Last Week in the Trenches – 2/17/15

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Last Week in the Trenches

2/17/15

This is actually part 2 of the ongoing conversation with an LDS man who contacted me initially to challenge my view of the Trinity. The conversation reached a point of no return. He believed his interpretation of the verses referring to “one God” was correct, and I believed mine were. This man then invited me to “come to the truth.” That’s when the conversation really got interesting. You’ll see what I mean. It always breaks my heart when it get to this point in the conversation.

V: You have a misunderstanding & utter ignorance of true officials LDS doctrine. But that’s your choice. You can remain ignorant. And thank you for proving your homoousios God doesn’t exist nor is spoken about in the bible.

Rest assured that God our Father still loves despite your misguided knowledge of Him. He still cares about you despite your ignorant insistence that He is consubstantial with His Son.

He invites you to Come into Him and learn of Him through His authorized prophets and apostles and not from misguided misinterpretations of scriptures. He wants you to know that your fake doctrine of sola scriptura is would not save you in Heaven, it’s your choice though, to remain ignorant of Him. Man cannot be saved by ignorance.

Me: Let me ask you one question. “Do you know you are forgiven?”

V: Another useless question trying to wiggle out of a horrible situation where you can’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that your “homoousios” Jesus who doesn’t exist and therefore can’t forgive you do exist anywhere in the Bible. How can you believe in such being and then have a hope of forgiveness?

Those who don’t know the true character of God will never know know themselves either. Until know and accept that fact that your God is not “one being of the same substance” yet three persons, you will never attain the forgiveness you seek. Just like the idols of early Israelites that God warned against, he can’t save you. Period.

Me: Forget about “my” Jesus for a second. Do you know that you have been forgiven by “your” Jesus?

V: Not only can he forgive (yes a God can forgive) but he can exalt as well. We are joint-heirs with Christ, heirs of God. We can become like Him, perfect someday. Yes, gods. For Jesus himself said “ye are gods…”

BTW… have you read the Book of Mormon cover to cover? That’s a simple question (yes/no) that you don’t have to wiggle out and deflect.

Me: Since you’re so intent on me answering your questions, please answer mine. I didn’t ask if God can forgive. I asked if you “know” you’re forgiven. LDS are big on that word “know.” You know the church is true. You know Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Do you “know” you are forgiven?

V: It’s really none of you business. This is between me and my God. Now answer my question.

Me: Fair enough, but I don’t know if you realize this or not, but 1 John 5:13 tells us very clearly that we can “know” that we have eternal life. 1 John 4:18 tells us that we cannot obey God’s command to love if we still fear His punishment. I would strongly encourage you, if this issue is not settled for you to ask Jesus to help you “know” that you have eternal life. It breaks my heart that I have not ever met one LDS person who has answered yes to that question. How in the world can that be the restored gospel (good news) if it tells people who already do know they are forgiven that they need to convert so they can “not” know they are forgiven?

V: Like I said, it’s none of your business whether one has eternal life or not. That’s not for you to judge, let alone to know. That’s reserve only to God to know and to judge. Because He is the only Judge who will judge us on Final Judgement day whether one is rewarded Eternal Life or not. Not YOU.

Your role is to simply obey God and obey His commandments. That’s what you are born to do, to DO HIS WILL and nothing else. But you have the choice. You can either do His Will by obeying His commandments as given to His true prophets today or you can disobey His will by rejecting his commandments and reject the true prophets (his servants, Amos 3:7) that God called today through the restoration of the gospel. Your choice.

Looks like you are utterly ignorant of what the restoration of the gospel means.

Me: The reason I asked is because the LDS claim of the restoration of the gospel inherently claims that they have something better to offer those who previously have placed their faith in Jesus as their Savior. But when all is said and done, you’re asking me to give up my forgiveness, my peace with God, the sealing of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the personal relationship I have with Jesus, so that I can strive for all of those same things, never know that I have any of them, and follow after others, including your prophet, who don’t know that they have them, or will have them, come judgment day. You want me to believe that God doesn’t really mean what He says He means, a “god” who hasn’t always been god, who let the “gates of hell” prevail against the church and “the words of Jesus pass away” for about 1700 years before placing the truth in the hands of a proven liar, adulterer, and con artist, God leaving absolutely no evidence behind to attest to the plates that were supposed to restore the gospel, but actually don’t teach the “restored gospel.” …. Really? Why on earth why would I make that decision?

V: We’re only asking you to give up your pride…

We’re only asking you to give up your hard heart.

We’re only asking you to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

And last of all we’re asking you to give up your “homoousios” God who doesn’t exist, and worship the true and only living God as revealed by Himself to his true and authorized living prophets and apostles.

But it’s your choice.

Ignorance is a choice. But it will never save you.

I guess you’re utterly ignorant of our teachings as well:

“Some of you may respond, “But I already believe in Jesus and follow His teachings,” or “I am not sure if God really exists.” Our invitations to you are not an attempt to diminish your religious tradition or life experience. Bring all that you know is true, good, and praiseworthy—and test our message. Just as Jesus beckoned two of His disciples to “come and see” (John 1:39), so we urge you to come and see if the restored gospel of Jesus Christ enlarges and enriches that which you already believe to be true.”

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/come-and-see?lang=eng

                       

 

Come and See – By Elder David A. Bednar

www.lds.org

David A. Bednar explains reasons why Latter-day Saints are motivated to share the gospel.

Me: Again, you’re asking me to give up believing that it is utterly impossible for me to save myself, that apart from Christ I can do nothing, that without Him I am nothing, that Jesus is author and finisher of my faith, and all of it is for the glory of God alone, that I am able to boast in nothing …. for …. the belief that I earned my place in this life by my valiance or lack of valiance in the pre-existence, that I must keep the commandments, keep my covenants and rid myself of all sin and be perfected in Christ (Moroni 10:32), and at the end of it, I get worshipped by my spirit children as a god. …. yet you insist on believing that you are asking me to give up my “pride,” and my “hard heart.” … again, why would I do that?

V: Yes give up your hardened heart and your false pride. Then you are ready for God’s true salvation. Not the salvation that your Reformers have concocted.

Your post show your utter ignorance of true official doctrines of the LDS Church. Do educate your self.

Me: If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. (Romans 4:2)

Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31)

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 10:17)

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2 Corinthians 11:30)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

V: Sola gratia/sola fida is a false doctrine concocted by your reformer Martin Luther. You ought to learn the true doctrine of Christ. It’s not by grace alone or by faith alone. Salvation which starts wirh God’s grace ends with giving our will to Him by obedience to His commandments. You never enter heaven by faith alone nor can you enter it by being disobedient.

Me: That begs the question, “How obedient are you?” I know you told me that it’s between you and your God, but you need to really ask yourself the question, “Can I really do what my religion is asking me to do? Can I really live up to the covenants that I made to God?”

The thing you’re not willing to admit is that every single human being that ever lived falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In fact the word sin (hamartia in the Greek) means to “miss the mark,” that mark being God’s perfection. The wages of that sin is death (Romans 6:23). In fact, death is the only thing that is ever spoken of in the Bible as being earned.

Human beings trying to earn their way to heaven is like trying to jump off a pier and land on an island 30 miles away. There might be some who can jump further off that pier than others, but we’re all still 30 miles away from the goal. The analogy falls short only in that the gulf between us and God is not 30 miles long, but infinite.

Even if you do reach that point of sinless perfection, what does that do for all of your past sins? Nothing. They still condemn you.

You miss the whole point of the gospel. The reason God became a man and died in our place isn’t so He could cheer us on, or meet us half way, or show us how to be perfect. God became man so that He could “save” us from our sins to the “uttermost.” (Hebrews 7:25)

Since you think that Ephesians 2:8-9 refers to “general salvation” as you put it, tell me how you would interpret Titus 3:5-7

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

V: What you don’t know and forgot to include in your analogy is that when people jump off the pier and miss the mark, there was a boat waiting down there. The “boat” of Jesus. When we miss the mark, he saves us and throws us a line so we can get a hold of that line and pull ourselves out of water and into his boat. This boat of Jesus will bring us back to the presence of God. All he ask us is to stay still in the boat, don’t rock the boat so it doesn’t capsize (in otherwords, follow his commandments). Only by following his commandments while in this boat will we be able to enter Heaven.

So you see, you analogy is flawed because you don’t have the full truth. You have partial truth. but that’s how far you can go. You can’t have an increase in blessings and rewards because you rejected the ONE who can give you blessings and rewards.

You rejected the One and true living God when you reject the restored gospel.

Me: Actually, your addition to the analogy does not fit reality. The Christians are the ones who wait at the pier for Jesus to pick them up, and then sit down in the boat and trust completely in Jesus’ ability to get us back to God. In contrast, LDS not only make the jump off the pier, but then after getting in the boat with Jesus, they start grabbing for the oars, only asking Jesus to take over when they get tired and admit they can’t go any farther. (2 Nephi 25:23) In some verses it gets even worse, and LDS believe that unless they get to the shore themselves, Jesus can’t do anything for them (Moroni 10:32). Or, they believe that every time they commit a sin that the ship goes all the way back to shore (D&C 82:7). Sorry, my analogy stands. Yours doesn’t fit the truth.

V: Oh now you’re changing your analogy.. LOL You’re pathetic.

BTW.. it really shows your utter ignorance of the life of the Savior and his teachings in the Bible. Don’t you remember that when he was on the boat, he gave his apostles the oars to steer the boat to its destination? Wasn’t he asleep while the apostles was trying to navigate the boat. And they only had to wake him up when the storm was ready to overcome the boat. Then he performed one of the greatest nature miracle there is in stopping the storm so the boat will not capsize? He was asleep! He gave us the oars to navigate the boat. He did it because trust in us and he knows we can follow his commandments.

Jesus will not bring lazy people like you to heaven. You have to work your muscle. Otherwise fat people like you will never make it.

Me: “He gave us the oars to navigate the boat. He did it because trust in us and he knows we can follow his commandments.”

Since you’ve stated that you can follow his commandments, you beg the question. Are you? If you believe you are able to keep his commandments, then “all you can do” for you from 2 Nephi 25:23 is complete perfection. How are you doing with that?

V: It’s none of your business.

Why give a commandment if he knows we can’t keep them? Doesn’t make sense does it? God requires obedience to his commandments otherwise you can’t enter heaven. It’s that simple.

Me: You seem to have a false assumption about what Christians teach. We don’t teach ignorance of the commands, or blatant disobedience of the commands. But let me ask you this. Do you even know what the commands of Jesus are? Could you name them off the top of your head? If not, there isn’t much chance of being able to keep them, or at least being intentional about it. Christians just acknowledge that prior to and after salvation, we are utterly helpless to do anything apart from Christ. The Apostle Paul expressed it this way: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

V: The problem you christians have is you don’t know what real and true salvation is, let alone know how to accept the grace of God that allows one to be save in Heaven (not in earth). It’s not through faith alone either which is the wrong emphasis on apostate Christendom.

You ought to emphasize that faith AND obedience go hand in hand as requirements to enter Heaven. Without the two (and more) you ain’t going nowhere.

So-called christian salvation is a do-nothing-sin-all-you-can salvation invented by your reformers. It won’t save. That’s a fact. Mere acknowledgement will not do either.

Me: You need to have more confidence in God’s ability, not only to save, but to change the believer. Let me ask you a question. Why are you only slinging accusations and not answering any question I ask? You haven’t answered a single question I’ve asked since I asked if you know if you have eternal life. Why is that?

V: Look who’s talking. You haven’t even answered the very first question I asked. Why is that?

And they’re not accusations. They’re common beliefs of the protestant faith. A belief in “cheap grace”. Sola gratia/sola fida is a false doctrine, like I said, concocted by your reformers. Christ never taught such doctrine, especially the “once saved always saved” doctrine of Calvin.

Me: Really …

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:27-30)

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (John 6:39)

Sounds to me like Jesus took full responsibility for the salvation of those the Father has given them, which are the ones who believed in Him.

By the way, I’m not a Calvinist, so don’t start talking TULIP to me.

V: Christ never guaranteed heaven. Let’s make that clear. Each one has the free will to either accept or reject Christ. Those who accept Christ are not guaranteed Heaven either but is given hope and faith to carry on till the last day after which Judgement Day will come where you and I will be judge by our works coupled with the grace of God. Those who can show that they have kept their covenant in keeping God’s laws are reward by the Father. In that sense, they are not lost but are raised up in immortality and eternal life. Those who reject the true restored gospel of Christ today are raised up in immortality but Eternal life with God will be far from them.

Me: Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28-29)

V: Focusing on one verse out of context is a sin.

Me: Nevermind that throughout the course of our conversation I’ve referred to at least 50 verses, all of which you simply say don’t mean what I say they mean, or what they clearly say they mean. Why aren’t you quoting scripture in your defense? You believe in 4 books of scripture, plus your apostles and prophets, past and present. Why not show me where I’m so clearly wrong?

V: I thought you read the article I posted where it says that Isaiah is simply comparing and not declaring. Thus the verses you quoted doesn’t support your homoousios Jesus. The idea that there is only one God flies against the very prayer that Jesus offered in John 17 where he prayed that his disciples and God might be one as he and his Father is one. Was he talking of a one God in that chapter or was he comparing the unity of himself and the Father with his disciples?

You want to insist on monotheism when the Bible is replete with passage that talks about the plurality of gods. Even Jesus said “ye are gods” (plural). That’ should give you pause and think about a concocted idea of a three persons in one God. The trinity is a strange concoction that wasn’t by Jesus himself.’

You’ve been jumping all over the place…. focus on this original question I posed. Why is your “homoousios” Jesus not supported in the Scriptures? Why is that? Care to answer that now?

Me: Glad you brought that verse up …. let’s take a look at that … Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:34-36)

So, who was He talking to? The Pharisees .. is it your contention that Jesus was saying that the Pharisees are gods?

Is it also your contention that Jesus was teaching that we are “present tense” gods? The verse is in the present tense, not future, not even conditional. The Pharisees were unbelieving at the time, so does that mean that all human beings, including those who don’t believe, are present tense gods?

V: Are you denying Jesus then? Are you saying he lied when he said “ye are gods”. Are you saying he doesn’t mean what he meant?

Jesus said it was written in the law that he said “Ye are gods”.. and he ask a rethorical.. why say he blaspheme calling himself son of God when the scripture says “ye are gods” (plural). They were in their monotheistic thinking like you are now.

Monotheism is garbage Jesus is saying… there are plurality of gods. Yes all human beings are spirit sons and daughters of Deity (our Father in Heaven)… thus are gods (in embryo).

All of us have the potential to become like our Father in Heaven (Matt. 5:48). Satan and his minions have squandered that potential and will never become like Him. Some (like you) are also in the same path as Satan who squandering your potential to be come like your Father in Heaven by rejecting God’s restored truths.

But its your choice. You can remain ignorant on how to become like our Father in Heaven. Or you can humble yourself to be taught by the Spirit of God. It’s your choice.

Btw.. were you former Mormon? Seems like you have an idea (albeit incoherently) some of the LDS doctrines.

Me: No…. I’m not a former Mormon. God, yes that’s right, the leading of the Holy Spirit that you claim I need and don’t yet have, gave me a heart to reach out to my best friend in High School who was LDS.  After he came out of the LDS church and into a relationship with the biblical Jesus, God gave me a heart to reach out to LDS, and subsequently those caught in religion period. He’s given me an understanding of how truly amazing His grace is, not only for forgiveness, but the reality that truly, as Jesus said, “Apart from Him, we can do nothing,” and as Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

As for what I believe Jesus was saying in John 10 in alluding to Psalm 82 is that the Pharisees, his audience and critic, were supposed to be in the position of judge/shepherd over the people, and in that sense God referred to them in Psalm 82 as “gods,” which by the way is the word Elohim in the Hebrew, which isn’t the proper name of God the Father.

The verse Jesus was referring to is Psalm 82:6. Notice what verse 7 says, “but ye shall die like men.” Doesn’t exactly sound divine.

Jesus didn’t say that the Pharisees, or the leaders in the Old Testament, or us, were or are gods as in we’re equal with Him. He definitely didn’t say “gods in embryo.”

Click here to read part 1 of this conversation
Click here to read part 3 of this conversation