06
Jul
09

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

    Of all the parables Jesus told, one of the most familiar is the Parable of the Prodigal Son recorded in Luke 15.  It is a wonderful story of God’s forgiveness as the father rushes out and welcomes home his wayward son.  

      But, as we place it into its context, we see that the point Jesus was really making was the joy we are to experience whenever we see a lost soul saved.  H makes that emphasis in direct response to the Pharisees’ murmuring against him.  “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” (Luke 15:2).  In response, Jesus tells three parables about the lost – the parable of the Prodigal Son being the last of the three.  And all three emphasize the joy we are to feel when we see the lost saved.  (See Luke 15:5-7, 9-10, 22-24) 

     In that setting it is obvious that the complaining elder son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son represents the Pharisees.   His anger over his father throwing a feast for his brother mirrors the murmuring of the Pharisees over Jesus eating with the tax collectors and sinners.  I’m sure that the Pharisees listening to Jesus as he unfolded this parable felt as if he had hit them with a two by four over their heads!  In essence, Jesus was telling them that, instead of murmuring, they should be rejoicing that he was reaching the lost.

     Therefore I found it interesting to see how Mormonism interprets this parable.  In the New Testament manual, The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles, it talks about the mercy and forgiveness of the Father.  But what I found interesting is that it talks more about the two sons than it does the father.  The point it emphasizes is that the father “did not have the younger son restored to all the privileges he had forfeited.”  He was received back but now “the farm” is gone.  “The ‘father’ himself cannot undo the effect of the foregone choice.”

     In striking contrast, the older son becomes the role model.  He is described as the “more dutiful” son.  “The father consoled him with the statement: “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”   In other words, for him “the farm” was not gone.  Unlike the younger son, he did not forfeit his privileges.  There is not one mention made of the Pharisees and their ungodly murmuring against Jesus.

      A beautiful story of forgiveness is turned into a story of making choices.  “Every choice one makes either expands or contracts the area in which he can make and implement future decisions.  When one makes a choice, he irrevocably binds himself to accept the consequences of that choice.”  So much so, that “the ‘father’ cannot undo the effect of the foregone choice.”

     The Bible teaches about a Heavenly Father who can undo the effects of foregone choices and has done so in Jesus Christ.  Through the saving work of Christ he has restored all the privileges that we have forfeited through sin.  Because of Jesus I’m looking forward to living eternally with Heavenly Father.


289 Responses to “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”


  1. 1 faithoffathers
    July 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Mark,

    One of the beautiful things about the parables of Jesus is that they are layered with many different meanings and principles. This is true of the prodigal son. You criticize an LDS manual for not taking the angle you feel is most meaningful in the parable. Understand that the manual does not claim to be a comprehensive and exhaustive interpretation of the parable. That lesson in that particular manual for that particular year emphasized one or two angles from the story.

    Ever seen the LDS movie “The Prodigal Son?” It is a modern version of that great parable and emphasizes the pride of the son who did not stray and the need to forgive all others, and that we are all in need of the atonement. It is a good 30 minute movie. Check it out.

    fof

  2. 2 GB
    July 6, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    M: There is not one mention made of the Pharisees and their ungodly murmuring against Jesus.

    GB: And why should there be, if it was discussing the parable and some of its meanings and not the events that surrounded it’s telling? Did the actions of the Pharisees change the meanings within the parable itself?

    And I doubt that the Pharisees would qualify for “thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine” like the older son.

  3. July 7, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Your right on target with this!! Keep it up. It is hard to understand the love of the Father until you see Christ.

    Please send me a friend request on FACEBOOK so that I can get your new post on my page. Just post a link to your facebook so I will see the updates after we are friends. You will get a lot more visits to your post too…Thanks

    http://www.facebook.com/zdennyfamily

  4. 4 Echo
    July 7, 2009 at 1:24 am

    According to what you both have written together with Marks reference to the LDS: “The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles”, it seems that the older son recieves ALL that the father has in spite of his sin of pride and his unrepentant heart while the son who is repentant loses it all and recieves nothing.

  5. 5 ADB
    July 7, 2009 at 2:35 am

    FOF,

    In a quick search for the video, here’s a description of the movie I believe you’re talking about:

    “He had made serious mistakes that deeply grieved his father and angered his older brother. Then, finally, he changed.

    After months in a rehabilitation center, his return home was a thrill to everyone…except his brother. Burdened by pride and resentment, the older brother disbelieved his younger brother’s change of heart. This pride and resentment threatened to destroy any hope for peace in the reunited family.

    A modern-day drama, shows how our improper choices affect us. It also depicts the positive results of humbly accepting our Savior and his teachings.”

    If that description is anywhere near accurate, it seems the movie still misses the point. There’s nothing about the Father. The parable is all about the Father, and if the video doesn’t reflect that, it can’t be worth much.

    Can you respond to my questions over in the “Repaying a Forgiven Debt” thread if you get a chance?

  6. July 7, 2009 at 3:33 am

    This parable has had the greatest gospel impact on my life in 2009.

  7. 7 ADB
    July 7, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Todd,

    Thanks for sharing … care to elaborate? It’s one of my favorites, too.

  8. 8 markcares
    July 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    FOF:
    The idea that bibilcial texts are layered with many different meanings was a popular concept in the Middle Ages. This resulted in people reading a meaning into a text rather than getting the meaning out of the text. The idea of layered meanings has been rejected by many biblical scholars for many years.

  9. 9 GB
    July 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    ADB: The parable is all about the Father, and if the video doesn’t reflect that, it can’t be worth much.

    GB: You obviously didn’t watch the video. If “the parable is all about the Father” THEN WHY is it called “the parable of the Prodigal Son”?

    - – - -

    Mark: The idea that bibilcial texts are layered with many different meanings . . .

    GB: Why do you misrepresent what FOF ACTUALLY said? You really are good at creating strawmen.

  10. 10 GB
    July 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Echo: . . . it seems that the older son recieves ALL that the father has in spite of . . .

    GB: Do you wonder where that notion comes from?

    Luke 15:31 And he (father) said unto him (older son), Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

    Does this verse not mean what it says?

  11. 11 Echo
    July 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    GB, according to your beliefs, what I said was true? (re: it seems that the older son recieves ALL that the father has in spite of his sin of pride and his unrepentant heart while the son who is repentant loses it all and recieves nothing.)

  12. 12 GB
    July 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Echo,

    Luke 15:31 And he (father) said unto him (older son), Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

    Does this verse not mean what it says?

  13. 13 Echo
    July 7, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    GB

    So you are saying that my statement of: “the older son recieves ALL that the father has in spite of his sin of pride and his unrepentant heart while the son who is repentant loses it all and recieves nothing” is true according to your beliefs.

    You have interpreted the parable of the prodigal in such a way that has Satan as the Father.
    Only Satan would reward the sin of pride and an unrepentant heart and say: “all that I have is thine” (refering to his kingdom of fire and everlasting punishment) Those who are repentant wouldn’t recieve any portion in Satan’s kingdom because they gained eternal life soley because of Jesus.

    I asked you this in the other thread but I will ask you again here:

    How do you know whether the Spirit that you believe is the Spirit of God, the Spirit that interprets scripture for you, is not an Unholy Spirit, a Spirit of Satan or demons?

  14. 14 faithoffathers
    July 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Mark,

    So you are saying there is only one meaning or lesson in each of Jesus’ parables. If so, I simply disagree. The concept that there are many lessons to be gleaned from Christ’s examples and parables is actually quite accepted in Christian thought. I am surprised that you disagree, if in fact you are disagreeing.

    So you are arguing that the LDS misinterpet this parable? OK. Great. I disagree. Of course we get the symbolism of the father representing Heavenly Father. And the prodigal son represents each of us. Soooo? I really don’t understand the controversy. Is it wrong to also see the lesson in the parable about pride and the need to forgive others?

    ADB- take a look at the movie. It is hard to watch it and say it is false, or misses the mark. Again, it presents one lesson out of many from a parable. Ya’ll are claiming that we are teaching false doctrine I take it? Truthfully, I have a hard time getting motivated to address such petty complaints. I will try to address the questions you bring up on the other thread when I get a chance to look at it soon!

    fof

  15. 15 Echo
    July 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Faithoffathers said:

    “So you are saying there is only one meaning or lesson in each of Jesus’ parables. If so, I simply disagree.”

    Echo:

    Check out what “parable” means:

    “an example by which “A” doctrine or precept is illustrated” Spoken of in the singular. from:

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3850&t=KJV

  16. 16 GB
    July 7, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Echo,

    You seem to fail to understand that it is ONLY the express mention of one thing that excludes all others.

    Now if your link said “an example by which ONLY one doctrine or precept is illustrated”, then you would have a point.

    but it says “an example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated”, this statement does NOT preclude that another doctrine or precept is not also illustrated.

    The parable of the prodigal son illustrates the nature of sin, repentance, and forgiveness (both the forgiveness the father extended to the prodigal as well as the need for the older son to also forgive the prodigal).

    Disclaimer!
    NOTICE!!! This list is not intended to be all inclusive to the principles and doctrines that this one parable illustrates.

    E: So you are saying that my statement of: “the older son recieves ALL that the father has in spite of his sin of pride and his unrepentant heart while the son who is repentant loses it all and recieves nothing” is true according to your beliefs.

    GB: No! That is not what I am saying. As usual you are reading something into the verses that AREN’T there. The fact that the older son had served the father faithfully for many years and was ALWAYS obedient, is prima facie evidence that he didn’t suffer from pride or was unrepentant. He had demonstrated REPEATEDLY that he was willing to submit his will to that of his father. Where was the older son when the prodigal returned? IN THE FIELDS doing the will of his father. Why do you ASSUME that the older son didn’t forgive the prodigal when asked by the father to do so? What in his past would even suggest that he would respond that way?

    The phrase “thou art ever with me” clearly indicates what the father anticipated would be the older sons response to this request. Does it not?

    = = =

    You have failed to answer my question.

    Luke 15:31 And he (father) said unto him (older son), Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

    Does this verse not mean what it says? Or is this going to be another question left unanswered?

  17. 17 gloria
    July 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Hello, mark. It’s been a while since I visited your blog. Summer is busy busy. I wanted to comment on your post.

    I love this parable. It is a beautiful message of hope for all of us .. for we all have sinned and in many ways are the prodigal son… my pastor preached on Sunday on “sin”.. it was fantastic… he reminded us all that there are not “degrees” of sin.. that sin is sin is sin. We have a ministry that reaches the lost in the local prison. We meet w/ souls and share the good news w/ many who are in pain and in sin… pastor reminded us that we are no better than they are. It was a powerful message.

    God bless,
    gloria

  18. 18 Echo
    July 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    GB: No! That is not what I am saying. As usual you are reading something into the verses that AREN’T there. The fact that the older son had served the father faithfully for many years and was ALWAYS obedient, is prima facie evidence that he didn’t suffer from pride or was unrepentant. He had demonstrated REPEATEDLY that he was willing to submit his will to that of his father. Where was the older son when the prodigal returned? IN THE FIELDS doing the will of his father. Why do you ASSUME that the older son didn’t forgive the prodigal when asked by the father to do so? What in his past would even suggest that he would respond that way?

    Echo:

    FOF said that the LDS teach that he was prideful and non-forgiving:

    FOF said: “Ever seen the LDS movie “The Prodigal Son?” It is a modern version of that great parable and emphasizes the pride of the son who did not stray and the need to forgive all others, and that we are all in need of the atonement. It is a good 30 minute movie. Check it out.”

    Being prideful is not being obedient. Being non-forgiving is not being obedient.

    GB said:

    The phrase “thou art ever with me” clearly indicates what the father anticipated would be the older sons response to this request. Does it not?

    Echo:

    What response would that be?

    GB said:

    You have failed to answer my question.

    Luke 15:31 And he (father) said unto him (older son), Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

    Does this verse not mean what it says? Or is this going to be another question left unanswered?

    Echo:

    It certainly does mean what it says.

  19. 19 Echo
    July 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    GB,

    You have failed to answer my question:

    “How do you know whether the Spirit that you believe is the Spirit of God, the Spirit that interprets scripture for you, is not an Unholy Spirit, a Spirit of Satan or demons?”

  20. 20 GB
    July 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    E: How do you know that the Spirit that is leading you is not an evil Spirit such as that of a demon?

    GB: Other than the fruits of the Spirit being peace and love, what does the Bible say on this subject?

    1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
    2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
    3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

    Now when these verses are properly understood they totally destroy the current understanding of the non-Mormon nature of Jesus. But rather than be accused of “side-stepping” the issue, I will keep to your question.

    The phrase “that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” is very important to the answer to this question. Notice the tense of the verb “is come”.

    From the Dictionary “is” is the “3rd person singular present indicative of ‘be’”.

    From the Dictionary “come” has multiple definitions but for this discussion I will use this one “to arrive by movement or in the course of progress”.

    The meaning of the phrase “that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” now is clear. Not only does it mean that a spirit from God will confess that Christ came in the flesh but a spirit from God will confess that Christ IS IN the flesh.

    Therefore any spirit that “confesses” that Christ doesn’t have flesh (and eternally so) is a spirit from antichrist.

    So Echo, there you have it. According to the Bible those spirits that teach that Christ not only came in the flesh but is also currently in the flesh (and eternally so) are from God.

    That and what I said previously about the fruits of the spirit being peace and love.

  21. 21 GB
    July 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Echo,

    Even in the video, the elder son gives up his pride and forgives the prodigal. The elder son’s pride and unforgiving attitude WAS a TEMPORARY condition. So yes, the elder son did live up to his father’s expectations and was obedient.

    Perhaps if you reviewed this parable it might help you understand.
    Matt 21:28-32.

  22. July 11, 2009 at 2:43 am

    The parable leaves the fate of the elder son in doubt. You can read many different messages into the story – like most good stories.

  23. 23 JesusLover
    July 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

    GB – you didn’t answer Echo’s question properly about how you know – when reading the bible – if the spirit that speaks to your mind and tells you what the verse means is from God or from satan? How do you know which it is? What is your criteria for discerning truth or falsehood when it comes into your mind? When you are just sitting there alone reading the bible how do you know what you are thinking is right or not? What you stated didn’t relate to this at all – that seemed a sidestep to me.

  24. 24 JesusLover
    July 13, 2009 at 9:38 am

    GB – Perhaps if you reviewed this parable it might help you understand.
    Matt 21:28-32. Your words.

    I have read this parable many times before and quite definately the older son is annoyed that he has obeyed and been loyal to his father all that time and his prodigal brother just shows up repentant and gets the best from his father. He obviously figures he should get more than his brother because of his loyalty and this position appears to be the mormon view also.
    When the father is assuring him that all belongs to him – he is not saying the loyal son gets more – he is assuring him that nothing he gives to the younger son takes away from what the older son gets. He reassures the older son because the son is outraged that the younger son should be treated equally to himself.
    This whole parable is about the character of God and how he forgives and gives to all without limits.
    The older son – and GB your view it appears also – is one that is popular in the world today – a secular world view – that you should get more if you earn it – that you deserve more the more “work” you do. The trouble with that is it is just not how God works.
    That is what the parable is teaching. How do I know this and discern it in my spirit as truth? Because it agrees with countless scriptures that speak to God’s love towards us while we were sinners and that all we have to do is repent and come to Him and we will receive all that He has.
    The other view………..that’s wordly and not of God. You can’t earn a place in heaven. To think so shows tremendous pride – “I did this so God should do this for me”. I believe that is why some – not all – mormons get enraged when you challenge this point with them because the whole belief system is built on pride “we can become Gods” – “we can earn higher places in heaven”. Pride pride pride just like the older son in the parable.

    Ok I am awaiting the “strawman” or “red herring” comments to assault me. LOL.

  25. 25 JesusLover
    July 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve watched many of the LDS films including the one refered to above, out of respect for my LDS friend. I found them very romantic and stirring but lacking in focus on God and how wonderful He is – it was more the emphasis on the efforts of the people ie. one about Joseph Smith. It was all about his bravery and courage and how great he was in the “restoration” but only a couple of passing references to God. I find all of the videos were lacking this God-centered focus that I watched and I watched with an open mind as I didn’t know what they would be like.

  26. 26 GB
    July 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    jl: GB – Perhaps if you reviewed this parable it might help you understand.
    Matt 21:28-32. Your words.

    I have read this parable many times before and . . .

    GB: Obviously you didn’t read this parable this time. As before, you are going off “half cocked” so to speak. I suggest you read the parable in Matt 21:28-32 before you start your attack. It makes you look rather juvenile when you claim something that is obviously untrue.

    :-)

  27. 27 JesusLover
    July 13, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    GB – I didn’t go off “half-cocked” as you so eloquently put it – I cut and pasted the wrong reference from up above because I had two observations to make and referenced the wrong section with what I put – the reference should be: Luke 15:11-32 which MATCHES what I wrote. Good you pointed it out – I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone deliberately.

    GB – there is NOTHING in anything that I have seen you write on this post and on others that would lead me to think that you had the Holy Spirit within you. I do not sense any love of God from anything you write to anyone here. There is nothing at all that would attract me to the mormon church if I had no belief system by simply reading how and what you wrote. I just see alot of wanting to be right and a desire to “put down” others and mock them.

    The true evidence of a true believer is not only his love for God but his love for others and I don’t see that in anything I’ve ever read from you…………I think perhaps – and I may be wrong – that you are a youngish man – maybe in your 20s?

  28. July 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Since when did you guys start equating having the Holy Spirit with whether a person’s approach is viewed as loving?

    Aren’t you guys the ones always prattling on about Paul’s “tough-love” approach on Mars Hill and Jesus cleansing the temple and all that jazz?

    When did you guys suddenly decide witnessing had to be nice?

  29. 29 Echo
    July 13, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Seth, if witnessing isn’t motivated by love for others it is a sin. “The fruit of the Spirit is love” Sometimes love must be tough in the sense of speaking the truth. For example, it is very loving to warn someone that if they die in their false beliefs they will go to outer darkness. But love should never be rude, mocking, disrespectful, derogatory etc.

  30. July 13, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    For the record, I don’t always agree with GB’s tone either.

    But I appreciate the work he puts into the scriptural debate. It would be tiring for me to be handling the entire thing – especially since I’ve personally grown very weary of the never-ending grace vs. works debate. So it’s nice to have someone else carry the baton on occasion – even if he doesn’t exactly synch with all my views or preferences.

  31. 31 Echo
    July 13, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I admire GB’s zeal as well.

  32. 32 GB
    July 14, 2009 at 12:26 am

    jl,
    There is NOTHING in anything that I have seen you write on this post and on others that would lead me to think that you had the Holy Spirit within you. I do not sense any love of God from anything you write to anyone here. There is nothing at all that would attract me to your church. I just see alot of wanting to be right and a desire to “put down” others and mock them.

    The true evidence of a true believer is not only his love for God but his love for others and I don’t see that in anything I’ve ever read from you…………I think perhaps – that you are a youngish female – maybe in your 20s?

  33. 33 Echo
    July 14, 2009 at 2:01 am

    1 John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

    GB, whoever does not love does not know God. Whoever does not love has NOT been born of God.
    Jesuslover has NOT sinned against you. But your sins are becoming countless. You have broken God’s entire law in many of the posts you have written. The reason is because you do not know God and have NOT been born of God.

    This is how you can KNOW whether or not the interpretations you have come to believe are true or not:

    If you agree these verses are speaking about YOU then you have the right interpretation:

    Genesis 8:21 “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though EVERY inclination of his heart is EVIL from childhood.”

    Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD”

    Romans 2:5 “But because of YOUR stubbornness and YOUR unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”

    Revelation 21:8 “But the FEARFUL, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    You have many more than 3 witness’s here on the internet to the wilfull sins you have committed, even the internet itself is a witness against you:

    Hebrews 10:26-28 “For if we SIN WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law DIED WITHOUT MERCY UNDER TWO OR THREE WITNESSESSES”

    Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

    2 Peter 2:19-22 “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for A MAN IS A SLAVE TO WHATEVER HAS MASTERED HIM… [John 8:34-35 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family,]… “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS VOMIT,”and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

    GB, it’s only when you believe these verses are speaking to YOU and about YOU and you admit that truth that God can then help you through us. The Spirit convicts (YOU) of sin (John 16:8) Don’t resist being convicted, don’t resist the work of the Spirit,(Acts 7:51) don’t greive the work of the Spirit (Eph 4:30). Let his word cut to the heart and convict you and let it judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart! (Heb 4:12) Admit the truth now because in the judgement it will be too late, once you die, it will be too late! You’ll recieve only Wrath then. It’s only when you admit this while you are still living that you can have hope and a future with God.
    NOW is the time to speak the truth about yourself. You have to come to the end of yourself and see the impossibility of pleasing God in your own strength.
    Your heart is not repairable, it cannot be fixed, it is evil and it cannot be changed. (You have a cancer fatal to your soul. Only God has a cure for your cancer.) God has to give you a new heart (Eze 36:26)
    If a cancer patient refuses to admit he has cancer, he won’t allow the doctor to cure him because he doesn’t believe he needs to be cured. If a person has cancer of the soul, he won’t allow the doctor to cure him because he doesn’t believe he needs to be cured. The only way to be cured is to first admit you have the fatal disease.

  34. 34 JesusLover
    July 14, 2009 at 2:08 am

    GB: I think perhaps – that you are a youngish female – maybe in your 20s?

    LOL! I wish! :^)

  35. 35 GB
    July 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    E: GB, it’s only when you believe these verses are speaking to YOU and about YOU and you admit that truth that God can then help you through us.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    E: It’s only when you admit this while you are still living that you can have hope and a future with God.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    E: NOW is the time to speak the truth about yourself.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    E: You have to come to the end of yourself and see the impossibility of pleasing God in your own strength.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    E: Your heart is not repairable, it cannot be fixed, it is evil and it cannot be changed. (You have a cancer fatal to your soul. Only God has a cure for your cancer.) God has to give you a new heart (Eze 36:26)

    GB: Now you are contradicting your earlier statements. Could you please be consistent?

    E: If a cancer patient refuses to admit he has cancer, he won’t allow the doctor to cure him because he doesn’t believe he needs to be cured.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    E: If a person has cancer of the soul, he won’t allow the doctor to cure him because he doesn’t believe he needs to be cured.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    E: The only way to be cured is to first admit you have the fatal disease.

    GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!

    Thanks for exposing an inconsistency in your position. It was fun! :-)

  36. 36 GB
    July 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Echo,
    Here is another one that shows that the fruits of the spirit (love) are felt within our hearts BY THE HOLY GHOST!!

    Rom. 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

    The heart can be either good or bad. You get to choose.

    Matt. 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    Matt. 13:15 . . . lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and SHOULD UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND SHOULD BE CONVERTED, and I should heal them.

    Matt. 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind

    Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; AND SHALL NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, BUT SHALL BELIEVE THOSE THINGS WHICH HE SAITH shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

    Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; . . .
    Acts 7:51 ¶ Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised IN HEART and ears, ye do always RESIST THE HOLY GHOST: as your fathers did, so do ye.

    1 Sam. 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, BUT THE LORD LOOKETH ON THE HEART.

    I don’t understand why you don’t have enough faith to trust God (through the Holy Ghost) to lead you to the truth. Christ promised that the Holy Ghost would witness of the truth.

    John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    I have explained to you how the Holy Ghost works but you don’t believe/understand it nor can you provide any evidence that I have it wrong. Sorry but just saying that the fruits of the Spirit don’t lead us to the truth does NOT make it so.

    AND (unless I have missed it), you haven’t provided an adequate explanation of how the Holy Ghost witnesses to us.

  37. 37 Echo
    July 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    GB said:

    “GB: So you are saying that I HAVE TO DO something to be saved, right? So much for your Jesus “alone” drivel!!!”

    Wrong. I am saying that you can do nothing to save yourself. But you are blind to that fact.

  38. 38 Echo
    July 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    GB said:

    “AND (unless I have missed it), you haven’t provided an adequate explanation of how the Holy Ghost witnesses to us.”

    How did the Bereans discern what was true? How did they avoid false teaching? The Bereans were considered “NOBLE” because they searched the scripture every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    The Holy Spirit witnesses to us through his very own word in the Bible.

    Eph 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

  39. 39 GB
    July 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    E: The Bereans were considered “NOBLE” because they searched the scripture every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    GB: Actually they were more noble character for they RECEIVED the message with GREAT EAGERNESS and examined the scriptures to verify that what Paul said was true.

    How did they know that their interpretation was correct? How did they know that Paul’s interpretation was correct?

    I will tell you again that I don’t find ANYTHING in the Bible that contradicts with my beliefs. I have different interpretations than you do and I am convinced that my interpretations are verified by the Holy Spirit of truth.

    Therefore, when we disagree, it is because YOUR interpretation is in error.

    So, how do YOU know that YOUR INTERPRETATION is correct?

    E: The Holy Spirit witnesses to us through his very own word in the Bible.

    GB: That doesn’t answer the question on how does the Holy Spirit witness to us that our interpretation of what we read is true.

    E: Eph 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

    GB: Nice scripture, and I believe it. But it doesn’t address the question. How do you know that your interpretation is Holy Spirit approved?

    How do you even know that the Bible is true?

    E: Wrong. I am saying that you can do nothing to save yourself. But you are blind to that fact.

    GB: So why don’t you just sit back, relax and let God open my eyes for me, instead of trying to do it yourself? Or does my salvation depend upon your ability to convince me (parish the thought). :-)

  40. 40 Echo
    July 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    GB said:

    “Therefore, when we disagree, it is because YOUR interpretation is in error.

    So, how do YOU know that YOUR INTERPRETATION is correct?”

    Echo:

    I am absolutely 100% certain your interpretation is false because you are a tree that cannot bear good fruit. In your conversations with all of us, you have proven repeatedly, despite several rebukes of your sins, to continue on being a thistle and thornbush because of the way you treat people. In the end a thornbush will be cut down and thrown in the fire:

    Mathew 7:15-20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

  41. 41 GB
    July 14, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Echo,

    So, are you trying to say that the correctness of YOUR interpretations are dependent upon my actions?

    WOW!!!! I am flattered. :-)

    OR,

    are you just AVOIDING the question because you don’t have an answer?

  42. 42 Echo
    July 14, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Mathew 12:33-37 ” 33″Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

  43. 43 Echo
    July 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    GB said:
    ========

    “So, are you trying to say that the correctness of YOUR interpretations are dependent upon my actions?

    WOW!!!! I am flattered. :-)

    OR,

    are you just AVOIDING the question because you don’t have an answer?”

    Echo:
    =====

    The Bible says a Dog returns to his vomit and a sow (PIG)that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22) Just as a you yourself never repent but continue on in your sins without remorse despite many repeated rebukes from others.

    You have proven by your own unloving words and ways, to be that dog/pig.
    What does Jesus have to say about pigs?

    Mathew 7:6 “do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

    Isn’t that exactly how you respond, just like the pig! Jesus is telling me to give up on the discussion with you when he says not to throw my pearls to the pigs.

    Mathew 12:33-37 ” 33″Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34YOU BROOD OF VIPERS, HOW CAN YOU WHO ARE EVIL SAY ANYTHING GOOD? FOR OUT OF THE OVERFLOW OF THE HEART THE MOUTH SPEAKS. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment FOR EVERY CARELESS WORD THEY HAVE SPOKEN. 37FOR BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE AQUITTED, AND BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE CONDEMNED.”

    Thank you for the discussion. I can’t see the point in continuing.

  44. 44 GB
    July 14, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    E,

    So, you are just going to call me names and then leave?

  45. July 15, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Well, regardless of what you think of GB’s personality – there are plenty of nice Mormons. So does that mean that THEIR interpretation is correct?

    I also find it interesting that the more GB puts the argument in a scriptural standstill, the more the Evangelicals start to sound like Mormons – appealing to “fruits of the spirit” and such.

  46. 46 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Seth,

    I am confident that GB has NOT put the argument in a scriptural standstill. If you want to discuss these points you are refering to yourself with me, I would welcome that.

  47. July 15, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Well, I don’t think any of the Evangelicals here have established that GB’s view is not a plausible reading of the scriptures in question. Maybe you think so because your read is the one you are used to carrying around in your own skull. But I don’t see a textual debate that’s been resolved one way or the other yet.

    And I find it interesting that the Evangelicals here are suddenly appealing to “fruits of the spirit.”

    That’s a very “Mormon” approach to the debate.

  48. 48 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Just because there are plenty of nice Mormons doesn’t mean that their interpretation is correct. There are plenty of nice UNbelievers:

    Luke 6:32-34 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

    Believers of truth, on the other hand, produce fruit of a very different sort, such as being kind to the wicked, loving your enemy, being kind and doing good to those who hate you or persecute you etc.

  49. 49 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 4:38 am

    Seth,

    BTW, I am not an evangelical in the sense that that title is intended in our day. I am a WELS Lutheran who isn’t in complete doctrinal agreement with the evangelicals of our day.

    I am uncertain what you mean when you say: “And I find it interesting that the Evangelicals here are suddenly appealing to “fruits of the spirit.” That’s a very “Mormon” approach to the debate.”

    It seemed to me that GB and I didn’t agree on the purpose of the fruit of the Spirit or what that fruit is.
    GB “seemed” to be saying that any teaching or doctrine that produces a “feel good fruit” (feeling) inside is how he decides it is true and interpreted correctly. That is FAR, FAR different from what I believe about the fruit of the Spirit. It seems you might be possibly not understanding our view on it yet either? Or maybe your view needs greater explanation so that I might understand it more clearly?

  50. 50 GB
    July 15, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Echo: You have proven by your own unloving words and ways, to be that dog/pig.

    GB: I can just feel your love Echo!

  51. 51 GB
    July 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Echo,

    Did you notice the sarcasm in that last post?

    You “claim” that it is love that drives you to call me names and attack me personally.

    And yet you “claim” that I can’t love you, when I present a spirited defense of my beliefs, SUPPORTED BY SCRIPTURE!!!

    Do you not see the double standard you are using?

  52. 52 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    GB,

    With all due respect to you, God himself has defined who the pigs/dogs are and how to recognize them by their words and attitudes and unrepentant heart. It is your own unloving attitude, words and unrepentant heart that has brought this name upon yourself.

    It is not unloving to point out your sin to lead you to repentance and to show you your need of a Savior who has done everything for you that you cannot do for yourself. And you can do nothing. And it is God, not me, that indentifies and calls people pigs/dogs. I am simply passing along that message. God’s message.

    When you use scripture, I am delighted, when you are disrespectful, sarcastic, rude, mocking, slanderous,and derogatory etc…that “spirited defense” is NOT from the Spirit of God. THAT is the REAL definition of a personal attack. You are clearly a man who walks in the sinful nature. A man without the knowledge of God’s love for us.

    Again, I tell you these things, not to harm you in any way nor put you in your place so to speak nor as a personal attack against you! After all, I am a sinner too and I need God’s mercy as much as you do.

    But I want you to see that you can do nothing, that you do not live what YOU believe, that it is impossible for you. You teach that we must obey all the commandments as a “condition” to gain eternal life yet you disobey all the commandments. You teach that you must repent which is defined as including overcoming your sins yet you show no signs of sorrow for your sins let alone overcoming them or attempting to etc. In fact, when your sins are pointed out, you just keep on going in your sins or your sins increase. And because you do not live what you believe, you shine through very clearly as a hypocrite. Hypocrites end up in Satan’s abode in outer darkness.

    This isn’t about just YOU though. It’s about every single human being who ever lived. No human being is capable of meeting the “conditions” to gaining eternal life including myself. So I am simply trying to get you to see that fact so that I can share with you what Jesus has done for you and for everyone.

  53. 53 GB
    July 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Echo,

    It is YOU that is calling me a “dog/pig” and NOT God. YOU are the one judging me and NOT God.

    I am beginning to suspect that you just can’t answer my questions (without exposing flaws in your theology) and this is your attempt to avoid the cognitive dissonance created between the truths the Bible clearly and plainly teaches and your theology.

    It is unfortunate that you have resorted to personal attacks rather than address the issues.

    Are you just avoiding my questions?

  54. 54 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    The biggest issue there is the fact that you cannot meet the conditions to gaining eternal life. I want you to gain eternal life along with me! There is no issue greater than that.

    You said: “It is YOU that is calling me a “dog/pig” and NOT God. YOU are the one judging me and NOT God.”

    God’s word is judging you. I am simply passing along his judgement on you. If you feel convicted, then the True Holy Spirit is convicting you and not me.

    If God’s word says that adultery is a sin and Joe goes ahead and commits adultery, and then Mike points out that sin of adultery to Joe, he isn’t judging Joe. God’s word has already judged Joe by saying that adultery is a sin. Mike is simply passing along God’s own judgement of the sin of adultery that Joe is committing. God himself is judging Joe by speaking through Mike.

    If Joe fills convicted of his sin, it is the Holy Spirit convicting him (John 16:8)and not Mike.
    If Joe resists the Holy Spirit who is holding him accountable for his sin, Joe resists the Holy Spirit and has hardened his heart.

    You said: “It is unfortunate that you have resorted to personal attacks rather than address the issues.”

    Again, the actions that YOU have taken are what define a personal attack. Only YOU can take responsibility for them. You alone will be held accountable for them in the judgement just as God is holding you accountable for them right now, through his word. (Mathew 12:36)

  55. July 15, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    “God’s word is judging you. I am simply passing along his judgement on you. If you feel convicted, then the True Holy Spirit is convicting you and not me.”

    Do you have any idea how presumptuous and pompous that sounds?

    Since when did blessed little you become God’s own personal walkie talkie?

  56. July 15, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    And I agree with GB that you’re simply trying to avoid the issues with the personal arguments (not that I’m saying GB hasn’t done the same before…).

  57. 57 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Seth,

    You said: “Do you have any idea how presumptuous and pompous that sounds?”

    If a mother tells her son to go outside and tell his sister to wear her helmet on her bike so she doesn’t get injured, is the son being presumptuous and pompous? All the son is doing is relaying or passing on the message from mother to daughter. Nothing more.

    You said: “Since when did blessed little you become God’s own personal walkie talkie?”

    When we pass along God’s word to anyone, we are God’s own “walkie talkie”:

    Mathew 10:20 “for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

    2 Corinthians 13:2-4 “I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.”

    1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.”

    2 Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

    1 Thess 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

    2 Corinthians 2:17 “in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, LIKE MEN SENT FROM GOD.”

    John 17:18 “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

    Mathew 18:18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

  58. 58 GB
    July 15, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Echo: Again, the actions that YOU have taken are what define a personal attack.

    GB: PLEASE feel free to point out where I have personally attacked you. I would like to see what you think is a personal attack. And tell you what, IF Seth agrees with you that it was a personal attack, then I WILL apologize to you.

    Since it is apparent that you think you have authority to speak for God, I was wondering where you got such authority.

  59. July 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Yeah, and the mental and spiritual gap between your exalted self and me is obviously just the same as the gap between my 7 year old daughter and myself.

    Like I said – pompous.

    “When we pass along God’s word to anyone, we are God’s own “walkie talkie”:”

    The whole point of this discussion is that you somehow got the message WRONG. You have not established otherwise yet. Merely declaring yourself to be the infallible receptacle of Bible interpretation is not something anyone here has to take seriously.

    Get over yourself and make a REAL argument already.

  60. 60 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    GB said:
    =======

    GB: PLEASE feel free to point out where I have personally attacked you. I would like to see what you think is a personal attack. And tell you what, IF Seth agrees with you that it was a personal attack, then I WILL apologize to you.

    Echo:
    =====

    I have pointed them out already.

    GB said:
    =======

    Since it is apparent that you think you have authority to speak for God, I was wondering where you got such authority.

    Echo:
    =====

    I am simply relaying his word to you. It’s not my word, it is God’s word.

  61. 61 Echo
    July 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Seth said:
    =========

    Yeah, and the mental and spiritual gap between your exalted self and me is obviously just the same as the gap between my 7 year old daughter and myself.

    Like I said – pompous.

    Echo:
    =====

    Relaying a message from God’s word is not pompous. It is his message, not mine.

    “When we pass along God’s word to anyone, we are God’s own “walkie talkie”:”

    Seth said:
    ==========

    The whole point of this discussion is that you somehow got the message WRONG. You have not established otherwise yet. Merely declaring yourself to be the infallible receptacle of Bible interpretation is not something anyone here has to take seriously.

    Echo:
    =====

    I don’t declare myself to be the infallible receptacle of Bible interpretation. The Bible is quite good at interpreting itself. All one has to do is read it, take context into consideration, believe EVERY word and let scripture interpret scripture.

  62. 62 GB
    July 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Echo: I am simply relaying his word to you. It’s not my word, it is God’s word.

    GB: That is begging the question, which is becoming a common occurrence for you.

    And “claiming” that you have pointed them out already is ALSO avoiding the request. You claim I have injured you and yet you will not provide the evidence.

    Under American Jurisprudence, If you have a claim against me, I am not required to take your “word” for it, nor am I required to find it for you, but you are be required to present the evidence against me.

    Do so now or stop playing the victim and cowboy up!

  63. July 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    “I don’t declare myself to be the infallible receptacle of Bible interpretation. The Bible is quite good at interpreting itself. All one has to do is read it, take context into consideration, believe EVERY word and let scripture interpret scripture.”

    Over 500 different theological interpretations of the one book say otherwise.

    Or are you going to claim that Martin Luther and his Pope “really weren’t so different?”

  64. 64 ADB
    July 15, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Seth,

    By “different theological interpretations” do you mean “translations”? If so, then just go back to the original Greek and Hebrew and avoid all those problems:)

  65. July 15, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    No, I did not mean “translations.” I meant interpretations.

    And as for the original autographs. Hate to break it to ya – but you don’t have THOSE.

  66. 66 ADB
    July 16, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Without going into too much detail, I will say that I’ve spent some time in the originals and am quite confident that what we have is pretty darn near original. Any supposed “inconsistencies” are rather easily explained. What we have today is sufficiently every bit as much Heavenly Father’s Word as when he first inspired the writers in the Bible.

    Furthermore, the numerous theological interpretations within the Mormon church itself pose the same problem …

  67. July 16, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Just about every document we have comes from about 200 years after Christ’s death. And most of those aren’t really intact enough to say much of anything for certain. The oldest document we have is about the size of a postage stamp.

    And even if you establish that you have something very, very close to the original text when you open up your NIV Bible, the language is so freaking vague so often that you get complete disagreement on theological meaning. As countless debates here (and plenty of other places) have demonstrated.

    So much for the clear word of God.

    So, when someone like Echo starts pulling this “I’m just passing the message along” crap, I tend to think they’re honestly talking out of their hat more than anything else. Echo has no more guarantee that his pet interpretation of the Bible is correct than GB does.

  68. 68 ADB
    July 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Seth,

    Something doesn’t make sense to me. You don’t seem to believe that Heavenly Father could have kept his inerrant Word intact for those 200 years (actually, there are some papyri that date earlier than your “200 years after Christ’s death”, but I won’t argue that point) simply because we don’t have the original autographs today, and therefore draw the conclusion that the Bible as we have it today is unreliable.

    (As a side, to note how inconsistent this line of thinking is, why don’t you apply the same reasoning today to everything across the board for which we don’t have the “original”? If I don’t have the original copy of any book or writing, that doesn’t mean I suddenly call into question if I have the words the original author wrote. I can look at the numerous copies and determine based on the similarities what the original actually said. The fact is, we have thousands of papyri, uncials, minuscules, lectionaries, and quotations from church fathers, to say nothing of the different translations of these manuscripts of the New Testament. When we take the sum total of all these manuscripts, in spite of any discrepancies, we see enough similarities to determine that we have 99% or the original. Furthermore, in the 1% that make up the variants, less than half of those have anything to do with doctrinal teaching.)

    Yet, you have absolutely no problem with an 1800 year gap in which Heavenly Father apparently left everyone in the dark with this “unreliable” Bible until a self-proclaimed “prophet” showed up on the scene to suddenly straighten everything out???

    I’ll take a gap of 200 years, during which Heavenly Father could easily see to it that his Word is meticulously copied for our benefit today, over an 1800 year gap and a prophet/prophets who can’t seem to get their stories straight.

    As for modern day translations, I’m willing to look at all of them. The NIV has its strengths and weakness, as does the KJV and every other translation. I simply tend to use one that reflects the way we speak today, while being faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek. The NASB sometimes does a better job than the NIV in that respect.

    This all relates to a a question I never got around to asking you and FOF earlier. When the LDS standard of doctrine (prophets, scriptures, etc.) is always changing, then what standard measure do you use to determine what is true and what isn’t?

  69. July 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I just think inerrancy is a stupid idea to begin with – no matter who claims to have it.

    I don’t consider the Book of Mormon inerrant either. Neither do I consider Joseph Smith inerrant.

    It’s just a dumb idea – no matter where it’s directed.

  70. July 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    “This all relates to a a question I never got around to asking you and FOF earlier. When the LDS standard of doctrine (prophets, scriptures, etc.) is always changing, then what standard measure do you use to determine what is true and what isn’t?”

    I’d say that question isn’t half as important as you think it is.

    Primary concerns are Christlike living in a community of faithful. Doctrinal boondoggles can be dealt with in your spare time, on your own dime.

    For instance (to pick a counter-cult favorite) – was God a “sinful man” on another planet? Or was he always in his current status?

    Honestly, I don’t really care. It’s just not of much interest to me. It has little bearing on my life, or on how I treat other people. If God wishes to be more clear and reveal it to me, I will rejoice in the additional light and knowledge. But it’s just not worth getting upset over.

    Neither am I particularly bothered with having a degree of uncertainty over whether this or that Bible passage is really inerrant or accurate.

    I find the uncertainty fun.

    And I find your attempts to remove all uncertainty from religion to be stuffy and boring.

    The path of fundamentally insecure people who are ruled by their fears rather than by their loves.

  71. 71 GB
    July 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Seth: The path of fundamentally insecure people who are ruled by their fears rather than by their loves.

    GB: WOW !!!!! Talk about hitting the nail on the head!!!!

    It reminds me of the parable of the talents. (Matt 25:14-30)

    People who are governed by their fear of failure, seek security in not taking any responsibility for success.

    And yet that path/theology was condemned by the Lord. (See verses 26-30)

  72. 72 ADB
    July 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Seth,

    “And I find your attempts to remove all uncertainty from religion to be stuffy and boring.”

    Would you disagree that John’s words below indicate that Heavenly Father himself would like to remove that “uncertainty”?

    ” 13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

    Surely you wouldn’t imply that Heavenly Father is “stuffy and boring” for wanting us to “know that we have eternal life” and removing any uncertainty??

    I don’t say that facetiously, but am trying to make sense of how on the one hand you can commend someone (GB) for so “effectively” using Scripture to make his points, but then go on to say that the question of doctrine (and by extension, Scripture) isn’t really all that important.

    “If God wishes to be more clear and reveal it to me, I will rejoice in the additional light and knowledge.”

    But hasn’t that “light and knowledge” already been given in the Bible, your LDS writings, and the prophets???

    As I am trying to peel away what you’re saying, your view sounds more and more in line with Mormons that I have typically dealt with–there’s a lack of understanding about what the Bible says, and right along with it, a laissez-faire attitude that at the end of the day, doesn’t really care.

    “The path of fundamentally insecure people who are ruled by their fears rather than by their loves.”

    Are you referring to the LDS?

  73. July 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Oh, I never claimed that GB “won” the debate, or conclusively established a particular read on the scriptures in question. I’m actually sort of neutral on the scriptural debate going on here because I’ve honestly lost interest in the whole grace vs. works controversy. It’s become a non-issue for me.

    What I do dislike is the sort of fundamentalist thinking that you seem to be pushing here.

    Your use of 1 John 5:13 just proves my point. You should have already gathered from my comments that I don’t really care about your ability to proof-text to the Bible to make your points. I don’t accept the Bible as the comprehensive last word on everything to begin with. So picking out a single verse pushing the “certainty paradigm” doesn’t really impress me much.

    I’m not a Bible-thumper. I don’t take the Bible as the sole or even pre-eminent source of knowledge about God. I don’t give that status to the Book of Mormon either. I get my view of God from a variety of sources. The entire sweep of human literature and discovery, the beauty of my life and surroundings, the joy I find in the people I meet, know, and love. And yes, even scripture. But you’d be utterly wrong to think that a crummy proof-text is going to be the final word in anything for me.

    For instance, you can cite Paul all you want. But here I am thinking – “well, was Paul correct of not?”

    I don’t take anything for granted. And I never take a verse in the Bible as automatically binding.

    You can’t just assume the Bible to be true – not if you want to debate with other people anyway.

  74. 74 Echo
    July 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    The “evidence” was already presented to you “Repeatedly.” Under American Jurisprudence, a lawyer that continually keeps losing the files containing the evidence and who keeps repeatedly needing those files to be resent to him, is a lawyer who is imcompetant and needs to be fired.

    I am not playing the victim, I am trying to lead you to see your need of a Savior.

  75. 75 Echo
    July 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Seth,

    How do you then decide what is the final word in anything especially the essential things?

  76. 76 ADB
    July 16, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Seth,

    “What I do dislike is the sort of fundamentalist thinking that you seem to be pushing here.”

    If it’s OK for me to say, I get pretty tired of being labeled a “fundamentalist” because I believe God has revealed his will for man and assurance of a Savior in the Bible.

    I can’t help but wonder why you’d spend any time on a blog moderated by a guy who has made it very clear that his goal is to speak the truth in love to Mormons, and that said goal necessitates speaking God’s Word to Mormons. If you don’t give a rip what the Bible says, then why do you waste your time on a blog where Christians are going to do nothing but quote to you what Heavenly Father says in the Bible?

    Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t buy this for a second:

    “Neither am I particularly bothered with having a degree of uncertainty over whether this or that Bible passage is really inerrant or accurate.

    I find the uncertainty fun.

    And I find your attempts to remove all uncertainty from religion to be stuffy and boring.”

    Reading a book or watching a movie to be entertained by the mystery or uncertainty is one thing, but religion does not fall into that category.

    In this economy, what person wakes up and says, “Boy, I don’t know if I’ll have a job when I go into work today, but that’s OK with me–I like the uncertainty”?

    When a person finds out a loved one has just been diagnosed with cancer, does he say, “Doc, now you may or may not know if some treatment or surgery will heal the cancer, but don’t bother telling me, because I kind of like the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen to my loved one”?

    Neither do I buy that you’re OK with being uncertain about your eternal welfare and status before Heavenly Father.

  77. 77 GB
    July 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    ADB,

    How do you know that the Bible is inerrant?

  78. July 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    “How do you then decide what is the final word in anything especially the essential things?”

    I don’t.

    “Neither do I buy that you’re OK with being uncertain about your eternal welfare and status before Heavenly Father.”

    Well, I am. And I am.

    Don’t assume everyone else is as insecure and risk-averse as you are.

  79. 79 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 2:04 am

    “How do you know that the Bible is inerrant?”

    There are ONLY two options on the table. The Bible is fallible or the Bible is infallible.

    The origin of belief in a fallible Bible:
    =========================================

    The very first temptation in the history of the world was when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to DOUBT the infallibility of God’s word when he said: ” Did God really say?…”
    Adam and Eve fell for the temptation and the consequence of believing that God’s word was fallible, was and still is: sin, suffering, death and Hell for every person who has ever lived.

    Luke 8:12 “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”

    The origin of belief in an infallible Bible:
    ==================================================

    God himself contradicts Satan doctrine of fallibility with his doctrine of infallibility. Those who believe that his word is infallible are saved from sin, suffering, death and Hell:

    2 Samuel 22:31 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless”

    Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.”

    Mathew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not LIVE on bread alone, but on EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

    Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

    Romans 3:2 “Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.”

    Luke 16:17 “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”

    Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

    Psalm 12:6 “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”

    Psalm 56:10 “In God, whose word I praise” (no one will praise a fallible bible)

    John 2:22 “Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”

    1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you HOLD FIRMLY TO THE WORD I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

    1 Thess 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

    Job 42:2 “”I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (including preserving his infallible word)

    Isaiah 8:10 “Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” (Including preserving his infallible word)

  80. July 17, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Uh huh…

    Now tell me why I’m supposed to take those passages literally as opposed to spiritually.

    Or why I’m supposed to be drawing the connection that any of those verses are referring to the NIV Bible as we now have it?

  81. 81 GB
    July 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Echo,

    I see your reply as just a bunch of drivel that brings up more questions than it answers.

    You are using verses IN the Bible as the basis for your answer.

    Do you know what CIRCULAR reasoning/logic is?

    That is like saying it is true because it says it is true. Well guess what. The Koran also says that IT is true, so then, why don’t you believe IT?

    So, since you didn’t really answer the question, I will ask again.

    How DO YOU KNOW that the Bible is inerrant?

    In fact, How DO YOU KNOW that the Bible is even the word of God?

  82. 82 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    “Now tell me why I’m supposed to take those passages literally as opposed to spiritually.”

    Tell me why you would take them spiritually.

    “Or why I’m supposed to be drawing the connection that any of those verses are referring to the NIV Bible as we now have it?”

    The Bible as a whole, contains a message. That message is consistent whether using the NIV or KJV etc.

  83. July 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Echo, that’s bare assertion. Our conversation has reached a standstill.

    You can’t seem to establish why I’m supposed to take the verses literally and I can’t establish why they should be symbolic (and I never claimed I could). And we are at a standstill. Neither of us have anything to go on but the bare-assertions of the other.

    If you can’t back up your claims, I suggest we drop this line of conversation as no longer useful.

  84. July 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    By the way, I only used the NIV to emphasize that it’s a modern interpretation of an original document that is not available to us. It’s also a very popular version among Evangelicals. I like it too. My kids seem to respond better to it than the KJV as well.

    But the central point remains. You have absolutely nothing backing up your appeal to Biblical inerrancy except pointing to verses that can be read more than one way to begin with.

    Shaky ground you’re standing on here. Especially when you are talking to people who don’t take it for granted that the Bible is the final word to begin with.

    You got nothing, basically.

  85. 85 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    GB said:
    ========
    I see your reply as just a bunch of drivel that brings up more questions than it answers.

    “Do you know what CIRCULAR reasoning/logic is?

    That is like saying it is true because it says it is true. Well guess what. The Koran also says that IT is true, so then, why don’t you believe IT?”

    Echo:
    =====

    What is really “a bunch of drivel” is the Circular reasoning/logic that happens when a man named Joseph Smith self-proclaims to be a prophet of God, he writes a book called the BOM out of his own imagination then publishes it in his own lifetime and people believe all of this. This is called BLIND TRUST, and it is very dangerous, even fatal.

    GB said:
    =======

    How DO YOU KNOW that the Bible is inerrant?

    In fact, How DO YOU KNOW that the Bible is even the word of God?

    Echo:
    ====

    You believe in an errant God when you believe that God’s word is errant. You believe in an inerrant God when you believe that God’s word is inerrant.

    What kind of powerless/powerful God do you believe in?
    Do you believe in a God that isn’t powerful enough to preserve his own word?
    Do you believe that man actually is capable of outwitting God and thwarting his purposes, plan and will? If so, then you might as well believe in yourself and be your own God since you have more power than God himself.

    I know the Bible is the word of God because of Jesus.

  86. 86 GB
    July 17, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Echo,

    I don’t thing that Matthew deliberately misattributed Zechariah’s words (from Zechariah 11:12—13) to Jeremiah (in Matthew 27:9—10); I have no doubt it was an honest and unintentional mistake on his part.

    Still, any mistake, however trivial, means that the Bible is not completely inerrant, doesn’t it?

  87. 87 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Seth,

    I don’t think the discussion is at a standstill. The verses I gave are to be taken literally. Common sense.

    For example, a verse such as: “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword,” This verse should not be taken literally because common sense tells us nobody has a literal sword in his mouth. The use of the word “sword” is figurative.

  88. July 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    ‘I don’t think the discussion is at a standstill. The verses I gave are to be taken literally. Common sense.”

    Translation: “Because I said so.”

    Got it.

  89. 89 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    GB said:
    ========

    I don’t thing that Matthew deliberately misattributed Zechariah’s words (from Zechariah 11:12—13) to Jeremiah (in Matthew 27:9—10); I have no doubt it was an honest and unintentional mistake on his part.

    Still, any mistake, however trivial, means that the Bible is not completely inerrant, doesn’t it?

    Echo:
    =====

    Before we can discuss your concern above we have to answer the following:

    You believe in an errant God when you believe that God’s word is errant. You believe in an inerrant God when you believe that God’s word is inerrant.

    What kind of powerless/powerful God do you believe in?
    Do you believe in a God that isn’t powerful enough to preserve his own word?
    Do you believe that man actually is capable of outwitting God and thwarting his purposes, plan and will? If so, then you might as well believe in yourself and be your own God since you have more power than God himself.

  90. 90 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Seth said: “because I said so”

    Echo:

    No. Because your own common sense dictates.

  91. 91 GB
    July 17, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    E:Before we can discuss your concern above we have to answer the following:

    GB: In other words, ignore the OBVIOUS while I try to bamboozle you with drivel.

    You can NOT remove the human element in the creation of the Bible. It was written by men (inspired though they may have been). Transcribed by men. Translated by men. Interpreted by men. All of which introduces flaws.

    Have you not seen the introductions to the Gospels?

    THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MATTHEW

    THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK

    THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE

    THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN

    No “THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GOD” in there.

    These are just a few examples of the plain and clear proofs of the human element being involved in the creation of scripture.

    Ever notice that we don’t have single document written by Jesus?

    The problem you have is showing that from God’s lips to the written word in your hand didn’t involve the human fallible element.

  92. July 17, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    So prove that it’s “common sense” then. Because I don’t think it is.

    You asked:

    “Do you believe in a God that isn’t powerful enough to preserve his own word?”

    No, I believe that God IS capable of preserving a perfect transmission of his word in the language of the authors.

    I just don’t think he bothered to do it for you. That’s all.

  93. 93 GB
    July 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Here is more evidence AGAINST inerrancy.

    Matt. 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, NOR yet STAVES: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

    And
    Luke 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, NEITHER STAVES, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.

    But then we have a clear and blatant CONTRADICTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mark 6:8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, SAVE A STAFF ONLY; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

  94. 94 Echo
    July 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I guess that means your not going to answer the questions I asked:

    You believe in an errant God when you believe that God’s word is errant. You believe in an inerrant God when you believe that God’s word is inerrant.

    What kind of powerless/powerful God do you believe in?
    Do you believe in a God that isn’t powerful enough to preserve his own word?
    Do you believe that man actually is capable of outwitting God and thwarting his purposes, plan and will? If so, then you might as well believe in yourself and be your own God since you have more power than God himself.

    We can’t even begin to discuss the inerrant word of God until we agree on these matters first.

  95. 95 GB
    July 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Echo,

    I guess you aren’t going to address the issues I raised.

    E: What kind of powerless/powerful God do you believe in?

    GB: I believe that God has all power. But that doesn’t require Him to use it in ways you might think. It is not necessary for Him to preserve His word/doctrine/church as you claim, because He is perfectly capable of calling a prophet to restore it.

    E: Do you believe in a God that isn’t powerful enough to preserve his own word?

    GB: No!! And He has done exactly that by preserving the Book of Mormon and bringing it forth by His power.

    E: Do you believe that man actually is capable of outwitting God and thwarting his purposes, plan and will?

    GB: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Nor do I think the devil is capable of doing that either. Which brings me to the conclusion that Adam partaking of the forbidden fruit was part of God’s plan. (Sorry, that is a side issue).

    I believe in a God that is so powerful that He can work WITH fallible man to accomplish His great work, He doesn’t need to turn them into drones.

  96. July 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I believe God is capable of giving you an inerrant Bible.

    It’s just I believe that he has CHOSEN not to.

    I believe that God is capable of ensuring that his will is always done.

    It’s just I believe that he has chosen not to so ensure.

    That clear enough for you?

  97. July 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Out of curiosity Echo, do you follow a more Calvinist or a more Arminian view of God’s sovereignty?

  98. 98 ADB
    July 18, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I need some help: What is a “stave”? “scrip”? “meat”?

    I read post #93 but can’t make sense of it because I don’t know what those words mean.

    Seth,

    “I believe God is capable of giving you an inerrant Bible.

    It’s just I believe that he has CHOSEN not to.

    I believe that God is capable of ensuring that his will is always done.

    It’s just I believe that he has chosen not to so ensure.”

    Now it certainly isn’t required, but I just wondered if there was anything on which you based such beliefs? I ask because as you well know, Christians will point to the Bible, so I just wondered if there was some equivalent upon which you based your beliefs. Or would you say that these two particular beliefs are conclusions you’ve drawn on the basis of your own personal experiences?

  99. July 18, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Because the only way for you to get a perfect Bible is for God to REMOVE the human element.

    Basically, he would have to manipulate the mind or pen of the scribes in the pipeline and FORCE a correct result. Divine mind-control if you want.

    I do not believe that God uses force to get what he wants. I believe that he allows people the leeway to be flawed. To listen or not, to obey or not. He’s not going to force the minds of people to ensure an inerrant Bible any more than he’s going to force the mind of Hitler not to start a horribly destructive war.

    People have freedom given them from God to do as they will. Inerrancy denies this reality.

    Which is why I say it is possible in theory, but impossible in fact. God can no more force a free being any more than he can create a square triangle or create a rock so big he can’t lift it.

    Another thought – if the Bible really did represent the pure inerrant and direct voice of God, it would be so compelling, so powerful, so overwhelming that no human being who read it would be able to resist it. The voice of God is so powerful that it overwhelms a person. If God really were speaking as directly as you say the Bible is, then it would be a lot more compelling than it currently is. I doubt any could resist it.

    Since people obviously are able to resist it, and many do so, I think it’s safe to conclude that the Bible is only an indirect rendering of God’s word at best.

  100. 100 GB
    July 19, 2009 at 2:47 am

    staves = plural of staff.

    scrip = A small bag; a wallet; a satchel. David put five smooth stones in a scrip 1 Sam. 17.

    From Webster’s 1828 dictionary
    MEAT, n.
    1. Food in general; any thing eaten for nourishment, either by man or beast.

    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb–to you it shall be for meat. Gen.1.

    Every moving thing that liveth, shall be meat for you.
    Gen.9.

    Thy carcass shall be meat to all fowls of the air.
    Deut.28.

    2. The flesh of animals used as food. This is now the more usual sense of the word. The meat of carnivorous animals is tough, coarse and ill flavored. The meat of herbivorous animals is generally palatable.

    3. In Scripture, spiritual food; that which sustains and nourishes spiritual life or holiness.

    My flesh is meat indeed. John.6.

    4. Spiritual comfort; that which delights the soul.

    My meat is to do the will of him that sent me. John.4.

    5. Products of the earth proper for food. Hab.3.

    6. The more abstruse doctrines of the gospel, or mysteries of religion. Heb.5.

    7. Ceremonial ordinances. Heb.13.
    To sit at meat, to sit or recline at the table.

  101. 101 Echo
    July 19, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    GB,

    Satan tempted Eve to doubt the inerranancy of God’s word when he said: “Did God really say…?”

    Satan is now using YOU to tempt others in the same way when you say/suggest:

    “Did God really say take a staff or don’t take a staff? We have a clear and blatant CONTRADICTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is contradicting himsself!”

    If a Church is truly Christian, they are going to teach you to defend God and his word. If a Church is of the devil/Satan, they are going to teach you to appose God and his word. You, my freind, are being taught at great lengths to appose God and his word and to tempt others to do the same! WOE to you!

    The whole LDS church is built on the foundation of this SIN: “Did God really say…?”
    The LDS church believes Satan because they have fallen into the sin of believing God’s word is errant!
    Why does Satan tempt us to doubt the inerrancy of God’s word? The answer is because once he has accomplished that, the door is wide open for him to introduce HIS, that is: Satan’s doctrines.
    Satan has layed the foundation of doubting God’s inerrant word so NOW he can introduce false and destructive doctrine through false prophets and false apostles, and thus through the Book of Mormon. There is no “measuring rod” i.e. no way to test these false prophets if God’s word is errant! If God’s word is inerrant, then you have a measuring rod with which to test false prophets!

    The fact the Satan retains the “supposedly errant” Bible in Mormonism is what makes Mormonism deceptive to it’s members. Mormonism “appears” Christian because of that reason. But Mormonism is NOT Christian. It is the Inerrant word of God in the Bible itself that reveals that Mormonism is NOT Christian. It is the inerrant word of God that reveals that LDS prophets and apostles are false prophets and apostles! When someone believes the bible is errant, then it becomes extremely difficult for them to see how any of this is true. It’s because they do not trust God’s word to begin with because they believe God’s word is errant! That’s why they cannot understand.

    Jeremiah 6:10 “The word of the Lord is offensive to them, they find no pleasure in it”

    Offensive means: “unpleasant or disagreeable to the sense, repugnant, insulting, apposed to or contrary”

    You have been decieved and trained to believe there are two “supposedly errant” statements in scripture and you have been decieved into thinking you are armed in your battle against Satan but in reality you are armed in a battle against God and his word.

    Is there any sense in putting gasoline in a car that has no gas tank? If you remove the gas cap and insert the nozzle, won’t the gas just end up in a puddle on the ground? The gas tank must first be installed before the car will hold gas.

    I doubt your a man with a gas tank. Didn’t Jeremiah speak about a leaky cistern being unable to hold water? Is there any point in putting water in a leaky cistern? It is a wasted effort just as putting gas in a car with no gas tank is a wasted effort. Until you do believe God can and did preserve his word for our protection, your a car without a gas tank.

    Believe God when he says his word is inerrant: “Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.”

    or believe Satan when he suggests that God’s word is errant: “Did God really say…?”

    I am nearly convinced that I am wasting my efforts even responding to you now.

    I do not have to have all the answers to the ” supposed contradictions” in scripture. I do have many of them. I trust that God’s word is flawless BECAUSE he has stated it is flawless. I know for a fact that God will one day show me just how flawless his word is be it in this lifetime or in eternity. In the meantime, If I come across a “supposed contradiction” in scripture that I cannot reconcile, that doesn’t make God’s word errant. What it really means is that my understanding is what is errant, not God’s word! BIG difference! I am not obligated to prove to you that the Bible is inerrant. God himself has said it is and that should be enough for you to begin a journey on. You can either Believe God or call him a liar. I believe him.

    That said, the two “supposed contradictions” you have pointed out are not contradictions at all. I am feeling that this is another wasted effort on my part, so I am only going to address these two issues briefly. After that, if you want to discuss other scriptures or discuss these further, you will need to install a gas tank otherwise there is no point, it will be a wasted effort on my part.

    Issue #1: Mathew 10:10, Luke 9:3 and Mark 6:8:

    If anyone reads the verses carefully, it becomes clear that ALL 3 verses are speaking about taking more than one Staff.

    Mark says to take a staff, Mathew and Luke both use the plural of staff which in the KJV is staves.

    Therefore all 3 verses are in agreement and convey to take along one staff but not pack an extra.

    Issue #2: Zechariah 11:12-13, Mathew 27:9-10

    The verse spoken of in Mathew and attributed to Jeremiah is thought to be a combination of what was spoken by “Jeremiah and Zechariah”. Jeremiah was a major prophet and Zechariah a minor prophet. So Mathew attributes the major prophet. (Jer 19:1-3, Jer 18:2-12, Jer 32:6-9)

    This same situation is repeated in Mark, where Mark quotes “Malachi and Isaiah” and attributes them to the major prophet Isaiah alone. (Mark 1:2-3, Mal 3:1, Isa 40:3)

  102. 102 Echo
    July 19, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Seth said:

    “Out of curiosity Echo, do you follow a more Calvinist or a more Arminian view of God’s sovereignty?”

    I am uncertain what the Calvinist or Arminian view of God’s sovereignty is. Maybe ADB can answer this question on my behalf. ADB said he belonged to the same church body as Mark which means ADB belongs to the same church body as I do.

    ADB?????

  103. 103 GB
    July 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    E: The verse spoken of in Mathew and attributed to Jeremiah is thought to be a combination of what was spoken by “Jeremiah and Zechariah”.

    GB: By whom? People with poor reading comprehension skills?

    E: Jeremiah was a major prophet and Zechariah a minor prophet.

    GB: So, What is your point?

    E: So Mathew attributes the major prophet. (Jer 19:1-3, Jer 18:2-12, Jer 32:6-9)

    GB: So it WAS Matthew that made the mistake and not God. So now you implicitly ADMIT that there is a fallible human element involved with the scriptures.

    That blows your inerrant theory totally away!!!

    So you are trying to tell me that,

    Jer 19:1 Thus saith the Lord, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests;
    2 And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,
    3 And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.

    Jer 18:2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
    3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
    4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
    5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
    6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
    7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
    8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
    9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
    10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
    11 ¶ Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
    12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.

    Jer 32:6 ¶ And Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
    7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.
    8 So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
    9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

    Is equal to,

    Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
    10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.

    But this,

    Zechariah 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
    13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

    ISN’T?

    RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

  104. July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I realize the conversation is frustrating because of the different ways the same Bible is being read.

    But I might suggest that EVERYONE here try to keep this a little less personal, and more about the scriptures.

    I’m not interested in personalities, or the insults here. I’m only interested in how the SCRIPTURES are being read and interpreted.

    I think we would all be well-served to stick to that topic.

  105. 105 Echo
    July 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    GB, the Bible is infallible and a leaky cistern cannot hold water.

  106. 106 faithoffathers
    July 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Echo,

    Do you know the history of the Bible? There is not a respected textual critic that would agree with your assessment that it is infallible. There have been more mistakes in the New Testament manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament. I love the Bible and accept it as scripture, but I think it naive to say it is infallible.

    By the way, which translation do you use? Why do you use it?

    fof

  107. 107 Echo
    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    If my options are to choose between a “respected textual critic” in comparison to the “God of all the universe”, my answer is this, even if I don’t understand it:

    Romans 3:4 “Let God be true, and every man a liar”

    FOF said:
    =========

    There have been more mistakes in the New Testament manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.

    Echo:
    =====

    That is what Satan wants us to believe. That way he can get his foot and false doctrine in the door. Like I said before, Satan’s first temptation was to get man to doubt God’s word.
    How often does God’s word tell us that when we trust in it, we will NEVER be led astray? The answer is: numerous times. Satan can’t lead us astray when God’s word is trusted (inerrant). That’s why he has to first get us to doubt the inerrancy of scripture, that is the only way he can lead us astray. This is one of perhaps many reasons I believe God’s word MUST be inerrant, it is for our protection, to keep us from being decieved by Satan, the world and our own sinful nature.

    Like I stated before. If God’s word is errant, we have NO measuring rod, no protection against Satan, against false teachers, against false prophets etc.

    FOF said:
    =========

    By the way, which translation do you use? Why do you use it?

    Echo:
    =====

    I probably have more than a 1/2 dozen different translations. Two of which are the NIV and the KJV. I like the NIV because of the up-to-date language which is easier to understand for most people.

  108. July 22, 2009 at 1:20 am

    If my options are to choose between a respected literary critic, and the opinion of some internet guy who goes by “Echo”…

    Hmmm… Let’s see… have to think some more on that one.

    Did it ever occur to you Echo that maybe, just maybe, your own personal opinions and prejudices do not reflect the direct mind and will of God?

  109. 109 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Seth said:
    ==========

    If my options are to choose between a respected literary critic, and the opinion of some internet guy who goes by “Echo”…

    Hmmm… Let’s see… have to think some more on that one.

    Did it ever occur to you Echo that maybe, just maybe, your own personal opinions and prejudices do not reflect the direct mind and will of God?

    Echo:
    =====

    Your absolutely right! Don’t go with my personal opinions, trust in God alone when he says:

    Romans 3:4 “Let God be true, and every man a liar”

  110. 110 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 2:43 am

    If you will but trust in God alone (Let God be true,… ) rather than trusting in my opinion, trusting in respected literary critic’s, trusting in prophet’s, trusting in teachers, trusting in church’s etc. (and every man a liar) then you won’t be guilty of idolatry.

  111. 111 jm
    July 22, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Echo: Keep up the good work for God. I know GB and Seth dose not want to hear it. But it is the Truth.

  112. July 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

    That’s right, don’t let the scary Mormons interfere with this perfect, unscrambled message from God that you have been, for some odd reason, blessed with.

    Maybe if you tell me again “I’m right because the Bible says so” for the dozenth time, it’ll make a difference.

    Hope springs eternal.

  113. 113 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Seth,

    You have been blessed with the perfect, unscrambled message from God just as much as I have been blessed with it. After all, you do own a Bible.

    But when a person partakes in idolatry that’s when the message becomes scrambled.

    Idolatry is giving first place to anything or anyone and putting God and his word second to that.

    If my Pastor were to say to me: “God will never allow me to lead you astray”, that would be a great big red flag for me right there. What my Pastor would be doing is asking me to trust him more than trusting God himself. That is idolatry. My Pastor would be tempting me to make him an idol.

    The Bible says: “Let God be true and EVERY man a liar”

    God has gifted you with a mind. Don’t let others do the thinking for you. Consider every man a liar and read God’s word for yourself! Let it be true! Let it be inerrant because it claims to be inerrant even if you can’t understand that right now! Let God’s own word interpret God’s word for you! Examine what everyone says or teaches in light of that Word. The only thing that will protect you from the liars of the world and from deception and from destruction is God’s word.

    There are consequences to idolatry, even eternal consequences fatal to the soul. If we believe and follow a false prophet, we will go down with the false prophet and will be without excuse in the judgement. This is BECAUSE God HAS preserved his inerrant word to protect us from going down with the false prophets of this world. If we ignore that word, God will ignore us.

  114. July 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    “Idolatry is giving first place to anything or anyone and putting God and his word second to that.”

    Yeah. Like putting the Bible before God, for instance.

  115. 115 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    The Bible is God’s own Word.

  116. July 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    No it isn’t.

    It’s a human transmission of God’s word.

  117. 117 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I disagree.

  118. July 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I know you do.

    So what?

  119. 119 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Faith doesn’t come through human transmission, it comes through the word of God(Christ):

    Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

    If we believe the bible is but human transmission, we don’t have faith.

  120. July 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Oh, I have faith.

    Just not that the Bible is infallible. The message of Christ is heard in many ways – only ONE of which is the Bible.

  121. 121 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    If you have faith that Jesus has done everything for you that is required of you to gain eternal life leaving you with nothing left to do but believe it, then you have saving faith.

    All other faith isn’t saving faith in Jesus and what he has done, it becomes a saving faith in yourself and what you can do.

    Even the demons “believed” and shuddered. There is such a thing as a real faith that doesn’t save.

  122. 122 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Seth said:

    You will never really have saving confidence in your own forgiveness unless you know you have paid for it somehow.

    Echo:
    =====

    How can you ever have saving confidence in your own forgiveness until you know exactly how much is required of you? You can never be certain how much is required of you. Perfection is the only confidence you will have that you are forgiven.

    Jesus has paid for it, why would you want to say: “Sorry Jesus, I will pay it myself. Your suffering and death weren’t good enough, I can do better”

  123. July 22, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I made it clear that our own payment is inadequate.

    But you will not have confidence sufficient to truly accept Jesus’ gift to you if you know that you are in open rejection of him.

  124. 124 Echo
    July 22, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    That is my point. If you know that your own payment is inadequate, you can’t ever have certainty that you are forgiven. Without the certainty of forgiveness, we can never have peace.

    If our forgiveness depends on us, we can never be certain.
    If our forgiveness depended on Jesus, and I believe it does, we can be absolutely certain.

  125. July 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Let me ask you something:

    What makes you so certain that you’ve truly accepted Jesus? How do you know you were really converted and you aren’t just faking it right now?

  126. 126 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Because God’s love and forgiveness is so amazing, it is unmatched on earth.

  127. 127 ADB
    July 23, 2009 at 3:19 am

    Seth,

    Our certainty isn’t in that we’ve accepted Jesus, but that he says he accepted us (sorry to bring it up again, but that’s “grace”). I don’t think Jesus is a liar and I take the Bible as Heavenly Father’s Word, so I’ll place my confidence there rather than relying on anyone/thing else.

    Also, we aren’t Calvinist (Heavenly Father doesn’t predestine anyone to hell) and we aren’t Arminian (we don’t “cooperate” with Heavenly Father – “synergism” – in our salvation).

  128. July 23, 2009 at 4:35 am

    “Our certainty isn’t in that we’ve accepted Jesus, but that he says he accepted us”

    Sorry ADB, I don’t buy it.

    If that were true, you would be just fine with me and all your friends being Mormon. If Jesus has truly saved us, and it has nothing to do with you or me, then my Mormonism isn’t an issue, right?

    Am I right?

  129. 129 ADB
    July 23, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Seth,

    The problem? You yourself don’t believe that Jesus has accepted you, warts and all. Therefore, you forfeit what he freely offers.

  130. 130 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Seth, God wants you to have absolute and saving confidence that you are entirely forgiven.
    He doesn’t want to see you spend your whole life living under the dark cloud of “uncertainty”. Anyone who is not perfect and does not believe in what Jesus has done, lives under a cloud of uncertainty.

    Jesus has paid it ALL, every effort you owe, everything you need to pay, Jesus paid it ALL FOR YOU. No strings attached. He paid the cost of your freedom with his own Blood! With His life!

    Luther once said this:

    “Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even though he did not believe it. St. Paul says in Rom. 3: ‘[Does] their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God[?]… Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective. A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have decieved yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it” (LW, vol. 40, 366-367).

  131. July 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Why is that a problem ADB?

    As you said, Jesus has already accepted me and saved me anyway.

    So what does it matter whether my beliefs are correct anyway?

    Oh wait, Echo seems to be implying that I have to ACCEPT the gift.

    Wouldn’t that mean I’d have to… DO something?

  132. 132 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Seth,

    If a person was in a boating accident and went under the water and was unconscience and as a result facing certain death but another person jumped in and saved him, the saved man could certainly “accept” the fact that the man saved him. But his accepting that fact isn’t what saved him, he was only able to accept the fact BECAUSE the man saved him first. He was alive BEFORE he accepted the fact.

    We don’t “accept” Jesus in the sense of the man swimming in the water and the other man asking him if he would like to be saved. “Accepting” the offer to be saved, used in this sense, is what saved him.

    Your forgiveness is already certain. It doesn’t become certain once you accept Jesus.

    You do have the option to jump back in the water and drown yourself. Just as ADB said, you can forfeit what he has freely done for you.

  133. July 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Right. Which means salvation is dependent on what I choose to do.

    Got it.

  134. 134 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    You have it wrong.

    Was the man in my first story saved because of something he chose to do?

  135. 136 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Seth, a man who is unconscience and underwater is facing certain death. He can do NOTHING. He can’t make any choices to be saved from drowning.

  136. July 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    But you keep talking about how we can choose not to be saved. So obviously, it depends on us, right?

  137. 138 ADB
    July 23, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Seth,

    I know you seem to struggle with anything that doesn’t make logical sense (perhaps because of your lawyer training), but the Bible itself claims to be foolishness to those who are perishing, so doesn’t that imply that reason will only take one so far?

    It’s been said before, but … yes, you are correct in saying we can choose not to be saved (we can reject Heavenly Father’s unconditional exaltation that he promised to all in Christ Jesus), but that doesn’t mean the opposite is true. Our common sense would naturally draw the conclusion that if we can reject Christ, then we must also be able to choose him. But the Bible doesn’t speak in such terms (making it clear we’re dead, blind, enemies to Heavenly Father before he makes us alive in Christ Jesus).

  138. 139 ADB
    July 23, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN SINS, HATH QUICKENED US together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4,5).

    “13And you, BEING DEAD IN YOUR SINS AND THE UNCIRCUMCISION OF YOUR FLESH, HATH HE QUICKENED together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Colossians 2:13).

  139. 140 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Seth said:
    =========

    But you keep talking about how we can choose not to be saved. So obviously, it depends on us, right?

    Echo:
    =====

    The drowning man was saved apart from him doing anything. He did nothing whatsoever to save himself.
    Once he was breathing and speaking again, that is once he was saved from certain death, he could certainly drown himself again or he could remain alive being thankful that someone saved him.

    The point is that Jesus has done everything to ensure you that ALL your sins have been paid for by his death on the cross therefore all your sins are forgiven, no strings attached. He did everything for you that needed to be done by you. Jesus said: “It is finished” so there is nothing you can do to “finish it” because it is already done.

    That is the message of how he brings you from “death” to “life”

  140. July 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Ah yes. The good old “mystery” defense.

    Evangelicals always seem to retreat to this position when they realize that their religion makes no sense.

  141. July 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Echo,

    If you’re trying to argue that we do NOTHING for our own salvation, you’d better take out that part where I have the choice of jumping back in the water.

    Your analogy doesn’t work for the points you are trying to make.

  142. 143 Echo
    July 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Seth, we posted at the same time. Did you catch my post?

    Actually, I don’t see the mystery myself, it makes logical sense to me that God chooses us apart from anything we do and at the same time we can resist or forfeit all that he has done for us.

    Perhaps I have a glitch somewhere in my own understanding then that ADB can clear up for me.

  143. 144 ADB
    July 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Seth,

    “Evangelicals always seem to retreat to this position when they realize that their religion makes no sense.”

    Such a statement doesn’t really contribute to the discussion. Moreover, I think Christians have plenty of ammunition regarding LDS teachings/practices that “make no sense” either, but we try to refrain from going down that path and would prefer to stick to the Bible (even if it isn’t respected as highly by the LDS).

    Can you be more specific about which points of Echo’s analogy don’t work? Someone choosing to jump back into the water after he’s already been saved does not negate the previous rescue. He still was rescued without his choice, but jumping back into the water again after being rescued would be to reject the new lease on life that he had been given.

    The LDS “jump back into the water” so to speak, when they assume that Christ’s perfect life and his payment for their sin is inadequate without their first meeting some required standard (which seems to vary, depending on which Mormon is speaking).

  144. July 24, 2009 at 12:42 am

    It really doesn’t matter where you put the rejection chronology here. You’ve still got a theology, in the end where salvation is dependent on what people do.

  145. 146 ADB
    July 24, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Sorry, but I’m not convinced by the whole “believing” = “doing” argument. The only place people like to play that card is in religion when making a point similar to yours.

    Where else does “believing” = “doing”? I can believe an advertisement promoting a free car wash, but unless I actually take my car to get it washed, nothing will happen. Believing isn’t the same as doing in that situation. I can believe I’ll get a free dinner at a local restaurant, but unless I actually go there to eat, nothing will happen. Believing is not the same as doing in that situation either.

    Yet, all of a sudden in religion, the act of believing is doing something (which, by the way, totally ignores the repeated posts/passages on this very site that explained that the gift of faith is given by the Holy Spirit)???

    I can understand why in the mind of a Mormon this would be difficult to see, as LDS theology requires that “believing” = “doing” in order to try to harmonize the numerous Scripture references that contradict their theology.

  146. July 24, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Well, if believing is not “doing” something, then why are you asking me to “do” it?

  147. 148 ADB
    July 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I’m not asking you to “do” anything. I’m relying on Heavenly Father to do it. He’s revealed to me that he will open your eyes to the truth as I continue to relay his message. I’ll leave it up to him.

  148. July 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    OK, so why doesn’t he get on with it then?

  149. 150 Echo
    July 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    If someone placed a gift of million dollars right in my hand and said: “This gift is for you”, what would you conclude about me if I said to him: “OK, so why don’t you give me the million dollars then”?

  150. July 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    If Jesus has already put the money in my hand Echo, then WHY ARE YOU STILL BUGGING ME?

  151. July 24, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Why aren’t you just congratulating me on the million bucks I just got and going about your business?

  152. 153 Echo
    July 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    “If Jesus has already put the money in my hand Echo, then WHY ARE YOU STILL BUGGING ME?”

    Because all you want to do is take a match and burn up the money! I don’t want to see you being flat broke!

  153. July 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    So I do have to do something for salvation then. I have to accept it.

    Me.

    Myself.

    Reliant on what I choose to do.

  154. 155 Echo
    July 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Why are you always so self-focused, so self-important? Why do you always focus on “YOU”?
    Forget about yourself and focus on Jesus, he is your Savior, not YOU.

    Everything you need to do to gain eternal life has been done for you by Jesus himself, you are forgiven. No strings attached. Nothing left for you to do. Jesus has done it all. Your salvation is finished.

    “REST” from all “doing” in that truth.

  155. 156 Echo
    July 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Your like a man who was given a million dollars whom after he recieved this gift from his freind he went to another freind bragging about what a great job his arm, hand and fingers did in reaching out to get the money. That is self-importance. Your focus is on YOU and not the giver.

  156. July 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Why can’t you make up your mind?

    Am I supposed to be doing something or not?

  157. 158 Echo
    July 24, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Believing is a matter of resting from all doing because all the doing has been done.

  158. July 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Do I have to do something here or not?

  159. 160 Echo
    July 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    If a man rapes and brutally beats your children to death and you “believe” he did it, are you guilty of “doing” something? Should you be held responsible for his crime in some way?

  160. July 25, 2009 at 3:31 am

    I fail to see what sort of relevance this analogy has to the discussion. Other than you trying to change the subject.

  161. 162 rblandjr
    July 25, 2009 at 3:37 am

    When using parables I remember a phrase by one of my teachers,”Don’t try and make a parable walk on all fours.” You can end up with some unusal teachings. I found it interesting that the prodigal son considered himself unworthy, yet the Father ran to him, forgave and restored him. The elder son on the other hand would be considered the obedient or worthy one was angry over the Fathers restoration and rewarding of his younger brother. He wanted to know why the Father hadn’t rewarded his obedience.The Father was concerned about a lost son who was dead and now alive. I guess the motives of our hearts are seen by the Father.

  162. 163 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 4:27 am

    You were so persistent and absorbed in “self-importance” thinking that when we mention the word: “believe” that you are doing something for your salvation or for forgiveness.

    So I used “believe” in a negative sense to rid you of your “self importance”.
    I think you can see now that believing that a man rapes and brutally beats your children to death doesn’t mean you “DID” something to contribute to the crime he commit.

    You aren’t forgiven “IF” you believe. Get rid of that self-importance.
    But you are forgiven, therefore believe it.

  163. July 25, 2009 at 6:54 am

    So, by getting rid of that pride… I would have to be DOING something. Right?

  164. July 25, 2009 at 6:57 am

    I just want to say that hearing the atonement compared to child rape is quite possibly the most absurd and wrong-headed analogy I have ever heard in my life.

    Okay, never mind me. Carry on.

  165. 166 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Bridget,

    I apologize for your misunderstanding.

    I wasn’t comparing the atonement to child rape. I agree with you, that would be absurd. I was showing how “belief” isn’t something we “DO” to contribute to something else.

  166. 167 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Seth said: “So, by getting rid of that pride… I would have to be DOING something. Right?”

    No. It is God who works in you that is doing the doing:

    Acts 11:18 “”So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

    2 Tomothy 2:25 “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

  167. 168 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    John 15:5 “apart from me you can do nothing.”

  168. July 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    OK, so why doesn’t God get on with it already?

    Why haven’t I been granted this humility yet that you seem to feel I lack?

  169. 170 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    A few weekends ago, during a fishing trip, my 9 year old son caught a huge pike, aprox. 10 pounds! It was a BIG FISH! While he was reeling it in, it put forth a BIG FIGHT! After much struggle, my son FINALLY got the fish into the boat.

    The fish ended up being much too large for the net we had so that made if difficult to subdue it. It was just frantically bouncing around in the boat. The Fish got everyone wet and even caused an injury to one of the fishermans backs as he twisted while trying to subdue this fish and threw out his back! Later that week, that fisherman had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance because he couldn’t get up off the floor. They had to put him on Morphine to numb the pain just so he could get up and walk. That was one tough fish! Fish battle against being caught but this one really put forth a BIG FIGHT and was a tough catch! But my son caught the fish and in the end, the fish wasn’t able to escape.

    God has called us all to be “fishers of men” and it seems that men are no different than fish. Some are easier to real in than others. Some men put more effort into the “Fight” than others. What causes them to put forth more effort into the fight? Generally because they are so filled with one or more of the following attitudes: pride, stubborness, arrogance, hardness of heart, unwilling to listen, suppression of truth etc. these men really put up a good fight.

    In the end, some of them end up in the boat and some of them get away.

  170. July 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    That’s nice Echo.

    Do I have to do something here or not?

  171. 172 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    John 15:5 “apart from me you can do nothing.”

  172. 173 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Read my post in “IF…Then” post #8

    We can continue the conversation there.

  173. 174 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Read post #8 in the “IF…Then” thread, we can continue our conversation over there.

  174. 175 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Oops….There is an Echo in here, heh heh.

    Sorry about the double post, I didn’t think it went through the first time because I got an error message.

  175. July 25, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    You’re still avoiding the question.

    You want me to DO something.

    What is it?

  176. 177 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Like I was explaining in detail over in the “If…Then” thread, we can DO NOTHING.
    We can “do nothing” to cause or contribute to our salvation and we can do nothing to be forgiven.

    Here is what I wrote in that thread:

    God himself is the one that produces repentance in us through his LAW. Therefore repentance is his work in us, not ours.

    Acts 5:31 “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that HE might GIVE repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”

    Acts 11:18 “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, GOD HAS GRANTED even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

    God works into man, through his law, through the Holy Spirit, the conviction that he can “DO” NOTHING (John 15:5: Rom 5:6) at all to be saved because he is a sinner who is spiritually dead and who apposes God with all that he is and does and believes. (John 16:8)(Ps 14:3;Ps 51:5; Acts 26:18; Col 1:21;Rom 5:6; Rom 4:5 etc) God’s law demands perfection and nothing short of it. (Mathew 5:48; 19:21;Gal 3:10;James 2:10) Our best effort isn’t enough. Therefore through the law, we are condemned because of our sin. (Rom 3:19) The law brings only God’s Wrath. (Rom 4:15) God’s law shows us our sin (Rom 3:20) and the punishment our sin deserves is God’s wrath both now and in eternity. (Rom 6:23; Rom 3:5) Man’s sinful pride believes he has a spark of good in him, he believes he can do all he can do and God will save him. (Mark 10:18) But he is dead wrong and blind in transgressions and sins even in this. (Eph 2:1) God’s law reveals that even the man who does all he can do is still a sinner who is a lawbreaker. (James 2:9-11) God’s law puts us all on the same level, no one person is better than another, God sees as as equal to the vilest of offenders because of our sins. A law breaker is a lawbreaker no matter what crime he commits. The sentence for a law breaker is Outer darkness. Therefore through the LAW, the Holy Spirit brings us to the end of ourselves and to the end of our thinking we can “DO” something for our salvation and for our forgiveness. The Holy Spirit leaves us naked, unable to “DO” anything.

    The Holy Spirit has now prepared the convicted heart to meet his Savior who did everything that the man himself couldn’t do. Let’s remember that the man could do NOTHING. So the Savior did it ALL, he did EVERYTHING. What did he do? He died for the vilest offender,(Rom 5:6 etc) which is YOU, which is ME! He took the punishment that we deserved. He lived in perfect obedience to the law which is demanded to gain eternal life and credits that life, his life, to us! God demands that we be perfect to gain eternal life, we couldn’t do it, remember? We can do nothing! But Jesus did it for us. His perfection is now our perfection.(Rom 1:17;Rom 3:21;Rom 3:22;Rom 4:5;Rom 4:6;Rom 4:24;Rom 5:17;Rom 5:18;Rom 9:30-31;Rom 10:3:Rom 10:4;1 Cor 1:30;2 Cor 3:9;2 Cor 5:21; Gal 2:21;Phil 3:9 etc) We can KNOW we HAVE eternal life right now (1 John 5:13;John 5:24) because the demands that we need to meet to gain eternal life have been met in our behalf by JESUS alone and were credited to our account. Forgiveness given to us freely because of JESUS ALONE.(Rom 4:7; 1 John 2:12 etc)

    Man does not accomplish his conversion by doing anything. Rather, man undergoes conversion because God is converting him, this includes repentance and Baptism:

    Eph 2:5 “But God…even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.”

    Man is purely passive in conversion. Man is spiritually dead and can do nothing to give himself spiritual life. As the verse above shows, it is GOD who made us alive. Dead men cannot make themselves live.

    Geoff said:
    ==========

    “EVEN your church preaches that there is effort….you must “BELIEVE”….involved in salvation.”

    Echo:
    =====

    The following is true:

    Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

    But is faith an effort on our part? NO

    Through the hearing of the gospel message the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith required and demanded in the message:

    1 Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”
    Romans 10:17 “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”

    To say: “You are forgiven “IF” you believe” is INCORRECT because “belief” becomes the condition to being forgiven. It becomes something that we must do. Here, faith causes forgiveness. This is not what the Bible talks about. The Bible teaches that Man can do NOTHING.

    To say: “You are forgiven, therefore believe” is more correct. Faith is not the condition to being forgiven as it was above. It has the opposite effect than the scenario above: Forgiveness causes faith here, rather than faith causing forgiveness as above.

  177. July 25, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Alright. So there is nothing I can do.

    So why are you even talking to me Echo? If there’s nothing I can do about my saved status, then there’s no point in you debating with me, is there?

  178. 179 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Your here aren’t you? That is because God has brought you here. God brought you here but I’ll bet you thought it was “YOU” who got you here, huh? That’s not so. Your here because God brought you here, you cannot see him nor see what he is doing and that is why you focus is only on YOU.

    In the fishing story, God is the fisherman and I am, I guess, just like the fishing rod or line that he uses to catch fish. Your the BIG FISH putting up a BIG FIGHT.

    He reels in and catches fish through his word in the Bible.

    God brought you here to hear his word. To reveal truth to you that enables you to believe. The Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith required by the message.

  179. July 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I’m not asking why I’m here Echo. I’m asking why you keep talking when it’s obviously all God’s doing.

  180. July 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    You keep talking like you want me to DO something.

    Then you say “it’s all God.”

    I’m asking you to make up your freaking mind.

    Which is it?

  181. 182 Batak
    July 25, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Wow, just blog-surfing and got into this website. What a lengthy and and endless discussion. It only proves me that ‘born again’ is really a miracle and can only be done by God himself because we are dead already in our sins. The same bible can be read differently without the Holy Spirit. Yet, I also believe firmly that the Holy Spirit works only through the word of God, otherwise we will have a bunch of extra biblical ‘Christianity’ saying that they get it from the Holy Spirit.

    Echo: Keep up your good work. I would be tired if I were you. I hope you are a man of prayer, because as I said, the words only work with Holy Spirit to change someone’s heart.
    Furthermore, I noticed you do not know about Calvinistic vs Arminian’s view of God’s sovereignity. Please study about it! I know this is a Lutheran blog (I consider myself a Lutheran too), and we Lutheran have somewhat negative feeling towards Calvinist. But if you study their five points (TULIP) you will have a better (not that it’s bad now) view on God’s work in our salvation. And yes, Luther believe in predestination (there’s no other way for someone who wrote something like ‘The Bondage of Will’) You have to be careful though (also for ADB): predestination is NOT about God elects people to go to hell, BUT about God elects the sinners into salvation (different point of view can lead you to a different understanding). With this doctrine, I could see why some people are just so stubborn and believe in such thing we would consider such a non-sense (this not apply only to the LDS, but also other extra-biblical movements, and of course atheists), while at the same time give all the thanks to God for He lets me understand his Word correctly.

    Sorry if I cannot give active biblical input into the discussion. I am not equipped enough to do the an agressive apologetics. Just want to give another frame into the discussion.

  182. 183 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Fish don’t understand either. Don’t feel bad. I used to be a fish too, been there, done that.

    We can do nothing to cause or contribute to our salvation, we can do nothing to be forgiven.
    We are born under the power of Satan:

    Acts 26:18; “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the POWER OF SATAN to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

    Man is born corrupt therefore no one does “GOOD”:

    Ps 14:3 ” All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; All have turned aside,
    there is no one who does good, not even one.”

    Ps 51:5 ” Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

    We are born enemies of God:

    Col 1:21 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.”

    We are powerless to DO anything because we are ungodly:

    Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

    Therefore everything you think and do does not please God even if you think it does:

    Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God…”

    So I repeat, We can do nothing to cause or contribute to our salvation, we can do nothing to be forgiven. We are left naked and helpless to “DO” anything.

    You are NOT forgiven “IF” you believe it, In the verse below God has reconciled believer and unbeliever alike when he says “reconciling the WORLD to himself” then he goes on to say: “not counting men’s sins against them”. That includes believer and unbeliever alike. The world has been forgiven. Yet God is making his appeal through me, to you right now.

    Seth, you are forgiven, therefore believe it and be reconciled to God:

    2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

    Col 1:22 “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, WITHOUT BLEMISH AND FREE FROM ACCUSATION—”

    Romans 4:6-8 “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom GOD CREDITS RIGHTEOUSNESS APART FROM WORKS:
    “Blessed are they
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man
    whose sin the Lord will never count against him

    1 John 2:12 “I write to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”

    Seth, you are forgiven, therefore believe it and be reconciled to God.

  183. July 25, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Echo ~ There’s no misunderstanding on my part. You’re saying belief isn’t something we do to contribute to Christ’s work on the cross just as accepting the consequences of a violent crime don’t contribute to said crime. So yes, you are comparing the atonement to child rape in that sense, and it’s an extremely crass comparison.

    But even if we momentarily go with your tasteless analogy, it still does not hold because Seth isn’t arguing that belief contributes to Christ’s work on the cross. He isn’t arguing that believers in Christ are mystically returning to Calvary and somehow participating in it. He’s arguing that belief is an action which effects what the already-completed atonement does for the one who believes. Likewise, going with your analogy, the father of a child who has been brutally raped and murdered has a choice on how that event will effect him. He can accept that it happened, get on with his life and do his best to honor his child or he can slip into catatonia and deny that it ever happened.

    BTW, I don’t mean to be too hard on you over this analogy, but my 11-year-old friend was raped and murdered when I was 9. Her parents did exactly what I described above: the father moved on with his life, the mother slipped into denial and catatonia and had to be institutionalized. So I really do find this to be a poor comparison even if you meant well.

    Anyways, Arminians, Molinists, Open Theists and Mormons all think that individuals have a choice in accepting salvation and that choice is indeed a type of action. The Bible itself equates belief with action:

    Acts 16:29-31 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. (ESV—Emphases mine)

    The only way to avoid the conclusion that faith = a type of action on the part of the believer is the Calvinist position which holds that the only people who will believe are those who are drawn and compelled to believe by God Himself, and everyone else is powerless to believe. That’s what you seem to be advocating here.

    ADB ~ You said earlier:

    Also, we aren’t Calvinist (Heavenly Father doesn’t predestine anyone to hell)

    That just means you deny double predestination, as most Calvinists do (or try to). It doesn’t mean you’re not Calvinist.

  184. 185 ADB
    July 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    BJM,

    Sorry–that was just one example. I suppose I could have stated that we also disagree with the Calvinist view of limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. Or, I could have just said, “We’re not Calvinist.” Though I doubt that would have been very helpful:)

    Seth,

    “You’re still avoiding the question.

    You want me to DO something.

    What is it?”

    I think the one thing Echo is encouraging you to “do” is to reject the silly notion that you can somehow “do” something to please Heavenly Father (at least prior to conversion) :)

  185. 186 Echo
    July 25, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    BRIDGET said:
    ============

    Likewise, going with your analogy, the father of a child who has been brutally raped and murdered has a choice on how that event will effect him. He can accept that it happened, get on with his life and do his best to honor his child or he can slip into catatonia and deny that it ever happened.”

    Echo:
    ====

    Exactly! But Seth is arguing that he must do something to be saved, Seth is arguing that he must do something to be forgiven. Seth is arguing that he must do something to gain eternal life. These are LDS teachings.

    That is like your saying: “a mother fell into catatonia and denial BEFORE her child was raped and murdered.

    Bridget said:
    ============

    BTW, I don’t mean to be too hard on you over this analogy, but my 11-year-old friend was raped and murdered when I was 9. Her parents did exactly what I described above: the father moved on with his life, the mother slipped into denial and catatonia and had to be institutionalized. So I really do find this to be a poor comparison even if you meant well.

    Echo:
    =====

    I am very sorry! My heart goes out to you! I can’t even imagine going through something like that. It is horrible!

    Bridget said:
    =======

    Anyways, Arminians, Molinists, Open Theists and Mormons all think that individuals have a choice in accepting salvation and that choice is indeed a type of action. The Bible itself equates belief with action:

    Acts 16:29-31 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. (ESV—Emphases mine)

    Echo:
    ====

    Does the fact that Arminians, Molinists, Open Theists and Mormons all think there is a “choice” in accepting salvation make it nessesarily true?

    How can we know the truth? What does God himself say about it?:

    John 1:13 “children born not of natural descent, NOR OF HUMAN DECISION or a husband’s will, BUT BORN OF GOD.”

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”

    We can make “choices” once we are converted, but we can’t “choose” God prior to and in conversion.

    It is always the safest bet to take God’s word above all the words of men.

    Again, very sorry to hear about your freind!

  186. July 26, 2009 at 1:03 am

    ADB ~ I’m not sure how someone can believe in Unconditional Election but not believe in Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints. That seems wildly inconsistent to me. Limited Atonement is a bit more expendable; there are plenty of 4-point Calvinists out there. You can try to explain it to me if you want, but fair warning, I am skeptical.

    Echo ~ This child-rape analogy is appalling to me, I really don’t think it makes the point you want it to make, and I’m not discussing it further.

    Does the fact that Arminians, Molinists, Open Theists and Mormons all think there is a “choice” in accepting salvation make it nessesarily true?

    Of course not, but the fact that Arminians and Molinists believe it definitely makes it a valid strain of orthodox Christian thought. If Mormons are in trouble for thinking God requires something in order to apply the atonement, so is about half of evangelical Christianity.

    Now I’m not really interested in engaging a debate on whether or not the Bible teaches unconditional election as understood by Calvinists—that debate’s been raging since about 1610 and we aren’t going to settle it here. For John 1:13 and John 15:16, see the Arminian take on prevenient grace. Since we view God as the one who divinely enables us to seek Him, our view of free will wouldn’t contradict either of those passages. If you’re interested in passages which are used by Arminians to support libertarian free will, see Deuteronomy 30:15-18, Joshua 24:15, and John 15:6-7 for some examples.

  187. 188 ADB
    July 26, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Jack,

    Guess I don’t see Heavenly Father attaching any strings to his act of election (BTW, I am not equating unconditional election with universal salvation–perhaps I’m off on the Calvinist teaching). I simply take great comfort in knowing that I am one of his elect.

    People have heard of God’s grace and yet have rejected it, so irresistible grace goes out the window.

    There have been saints (believers) who have fallen away and are suffering in outer darkness eternally. There will continue to be. Therefore, once saved, always saved doesn’t hold a lot of water either.

    Moreover, I have no problem with certain inconsistencies … by our standards the Bible has a few, right? On the one hand the law tells me to be perfect to assure myself of salvation, yet the very same law leads me to the conclusion that I can’t possibly ever meet any demand of perfection, ultimately leading me to despair.

    On the other hand, the gospel tells me that Jesus did it all and I reap the benefits of living eternally with Heavenly Father simply by taking Jesus at his word.

    A most wonderful inconsistency indeed!

  188. 189 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Bridget said:
    =============

    “Echo ~ This child-rape analogy is appalling to me, I really don’t think it makes the point you want it to make, and I’m not discussing it further.

    Echo:
    =====

    Sorry! I have been insensitive because I didn’t “think” before responding. My apologies. I feel really bad.

    Let’s change that example.

    “IF” a man breaks into a couple’s house and cleans them out, the husband responds by getting on with life and the wife is frantic and becomes very afraid that the thief is going to return some day.

    A= the man breaking into the couple’s home and cleaning them out
    B = Husband is fine and moves on with his life, the wife becomes frantic and fearful.

    This is basically the idea in the example that you gave.

    I am saying that:

    A = Salvation, forgiveness, eternal life (no “doing”)
    B = “doing”

    Seth is saying that B comes before A. The LDS church teaches that B comes before A when it teaches that you must do something to be saved, to be forgiven, to have eternal life. I am saying that A comes before B.

    Bridget said:
    =============

    “Of course not, but the fact that Arminians and Molinists believe it definitely makes it a valid strain of orthodox Christian thought. If Mormons are in trouble for thinking God requires something in order to apply the atonement, so is about half of evangelical Christianity.”

    Echo:
    =====

    Nothing is “valid” unless it is true. False teaching is never valid. False teaching can potentially harm or destroy faith. False teaching can keep people from having faith in the first place.

    Bridget said:
    =============

    “Now I’m not really interested in engaging a debate on whether or not the Bible teaches unconditional election as understood by Calvinists—that debate’s been raging since about 1610 and we aren’t going to settle it here. For John 1:13 and John 15:16, see the Arminian take on prevenient grace. Since we view God as the one who divinely enables us to seek Him, our view of free will wouldn’t contradict either of those passages. If you’re interested in passages which are used by Arminians to support libertarian free will, see Deuteronomy 30:15-18, Joshua 24:15, and John 15:6-7 for some examples.”

    Echo:
    ====

    Unless your Calvinist or Arminian, I agree with you and don’t see the point in even discussing what they believe either.

    John 1:13 is so very clear: “children born… [not] of human decision …, but born of God.” (I replaced “nor” with “not”)

    It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    Romans 9:15-16 “… “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” IT DOES NOT, THEREFORE, DEPEND ON MAN’S DESIRE OR EFFORT, but on God’s mercy.”

    James 1:18 “He chose to give us BIRTH through the word of truth”
    Who among us chose to be born to our parents? We cannot choose to be born again.

    Bridget said: “Deuteronomy 30:15-18, Joshua 24:15, and John 15:6-7”

    If you read these verses in context you will see that they are spoken to believers. We can makes choices after we believe. We cannot “choose” anything before or in conversion. We do not choose to be born again.

  189. July 26, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Actually Echo, I came to the conclusion that human works have no inherent saving power about 10 years ago. I have not changed my mind on that score since.

    What I am trying to figure out here is what you want me to do in order to accept Jesus.

    What would be involved in accepting Jesus?

  190. 191 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Your right, human works have no inherent saving power whatsoever.

    It’s not a matter of accepting Jesus. It is a matter of believing in what Jesus has done.

    Col 1:22 “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, WITHOUT BLEMISH AND FREE FROM ACCUSATION—”

    Jesus died for the entire world, even those in Hell had their sins forgiven though they did not believe it. Therefore believe that all your sins are forgiven that you are now without blemish and free from accusation because that is exactly what the word of God says.

  191. 192 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 4:17 am

    That’s it, that’s all.

  192. July 26, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    “It’s not a matter of accepting Jesus. It is a matter of believing in what Jesus has done.”

    Sounds like different ways of saying the same thing to me.

    OK. So what would be involved in “believing” in Jesus?

  193. 194 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Do you mean: once you believe, what comes next?

  194. 195 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    By the way….I am going on a short holiday tommorow morning so I won’t be posting after today until probably Wednesday or Thursday.

  195. July 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    No. I’m asking what you have to do in order to believe.

  196. 197 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    You don’t have to do anything in order to believe.

    If you were off on vacation and I called you up on your cell and said: “Seth, I mowed your lawn” You would believe that I mowed your lawn because I told you I mowed your lawn. Because I told you that I mowed your lawn, that message from me to you empowers you to believe it.

    God said: ““But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, WITHOUT BLEMISH AND FREE FROM ACCUSATION—”

    Believe you are holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-” because God has said you are holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. God’s message to you empowers you to believe it. God cannot lie.

  197. July 26, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Well, if God has already mowed my lawn, why are we having this conversation?

  198. 199 Echo
    July 26, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    So then you believe! :)

    Talk to ya Wednesday or Thursday.

  199. July 27, 2009 at 12:07 am

    How would you or I know whether I believe?

    What indicators would there be?

    You come on the internet here and say you believe. Why should I give any credence to your claims?

  200. 201 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Seth,

    “Actually Echo, I came to the conclusion that human works have no inherent saving power about 10 years ago. I have not changed my mind on that score since.”

    Have you yet come to the conclusion that human works have NO saving power, inherent or otherwise? That’s the issue.

  201. July 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    That is the issue.

    And so far, Echo has utterly failed to explain how this works to me.

  202. 203 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Seth,

    I think Echo’s done all right at explaining it. I think you’d just like for it to be more complicated than it really is:) Heavenly Father says that he made you perfectly holy in Christ Jesus, end of story. Believe it.

  203. July 28, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Your actions on this blog contradict that message.

  204. 205 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Humor me and explain how.

  205. July 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    1. Jesus has “done it all” and we don’t need to do anything to be saved. In fact, we can’t do anything to be saved.

    2. You and Echo want me to do something to be saved. Not sure what it is exactly. Apparently it involves leaving the LDS Church. But it is pretty dang clear you want me to do SOMETHING.

  206. 207 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Seth,

    If getting you to agree with Point 1 is “doing” something, then I guess we’re guilty of convincing you to “do” something. However, if you yourself agree with Point 1, then your second point is irrelevant.

  207. July 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Not really. The whole premise behind you even talking to me in the first place is to get me to do something.

    So, what is it?

  208. 209 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Seth,

    Perhaps a better way to understand it would be to state that no one is trying to get you to “do” anything; rather, the need for you is to “undo” what’s been hammered into your head by the LDS.

    You’ve been taught you need to believe and do.

    We have simply proclaimed what Heavenly Father has revealed through the Bible: believe.

    You can continue spinning your wheels and label that “doing something,” all you want. Call it what you will, it doesn’t much matter. Until you actually believe it, you reject what Heavenly Father has freely given you in Christ, and your only confidence will be in your own flesh, which always fails, as everyone in outer darkness will sadly discover.

  209. July 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    You’re simply evading the question.

    What are you asking me to do?

    I suspect you actually have no clue what is involved in a conversion to Christ, and you are simply hiding behind word games to cover up the fact.

  210. 211 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Seth,

    With all due respect, it’s been pointed out many times in previous posts. You’re a lawyer, aren’t you? A child could figure it out by reading the previous posts, so I’m sure you can get it too:)

    Besides, you’ve already confessed a beautiful saving faith in point 1 of post 206 …

  211. July 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    More rhetoric, bare assertions, and word games.

    If you’ve got nothing, just say so.

  212. 213 ADB
    July 28, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Sorry, I give you more intellectual credit than buying that something is still unclear to you at this point.

    Refuse to believe what’s been stated to your own peril.

  213. July 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Calling me stupid isn’t going to win the argument for you.

    You and Echo have not been clear.

    You try to act like belief is just something that drops out of the sky on your head. But then you keep using language that seems to indicate I need to do something to obtain it. Then you throw out a bunch of unclear scripture citations, fold your arms, and sit back staring at me like it’s obvious to everyone.

    Maybe to everyone who has been drinking your cool-aid it is.

    But to the rest of us, it’s far from clear that you have any clue what you are talking about.

    Leaving Mormonism.

    WORK.

    Studying out the “true Jesus.”

    WORK.

    Verbal confession of belief.

    WORK.

    Read the “obvious” message in the Bible.

    WORK.

    Believe.

    Active – verb.

    WORK.

    If you really believed that Jesus “did it all” you wouldn’t have to even talk to me. I’d be saved anyway. Or, if I was damned, there would be nothing you or I could do about it anyway. So why are we even having this conversation?

    Again – what do you want me to DO to accept Jesus?

  214. 215 ADB
    July 29, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Seth,

    I only have time for a quick reply right now, but will get to you later tonight. Please forgive me for any misunderstanding that gave you the impression that I was calling you stupid. I worded my previous post the way I did specifically because I don’t consider you stupid. I was simply starting to feel as if you were being a little condescending, but after your explanation, I see that I was not being clear. You are one of the posters I respect the most here, and I enjoy dialoguing with you. I certainly intended no ill will. I’ll get to your points later today.

    Could you just be a little more specific about what you were referencing here:

    “But then you keep using language that seems to indicate I need to do something to obtain it.”

    What language have I used that indicates you need to do something to obtain it?

  215. July 29, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I think the problem is that your rhetoric and your actions (and the implication behind them) say two different things.

    If salvation is truly free and there is nothing that can be done to obtain it, then there really is ZERO point in witnessing to Mormons at all.

  216. 217 ADB
    July 29, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Seth,

    There’s a difference between universal salvation and universal justification. In Christ Jesus, Heavenly Father has declared the world “not guilty” (universal justification) of its sin. He’s made this declaration because Jesus lived perfectly in our place and suffered death and damnation in our place.

    However, that doesn’t mean that everyone has an automatic ticket to heaven (universal salvation).

    The reason Christians witness to Mormons is that the LDS forfeit that declaration of “not guilty” (universal or objective justification) when they attach any effort or merit to that of Christ. Christians are seeking in love to guide the LDS to see that attaching anything to Christ’s atonement is to render it null and void. To rely on self to any degree is to reject Christ’s full and free atonement.

    “Again – what do you want me to DO to accept Jesus?”

    Here’s what you have to do: you have to rid yourself of any notion that any effort on your part is necessary to render Christ’s atonement valid. Does that help?

  217. July 29, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Not really. How would you know that you’d done it?

  218. 219 ADB
    July 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Seth,

    I’ve been struggling with your question (perhaps wrestling with whether or not it’s even the right question to ask???).

    It’s hard because I don’t know that I’ve ever been asked (or heard anyone asked) how you know if you believe something. If you ask and evolutionist how he knows he believes in evolution, what does he say? If you ask someone how they know they believe in gravity, what do they say? When it comes to believing something, I don’t know how one would actually prove it or provide evidence, since even a hypocrite can put up a false front. When someone tells you something, you either believe it or you don’t. I guess I don’t see any room for uncertainty.

    For me personally, Father in Heaven has told me what he’s done for me in Christ Jesus. I don’t consider Heavenly Father a liar, so I believe him. How do I know I believe him? I guess that question doesn’t bother me so much. I just know that I do. I take less comfort in my own self-assurance than I do in the sure and certain Word of the Lord in the Bible.

  219. 220 RLO
    July 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Okay, the two of you (Seth, ADB) have just driven me back into Webester’s to see if I can even figure out if I understand what “know” means, or understand what “believe” means. I guess I would understand “know” to mean being aware of a given item of fact, while to “believe” would imply a trust and confidence in that same item of fact (I know about Santa Clause, though I don’t believe he will be coming down anyone’s chimney on December 24th). I think it would be reasonable to say that one’s knowledge of a given item of fact is something that can be demonstrated to someone else, whereas one’s belief regarding that same item of fact is something that can only be shared with someone else.

    Both Seth and ADB know what they themselves believe, or don’t believe, based on the trust and confidence, or lack of trust and confidence, they place on whatever items of fact they are considering. The way I see it, both can prove what they “know” to each other, whereas neither can really prove to the other what they believe (even though each one “knows” individually what they themselves “believe”).

    As for Seth’s question, “How would you know that you’d done it?”

    Answer: You’d know.

  220. 221 RLO
    July 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    oops. …Webster’s…

  221. July 30, 2009 at 1:31 am

    OK, why do you know?

    Did a meteor hit you in the head or something?

  222. 223 RLO
    July 30, 2009 at 4:51 am

    OK, why do I know WHAT? But no, a meteor didn’t hit me in the head or something. Help me to clarify: Do you mean to ask me, “why I KNOW something,” or, “why I BELIEVE something”? I’ll try as best I can to answer your question, but I would like to be sure I understand what you are asking.

  223. 224 Echo
    July 30, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Seth,

    There are no meteor’s etc. assigned by God to confirm that we believe and there is a good reason for this.
    If a meteor or whatever sign has to hit us in order to confirm that we believe then our focus is moved away from God and back on to us and our experience. Whenever the focus is back on us, the doubts creep in trying to destroy the faith planted in us…

    For example:

    “I got hit by a meteor, but maybe this meteor was too small or it wasn’t the right meteor that God intended to hit me with, therefore maybe I don’t believe, maybe God didn’t give me the gift of faith!!!…”

    However, we don’t want to focus on ourselves, we simply acknowledge and trust God’s word alone.

  224. July 31, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Echo, if there is no use – then God is nothing more than a self-centered little boy playing with his Star Wars action figures.

    Unless there are two parts to the equation, the whole thing is an utterly pointless waste of time.

    I refuse to think as poorly of God as you do.

  225. 226 Echo
    August 2, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Just because there is no prescribed biblical “meteor” effect doesn’t mean the message is without effect. It is exactly because God isn’t playing with Star Wars action figures that there is no prescribed effect. Everyone is different and it will effect people in different ways.

  226. August 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    And what is the ultimate cause of why different people react differently? Why are they different?

  227. 228 Echo
    August 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I would think that we are each created with different personalities to begin with. Then our life experiences also mold and shape who we become.

  228. August 3, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    So God is the one who programmed in the personality differences, right?

  229. 230 Echo
    August 3, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I think so. But I do believe that life circumstances also shape and mold our personalities.

  230. August 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    And wasn’t God aware of those circumstances when he set the universe in motion?

  231. 232 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Sure. God knows everything.

  232. August 4, 2009 at 4:54 am

    So, isn’t it true that he deliberately created the universe in just such a way that those circumstances would impact us just the way they do?

  233. 234 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I don’t believe that God created the universe in just such a way that those circumstances would impact us just the way they do. God created the world and said “It was good”. Then came Adam and Eve’s sin and now the world is not good. God was NOT the cause of sin, nor was it his will that Adam and Eve nor anyone sin. However God does use everything for the good of those who love him.

  234. August 4, 2009 at 5:33 am

    So, you’re saying that God didn’t know what would happen when he created things the way he did?

    Because if you really buy into the notion that God created the universe out of nothing and was fully aware of how things would play out, you logically MUST also believe that God was in total control of how everything was going to play out.

    If God creates John Doe out of nothing and places him in a situation where God knows that John is going to have X, Y, and Z influences in his life such that John will most definitely do a particular action (like, say… tormenting fluffy bunnies)…

    And if God was also aware of those influences naturally unfolding from how he created the universe in the beginning…

    Well, the conclusion is obvious.

  235. 236 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Just because God knows what will happen, doesn’t mean that everything that happens is in accordance with his Will or that he is the cause or somehow at fault.
    God gave John Doe the gift of a conscience. So if John Doe is tormenting bunnies, he is going against his own conscience. The one that God gave him.

  236. August 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Yes, but God created John out of nothing.

    And he also set in motion the circumstances that John would be in, out of nothing.

    That means, God CREATED the torment too.

  237. August 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Otherwise, you’re dealing with a God who is less than omnipotent and omniscient, right?

  238. 239 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    God created the universe out of nothing. He created Adam out of the dust of the earth, he created Eve out of Adam’s rib. God created them “GOOD” He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and that is how the rest of us came to be.
    Since Adam and Eve sinned by partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, they became “EVIL”. All the children of the world born after them inherit that depravity.
    God did not set in motion the circumstances that result from sin. Sinners cause the circumstances that cause torment, suffering and pain etc. in the world.

    The LDS church believes that Adam and Eve HAD to disobey God when he told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Why?

  239. August 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Yes, and God created Adam and Eve such that they would sin.

    Otherwise, you are stating that Adam and Eve did something beyond God’s control.

    As for the LDS Church’s position – you’re trying to change the subject.

    Why did God create Adam and Eve such that they would sin?

  240. 241 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    God created Adam and Eve with free will. That doesn’t mean that he “created Adam and Eve such that they would sin”. God created Adam and Eve in such a way that they could “freely” obey him.

    “As for the LDS Church’s position – you’re trying to change the subject”

    My question is very relevant to the subject. You bring a charge against my beliefs that it is God’s will that John Doe torments fluffy bunnies. That is contrary to what I believe. The LDS church on the other hand “Celebrates Eve’s act” (sin) therefore the LDS God celebrates John Doe tormenting fluffy bunnies.

    Adam and Eve did NOT have to disobey God. Their sin is nothing to “celebrate”. To celebrate the sin of disobedience to God is to call that which is evil, good. To celebrate the bitter is to call that which is bitter, sweet. Sin is darkness, not light. God is light.

    Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

  241. August 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    So, where did Adam’s inclination to eat the apple come from?

  242. August 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    If you state it came from him, you are denying that God created him in the way you believe he created him.

    You essentially have to state that some sort of “virus” got into the computer system beyond God’s will and gave Adam the ability to do something that God did not intend.

    So, is God fully in charge, or not?

    If he is, then why did he make Adam to sin?

    If he isn’t, then why do you insist that human action means nothing?

  243. 244 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    He was tempted by Satan.

  244. 245 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    God did not make Adam to sin.

  245. 246 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    God is in charge but he does not force people to obey him.

  246. August 4, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Did God create Satan?

    Or is Satan that virus that God can’t control that I was talking about?

  247. 248 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    God created Satan as a perfect angel. Satan rebelled.

  248. August 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    OK, so what kind of juice did God put in Satan when he made him, such that Satan would rebel?

  249. 250 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    God created Satan with the freedom to choose to love God or not. There is no value in love if there is no freedom to love.

  250. August 4, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I totally agree. That’s a very Mormon sentiment.

    But this freedom cannot logically exist in a being created ex nihilo.

  251. 252 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    “I totally agree. That’s a very Mormon sentiment”

    Yes. But man lost that freedom in the Fall. That freedom is only renewed in those who have been born again. “without faith it is impossible to please God” Heb 11:6

    “But this freedom cannot logically exist in a being created ex nihilo”

    Again, man wasn’t created out of nothing.

  252. August 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    So, you reject creation ex nihilo?

  253. 254 Echo
    August 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    As I said before, God created the universe out of nothing. He created Adam out of the dust of the earth and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Gen 2:7 he created Eve out of Adam’s rib. God created them “GOOD” He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and that is how the rest of us came to be.

    I reject pre-existence such as the LDS believes. Man became a “living being” in Gen 2:7 and not before.

  254. August 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    That’s a distinction without a difference.

    OK, fine… He created Adam out of DUST which he created out of nothing.

    Is there any element of Adam that God wasn’t responsible for creating in the beginning?

    Or did God create sentient dust, which then had the “evil virus” in it, and was therefore transferred to Adam?

    The fact remains, you try to make God completely in charge of everything in the universe, but then when it comes to evil, you wuss out and claim apparently he wasn’t all-powerful enough to be in charge of that.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  255. 256 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 1:54 am

    When you go into a dark room with no windows, the room remains dark unless you turn on the light. It is impossible for the light to cause the room to be dark. The room is only dark because of the absense of light when the light is turned off.
    So also, it is impossible for God to create evil. Evil is the absense of God and the absense of Good.

    But God is all-powerful, he can use evil for good:

    Gen 50:20 ” You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

    God is all-powerful and overcomes evil with good:

    Romans 12:21 “…overcome evil with good”

  256. August 5, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Did God deliberately design the universe so that it would unfold with areas where his light would be absent?

  257. 258 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Psalm 139:7-8 ” Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?

    If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

  258. August 5, 2009 at 4:37 am

    This is typical behavior for you when you’ve hit a point in the discussion where you’ve been stumped. Throw out an unhelpful Bible verse, and hope the magic pixie dust makes the Mormon go away.

    But I’m not getting sidetracked on this one.

    Did God write areas of darkness into the blueprints when he designed the universe?

  259. 260 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Oh, I am not trying to make the Mormon go away. I like you! :)
    But God wants YOU to interpret his word since YOU will be held accountable by his word.

    Psalm 139:7-8 states that God is everywhere. Wherever there is God, there you have light.
    But the Bible also says that men loved darkness rather than light:

    John 3:19 “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

    Satan is the power in the darkness:

    Acts 15:17-18 “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

  260. August 5, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Did God write areas of darkness into the blueprints when he designed the universe?

  261. August 5, 2009 at 7:15 am

    A simple “yes” or “no” without the scripture-chase rubbish would suffice.

  262. 263 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Seth, I can’t go beyond what scripture teaches because it would be pure speculation.

    From scripture we know that God is everywhere and he is light. In him there is no darkness.
    We know from scripture that Satan is the power behind darkness.
    We know from scripture that God is all-knowing, he knows the beggining and the end.
    We know from scripture that God did NOT create evil.

    Scripture doesn’t give us a “detailed” account about blueprints that I am aware of. We only get glimpses.

    Scripture does teach that God has in mind to do something in accordance with his Will and the prayers of people change his mind. The actions of people change God’s mind as well. So God’s “blueprints” are not set in stone. They are not fatalistically determined.

    That’s about all I can say. I don’t want to go beyond what is written. Maybe someone other than I has more information or learning in this area and can help you with your good question.

  263. August 5, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    But when you state that God created everything from nothing, and that he is FIRST CAUSE of everything, including human action, you ARE going beyond scripture. The Bible demands none of this.

    So, since you’ve already wandered off into the realm of speculation, why stop now?

  264. 265 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I admit I may at times drop the ball, I am afterall, a fallible human. But I have not gone beyond scripture this time I don’t think.

    You keep saying that God created everything from nothing. I havn’t said that. I have said that God created the universe from nothing, he created Adam from dust and breathed life into him, he created Eve from Adam’s rib, the rest of mankind came about because of God’s command to be fruitful and increase in number.

    Does scripture teach that God created the universe from nothing? Yes, I believe so. God spoke and the world lept into existence.

    Psalm 33:6,9 ”
    “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”

    Hebrews 11:3 “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was NOT MADE out of what was visible.”

    As for God being the first cause:

    Isaiah 44:6 ” I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

  265. 266 RLO
    August 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Seth, reviewing the past 40 or so posts, you have alluded to a meteor hitting me in the head as the cause for what I either know or believe. You have referred to God as a self centered little boy playing with star war action figures. You have suggested that Echo thinks poorly of God. You have characterized Echo as “wussing out.” When scripture verses have been provided you have referred to them as unhelpful, and worse, magic pixie dust. You have suggested Echo’s motive is to make mormons go away. You have used the term, “scripture-chase rubbish.” Where in these past 40 posts has that hostile tone and sarcasm been directed towards you? You should consider that this blog has its roots in Mark Care’s Truth in Love Ministry. His book is entitled “Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons.” Have you read it? If not, maybe you should. You many not agree with what it has to say, but I can assure you, you won’t find yourself being spoken to in the hostile, sarcastic, loveless way you have been speaking to others. I doubt Christians (EV’s) are here to make mormons go away or to win arguments. And if they are, well then maybe they really shouldn’t be here. We don’t want to win arguments. We want to see souls saved. I would encourage you to stay here and continue asking questions. At the same time, I would encourage you to also check your tone. I know this might be uncomfortable for you to read. And while it may hurt, I want you to know it is not meant to be hurtful. I just felt something needed to be said. Please check your tone. And if you are only here to start arguments, then the admonishment of ADB in post 213 stands: “Refuse to believe what’s been stated to your own peril.”

  266. August 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Echo, you state:

    “You keep saying that God created everything from nothing. I havn’t said that. I have said that God created the universe from nothing, he created Adam from dust and breathed life into him, he created Eve from Adam’s rib, the rest of mankind came about because of God’s command to be fruitful and increase in number.”

    Yes, God created Adam out of dust.

    Which he created out of nothing.

    So it amounts to exactly the same thing.

    God created Adam out of nothing.

    If I magically conjure up some building block out of nothing, then stack them into a castle. I created the castle out of nothing. I just added a step in there somewhere, that’s all.

  267. August 5, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Seriously, creation ex nihilo is a pretty dang fundamental belief in most traditional Christian faiths.

    I’m surprised that you’re trying to distance yourself from it.

    But I don’t think many Christians have really thought through the logical implications of what it means that God created everything (or set everything in motion) out of nothing.

    If creation ex nihilo is true – then God IS directly responsible for everything that happens in the universe. There’s really no way around it.

  268. August 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    RLO.

    Using a nice tone of voice when telling someone that their religion and beliefs suck doesn’t mean jack.

    I don’t frankly care how many times you guys repeat “grace and love in Jesus.” If the content is attacking, it doesn’t count.

    I’ve been on this blog a while. While Mark himself tends to remain above the fray, the Christian commenters I’ve dealt with here have done almost all of the following over the last year I’ve been here:

    1. Called us a cult.
    2. Said Mormons are brainwashed
    3. Said Mormons are ignorant dupes
    4. Said Mormons lie or the LDS Church lies
    5. Called us arrogant
    6. Said we reject Jesus
    7. Called my prophet plenty of nasty names
    8. Called us unloving
    9. Called us idolaters
    10. Other stuff I can’t remember but still feel vaguely resentful about just the same

    And you think that slapping a crummy smiley face on the end of all that makes everything all better?

    I don’t frankly care if Echo, or anyone else, has a “loving tone” if there entire conversation is in attack-mode to begin with. To pretend to be all warm and fuzzy when you are hitting someone with a crowbar is either insanity or hypocrisy. Take your pick.

    Grace and love in Jesus, and all that.

  269. 270 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Seth: “If creation ex nihilo is true – then God IS directly responsible for everything that happens in the universe. There’s really no way around it.”

    Satan was created as a perfect and good angel and rebelled against God. God is not to blame for Satan’s rebellion.

    Are you saying then that God did create evil?

  270. 271 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Seth: “To pretend to be all warm and fuzzy when you are hitting someone with a crowbar is either insanity or hypocrisy.”

    Seth, Was Jesus insane or a hypocrite when he told the Pharisees the painful truth about their false religion or did he intend all that he said in love for the pharisees?

  271. August 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Yeah, well…

    You’re no Jesus Echo.

    In fact, you’re not even really Paul for that matter.

  272. August 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I don’t think God was responsible for evil because I don’t believe in creation ex nihilo.

    Since your church does, however, you have a problem.

  273. 274 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    The Pharisees that never came to believe the truth were the ones that judged Jesus’ motives as “insane” and “hypocritical” while they never even considered that Jesus just might have been motivated by love. And all that to their own peril and fault. There is a lesson in that for all of us….be careful how you judge.

    Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

  274. 275 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    So what do you believe on how evil came into existence?

  275. August 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I believe that evil is simply a universal reality that always was, and always will be.

    God has always existed within an eternally existent universe. Evil is a part of that universe, and it’s something that God always has coped with and planned around, deals with today, and always will deal with in the future.

  276. August 5, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Seth,

    Just a question, your answer for evil is dualism?

  277. 278 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    How does that fit with LDS theology that God was once a man and had to progress to become a God?

  278. August 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    One topic at a time Echo.

    Gundeck,

    Not exactly dualism. Mormon theology does not explicitly state that good and evil are equally opposed forces.

    I will admit that in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi’s words to his sons in 2 Nephi 2 definitely have a dualistic tone to them. But that single chapter is as far as Mormon scripture goes on the subject, and it’s just not enough to make conclusions from. So the potential is there for dualism, but it’s not fully realized.

    I would also note that there are a few too many Mormon scriptures on God’s power over evil and ultimate triumph to posit that good and evil are locked in a never-ending equally opposed struggle with neither gaining the mastery. God has the ultimate mastery in Mormon thought.

  279. August 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    The difference between Mormon theology and traditional Christian theology is that we have different starting points.

    Traditional Christians start from the point of “God is all powerful.” Then they build the rest of their theology from there.

    Mormons however start from the point of “God is love.” Then we build the rest of our theology from that point.

    The Trad. Christian asks, what would God need to be, to be maximally powerful. And they come up with creation ex nihilo, predestination, and, if I may say so, a rather fatalistic view of mankind.

    The Mormon, by contrast, asks – what would God need to be to be the perfect embodiment of love? And we come up with the emphasis on God’s role as “Father,” a full working idea of human free will (love cannot logically exist if it is coerced or pre-determined), a Mormon reworking of theosis, and the idea of Zion as being a perfect unity in love. Modern Mormon scholars have been having a field-day with ideas such as perichoresis, for instance.

    Two different starting points that yield very different conclusions.

  280. August 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Seth,

    Interesting, I will have to think on this a little. I have never thought of evil as a seperate force. For me evil is simply rebelion against God and cannot be seperated from actions. The answer to how evil was created always seemed apperant to me, rebelion against God. I would think that the presence of an evil force seperate from human action would play havoc with free will but I have to think about this view of evil always existing as a seperat power from good before I can comment more. Thanks for the reply.

  281. August 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I think it’s my own interpretation mostly.

    As I noted, Lehi’s statements about necessary opposites does not require evil as an independent force. I personally know of Mormons who would share your view that evil is mere absence of good, and not a tangible “thing” in it’s own right.

    I’m not even sure I’m completely comfortable labeling evil as some tangible force or entity. I’d rather simply call it “the way things are.” Just like God cannot logically create a rock so big he can’t lift it, evil is just a part of reality. As a logical matter.

    Sidenote – no Mormon I know would ever agree that Satan is an “equal and opposite force” to God. We wouldn’t even call him Jesus’ equal (although this is at the heart of the frequent Evangelical cheap-shot about the “Mormon Jesus” being brother to Satan – they want to mislead people into thinking we consider them somehow equal – we don’t).

  282. 283 RLO
    August 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Seth; Regretably, the response I anticipated. Rather than taking responsibility for your own unkind words, you justify them by pointing to the unkind words of others. Reminiscent of my older daughter’s, “Yeah, but she said…” response to being admonished for her thoughtless words to her younger sister. Instead, I would encourage you to admit to Heavenly Father that you have sinned, ask for His forgiveness, and promise Him that you will endeavor to take a higher road in the future. I encourage you to discuss in a more respectful manner the issues with EV’s there on that higher road. If EV’s have offended you here in the past, do not repay anyone evil for evil. Overcome evil with good. Mud wrestling accomplishes little. You’ve been on this blog for a while. That’s a good thing. I have only recently arrived. And while I cannot speak to the unkind words EV’s may have directed toward you in the past, I would not hesitate to admonish any blatantly unkind words coming from an EV if they were expressed to you here today, just as I have admonished you of your unkind words. I understand you feel vaguely resentful of things that might have been directed to you here in the past. But I wouldn’t speak unkindly to some other mormon on account of the unkind words you have spoken here on this blog. That wouldn’t be fair, would it? Neither should you paint all EV’s with the same brush. I hope you can let go of your resentment. Again, I ask you, where in the past 40 or so posts has blatant hostility and sarcasm been leveled directed toward you? And do you think Heavenly Father has been pleased with the tone of all your posts here on this blog? Are you fulfilling the perfection He damands of you?

  283. August 5, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    What made you think that post of mine was a self-justification RLO?

    All I was doing was pointing out that I don’t care if you slap a smiley-face on ugly content. Who said anything about responsibility?

    I can be a jerk online. Absolutely.

    But that’s not an answer to the debate at hand.

  284. 285 Echo
    August 5, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Seth:

    You said that God has always existed.

    How does that fit with LDS theology that God was once a man and had to progress to become a God?

  285. August 5, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    You and I have always existed as well Echo.

  286. 287 Echo
    August 6, 2009 at 2:08 am

    How does that fit in with the LDS belief that God’s create spirit children?

  287. August 6, 2009 at 2:55 am

    LDS read the word “create” (as found in Genesis) as the same way an artist “creates” a painting.

    Not out of nothing, but by organizing that which is unformed. As it says in Genesis how God divided the waters (the waters are an ancient Jewish piece of symbolism representing the primordial chaos that God gave order to), so to did he take our most basic identities and organized them into spirit form. Those spirits then gain physical form by living here on earth.

    “Create” does not mean ex nihilo for a Mormon.

  288. 289 muzacmercer
    August 14, 2010 at 4:55 am

    I recently wrote a song about the Prodigal Son. This is my testimony of God’s amazing grace in my life. If you have a sec here it is. Thanks for listening


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