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RockHopper

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About RockHopper

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  1. Acts 17:28 Question

    Hey pogi, Yes, there is much disagreement and I'm not as "flexible" as I may seem... but, I am friendly The concept of believer's baptism (let alone priesthood authority) is a stake that kills the whole idea of accepting all Christian sects as brothers and sisters. I have no desire to get bogged down in another of the endless debates over baptism, so I'm going to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. There hasn't been any universal agreement for almost 2000 years and I doubt we'll resolve it here. Let's just say that I align much more with the sects that stem from the early https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorationism movements, like the Waldensians and Anabaptists, and then with those coming out of the First Great Awakening. Funny, Mormonism is also considered part of this group, but I digress. As for my personal view on works, I'll start with baptism. I don't view it as a work any more than I view speaking the words, "Jesus is Lord", as a work. It's a pledge of a good conscious, we're not earning anything. It's similar to getting married, I'm not working to earn my wife's love, rather we're both receiving/pledging the gift of our love to one another. To me, calling it a work is just an excuse to not get baptized. I think that's all I have to say on baptism. As for works in general, I view them as a result of our faith, a result of the grace and mercy we've received. We don't serve God to be saved or earn righteousness, Jesus is our righteousness. We serve God because we are saved. As we learn how much God loves us, we learn to love others. Not that it's always easy to do what God wants us to do, we are still struggling against the flesh and evil. 1 John 4:19-21 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. James 2:14-20 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Phillipians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. I could keep going on, but I think it's clear that we don't just accept the gospel and go on our merry way, sinning, doing whatever we want, living selfish lives, etc.. Those who live like this, sort of reveal themselves: Matthew 15:8-9 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
  2. So what are your thoughts? What is the meaning behind currently-popular declarations to "speak your truth?" Love Ben Shapiro
  3. Acts 17:28 Question

    God just put this on my heart. Galatians 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 3:5-6 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Galatians 6:14-16 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. We are not saved by the perfection of our knowledge, we are saved by Christ. God's grace is what brings us into His Kingdom, not how thorough our knowledge is. Think about this, many followers of Christ start with a child like understanding of the gospel and an excitement about Jesus. But later on they become "knowledgeable" and take the position, "You're not really a Christian until you know what I know." Remember love builds up, but knowledge puffs up. Which is more important: to preach the gospel or to preach our doctrine on top of it? This applies to Baptists, Reformed, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, etc., even my sect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_churches_and_churches_of_Christ We start to burden other believers with extra teachings or practices. It's just a sad state of affairs that Christians have gotten into. I'm not saying there isn't an answer to the more mature things of God, but the gospel is simple. Joseph Smith: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2008/03/who-is-jesus-christ?lang=eng The Prophet Joseph Smith was often asked, “What are the fundamental principles of your religion?” “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:35-39 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 1 Peter 3:20-22 In it [Noah's ark] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. Romans 8:9-11 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Believe in Jesus, profess, repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. It's a simple message. We can add all kinds of things on to this, and then we start trying to convert people to our church or our "perfect" doctrine, rather than to Christ. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to understand the deeper things of God. And certainly, if someone is interested, we should teach what we believe to be true! But I can tell you right now, there is no one on earth, let alone on this forum, whose knowledge is perfect.
  4. Acts 17:28 Question

    Hey Rev, Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. There's quite a bit that you covered there . When it comes to the nature of God, I think there are many mysteries that are beyond our comprehension (in this life). Some of those mysteries involve the exact nature and relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. I don't have a problem with the Trinity doctrine, probably 99% of the people I attend church with believe this. Now I don't go around my church preaching my views. I think being divisive is much more damaging than not having everyone know my $.02, even though I know I'm obviously right
  5. Acts 17:28 Question

    The good news is that Josh isn't telling me anything I haven't heard before. I've been very active in sharing my faith for almost 30 years. I used to really go after Mormons (and almost every other denomination) in my younger days. Sadly, I spent many years sitting on the throne of spiritual elitism.
  6. Acts 17:28 Question

    Thanks for this detailed description. Just like most of the other responses, this aligns (close enough ) to my understanding.
  7. Acts 17:28 Question

    A couple interesting observations that your post triggered in my mind: Even though Mormons believe in a lot of second chances, they work their tails off to share their faith around the world. I would say much more so than many "mainstream" Christian denominations. Most of my Mormon neighbors/coworkers do not have "meh...no big deal" attitude. It's quite the opposite. Another interesting tangent. I was attending a Reformed church for awhile. Obviously they believe every soul is predestined to know God or not know God, yet they work so hard to share their faith. They preach about it, spur one another on to do it, etc.. In fact they are much more passionate about it than most of the other types of churches I've attended. Anyway, just some random thoughts...
  8. Acts 17:28 Question

    1) I don't have any issues with this perspective. For me, this topic is a debatable issue, it's not a salvation issue. Personally, I believe that God knows our hearts completely. Also, I believe that God can know if someone has hardened their heart to a point of no return. And lastly, I think the spirit world is beyond our understanding. How Christ would approach a soul in the grave is a beautiful, mystery to me. That being said, I know that Mormons have a much more concrete and well defined theology on this matter. That's ok with me, I don't have a problem with it. I'm at peace, not knowing what happens to those in Sheol, who never heard the gospel in this life. I know God is good and I trust Him in this. 2) I guess this is just followup on my answer to your first question. I don't find anyone's view on this topic superior. I think every follower of Christ is responsible to wrestle with the issues that Christ puts on their hearts. If a specific area is troubling them, they need to pray, fast, read, discuss, etc. until they feel at peace with it. If the LDS teaching on this puts your heart at peace, Amen! For me, I wasn't at peace with the idea of eternal torment. I studied the Scriptures (stick of Judah only ) relevant to this topic and about 17 years ago God just made it all clear to me.
  9. Acts 17:28 Question

    Thanks, I'll check it out.
  10. Acts 17:28 Question

    Good enough for me Thanks for you comments.
  11. Acts 17:28 Question

    Hey cdowis, Rather than missing the issue, I think I'm trying to skirt it a little. I'm certain that my view of "who is Christ and what is the nature of His relationship with the Father", does not align 100% with LDS doctrine. Nor does my view align 100% with most Evangelicals view of the Trinity. But, maybe that's OK, at least on my end. My goal is to understand the domain of who might be my brothers and sisters, regardless of whether they acknowledge me or not. I'm more than happy to read other's thoughts or share my perspective, but I'm not here to debate the issue.
  12. Acts 17:28 Question

    Thanks, now it will be 4 more
  13. Acts 17:28 Question

    By the way, can anyone tell me how to edit a previous post. I can't find any button or link to do it, but I see that other posters are able to edit their posts later. Thanks for any help.
  14. Acts 17:28 Question

    Cool, I think we converge on the important things. Also, not a bad analogy, it makes sense. That was the image I had in my mind when a previous poster shared some passages from the D&C. I'm certain that if you put 100 Evangelicals in a room, there would be 100 different opinions on how Christ is connected to us, especially if you started drilling down into more and more detail I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were pretty close to how you just described it.
  15. Acts 17:28 Question

    Thanks for sharing all that. I think we agree on much, but not on everything
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