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David Bokovoy

Communal Sin in the Bible

185 posts in this topic

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

This distills, in a nutshell, exactly the perception of it I detailed above. Thanks.

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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:

Which others among us, using both the scriptures and the teachings of the modern oracles, have shot down as fast as the gophers head's pop up out of the holes

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).

He's doing precisely and exactly that, and, given enough time, as he has in the past, he'll be more explicit about his views of man, society, and his idea of a "better world."

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

No, my problem is that a bastardization of key doctrines and concepts of the gospel is under way here by a tiny, self anointed group of iconoclastic intellectual elites who see themselves as a vanguard for the rest of the Church, of more "progressive" interpretations of the gospel

Please don't humor me W. We got off to a good start on this board, let's keep it that way.

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

No, I mean eccentric, idiosyncratic, iconoclastic, novel, unusual, odd, strained, tendentious, and otherwise bearing no relation whatsoever to anything I've ever seen, read, or heard taught in General Conference, in any official Church manual or educational resource, by any General Authority, anywhere, at any time, and in any venue.

The problem Walker, is that you are reacting to the fact that they are academic...

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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.

I've now done several threads now the sole purpose of which has been with critical analysis, logical argument, and philosophical criticism of David's views. When you have engaged them and adduced some comment or counter-argument regarding my arguments and salient points, come see me.

The problem here W, is that you appear to have become a Bokovoy sycophant, and this is why you've spent an inordinate amount of time defending him personally, while failing to support his beliefs with critical argument.

Circling your own wagons around him will not be enough.

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Which others among us, using both the scriptures and the teachings of the modern oracles, have shot down as fast as the gophers head's pop up out of the holes

You say this, but I haven't seen it anywhere.

He's doing precisely and exactly that, and, given enough time, as he has in the past, he'll be more explicit about his views of man, society, and his idea of a "better world."

Given his interest in my views of capitalism, I doubt that. And given the extremely conservative nature of American Mormons, I doubt it even more.

No, my problem is that a bastardization of key doctrines and concepts of the gospel is under way here by a tiny, self anointed group of iconoclastic intellectual elites who see themselves as a vanguard for the rest of the Church, of more "progressive" interpretations of the gospel

You haven't demonstrated how it is a bastardization. You haven't talked about ancient Israel hardly at all.

Please don't humor me W. We got off to a good start on this board, let's keep it that way.

I would love to, but the way you are treating many of those whom I respect and have had longer interactions with is making it difficult. There is a more appropriate way to engage the dialogue.

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The problem Walker, is that you are reacting to the fact that they are academic...

How is this a problem? Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, etc. are/were all academics.

I don't see "academic" or "intellectual" as a code word for something diabolical. The irony of something like Sowell's Intellectuals & Society is that he is an intellectual writing a book for society discussing the impact of intellectuals on society. What makes it great and not hypocritical is that he is self-aware.

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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 "rhetoric"? Please then refute, or demonstrate the inconsistency with the teachings and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, of the bolded portions of the text above I excerpted from my post.

Thanks.

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How is this a problem? Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, etc. are/were all academics.

I don't see "academic" or "intellectual" as a code word for something diabolical. The irony of something like Sowell's Intellectuals & Society is that he is an intellectual writing a book for society discussing the impact of intellectuals on society. What makes it great and not hypocritical is that he is self-aware.

That went right over your head, didn't it?

Never mind.

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I've now done several threads now the sole purpose of which has been with critical analysis, logical argument, and philosophical criticism of David's views.

But you never engaged the scriptural, cultural, or historical argument he originally made regarding ancient Israel. I don't need to read your views on why socialism sucks. That doesn't address ancient Israel.

The problem here W, is that you appear to have become a Bokovoy sycophant, and this is why you've spent an inordinate amount of time defending him personally, while failing to support his beliefs with critical argument.

Of course. I'm just a Bokovoy groupie. It couldn't possibly be that I happen to agree with him because I've actually read quite a bit about ancient Israel...

Circling your own wagons around him will not be enough.

Considering he is my friend and a fellow saint, I will come to his defense when one engages in character assassination. Endless diatribes regarding modern political philosophies do not address the original point about ancient Israel.

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This is "rhetoric"? Please then refute, or demonstrate the inconsistency with the teachings and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, of the bolded portions of the text above I excerpted from my post.

Thanks.

Yes, it is rhetoric and assertion. You didn't provide anything. You just said it existed.

On top of this, it still doesn't address what David provided.

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That went right over your head, didn't it?

Never mind.

By all means, enlighten me. Or would you have to lower yourself to my level (you know, the one who wallows in "intellectualism" and "academia")?

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Given his interest in my views of capitalism, I doubt that. And given the extremely conservative nature of American Mormons, I doubt it even more.

Volg is an extreme leftist. I've interacted with him here for years. I've encountered his views rather extensively.

You haven't demonstrated how it is a bastardization. You haven't talked about ancient Israel hardly at all.

I've done so on these present threads, and I and others in this forum have successfully and conclusively been doing precisely and exactly that, with regard to David's views, for upwards of a year now, so excuse me if I point out that just because you haven't seen it means little to the actual state of affairs.

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Note: Relying on quotes from Benson, Romney, or whatever modern GA does not address the concepts of ancient Israel.

There is a difference between modern GAs not liking socialism and ancient Israel believing in collective guilt/salvation.

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Volg is an extreme leftist. I've interacted with him here for years. I've encountered his views rather extensively.

I was referring to David. And I've been interacting with Volgadon for the past several years as well.

I've done so on these present threads, and I and others in this forum have successfully and conclusively been doing precisely and exactly that, with regard to David's views, for upwards of a year now, so excuse me if I point out that just because you haven't seen it means little to the actual state of affairs.

Where in this thread do you successfully and conclusively demonstrate that ancient Israel did not believe in collective guilt/salvation? I don't care how absurd you think the concept is. I want to know where you've demonstrated that they didn't believe it.

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By all means, enlighten me. Or would you have to lower yourself to my level (you know, the one who wallows in "intellectualism" and "academia")?

So do I, and I have a quarter of a century of wallowing (just ask my wife) behind me and hopefully, 25 more.

It is precisely for this reason, and my experiences in life over half a century, that I have become an intellectual, but at the same time am deeply suspicious and, when necessary, scathingly critical of "the intellectuals" as a class and with specific individuals, especially as their attitudes, values, and perceptions are shaped by the terribly politicized and almost monocultural ideological environment within modern higher education.

David Bokovoy is representative of a small La trahison des Clercs presently underway among what is doubtless a very small subgroup of LDS intellectuals who have been deeply influenced by certain philosophies they have encountered within academia and which have become, as these kinds of ideas tend to do, a religious commitment in and of themselves. This isn't in any sense weird, just somewhat shocking to see it rising within the Church. Its already had a very long run in Catholicism (especially in Latin America) and mainline Protestantism, but this is, after all The Church of Jesus Christ, and its doctrines are not negotiable, and not to be altered or modified unless done so through the proper channels and authority.

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Where in this thread do you successfully and conclusively demonstrate that ancient Israel did not believe in collective guilt/salvation? I don't care how absurd you think the concept is. I want to know where you've demonstrated that they didn't believe it.

Zerinius has done a good job pointing out that David's readings of the relevant scriptures here are eccentric, and not at all conclusive. I, myself have not addressed that per se.

However, keep in mind that David has no interest in simply pointing out, as a matter of scholarly interest, that ancient Israel believed in collective guilt/salvation. Even if this can ultimately be supported scripturally as the clear and unambiguous meaning of the texts - which is doubtful - David has made clear time and time and time again, including on this present group of threads, that he perceives in the ancient Israelite tradition a template for both the contemporary Saints and as a model, or type, of the future UO (not to mention secular government, which adds another element entirely).

Let me ask you this W. Do you believe that Acts 4: 34-35 represents a clear doctrinal mandate for all contemporary Latter Day Saints and Christians generally, to divest themselves completely of all their material goods, including money and personal property, and distribute it to the poor? Do you further believe that Jesus' specific call to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 to "go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor" is a broad general mandate to all Christians and Latter day Saints to do exactly this, regardless of the consequences or effects of such action?

Well, David teaches and adduces arguments for exactly this, and he has defended this proposition clearly and assertively in this forum on various occasions.

In other words, what I and others have demonstrated again and again is that, whatever the facts of the matter may or may not be regarding ancient Israel (and David has patently not made his case for that with any degree of certainty), David has always made clear the application of his readings of both the OT and NT to the Church in a modern, as well as future context. What his critics, including myself, have made clear regarding this is that David's views here, as I've said, are not a part of the restored gospel, and cannot be found in the Church, whether or not some plausible case can be made for finding some ancient form of them in the OT.

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Zerinius has done a good job pointing out that David's readings of the relevant scriptures here are eccentric, and not at all conclusive.

I'm not trying to be sarcastic when I offer a sincere congratulations to Zerinius. This is the first time I have encountered a poster in this forum other than Rob Bowman who agrees with Z's highly evangelical approach to scripture.

However, keep in mind that David has no interest in simply pointing out, as a matter of scholarly interest, that ancient Israel believed in collective guilt/salvation.

That's not true.

Even if this can ultimately be supported scripturally as the clear and unambiguous meaning of the texts

It can. There's a reason that one would be hard pressed to find a single biblical scholar who disagrees and that the view is even taught opening in the Ensign article I sighted by my friend and former professor (the first one who really exposed me to this concept), i.e. Dr. Stephen Ricks. Dr Ricks is very politically conservative. Wouldn't it be fun to email him and ask if he believes that the Old Testament teaches the concept of communal sin?! I know its clearly taught in his article, but it still might be fun for you.

David has made clear time and time and time again, including on this present group of threads, that he perceives in the ancient Israelite tradition a template for both the contemporary Saints and as a model, or type, of the future UO (not to mention secular government, which adds another element entirely).

This is true.

Let me ask you this W. Do you believe that Acts 4: 34-35 represents a clear doctrinal mandate for all contemporary Latter Day Saints and Christians generally, to divest themselves completely of all their material goods, including money and personal property, and distribute it to the poor? Do you further believe that Jesus' specific call to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 to "go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor" is a broad general mandate to all Christians and Latter day Saints to do exactly this, regardless of the consequences or effects of such action?

Well, David teaches and adduces arguments for exactly this, and he has defended this proposition clearly and assertively in this forum on various occasions.

This is not true.

What his critics, including myself, have made clear regarding this is that David's views here, as I've said, are not a part of the restored gospel, and cannot be found in the Church, whether or not some plausible case can be made for finding some ancient form of them in the OT.

Funny how one can claim to have clearly demonstrated this fact when the individual has only offered political rhetoric and never once used Latter-day scripture to support his opposition. In fact, other than Zerinius and Deborah, no one who has ever disagreed has ever attempted to counter my claims with scriptural analysis. For all of the highly problematic evangelical-like readings he offers, I do credit him for at least attempting to support his opposition via LDS scripture.

I wish others would follow suit.

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

Not sure if you are following me completely.

Then why must we be personally cleansed from them through our personal faithfulness?

We are baptized for our own sins, no one else's, if you catch my drift.

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In fact, other than Zerinius and Deborah

I frequently disagree with Zerinus' interpretations, but you have to hand it to him, he consistently uses the scriptures.

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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.

We cannot exist without groups- specifically our culture. Culture and language define our reality. Babies cannot survive without families, tribes, societies etc. We literally cannot live without them.

These points comprise well-established philosophical and psychological schools- if you are not aware of social constructivism, that is one fine, but criticizing David for this view is just plain.... well, let's say "uninformed" to be charitable.

Such views are not "odd metaphysical musings".

I personally am a libertarian because I am suspicious of collective suppression of the rights of individuals- but we cannot ignore the fact that the way we everything is defined by our culture. Even my libertarianism is a totally American value, undoubtedly conditioned by my own cultural upbringing. My sense of guilt and responsibility is also largely conditioned by my culture.

If nothing else, redemption from a communal sense of guilt is a real necessity psychologically. Many ethnic groups are known for their sense of "guilt".

We may have individual responsibility, but we cannot escape our culture. Ever.

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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?

Why then do we need personal redemption from these based on our own personal worthiness, beyond personal baptism?

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I personally am a libertarian because I am suspicious of collective suppression of the rights of individuals- but we cannot ignore the fact that the way we everything is defined by our culture. Even my libertarianism is a totally American value, undoubtedly conditioned by my own cultural upbringing. My sense of guilt and responsibility is also largely conditioned by my culture.

A position, by the way, that I understand and respect. The truth regarding my position is that political parties of any form or shape are quite trivial. I have completely bought into the notion of building Zion and the theological view that our purpose here on earth is not to prepare to live with God, but prepare the world for God to come and live here. If one feels fully vested in this objective then all political parties and governments, while temporarily important to a degree, eventually fade into sheer insignificance.

That's my honest perspective.

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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...

What is the deal here LHB with you and DB and Volg? Are DB and Volg on a mission to mis-lead the church? Are they dangerous? You'd think the answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes if one is to believe your posts. I'm not in any way an academic, I'm a businessman but well-versed in the scriptures, and I've been active in the church for over 50 years; and I think DB and Volg are a breath of fresh air and I appreciate their unique take on things, especially the OT.

And I agree with most of what they say, if not all. Am I on the road to apostasy? Have I been deceived? I doubt even my father would say so (were he alive), and he was a religion prof at BYU for 40 years, a mission president (twice), a close associate of many GA's, and a political conservative all of his life.

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A position, by the way, that I understand and respect. The truth regarding my position is that political parties of any form or shape are quite trivial. I have completely bought into the notion of building Zion and the theological view that our purpose here on earth is not to prepare to live with God, but prepare the world for God to come and live here. If one feels fully vested in this objective then all political parties and governments, while temporarily important to a degree, eventually fade into sheer insignificance.

That's my honest perspective.

Well I think we may be closer than I thought at first blush, even on the politics. Where we differ is perhaps in our level of trust in institutions to "do the right thing". I think they virtually never do so, and in fact often do the worst possible thing.

I have absolutely no trust in them whatsoever, and find them to be either corrupt or subject to corruption. I even think the church needs to be on guard continuously to avoid corruption.

In the long run, I feel I am personally ready to live the law of consecration if I am called to do so tomorrow. But until then, I trust no institution of man fully. The church is the best I think that exists, but even the church is not perfect- yet. I see political parties as a necessary defense against the tyranny of the collective until we reach Zion.

For me, the preparation must be personal through personal service. We learn communal living through church service, not through government programs.

But I certainly agree it will all be irrelevant when the time comes.

I was a student of Angela Davis at UCLA in ancient times- don't know if you are old enough to know who she is- but you do also have the Brandeis connection I think- and was pretty much an atheist Trotskyite until I had personal experience with institutional corruption and decided it was the very nature of institutions themselves to go that way. I have been a linguistic constructivist and Pragmatist for 40 years, and discovered Mormonism about 30 years ago and found it highly compatible with that view.

Look at Abraham 4 for example:

5And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night.

The ordering of chaos is accomplished by linguistically defining reality.

I had an incredibly powerful spiritual experience when I prayed about the Book of Mormon, and as you can imagine as a linguistic constructivist, "historicity" was pretty much irrelevant for me.

But anyway, if I still trusted governments to do the right thing, we might be very close indeed!

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Volg is an extreme leftist.

I must be. I have a small Lenin bust, a paperweight used by the secretary of the Communist Party in Shakhty. A dear friend (LDS) gave it to me as a parting gift when I was transfered to a different city. It is back home in Israel, but I used to tap it on the head quite a bit. Not exactly an attitude of reverence and respect. This friend got it for me because he was used to getting Soviet memorabilia for the elders. The fad among missionaries in that town for Soviet stuff was actually started by Republican elders from Utah.

Anyway, I was also offered a Wahabbist flag, and I bought an icon of St. George as Napoleon, yet one would hardly call me a Muslim extremist, or Russian Orthodox. I'm really not extreme anything.

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