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About Valentinus

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  1. Likewise! Despite disagreeing on almost everything I've missed your candor. @Scott Lloyd is good but not that good. Love ya, Scott! Although, I don't frequent often much anymore. I'm pretty sure @Calm and @bluebellhave put me on limited visits.
  2. This made me laugh out loud. Well played.
  3. I know a local stake president who wishes people would stop calling LDS Arian. I agree with him. The LDS church is not Arian any more than it is Pellagian or Sabellian. Good grief!!
  4. The worst I encounter are those who erroneously claim that theological, social and fiscal conservativism is somehow (miraculously?) synonymous with a truly faithful Christian. Those persons make me want to celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas everyday.
  5. I recently purchased this edition of the NT from Deseret Book at the recommendation of Daniel McClellan. After I've given it more attention, I plan to read Daniel's review of it. Anyone else get copy yet?
  6. This is absolutely false. Valid apostolic succession has remained intact. The episcopacy of the Bishops is apostolic authority. The Anglican communion was given its holy orders by a Roman bishop in 1534. Accepting baptism into a church with apostolic succession is the act of confessing belief in not just God but his priesthood power. The Bishops with valid authority are the divinely declared Vicars of Christ and protectors of the Christian faith and God's truth.
  7. These are important questions to consider. Does anyone have any thoughts on how the leadership would respond to this? Personally, I don't know where I'd begin.
  8. I don't see why this topic has to be revisited. The LDS church has an official stance on the subject. Whether the membership agrees or disagrees with that position is irrelevant. I agree with Smac on the wishful thinking. There is no evidence to suggest that the LDS church will change. The church has upheld doctrine that cannot be amended because such an amendment will conflict with the Doctrine and Covenants. Consistency must be maintained in order for the LDS church to survive.
  9. I don't much care for the ideas expressed in that article, honestly. You preface it by saying it comes from a personal preference of one of your leaders, yet the article justifies not using the cross as being a better choice, as being inherently better than wearing or using a cross. That's more than just a personal preference -- it is moral bordering on theological. The article sets up the false dichotomy between symbols and what the symbols represent. He says: Not a single Christian wearing a cross would dispute that. In fact, religious symbols are often used to "preach" because they represent so much -- a picture is worth a 1000 words sort of thing. My faith requires no external symbol to be manifest, but the external symbol increases it. I can pray just fine kneeling in a forest. I can also pray just fine kneeling in front of an altar with a crucifix, but the latter deepens my prayer because it shows me symbols of what my faith is and through those symbols I can further understand my faith, in a way that often transcends words. There seems to be an inherent dislike of symbols underlying this talk. Does it come from the LDS protestant/puritan historical background? (Upstate New York early 1800s...) He then goes on to quote scriptures about God not looking on the outside but looking on the inside. No Christian would dispute that. No priest wearing his full vestments would dispute that. Again, it sets up a false dichotomy. Either I have faith without symbols or I have no faith with symbols. Either my faith is real on the inside with nothing on the outside or all I have is the outside with nothing on the inside. That is a false choice. I can have real faith on the inside AND show my faith on the outside, too. You can absolutely have both. He keeps up with the idea that having no symbols on the outside is superior to having symbols on the outside but the only justification he gives is the assumption that symbols on the outside means one's faith is lesser on the inside. And that is a terribly false assumption which is rather offensive. It closes with a harsh barb against the symbol of the cross by President Hinckley: You can preface anything you want with "I do not with to give offense" but if what you say is offensive that preface doesn't mean anything. Read closely what he said. He goes in details the various places that crosses show up in Christianity, to make sure to include almost all Christianity, then says that the LDS message is superior because it is of the Living (notice the capital letter) Christ and the message of Christianity is of the dying (lowercase) Christ. Like a living religion versus a dying religion. A living faith versus a dying faith. This is profoundly offensive AND a complete straw man of Christianity. There is NO way to separate the death of Christ from the resurrection of Christ and it is through His death, His suffering, His pains that we are redeemed. If He had not died for us there would be no atonement. If He had not allowed Himself to suffer one of the cruelest executions, there would be no atonement. He was/is God -- of course He is living. The miracle and beauty of His absolute mercy is that as God, He chose to suffer and die as a mortal for us. The symbol of the cross and of the crucifix is powerful indeed. Our infinite God chose to incarnate as a human, suffer as human, die as a human for us. A living God is a given. The miracle of Christianity is that a living God chose to die for us. I do not say that those who choose to eschew Christian symbols have a lesser faith but that is what was seriously implied in this talk about those who choose to use Christian symbols. This reminds me of the bias that Protestants have against the iconostasis in Orthodox and Byzantine RCC. Overall, I believe it to be a theological misunderstanding. I trust the 7 Ecumenical Councils canons concerning the Cross and icons.
  10. Pssst...the Westminster Confession of Faith is heresy even by LDS standards.
  11. Eastern Catholicism and specifically Byzantine.
  12. That doesn't make sense from a logical and realistic perspective. Organized religion is not synonymous with sexual abuse. Furthermore, it is not a product of organized religion. Jennifer Fulwiler addressed this issue on Catholic Radio.
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