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David Bokovoy

Communal Sin in the Bible

185 posts in this topic

Hey Friend,

This is a great question and one that has been alluded to in these discussions that I feel requires an explanation. While I don't pretend to hold all the answers, the way that I see this issue can be demonstrated via the second Article of Faith:

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."

I believe that the verbal tense in this instance signifies the fact that the "punishment" referred to in this statement addresses final punishment. In other words, in the "final" judgment, men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's (or anyone else's) transgression. But the scriptures clearly teach that in the present context God administers both communal punishment and salvation.

Best,

--DB

Interesting.

Since this thread has come up I am often reminded of temple work and that plays in the roles of salvation for others as well as our own. In a certain sense I would say that is communal.

I need time to flesh this out as well.

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I'm sorry to have sometimes been part of the rancor, the that is the nature of the beast that David keeps letting out of its cage.

I will be the last to defend his politics, but you, I think, would espouse the politics of individual responsibility while denying personal responsibility for your own emotions.

There appears to be a bit of a consistency problem there.

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I will be the last to defend his politics, but you, I think, would espouse the politics of individual responsibility while denying personal responsibility for your own emotions.

There appears to be a bit of a consistency problem there.

My own exact reaction.....
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I am new to the thread and maybe this has been answered, but if it doesn't exist, being clean from the "blood and sins of this generation" would have no meaning.

You already would be!

Can you be a bit more specific, and quote specific scriptural references, and explain what you actually understand by that?

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Can you be a bit more specific, and quote specific scriptural references, and explain what you actually understand by that?

Why don't you go ahead and tell me what it means.

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I do believe there is such a thing as communal responsibility. However, I don't think that an individual who refuses to partake in communal sins would be held accountable for those sins. As an example, take slavery in the United States. I'm willing to call slavery a national sin. But there may have been people who, even if they had the means to own slaves, refused to do so on moral grounds. Others actively opposed slavery, and tried to stop it. In my opinion, God will not hold them individually accountable for the national sin.

On the other hand, even now in the 21st century, and long after abolishing slavery, our nation still faces repercussions as a result of that evil institution. Nobody here is guilty of owning slaves, and I highly doubt that any of us would support it if somebody tried to reinstitute the practice. All the same, there are consequences that we face because slavery was practiced in our country in the 19th century. It's not fair to us as individuals, but that's the way it is.

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Why don't you go ahead and tell me what it means.

What what means? I am trying to figure out what it is that you are talking about to begin with.

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Why don't you go ahead and tell me what it means.

MFB, I wanted to say thank you for bringing up a very pertinent point. My mission president actually spoke on this very topic at zone conference.

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MFB, I wanted to say thank you for bringing up a very pertinent point. My mission president actually spoke on this very topic at zone conference.

:P

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MFB, I wanted to say thank you for bringing up a very pertinent point. My mission president actually spoke on this very topic at zone conference.

Thanks!

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Thanks!

Zerinus

You aren't familiar with that phrase?

What phrase?

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I will be the last to defend his politics, but you, I think, would espouse the politics of individual responsibility while denying personal responsibility for your own emotions.

There appears to be a bit of a consistency problem there.

Outstanding! I hadn't considered this point. Thank you.

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I need to mul this around. I am having a hard time with communal salvation. That is it seems the idea that I am not saved unless every Mormon or (or even people of other faiths with in my community) (Communmity)) is saved. I don;t know if that is what you meant but I don't find any support for that idea. Lets discuss.

Its pure nonsense. Its not gospel doctrine, its not part of the restoration, its taught nowhere in the four standard works, and it negates the entire point of free agency, the Atonement, the individual necessity of faith, personal righteousness, and individual accountability before God at our time of judgment for our own, personal, individual stewardship,and the manner in which we have used our "talents" in this life.

The scriptures are replete with clear statements that each of us, as unique, individual sons or daughters of God, will one day stand before Jesus Christ to be judge of our works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil. Nowhere, in any sense and in any context, and nothing the Brethren have ever taught, indicates that I can be judged and saved for another, another for me, or that my community can be judged in a manner such that my presence within it, irregardless of my own personal spiritual condition before God, could determine my judgment through my association with the group, whether for good or ill. This is false doctrine, its inconsistent with the fundamental doctrines of of the plan of salvation, and its frankly a egregious falsification of the entire concept of "salvation" in the restored gospel.

Volgadon is teaching another gospel (a kind of Mormonized socialism or communism with a gospel smiley face). Others are trying to pass of such as LDS doctrine here as well, and heaven knows we have been warned, both from the scriptures and from our contemporary special witnesses, to be aware and wary of such teachings.

If anyone preaches any other gospel...

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Its pure nonsense. Its not gospel doctrine, its not part of the restoration, its taught nowhere in the four standard works, and it negates the entire point of free agency, the Atonement, the individual necessity of faith, personal righteousness, and individual accountability before God at our time of judgment for our own, personal, individual stewardship,and the manner in which we have used our "talents" in this life.

The scriptures are replete with clear statements that each of us, as unique, individual sons or daughters of God, will one day stand before Jesus Christ to be judge of our works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil. Nowhere, in any sense and in any context, and nothing the Brethren have ever taught, indicates that I can be judged and saved for another, another for me, or that my community can be judged in a manner such that my presence within it, irregardless of my own personal spiritual condition before God, could determine my judgment through my association with the group, whether for good or ill. This is false doctrine, its inconsistent with the fundamental doctrines of of the plan of salvation, and its frankly a egregious falsification of the entire concept of "salvation" in the restored gospel.

Volgadon is teaching another gospel (a kind of Mormonized socialism or communism with a gospel smiley face). Others are trying to pass of such as LDS doctrine here as well, and heaven knows we have been warned, both from the scriptures and from our contemporary special witnesses, to be aware and wary of such teachings.

If anyone preaches any other gospel...

Maybe YOU can explain the phrase "blood and sins of this generation" if generations don't have sins.

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Part of the issue here, in my mind at least, is that the concept of salvation is multifaceted.

In every case I am seeing of "communal salvation", the scripture is speaking of temporal salvation: nations being wiped out or saved from destruction, famine, or other disaster.

I cannot see how communal salvation can apply to Celestial salvation. Even though we are "saved" (read exalted) as couples, one may be exalted when his spouse apostatizes, just with a different spouse. We are sealed in the huge network of the family of Adam, but individuals will fail or succeed according to their individual works.

Making this distinction is critical to understanding the idea. I cannot imagine anyone being counted as charitable because he paid taxes some of which fed the poor.

Lehi

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Maybe YOU can explain the phrase "blood and sins of this generation" if generations don't have sins.

"Of this generation" doesn't necessarily mean that the generation has collective sins, but that these sins are committed broadly.

In our generation, the blood and sins might include rampant abortion encouraged by the state, fornication and adultery treated as common and unremarkable, drug-turf wars, giving new mothers three months to abandon their babies without repercussion. If one keeps himself from the blood and sins of this generation, it would require that we oppose these egregious sins, not participate in them ourselves and teach our children and grandchildren to abstain. To support other people and organizations that desire the same goals.

Other generations had different blood and sins attached to them. Some of their sins were the same. The point is that groups do not sin, individuals do, just as individuals are the only entities that can actually do righteousness.

The weight of individual sins or righteousness determines whether any one "generation" or society is wicked or good. We look to Lot's Sodom and Gomorrah. The collective was evil, but it was because there were not even ten righteous men living in the cities. Lot, himself, was saved, not destroyed, by his being commanded to flee. His sons-in-law were destroyed because they failed to follow the commandment, but it was their individual choices to remain and be slain.

Lehi

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No, that is not quite what I meant. Salvation is not for the individual only, but for the community as well.

Salvation is for the free agency bearing, choosing, discerning, acting, deciding individual within a social context. It is not for communities per se, despite what you have been led, due to your own extra-gospel biases, to believe by David's eccentric readings of the scriptures and his force feeding of his own interpretations into the gospel.

Despite David's odd metaphysical musings in another post, a community is not an entity with independent life, motives, desires, will, or moral characteristics. The personification of "society" or of collectives is a gross misuse of both language and a flight from rational thought. Groups do not choose. Groups do not weigh alternatives. Groups do not believe or disbelieve, exercise faith, sin, repent, or receive the grace of Christ.

Groups do not receive the gospel. Groups are not baptized. Groups do not receive the priesthood. Groups do not have thoughts and intents of the heart. Collectives do not think, feel, have emotions, perceive, reflect, contemplate, or ponder. A community is a collection of unique, individual, individuated selves, each of whom is an individual spirit intelligence who chooses, weighs alternatives, acts, believes, disbelieves, exercises faith, sins, repents, thinks, feels, ponders, and is saved, damned, or exalted.

abiding in the covenant and covenant group brings salvation. We focus a lot on the need for attending church, for the community experience and fellowship. The baptismal covenant as formulated by Alma insists upon communal responsibility.

This is rather a brutalizing of gospel teaching, not to mention language and logic. Abiding in our covenants, whether or not we are part of a covenant group, or whether the rest of the covenant group gives a flying frick about abiding it, brings salvation. Moroni had no trouble whatsoever attaining salvation, though, for many of the remaining years of his life, he had no covenant group, let alone a single member of his religion with which to share his covenant relationship.

In the examples of those who do not have a share in the world to come you'll see that the common thread is actively pitting themselves against the covenant group and its interests.

So this is, essentially, a tribal, collectivist view of the gospel and of Zion society.

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its taught nowhere in the four standard works

A number of us have provided scriptural citations that show the contrary. I've yet to see a rebuttal beyond rhetoric such as the following:

The scriptures are replete with clear statements that each of us, as unique, individual sons or daughters of God, will one day stand before Jesus Christ to be judge of our works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil. Nowhere, in any sense and in any context, and nothing the Brethren have ever taught, indicates that I can be judged and saved for another, another for me, or that my community can be judged in a manner such that my presence within it, irregardless of my own personal spiritual condition before God, could determine my judgment through my association with the group, whether for good or ill. This is false doctrine, its inconsistent with the fundamental doctrines of of the plan of salvation, and its frankly a egregious falsification of the entire concept of "salvation" in the restored gospel.
Volgadon is teaching another gospel (a kind of Mormonized socialism or communism with a gospel smiley face).

No, Volgadon is not preaching Mormon Fascism: The Secret History of Volgadon and Bokovoy, From Hugh Nibley to Communal Salvation (yes, I caught the Jonah Goldberg reference).

Others are trying to pass of such as LDS doctrine here as well, and heaven knows we have been warned, both from the scriptures and from our contemporary special witnesses, to be aware and wary of such teachings.

The problem is your reaction to the words "communal," "collective," and "social."

If anyone preaches any other gospel...

Oh, please.

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David's eccentric readings of the scriptures

You mean academic, historically accurate, and culturally contextual readings, right?

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I strongly suggest people read Frank Moore Cross, "Kinship and Covenant in Ancient Israel" in his From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel (John Hopkins University Press, 1998).

The essay brought new meaning to covenants and shed new light on the D&C.

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Or will the essay be rejected because it published by the German-modeled John Hopkins University?

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Its hard to imagine that when JS authored this Article of Faith he had such a complex idea in mind. Am I wrong?

No. Joseph had no such idea in mind. If he had, I can assure you that somebody among the General Authorities of the Church, in nearly 200 years, would have made that clear to the members of the Church. The very fact that now, in the year 2011, David Bokovoy is here engaging in the most clever, intellectually subtle sophistries in an attempt to make any and all statements and assertions made by the Brethren, or Joseph Smith himself, appear to harmonize with his personal interpretations of scripture, should be evidence enough to persuade anyone that this is a complete novelty, from a Church perspective.

Too bad David wasn't here 20, 50, 100, 150 years ago to make these subtleties clear. "I believe that the verbal tense in this instance signifies the fact that..." this is an object lesson in why "intellectuals" are distrusted and disliked by many within society and why they can be so dangerous, not only spiritually, but of course economically and politically. Those like me, who have a great love of the intellect, of scholarship, critical thought, and deep reflection, are always saddened when great intellectual gifts like those that have been given to David are misused.

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I will be the last to defend his politics, but you, I think, would espouse the politics of individual responsibility while denying personal responsibility for your own emotions.

There appears to be a bit of a consistency problem there.

You apparently missed my apology to volgadon on another thread.

Let's move on before this gets out of hand, because I'm not in the mood for more petty moral posturing...on any side of the fence.

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Those like me, who have a great love of the intellect, of scholarship, critical thought, and deep reflection, are always saddened when great intellectual gifts like those that have been given to David are misused.

And it saddens me when those who claim to love the intellect, scholarship, critical thought, and deep reflection don't display anything beyond name-calling and intellectual witch-hunts.

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Maybe YOU can explain the phrase "blood and sins of this generation" if generations don't have sins.

That's not difficult at all, if we will decide to use language in a clear and precise manner, and if we will retire to the doctrines of the gospel as a system of doctrine and principle, rather than isolate and compartmentalize particular scriptures or statements for our own purposes.

What is, could you tell us, at all that difficult about interpreting the statement that one can be free of the "blood and sins of this generation" not as "generations having sins", thus personifying and reifying the term "generation" the way David and leftists in general do with terms such as "group,' "society," and "community," but as being free of the blood and sins that exist among a critical mass, or the vast majority individuals within a specific generation, such that the generation takes on a certain general coloration, even though all individuals within it do not partake of its common values and attitudes?

In other words, we don't need to go anywhere near David's reification of these terms to understand their symbolic meaning.

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