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Old 02-01-2005, 05:27 PM   #91
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All right, coemgen, you've proved that you are a thoughful person. I'm sorry if I jumped on you a bit. It's just that after spending two years preaching the gospel everyday for 10+ hours you are able to see "fight" from about a mile away. You are providing an open dialogue.

I'll let macphisto cover "baptisms for the dead."

I would like to clarify something about our "non-Christian" belief of the Atonement. Now, I can't speak for every Mormon but many do not fully understand the power of Christ's sacrifice. I believe fully that He saves me and that there is nothing I can do to save myself. Being saved and being obedient are two different things. God has commanded me to get baptized, receive the priesthood, get married in the temple and partake of the sacrament every week. These are covenents that I have made with Heavenly Father through the intermidiary powers of Jesus Christ. My "works" are concrete manifestations of my faith in God but my works do not save me. Salvation comes only through the grace and mercy of Jesus. As far as I understand, that is how most Mormons view things. Now, I agree that some Mormons "take this to a literal, legalistic extreme" as NB put it. Some Mormons have a hard time understanding that their good works do not save them. Christ's suffering in Gethsemane coupled with his death on the cross provides the way in which we can overcome the sins and imperfections of mortality. Now, if these ideas sound un-Christian then I will freely admit that I'm not Christian.

I guess it all comes down to the following: Is the Book of Mormon the true word of God or is the invention of man? Because if the BofM is true, that means Joseph Smith really saw God and Jesus and received the power to restore the true church. Therefore, the current church is the true church of Jesus Christ. If the BofM is false, then we're probably all going to hell.

(10 min. later)

All right, as cool as this discussion is, my birthday is today and my wife and in-laws chipped in on a U2 Ipod and just gave it to me.

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy days are here.
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:29 PM   #92
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:41 PM   #93
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Originally posted by coemgen
U2utah2U and McPhisto, I know my first two questions seemed a bit pushy, and I didn't mean them to come across that way. You guys seem like nice people and I wasn't trying to be disrespectful, just kind of throwing it out there. I know many people with ties to the LDS church, including a nice couple that lives next door to my wife and I and my sister's fiance, who happens to not believe the faith anymore. I've read a lot on the faith and find it interesting. There are a lot of good things about it — I particularly like your missionary system. The people of the mormon faith whom I've met or come across have been nothing but nice, and I know they're passionate about their faith. However, they're being misled. The Mormon faith looks and sounds like Christianity at first, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll find it's not even close. It twists the meaning and completely goes against Christianity in many cases. I don't mean to bash the faith, but I do feel it's important to discuss the differences between Christianity and the LDS church. This is after all, the free your mind thread. In matters dealing with eternity, we must be careful and deal with truth.

The main difference between the two faiths, Christianity and Mormonism, is their plans of salvation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as you guys prefer to be called, teach through Christ's death AND through being obedient to certain principles, we are saved. The Mormon plan of salvation is clearly based on doing certain good works. Basically, if you follow certain laws, keep certain ordinances then salvation is yours. This goes totally against the Bible. Salvation is completely and solely from Christ alone. Salvation is a free gift from God apart from any good work we might be able to do.
Titus 3:5 says "he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." And Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast." The Bible is pretty clear that it's not up to us, it's up to Christ. Think about it —*if someone gave you a gift for your birthday, you would just accept it and say thanks, right? It's the same way with God's gift of salvation. If someone gave you a birthday gift, you wouldn't accept it, say thanks, and then do good things for them or try to work to earn it would you? It wouldn't truly be a gift then, you know?

As far as the practice of baptizing the dead that was mentioned in an earlier post, you're right — it is an often misinterpreted verse. The verse that Mormons claim supports the practice, 1 Corinthians 15:29, states "Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?"
When reading the Bible, it's important to read it carefully and not take parts out of context and apply you're own meaning to it. In this case, it's also important to know that Corinth, back in the day, was kind of like Las Vegas. It's often referred to as "crazy Corinth" because of the immorality of its people and the presence of many cults. There's even a Greek verb "to Corinthianize" that means to live shamelessly and immorally. Paul went there knowing it'd be his most difficult city to start a church, but it was a strategic place to go in spreading the Gospel. The church Paul planted there ended up being one of the largest of its time, but later reports Paul received showed the church was too easily influenced by it's city's crazy heritage and it had incorporated a number of spiritually incorrect practices. 1 Corinthians is simply Paul's letter to the church attempting to shed light on such practices and correct them. He corrects them on everything from speaking in tongues, prophecy and orderly worship to sexual morality issues. With this understanding in mind, it's no surprise they baptized the dead. Paul brings up this practice, almost in passing, in his arguments substantiating the resurrection of the dead. Nowhere in the Bible, including 1 Corinthians, does Paul or anyone else, approve this practice. Yet, the Mormons practice it regularly.
Ok first of all, I didnt find the book so I will try to explain the best I can, second it does seem that you are pushy in trying to make this more into a debate than question awnser type forum.
For the question about salvation- and how you said that good works and grace together are "totally against the bible" makes me very upset. First of all I think it is the most false doctrine out there for those that think that grace alone will save them, it is negelcting to read the bible in its fullness and to comprehend one of the most important doctrines Christ is trying to teach us. In my opinion life is pointless without good works, this life is a life of probation, it is a life of tests, through the grace of God we have mortality. God has a given us commandments for a reason, he wants to test us to see if we will obey(works) these commandments. This doctrine of Grace alone has the effect of lessening the determination of an individual to conform to all of the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Oh I wish that grace alone we were saved, life would be so much easier, I could go and sin whenever I wanted to(no problem, I accepted Christ in my heart)and I would have no guillt whatsoever. I will be using refrences from the bible and the book of mormon, because they are both scripture, and they work together to understand the gospel, and to interpret accuratly the gospel!
1) Immortality is a free gift and comes without works or righteousness of any sort; all men will come forth in the resurrection because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ(1 cor. 15:20,21,22) In and of itself the resurrection is a form of salvation meaning that men are thereby saved from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment.(2 Nephi 9:17-27) (2 Nepfi 9:8)
" O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more." In this sense, the mere fact of resurrection is called slavation by grace alone. Works are not involved, niether the works of the Mosiac Law, nor the works of the righteousness but that we are all resureccted it is a fre gift from the grace of GOd. Salvation to live with God again is not grace alone. Rather, it is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Those who gain it are raised in immortality unto eternal life. Immortality comes by grace alone, but those who gain it may find themselves damned in eternity. Eternal life(living with our heavenly father, and Jesus)(celestial Kingdom) comesby grace and obedience, which leads to following the course of good works which will lead to that salvation sought by through grace of God. I Like a scripture in the BoM- 2 Ne.25:23- Be reconciled to God, for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
@ Ne. 10:24- " Reconcile yourselves to the will of GOd, and not to the will of the deviland the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved". another good one Moroni10:32-33-
As you guys were talking about before- Paul had the occasion to teach the Ephesian Saints (Eph.2) "God, who is rich in mercy ," Paul explained, " for his great love wherewith he lovedus, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved [meaning living in the presence of God for eternity]), And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus[meaning in the Celestial Kingdom] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness to ward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith[ meaning salvation in the the kingdom of God], and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God [ meaning that salvation in the kingdom of God is predicated on the atonement of Christ and that man of himself could not bring it to pass]: Not of work, lest any man should boast [ meaning that salvation cannot only come by the works of
man, and specifically not by the works or performances of the Mosiac dispensation]. For we are his workmanshi, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them [ meaning that obedience is essential to celestail salvation(living with God for eternity)]." Paul then goes on to compare the performances (works) of the Mosaic day, that is, " the law of commandments contained in ordinances," with the gospel requirement that obedience is essential to salvation, explaining that only"by the blood of Christ" can man be reconciled unto God. (Eph. 2) I like the example of rich young man- St Mark 9:42- The young rich man runs up to Jesus and asks him " what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Jesus asks him if he has obeyed the commandments( which is obedience which are works) The young man says that he has observed all of them since young. Then Jesus said " one thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor(work) and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and take up the cross, and follow me( Jesus Christ lead by example and the cross represents following him through obedience,faith (comes by works)(james), and do Gods will. The young man went away sad, he couldnt do it because he had so many riches. Jesus then said to his disciples " How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God" Of course he is saying to sacrifce is very important, and sacrifice is a work that we must show to enter the Kingdom of God. There are so many examples of Jesus trying to teach us that we must do our part here and then by the grace of God we can be saved. (ECCL 12:14) (Matt 7:16) (Acts 10:35) ( Gal 6:4) ( Titus 3:8) James 1:22 James 2:22, and of course 2:26 (1Peter 1:17) ( 1Jn. 3:18 -3:22 ) Good works are written all over the bible with the intent to teach us to do them, and to show them and that we will be judged by our works here on earth. I know this, it is so easily comprehended in the bible, and the book of mormon, we have a purpose here on earth, we are not odwn here for nothing. I could go on, and on, with more scriptures, and more examples, but Im as all debates no one ever wins, never, the only truthfulness comes by- St John 14:26.
Im sorry if I offended anyone
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:44 PM   #94
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Ill cover baptisms for the dead a little later, Im tired of writing right now
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Old 02-01-2005, 07:04 PM   #95
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Originally posted by U2utah2U
All right, coemgen, you've proved that you are a thoughful person. I'm sorry if I jumped on you a bit. It's just that after spending two years preaching the gospel everyday for 10+ hours you are able to see "fight" from about a mile away. You are providing an open dialogue.

I'll let macphisto cover "baptisms for the dead."

I would like to clarify something about our "non-Christian" belief of the Atonement. Now, I can't speak for every Mormon but many do not fully understand the power of Christ's sacrifice. I believe fully that He saves me and that there is nothing I can do to save myself. Being saved and being obedient are two different things. God has commanded me to get baptized, receive the priesthood, get married in the temple and partake of the sacrament every week. These are covenents that I have made with Heavenly Father through the intermidiary powers of Jesus Christ. My "works" are concrete manifestations of my faith in God but my works do not save me. Salvation comes only through the grace and mercy of Jesus. As far as I understand, that is how most Mormons view things. Now, I agree that some Mormons "take this to a literal, legalistic extreme" as NB put it. Some Mormons have a hard time understanding that their good works do not save them. Christ's suffering in Gethsemane coupled with his death on the cross provides the way in which we can overcome the sins and imperfections of mortality. Now, if these ideas sound un-Christian then I will freely admit that I'm not Christian.

I guess it all comes down to the following: Is the Book of Mormon the true word of God or is the invention of man? Because if the BofM is true, that means Joseph Smith really saw God and Jesus and received the power to restore the true church. Therefore, the current church is the true church of Jesus Christ. If the BofM is false, then we're probably all going to hell.

(10 min. later)

All right, as cool as this discussion is, my birthday is today and my wife and in-laws chipped in on a U2 Ipod and just gave it to me.

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy days are here.
I liked what u2utah2u said- works alone doesnt save us, nor does grace alone save us- they together save us. And just how important role the atonement of Jesus Christ plays in our lives, its so funny how everyone tries to find fault in other religions instead of just looking for the light, the truth.(in general)
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Old 02-01-2005, 07:51 PM   #96
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Originally posted by macphisto23
And just how important role the atonement of Jesus Christ plays in our lives, its so funny how everyone tries to find fault in other religions instead of just looking for the light, the truth.(in general)
Take a look at yourself when you say that.

There are many Christians on this board who do not share your beliefs, and they errnestly strive to understand and follow God's Word.

Yet, while you say it very nicely, you have told them that them are not part of God's Kingdom.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:09 PM   #97
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Take a look at yourself when you say that.

There are many Christians on this board who do not share your beliefs, and they errnestly strive to understand and follow God's Word.

Yet, while you say it very nicely, you have told them that them are not part of God's Kingdom.
I in know way was saying that at all, I was talking in all religions in general, how instead of looking for good in each church, people dig up all the bad to try and make each church false, and I say it because on my mission people would set us up, they would invite us in there house saying that they dont know much about our church, and the next minute they are quoting scriptures to us about how our church is wrong. You misinterpreted my words.
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:14 PM   #98
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I'm gonna take a break for a few days. I'm glad that we've been able to share some thoughts but its starting to get heated. I'm also glad that other "Ask so and so" have shown up.

Plus, I've got my ipod to organize. Who has time to talk about religion when there are more important things to take care of?

(If you don't see any more posts it's because I was smitten by God.)
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:59 PM   #99
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Originally posted by U2utah2U
All right, as cool as this discussion is, my birthday is today and my wife and in-laws chipped in on a U2 Ipod and just gave it to me.

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy days are here.
Congrats!
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:35 PM   #100
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Happy birthday U2utahU2 and congrats on getting the U2 iPod! Hopefully I'll be able to set aside some tax return money and get that myself. A friend of mine at church showed me his U2 iPod and I about wet myself.
I wanted to get back to your post because I feel we have a good discussion going on here even though I know we're both poking at each other's beliefs. But hey, we can do that respectfully, right?
I have to admit, your explanation of salvation doesn't sound un-Christian, but it actually does sound un-Mormon. You said salvation comes only through the grace and mercy of Jesus." However on page 113 of the Mormon book "Teaching the Gospel," it says "Individual sin must be eliminated by obedience to God's commandments."
A Biblical response to this is found in Romans 3:27-28: "Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law."
I also understand a Mormon periodical, "Instructor," October 1958, p. 318, says "The atonement of Jesus Christ does not answer for our individual, personal sins, which are forgiven on the condition of repentance, baptism, and a good life by each of us."
However, 1 John tells us "the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." Can you explain the differences?
I also know Mormons believe Christ overcame physical death and guaranteed physical resurrection to all of us, but spiritual death can only be avoided by individual obedience to the commandments of God.
The Mormon Articles of Faith 3 and 4 say "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. ... We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."
However, the Bible says we're unable to live a life righteous enough to meet God's standard of perfect holiness. Therefore we become right with God by faith in the work of Christ, not by our own works. (Earlier posts by NB and I explain the misinterpretation of the verse in James regarding works.) Baptism and holy living are acts of obedience to God, but not a means of gaining salvation.

Also U2utahU2, you are right in saying that everything hinges on whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th president of the Mormon church, even said as much. "Mormonism...must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God...or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen."
In response to that, let's consider this — Deuteronomy 18:20-21 tells us that a prophet of God will never have false prophecies and will never teach false gods. Keep in mind that it only takes one false prophecy to make one a false prophet and here's one false prophecy by Smith. In Doctrine and Covenants section 84, he prophesied that the city of New Jerusalem would be erected within his generation —"in the Western boundaries of the State of Missouri." But to this day, the Mormon Church has failed to erect it. In fact, the Mormon Church does not even own the land on which Joseph said the city would be built! This clearly is a false prophecy. How could Joseph Smith be a prophet of God?
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:38 PM   #101
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McPhisto, I'm sorry if it seems as if I'm a bit pushy in talking about all this, but I just feel this is serious stuff, you know? Open dialogue is good on these matters and that's all I'm trying to get going. I wanted to respond to your last post like I did U2utah's. First, I feel as if you misquoted me when you said that I said "good works and grace together are "totally against the Bible." I never said that. In fact, I would refer you to James 2:14-18, which shows that faith without works is dead. However, this verse, which is often misinterpreted, does NOT say works bring us salvation. To tie works into the plan of salvation is in fact a slap in the face to Christ's work done on the cross.
You also said that it's the most false doctrine out there that grace alone saves a person, but in fact that's what we hear to be the case in Ephesians 2:8-9, which says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast."
That's why Christ came to Earth — he lived the perfect life that we can't and died in our place as the "spotless lamb." Of course, he was able to do this because while he was here he was both man and God. (Not a god as the Mormons claim, going against the Biblical trinitarian belief of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit being ONE God, not three separate gods.)
Also, just because we're saved by grace alone DOES NOT mean we can just go around sinning as much as we want like you've assumed. One who does this does, in fact, has not accepted Christ into their hearts.
See 1 John 1: 5-10: "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

Also, McPhisto, Salvation means being saved from sins — but you said the resurrection is a form of salvation, meaning we're saved from death, hell and the devil and endless torment. However, in your next paragraph, you said "Immortality comes by grace alone, but those who gain it may find themselves damned in eternity." These are conflicting statements, can you clarify?
I'm not trying to attack you or bash your faith, but I do think it's important to arrive at the truth on these matters, you know?
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:42 PM   #102
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To both of you, and I don't mean this to be confrontational at all, but I am sincerely curious, how would those of you who are Mormons respond to this open letter to Mormons from Daryl E. Witmer of AIIA Institute:

"Numerous times in my various conversations with those of you who claim that Joseph Smith, Jr., was indeed a true prophet of God, conveying an authentic message from God, I have heard you rather adeptly respond to some of the more common charges against Mormonism, such as the one that the Book of Mormon and the Doctrines & Covenants add to the canon of Holy Scripture, thus violating Revelation 22:18.

"But over and over again I have heard you sidestep, equivocate, hedge, dodge, and generally try to circumvent in just about every way possible the inspired words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:6-9.

"One Mormon elder, in a written response commenting on the Galatians text, actually said, "...please don't beat me over the head with it."

"Now that sounds to me more than a little bit defensive, and it even further confirms for me the fact that Galatians 1:6-9 is Mormonism's most convicting Bible text. In that passage the Apostle Paul says,

"'I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.'"

"The only even partially credible attempt I've ever heard Mormons advance in response to this text is to suggest that it was the early church who believed the false gospel, with Joseph Smith therefore being ordained by God to restore it. But if the Church was already hopelessly apostate when Paul wrote these words, what was the point of his writing them? And why, in such an event, would God have waited over 1,766 years (from 57 A.D. to 1823 A.D.) to restore His Church?

"Even if this text was only, primarily, intended to be applied locally, to the church in Galatia, the principle stands -- the true Gospel is a message of salvation by grace, not of works -- which flies in the face of other Mormon teaching (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12:44-45).

"Aside from all that, the plain sense of this text itself could not be any clearer. Paul includes even himself among those who are to be accursed if he should ever subsequently try to revise or append the Gospel in any way. And he says, "...or an angel from heaven..." If the term angel (aggelos -- messenger) doesn't include Moroni, whose image rises atop the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, to this day, then who would it ever include?

"Would you consider the possibility that either Moroni, or Moroni's father, Mormon, the Nephite historian and alleged author of the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was later to be translated, were false spirits, or at least had it wrong due to the leading of a false spirit -- and that Joseph Smith was therefore at the very least the victim of a deceiving spirit (I Timothy 4:1) disguised as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14)?

"Read Galatians 1:6-9 again. If you have a thoughtful response for me about any other possible application to Mormonism than the one provided here, please write me.

"If, on the other hand, this text begins to convict you regarding the very tenuous ground on which Mormonism stands, please -- don't quell the conviction. Welcome it as God's voice of direction for you to discern the spirit of truth from the spirit of error. And then move to act on that conviction and discernment."
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:59 PM   #103
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I have heard you rather adeptly respond to some of the more common charges against Mormonism, such as the one that the Book of Mormon and the Doctrines & Covenants add to the canon of Holy Scripture, thus violating Revelation 22:18.
The Book of Revelation wasn't even in the original New Testament canon. It was added between A.D. 325-397, where the canon was finally closed.

Thus, I question whether such a text has the authority to speak for the entire Bible, when it was a "late bloomer," or so to speak.

At minimum, Revelation doesn't want things added to itself.

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Old 02-02-2005, 03:04 PM   #104
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Melon, that's fine, but it's irrelevant to the point I was trying to make with the letter. Besides, I didn't write the letter!
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:08 PM   #105
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Deuteronomy has a similar verse..about adding taking from a prophet's revelation etc.

Wait ! Was John the Revelator- while banished at the Isle of Pathos -plagiarizing Moses?

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