Where are the Christians? - Page 11 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #151
Refugee
 
MadForIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,232
Local Time: 09:38 PM
....they are playing in the snow
__________________

__________________
MadForIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 03:29 PM   #152
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
coemgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Black and White Town
Posts: 3,962
Local Time: 03:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond View Post
A close study of Paul's letters to the saints of Corinth indicates that they were struggling with believing in the ressurection and he asked why they were baptizing for the dead. Paul didn't forbid them to give of the practice of baptizing for the dead- because it was legitmate practice.

Christ was baptized by immersion by John who had the Priesthood Authority and set the perfect example "to fulfill all righteousness" -we are counseled to do the same.

We believe in the Godhead, which is found in the Bible. You believe in the Trinity and it isn't in the Bible, but a word manufactured by men - centuries after the Bible was written.

There are other Christians that do not subscribe to the Trinity notion but believe in Christ as the Savior and Messiah and God as the Father-are you going attempt to marginalize them too?

Most of the religous people of Christ's day persecuted Christ and His followers the same way your persecute Mormons.

Your tone is revealing-it isn't Christ like.

<>
First off, what is wrong with my tone? I’m simply calling out the differences between Mormonism and Christianity and pointing out that they’re not equal. And persecute? I think that’s a little harsh and a card that’s not wise to play in this forum. I’ve been through much worse on here and I still wouldn’t say I’m being persecuted. We discuss things here and challenge each other. It’s OK. Most of us enjoy it.

You’re right, the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible, but the concept is everywhere. The Bible has many verses about there being one God and each person of the Godhead is equally God. There are dozens of verses alone saying there is “but ONE God,” but Mormonism believes we can all become God’s. How does that work? How do you respond to Isaiah 44:8, which states: “God says that even He does not know of any other gods!” The hallmark of a cult is that they don’t believe this based on picking and choosing which verses they want to believe rather than reading the Bible as a whole. Then you have the general roles each person of the Trinity has. God the Father is God in heaven. Christ is God among is. The savior. The mediator. The sacrificial lamb. The Holy Spirit is God within us. They each have distinct roles, but as you can see, it’s not hard to see how it can be one God, which, again, the Bible is completely firm about.

As far as baptism of the dead — here is a great summary of the passage in question and how Mormon’s and Christians view it differently:

Baptism for the Dead: Discerning Historical Precedent from Mere Prose

There have been instances in which the Christian church has built a doctrine or practice on some historical account recorded in the New Testament. It historically has viewed the accounts in Acts of the water baptism (e.g., 2:41; 8:12, 36; 10:47–48) and regular gathering (e.g., 20:7; cf. Heb. 10:25) of believers, for example, as setting a precedent for Christian doctrine and practice.
A group is on shaky ground, however, when it bases a doctrine or practice on an obscure or isolated statement or an incidental historical detail that is mentioned in a biblical passage. There are groups, for instance, that cite Paul’s surviving a snake bite in Acts 28 as a precedent for Christians to handle snakes.
Latter-day Saints (LDS, Mormons), likewise, point to Paul’s mention of the practice of “baptism for the dead” in 1 Corinthians 15:29 as a historical precedent for their doctrine and practice of baptism by proxy (i.e., by authorized substitute). They believe that a person cannot attain salvation without water baptism. They also believe that a living believer may be baptized on behalf of an unbaptized dead person so that the dead person might attain salvation.1 In Doctrines of Salvation they explain, “Water baptism is an element of this world, and how could spirits be baptized in it…? The only way it can be done is vicariously, someone who is living acting as a substitute for the dead.”2
This raises a question: if Christians accept the instances of baptism mentioned in Acts as precedent for their doctrine and practice of water baptism of believers, then are Mormons correct to accept the baptism mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15 as precedent for their doctrine and practice of baptism by proxy? Let’s look at this passage in its context and in light of several factors that help us to answer this question.

The Context. The church that Paul had planted in Corinth (Acts 18) was made up of mostly Gentiles. It was full of life, but it lacked spiritual maturity and retained some of the views and ways of the pagan culture that surrounded it. Paul had received reports of problems within the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 1:11) and his lengthy first letter to it was intended to correct and instruct its people on a number of issues of Christian doctrine and practice.
In chapter 15 Paul indicates that he had heard that some people in the church were denying the resurrection of the dead (v. 12); he then argues that the resurrection of Jesus, which was confirmed by eyewitnesses, guarantees the resurrection of the dead. He points out a series of conclusions that follow logically from the claim that the dead are not raised: if the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised (v. 13), the apostles’ preaching and the Corinthians’ faith is vain (v. 14), the apostle’s witness that God raised Christ from the dead is false (v. 15), (again) Christ was not raised (v. 16), (again) the Corinthians’ faith is worthless and they remain in their sins (v. 17), dead believers have perished forever (v. 18), those who hope in Christ for resurrection are to be pitied (v. 19), those who are baptized for the dead do so in vain (v. 29), Paul puts himself in danger for the gospel for no reason (v. 30), Paul’s battle against wild beasts (his enemies?) was useless (v. 32), and there is nothing left but the gratification of appetites (v. 32). In the remainder of the chapter he explains the nature of the resurrected body and believers’ victory over death (vv. 35–58).
Paul here uses what is known in logic as an argument to absurdity. In other words, if we follow a claim to its logical conclusion, and that conclusion is absurd (or false), then the claim must be false. He argues that if the claim that the dead are not raised is true, then a number of conclusions follow logically; but those conclusions are false, which means the claim itself must be false. He appeals to a series of beliefs and practices that the Corinthian believers already accept as true in order to show them that the conclusions he lists are false. For example, for the Corinthians to recognize that the conclusion Christ was not raised is false, they must already believe Christ was raised. This is true of each of the items he lists, including baptism for the dead. Understanding Paul’s argument here will help us to understand this passage better, as we will see below.

The Doctrine. The Mormon doctrine of baptism by proxy presumes that baptism is required for salvation, and that those who die without baptism and therefore without salvation may still be saved if someone living is baptized on their behalf. Numerous other biblical passages on the subject of salvation, however, contradict these presumptions. The Bible says that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone (Eph. 2:8–9), apart from baptism. John, for example, cites belief as the only condition for salvation (e.g., John 1:12; 3:16; 20:31), Luke records several instances of people who believed before being baptized (Acts 2:41; 10:47), and Paul separates baptism from the gospel that saves (1 Cor. 1:17).
It also says that after death comes judgment (Heb. 9:27), not another opportunity to be saved. Since God’s word cannot contradict itself, one thing we can be sure of is that Paul was not advocating the Mormon doctrine of baptism by proxy. This does not, however, answer the question of what practice Paul was actually referring to and whether he was actually advocating it, so let’s examine the practice.

The Practice. No other biblical passages besides 1 Corinthians 15:29 even mention the practice of baptism for the dead, so we must discover what it means from the passage itself or from sources outside the Bible. Scholars have proposed as many as 40 different interpretations of what practice Paul was referring to in this passage. None of them are without problems.
For example, some interpreters observe that Paul uses the pronouns “we” and “you” in his entire argument in this passage, except when he says “they” baptize for the dead. They say that this change of pronoun suggests that Paul was referring to a group among the Corinthians who were engaging in this aberrant practice. In this view, Paul did not need to condemn this practice explicitly as he did other errors because it was so obviously wrong; rather, he assumed the false practice simply to make a point. He was saying, in essence, “If the dead are not raised, then even the (false) practice of baptism for the dead that ‘they’ engage in is absurd.”
The problem with this view is that if Paul assumed this false practice to make a point, then it is the only false item in a list of such fundamental truths as the resurrection of Christ, the hope of the believer, and the purpose of Paul’s ministry. This sort of rhetorical move on Paul’s part would be out of place with his explicit purpose in the letter to correct false doctrines and practices among the Corinthians. It is more likely that Paul would correct them on this matter rather than assume it to be true for the sake of his argument.
Other interpreters believe that baptism for the dead was a practice that Paul approved or at least allowed. Some of them suggest, for example, that the phrase refers to the baptism of new believers who replaced those church members who had died. Others propose that it refers to the baptism of persons who had become believers and had been baptized in response to the pleas of loved ones who had died. Still others suggest that “for the dead” refers metaphorically to the baptized believer’s own death and resurrection.
The problem with these views is that they do not adequately account for Paul’s use of “they,” which singled out those who baptized for the dead, rather than “you,” if the Corinthians generally accepted the practice, or “we,” if he also approved of it. The phrase “the dead,” moreover, cannot be a metaphorical reference, such as to “the spiritually dead” or “one’s future dead body,” since that would provide no support for his argument for a physical resurrection.
There are nonbiblical references to a practice of vicarious baptism for the dead among later heretical groups, including some Corinthian sects, but the text of 1 Corinthians 15:29 is simply too vague to be identified with any of them. We are left, unfortunately, with only educated guesses as to what this practice might have been, and as such this passage provides no support for dogmatic arguments one way or the other.

The Precedent. The general principle here is that we cannot treat an incidental historical detail as an intentional historical precedent without adequate textual support. In other words, to consider any text to be set precedent rather than mere prose, we must be able to demonstrate from the text that the author intended it to be so. This cannot be done, however, with the practice mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:29. Paul’s explicit intent was to argue against the claim that the dead are not raised (i.e., to prove logically that the dead are raised), not to teach about the practice of baptism for the dead, whatever it means. Paul’s mention of the practice, then, is incidental to his argument. This does not mean that baptism for the dead still might not be acceptable, but this text is insufficient support for saying that it is, especially since no other biblical passages even mention the practice.
The fact that Paul does not explicitly condemn the practice of baptism for the dead also allows for the possibility that he permitted or even approved of it, although the practice he mentions, as previously discussed, cannot be baptism by proxy as the Mormons understand it. This possibility alone is not a sufficient biblical reason to view baptism for the dead (whatever it means) as a precedent for all believers to follow, as is the case with believers’ baptism derived from accounts in Acts.
Discerning historical precedent from mere prose is one of the most difficult aspects of interpretation, which is why we must always have a solid textual foundation on which to base our conclusions in this regard. If we assume more than the text actually supports we risk adding to the word of God.

— Steve Bright

Baptism For The Dead - Article - equip.org
__________________

__________________
coemgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 06:39 PM   #153
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 01:38 AM
nice cut and paste of a person's interpretation.

I may address this later-I have a massage schduled.

<>
__________________
diamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 07:12 PM   #154
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
coemgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Black and White Town
Posts: 3,962
Local Time: 03:38 AM
Thanks, Diamond.

I love the Apple-C, Apple-V combo.

Hope you have a great massage.
__________________
coemgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2009, 09:53 PM   #155
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 01:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by coemgen View Post
Quote:
First off, what is wrong with my tone?
.



As far as baptism of the dead — here is a great summary of the passage in question and how Mormon’s and Christians view it differently:

Baptism for the Dead: Discerning Historical Precedent from Mere Prose

There have been instances in which the Christian church has built a doctrine or practice on some historical account recorded in the New Testament. It historically has viewed the accounts in Acts of the water baptism (e.g., 2:41; 8:12, 36; 10:47–48) and regular gathering (e.g., 20:7; cf. Heb. 10:25) of believers, for example, as setting a precedent for Christian doctrine and practice.
A group is on shaky ground, however, when it bases a doctrine or practice on an obscure or isolated statement or an incidental historical detail that is mentioned in a biblical passage. There are groups, for instance, that cite Paul’s surviving a snake bite in Acts 28 as a precedent for Christians to handle snakes.
Latter-day Saints (LDS, Mormons), likewise, point to Paul’s mention of the practice of “baptism for the dead” in 1 Corinthians 15:29 as a historical precedent for their doctrine and practice of baptism by proxy (i.e., by authorized substitute). They believe that a person cannot attain salvation without water baptism. They also believe that a living believer may be baptized on behalf of an unbaptized dead person so that the dead person might attain salvation.1 In Doctrines of Salvation they explain, “Water baptism is an element of this world, and how could spirits be baptized in it…? The only way it can be done is vicariously, someone who is living acting as a substitute for the dead.”2
This raises a question: if Christians accept the instances of baptism mentioned in Acts as precedent for their doctrine and practice of water baptism of believers, then are Mormons correct to accept the baptism mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15 as precedent for their doctrine and practice of baptism by proxy? Let’s look at this passage in its context and in light of several factors that help us to answer this question.

The Context. The church that Paul had planted in Corinth (Acts 18) was made up of mostly Gentiles. It was full of life, but it lacked spiritual maturity and retained some of the views and ways of the pagan culture that surrounded it. Paul had received reports of problems within the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 1:11) and his lengthy first letter to it was intended to correct and instruct its people on a number of issues of Christian doctrine and practice.
In chapter 15 Paul indicates that he had heard that some people in the church were denying the resurrection of the dead (v. 12); he then argues that the resurrection of Jesus, which was confirmed by eyewitnesses, guarantees the resurrection of the dead. He points out a series of conclusions that follow logically from the claim that the dead are not raised: if the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised (v. 13), the apostles’ preaching and the Corinthians’ faith is vain (v. 14), the apostle’s witness that God raised Christ from the dead is false (v. 15), (again) Christ was not raised (v. 16), (again) the Corinthians’ faith is worthless and they remain in their sins (v. 17), dead believers have perished forever (v. 18), those who hope in Christ for resurrection are to be pitied (v. 19), those who are baptized for the dead do so in vain (v. 29), Paul puts himself in danger for the gospel for no reason (v. 30), Paul’s battle against wild beasts (his enemies?) was useless (v. 32), and there is nothing left but the gratification of appetites (v. 32). In the remainder of the chapter he explains the nature of the resurrected body and believers’ victory over death (vv. 35–58).
Paul here uses what is known in logic as an argument to absurdity. In other words, if we follow a claim to its logical conclusion, and that conclusion is absurd (or false), then the claim must be false. He argues that if the claim that the dead are not raised is true, then a number of conclusions follow logically; but those conclusions are false, which means the claim itself must be false. He appeals to a series of beliefs and practices that the Corinthian believers already accept as true in order to show them that the conclusions he lists are false. For example, for the Corinthians to recognize that the conclusion Christ was not raised is false, they must already believe Christ was raised. This is true of each of the items he lists, including baptism for the dead. Understanding Paul’s argument here will help us to understand this passage better, as we will see below.

The Doctrine. The Mormon doctrine of baptism by proxy presumes that baptism is required for salvation, and that those who die without baptism and therefore without salvation may still be saved if someone living is baptized on their behalf. Numerous other biblical passages on the subject of salvation, however, contradict these presumptions. The Bible says that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone (Eph. 2:8–9), apart from baptism. John, for example, cites belief as the only condition for salvation (e.g., John 1:12; 3:16; 20:31), Luke records several instances of people who believed before being baptized (Acts 2:41; 10:47), and Paul separates baptism from the gospel that saves (1 Cor. 1:17).
It also says that after death comes judgment (Heb. 9:27), not another opportunity to be saved. Since God’s word cannot contradict itself, one thing we can be sure of is that Paul was not advocating the Mormon doctrine of baptism by proxy. This does not, however, answer the question of what practice Paul was actually referring to and whether he was actually advocating it, so let’s examine the practice.

The Practice. No other biblical passages besides 1 Corinthians 15:29 even mention the practice of baptism for the dead, so we must discover what it means from the passage itself or from sources outside the Bible. Scholars have proposed as many as 40 different interpretations of what practice Paul was referring to in this passage. None of them are without problems.
For example, some interpreters observe that Paul uses the pronouns “we” and “you” in his entire argument in this passage, except when he says “they” baptize for the dead. They say that this change of pronoun suggests that Paul was referring to a group among the Corinthians who were engaging in this aberrant practice. In this view, Paul did not need to condemn this practice explicitly as he did other errors because it was so obviously wrong; rather, he assumed the false practice simply to make a point. He was saying, in essence, “If the dead are not raised, then even the (false) practice of baptism for the dead that ‘they’ engage in is absurd.”
The problem with this view is that if Paul assumed this false practice to make a point, then it is the only false item in a list of such fundamental truths as the resurrection of Christ, the hope of the believer, and the purpose of Paul’s ministry. This sort of rhetorical move on Paul’s part would be out of place with his explicit purpose in the letter to correct false doctrines and practices among the Corinthians. It is more likely that Paul would correct them on this matter rather than assume it to be true for the sake of his argument.
Other interpreters believe that baptism for the dead was a practice that Paul approved or at least allowed. Some of them suggest, for example, that the phrase refers to the baptism of new believers who replaced those church members who had died. Others propose that it refers to the baptism of persons who had become believers and had been baptized in response to the pleas of loved ones who had died. Still others suggest that “for the dead” refers metaphorically to the baptized believer’s own death and resurrection.
The problem with these views is that they do not adequately account for Paul’s use of “they,” which singled out those who baptized for the dead, rather than “you,” if the Corinthians generally accepted the practice, or “we,” if he also approved of it. The phrase “the dead,” moreover, cannot be a metaphorical reference, such as to “the spiritually dead” or “one’s future dead body,” since that would provide no support for his argument for a physical resurrection.
There are nonbiblical references to a practice of vicarious baptism for the dead among later heretical groups, including some Corinthian sects, but the text of 1 Corinthians 15:29 is simply too vague to be identified with any of them. We are left, unfortunately, with only educated guesses as to what this practice might have been, and as such this passage provides no support for dogmatic arguments one way or the other.

The Precedent. The general principle here is that we cannot treat an incidental historical detail as an intentional historical precedent without adequate textual support. In other words, to consider any text to be set precedent rather than mere prose, we must be able to demonstrate from the text that the author intended it to be so. This cannot be done, however, with the practice mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:29. Paul’s explicit intent was to argue against the claim that the dead are not raised (i.e., to prove logically that the dead are raised), not to teach about the practice of baptism for the dead, whatever it means. Paul’s mention of the practice, then, is incidental to his argument. This does not mean that baptism for the dead still might not be acceptable, but this text is insufficient support for saying that it is, especially since no other biblical passages even mention the practice.
The fact that Paul does not explicitly condemn the practice of baptism for the dead also allows for the possibility that he permitted or even approved of it, although the practice he mentions, as previously discussed, cannot be baptism by proxy as the Mormons understand it. This possibility alone is not a sufficient biblical reason to view baptism for the dead (whatever it means) as a precedent for all believers to follow, as is the case with believers’ baptism derived from accounts in Acts.
Discerning historical precedent from mere prose is one of the most difficult aspects of interpretation, which is why we must always have a solid textual foundation on which to base our conclusions in this regard. If we assume more than the text actually supports we risk adding to the word of God.

— Steve Bright

Baptism For The Dead - Article - equip.org
Quote:
First off, what is wrong with my tone?


By labeling believers in Christ, even though they don't match up exactly as your beliefs as a cult is offensive.

Quote:
And persecute? I think that’s a little harsh


Impartail posters have told you that you come across as a "jerk" by the way you attack Mormons here.

Quote:
You’re right, the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible, but the concept is everywhere.


No it's not. That God and His Son are united as "one" because Christ was the literal Son of God and was united in purpose as "one" with the Father by bringing salvation and exaltation to all of God's children-it's that simple. This is more biblical than what a council of men without authority decided on "concept" of God incorrectly 2 and1/2 centuries later.

Look at these examples in the New Testament:

“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.”

On another occasion He said, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

Of His antagonists He said, “[They have] … seen and hated both me and my Father.”

And there is, of course, that always deferential subordination to His Father that had Jesus say, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”

“My father is greater than I.”.....

....To whom was Jesus pleading so fervently all those years, including in such anguished cries as “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” and “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”?15o acknowledge the scriptural evidence that otherwise perfectly united members of the Godhead are nevertheless separate and distinct beings is not to be guilty of polytheism; it is, rather, part of the great revelation Jesus came to deliver concerning the nature of divine beings. Perhaps the Apostle Paul said it best: “Christ Jesus … being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” .


Quote:
How do you respond to Isaiah 44:8, which states: “God says that even He does not know of any other gods!”
This is Old Test. and it means the House of Israel shouldn't worship idols or pagan gods, but only the God of Israel-Jehovah.

Regarding becoming as God and eventual being and having all that God has and, it's in the New Test.:

God calls us His children, and therefore we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ of everything God has and everything God is (Romans 8:16-17).

So you see, you too pick and choose certain verses to make a point which I as a Mormon Christian apprciate and accept but because we have more data- new revelation from God: we understand the verses differently.

We also probably sing similar hymns the same as your church. Here are a few:

Quote:
Come, Follow Me


Return to LDS Hymn Directory
Lyrics
"Come, follow me," the Savior said.
Then let us in this footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With God's own loved, begotten Son.

"Come, follow me," a simple phrase,
Yet truth's sublime, efullgent rays
Are in these simple words combined
To urge, inspire the human mind.

Is it enough alone to know
That we must follow him below,
While trav'ling thru this vale of tears?
No, this extends to holier spheres.

Not only shall we emulate
His course while in this earthly state,
But when we're freed from present cares,
If with our Lord we would be heirs.

We must the onward path pursue
As wider fields expand to view,
And follow him unceasingly,
Whate'er our lot or sphere may be.

For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow'rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words, "Come, follow me."

Text: John Nicholson
Mighty Fortress Is Our God
With dignity

31243, Hymns, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, no. 68

Quote:
A mighty fortress is our God,
A tower of strength ne’er failing.
A helper mighty is our God,
O’er ills of life prevailing.
He overcometh all.
He saveth from the Fall.
His might and pow’r are great.
He all things did create.
And he shall reign for evermore.

Text: Martin Luther, 1483–1546, adapted
Quote:
Come unto Jesus
Gently

31243, Hymns, Come unto Jesus, no. 117

1. Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.

2. Come unto Jesus; He’ll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you’ve gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.

3. Come unto Jesus; He’ll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?

4. Come unto Jesus from ev’ry nation,
From ev’ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, “Come to me.”

Text and music: Orson Pratt Huish, 1851–1932

Matthew 11:28–30



That we have the name of our Church is named "The Church of Jesus Christ" and accept him as:

The Lamb of God
The Christ
The Son of God who dwelt with the Father in the beginning before coming to earth
The Savior of all of mankind and the only way a person can be saved
Our Creator
The Messiah

(if you were sincere in this discussion) would make you admit that Mormons are believers and admirers of Christ-just as much as you are.




Regarding Baptism of the Dead, there is biblical and non biblical evidence of it being practiced in Christ's early Chruch.

Steve Lindsay treats it well here
:

Quote:
Why do Mormons believe in baptism for the dead?


In my opinion, the doctrine of "baptism for the dead" is one of the most wonderful issues in the restored Church of Jesus Christ for two reasons: 1) it resolves one of the thorniest of theological issues in a wonderful way that shows the power of God's grace and love, and 2) it provides powerful evidence that Joseph Smith really was a tool through whom Christ restored the fullness of His original Church. Both of these issues are worthy of pages and pages of discourse, but I'll be brief.

Issue #1). The thorny issue: if salvation is only through Christ, what happens to all the billions of people who lived and died without ever even hearing of Christ? And if we must be baptized to enter into a covenant with Christ (as Christ plainly teaches in John 3:3-5 and as I discuss more fully on my FAQ page about baptism), what of those that never had a chance? For centuries, the mainstream theological answer has been that those souls are lost. Some ministers are not so crass today, but many still insist that they go to hell. I just saw a discussion of that issue on an email list of scientists who are Christians. Most views expressed there on the topic said they go to hell - and it is fair, since we are all depraved - but God in his grace elects to allow some of us to be saved, so why complain? That really bothers me. The truth is that God loves all his children and wants all to have the opportunity to hear and accept the Gospel of Christ.

On this topic, let me show you a posting to that email group and I'll follow it with my response to them, them some more just for you:

It is a stunning, and somewhat depressing, fact that if our understanding of demographics and history are correct, the vast majority of human beings who are living or who have lived are not Christian. Furthermore, among those who are living, a majority will die not being a Christian. This implies that the destiny of most of the human race is Hell. Consider the Chinese rice farmer, the Indian beggar, the Russian mobster, the Pakistani Moslem priest, or the French intellectual: each will go through life in a different way--some in misery, others in luxury but each with their own unique loves, joys, aspirations, fears, desires, triumphs and failures. And yet their future is the same: an eternity of unimaginable terror. All of human history with its complexity, texture, drama, mystery, and vice is to be sent through a sieve to produce an elegant, bipolar universe of rapture and horror that defies comprehension.
Why?

Now my reply to that Christian email group follows:
I wish to proclaim that God is just and will not send a Chinese peasant or an Indian beggar to hell simply because he or she had the misfortune of never hearing about Christ. Yet we know that salvation is only through Christ. The resolution is this: deceased beings, dwelling as spirits and awaiting the time of resurrection and judgment, will be given the opportunity to hear and accept the message of the Gospel. Indeed, God "will [desires to] have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:4)
We get some insights into the work of salvation among those who have already died in 1 Peter 3:18-20, which reports that Christ, while dead, "went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient." The passage then indicates that people from the time of Noah were included among those that Christ preached to. The preaching to deceased beings is also mentioned again in 1 Peter 4:6: "For for this cause was the gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." This suggests that there is still accountability for the acts in the flesh (our mortal existence), and that they will be judged, but they can still gain access to the grace of Christ and repent and come unto Him.

This concept is consistent with Paul's writing about the judgment in Romans 2. In verse 4, he indicates that the goodness of God leads us to repentance, helping us (in verse 5) to avoid wrath on the day of the righteous judgment of God (not arbitrary and unfair!). Verse 6 reminds us that every man will receive according to his deeds, with "glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good" (v. 10), "for there is no respect of persons with God." Respect of persons (partiality) is what God would have if he damned some just because they never had the chance to learn of Christ. Verses 12 through 15 continue this theme, indicating that when men are judged for their mortal lives, it will be according to what they knew of God's ways - and according to their conscience (a gift of God to all people, in my view). Verse 16 states that the Gentiles who knew not God's law "shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."

Without getting into the theology of my particular denomination, let me simply say that I have good reason to believe that God is just, loves all his children, and will be fair in providing an opportunity for all that truly desire His righteousness to gain access to the grace of Christ, if they will accept Him and covenant with Him. Many will not accept Him, as we see in great evidence today. But God reaches out to each of His children and implores them to follow Him. Toward that end, I believe that Christ established a tremendous program of missionary work on the other side of the veil - in the spirit world - so that the Gospel message will go forth to His children of every nation and every era. (I know this sounds wild to many. There are numerous questions that arise, of course, and there are some good answers among many unknown. Happy to discuss - and to take flames as well.)

(END OF MY REPLY to a Christian email group)
While souls in the spirit world are being taught the Gospel (read Doctrine and Covenants 138 - it's beautiful!), they are faced with a dilemma: they need baptism to enter into a covenant with Christ and receive a washing away of their sins, etc., but they lack physical bodies in which to be baptized. This is why the early Christians and the restored Church have the practice of baptism for the dead, referred to but not explained by Paul in I Cor. 15:29. This passage alludes to (see discussion below) a practice of at least some early Christians who performed vicarious baptism on behalf of deceased ancestors. This practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is NOT derived from 1 Cor. 15:29, but from modern revelation which restored that practice and the understanding and authority necessary for it to be done. As a result, we now can go to the Temple and be baptized by immersion in the name of specific deceased ancestors and others, one at a time, name by name, offering our vicarious service as a proxy for the deceased. Having done it several times, I can affirm that it is a marvelous and spiritual experience. Nothing like what the anti-Mormon sources say!

Bottom line: God has provided a wonderful means for all his children to hear the Gospel and to accept all the blessings and ordinances of the Gospel, including baptism. The temple is the place where this act of service is done, an act which turns the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children. Completing this work will be one of the major tasks of the millennium (Rev. 7:15).

Issue #2: Baptism for the dead is a powerful evidence that Joseph Smith was a real prophet and the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored. The LDS practice has long been derided as absolute fiction and an abomination, and based on a terrible misinterpretation of 1 Cor.15:29. However, long after Joseph Smith restored the practice through revelation, dozens of ancient documents have turned up showing that early Christians (at least some) indeed believed in and practiced baptism for the dead much as we do today. Hugh Nibley has an excellent article, "Baptism for the Dead in Ancient Times," with numerous references showing that this was a real practice in the early Church that was one of the first to be lost in the great apostasy when priesthood and temple ordinances perished. If you have Lost Books of the Bible, you can read in the Pastor of Hermas a wonderful description of the practice, though somewhat metaphorical. (See below for a more complete discussion of what Hermas wrote, and see Similitude Nine of III Hermas online; also read the Pastor of Hermas in the Early Church Fathers section of ccel.org.) This reference did exist during Joseph Smith's time, but was not widely known. There is no way he could have restored the original practice given what he knew if he were a fraud!

BTW, the modern evidence for baptism for the dead in ancient times is now so strong that a relatively new translation of the Bible, the New English Bible (published by a group of English and Scottish churches with absolutely NO LDS ties) has a footnote for 1 Cor. 15:29 saying something to the effect that modern evidence shows that some early Christians did practice proxy baptism on behalf of those who had died without baptism. (I'm 99% sure it was the NEB where I saw that - with my own eyes.)

Baptism for the dead (and the whole concept of God's grace being extended to all his children who will accept and follow Christ) is one of my favorite things about the Church and is evidence to me not only that the Church has been restored, but that God is a just and loving God.

The revelations that give information on this practice are found in the Doctrine and Covenants, primarily Section 128. It is also mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 124:29, 33; 127: 5-10; and 138: 33.
__________________
diamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 12:13 AM   #156
Resident Photo Buff
Forum Moderator
 
Diemen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Somewhere in middle America
Posts: 13,234
Local Time: 02:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond View Post
nice cut and paste of a person's interpretation.
<>
Pot, kettle...
__________________
Diemen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 12:29 AM   #157
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 04:38 AM
Am I the only one who hears Paula Cole's "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" when I see this thread title?
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2009, 12:05 AM   #158
The Fly
 
RaceAgainstTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 179
Local Time: 03:38 AM
__________________

__________________
RaceAgainstTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com