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Programmer

The bible is like:

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In an effort to help some evang's/BAC's identify some stumbling blocks on their road to salvation I've written this little analogy. I've noticed their faith is mostly is founded on the Bible. It can be trusted (I guess from their perspective) simply because it's been around for so long, and been through so much. However they need to see the bigger picture. Which is my analogy:

I feel the bible is like a whole bunch of data bound together into a big book. Some scientists did some research, wrote down their data and results, and strangely enough disapeared. The only thing left in the lab are copies of copies of the original data. What's missing are any orignal textbooks, the methodogies for the experiments, and worst of all the lab technicians and scientists who generated the data. Is it any wonder that no one has been able to reproduce the results of the original scientists?

Let me add my observations.

If you snuck into a lab room in a basement of some university science building somewhere you'd find alot of neat stuff. You'd find equipement, and books, and machines, and gadgets and papers, and notes, perhaps with data written on them. However just by perusing around the room, and reading the notes, it would be almost impossible for an interloper to understand the mathmatics of the experiment, let alone to recreate the experiment and get good data.

Why?

Simply because the experiment lives is in the scientists mind, not in the notes and paraphenalia left behind. Sure there are textbooks the original scientist used to learn the subject, but those aren't in the labs. Usually reference books are in the labs, not instructional books. Experimental procedures could be written down somewhere, but even those usually reside in the mind, not on a paper. A lab is a place for getting substance, not recording procedure. That substance is raw data written down and recorded. The procedure is fiqured out long before the experiment is even funded let alone started.

And in the same way, the Bible is merely a record of a few people who had true religion. It of itself is not religion. It is a book, and as far as paper and black ink goes, it does not give authority. Not one bit. The bible (or doctrine(s) ) is comparible to the data left behind in the lab. Posessing the data (remember it's copies of copies) does not make one an inheritor of the scientist's work, let alone a scientist. Gaps in understanding the data/bible do NOT reflect on the data, but on the situation in which the data/bible was found. That is on piecing together the data, when gaps are found, it is folly and absurd to say the data doesn't exist when the original methodologies of the experiment cannot be found. Especially in the light of the fact that the labratory / world was devoid of scientists / prophets for roughly 1800 years. Also for someone to come along and claim authority in stating what methodologies existed based on induction from the data is absurd. The data can only be understood in light of the methodologies, not vice versa. In the same manner, for Christian ministers to come along and state the Bible is the only word of God based off of it's own writings is absurd, because the Bible was not written in our present day, but in an ancient day. To state the Bible is is the only word of God would of necassity mean claiming a current revelation from God. No one claims a prophet these days except the LDS church.

So in the end, historical Christians have cast walls up to their own salvation by doing the following.

1. Denying that prophets are necessary to reveal and teach God's will, and lead his people. This is akin to the janitors coming into the lab to clean it, and finding it empty, proceeded to don the white smocks of the technician, and tell everyone else the scientists are done with their experiment, and have left. This is especially troublesome when the true scientists return after a long absence, as the janitor masquerading as the scientist will soon be out of a job.

2. Denying that scripture comes after prophets. When in historical reality, it was prophets who wrote scripture. Or rather letters, and histories that turned into scripture. Rarely does a pen lift itself and start writing on paper of it's own accord.

This claim is manifested by a lack of gratitude for the Bible, and a manifest refusal to empathize with any writer of any book of the Bible. The result is that all books of the bible are looked upon as being written in the same context. Which is absurd when it is realized the bible was written in a span of about 1500 years... So when Isaiah wrote of one God in condemning the wicked Isrealites who worshiped MANY false gods in the groves, he was not speaking in the same context in which Joseph Smith said God had a Father. This is akin to the interloping janitor getting offended when true scientists return to the lab after along absence and start publishing data once again. This is akin to the interloping janitor simply not understanding the experiment, and demanding that the experiments exactly conform in all data points to the old data points. When in reality both sets of data support the underlying theory and the equations used to analyze the data. It is akin to the janitor not understanding that the experiment is now done at a much higher resolution and accuracy than was ever possible in ancient times. The experiment is so precise now, that all old uncertainties are forever gone. Instead of data like x = 50 + or - 10, it is now x = 50. 451345 +- .000001. So instead of arguments about the triune nature of God, LDS people are now fielding arguments about infinitesmaly small doctrinal things, such as who is God's Father.

3. Failing to trust God with knowing how to restore his Gospel! If God see's an apostacy happening, and goes about to fix it. He will use the most efficient means possible. In that I mean, that he will restore that which has been lost in the dusty ages of forgetfullness and apostacy. His litmus test for a person to accept the restored gospel is basicly acceptance of the BOM. This book reveals basicly how a Christian is to get over their stumbling blocks and recognize the methodologies of God, and recognize basic doctrines explained in greater detail than ever had before. In failing to trust God, they instead trust in God to fail to take an active part in governing his people.

4. Lack of Gratitude for the scriptures. I find many who believe the Bible almost because they have too. Gone is the empathy for earlier saints described in the Bible (who ironicly didn't even have the book so revered by these people). Gone is the empathy for those who fought and suffered so valiantly to bring salvation to the gentiles. Gone is the gratitude to the Jews for the scriptures that suppossedly gave them salvation. Is there any of them who would want more scriptures if given the chance? Is there any of them who upon reading the end of the book of Revelation is just dying to read more? Is there any of them who just is sorrowful that the Book is so old, and wishes in the last 1900 years it could have grown alittle bit more? Perhaps grown enough to at least mention a few things in better clarity for our day? Is there any of them who instead wish they could have lived in the days of the apostles and instead had living witness's of the Lord? Is there any who express a desire to know what the other apostles wrote? Is there any who would read what other apostles wrote if given a chance? And not discount it out of hand? This is prcecisely what the Lord said in rebuking those who reject the Book of Mormon. Interesting how the main premise is lack of gratitude. For historical christians then, rejecting more of God's word is akin to stating that reading the scriptures is the million dollar experience that they wouldn't give a rusty nickely to repeat over again.

I'd love to hear other LDS people add to this list. However It's late and I want to get to bed. Any other's if you want to calmly discuss these, I'm all ears, ... oops ummm... I'm all fingers! :P

Programmer

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