Friday, March 30, 2007

Revelations from deluded, self-proclaimed, false prophets are never harmless

From a thread to a post in which Hugh Hewitt tries to make the expression of concerns about a Mormon candidate off-limits.

It is worth noting that LDS "arguments" for why theirs is a "Christian" faith boil down to:
"Christians disagree on doctrine too,"

"What's in a creed?"

"You called me a name,"

"Don't persecute me, I'm just like the prophets!"

"Your criticism is violating my Constitutional rights!"

"Gospel, schmospel, what does it matter? We vote the same!" and,

"We believe the Bible, and all our doctrine is in perfect harmony with it, even the stuff about the father being a resurrected, flesh-and-bone, copulating sire of spirit children who forget their preexistence and, by the way, christ and the devil are spirit brothers."
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Hugh's apparent lack of discrimination...
Hugh, is there no belief one could hold that would automatically disqualify him or her from political office?
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Eichendorff wrote...
"Vorpal [sic] If you persist in calling members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints non-Christians...you are a bigot."
OR, Vorpal can read and think logically.

Anyone who has read the Bible and the Book of Mormon realizes the two are incompatible, for YHWH does not contradict Himself.

Since He does not, what right does a mere mortal have to do so? How can one call himself "Christian" but make Christ a liar by adhering to heresy?

If all it takes for Truth is to have a self-declared prophet claim divine revelation, then bring on Shari'a!

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cyndu writes...
"By your standard, anyone that reads the Bible itself realizes that the books inside it are incompatible. One book says 'by grace ye are saved, not of works', and one book says 'faith without works is dead'. One book says, 'destroy the city', and one says 'spare the city'"
My standard? Should not deity be able to avoid contradicting itself?

This demonstrates the imprudence of taking passages out of context (or trying to speak authoritatively on doctrines of which one has no understanding).

We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.

Unlike Islam (in which naskh--the doctrine of Abrogation--is an actual doctrine), three and one-half millennia of God's people have possessed, studied, and expounded the Scriptures and have not found God contradicting Himself.

Christ declared that "the Scriptures cannot be broken." Are you claiming that He taught contradictory (and therefore, false) doctrines?
"Also by your standard and approach, Christ would have been heresy because He didn't teach what the prevailing religion taught at that time."
A patently false statement which calls into question your willingness or ability to accurately reflect what I wrote. Never did I state that Mormonism was heretical because it "didn't teach what the prevailing religion taught...."

Christ spoke only the words His Father gave Him; He spoke only the words He had revealed to Man. To equate the Messiah's speaking the word of YHWH with a self-proclaimed, latter-day, heresy-peddling prophet is sacrilege.
"...you'll first have to establish what orthodox is, not merely beg the question."
That it is a question for you at all demonstrates the problem.

Jesus said, "Father, Your word is truth," and "I AM...the truth." Any "revelation" that contradicts His words is heresy; any that adds to them is superfluous.
"...Of course all prophets were self proclaimed...."
Christ said that His Father testified of Him. So, no, not all prophets are self-proclaimed.
"...it's this nagging problem of which prophets are true."
And we know if someone is from the true God by comparing their doctrines with those which have been [already] "delivered to the saints".

It is this test that makes the Book of Mormon heretical.
"...if we use Christ's test, we'll be OK, and we also won't fall pray to the Shari'a ."
Nor the Book of Mormon. You test a prophet by comparing his/her doctrine with the word of Christ.

Any teaching contrary to His is false.

So, Hugh, would Christ be a "bigot"?

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Spontaneous Order

My comments were directed only to those topics I specifically addressed.

Nowhere was I referring to whether or not Romney's faith disqualified him from serving as president.

I certainly appreciate the positions he's taken (lately) on several issues. I also respect him for the support I've heard expressed for him by prominent national figures.

My main concern was the misrepresentation of Mormonism as a Christian faith: Islam also says it "believes in Jesus", but their Jesus -- just as the Christ of Joseph Smith -- is not the historical Son of God testified to by the Prophets and Apostles.

Neither should sloppy logic/reading be used to try to make Washington and Lincoln justification for secularism or Mormonism.

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Eichendorff wrote...
"It is bigoted to tell others what they believe. Latter-day Saints are the experts at what they believe, and they believe in Christ."
Yes, a false, ahistorical Christ.
"One does not have to believe in the Nicene Creed to be a Christian for two reasons:

1. There is no basis for the creed in the Bible

2. There were lots of Christians before the creed was even formulated, including Jesus himself, all the apostles and all Christians in the first two or three centuries A.D."
"Bigoted" means "intolerant." "Intolerant" means unwilling to approve, recognize and respect, or bear something.

Stating what someone says they believe is making a factual statement, not intolerance.

The Nicene Creed is one summary of the Bible's teachings on the nature of the Trinity. If you cannot agree with those doctrines, then you are rejecting Christ's revelation about Himself.

For this reason, you can in no meaningful sense be called a "Christian."

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And/but/so wrote...
"Nice, if inadvertent, illustration of the close-mindedness of the evangelical fundamentalist... My religion is true; your religion is "false." My God is the true God, your god is a false god. I know God, you don't know jack. My brother could beat up your brother...."
If the "evangelical fundamentalist" defines a religion as true or false on the basis of whether or not it is their own, then they err.

If the "evangelical fundamentalist" defines a religion as true or false on the basis of whether or not that religion teaches the Word of Christ faithfully, then that EF is on solid ground.

Rather than make ad hominem attacks against an entire segment of the population, why not demonstrate your devotion to the Christ of the Bible and speak His pure, unadulterated, and unvarnished Truth?

You won't, because then you'd have to reject your Book of Mormon.
"For the love of (all our) God, please grow up! If you are so sure you are right, then you can wait until the afterlife to gloat."
Then it will be too late. If a person is in error, then it is the God-given duty of the believer to correct them.

And a different Christ means a different God.

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cyndu wrote...
"you attempt to shift the burden to a Mormon to explain why we don't believe the way you believe."
Since the Prophets, Apostles, and Messiah spoke from God long before Joseph Smith came up with his own "revelation," the burden of proof must be on the Mormon.
"But you are not the standard, and what you believe isn't the standard, and neither is what I believe. The standard is out there, and God knows it, and we're ALL trying to find it and live it...."
It is unsurprising you're still "trying to find" God's standard, since you reject the Incarnation of it, His Son. His words should be the standard by which all doctrine is measured.
"I'll take on that burden and answer your main point in this way. We don't exactly believe what you believe because (1) we think Joseph Smith articulated a better and more internally coherent and compelling explanation of the facts of Christianity...."
Better than Moses? Better than Christ? Better than Paul or Peter or John? What is "internally coherent" about contradicting the Son of God?

Jesus said, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."
"If Smith was right...."
That's a pretty big "if," since his "revelation" contradicts the Word of God. Anything he taught outside of the Prophets and Apostles is adding to the Word of God, and (since you say you believe the Bible) you know the penalty for that!

If you want to honor the Christ of the Bible -- the Christ of history -- say what He says without adding to or taking away from it.
"Polygamy? One Mormon's answer: Biblical precedence. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. When commanded or allowed by God. Need revelations to know when OK - same way Abraham knew."
When did YHWH command polygamy? When did Christ command polygamy? The One in Whom you claim to believe said, "...a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one."
"Mormon explanation is a better and more compelling...than anything traditional Christianity believes."
Since the historical Christian faith is derived from the Scriptures themselves, you are claiming your "revelations" are "better and more compelling" than the very Word of God!
"Christ said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect", and "Where I am, there may ye be also." (Was he just dangling a carrot that we'd never catch?)"
Ever hear of the Ten Commandments?

And, since you also believe the Bible, you must recall, "If righteousness could be gained by the Law, Christ died for nothing."
"Sorry if it offends you, but Mormons believe in a God so loving and powerful that he has no issues with or impediments to constructing a system...If you say God can't, you believe in a God that isn't all powerful. If you can God wouldn't, then you believe in a God that isn't all loving."
You misdefine "loving" (and misrepresent God) because rather than speak His words, you advocate (and agitate for) a false prophet.

How is it "loving" to water down the Commandments? How is it "loving" to make God's holiness sin? How is it "loving" to lie about Christ to the doom of your hearers?

If instead of trying to justify heresy, you were to actually read the Scriptures and allow them to speak for themselves, you would see that the Bible contains both Law and Gospel.

The Law makes very clear these two facts: If you sin, you die. If you say you have no sin, you deceive yourself.

The Gospel boldly states that Christ died for sinners.
"We don't believe in the definition of God by committee that took place in Nicea...."
The Nicene Creed (Apostles' and Athanasian too) is simply a summary/exposition of the teachings of Scripture.
"Mormons believe in direct revelation."
So did Mohammed.
"Christ said the Holy Spirit would tell you all things whatsoever you shall do."
Really? He did say that the Spirit would "...teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." Not "will say." Clearly, that to which Christ was referring is found in the works of the Apostles.

[Isn't it interesting that apologists for the Tyranny of Allah also try to claim this verse as testimony in support of their own pernicious Heresy?]

Finally, for those upset that Christians refuse to characterize Mormons as "Christians" (a dissonance shared by Muslims who want to claim YHWH and their allah are the same god), the president of Brigham Young University (Rex Lee, What Do Mormons Believe? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992] summarizes Mormon teaching by stating that the three persons of the Trinity are "not... one being", but are "separate individuals." In addition, the Father is regarded as having a body "of flesh and bone."

One cannot contradict Christ and expect to be called a Christian.

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Diomedes wrote...
"Isn't it to Christ and God to say who is Christain and who is not?"
He did say: "If you hold to My teachings, you are truly My disciples...."
"By all means doctrine is open to debate."
Endless debate in which resolution is impossible because one side refuses to use any sort of meaningful, objective criteria for determining truth (the Bible)?

"To you, your religion, to me, mine, and anyway, how dare you criticize my faith regardless of how often my one holy book contradicts my other holy book!" is not an argument.
"Let's not presume to take unto ourselves God's perrogative."
I agree we cannot see into people's hearts. But we are not talking about that.

Jesus taught:
"...by their fruits you will know them,"

"Your Word is Truth,"

"test the spirits," and,

"If anyone adds anything to [the words of this Book], God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

"There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day."
How can a Mormon claim to be a Christian when so much of their doctrine is obviously heresy? Here is another example:
"Latter-day Saints regard as 'a central and saving doctrine' that the 'Father' was once a man and is a man having a body of flesh and bones. 'God is a glorified and perfected man, personage of flesh and bones.'

"Elohim (Hebrew name for God) is 'the name-title of God the Eternal Father, the Father of the spirits of all men and women.' Elohim was once a human on another planet who attained the status of deity.

Elohim sired every single person in the premortal existence before the earth was created."
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Dan...
Good post analyzing Professor Hewitt's defense of Mormonism.

Have you given any thought to critiquing Imam Hewitt's extenuation of the Religion of Peace?

Since he first offered CAIR a national platform for their propaganda on his program, he's slowly come to realize there is a problem within Islam, but the last time I checked, he still stubbornly defines the religion in terms of its Apostates and Heretics, rather than its god and founder and its Majority of Extremist Sympathizers.

This lack of religious "discrimination" doesn't bode well for the defense of the West against the Tyranny of Allah, but perhaps it explains Hugh's willingness to hop into bed with Mormonism.

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Eichendorff continued...
"...the Bible itself makes no claim to being the final arbiter. God is the final arbiter, and the Bible is not God. The Bible doesn't teach anything resembling the Trinity, nor does it teach salvation by faith alone (see James 2)."
Of course, to support your heresy, you must now attack the sufficiency of the Scriptures. I thought you believed in the Bible too?

"The Bible" is not a single entity, but a collection of the writings of men who spoke as the Holy Spirit directed them. Christ testified to the sacred nature of the Old Testament writings, and the Church recognized as Divinely Inspired the Apostolic texts.

What does Christ say?
"Father, sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth."

"If you hold to My teachings, you are truly My disciples."

The wise man is the one who "hears My words and does them."

"Test the spirits" by His word.

He says that the Word of God is useful for correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness...."
So, yes, the Bible is the only guide by which Man can determine the truth about God.

As for the Trinity, that doctrine is found throughout Scripture. Jesus said, "I and My Father are one," He referred to the Holy Spirit as God, and He commanded His people to be baptized "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

And on the topic of salvation, yes, the Scriptures do teach that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

James says a bit clumsily what the rest of Scripture makes very clear: "a man is saved by faith apart from works" (or do you only cite those passages that [appear to] serve your error?).

If you read James you'll see that he is making the distinction between a claimed faith and true, saving faith. Whom does he cite as an example? Abraham. "Abraham *believed God*, and it was *credited to him as righteousness*."

Jesus said a good tree produces good fruit. Good works are the result of saving faith in Christ, not the reason we are saved. In other words, "We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone."
"No evangelical has the authority, given of God, to declare anyone else's Christianity or lack thereof."
An atheist with a fifth-grader's reading comprehension can determine whether or not a person is accurately reflecting what a text states.

You're basically arguing for a one-sided, self-centered moral relativism that goes something like this: "What I say is true is true, but what you say isn't true unless I like it!"

Either one teaches what the Bible teaches, or one does not.

You can't contradict Scripture and expect to be considered a Christian. (And besides, if traditional, historical Christianity has it so wrong that you need a whole new prophet and book -- just like Islam! -- why would you want to identify with us in the first place?)
"Legitimacy as followers of Christ comes from God alone...."
Your "legitimacy" comes from obeying the doctrines of Christ, Who said, "If you love Me, obey My commands."

He also offered severe warnings against teaching heresy to others.

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A couple more thoughts...
@ ccwbass,
"It's amusing, yes, but it's also frustrating, because if there's one thing we DO know from books like "Mein Kampf" and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," it's that ignorance and hatred...."
So Christians who state the obvious fact that Mormon doctrine deviates [from] and contradicts the Biblical texts are now Nazis?

The demonizing of those who disagree! Goebbels would be proud!

@ Eichendorff,
"I, along with every other Latter-day Saint, view the Bible as the word of God and I believe everything written in it. What I have little regard for is your interpretation of the Bible."
Misinterpreting the Scriptures' until they mean nothing at all just so that you can espouse your heresy guilt-free is not "interpretation," it's "deception."

[Besides, it's not about "my" interpretation. What does God say?]

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Spontaneous Order
"I do care that you can say something outrageous like accusing me of belonging to a "sociological cult" based on the fact that you disliked the tone of two commenters on this blog."
In Sociology, "cult" has a very specific definition. I doubt the application of the term was due to any poster's tone, but rather Mormon practice.

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Another for Spontaneous Order....
"Amillenniallist proves my point. He defines "Christian" as "anyone who interpretes the Bible differently than he does."
No, that is the definition used by at least one of your co-religionists, but that is not mine. Of course, you must misrepresent my position [as] idiosyncratic so that you can dismiss it as irrelevant.

At least have the decency to accurately state what I believe.
"Obviously its not bigoted for him to think Mormons aren't "Christians" under that definition. Heck, I'll even admit that I'm not a "Christian" under that definition. Most Christians aren't."
[Using Christian error and heresy to justify a totally pagan perversion!]

The fact that a multitude of Christian denominations exist means that all or most teach and practice some false doctrine; this does not mean that all are not "Christian."

When I use the term I am referring to those who can, among other doctrines, affirm those espoused in the three major, historical Christian creeds: the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian.

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Another spontaneous reply...
"Did Christ teach that you should treat people as second-class citizens if they have different religious beliefs than you?"
Of course not. But He spoke the truth. He corrected false doctrine. He was intolerant of lies, sin, and hypocrisy.

[And critiquing doctrines which claim to be consistent with the Bible by comparing them with -- the Bible! -- is hardly making anyone a "second-class citizen." That sounds like an attempt at ad hominem and to play the victim.]

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Old Whig wrote in an excellent post...
"Several of the above posts seem to say that if we elected a Muslim, he might do anything at all and plunge our country into Sharia Law or some other such tyranny. The fact is that the people making such claims either do not understand the structure of our constitutional government or they do not trust it to work. The structures in place would absolutely prevent our institutions from being replaced with systems incompatible with the People...."
Yes, the Constitution is still obeyed. There's no massive federal government, Judicial Tyranny, infringement of the Right to Bear Arms, limitation of free speech, undeclared war....

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Old Whig wrote in a less-stirring post:
"Islam believes that Jesus was a Prophet, but specifically denies Jesus's divine sonship. Nowhere has Mormonism denied Jesus's godhood or filal relationship to God. You comparison of Mormonism to Islam is therefore incorrect."
You are misrespresenting my position. I was not equating Mormonism with Islam because it shares the same belief in the deity of Christ, I was comparing them in that both claim to worship the same god Christians do. They do not.
"As touching on your other assertion, by what standard do you claim that "the Jesus" held in reverence by the LDS faith is not the same as that testified to by the Prophets and Apostles?

I say that you have no reasonable standard by which you make that claim, and that is it instead rooted in unreasoning bigotry."
I noted above several Mormon doctrines which are contrary to Scripture.

I say that your assertion is rooted in ignorance and is, therefore, a bad guess.

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Eichendorff added...
"Our resident millennialist..."
Amillennialist.
"...has no clue about what Latter-day Saints believe. Mormonism's view of Christ cannot be further from the Muslim view."
Where did I write that Mormonism and Islam share the same beliefs about Christ? I did state that both claim to "believe" in (a false) Jesus.

Have you been doing more of your "creative reading"? :)
"Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, that he lived a perfect life, that he performed the Atonement, that he was resurrected, and that salvation comes only through him, as it is explained in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. Now if that is not the Christ that our millennialist believes in, then he is the one who is not Christian."
If you believe about Christ only what the Bible teaches, why do you need any other "divine revelation"?

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Eichendorff persisted...
"Give me one example of anything in the Book of Mormon that contradicts anything in the Bible."
See above, or is that not Mormon doctrine?

Rather than engage in ad hominem attacks, why not honestly state what your "revelations" teach and how they differ from orthodox Christianity?

The falsehood of your doctrine does not depend on whether or not your critics can cite chapter and verse, their falsehood depends on whether or not they contradict the Word of Christ.

Rather than admit your extra- and contra-Biblical heresies, you imply that your doctrines are God-pleasing (by the way -- and I know this will cheer you -- Islam does the same thing!).

The Book of Mormon states in 2 Nephi 25:23: "...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

But the Word of Christ states plainly:
"no one is justified before God by the law, for 'The righteous shall live by faith'" (Galatians 3:11).

"'Cursed be every who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them'" (Galatians 3:10).

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us..." (Galatians 3:13).

"In him [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

"...we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law" (Romans 3:28).
To claim that God's saving sinners requires first their obedience is clearly contrary to Scripture. "If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing" (Gal. 2:21).

Therefore, the Book of Mormon's teaching on salvation clearly contradicts the Bible. It teaches a false gospel (and you know what that means: Paul said that anyone who preaches a false gospel should be eternally condemned).

As I noted in an earlier post, we are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.

Good works are a result of saving faith in Christ, not the cause of our salvation. Eternal life is entirely His gift to us in Christ.

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TheChair wrote...
"I can't wait to join such friends in helping elect an excellent conservative Presidential candidate. I expect him to fight and win the war, to pack the Court with originalists, to cut my taxes and keep it low, to preserve marriage and my right to bear arms, to lead the fight against abortion, and to restore the rule of law in our immigration process."
I'll vote for him when I see him.

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Lowenberg added...
"The Mormon Church teaches that shortly after the time of the disciples, the Christian church apostatized and was not restored until Joseph Smith's vision in 1820."
Just like Islam.
"Therefore, Mormonism considers Christianity an enemy because it teaches "false" doctrines."
That too is just like Islam.
"Because Mormonism holds that Christian doctrines lead me astray spiritually, the Mormon church views Christians as deceived people."
And that is, ironically enough, just like Islam.
"Thus, Brigham Young taught that Christians were unbelievers; they may falsely claim to believe in Christ, but the truth is "not one of them really believes in Him."
And that is -- you guessed it! -- just like Islam.

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Old Whig asked...
"The Nicene Creed is the opinion of a committee on the Nature of the Trinity, based upon several preconceived assumptions, none of which can be found in the Bible."
That is false, and you misunderstand the nature of the Nicene Creed.
"Your argument is circular; it points back to itself as its source of authority."
Since it appears you did not read my argument, perhaps you'd like to rescind that evaluation.
"Since you neglected to answer Eichendorff's second point, I must assume that 1) you forgot or, 2) you cannot answer it."
See above.
"The LDS accept the Bible, and reject the creeds. The Christians who lived prior to the formation of the creeds were able to live without them. Why do you imagine we cannot?"
You write of the Creeds as if they were some sort of incantation. The Creeds are summaries of Biblical teachings.
"...isn't the extra-biblical Nicene Creed "adding to" the Bible? If so, are you not in violation of the same scripture in Revelation that you hold against the LDS?"
No, it is not. It is a summary of some of the Bible's teachings.
"If not, then why is its acceptance a requirement to be considered Christian?"
Accepting the Nicene Creed is not a requirement for being a Christian, but since its statements are derived from the Scriptures, a Christian will affirm its doctrines as true.
"I find this very interesting: Evangelicals claim the Bible as justification for "correcting" LDS beliefs, but the Bible only charges Christians with correcting fellow Christians."
Really? Where does it say that?

It does say, "Speak the truth in love," and, "Go, and...[teach] them to obey everything I have commanded you."

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All you need to know about Eichendorff

He wanted one contradiction between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He got (among other examples of false Mormon doctrine):
2 Nephi 25:23: "...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
But the Word of Christ states plainly:
"no one is justified before God by the law, for 'The righteous shall live by faith'" (Galatians 3:11).

"'Cursed be every who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them'" (Galatians 3:10).

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us..." (Galatians 3:13).

"In him [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

"...we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law" (Romans 3:28).

"If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing" (Galatians 2:21).
Yet he perseverates, "The Book of Mormon teaching on salvation by grace is in strict harmony with the Bible."

And that tells you all you need to know of Eichendorff's willingness and/or ability to tell the truth.

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BG noted...
"...You can easily see the common ground and also the differences with other brands of Christianity...."
Similarities in doctrine do not make one religion the same as another. Islam's apologists in the West often emphasize "common ground" with the other "Abrahamic faiths," though their creed and god couldn't be more diametrical to the God of the Bible.

You would find that a Muslim could note several similarities with your faith. I doubt you would claim that makes you Muslim.

You would find that a Jehovah's Witness would also find similarities between their creed and yours. I doubt you would claim that makes you a Witness.

And the same would be true of any other monotheistically-inclined pseudo-religion.

If you have a different god, you are not Christian. If you have a different Christ, you are not Christian. If you have a different gospel, you are not Christian. If you have a different revelation, you are not Christian.
"Mormons believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as do most Christians."
A different father, son, and holy spirit.

This is just one example of when a Mormon says "we believe the same thing you do," they are using the same words, but with very different meanings.

To claim that (according to one summary), "God the father used to be a man on another planet; he became a God by following the laws and ordinances of that God on that planet and came to this world with his wife; they produce spirit offspring; these spirit offspring, which includes Jesus, the devil, and you and me, are all brothers and sisters born in the preexistence; and the preexistence spirits come down and inhabit babies at the time of birth and their memories of the preexistence are lost at the time," is contrary to the Biblical texts. It is heresy.

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Gunlock Bill unwittingly and inadvertently both missed and made my point with:
"Therefore, Christians(at leaset Amillennialist and Lowenberg) consider Mormonism an enemy because it teaches "false" doctrines.

That is just like Islam," [etc.]
On missing the point of the comparison:

Both Mormonism and Islam were founded by self-proclaimed (but false) prophets. Both claim to "believe" in the Christian God and Jesus, yet both teach different gods and different christs. Both claim that Christianity lost the truth, and that their religion has it. Both claim new, divine revelations while still "respecting" the Bible. Both teach different gospels.

At least Mormonism doesn't teach jihad.

On making my point:

Using the same (or similar) words while applying to them very different meanings does not make Mormonism a Christian faith. If it did, Islam would be a Christian faith.

As you (no doubt) gleefully point out, superficial similarities between religions do not make them the same religion.

Neither does calling different gods by the same name make them the same god.

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Eichendorff continues...
"The manner in which Lowenberg and millennialist exhibit arrogance and bigotry toward Latter-day Saints..."
Pointing out false doctrine as heresy is "arrogance and bigotry"? Apparently, you consider name calling and ad hominem attacks "logic."
"...Christians...stand condemned bwfore God and are in need of sincere repentance...."
For pointing out heretical attacks on His Word!
"It is time for all Christians to look to Jesus for the example of how to treat others."
Did Jesus remain silent when men falsely claimed to speak for God?

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BG adds...
"I do not have time right now to look up all of the Bible scriptures that indicate that Grace is a necessary but insufficent condition for salvation."
Your understanding of "grace" is not God's.

Grace is not a "condition," it is His undeserved love for us sinners.
"Works and ordinances are also required."
The Bible states that a person must keep the *entire* Law if they wish to be saved, and that if we claim we have no sin, we lie.

Good works are only the fruit of saving faith in Christ, works that He prepared in advance for us, works that He causes us to will and to do. They follow our salvation -- they are not the cause of it, nor do they contribute to it.

The only Biblical text that might at first seem to support the idea that our works save us is from James. As I noted in an earlier post, at first glance he appears to argue that works are necessary for salvation.

Upon considering his entire argument and its proof (Abraham), it is clear that he is contrasting a false, expressed faith ("even demons believe, and shudder") with saving faith ("I will show you my faith by what I do").

True, saving faith in Christ will produce good works.
"If necessary I will provide the best scriptures later."
Since you're attempting to support heresy, that may prove a vain pursuit.
"It will become very clear very quickly that salvation requires works and ordinances."
It should become very clear very quickly that:
"All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law,"

"...if righteousness could be gained by the Law, Christ died for nothing," and,

"...to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness" (Abraham and James).
"...the Bible that has been interpreted to support the Protestant (only some) bias toward salvation by Grace alone."
That is God's bias.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BG continues...
"The Bible as we have it today is only a small part of the things that Jesus taught the Primitive Church."
But, as far as we know, it is all God saw fit to preserve.
"The Catholic Church was formed about 300 AD and preserved as many of the writings, teachings and traditions that it could."
That is false.

The Christian Church (all those who believe in Jesus) was formed at Pentecost. Those early believers recorded and preserved all they could of the Apostles' writings, but the Old Testament Canon was already set by the time of Christ.

The Roman Catholic Church was not formed until centuries later.
"However, Mormons would maintain that much was lost during the extentsive percecution of 60-68 AD and later about the time the Book of Revelations was written (about 90-100 AD)."
And what is your evidence of this? Just saying it doesn't make it so.

If it was lost, how do you know it ever existed?

And even if you could know, how could what was lost (assuming you're thinking of the Book of Mormon and other "revelations") so wildly contradict intact Scripture?
"It is also clear that during the first 100 years factions had arisen in the church and influenced doctrine (i.e., Greek Philosophy)."
And heresies were refuted using the Word of God, just as He said should be done.
"By the time of the Nicean Council there were many competing factions and doctrines on many issues."
And the Standard used to sort out confusion was the Word of God.
"The Book of Mormon is a record of a colony of Jews and thier prophets who left Jerusalem during the time of Jeremiah and came to America. It is a separate record and not an addition to the Bible."
And so were Qur'an, Sira, and Hadith. Revelations delivered by angels to lone, self-proclaimed prophets can be troublesome.

If the Book of Mormon really is a divine revelation completely in harmony with the Bible, why do you need it at all? It is redundant!

If it adds something new (it does) or contradicts that which has already been revealed (it does), then how can it be divine in origin?

The Bible provides very stern warnings against saying what God has not said. No one is to add to or take away from what He has revealed.
"There is ample evidence of the Jews and other tribes dispersing."
Like the Bible?
"Other colonies may also have records that are not yet discovered."
Which says nothing about whether or not Joseph Smith preached a false messiah. He did.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lizzie contributed...
"Do you honestly think any of you will get the other to evaluate religious principles honestly when we are all baised to begin with?"
Bias doesn't necessarily mean one is unable to recognize new, relevant evidence and revise their positions in light of that.

I hope that all will be persuaded toward affirming the Christ of the Bible, but even if no LDS here does so, at least some in our audience may benefit from the discussion.
"For heaven's sake, people have been killed, crucified, raped, and burned in the name of religion."
We're talking about Mormonism, not Islam (unlike Islam, the actions you describe are *not* "divinely" mandated).
"All the arguments here have a taint of that sort of hate in them."
Though I disagree with those here who claim to worship the Christ of the Bible while misrepresenting His person and work, I would not believe any of them are violent or hateful.
"Why don't you all agree to disagree, and then go about being the best person you can be in a positive way?"
I hope that if we must disagree, at least it will be with the recognition by our Mormon friends that theirs is a different god.

For example, God the Father cannot be eternal, unbegotten, uncreated, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent (the Bible) and also have been a flesh and bone man copulating to produce spirit children unable to recall their preexistence (Mormonism).
"Let the LDS believe the principles they hold sacred without ridicule. Let the Protestants abide by the truths they hold near to their hearts without ridicule."
I agree.

[Is it not ridiculous to claim complete "harmony" with the Bible but then contradict it so flagrantly?]
"Let us all go forward and not backward, in making the earth a better place to live. Let us solve problems together, and help those that are less fortunate thus emulating our professed Christianity."
How does lying about God help anyone?
"Then, when Christ comes, he may be pleased that we have all served him in harmony in spite of our differences."
What makes you think that allowing lies about Him and His Father to go unchallenged for Harmony's Sake will please Him at all?
"When truth can't be pinpointed, or when it is argued over incessantly, do any of you really think that makes God happy?"
That's the problem. Truth has been "pinpointed." It is Christ.

Argument over truth is the fault of those in error.
"Don't you think he will come down here and straighten it all out?"
He already did, two thousand years ago.

When He straightens it out next time, it won't be too pretty for those on the wrong side of His Word.
"Well, then, let's let Christ do the fixing and the judging."
He did, He is, and He will -- through His Word.
"What would you do, if you found out the business associate you respect, was one of your foes here in the thread?"
That would be awkward. :)
"Surprisingly, all of us may be quite likeable in real life."
:)
"There is much good in all of us. Let us focus on that instead of trying to destroy one another."
When did "testing the spirits" by the Word of God become "destroying one another"?

You are kind.

Sometimes Love requires speaking unpleasant truths.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

omi wrote...
"...ANYONE who professed to believe in Christ and tried to follow his teachings. Even those who didn't follow orthodox theology were termed "Christian" heretics. At that time, those opposed to the LDS Church started the meme "Mormons aren't Christians," using the term in its new, non-standard, exclusionary sense."
Is "Christian heretic" much better than "not Christian"?

Either way, there is a problem.
"We LDS were puzzled and hurt by this attempt to convince people that we don't believe in Christ."
My intent is neither to puzzle nor hurt.

I have been making the point that teaching false doctrine about Jesus makes for a false christ.

Contradicting *any* part of the Scriptures is contradicting Christ, since all of it is His Word.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lizzie also observed...
"There's not a religion on the planet that doesn't have a checkered past, or present for that matter. There are even prophets, or chosen ones in the Bible that had "checkered" pasts. David, Jonah, Peter, Paul/Saul?"
"There are even" seems to indicate some may not have been. All of them (and us!) are sinners who justly deserve God's temporal and eternal punishment.
"...no one has the right to judge, except the only one who was actually sinless."
"Do not judge," does not mean, "allow lies about Me to go unchallenged."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Someone tell Eichendorff...
"An ad hominen arguement is not a logical arguement but simple name calling."

"...why stoop to name calling and hateful speech?"

"Let us agree to disagree, but not insult one another."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If this was directed to me...
"Look it is obvious to everyone on this thread that you have a very narrow definition of Christianity that represents less than 8% of the people in this country. Further, many of that 8% are not anti mormon."
How is, "Believe and teach what Jesus taught" "narrowly defining" Christianity?

Is "make up whatever nonsense you want no matter how wildly it contradicts Christ's Word," a better definition of Christianity?

If you don't like my definition, perhaps you should take it up with Him. Jesus said, "If you love Me, obey My commands," and, "If you hold to My teachings, you are truly My disciples."

That many "Christians" teach and practice false doctrines does not make Mormonism's heresies true.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BG assumed...
"The anti Mormons on here have defined a Christianity so narrow that it excludes all Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Church of Christ, and the Orthodox based on official denominational doctrine. However, based on actual beliefs held,the anti Mormon definition of Christianity also excludes large percentages Protestants and Evangelicals as non Christians."
First, I am not "anti-Mormon."

Second, since it appears you consider me other than "Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical," etc., what am I?

Third, you are not addressing the point. Playing with a survey to argue that many American Christians know little or nothing about their own religion in no way demonstrates the truth of your own doctrines.
"I also expect the above denominations and individuals would not take to kindly to being called non Christians."
Only you are calling them non-Christians.

And though they may not like it, if they are in error, then they need to fix it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BG followed up with...
"Your narrow definition of Christianty also excludes Lutherans as they believe in salvation by ordinance (works)."
Lutherans most definitely do *not* believe in salvation by works.

Perhaps you've not heard the phrase "Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura." It originated (as a phrase, the teaching is from Scripture) with the Lutherans. No one could be further from a doctrine of salvation by works.

It is the Lutherans who observe that "we are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone."

In other words, true faith in Christ will result in good works; those works in no way contribute to our salvation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TheChair commented...
"If you are not anti-Mormon, then you should be pleased to have them at your side as natural political allies. For example, Utah still the reddest of the red states."
I'm happy for all political allies. As I noted above (somewhere), I am looking for the best president we can get. I do not exclude Mitt from consideration because he is Mormon.
"Meanwhile, you are presented with a puzzle. If Mormons aren't Christian, then why do they generally behave that way?"
Lots of people behave in what might be called a "moral" or "Christian" way. That doesn't necessarily mean anything about whether or not their doctrine is true.

And how can it be considered "Christian behavior" to lie about Christ and His Father?
"Is it your belief that the Nicene Creed and its offshoots are the doctrinal sine qua non of Christianity whereas other doctrinal differences amongst other Christian faiths are to be overlooked?"
Every word from the mouth of God matters. There should be no doctrinal divisions within Christianity.

If the word "Christian" is to mean anything, it seems reasonable to begin with "Whom do you say I am?"

The Jesus of history is the Jesus of the Bible. Mormon teachings about His person and work -- spirit brother to Satan, preexisting spirit child of a flesh and bone father -- are contrary to His Word, so how can it be said that a Mormon even knows Who Jesus is?
"Do you remember that Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and many others, justified human slavery by appeal to the Bible?"
That doesn't mean their appeal was intellectually honest. Anyone can appeal to the Bible. Even the devil does it.

That is one example of people misusing Scripture to justify sin.
"Southern pulpits were aflame with biblical justification of slavery."
That should read, "...pulpits were aflame with attempts to justify slavery by misusing the Bible."
"Were you aware that evangelical Christians in Missouri of the 1830's participated in violently running Mormon settlers out of their state in large part because Mormons were an anti-slavery voting bloc? Which group was the more Christian?"
One group used violence to support tyranny, the other blasphemed the Creator of the universe.
"Isn't loving one's neighbor, as Christ taught, the truest signal of one's Christian credentials?"
How is it loving to destroy one's neighbor by preaching a false christ and a false gospel? Saint Paul said that "...if anyone preaches a different gospel, let him be anathema!"
"And again, shouldn't you be pleased to have Mormon brothers and sisters as your natural political allies?"
I am pleased for political allies, but we cannot be called "brothers and sisters" in the Biblical sense, for the Father of my Lord is the YHWH of Scripture, yours is the resurrected, flesh-and-bone, copulating delusion of a false prophet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gunlock bill wrote...
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God...great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
But Jesus says, "...false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible."

And the Apostle Paul writes,
"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.

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."
God the Father flesh-and-bone? Not Jesus' Father. He said, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gunlock Bill commented...
"But Jesus says, '...false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.'"

"This implies that there will also be TRUE prophets..."
Using your exegesis, Jesus was also implying "there will also be TRUE christs."

Of course, He was warning His people to avoid being deceived by liars speaking in God's name but who did not say what He has said.

How are His people to discern truth? By comparing what is preached to what His Word teaches.
"...otherwise Jesus would have told that "there would be no prophets"
Continuing with your logic, it should read: "...otherwise Jesus would have told that 'there would be no christs."

Of course, that is unnecessary except with those trying to justify heresy.
"That is why He added the part about "by their fruits ye shall know them"
And what kind of fruit is it when one lies about the person and work of Christ and His Father?

For such trees, something to consider:
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."

"I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!' How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? ...Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully."

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.

"And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TheChair resorts to logical fallacies...
"Amillenialist has so far called Mormons liars, deceivers, blasphemers and anathema."
I did a quick search of this thread. It appears that...

I have not called you a "liar." I have noted Christ's warnings against those who lie about Him.

I have not called you a "deceiver." I have noted several of Mormonism's false doctrines.

I have not called you a "blasphemer." I have noted that Mormonism blasphemes Christ and His Father.

I have not called you "anathema." I was noting what Paul said regarding those who preach a false gospel, which Mormonism does.

Rather than try to make me the issue, misrepresent my statements, or make yourself a victim, why not address the point?

To do anything else would be less than "Christian" behavior.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TheChair added at his own site...
"...'amillenialist' cites a few biblical verses and his understanding of them, then says, "you see, you don't believe the same, so you aren't Christian." The implication is that Mormons are merely to be tolerated, at best, in the political sphere."
You are not presenting my statements accurately.

My positions are not the issue, so your attempt at an ad hominem to distract from what is in question is intellectually dishonest.

Neither is it truthful to mischaracterize my statements as "[my] understanding of them," since "my understanding" is that of the historic Christian Church (and it is that because it is the testimony of the Scriptures).

Also, my argument has never been, "You don't believe like me...," it has been, "You are not saying what God says" (another subtle attempt at an ad hominem).

Finally, "tolerating Mormons" has never been my "implication." I was only addressing several of your co-religionists' assertions that Mormonism was a Christian religion.

In light of several of the heresies demonstrated in that thread (including contradicting Christ's own testimony on His person and work), it should be obvious that Mormonism cannot rightfully claim to be worshiping the God of the Bible and His Christ, but the vain imagining of its false prophet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Great points by Tom
"I can't agree that choosing not to vote for someone because of their religion is a form of bigotry. The essential definition of religion is that it is a system of beliefs. One's beliefs are the predicate for one's actions. Examining a candidate's beliefs is relevant to evaluating how they will act.

"The dogma that it is wrong to consider a candidate's religion is based on the hazy notion that religion has no real necessary connection to one's actions...

"...if someone thinks that Romney's beliefs will lead to bad policy actions, regardless of whether the belief is part of the Mormon religion, it is completely appropriate not to support him. There is no belief-neutral action. Evaluating candidates necessarily requires evaluation of their belief systems and hence their religions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tim nails it with...
Old Whig: “The fact is that the people making such claims either do not understand the structure of our constitutional government or they do not trust it to work.” [Saturday, March, 31, 2007 1:52 AM]
"Umm…I’ll take “don’t trust it to work” for a million kajillion dollars, Old Whig. Kelo, Clinton’s little war in Bosnia, the current usurpation of generalship by the 535, emanations of penumbras, the Clinton Gun Ban, the current HR 1022, willful failure to enforce federal immigration and employment law, federal court approval of required public school classes in Islam, Supreme Court rulings based on foreign laws and practices....

"The Constitution only works to the extent that competing interests are forced to obey it, and bringing any such force to bear is often a practical impossibility.

"Article 6 of the Constitution, much like many other parts of the Constitution, applies to the GOVERNMENT. The GOVERNMENT is prohibited from establishing a religious test for any federal office. INDIVIDUAL VOTERS are still allowed (see Amendment 10 for further details) to establish whatever personal rationales they desire in their selection of the candidate to whom they will give their vote.

"Thus I disagree with you and emphatically state that it is MORALLY indefensible to refrain from demanding that any candidate publicly state how his beliefs will affect how he will govern me. Anyone who willfully purchases a pig in a poke is a fool.

"Hmmm… also this: “The man audacious enough to attempt such foolishness would be rewarded … with … John Locke's Fifth Right, enshrined in the Second Amendment.”

"For the moment (see HR 1022 above), the general US citizen who meets certain requirements is allowed to own, at best, any number of semi-automatic firearms. Insurrection against the US is literally bringing a pop gun to a combined operations mechanized warfare fight, and, as such, is a guaranteed loser. The 2nd Amendment ceased to perform its intended function of allowing citizens a “last defense” against assaults by their government certainly no later than the 1934 National Firearms Act. The “best” that an armed uprising of citizens could possibly hope to achieve at this date is to turn all of the US into Baghdad, and that is assuming that the military decides to obey orders to attack their fellow citizens. At worst, the military would refuse or splinter, and the Republic, as a result, would die. The 2nd Amendment will not protect you anymore. If they come for your guns, you WILL give them up, or they WILL kill you."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A look back at Old Whig
"With this in mind, how appropriate is it, in our system of government, to ask a man how his religion might affect his ability to govern? Such a question 1) is MORALLY unconstitutional and, 2) need not be asked in light of the safeguards mentioned above. If any controversy should arise, methods are in place to deal with the offender. Unfortunately for my Evangelical friends, the difference of one's religion from theirs is not an impeachable offense."
Nice attempt at making criticism of Mormonism off-limits.

I fully expect to see Islam using this one soon.
"A side note to Dan: the quest for political office, however unlikely to succeed, does not equate to a "headlong, reckless pursuit of power." Simply because you may not win does not mean that to try is wrong, for the attempt in the face of seemingly certain defeat is the stuff of Dreams and Songs. Perhaps your dreams have been stifled too long, your song silenced..."
That's an odd, pseudo-psychoanalytical ad hominem overgeneralization.