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Old 08-02-2009, 02:15 AM #43
Invision360 (Banned)
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:26 PM #44
C_lawgik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berserker19 View Post
Missouri.
.

also In the old testament in genesis:10:25 it tells of how the world was "divided" up and the world is constantly changing so there is no scientific way to prove where the Garden of Eden was. I will put my money on a prophet of God and not some scientist.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Geezy View Post
We are Christian because we look to Christ for salvation and worship Him and the Father. We are not saved by our works, but through the grace of Christ (as explained more fully below). We believe in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as the members of the Godhead, being one in purpose, heart, and intent. I discuss these issues more fully below, noting that we do differ from many churches in our theology. Although I may disagree with the theology of some other Christians, that gives me no right to say that they are not Christians because they don't see things the way I do. If someone looks to Christ for salvation and seeks to follow Him, in my mind, that's enough to qualify as being a Christian, regardless of other theological differences.

Now let's examine the two primary charges. We are said to be unchristian because 1) we allegedly think we must keep the commandments to be saved and 2) we do not accept the standard doctrine of the Trinity. These issues are treated in more length in my discussion on grace, works, and salvation), but here's my quick response to both charges:

1) Commandment keeping? In Matthew 19:16-22, somebody asked Christ directly what he needed to do to have eternal life. Christ answered: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." We believe Christ said this for a reason - and there are dozens of similar statements in the Bible (scripture-lovers may wish to study a sampling of such statements). This does not mean that we are saved by works, but that we must follow Christ to receive His grace. We will be saved from physical death - thanks to the resurrection of Christ - by grace, regardless of what we do (1 Cor. 15:20-22). We also can be saved from spiritual death through the grace of Christ, thanks to His infinite atoning sacrifice. (Spiritual death = being cast out of God's presence because of sin, losing "eternal life" - the heavenly immortal life that is possible for those living in the presence of God.) But to receive that grace and forgiveness, we must repent of our sins (Matt. 4:17, Mark 6:12; Acts 2:37,38; Acts 17:30; Heb. 6:1-3), have faith in Him, follow Him and strive to keep His commandments (Matt. 7:21, Rom. 2:4-11), "relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save" (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:19). I know that many good Christians will disagree with my interpretation of scripture, but I hope they will still accept my sincere declaration that Latter-day Saints are Christians and are taught to have faith in Christ and to look to Him and His grace for salvation. (A more detailed discussion is given in my article on faith, grace, works, and salvation.)

2) The Trinity? According to my reading of history, the doctrine of the Trinity as taught today (including the concept of an immaterial Godhead, one in substance, bodiless) was formulated in councils of men amid hot debate many years after Christ and the apostles. The doctrine of the Trinity is defined in a variety of creeds and statements such as the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and, as an example of a more recent formulation from 1646, the Westminster Confession of Faith. In many of the creeds and related statements of belief, it is taught that there is one God manifest in three persons, all of one substance, without body, parts, or passions. This differs from the LDS view, as we shall see. Many feel it is exactly what the Bible teaches, but other sincere Christians interpret the text differently.

Latter-day Saints believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and believe that they are one in purpose and one in heart, but not one in substance. Recall the great prayer of Christ in John 17. There (in verse 21), Christ prayed that His followers "all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me; that they also may be one in us." In verse 22, He again prayed "that they may be one, even as we are one." In my view, this kind of oneness is a unity of purpose, intent, and heart, not a blending of substance into one being. When Christ prayed (many times) to His Father in Heaven, we believe that He was doing exactly that - communicating with His Father. Likewise, In Acts 7:55,56, before being killed by hateful critics, Stephen looked up towards heaven "and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." He saw two Beings. Further, in the creation story in Genesis 1, God (Elohim, a plural noun) says in verse 26: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." We feel inclined to take that literally. (Note that the same wording is used to describe the physical similarity between Adam and one of his sons in Genesis 5:1-3; see also Heb. 1:3 and James 3:9.) Likewise, I see a similar concept in James 3:9, which says that "men ... are made after the similitude of God." I know our view goes against what most churches teach and is certainly open to debate, but taking the Bible too literally should not be sufficient cause to say we are not Christians.

We really bother some people by our literal views of Luke 24 (and other passages on the resurrection and the nature of God). In this chapter (verses 36-43), the resurrected Christ shows his body to his surprised disciples. They first think it is a spirit, but Christ asks them to feel his tangible body: "handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." To drive the point home, he then asks for some food, and eats it in front of them. We actually believe that this happened and was a real event, not a dream or a metaphor. In contrast to my understanding of the standard Trinity doctrine (God "without body, parts, and passions"), we believe in a literal resurrection and believe that Christ is a resurrected Being with a tangible body, exactly as He showed us in Luke 24. And Christ, in the image of God, said in John 14:9 that "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" - which I interpret as meaning that Christ looks like the Father. This is consistent with Col. 1:15 which describes Christ, the "firstborn of every creature," as "the image of the invisible God." Christ, in my view, has a tangible, glorious body. It is spiritual, being divine and permanently united with His spirit, but it is also tangible and real. It does not limit Him, but adds to His power and glory (see Philippians 3:21).

All this means, of course, that we believe God and Christ to be one Godhead (with the Holy Ghost), perfectly one in purpose, yet not one in substance. I feel that view is quite consistent with the Bible. Again, in Acts 7:55,56, Stephen, who is being martyred by enemies of the Church, sees God and Christ standing at the right hand of God. He saw two distinct beings - just as Joseph Smith did in his First Vision. In John 14:28, Christ says that "my Father is greater than I." In John 20:17, the newly resurrected Lord tells Mary to tell His disciples ("my brethren") that He will "ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and unto my God, and your God." Paul, in 1 Cor. 11:3, notes that the "head of Christ is God" just as "the head of the woman is the man" and the "head of every man is Christ." The implication to me is that distinct beings have distinct roles, allowing one to be the head, but in each case there is or should be unity. Indeed, the husband and wife should be "one flesh" according to the scriptures, believers and Christ should be one just as Christ and God are one (John 17:20-23) - but this unity does not imply that there is only one Being having three roles or manifestations or even "persons" of one substance. (You may also wish to compare Matt. 5:48 with Luke 13:32, Heb. 2:10, and Heb. 5:8,9.) God is the Father, Christ is the Son, yet he represents the Father and is God Himself, part of the united Godhead. It is appropriate to call Christ the Everlasting Father, not only because of His unity with God but because of His role as Creator, as described in Heb. 1:1-3 and Col. 1:15-18, and as Author of our salvation.

The distinctness of the three Beings in the Godhead is evident in Matthew 3:13-17, in which Christ is baptized. In this event, Christ is in the water, the Holy Ghost is descending in the form of a dove, and the Father speaks from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Likewise, the many times that Christ went off to pray to the Father in private would be confusing, in my opinion, if Christ were the same substance and Being as the Father. In my reading of the Bible, they are distinct. Though there are distinct Beings, there is only one Godhead and only one source of salvation. Through their unity, to worship Christ is to worship the Father. In general, we worship and pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, though Christ represents the Father and is one with Him.
good post
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:40 PM #45
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Alright, if you believe that Genesis is real and literal and that Eden is actually a place on this earth, I must ask one question, just one:

Where is the cherub with the flaming sword who was set to guard it?
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:53 PM #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Geezy View Post
We are Christian because we look to Christ for salvation and worship Him and the Father. We are not saved by our works, but through the grace of Christ (as explained more fully below). We believe in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as the members of the Godhead, being one in purpose, heart, and intent. I discuss these issues more fully below, noting that we do differ from many churches in our theology. Although I may disagree with the theology of some other Christians, that gives me no right to say that they are not Christians because they don't see things the way I do. If someone looks to Christ for salvation and seeks to follow Him, in my mind, that's enough to qualify as being a Christian, regardless of other theological differences.

Now let's examine the two primary charges. We are said to be unchristian because 1) we allegedly think we must keep the commandments to be saved and 2) we do not accept the standard doctrine of the Trinity. These issues are treated in more length in my discussion on grace, works, and salvation), but here's my quick response to both charges:

1) Commandment keeping? In Matthew 19:16-22, somebody asked Christ directly what he needed to do to have eternal life. Christ answered: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." We believe Christ said this for a reason - and there are dozens of similar statements in the Bible (scripture-lovers may wish to study a sampling of such statements). This does not mean that we are saved by works, but that we must follow Christ to receive His grace. We will be saved from physical death - thanks to the resurrection of Christ - by grace, regardless of what we do (1 Cor. 15:20-22). We also can be saved from spiritual death through the grace of Christ, thanks to His infinite atoning sacrifice. (Spiritual death = being cast out of God's presence because of sin, losing "eternal life" - the heavenly immortal life that is possible for those living in the presence of God.) But to receive that grace and forgiveness, we must repent of our sins (Matt. 4:17, Mark 6:12; Acts 2:37,38; Acts 17:30; Heb. 6:1-3), have faith in Him, follow Him and strive to keep His commandments (Matt. 7:21, Rom. 2:4-11), "relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save" (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:19). I know that many good Christians will disagree with my interpretation of scripture, but I hope they will still accept my sincere declaration that Latter-day Saints are Christians and are taught to have faith in Christ and to look to Him and His grace for salvation. (A more detailed discussion is given in my article on faith, grace, works, and salvation.)

2) The Trinity? According to my reading of history, the doctrine of the Trinity as taught today (including the concept of an immaterial Godhead, one in substance, bodiless) was formulated in councils of men amid hot debate many years after Christ and the apostles. The doctrine of the Trinity is defined in a variety of creeds and statements such as the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and, as an example of a more recent formulation from 1646, the Westminster Confession of Faith. In many of the creeds and related statements of belief, it is taught that there is one God manifest in three persons, all of one substance, without body, parts, or passions. This differs from the LDS view, as we shall see. Many feel it is exactly what the Bible teaches, but other sincere Christians interpret the text differently.

Latter-day Saints believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and believe that they are one in purpose and one in heart, but not one in substance. Recall the great prayer of Christ in John 17. There (in verse 21), Christ prayed that His followers "all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me; that they also may be one in us." In verse 22, He again prayed "that they may be one, even as we are one." In my view, this kind of oneness is a unity of purpose, intent, and heart, not a blending of substance into one being. When Christ prayed (many times) to His Father in Heaven, we believe that He was doing exactly that - communicating with His Father. Likewise, In Acts 7:55,56, before being killed by hateful critics, Stephen looked up towards heaven "and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." He saw two Beings. Further, in the creation story in Genesis 1, God (Elohim, a plural noun) says in verse 26: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." We feel inclined to take that literally. (Note that the same wording is used to describe the physical similarity between Adam and one of his sons in Genesis 5:1-3; see also Heb. 1:3 and James 3:9.) Likewise, I see a similar concept in James 3:9, which says that "men ... are made after the similitude of God." I know our view goes against what most churches teach and is certainly open to debate, but taking the Bible too literally should not be sufficient cause to say we are not Christians.

We really bother some people by our literal views of Luke 24 (and other passages on the resurrection and the nature of God). In this chapter (verses 36-43), the resurrected Christ shows his body to his surprised disciples. They first think it is a spirit, but Christ asks them to feel his tangible body: "handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." To drive the point home, he then asks for some food, and eats it in front of them. We actually believe that this happened and was a real event, not a dream or a metaphor. In contrast to my understanding of the standard Trinity doctrine (God "without body, parts, and passions"), we believe in a literal resurrection and believe that Christ is a resurrected Being with a tangible body, exactly as He showed us in Luke 24. And Christ, in the image of God, said in John 14:9 that "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" - which I interpret as meaning that Christ looks like the Father. This is consistent with Col. 1:15 which describes Christ, the "firstborn of every creature," as "the image of the invisible God." Christ, in my view, has a tangible, glorious body. It is spiritual, being divine and permanently united with His spirit, but it is also tangible and real. It does not limit Him, but adds to His power and glory (see Philippians 3:21).

All this means, of course, that we believe God and Christ to be one Godhead (with the Holy Ghost), perfectly one in purpose, yet not one in substance. I feel that view is quite consistent with the Bible. Again, in Acts 7:55,56, Stephen, who is being martyred by enemies of the Church, sees God and Christ standing at the right hand of God. He saw two distinct beings - just as Joseph Smith did in his First Vision. In John 14:28, Christ says that "my Father is greater than I." In John 20:17, the newly resurrected Lord tells Mary to tell His disciples ("my brethren") that He will "ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and unto my God, and your God." Paul, in 1 Cor. 11:3, notes that the "head of Christ is God" just as "the head of the woman is the man" and the "head of every man is Christ." The implication to me is that distinct beings have distinct roles, allowing one to be the head, but in each case there is or should be unity. Indeed, the husband and wife should be "one flesh" according to the scriptures, believers and Christ should be one just as Christ and God are one (John 17:20-23) - but this unity does not imply that there is only one Being having three roles or manifestations or even "persons" of one substance. (You may also wish to compare Matt. 5:48 with Luke 13:32, Heb. 2:10, and Heb. 5:8,9.) God is the Father, Christ is the Son, yet he represents the Father and is God Himself, part of the united Godhead. It is appropriate to call Christ the Everlasting Father, not only because of His unity with God but because of His role as Creator, as described in Heb. 1:1-3 and Col. 1:15-18, and as Author of our salvation.

The distinctness of the three Beings in the Godhead is evident in Matthew 3:13-17, in which Christ is baptized. In this event, Christ is in the water, the Holy Ghost is descending in the form of a dove, and the Father speaks from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Likewise, the many times that Christ went off to pray to the Father in private would be confusing, in my opinion, if Christ were the same substance and Being as the Father. In my reading of the Bible, they are distinct. Though there are distinct Beings, there is only one Godhead and only one source of salvation. Through their unity, to worship Christ is to worship the Father. In general, we worship and pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, though Christ represents the Father and is one with Him.
Fantastic. I can agree with or at least respect this view of things.

Though I still don't agree with the more extreme/ odd things Mormonism teaches. Ah, but that's another discussion for another day.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:40 PM #47
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Originally Posted by ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη View Post
Alright, if you believe that Genesis is real and literal and that Eden is actually a place on this earth, I must ask one question, just one:

Where is the cherub with the flaming sword who was set to guard it?
Literal? Know this, Genesis is to be taken literally, and with a grain of salt also.
If there was a literal CHERUB with a FLAMING SWORD, would he stick around to see the Clintons and now Obama take office?
With Adam and Eve being thrown out the Garden, the Garden was no longer a Celestial place on Earth where God could walk among men and the "tree of life" was no longer an object, if it ever was, on the earth.
I think Genesis has some symbols to it, I mean the Tree of Life is ultimate salvation and exaltation, you eat of the tree of life and you are once again immortal, as before Adam and Eve were booted from the Garden.
The Cherub is a symbol of God's power, he guarded exaltation with his "Cherub" armed with a flaming sword. Anyone reading Genesis gets the image:
I am not getting to the Tree of Life by my own means.
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