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In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 9:08 PM
Steve 2119, I don't know if you have read my inheritance analogy I've posted a few times. Salvation is an inheritance from God; not earned. Nothing we could ever do, no "works" can "earn" or "buy" salvation. But, that doesn't mean God just hands it out willy nilly. He gives it to those whose lives show they are prepared to receive it. Being prepared to receive means obedience to the best of one's ability to the commandments, and repentance when falling short as all do. This is NOT "earning" salvation. There are a lot of Bible scriptures about obedience, and I've already listed many of them multiple times. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9-10). But repentance is possible: "And such were some of you, but we are washed, but ye are sanctified..." (verse 11). However, Paul never says they can pray a little prayer, accept Jesus as Savior, and then keep doing these things and still be saved. Repentance means stop doing these things. Romans 10:9 (confess with thy mouth) MUST be taken in context with the bigger picture of the New Testament. Using a few scriptures and ignoring the rest is not the way to read the Bible.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 8:55 PM
Steve 2119, you have now posted the same post involving 2 Nephi 25:23 umpteen times, and it has been responded to over and over. In fact, read a recent response to this very scripture that I posted maybe an hour ago. You seem not to be able to do much more than cite one verse, and you choose to interpret it as that we have to work our way to salvation. This is not how I understand that scripture. I understand it that no matter what else I do, Christ must save me. And that is not to say that obedience to the commandments is unimportant. Steve, Mormons actually AGREE that all have come short of the glory of God, and that salvation is not earned. However, that does not mean it is given to those who don't attempt to obey the commandments. That is called "cheap grace" and even evangelical authors have written books against other evangelicals who promote "cheap grace." I have a book on my shelf called "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John F. MacArthur, Jr. (1988, 1994, Zondervan Press.) He is an evangelical protestant. The back cover of the soft cover edition says he is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley CA and president of the Master's College and Seminary, and a graduate of Talbot School of Theology.If you cannot yet accept the B of M, at least read this book, by a fellow Protestant, and it may set you on the right path. I was very impressed by it. It is mostly about understanding the relationship between faith and works.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 8:54 PM
Steve 2119, you have now posted the same post involving 2 Nephi 25:23 umpteen times, and it has been responded to over and over. In fact, read a recent response to this very scripture that I posted maybe an hour ago. You seem not to be able to do much more than cite one verse, and you choose to interpret it as that we have to work our way to salvation. This is not how I understand that scripture. I understand it that no matter what else I do, Christ must save me. And that is not to say that obedience to the commandments is unimportant. Steve, Mormons actually AGREE that all have come short of the glory of God, and that salvation is not earned. However, that does not mean it is given to those who don't attempt to obey the commandments. That is called "cheap grace" and even evangelical authors have written books against other evangelicals who promote "cheap grace." I have a book on my shelf called "The Gospel According to Jesus" by John F. MacArthur, Jr. (1988, 1994, Zondervan Press.) He is an evangelical protestant. The back cover of the soft cover edition says he is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley CA and president of the Master's College and Seminary, and a graduate of Talbot School of Theology.If you cannot yet accept the B of M, at least read this book, by a fellow Protestant, and it may set you on the right path. I was very impressed by it. It is mostly about understanding the relationship between faith and works.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 7:47 PM
There are certainly Bible scriptures that would lead one to believe that God is a spirit only, if you read them in isolation. Or that "one God" means the Father and Son and Holy Ghost are one substance. But, there are alternate interpretations, which are equally reasonable (such as One God means One Godhead.). Middle age councils voted on the interpretation the church would accept, and this is why most Protestant churches today accept the one and not the other interpretation. However, voting is not the same as receiving revelation from God. These disagreeing interpretations show clearly why just "reading the Bible" isn't enough. The JW's are quite convinced their Biblical interpretations are correct too, even though many of them seem awful strange. But if you read their scriptures, you can kind of see their point. This is what modern revelation is for. Without it, the Bible is as we interpret it to be, rightly or wrongly, and usually some of each. Now, Mormons do not claim to be special people who are better than others because they have received modern revelation. Rather, we are thankful we have found it, thankful that God has confirmed for us individually that it is true, and we try to share it with others. Our missionaries go at their own expense for 2 years to share these things with all. It is just a little frustrating when others reject it, which they have a right to do, and even more frustrating when they complain about it, or call us nonChristian because their biblical interpretation does not match ours. Too often, Christians adopt an entire doctrine on the basis of one verse of scripture, instead of summing together all the scriptures on the subject to get the overall message. Often one verse can be misinterpreted. That's why the more scriptures on a subject, the better our understanding will be. That's why the B of M helps us understand better.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 7:38 PM
To Rich D. regarding the nature of God and if He has a body: I quote again from the rebuttal to Letters to a Mormon Elder. It is more convenient, since by typing in my own response, which I could do, it would take me a lot longer. Why reinvent the wheel? "Your examples of "contradictions" I believe we already discussed in connection with your letter on the nature of God. You claim that the statement "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" (D&C 130:22) contradicts a raft of scriptures. Hosea 11:9 says nothing at all about God having a body; neither does 2 Chronicles 6:18 or Jeremiah 23:24. Many people casually assume that John 4:24 does imply that God has no body, for it says, "God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." But if saying that God is a spirit means that he can't have a body, then what are we to make of Romans 8:9, wherein Paul tells the Saints, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you"? Are Christians supposed to lose their bodies? Is that perhaps what Jesus meant when he said that we were to worship God "in spirit and in truth"? You seemed corporeal enough to me when I met you last. Or is it possible that Paul meant that Christians can be "in the spirit" and still keep their bodies? If so, why can't God do that too? Or do you believe that such things are possible for us, but beyond him? The teaching that God has a body is authentically early Christian. St. Augustine turned his nose up at it, and eventually rewrote it. I have already discussed the LDS doctrine of the plurality of Gods, which is also comfortably at home with ancient Christianity, but not with modern creedal Christianity. I shall simply say here that the contradiction exists only in your mind." http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=11&num=1&id=310#_ftn1 I'll just add that Jesus certainly had a body, and if he is really one substance with the Father, how can the Father NOT have a body? The trouble is, when you start adopting Greek philosophy to interpret the Bible, you run into logical (and Unbiblical) contradictions. Let's just look at only Bible scriptures, and see how we can reconcile them, as the rebuttal above has done.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 7:31 PM
From the rebuttal to Letters to a Mormon Elder: "Perhaps the clearest illustration of your failure to understand our doctrine—and indeed, of your inability to read LDS scripture with anything resembling an open mind—is your mistreatment of 2 Nephi 25:23. You claim that it is an example of "theological errors in the Book of Mormon" (p. 268) and go on to protest that "we are not saved by grace after all we can do, but that we are saved by grace in spite of all we have done!" (pp. 268—69). I wonder if the difference in emphasis is not as much cultural as it is theological, but in any event, you have not understood the passage correctly. You assume that Nephi is telling us that God's grace only comes into play after we have done all that is possible. But let us see instead what Nephi is really saying: For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. As you can see, the statement would be complete in its essentials if the last five words were simply omitted. They are there for emphasis, to make it clear that no matter what we do or don't do, it is still by grace that we are saved. If we really believed that each work, or ordinance, or whatever else we did added "brownie points" to our "score sheet" then your criticisms might have some merit. But that is not what we believe. We know that our own efforts are always inadequate to save us. We know that we have to press forward, "relying wholly on the merits of him who is mighty to save" (2 Nephi 31:19). Our own merits are not part of the equation. But we believe that the Lord has given us commandments and requires us to obey them. The ordinances are the means by which he has decreed that we can show our acceptance of the gift he offers us." http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=11&num=1&id=310#_ftn1 If 2 Nephi 25:23 isn't clear enough yet, read Mosiah 3:17 "There shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvaiton can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent." How about Moroni 10:32-33 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood in Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot." Anyone want to argue that these are devilish scriptures??
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 2:53 PM
I already told you to read the B of M. Start with that. But if I knew more than that, I don't think I'd tell you at this point, until you accept the B of M. Jesus said, not to cast your pearls before swine. Now before you get all upset, this is a figure of speech and I'm not calling you swine.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 2:49 PM
Because you wouldn't believe whatever I told you anyway. However, God has promised to reveal the truth of the Book of Mormon to any honest, sincere seeker who reads it. But you have to be honest and sincere; if you just read it to find fault with it, it won't work. Anyway, the way God reveals the truth of the Book of Mormon is through the Holy Ghost. Even though you do not seem to admit the possibility of modern revelation through a prophet, do you believe it is possible for God to reveal something to you personally?
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 12:54 PM
They are missing from the Bible, and many of them may not be available to anyone at this time, but many are available from the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. God in his mercy and grace chose to reveal these things to us, but you have rejected this gift. That's pretty close to rejecting him, but in his mercy, he will forgive those who ignorantly and illogically think that the Bible contains all God has to say. Why don't you read the B of M for yourself, slowly and carefully, and see for yourself that it is a testament of Christ?
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 12:48 PM
The plates are no longer in the Hill Cumorah, at least that is doubtful. Moroni took them back and we don't know where they are. And, if we should teach only "all that I [Jesus] have commanded you," should we throw away all of Paul's teachings? You are really straining to interpret the Bible as to say that there can be no new revelation. Really straining. Besides, the milk is to be preached first to all the world, and those that accept it can have the meat, which is probably what was taught during the 40 days time. I don't think the idea that the 40 day teachings appear in the gospels is tenable. Reading the gospels, this is the basic stuff Jesus taught everyone.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

Richarddg Wrote: Jun 08, 2013 12:41 PM
So then, are you saying you don't want to learn more truth? This is the most strained interpretation of Genesis I have ever read. That isn't "all Satan wanted to do." He wanted to make them disobedient.
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