekly and doubts there is a god. So you classification of religious” seems a bit over rated.
“I can state factually when I was Jewish – no matter how deeply involved, we all worshiped a false god.”
Perhaps, you mean to say that the Jews you fellowshipped with worship a false god. Not that you worshipped with all Jews.
I have known Jews of all Jewish sects, and Jews who only identify nationally or ethnically. I have known Jews who truly worship the God of the Bible, yet don’t recognize that Jesus is the Messiah. I have spoken to Jews who are a bit out there and very much into the Kabbalah, whereas, other Jews would spit upon it.
Linda – to your #70 – what blindness? how did me, the apostle Paul and Marty Getz slip through?
And we obviously read Revelation differently – I read from a Christocentric view not an Israeliocentric view – so the 144,000 are completely different groups between us.
Wow, most of the Jews I know do believe in God. Just not the Messiah.
It reminds me of Christians, who believe in the New Testament but not the Old Testament.
Linda – the one true God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Is this the god the Jews worship? Go out on the street in a Jewish neighborhood and ask them. it is very simple.
“Sir, Madam, I am taking a survey. To some, God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit., is this the god you worship?” Let me know if even one Jew says yes.
“And we obviously read Revelation differently – I read from a Christocentric view not an Israeliocentric view – so the 144,000 are completely different groups between us.
LOL—I read from the Bible without all the theological argument and traditions that convolutes and only support their position, not necessarily what Scripture states, ever so simply, I might add.
Bob @ 68
Hear, hear. There is so much that is not known to the Christian community regarding these things. They would be so much richer and wiser, and far deeper into the faith, rather into their theologies, if they did. God’s Word —His entire Word–old and new would have so much more to offer in the way of truth, grace, mercy, and yes, even justice for all who would come to know Him.
One difficulty I personally have with people of non-Jewish heritage joining with “Messianic Synagogues” is much of what is seen as being Jewish today is not what the Jews of Jerusalem or Galilee might have done in the 1st Century/2nd Temple period.
What do I mean?
Like the Christian church there are millenniums of traditions and teachings added to the basics of the scriptures within the Jewish religious community. For example the head coverings of men, the phylacteries (little boxes) worn on the foreheads, the shawls, the separation of men and women in the synagogue, curls and much more. All of these traditions are additions and responses by the various Jewish communities over the centuries.
Even the use of seeing eyes, hands, Kabbalism, mystical stuff is added later.
I believe a move towards being more “Messianic” and therefore Jewish by those who love Jesus is often the result of desiring community, a return to roots and truth. I also believe for Christians to put on the head coverings and other newer traditions can be both dishonest and insulting to the Jewish communities they are emulating.
I also believe a return to more traditional Christian denominations with their disciplines, traditions, community and history can stem from the same personal desire as those who desire to be more Jewish ans Messianic.
The question I ask myself is this; “Where is Jesus, the Man of the 1st Century, in all this mess?”
Bless God He is alive and well!
No you don’t – you just stated the patent premil dispensational view of that Revelation reading … that no one in the church held for it’s first1,800 years, until someone came along who also never studied theological arguments or traditions.
Look, Jesus said the OT was all about him. Paul said all the prophecies were about Jesus. Why do you want Jesus to share the OT story with Israel, especially as a modern day ethnic and geographical entity I don’t know. Perhaps one day we can get into that.
Go back and read your NT and I think you will find Paul (Roman name)/Saul (Jewish name) never and I mean never denounced his Jewishness. What he did pursue was how God moved in the nonJewish community and came against those who would insist that Greek adapt all the Jewish traditions and physical Circumcision that comes with it.
What it means to me is that I don’t have to be a Jew in practice to Love Jesus and it also means I don’t have to be Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox or even CC either.
Did Paul convert from a Jew to a Christian? Nope.
This statement, “Why do you want Jesus to share the OT story with Israel, ” makes no sense at all.
“The question I ask myself is this; “Where is Jesus, the Man of the 1st Century, in all this mess?” ”
You know my answer – in the bread and wine. So ask no more. 😉
“One difficulty I personally have with people of non-Jewish heritage joining with “Messianic Synagogues” is much of what is seen as being Jewish today is not what the Jews of Jerusalem or Galilee might have done in the 1st Century/2nd Temple period. ”
I would agree on this. But not all. It’s changing. I think it’s a process as facts are checked and an understanding comes into the light on pre-enlightenment period of Jewish teachings. Just as we squabble regarding liberalism (which also came out of the enlightenment age) versa Christianity.
“Did Paul convert from a Jew to a Christian? Nope.”
Nope – God converted him
How do you reconcile Judaism that denied Jesus is God and Christianity that affirms Jesus is God? You are a better man than I if you think you can fuse the 2 together.
“They would be so much richer and wiser, and far deeper into the faith, rather into their theologies, if they did. God’s Word —His entire Word–old and new would have so much more to offer in the way of truth, grace, mercy, and yes, even justice for all who would come to know Him.”
Best thing said so far.
Christians tend to be ignorant of the text and the people of it.
A lot of this discussion reminds me of the Jesus movement, “I have Jesus so what else do I need!”
Problem; “What if our Jesus is not the Jesus of the text?” As MLD says, Mormons have Jesus; which one is theirs? To bad they also read the bible in light of their traditions and leaders.
Yep sarcasm, sorry.
Thank you for the talk I have to go and do some work.
Blessing to you and MLD.
Bob—neither do I. Just child walking in the light.
Before I go since You asked:
“How do you reconcile Judaism that denied Jesus is God and Christianity that affirms Jesus is God? ”
Wrong question and it reveals much about how you view the two
Loving God and rejecting Jesus is bad for eternity, I hope we can agree on that.
I reject the traditions of Christmas, Easter, and a few other Christian staples but love and received Jesus as Messiah and Lord, what does that make me? What traditions does a Jew have to reject to become a Christian? I think that is your real question and dilemma.
I really have to go, thanks again.
Are you saying that you actually read the Bible with no outside influence? Who the heck are you trying to kid. That is such pompous crap I can’t believe you actually said it.
Do you go to a doctor who says the same thing. Well, I didn’t study open heart surgery under the influence of others. I just followed the spirit and learned on my own.”
I know you think it makes you sound holy, but it makes me at first blush deny everything you say … as it is untested at all.
But blessings back to you for the day. 🙂
I have never understood the reluctance to acknowledge there is an ethnicity known as “Jewish” – which is separate to Judaism. Someone said well with the Arab versus Muslim connection.
Paul called Peter a Jew, (after Peter’s salvation). Paul called himself an Israelite (after salvation) and made the clear point that the unbelieving Jews were still his kinsman according to the flesh.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile in Christ – a statement that is meaningless if one excludes the ethnicity issue. Just like you don’t stop being “male nor female” when you are born again, you don’t lose your ethnicity either.
A lot of Jews celebrate Passover like Americans (Christians or otherwise) celebrate July 4th. How much more for a Jew who comes to Christ continue to celebrate Passover both as a tradition but NOW with the proper understanding of how Christ is the picture of that national observance. Why hate on that.
I think a few Christians would not be happy unless they cram a ham sandwhich down a new Jewish convert at baptism. It is lunacy to me.
Steve, you are right, if we were talking about meeting with Christian / Jews at Cantor’s deli in the Fairfax district to join with them in cultural foods and traditions. But remember – the Messianics are taking it out of the ethnic and putting it back into the religious by building goy synagogues and wearing, not the ethnic clothing, but the religious and priesthood clothing.
Come on, are we going to have Arab Christians (note I did not say Muslim) now worship in mock mosques, wearing the garb and rolling out the prayer rugs?
the Messianics are taking it out of the ethnic and putting it back into the religious <<<
Right, that's the problem.
I attend a Russian parish and they serve pirogis and borscht. No one sees any religious significance in this, it just reminds them of their home.
And it is very probably that the Last Supper was not a Passover meal at all but that's for another day.
I think if anyone went to the Jews for Judaism site and listen to their objections as to what the Messianics are doing, you would understand.
But we need to bring this back to the real devils – the Mormons. 🙂
I think a few Christians would not be happy unless they cram a ham sandwhich down a new Jewish convert at baptism.<<<
Well, it would be good evidence that they have left the old covenant for the new.
But it would be rude, so probably not.
I know a Christian lady who was not remotely Jewish (Japanese, in fact) who decided Christians should eat Kosher. She had gotten mixed up with a Messianic Christian group. She had separate dishes and boiled her meats to shoe-leather texture to eliminate any trace of blood. These people had their boys circumscribed on the 8th day, too.
There is no Scripture saying Christians should act like this and plenty of Scriptures that say they shouldn’t.
So how is it that when a group of Gentiles adopt the now-defunct practices of a Christless religion are somehow NOT following a vain tradition whereas those Christians who do pay attention to what the Scriptures say regarding the Old and New Covenant are somehow following vain traditions?
You’re at it again, reading what you want into others posts and getting crass about it.
“Are you saying that you actually read the Bible with no outside influence? Who the heck are you trying to kid. That is such pompous crap I can’t believe you actually said it.”
Shame on you!!!!!!
You should be hung from your toes and removed from your church position, what a mess!
“I don’t know why this subject keeps coming up.
There is a baseline of historic doctrine that defines what is “Christian” and what isn’t.”
Because I live in a heavily LDS area and have good friendships with many Mormons and the LDS church has evolved quite a bit and much of what is presented as “Mormon” are in fact Straw Men constructed by those who disagree with them.
There are some legitimate differences…but as with every flavor of Christian on here there is a lot of nuance and that nuance sounds a lot different from a Mormon vs. an adversary of Mormonism…just like when a Calvinist explains his/her particular position and the nuance and it sounds a lot different than someone opposed to Calvinism saying, “this is what Calvinism is all about”
Thank you, Steve,
Shalom, in Jesus
Maybe you are being groomed to join them. Walk carefully, my friend.
I appreciate the fact that you know a lot of charitable Mormon people. And I get the fact that you are a reductionist: you like to boil everything down to the nitty gritty.
But even given the most generous definition of Christianity, wouldn’t even you agree that a religion that claims the God of the Scriptures is a created being, one of millions of similar creatures, puts Mormonism outside Christianity?
I suspect you will respond with “Who gets to define what’s Christian?” In your opinion, how far from the traditional Nicene norm can a group go before you can look at it and say “This is an interesting religion full of nice people but it is not Christianity.”
You might say “They talk about Jesus” but we all know many non-Christian religions that respect Jesus. Are they also Christians? The Bahai, for example. They have very nice things to say about Jesus. They believe all kinds of wonderful things about Him, probably more than the Jesus Seminar people believe about him. Is this saving faith in Jesus Christ, though?
I forgot… are you a universalist? If so, I don’t suppose this all matters too terribly much, if all go to heaven no matter what they believe or do. For a universalist, there is no theology that is so bad that it would keep someone out of heaven. But even a universalist should be able to sort things into proper categories, even if you don’t think the categories ultimately matter. Even if you think everyone goes to heaven you should be able to use good sorting skills.
Just curious, Alex, as to where you might draw a line.
You made the first accusation – you said “To bad they also read the bible in light of their traditions and leaders.”
I did make the leap that you do not read the Bible under the guidance of others (why would you say ‘too bad’ to something you yourself do?) – so i read that way and you don’t – you go solo.
If not, who do you read or study along with. It’s either someone or no one… this is not rocket science.
Mormons are universalists.
Rocket science comes from God.
You have a way and even Alex warned you earlier.
Now who do I read or are you asking which camp am I in?
I think I have made the camp I live in very clear, Jesus lived, was crucified, rose and now lives according to the scriptures. This is my camp. I drink the cool aid and eat that jello.
Now if you are asking what books I read, besides scripture, my library is very large and has more than one Christian tradition in it. But, both my mind and heart are in agreement, I want to know this Jesus beyond just drinking cool aid and eating the Jello. I have said it here before and if you haven’t listened that is not my fault. I want to know Him in the setting He lived, taught, loved, crucified, resurrected and left His people in. This means the Jesus of the text and not some painting on the wall.
BTW this is not to say paintings are wrong. It’s just how is he painted?
Alex. I just can’t grasp how the Garden of Eden was in Missouri or Jesus came to America.
Well, it would be good evidence that they have left the old covenant for the new.
Actually Paul covered this quite well. And I don’t recall that diet is ANY evidence of saving faith…just strong or weak in the faith. What a horrible litmus test to put a new believer under.
As is the day one worships God – funny churches have Saturday night services to accommodate the many forced to work on Sundays now in our nation but if some Christian Jews (term used specifically) do so, it is an abomination.
And given that a few here come from denominations that REQUIRE special dress for their leaders at the worship service, the inconsistency of the Christian Jew doing so is duly noted. Maybe next time I come to India I will file a complaint that the Christian women there are dressing too “Hindu”
Now, do you guys think, when Paul went into the synagogue in Acts, that he was doing the exact same thing that any of us might do if we hijacked a Muslim prayer service – just causing a disturbance…being a trouble maker….
But this is par for the course. I’m not defending anything done in the name of Messianic worship and certainly am not defending everything done there either…that is far from the point…and before MLD repeats his usual silliness, this is not about dispensationalism or two roads to salvation or any such thing either
but reading these sorts of threads does give a whole lot of ammunition to the canard that the Jews killed Jesus, they are now cursed by God, and anything Jewish, even anything rooted in the Bible, is now an abomination.
I don’t think for a second that anyone here hates their Jewish neighbor, but I believe to the fullest there are a lot of church denominations who have rooted in their history, and not properly rebuked by subsequent generations, a bitter sort of anti-Semitism that still leaks through in the traditions and beliefs….
The double standard reeks.
I think you are showing that you do not have a grasp on what the messianic Jews are doing. I am not commenting about the converts, I am talking about those who go back to the neighborhoods to convert under the guise of you can remain Jewish (religion) because Jesus is just adding something you are missing..
Would I have reason to gripe if I ran into one of your India converts who dressed “too Hindu” and was going back to the Hindu temples to do “Hindu things” because you told them they could remain Hindu plus Jesus?
“but reading these sorts of threads does give a whole lot of ammunition to the canard that the Jews killed Jesus, they are now cursed by God, and anything Jewish, even anything rooted in the Bible, is now an abomination. ”
This is a lie. But then hey , Luther entered Hitler and killed 6 million Jews.
Steve, you don’t understand the deception. Why can’t they just belly up and say “we are Christians and we think you should be also.” I believe their message – not their dishonest tactics.
Look at their actions from a Jewish point of view;
I like the way this guy says it (94 sec)
Neo said, “Alex. I just can’t grasp how the Garden of Eden was in Missouri or Jesus came to America.”
There’s a lot I don’t buy with regards to LDS/Mormonism. A lot of things that don’t nearly add up…as much or more than any sect of Christianity or other religion.
My experience is that while Mormons have a lot of the same anomalies and inconsistencies in their version of Christianity…and much of their stuff is unprovable empirically just like other religions…I find them to “be like Jesus” in how they live (in general) and I find them be people that “love their neighbor” and I find them to be a very positive influence in our local society.
I’m not ready to put on the special underwear 🙂 but I also recognize a generally positive and good influence in our local culture and I have also witnessed the LDS/Mormons evolving and being more open and less closed-off and I have found a lot of common ground with many LDS/Mormons here in Idaho. I can certainly state it is not a “cult”…they are actually probably less cult-like than some of what I experienced in Calvary Chapel (though many CC’s are good and not cult-like either, but some are personality cults).
MLD said, “Mormons are universalists.”
To a degree that is true.
They don’t believe anyone goes to a fiery hell of perpetual torture with no end.
They believe that spirit/souls coalesce with other similar like-minded folks in the next dimension after physical death.
If you did all the things they believe were supernaturally revealed to Joseph Smith…then you will be with others in the Celestial level of existence in the next.
If you were generally a decent person and not a total evil heathen and followed your conscience while you had your stint in this physical existence…then you will exist in the Telestial level.
If you were kind of a jerk and as much or more good than bad, then you’ll get to hang with other jerks in the Terrestial level of existence.
If you were a total evil bastard and rejected God completely etc, then you are cast into “outer darkness” and from what I can gather it’s more akin to annihilation.
Terrestrial above, not Terrestial LOL.
Mormons still believe these things and teach them to their children.
and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Over the months or longer, you have consistently presenting rhetorical questions regarding Christianity which appear to serve to cause others to examine what they do or don’t believe. I think, in part this important to do so that we, as a Christian can give an answer to the Faith that we believe.
However, as Mormonism was being presented by you and counter by others, I realize that you have been presenting Mormon material and their arguments for some time. Now that could be due to, as you say talking a lot and being neighborly with those in the neck of your woods. I know a lot of people who also are Mormons, so I know how the conversation goes. What more, I have worked am more than acquainted with their doctrines and teachings. Therefore, (1) they have not changed up or changed, but rather have learned to run a person through what is termed: the maze of Mormonism while being as neighborly and good willed as one can be. Not to say there are not any sincere genuine honest to goodness decent people among them. But more to say, as a defense to how they have been exposed and having many leave the Mormon Religion. (2) My concern and fear is that you have joined them . Oh, perhaps not by attending, nor by as you say gone through the temple to get the underwear, but in understanding what it means to be a Christian and what those lines are, I see you become more and more leaning towards their teachings, while building your arguments with Christians why they cannot possibly be any different than Mormonism.
I would truly encourage you to see if you can sit down with Sandra Tanner or get a name from her to help you sort this all out. As Dr. Martin have stated, Mormons can be the sincerest people one can find, however, they are sincerely wrong in their doctrine and teachings. By the way did you listen to the videos I linked?
Love you, guy
I can guaranty that Alex is NOT talking to lifelong temple Mormons – they know the truth of Mormon teaching and that is why you must be a temple Mormon to learn the handshake.
Outside of that, even regular Mormons just get the pablum. Ask a temple Mormon about the death oaths they take.
So many Mormons are ‘christian’ converts, who have brought some good christian teaching with them into the realm of death called Mormonism – and Mormon leaders are fine allowing them to keep them, … until the commit to the temple.
Good point, MLD
Yet, I have found that even among the Jack Mormons, they know the teachings.
If a person was dispassionately sorting world religions, that is, taking their doctrines and categorizing them and not thinking about the nice Mormon lady next door or the scary Muslim terrorist on TV, the first belief to look at would be the nature of God. The first filter would be “One God or many?” “Monotheist or polytheist?” Judaism, Christianity and Islam would go into the monotheist category; Mormonism goes onto the polytheist pile with HInduism. Mormonism doesn’t even make the first cut.
Judaism’s schema: Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
Islam: There is no god save Allah and Muhammad is His prophet.
Christianity: I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible.
The Mormons believe the God of the OT is a created being, one of millions, and the good Mormon can be a god just like him. This is not “participating in the divine nature” or the EO doctrine of theosis, this is saying God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not the UNIQUE and ONLY Creator. This isn’t saying we humans can be glorified, this is saying we are potentially as good and great as the God of the Bible. When a Mormon male prays to God, in the back of his mind he carries the idea that he can be as much a god himself someday. The Mormon god is not omnipotent and who could place their trust in such a being?
The only difference between the Mormon god and the Mormon himself is time. Given enough time, the Mormon will be the god of his own scriptures somewhere,
When the Mormon tries to confuse people by quoting St. Athanasius “God became man so man can become God” they are being disingenuous. They are lying. Athanasius believed in the uniqueness of God; there is only One. He believed we can unite with Him (theosis).
Next time you look at a Mormon man, just remember that he is only worshiping “the god of this planet” until he himself gets a crack at the same job on another planet.
Xenia…a great analysis.
I work with many Mormons who have high integrity and have treated me with respect as a Christian. However, the workplace, by law, isn’t grounded in any theology, we are asked to not have religious conversations, and these theological points are never examined outside of a church setting. I appreciate your summary and how to pray for my Mormon coworkers.
Haven’t ever heard this put in this way —–but spot on.
“The only difference between the Mormon god and the Mormon himself is time. Given enough time, the Mormon will be the god of his own scriptures somewhere,”
We all take a leap of faith when it comes Christianity.
But there is so much that is tied into community that reaches back two thousand years.
Around the world, billions will worship Christ. One Who has risen from the dead.
Still can’t grasp the Garden in Missouri.
Or magical glasses found in the forest of New York.
Those things are not ancient truths.
So gotta jettison them and label them as heresy and stupidity.
Love you too Linda. I always appreciate your input and I “test all things” and am not advocating for Mormonism, just communicating my observations and trying to be intellectually honest rather than dogmatic.
I think that if a “faith” and Belief System held by a particular individual is real and settled with them…they should be able to withstand scrutiny…and many of you on here have thought out the weightier matters of this existence and come to carefully thought-out conclusions…and I respect that.
I think it’s healthy, however, to be challenged and scrutinized as long as it isn’t done in an abusive manner and I’m trying my best on here to simply state my case and observations and questions while not engaging in personal attacks.
Neo said, “Still can’t grasp the Garden in Missouri.
Or magical glasses found in the forest of New York.
Those things are not ancient truths.
So gotta jettison them and label them as heresy and stupidity.”
I don’t point this out to be a jerk, but even Chuck Smith has some whacky stuff in his history and game…and even he supposedly had some sort of “special revelation” that his followers have bought into.
Personally, I don’t think anyone is “specially anointed” and that is one myth that Chuck Smith’s legacy propagates….similar to Mormonism.
This is one of the most mature, honest, and healthy comment I have heard.
“I can guaranty that Alex is NOT talking to lifelong temple Mormons – they know the truth of Mormon teaching and that is why you must be a temple Mormon to learn the handshake.”
Agree. (Except, I guarantee it) 😉
In my work field, there’s loads of temple Mormons from SLC. They are not the same as converts.
I don’t care about Chuck Smith, in regards to this conversation.
I am talking about an authentic faith that has legacy.
There are certain tenets that allow me to tie into that.
Without them, it’s a free for all.
You can’t make a positive case for Mormonism by trying to drag down REAL Christians and saying, “look, they are wrong too”
Just because people are nice and do good does not make them Christian – it just makes them nice and good. My Jewish family is full of nice good people – non christian nice, good people.
Neo, why do you have trouble with the Garden of Eden being in Missouri? The LCMS headquarters is in Missouri 🙂
I’d be interested in knowing if any of you have had success reaching out to Mormons. Our town has been targeted as a missionary opportunity for the LDS church, and as a result, has many Mormons interested in evangelizing the population here. Would you be willing to share if you have had successful experiences with sharing the gospel with Mormons? My family visited the temple in SLC when our kids were young. The tour guide didn’t miss an opportunity to ask if we wanted to have our family all together in the after life. I shared our beliefs. At the end the tour, our kids were excited to see the murals which depicted biblical scenes. They pointed and told the stories they knew. The tour guide was aghast and said she’d never seen children with such biblical knowledge. She knew we were affiliated with Calvary Chapel at the time. I wonder if our children’s joyful responses had any impact on her.
If you have viewed the links that I provided please view the second one. Dr. Martin stresses that the Mormons will take you through a maze. He then outlines the two major points that one must keep coming back to in order to witness to them.
1. Which Jesus
2. God is One, the only one.
I believe there is another video that he demonstrates how this goes.
Don’t get caught up in all the other things they use to distract and keep changing the subject. Yes, I have witnessed to many Mormons when and if they are also attempting to witness to me. Otherwise, I have found it fruitless to enter in, so to speak. At the same time, realize you will have to be solid in knowing who Jesus of the Bible really is and who He is not.
There is a Part 2 to this.
No where in acts do we see the Apostles including Paul ever refer to jews whom they where interacting with as worshipping a mono false god. So are the Jews today different today then the Jews of during the early church. In the general sense no. They believed in Jehovah God as the God of Abraham and Israel.
Part 2 (9 minutes)
MLD said, “Just because people are nice and do good does not make them Christian – it just makes them nice and good. My Jewish family is full of nice good people – non christian nice, good people.”
Well, this gets back to YOUR (caps for emphasis, not yelling) analogy of “Just because Ted Cruz says he’s a liberal doesn’t make him a liberal”
Is it more important to “be” like Jesus or to have “correct doctrine”?
Good Samaritan parable.
or a longer version:
I’ve shared my faith with Mormons for many years. Typically it happens after they knock on my door. I learned from Dr. Martin to share Jesus. State that He is God the Son and not the son of god. Huge difference as they deny the trinity.
I’ve never led a Mormon to saving faith but I have always shared the truth as best I could.
I believe this side of eternity we won’t know if what we shared made a difference in the lives of those we shared with.
They may have their script down perfectly but they do not have the power of God’s spirit on their side. We do and it’s that power that can bring conviction and allow the truth to penetrate the darkness that blinds them.
If some believers spent as much time and effort reaching the cults as they do picking off other believers who they see as compromised or worse maybe the cults wouldn’t be growing as they are.
So true, ERunner.
1 Cor. 3:5-7
Another issue is that Mormons claim they have witnessed supernatural miracles and that it is validation that the holy spirit works through their version of Christianity. They have the same anecdotal stories about missionaries seeing people healed, seeing demons cast out etc. Same stories as many other Christian sects who have said they witnessed similar on here.
I find it interesting that non-Mormon Christians are very skeptical of Mormon “miracles” but easily believe “miracles” from their Christian sect.
I also find it interesting that non-Mormon Christians are very skeptical of the golden tablets and “hearing from God” and very critical of textual errors and contradictions in the book of Mormon…but can move heaven and earth to explain away the fact we can’t prove or produce many artifacts in the bible and there are many errors and contradictions in the bible that i’ve noted many times as well.
An observation I’ve had is that mainstream Christians are as skeptical as any atheist when it comes to Mormon claims…but when their sect makes similar claims, they don’t require hard evidence and just believe it and have a very thorough apologetic to explain away the inability to prove anything.
When using the term “non-Mormon Christian,” it assume that the Mormon is Christians, which they are not. Therefore any argument are without merit.
Any claims that the Mormons make using similar words but in fact do not have the same meanings, including the person and deity of Christ as being the second person of the trinity of the One and only God of the entire Universe and all that is contained with in are invalid, no matter what evident in any form is presented or claimed.
The Book of Mormons and the Doctrine and Covenants, along with The Pearl of Great Price are used while they reject all the scriptures of the Bible, unless it agrees with the Book of Mormons. However, the Bible invalidates the authority of these books.
Bottom line—wrong Jesus.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
One thing interesting to me in this discussion (and I find it nice timing given my passage from 1 John today, in chapter 2 about those who deny the Son not having the Father and deny that Jesus is the Christ) is that so often (not just at this site) the discussion centers on Mormons while excluding Jehovah Witnesses.
That is, in my opinion, 100% marketing. Call a JW a member of a cult to a non-Christian outsider, and a lot of heads nod, but call a Mormon a member of a cult and the Christian will actually get the backlash more often than not from the same non-Christian outsider.
Why? Certainly not due to beliefs. Because even though the JWs are clearly heretical and deny the deity of Jesus, they have far fewer “weirder” beliefs than Mormons do about God. Sure they focus on the apocalypse (but so do many Christian groups) but the historical claims of Mormonism, the latter day prophet angle and so forth to me dwarfs the JWs.
BUT…the JWs reject Halloween, and more significantly, Christmas, oppose blood transfusions, don’t vote and certainly don’t run for political office and are far more separatist in their society – like requiring JW roommates.
In other words, they seem less “American” than the average Mormon, and thus, in the minds of many who only care about behavior and not doctrine, MORE Christian.
When is the last time you saw JWs or anyone advocating for them in the same way Christians and Mormons advocate for the LDS?
Does anyone else see and agree with this perspective?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are pacifists and refus to fight.
They were the most brutally persecuted religious group to die at Nazi hands.
Being indifferent to a totalitarian state’s demands for military service will do that.
“Is it more important to “be” like Jesus or to have “correct doctrine”?”
Fiest it is not a matter of importance. It is a matter of being chosen by Jesus.
Second, I have yet to run across the person who was “like” Jesus – who lived the perfect life and died on the cross for mankind and rose from the dead. So, you have a better chance at aiming for correct doctrine.
Thank you Linda and E…
“So are the Jews today different today then the Jews of during the early church”
No, they both believed in the wrong God. If they believed in the correct God, they would have accepted Jesus in the 1st century and they would accept them today. But they don’t..
Now, some 1st century Jews did make that realization and had to change their view of who God was – that the REAL God of the Bible was The Father, The Son and The holy Spirit. And they became The Israel of God … which by default make the denying Jews The NOT Israel of God.
1st century Jews turned Jesus over to the Romans for claiming to be God.
This is where I get in trouble with the basic dispensationalist when I say I had to give up being Jewish and my false view of who God was, so that I could freely turn to the TRUE God of the Bible. .
Steve, I think that is an interesting observation and I think you hit the nail on the head…JW’s are intentionally separatist which makes them feel more cult-like.
Mormons have evolved quite a bit and at least in Idaho are much more mainstream and friendly and not at all monolithic and closed off. Mormons have open disagreements in their church community…you see guys like Harry Reid (a Mormon) who is despised by many conservative Mormons and you have politically liberal Mormons who can’t stand Mitt Romney, even though he’s a fellow Mormon.
JW’s act like a cult IMO b/c they are a very closed off Group that doesn’t tolerate any dissent and doesn’t interact with outsiders very often.
MLD said, “It is a matter of being chosen by Jesus.”
That sounds like Double Predestination Calvinism. You really think Jesus picks some for heaven and the rest for hell? I don’t believe that anymore.
Linda said, “When using the term “non-Mormon Christian,” it assume that the Mormon is Christians, which they are not. Therefore any argument are without merit.”
As much as I don’t like some of what Chuck Smith was all about, he did say that he believed some Mormons are Christians. He stated it on his radio show to the surprise of many Calvary Chapelites.
I think it’s because Chuck recognized that word meanings don’t matter as much as “faith” in Jesus (even if you don’t have it all “correct”) and Chuck Smith had a very “works oriented” version of Salvation that was dependent on “Abiding” and “Good Fruit” and “being in the spirit” etc…and not nearly as much with regards to “correct doctrine”
Where did you read where I said anything about Jesus picking some people going to hell. Calvinists may believe that – Lutherans do not.
But you skipped over the issue of no one ever “being like Jesus” as you so like to point to.
Alex, back in the day a coworker I knew was roommates with her sister. Her sister became a JW..for a time she tried to get the girl/coworker I knew to also join, but after multiple refusals when it was clear she would not, the JW leadership told this young woman she could not remain roommates with her own blood sister and would have to move out and find a JW roommate. (I’m sure they could provide one too, though doubt they provided the woman I knew with a replacement roommate to split the rent with)
I’m sure as well they quoted Jesus at her about dividing a family. Of course, the woman I knew had no problem staying roommates with her sister and there was no conflict on that end. The JWs were the ones who forced it.
I assume the Mormons have no such policy and there are plenty of folks out there who have Mormon roommates…
Linda said, “Any claims that the Mormons make using similar words but in fact do not have the same meanings, including the person and deity of Christ as being the second person of the trinity of the One and only God of the entire Universe and all that is contained with in are invalid, no matter what evident in any form is presented or claimed.”
The problem I have with this is my knowledge of the Old Testament and my knowledge and fact that the “Trinity” concept was not developed until well after Jesus ascension into heaven.
Justin Martyr (Justin “the” Martyr for Xenia 🙂 ) did not have a “correct” belief in the concept of the Trinity because the issue hadn’t been hashed out yet in church history and it wasn’t until several hundred years into “church history” that you find the beginnings of an articulation of the “doctrine of the Trinity” which was heavily influenced by Greek Platonic thought.
The Church of the First Three Centuries 1865 Alvan Lamson
” . . . The modern doctrine of the Trinity is not found in any document or relic belonging to the Church of the first three centuries. . . so far as any remains or any record of them are preserved, coming down from early times, are, as regards this doctrine an absolute blank. They testify, so far as they testify at all, to the supremacy of the father, the only true God; and to the inferior and derived nature of the Son. There is nowhere among these remains a coequal trinity. . . but no un-divided three, — coequal, infinite, self-existent, and eternal. This was a conception to which the age had not arrived. It was of later origin.”
“It is a simple fact and an undeniable historical fact that several major doctrines that now seem central to the Christian Faith — such as the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the nature of Christ — were not present in a full and self-defined generally accepted form until the fourth and fifth centuries. If they are essential today – as all of the orthodox creeds and confessions assert – it must be because they are true. If they are true, then they must always have been true; they cannot have become true in the fourth and fifth century. But if they are both true and essential, how can it be that the early church took centuries to formulate them?”–Buzzard, Hunting 1994.
“The word trinity is not found in the Bible . . .”
“. . . it did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century.”
“. . . it is not a biblical doctrine in the sense that any formation of it can be found in the Bible, . . .”
“Scripture does not give us a formulated doctrine of the trinity, . . .”–New Bible Dictionary.
“. . . scholars generally agree that there is no doctrine of the trinity as such in either the Old Testament or the New Testament.”–The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism 1995
What do you do with those Christians of the first few Centuries and the Old Testament who didn’t hold to a “correct understanding” of the Jesus of the today’s Trinity doctrine? Are they in hell?
Steve, wow, that’s very cult-like (of the JW story you shared).
Mormons here in Idaho aren’t like that. I’ve heard of some fundamentalist pockets of Mormonism that are more closed off and strict like the JW’s…but not here in Idaho. The LDS culture and Group here is very mainstream…they are really not any different than evangelicals and very similar in regard to conservative politics and a belief in End Times prophecy.
I think you are confusing Cults of a sociological category vs cults of a religious nature.
You can be a religous cult that shows no outward signs of a sociological cult – perhaps like the Mormons … but a cult non the less – or be a religios cult that also has signs of a sociological cult – say the JW.
You can also have sociological cults that have no basic religion – Scientology and / or Heaven’s gate but are off the wall sociological cults.
As to religious cults Mormons are right there.
MLD said, “But you skipped over the issue of no one ever “being like Jesus” as you so like to point to.”
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord”
And who has done this?
MLD, I disagree with your “religious cult” definition, while I agree with your “sociologic cult” definition.
Religious cult definition to most folks seems to be very similar to your definition of sociologic cults…it’s where a group is perceived to act in a sinister manner that deviates from social/cultural norms.
Mormons aren’t like that, they are really not much different than evangelicals here…whereas I’d classify Islamists as more a cult b/c of their sinister practices that are not the cultural norm here in the US.
“And who has done this?”
Paul the Apostle seemed to believe he was living like Christ and encouraged others to model him as he modeled Christ…though he did it imperfectly.
I don’t think you can make the case that Paul lived and preached as one who didn’t believe it was important “how” he lived and “what” he exampled. Paul was very much a moralist and very puritanical in his writings.
It’s funny – I was flipping channels last evening and stopped at Charles Stanlry. I haven’t watched him in ages and I thought, what the heck.
So he is doing the basic evangelical sermon telling people how they have to act (as opposed to telling people what jesus hs done for them.
He is about halfway through and he said something that almost tossed me out of my chair. He said (my paraphrase) “Jesus just asks you to do your best … he doesn’t ask you to be perfect.”
Huh???/ If we are judged on our actions, then yes Jesus did tell us we had better be perfect.
So, who has met the “be like Jesus” qualification?
I would describe the Mormons as a mix of Puritanical, End Times and Charismatic with their own nuance and beliefs most evangelicals would call weird…though probably about as weird as some of the Lutheran doctrines, or Roman Catholic doctrines and practices and especially Charismatic doctrines and practices (angel feathers, drunk on the spirit, toking the holy ghost, barking like dogs, etc).
Paul was very open as to how he lived and his continual short comings – read Romans 7 which was continued for his lifetime. Hey trivia time – who called himself the chief of all sinners?
MLD @150 – I agree with you about the distinctions. The Mormons in their early history were as socially cultic as the JWs but they evolved. Doctrinally though…still a cult.
Back to 1 John. And context. Jews deny Jesus is the Christ (most of them). But they also want to have nothing to do with Him at all. However, there are many groups who deny the deity of Jesus who still want allegiance to Him in some way. This is what Paul meant when he spoke of those who preach “another Jesus” – but obviously, a historical figure’s identification is not open to interpretation. Something is either true or not and what is true can certainly be accepted or not (a point John also makes in the epistle)
If someone claims Abraham Lincoln was not from Illinois but rather, Brazil. They just are wrong. If someone claims Jesus is not God incarnate, they are wrong. It is a matter of truth or error.
Now, in the Mormons own words, on their own official lds.org website, we see they believe in another Jesus. Of note is the constant references to their own literature, with a few Bible verses sprinkled in (scroll down past the wedding question)
MLD said, “He said (my paraphrase) “Jesus just asks you to do your best … he doesn’t ask you to be perfect.”
Yes, that is the mainstream evangelical position and a big part of their Salvation construct….an Mormons essentially believe the same thing.
You are a lot more acceptiing of Mormons than they would be of you. Ask one of your Mormon friends to get you into the temple. Surely they would welcome you as a Mormon Christian brother.
Steve, from the LDS link you shared above, “But through his death and resurrection, Christ overcame death for all of us; and through his atonement, he offers each of us a way to escape the eternal ramifications of sin.”
Yep…they share a lot of the lingo, Alex. But the starting point as to the Person of Jesus is entirely off.
MLD, they are not accepting of me in terms of theological/philosophical agreement and I would not be allowed in the Temple as I would probably be refused the sacraments at a Lutheran church or Roman Catholic church for my beliefs.
I ask many questions of my Mormon friends and I see many anomalies that I see in evangelicalism…but to be fair, they are generally good folks (as are evangelicals in general) and they are willing to discuss their faith and beliefs which is healthy and not cult-like.
Why do mormons believe that they have to shed their own blood for atonement? Does anyone remember Gary Gilmore?
Steve said, “But the starting point as to the Person of Jesus is entirely off.”
What does it matter if they believe Jesus and Lucifer are “spirit brothers”? How does that negate a faith that the literal historical Jesus of the bible lived, died, resurrected and is the atonement for sin?
Justin Martyr and manner other pre-Trinity Christians believed Jesus was a son and subordinate to God the Father who was not an equal but a superior and you don’t think those folks are in hell do you?
“and they are willing to discuss their faith and beliefs which is healthy and not cult-like.”
I am sure that if you got to know them, you could have great conversations with Buddhists – who also are good people. Are you then going to make the claim that they too are Christians?
Being friendly with Alex is not what defines one as a Christian.
“We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived reasonably are Christians”–Church Father, Justyn Martyr
“that Jesus Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His Word and first-begotten, and power; and, becoming man according to His will, He taught us these things for the conversion and restoration of the human race”–Justin Martyr
“Moreover, the Son of God called Jesus, even if only a man by ordinary generation, yet, on account of His wisdom, is worthy to be called the Son of God; for all writers call God the Father of men and gods.”–Justin Martyr
“And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”–Justin Martyr
“Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judæa, in the times of Tiberius Cæsar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove. For they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; for they do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you, we pray you to give heed.”–Justin Martyr
Justin, an Early Church Father, believed God to be superior to his “begotten” son, Jesus…not a Trinitarian position.
Did this “incorrect belief” about Jesus send Justin to hell?
MLD, you said that Jesus chooses who is saved and who isn’t…maybe he picked a bunch of Mormons.
You say being saved isn’t by correct doctrine or how you live…so why does an incorrect doctrinal belief (according to your opinion) matter if Jesus simply picks some and not others?
Where our church sits (and for that matter at my own house), we have far more JWs visit who are “willing to discuss their faiths and beliefs” than we ever do Mormons.
Maybe the median income around old-town Elsinore is too low for the folks from Utah to waste their time.
The people at our church tell me about many more encounters with JWs trying to evangelize than they do Mormons. The point is that knocking on doors is not exclusive to either group…
Steve, I’m not talking about evangelism, I’m talking about real friendships.
My Mormon friends don’t try to convert me and we talk about a lot of other things than religion. I’m talking about relationships, not knocks on the door from missionaries.
“MLD, you said that Jesus chooses who is saved and who isn’t…
No I didn’t – why can’t you get this right. Twice you have made the same error. The scriptures are clear that Jesus chooses who is saved. They say nothing about Jesus’ role with the lost – and neither do I.
It’s not about doctrine – it’s about knowing who Jesus is.Original Mormon documents describe their Jesus. I am sure that you have been exposed to them – and he is one strange Jesus. They have a strange gospel message. I don’t know if you have them, but own the book of mormon, doctrine & covenants and the pearl of great price … the 3 books they put above the bible – all you need to do is read them – you will find no disclaimer.
Their web page, well it’s like a lot of people’s Facebook page… it’s not the real them, but it is the them that they want people to know. 🙂
My church is across the street from a Kingdom Hall
It seems to me that your friendship with those who practices to one degree or another Mormonism is influencing you more than you think it is. I understand that you have formed some close friendships. I also know that when you are a person’s friend, you will do your best to represent them in the best light possible.
Along with this, one of the great character traits that I really like about you is that you would want everyone, in general, to know a God, who will be so merciful and loving that no one would perish. The love and care you have towards those in particular that have been kind, good, and generous towards you are especially a concern for you.
Yet, in this there seems to be a strong unbending and tenacious part in you that regardless of what we know that the Bible has told us who is and who is not Jesus, so that none would perish, you choose to persist in beating a dead horse.
Could it be that instead of persisting in this that it would be your task to figure out who the real Jesus is yourself. I mean there is the Jesus of the Bible and there is a Jesus of Mormonism. The are not the same person—-not even close. This has been presented to you and various references has been offered.
But then you will take a right turn then turn your argument towards the veracity of the Bible, or draw similarities to (and I happened to agree, in part) on those things that the various Christian groups will espouse in their traditions and rituals, for the sole purpose to equalize or to level the playing field to justify Mormonism, as being as valid as any Christian group that holds to One God and One Jesus.
Sometimes, when I am listening to how you go about doing this, it reminds me very much of how Dr. Martin and Ed Decker demonstrated how the Mormons and other cults members will dance about rather than to focus upon the two main truths that needs to be established. And from that basis, come to an understanding who we are in Him and what does it mean to be a Christian.
Alex, you are the only person who have develop some level of friendship with a person who holds to Mormon teachings and base their salvation on them. Talking with them about things is just part of socializing and moving along in developing a relationship. Yet, in the relationships that you have or are developing, the most essential truth about God have been or is, being thrown out with the bath water.
My whole point is this: As much as you love others, are you willing to face up to figuring out who the real Jesus is and to understand that God has boundaries that are not to be violated, no matter how much we would not want to see ourselves or anyone else suffer the things, that they would, should they be separated from Him.
FWIW, I think this is the core of what you push so hard upon and against, be it to contend with the veracity of scripture or the body of the Christ, Jesus of these scriptures. And as long as you can run circles around in your head or with others, it enables you to hold onto a god that will not enforce those boundaries. That is, first and foremost that you can acknowledge the One and only God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who does not negotiate or compromise, nor does He permit any other gods before Him.
From this basic and essential limitation that God has placed upon us all, there will be many who will kick against the prick and many who do will not be those that you or I would consider to be mean, or bad, or evil.
Nevertheless, God tells us that no person is without excuse for He has revealed Himself in multitudes of ways. He alone is God–there is/are no other (s). And He became flesh and dwelled among us for a period of time. He did this as result of coming from heaven and by way of the Holy Spirit through the flesh, lived within a vessel that gave birth to Him as the incarnated Son of man (Spirit/flesh). He, alone is the begotten son–He was not created as Adam or the Angels. He is as God as God can be.
You know all this Alex—this is nothing new to you–yet you would use the things that you do know to enable you to stretch this into varying arguments and debate so that, I think, more so than any, to be confidence in your own mind, that truly none would perish, due to what you see as valid arguments that reinforces your need to have all saved.
You know as well as any that if one chooses to stick close to scripture and acknowledge that there is only One God and One Jesus, then the boundary line becomes more exclusive, leaving, those who do not abide in Him to be separated from God and from those who are in Him. For in this, you have often stated, that this would mean that God is not a lvoing God and this is not the Jesus of the new Testament.
I understand that this goes against what your heart wants to see happened, particularly those who are near and dear to you. Yes, most certainly there are among the “Christian” community that will be in for a terrible awakening as well, but this doesn’t negate God’s Word by one jot or one tittle. It is God’s Word and like it, or not, He is, who He is and He has the best boundaries around, which means He will not tolerate any to mock or to abuse them. No matter how much we love others and want to give them more leeway in these manners concerning who they choose to worship and what they choose to base their salvation upon.
So we can keep chasing our tails or the tails of others around the mulberry bush, or we can stop and consider what is the real issue here. Is it a need to create God in our own desire to keep others from being lost or is it not wanting to bare up other the reality that many will be, no matter how we may see them as they appear to us.
Without God, there is no good that lies within a person. You must be born again of His spirit to receive Him who has died for you. And you cannot do this if you claim a false gospel and a pseudo Christ form of being. Yes, a person can do good whether they know or profess Christ, Jesus. But without Him, our good is just that: good. It’s not a bad thing as it does benefit another and God will use it for His Purpose. But in terms of establishing one’s relationship with God–no can do unless is able worship Him also in the Sprit. And one cannot do this unless they born again through the processes and repenting and living one’s faith out in Him.
At times, Alex it is best to put everything else aside and just start from the beginning of Genesis, while shutting out the noise and clatter created by those debates that causes one to be more involved in the finer points of reasoning and logical argumentation, to step aside and give put more emphasis upon the reading and meditative processes of scriptures, focusing upon it, as it unfolds, always seeing the Old and New Testament as a whole and not chopped up in this verse of that word, in its context, content, and within a historical, yet unchanging purpose of God’s plan in the lives of His created beings, for all time, as well as, in what it will bring to the heart and soul in the daily walk upon this earth as we know it today.
To be alone with Him. Even putting pen to ink, keeping a journal to God, asking Him to reveal to us, as we push forward to listen to what He reveals in our hearts and in His Word, to us alone. Realizing that the exercise of debating with those whom you know, Alex, (smile) you are not going to be persuaded by as you would have them persuaded.
And this, I am no less in need to keep this in mind as well.
#173 Paragraph 7
“Alex, you are (not) the only person who have develop . . “
#173 Paragraph 13
” No matter how much we love others and want to give them more leeway in these (matters) concerning who they choose to worship and what they choose to base their salvation upon.”
” Is it a need to create God in our own desire to keep others from being lost or is it not wanting to bare up (under) the reality that many will be, no matter how we may see them as they appear to us.”
” But in terms of establishing one’s relationship with God–no (person) can do unless (s/he) is able to worship Him also in the (Spirit). And one cannot do this unless they (have) born again (by and of the Holy Spirit) through the processes (of or in) repenting and living one’s faith out in Him.
Let’s be blunt about this whole Mormon /Jesus jive. What the Mormons have done is take one of their god characters and renamed him Jesus to be relevant in their home country of America.
What they have done is no different than Alaskan Indians renaming one of their totem poles Jesus – and then saying, we love Jesus just like you Christians.
Absolutely no difference at all.
As God’s created being, man is born of flesh, but needs to be born again, not of flesh, but of the Holy Spirit, which s/he did not have prior to coming to repentance and saving faith in Christ Jesus.
Contrast (different or opposite)
Jesus, being in the form of God, that is spirit, was through the Holy Spirit “begotten,” not created, as a human being to take on a fleshly body, so that He could fulfill the scriptures, keep the promises, bare witness to the Father, teach us how to walk and to abide in Him, shed the only blood (as a final and everlasting sacrifice) that was without sin (spot or blemish) to totally atone for the sins of those who would come to Him in repentance (turning away of ungodly thoughts and conduct, as well as, unbelief), believing who He is and what He has done, thus overcoming Satan and the death that besets (smile-old English) the person who would otherwise be separated from God for eternity.
By God’s grace, He provided all to enable each person to choose to follow the way, the life, and the truth. The Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of sin bidding them to come to the foot of the Cross and to look up into the face of Jesus and upon the wounds of his hands and feet to receive forgiveness and to be reconciled to Him. It is by the Holy Spirit, alone and not by power or might of our own flesh, but rather that which now indwells us to do and to walk in Spirit with God as One.
In this alone, am I personally strengthen and comforted the midst of much pain, sorrow, and travailing while pushing forward in spite of my own failings and the failings of others. He never told us it would be easy. It ‘s not-yet and it can be downright terrifying at times. But even in the midst of all of this—-I remain ever so confident that God is on my side and if He is on my side, then whatever is taking place may cause me to lose all that I have including my very life, however, even then, it was of short duration compared to what I know lies for me when God has the final word. In this, lies my hope for a good day, today and the tomorrows that will follow.
Father, God, thank your for your love and your grace poured upon me, a sinner, saved by that grace given to us through the shed blood of your only begotten son in Jesus, my Lord, God, and Savior. Just wanted to stop a moment as I share with others and send a message to you as well. And to bear witness to others, as I check in with you. I love you so much and I am so grateful that you love me so much more.
Please be with me today and attend to my needs and protect me from that which would seek to undo me. Set upon my heart your holy Word, so that I would not sin against you or any other. Thank You, for all that You are and all that I am in You. Make me more like you even more and help me to know the difference what is of You, the World, and of my own flesh.
In this, I pray, because of what Jesus has done at the cross of Calvary, I come before Your throne, casting my arms around You, as Your child and Your handmaiden to be held ever so close, not ever wanting to leave nor be sent away as I have been by others in this world. Even by those who claim to be in You.
Hold me close, please, for without You there to protect and to defend me, most assuredly I would be easily trampled under. Grant me peace and joy and all that which would lift my soul within me to rejoice and to declare your goodness no matter what circumstances I find myself. In this I pray, Amen.
Time to take a walk and stretch my legs—-
Are you serious–about the Alaskan Indian?
MLD, does Jesus choose everyone?
I assume your Lutheran position is “yes, Jesus chooses everyone”, correct?
and, if Jesus chooses everyone, then why do many go to hell?
Your answer over the years has been an analogy about “prosthetic arms” that Jesus gives you to reach and hold onto him…which is as whacky as any Mormon nuance.
“Let’s be blunt about this whole Mormon /Jesus jive. What the Mormons have done is take one of their god characters and renamed him Jesus to be relevant in their home country of America.”
I can name my cat “Jesus” but she can’t save me… 🙂
Alex, as I said last night, the bible does not say – – so I don’t either.
But if you have something you want to make up out of whole cloth on the topic, and spin it as Bible truth, go ahead. it has never stopped you before. 😉
“Are you serious–about the Alaskan Indian?”
I made that up as a hypothetical comparable. The Alaskan Indians are not as deceptive as the Mormons
The Mormons are well within their rights to make their own religion and they have successfully done so.
My quarrel with them is their claim to inclusion within orthodox Christianity which is deceptive and spurious.
They are not in any way orthodox…and should cease trying to pretend they are.
I did have some fun with a couple Mormon “elders’ the other day, but that will have to wait until Friday…
Well, then Justin Martyr and other church fathers are in hell if you are correct about having to have an “orthodox” Christian belief regarding the “trinity” as well as some other “correct must haves” that weren’t developed and codified until after the first 300 years of church history.
That is a major problem.
It’s not a major problem to me.
We know that doctrinal development was progressive.
The Holy Spirit guided the church in those early years and we came out of that era with a consistent set of essential doctrines.
The orthodox church has agreed on them for 1700 years.
Those that came before will be held accountable for what they knew and will receive grace for that which eluded them.
“The orthodox church has agreed on them for 1700 years.
Those that came before will be held accountable for what they knew and will receive grace for that which eluded them.”
Consensus Principle in action….which is a core of my Belief System for what is “truth” in practical measure.
So, if a majority of the “church” changes their opinion regarding and issue like Gay Marriage…then that would be God progressively revealing a new truth?
Certainly the “church” has evolved with regards to many issues and today’s church looks nothing like the days of the Early Church, looks nothing like the Reformation and so on.
“They are not in any way orthodox…”
That’s not really true. They are partially orthodox. They are essentially the same with regards to many core Christian beliefs…while differing on some big issues like the Trinity concept which is impossible to define and was not codified and agreed upon until well after the “church” formed…and the Trinity Concept leaned heavily on Platonic thought and was so similar to concepts expressed by Plato and Plonitus that if it were done today, the Church Fathers would be accused of Plagiarism.
I posted the Mormon view of Jesus straight from the official lds website. There is not, nor has never been, any church, any denomination, that has been even remotely similar….however, every Christian church and denomination shares the same view of Jesus. Michael, Xenia, MLD, Jean, and myself (to pick five different groups) all agree on the Person of Jesus.
The Mormons on that site are very clear their view is different, especially for those of us “unacquainted” with latter day revelation. Here is the very opening quote.
On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers
They then reference a whole lot of their own writings to justify this view. Alex, I think it is important to at least recognize that the religion of Mormonism was founded on the belief that every single church was screwed up and God needed Joseph Smith to go out and start the true church, and that Smith was given latter day revelation to do this.
So then it is very legitimate to wonder why they attempt to sell themselves as another Christian denomination in these days. Of course, there is a reason a Mormon would never have been a Presidential nominee, or been the Majority Leader of the Senate a few decades ago….and their feigning insult when someone challenges them as Christians today is deceptive to the fullest.
Alex, you just don’t seem to be willing to accept the fact that all their other heresies are not even in the same category as their belief that the God of the Bible is one of millions of similar deities. They do not believe Jehovah is unique, they believe he is just one in an enormous pantheon of gods which they themselves intend to join someday. This belief is so off the charts that none of their other heresies can touch it. It puts Mormonism in the same category as Hinduism, not any other Christian group. They can’t even say the first sentence of the Nicene Creed because the Mormon god is not the maker of all things visible and invisible. The Mormon god is not the Creator. Jesus is a real person, not some character in Joseph Smith’s fairy tale.
You want to bring up Justin Martyr and all the other early Church Fathers as examples of people who weren’t clear on the Trinity. Do you really think St. Justin or any of the rest of them thought the God of the Bible was a created being, one of millions just like him? Or do you think they, like the writers of the OT and the NT before them, believed there is only ONE CREATOR in the entire universe and HE is the ONE we worship?
St. Ireneus of Lyons, who even wrote before Justin Martyr, wrote five books (Against Heresies) where he decimated the arguments of the gnostics of the day who believed, like the Mormons do, in a vast pantheon of gods. NONE of the early Christians believed in “a plurality of gods,” as the Mormons say. (They like that word “plurality.”)
Mormons have the right in this country to practice their religion but they do not have the right to call it Christianity.
Xenia, your presentation of Mormonism isn’t what my friends have presented.
It would be like me saying that you worship Mary as a deity, which is only one caricature that those who criticize EO or RCC or similar churches use as their Straw Man.
I do agree that Mormonism is not as orthodox as other Christian churches…but to say they worship a different Jesus is quite a stretch….they refer to the same Jesus that stood before Pontius Pilate though they believe different things about him in nuance than other Christian sects.
It’s kind of like the following analogy:
Person 1: “I believe in John Calvin”
Person 2: “No you don’t, you don’t understand him correctly. Your belief about his doctrines and works is all wrong. You don’t even have his family tree correct and your opinion of his role in the death of Servetus is completely wrong, therefore you have a False John Calvin”
Person 1: “No, I believe in the same John Calvin you do. He is the John Calvin of the Reformation”
Person 2: “No, you believe in a different John Calvin because you don’t believe like I do about this long list of things that you must believe to believe in the real John Calvin”
Do the demons and satan have the “correct Jesus” that they also believe in?
…yes, they do…and I’m sure their doctrine and theology is much more correct than yours.
Alex, I had an extensive snail-mail discussion with a Mormon elder who did his best to convince me that the universe was full of gods just like Jehovah of the Bible. This was not hearsay, it was a genuine conversation I had with a genuine Mormon. I wish I still had those letters and I’d quote you what Mormons really believe about “the plurality of gods,” a topic you keep skirting around, if I may say.
Why not just point blank ask a few genuine temple (not falling away or liberal) Mormons what they believe about the plurality of gods. I suspect a lot of people born to Mormonism may be shedding some of the worst doctrines, and that’s great, but then, they aren’t really Mormons anymore if they do.
On the plurality of gods, from the mouths of Mormon leaders:
It’s impossible not to understand what they mean, if words have any meaning at all.
Well, I am tired of talking about Mormons.
If their laity is starting to back away from some of their worst doctrines, this is a good thing and may they cease calling themselves Mormon and find their way into a Christian church.
You know, Mormonism is so whack-a-doodle that I suspect it will fall under its own foolishness sooner or later.
Actually this is so funny. The Mormons have fooled millions of people into following their false beliefs – yet we seem dumbfounded that they have also fooled Alex.
Millions of fooled Mormons go around defending the lie, knocking door to door – yet we stand and don’t recognize Alex as just another one.
How many times have we all spoken with Mormons on our doorsteps, presented our case against their false and lying prophets, to have them only sidestep, change the subject and say “from my experience…” – yet Alex could give them all lessons in this area.
“Xenia, your presentation of Mormonism isn’t what my friends have presented.”
Your friends are not telling you the whole story.
Find yourself a SLC temple mormon and ask them to be honest about their beliefs and practices.
No, that is incorrect, I don’t agree with my Mormon friends on many of their issues, similarly I don’t agree with MLD’s “prosthetic arms” Salvation or X’s “the bread and wine is miracled into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus and you are eating his real flesh and blood” or in speaking in tongues today etc.
My Belief System is pretty well articulated on here and elsewhere and it isn’t Mormon…while recognizing that many Mormons are good folks and their faith is largely sincere from what I’ve seen and they may be right or wrong on a number of issues…but if God is good and God is truly love and the “grace” is really grace…then I think there’s a good chance that Mormons will not be tortured in hell for eternity.
But I would guess that it is good for business in Mormon country to agree with Mormons
“You know, Mormonism is so whack-a-doodle that I suspect it will fall under its own foolishness sooner or later.”
Mormonism is one of the fastest growing churches in the world while Eastern Orthodox is on the decline.
“But I would guess that it is good for business in Mormon country to agree with Mormons”
I try to give people a fair shake and form my opinions based off of what they say and how they act…not what their critics say they are.
While I don’t agree with a lot, I do agree with some biggies like “love your neighbor” and “love your family” etc…things they do very well….much better than how I was treated growing up in Calvary Chapel…while recognizing that there are also good CC’s and good folks in CC.
But, I’m tired of talking about Mormonism as well. We usually beat the same old tired horses to death on here…I just wanted to talk about something that isn’t discussed nearly as often. Thanks for the discussion.
Calvinism vs. Arminianism?
Which is correct?
Well, glad we got that resolved then and we can move on to another topic
Calvinism vs. Arminianism?
What do you call a Messianic Jew who believes in Double Predestination?
If their laity is starting to back away from some of their worst doctrines, this is a good thing and may they cease calling themselves Mormon and find their way into a Christian church.
Xenia, recently someone at the church asked about Mormon beliefs because of a close friend who seems so much in agreement as to Christ as Savior, the resurrection etc, does not try to evangelize, and is just a real nice person. I shared the same link I shared above (the one Alex did not address 🙂 ) about Jesus being a brother of Lucifer. She was shocked.
The hope, frankly, is that maybe the friend does not believe that. Maybe the friend has never been exposed to this and will be shocked this is the teaching of her religion and will come to our church one day to hear the true gospel and to hear Jesus accurately presented as God incarnate.
I have never spoken to a Mormon, Jack Mormon or otherwise, or Reformed that was not aware that their doctrines declares a man can become a god with his many wives making millions upon millions of spiritual babies to inhabit the bodies of those babies who are born through the flesh of those inhabiting their own world which they have now created. Not one and there has been a few thousands which I have talked with directly, seen their correspondence, or been in direct contact by radio programming and call-in.
It’s like basic Mormonism 101
Will be praying for your friend and their Mormon friend. It is spiritual warfare, by the way.