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RevTestament

If God became man, why is it heretical for man to become God?

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 1:24 PM, The Nehor said:

I think the goal was to pull it off being a casual discussion piece. President Hinckley stated that we do not know much about it and he was right. I heard of a Sunday School class in which the teacher started out each lesson by reminding everyone they are “gods in embryo” and structuring the lesson to feed back into how the lesson topic relates to that. I feel uncomfortable when this Doctrine is bandied about casually. It is primarily a temple teaching.

I like the way it is now. Most faithful members I know accept it but it is not casually discussed and is largely kept to sacred situations.

That makes sense.  Remember 'Time Bandits?'  Growing up, I loved that scene where the evil dude fantasized about what he would have done in place of the Creator at the beginning of time.  "Spaceships!"  "Lasers!"  I would joke about creating and populating donut shaped planets and flying spaceships through the center.  On my mission, my companion and I would debate whether exalted beings could play a meaningful game of chess or basketball.  Can perfect beings ever lose?  Contemplating theosis was a game, not a path to holiness.

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 10:07 PM, Storm Rider said:

Spammer - I don't see the distinction that you are making. To me when I see the Father it is as if I have seen the Son; "if you have seen me you have seen the Father."  However, I do agree that I pull back from describing what that means. Part of the reason is that I don't think we have a complete picture of what it means; just a description of some of the activities.  

I appreciate and believe what you PB states. It does not conflict with belief or concept of becoming like the Father and/or the Son. 

We certainly conflict with the orthodox perception of the Father being a person of spirit. Granted, I think they are wrong in their teaching, but understand their confusion based solely on scripture and without the benefits of revelations and guidance from the Holy Spirit. 

Au contraire, the church fathers and councils did benefit from revelation and guidance from the Holy Spirit.  :)

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 9:53 AM, pogi said:

I like your patriarchal blessing!  That is still how I (and I would assume most) view theiosis in the restored gospel.  Anything less is not really what a God is and does.

Just curious about your interpretation of Ireneaous and others, what does becoming a god look like in Catholicism?  Is it just a title, or is there more to it?  What does it mean to “become what he is”?

Will we be God in every way except being disembodied?  What does that mean exactly to you?

That's a good question.  Growing up, I used to speculate about that a lot.  See my reply to Nehor above.  I don't do that know.  God is Spirit and is not in time or space and becoming like him can't mean that I can become exactly like him.  The incarnate Son became man, God in the flesh, so I can become like Jesus.  That's my reference point when I think about theosis.  I have no frame of reference for thinking about God's eternal life outside time and space.   So, when Peter says we participate in the divine nature as Christians, to me that means we will literally be like Jesus in his humanity - a man of holiness.  The difference is Jesus was the God-Man, both God and human.  Two natures.  I'll never be that.  I'll never be anything other than a human being, a single nature.  Theosis to me means uniting with God, not becoming God.  There is only one 'capital G' God, God by nature. I will be a god in lower case, a divinized human being, not God by nature. 

Regarding what I think we'll be 'doing?'  I don't have a clue.  I have no frame of reference for thinking about life without the constraints of time and space.  It would be silly to speculate. 

Edited by Spammer

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4 hours ago, Spammer said:

No, I don't consider Arius to be a church father since I belong to the Nicene Creedal church aka Catholic Christianity.  It's a big umbrella that excludes Arianism.  You're right, the battle with Arius' teaching didn't end at the council.  Constantine himself later flipped and embraced Arius, exiling Athanasius and other outspoken Catholics who represented the majority view at the Council.  It's not commonly known that the priest who baptized Constantine on his deathbed was an Arian. 

Well, the RCC regards Constantine as Christian, but I am not aware of the official position of the Eastern Orthodox. I regard him as a Roman Emperor who did things much like his predecessors - and seeing a quarter of his empire becoming Christian, he did the politically expedient thing and legalized Christianity. What kind of Christian murders his own wife and children? He is not any great claim for Arian Christianity, but perhaps in the end he was truly repentant - death tends to humble people.

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 No doubt Arius wished to follow Christ; he's not a church father because he taught false doctrine.  By the way, the dispute between Arius and orthodox Catholics was only whether the Son is a created being. 

Was Christ not a mortal man who bled and died like other men? Was His body created and birthed in a mortal way? It sure seems it was created from everything I can read about it in the scriptures. I suppose that is just too blasphemous to accept though. And we really don't know that was what Arius taught, because the state Church had all his writings destroyed. I don't there there is a single scrap of his writings left. The closest to it is a purported quotation of one of his letters. So what we have is the state Church claiming that Arius' main teaching was that Christ was a creation.. I don't get that gist. I get that Arius believed Christ existed before the world, and that we could be begotten like Him. i don't think we get the truth of the matter through the Orthodox Churches.

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Both agreed with Irenaeus that God is a disembodied spirit, outside time and space, who created everything out of nothing.  You won't find any church father or Arian whose writings we have preserved who believed that the Father is embodied.  We do have church fathers who believed matter is eternal (e.g., Justin Martyr), but that's because they were Platonists.  LDS teaching has that in common with Greek philosophy.

Well, it seems to be a scientific concept as well. Even the big bang theory, which I don't particularly adhere to, does not teach that the big bang was the beginning of matter. Matter didn't just poof into existence. The universe didn't come from nothing, but from a singularity according to the theory. I'm interested in theology though and not science. The idea that God is a disembodied spirit is a philosophical one as well. I think Yeshua kind of disproves that premise. Your turn.

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Was Arius right?  Must you believe the early disciples really understood God better than you?  There are many voices and interpreters, all of whom read scripture for themselves and are convinced that the author of a passage meant exactly what they think he meant.  It's just disorganized chaos with no way to know the truth unless God appointed a human agency to be the arbiter.  If I read scripture and conclude that my interpretation is correct, I set myself up as that arbiter. 

You mean like the "Church Fathers" did? Or at least were made to do by the later Orthodox Church? I think everyone was defending truth as they saw it. 

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the precepts of men.

Now please find for me where God teaches He is one substance? That is not found anywhere until 325. Indeed, it seems to have been denounced in a prior synod of Ephesus. There is not even a scintilla of scriptural evidence that teaching is a precept of God.

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That's the way of Protestantism and LDS church members who rely on the Spirit alone (i.e., their own private interpretation) to determine what truth is.  There's no way through the impasse without prophet, pope, or church council, is some other agent whose God-appointed job is to be the arbiter.  I follow the ancient popes and church councils.

.That's my point. Your teachers taught that it had to be known to be Christian. I don't think so. I think one could follow Christ without understanding every last thing. It was pretty simple - believe in Him, and in the resurrection, and repent. Maybe the rest wasn't really meant to be determined for us by some later council of a minority of the bishops who are later put in an apostolic role. Where did Yeshua say bishops shall receive my revelations? Maybe the issue was purposefully left open for man to search out for themselves? 

Proverbs 25:2

2 It is the glory of God to aconceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

And maybe your pontiffs and church councils stopped that process.... just maybe...

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  That's why I don't consider Arius to be a church father. Yes, my belief in the objectivity of the arbiter’s pronouncements is subjectively determined. We’re all in the same boat. And to clarify, in case it comes up, I did not pray and ask God which church is true. After deciding I wanted to be a Christian again, I reviewed the ancient writings for myself and concluded that Mormonism is nowhere to be found. I followed where the weight of the evidence pointed. It was that simple

Yes. We are all in the same boat of trying to understand God. I don't see a valid reason to be stuck with the precepts of a council consisting of a minority of the bishops of the empire making decisions originally made by the apostles rather than the bishops they ordained to judge individual congregations. I don't particularly fault your approach. I am just not convinced that the evidence points to a minority of the bishops of the Roman empire being in a better position than me to understand the scriptures. The scriptures say repeatedly in different ways that if we lack understanding we can ask of God - He giveth to all mankind according to His plan and design. So that is my choice. Because I do not choose to follow yours does that mean I am not a Christian?

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On 11/5/2018 at 4:59 PM, Tacenda said:

Well, it does mention Satan convincing Eve that she can become like God in the Bible. And Freemasonry is part of the church's beginnings. Why do we have the all seeing eye and other symbols on our temples and in our tabernacles, and have similar signs and tokens? Or the lion and beehive, both have masonic meanings. If you read about it in the link, they mention men working on their own salvation. And this is what the non-LDS Christians are saying  LDS do and that it is heretical.

 https://www.jashow.org/articles/where-do-masonry-and-christianity-conflict-part-1/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry

I like this article by the late John Tvedtness. He found midrash garden conversations from Zohar Genesis 36a, and armenian adam literature from the middle ages. For example here are a few statements from the serpent to the woman. “Why do you eat of the fruit from every tree, but you do not eat of this beautiful fruit?” The woman said, “Because the Lord God commanded not to eat of that fruit. He said, ‘When you eat it, you will die.'” The serpent said, “God wants to deceive you, for God was like you, because he had not eaten of that fruit. When he ate it, he attained the glory of divinity. That is why he told you not to eat of that fruit, because you would become equal, sharing the glory and throne of God.” In the armenian text, satan says to the woman "With this tree God created the world; eat therefore of it, and ye shall be like God, knowing good and evil, for through this knowledge he is called God."Said Rabbi Judah: “This is not the way he spoke, for had he said that God created the world through this tree, he would have spoken correctly. What he actually said, however, was that God ate of the tree and so built the world. ‘Therefore,’ he went on, ‘eat you of it and you shall create worlds. It is because God knows that He has commanded you not to eat of it, for every artisan hates his fellow of the same craft." In other words, God had to install a backup server with all his creation designs on earth. He commanded Adam not to eat of the tree (universe design software) because he didn't want to share his trade secrets with adam and eve.

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22 minutes ago, blueglass said:

I like this article by the late John Tvedtness. He found midrash garden conversations from Zohar Genesis 36a, and armenian adam literature from the middle ages. For example here are a few statements from the serpent to the woman. “Why do you eat of the fruit from every tree, but you do not eat of this beautiful fruit?” The woman said, “Because the Lord God commanded not to eat of that fruit. He said, ‘When you eat it, you will die.'” The serpent said, “God wants to deceive you, for God was like you, because he had not eaten of that fruit. When he ate it, he attained the glory of divinity. That is why he told you not to eat of that fruit, because you would become equal, sharing the glory and throne of God.” In the armenian text, satan says to the woman "With this tree God created the world; eat therefore of it, and ye shall be like God, knowing good and evil, for through this knowledge he is called God."Said Rabbi Judah: “This is not the way he spoke, for had he said that God created the world through this tree, he would have spoken correctly. What he actually said, however, was that God ate of the tree and so built the world. ‘Therefore,’ he went on, ‘eat you of it and you shall create worlds. It is because God knows that He has commanded you not to eat of it, for every artisan hates his fellow of the same craft." In other words, God had to install a backup server with all his creation designs on earth. He commanded Adam not to eat of the tree (universe design software) because he didn't want to share his trade secrets with adam and eve.

This made me wonder if he was using reverse psychology. But then again isn't it all metaphoric? I'm so confused.

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8 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

This made me wonder if he was using reverse psychology. But then again isn't it all metaphoric? I'm so confused.

When satan says "there is no other way", we are not compelled to believe he's telling the truth.  Eve believes him, and acknowledges later she was deceived.

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/01/the-choice-that-began-mortality?lang=eng

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50 minutes ago, blueglass said:

. He commanded Adam not to eat of the tree (universe design software) because he didn't want to share his trade secrets with adam and eve.

Gotta love those midrash understandings of the rabbis... they never got anything wrong....

Maybe Adam and Eve had to go through the gospel process to get to the universe design software hidden in the tree of life.... :)

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When satan says "there is no other way", we are not compelled to believe he's telling the truth.  Eve believes him, and acknowledges later she was deceived.

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/01/the-choice-that-began-mortality?lang=eng

She was apparently deceived about believing she wouldn't have to die because she would be as the gods. Yet as our elohim, Yeshua came and died. It was quite necessary, but of course that wasn't a spiritual death, which is what I believe Genesis is speaking about. See the BoM.

Edited by RevTestament
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2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Well, the RCC regards Constantine as Christian, but I am not aware of the official position of the Eastern Orthodox.

Constantine is considered a Christian in both churches.  In the Greek church, he's considered a saint, along with his wife, Helen.  This, despite his Arian baptism.  I suppose he's given credit for the good things he did to preserve and advance the orthodox Catholic faith.

 

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Was Christ not a mortal man who bled and died like other men? Was His body created and birthed in a mortal way? It sure seems it was created from everything I can read about it in the scriptures. I suppose that is just too blasphemous to accept though. And we really don't know that was what Arius taught, because the state Church had all his writings destroyed. I don't there there is a single scrap of his writings left.

Of course he was a man who was birthed, bled and died like other men. The matter that went into his body's creation was created, same as all matter, same as our bodies, but in his case through the power of the Holy Spirit in cooperation with Mary. 

The dispute with Arius wasn't over whether Jesus' body was created, but whether all of him, his divinity included, was created.  Arius taught there was a time prior to his incarnation when the Son was not, in which everything about the incarnate Son is a creation.  The orthodox teach there never was a time when the Son was not, in which only his human body is created - not his divinity.  Jesus is the eternal God in the flesh. 

About his writings, they weren't all destroyed.  There are three of his letters that survive (one to Alexander of Alexandria, another to Eusebius of Nicomedia and one to Constantine). 

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Well, it seems to be a scientific concept as well. Even the big bang theory, which I don't particularly adhere to, does not teach that the big bang was the beginning of matter. Matter didn't just poof into existence. The universe didn't come from nothing, but from a singularity according to the theory. I'm interested in theology though and not science. The idea that God is a disembodied spirit is a philosophical one as well. I think Yeshua kind of disproves that premise. Your turn.

I'm not interested in debating.  None of this can be proved through science.  We all have our interpretations.  The orthodox teaching is that yes, matter did just poof into existence.  That's a claim that cannot be proved, same as the claim that matter has always existed and didn't just poof into existence.  How do you get outside matter to test the hypothesis? 

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

You mean like the "Church Fathers" did? Or at least were made to do by the later Orthodox Church? I think everyone was defending truth as they saw it. 

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the precepts of men.

Now please find for me where God teaches He is one substance? That is not found anywhere until 325. Indeed, it seems to have been denounced in a prior synod of Ephesus. There is not even a scintilla of scriptural evidence that teaching is a precept of God

I see God's oneness and spiritual nature in scripture and in the church fathers.  I see it in scripture and it follows from what Irenaeus taught when he said that God is uncreated and a spiritual essence who made matter out of nothing (poof!).  You don't see it in scripture or before 325 because you interpret really old writings differently. I'm not interested in a game of scripture quoting.  That's a waste of our time.

Everyone interprets, even the Church Fathers.  The question is whom do we trust.  Ourselves or someone else (our authority)?  There's only one way to reconcile our different interpretations in a way that isn't circular.  There has to be a God-appointed infallible arbiter.  Lacking this, it's vicious circles everywhere and no way out.  That's why quoting scriptures at each other is a waste of time.

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

That's my point. Your teachers taught that it had to be known to be Christian. I don't think so. I think one could follow Christ without understanding every last thing. It was pretty simple - believe in Him, and in the resurrection, and repent. Maybe the rest wasn't really meant to be determined for us by some later council of a minority of the bishops who are later put in an apostolic role. Where did Yeshua say bishops shall receive my revelations? Maybe the issue was purposefully left open for man to search out for themselves? 

Who knows?  Without an arbiter external to ourselves to defer to, someone with the final say, that can't be determined.

 

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Yes. We are all in the same boat of trying to understand God. I don't see a valid reason to be stuck with the precepts of a council consisting of a minority of the bishops of the empire making decisions originally made by the apostles rather than the bishops they ordained to judge individual congregations. I don't particularly fault your approach. I am just not convinced that the evidence points to a minority of the bishops of the Roman empire being in a better position than me to understand the scriptures. The scriptures say repeatedly in different ways that if we lack understanding we can ask of God - He giveth to all mankind according to His plan and design. So that is my choice. Because I do not choose to follow yours does that mean I am not a Christian?

it's all guesswork and speculation.     

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

And maybe your pontiffs and church councils stopped that process.... just maybe...

Or not.  That's one interpretation.  Since the pontiffs and church councils are the arbiter I trust, I have a different view.

2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Yes. We are all in the same boat of trying to understand God. I don't see a valid reason to be stuck with the precepts of a council consisting of a minority of the bishops of the empire making decisions originally made by the apostles rather than the bishops they ordained to judge individual congregations. I don't particularly fault your approach. I am just not convinced that the evidence points to a minority of the bishops of the Roman empire being in a better position than me to understand the scriptures. The scriptures say repeatedly in different ways that if we lack understanding we can ask of God - He giveth to all mankind according to His plan and design. So that is my choice. Because I do not choose to follow yours does that mean I am not a Christian?

"The scriptures say repeatedly..."  More interpretation.  We all ask God and arrive at different conclusions.  Without someone with the final say, we interpret in circles.  A majority of bishops at the council sided with Athanasius against Arius.  That majority was a minority of bishops, as you say.  Do you have evidence that allows to you count how many of the total not in attendance didn't support the council's decision?  We need more data on the preferences of those not in attendance so we can populate the numerator and denominator and derive the percentage.  There isn't any.  All we have is the count at the council, from two sources and they conflict.  The evidence is sparse.  We review the same evidence and arrive at different conclusions.  The evidence that convinces me doesn't convince you.  That's the way it goes. Regarding theology, as distinct from historical evidence, we read the same scriptures, cite the same verses, and interpret them differently.  Without an external authority we both trust to break the impasse, there can be no resolution.  I do have one feather in my cap, though. Fortunately for me, the external authority I defer to is the same one that compiled and authorized the Bible - placed into our hands the same scriptures that we both interpret when we talk about Jesus. If my Catholic church fathers had approved a different set of writings for the New Testament, the whole Christian world (you included) would consider them to be scripture.

Finally, who's saying your not a Christian?  You're a Christian, probably a very good one.  You're just not currently in communion with the Body of Christ.  That can be rectified, however.  :)

 

Edited by Spammer
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7 hours ago, Spammer said:

Au contraire, the church fathers and councils did benefit from revelation and guidance from the Holy Spirit.  :)

Just not very much of it. :vader:

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11 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Just not very much of it. :vader:

:NI:

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22 hours ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

Well let's face it, Christianity is not the largest believing group on Earth by far.

Just an FYI, Christianity is the largest believing group and significantly so.  It is currently at approx 33% of the world's population.

Next in line is Islam at approx 24%.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations

Interesting info on state favoured religions (Christianity does well there worldwise):

http://www.pewforum.org/2017/10/03/many-countries-favor-specific-religions-officially-or-unofficially/

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Spammer said:

Constantine is considered a Christian in both churches.  In the Greek church, he's considered a saint, along with his wife, Helen.  This, despite his Arian baptism.  I suppose he's given credit for the good things he did to preserve and advance the orthodox Catholic faith.

So I can be baptised as an Arian Christian, and with enough good works be saved in the Orthodox Church? Methinks you are running into trouble here adopting this heretic in. ;) 

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Of course he was a man who was birthed, bled and died like other men. The matter that went into his body's creation was created, same as all matter, same as our bodies, but in his case through the power of the Holy Spirit in cooperation with Mary. 

The dispute with Arius wasn't over whether Jesus' body was created, but whether all of him, his divinity included, was created.  Arius taught there was a time prior to his incarnation when the Son was not, in which everything about the incarnate Son is a creation.  The orthodox teach there never was a time when the Son was not, in which only his human body is created - not his divinity.  Jesus is the eternal God in the flesh. 

About his writings, they weren't all destroyed.  There are three of his letters that survive (one to Alexander of Alexandria, another to Eusebius of Nicomedia and one to Constantine). 

Ah...a time when the Son was not... Where have I heard that before? Hmm. Tertullian, the so called father of Latin Orthodoxy, said the same thing exactly. If this is exactly what Arius said you are making my point that the claim that Arius taught Yeshua was a created being is a false interpretation... or incomplete anyway. However, that does not follow. I believe there was time when the Son Yeshua was not. I think that is scriptural. It was the time before he was begotten/adopted as the Son by the oath of the Father. How can He be the Father's own unique Son, before he was told by the Father "this day I have begotten thee?" He was a living being receiving this oath, so it seems He existed in some form. i don't believe scripture teaches spirit has any beginning. Spirit is uncreated. This is a lesson of Adam. After God created him, his body had no life until God breathed his spirit into him. This comports with Ecclesiastes which says the body returns to the dust from which it was created, but the spirit returns to God who gave it - note: not created it. God created everything in the world, but spirit was not in the world. It already existed, and was sent to the world after our bodies are created. This is of course the exact type of debate going on at the time of the Nicene Council which was later opposed by a great many of the eastern churches in some of their own large councils which orthodoxy conveniently avoids talking about as if the matter was already well decided, when it was not.

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I'm not interested in debating.  None of this can be proved through science.  We all have our interpretations.  The orthodox teaching is that yes, matter did just poof into existence.  That's a claim that cannot be proved, same as the claim that matter has always existed and didn't just poof into existence.  How do you get outside matter to test the hypothesis? 

I see God's oneness and spiritual nature in scripture and in the church fathers.  I see it in scripture and it follows from what Irenaeus taught when he said that God is uncreated and a spiritual essence who made matter out of nothing (poof!).  You don't see it in scripture or before 325 because you interpret really old writings differently. I'm not interested in a game of scripture quoting.  That's a waste of our time.

It is fairly testable. We know the speed of light. Judging by the vast distances to the farthest observable (ie objective) galaxies we know their light has been shining many billions of years to reach us. So unless you believe God created that light 6000 years ago midstream you begin to run into problems saying God created all matter in the beginning of Genesis. The earth was without form, and He formed it. That is simple and plain and doesn't defy objective science. A potter creates a pot from thousands of clay pieces the same way. Irenaeus was not an apostle. He was not God. I don't see any authority there for him to create scripture, and I don't see any particular  inspiration making me want to accept his thoughts over mine. He was a good source of patristic history.

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Everyone interprets, even the Church Fathers.  The question is whom do we trust.  Ourselves or someone else (our authority)?  There's only one way to reconcile our different interpretations in a way that isn't circular.  There has to be a God-appointed infallible arbiter.  Lacking this, it's vicious circles everywhere and no way out.  That's why quoting scriptures at each other is a waste of time.

Who knows?  Without an arbiter external to ourselves to defer to, someone with the final say, that can't be determined.

We do have an arbiter. A man named Yeshua who leads His Church. Am I not allowed to pray to Him? He seemed to think we could ask Him anything, and He would pray to the Father for us. We are all following the plan of the Father - even Him. 

How do we know what to believe? How do we know who is a prophet? He said we will know them by their works. I find the works of Joseph Smith to be pretty good. They led me to a better understanding of God. After praying over them for many years, and accepting what I have learned, I continue to learn. It's that precept upon precept thing from Isaiah that the Church of Jesus Christ first taught me about some 42 years ago. 

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it's all guesswork and speculation.     

Or not.  That's one interpretation.  Since the pontiffs and church councils are the arbiter I trust, I have a different view."The scriptures say repeatedly..."  More interpretation. 

Well, I've quoted about 3 of them now. Will it help if I continue? I guess I would rather interpret straight from the scriptures than through  what appear to me to be precepts of men. I have had to do that basically my whole life as a Christian. If interpretations of other men bring light, I build on that, otherwise I keep looking.

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We all ask God and arrive at different conclusions.  Without someone with the final say, we interpret in circles. 

So, I assume the answer is the mysteries were done, and we have to accept someone else's interpretation? 

Yes, men have gone in circles. They will continue to do so, even when the truth is manifested to them. Christ manifested it up on the cross about which He said He would show us plainly of the Father, but men still do not agree. Picking some earthly arbiter with some randomness hardly seems a solution I wish to pursue.

I see the Church as more a means of pointing us in the right direction rather than being the source of all truth. I think Christ fills that role. He weans us from the breast of the Church.

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A majority of bishops at the council sided with Athanasius against Arius.  That majority was a minority of bishops, as you say.  Do you have evidence that allows to you count how many of the total not in attendance didn't support the council's decision?  We need more data on the preferences of those not in attendance so we can populate the numerator and denominator and derive the percentage.  There isn't any.  All we have is the count at the council, from two sources and they conflict.  The evidence is sparse.  We review the same evidence and arrive at different conclusions.  The evidence that convinces me doesn't convince you.  That's the way it goes.

i don't dispute that evidence, but there is more that says there were about 1600 bishops in the empire at that time so even if there were 360 bishops at the council they would have been a minority. That of course does not include the "bishops" in the churches of Parthia. The early apostles seemed to do things by majority. I'm sure if one felt like he had inspiration, the others tried to confirm it. Of course that is somewhat speculative. But  the bishops weren't apostles no matter how hard you try to make them so...

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 Regarding theology, as distinct from historical evidence, we read the same scriptures, cite the same verses, and interpret them differently.  Without an external authority we both trust to break the impasse, there can be no resolution.

Do we have to agree about everything to be Christian or to be saved? The gospel seems pretty basic to me. Do I have to know everything about the Father to follow Christ? If so, what is the mystery of God to be finished in Rev 10-11?

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  I do have one feather in my cap, though. Fortunately for me, the external authority I defer to is the same one that compiled and authorized the Bible - placed into our hands the same scriptures that we both interpret when we talk about Jesus. If my Catholic church fathers had approved a different set of writings for the New Testament, the whole Christian world (you included) would consider them to be scripture.

i do not accept all the books in the Catholic Bible as scripture. Further, I do believe the scriptures have received a few additions and unintended deletions over the millennia. While the Catholic Church did preserve the scriptures in decent shape, I do not consider them to be perfect - there are some misleading changes. However, I think we have enough to be able to find our way in Christ, and ferret out enough truth to pray about. It requires a bit of diligence though. Not even the Jews were perfect in this regard.

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Finally, who's saying your not a Christian?  You're a Christian, probably a very good one.  You're just not currently in communion with the Body of Christ.  That can be rectified, however.  :)

Well thanks. I consider you Christian too, but it seems in at least RCC theology, I will not be saved even if I serve time in purgatory... Let's just say I'm glad my judge is Christ and not the Roman pontiff... phew 😓:help: For what's it's worth I do regard your E. Orthodox Church to be closer to the truth. The traditions were not changed that much. I suppose that is a reason you settled there, and I think that last move was a wise one. However, I think the restored gospel has more to offer than you gave it credit for. :) 

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2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

So I can be baptised as an Arian Christian, and with enough good works be saved in the Orthodox Church? Methinks you are running into trouble here adopting this heretic in. ;) 

Ah...a time when the Son was not... Where have I heard that before? Hmm. Tertullian, the so called father of Latin Orthodoxy, said the same thing exactly. If this is exactly what Arius said you are making my point that the claim that Arius taught Yeshua was a created being is a false interpretation... or incomplete anyway. However, that does not follow. I believe there was time when the Son Yeshua was not. I think that is scriptural. It was the time before he was begotten/adopted as the Son by the oath of the Father. How can He be the Father's own unique Son, before he was told by the Father "this day I have begotten thee?" He was a living being receiving this oath, so it seems He existed in some form. i don't believe scripture teaches spirit has any beginning. Spirit is uncreated. This is a lesson of Adam. After God created him, his body had no life until God breathed his spirit into him. This comports with Ecclesiastes which says the body returns to the dust from which it was created, but the spirit returns to God who gave it - note: not created it. God created everything in the world, but spirit was not in the world. It already existed, and was sent to the world after our bodies are created. This is of course the exact type of debate going on at the time of the Nicene Council which was later opposed by a great many of the eastern churches in some of their own large councils which orthodoxy conveniently avoids talking about as if the matter was already well decided, when it was not.

It is fairly testable. We know the speed of light. Judging by the vast distances to the farthest observable (ie objective) galaxies we know their light has been shining many billions of years to reach us. So unless you believe God created that light 6000 years ago midstream you begin to run into problems saying God created all matter in the beginning of Genesis. The earth was without form, and He formed it. That is simple and plain and doesn't defy objective science. A potter creates a pot from thousands of clay pieces the same way. Irenaeus was not an apostle. He was not God. I don't see any authority there for him to create scripture, and I don't see any particular  inspiration making me want to accept his thoughts over mine. He was a good source of patristic history.

We do have an arbiter. A man named Yeshua who leads His Church. Am I not allowed to pray to Him? He seemed to think we could ask Him anything, and He would pray to the Father for us. We are all following the plan of the Father - even Him. 

How do we know what to believe? How do we know who is a prophet? He said we will know them by their works. I find the works of Joseph Smith to be pretty good. They led me to a better understanding of God. After praying over them for many years, and accepting what I have learned, I continue to learn. It's that precept upon precept thing from Isaiah that the Church of Jesus Christ first taught me about some 42 years ago. 

Well, I've quoted about 3 of them now. Will it help if I continue? I guess I would rather interpret straight from the scriptures than through  what appear to me to be precepts of men. I have had to do that basically my whole life as a Christian. If interpretations of other men bring light, I build on that, otherwise I keep looking.

So, I assume the answer is the mysteries were done, and we have to accept someone else's interpretation? 

Yes, men have gone in circles. They will continue to do so, even when the truth is manifested to them. Christ manifested it up on the cross about which He said He would show us plainly of the Father, but men still do not agree. Picking some earthly arbiter with some randomness hardly seems a solution I wish to pursue.

I see the Church as more a means of pointing us in the right direction rather than being the source of all truth. I think Christ fills that role. He weans us from the breast of the Church.

i don't dispute that evidence, but there is more that says there were about 1600 bishops in the empire at that time so even if there were 360 bishops at the council they would have been a minority. That of course does not include the "bishops" in the churches of Parthia. The early apostles seemed to do things by majority. I'm sure if one felt like he had inspiration, the others tried to confirm it. Of course that is somewhat speculative. But  the bishops weren't apostles no matter how hard you try to make them so...

Do we have to agree about everything to be Christian or to be saved? The gospel seems pretty basic to me. Do I have to know everything about the Father to follow Christ? If so, what is the mystery of God to be finished in Rev 10-11?

i do not accept all the books in the Catholic Bible as scripture. Further, I do believe the scriptures have received a few additions and unintended deletions over the millennia. While the Catholic Church did preserve the scriptures in decent shape, I do not consider them to be perfect - there are some misleading changes. However, I think we have enough to be able to find our way in Christ, and ferret out enough truth to pray about. It requires a bit of diligence though. Not even the Jews were perfect in this regard.

Well thanks. I consider you Christian too, but it seems in at least RCC theology, I will not be saved even if I serve time in purgatory... Let's just say I'm glad my judge is Christ and not the Roman pontiff... phew 😓:help: For what's it's worth I do regard your E. Orthodox Church to be closer to the truth. The traditions were not changed that much. I suppose that is a reason you settled there, and I think that last move was a wise one. However, I think the restored gospel has more to offer than you gave it credit for. :) 

Thanks for spending the time to discuss these things with me.  I wrote a lengthy reply but poof! it vanished.  I'm too tired to recreate it so I'll boil it down to a couple of points.

1.  I gave the restored gospel a try and found it lacking.  I simply don't find Joseph's Smith's claims or the church's claims about an alleged ancient apostasy to be credible.  I appreciate the sales pitch, though.  :)

2. Whether you are saved is up to God alone.  The teaching of the Church is that salvation is obtained only in and through Jesus and his church, which is his Body.  Becoming a member of Christ's body requires uniting with it through reception of the initiatory sacraments: washing (baptism), anointing (confirmation/chrismation) and Eucharist.  Whether there are people (Christian or not) who will be saved who do not belong to Christ's body is known to God alone.  The general rule applies; applying the rule to individuals is sinful.  This is the teaching of the Church.  As you say, there is only one judge.

3. Everything else (which church is true, whether spirit is created or uncreated, whether Arius or Athanasius was right, whether there were always supposed to be apostles), is a matter of interpretation.  You say that you rely on scripture and the guidance of the Spirit.  So does every Christian.  It can't stop there, though.  How does anyone know that their spiritual promptings truly come from God?  We need a God-appointed arbiter to tell us.  If there isn't one, or we don't defer to it, there's no way to know whether what we believe are promptings really are promptings.  We're forced to just take it on faith.  This approach is self-referential and circular.  For theological matters, I would never dream of relying solely on myself and my own interpretations.  Who am I?  I want to be like the Ethiopian eunuch who, in his humility, admitted that he needed someone to interpret it for him.  I'm no apostle or bishop charged with preserving and handing down the apostolic teaching.  To set myself up as my own arbiter of theological matters is hubris.  I believe Jesus must have appointed someone to preserve his teaching.  He loves us and would not abandoned us to the problems generated by universal reliance on one's own private interpretation of scripture.  If there is no God-appointed arbiter, then every Christian is a pope or a prophet.  That's a recipe for chaos. It's easy to distinguish between those who believe such an aribiter exists from those who don't.  The latter always start quoting scripture at you to persuade you to accept their interpretation.  That's why I think proof texting is a waste of everyone's time. It's beside the point.  You first have to establish the criterion for determining which interpretation, which claim to possess Spirit-sourced promptings as evidence, is true.  Personal spiritual promptings cannot be that criterion.  It's self-referential.  Circular.

 

Edited by Spammer

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On 11/5/2018 at 8:41 PM, Spammer said:

I think that’s reasonable. Some apologists I’ve read have quoted the church fathers to ground their claims about lost truths restored by Joseph Smith, but they do not acknowledge the Catholicism of the writer. Your take is much better; it does not abuse the source. 

 

If by this statement you mean that when LDS quote Daniel Keating, Deification and Grace  and probably even Thomas Aquinas, it is best to acknowledge that the author being quoted embraces / embraced a view different than the LDS view, I think that is fine.  Keating is clear that the final state of deified man is LIMITED by his created (ex nihilo) nature.

If by this statement you mean that St. Justin Martyr and even St. Irenaeus were Catholics, then I believe you have gone too far.  St. Justin (early 2nd century) surely believed in deification, but he did not believe that man was created ex nihilo.  Nowhere does he evidence that the final state of deified man was limited to less than Christ's state.  St. Irenaeus for all intents and purposes (IMO) did believe in creation ex nihilo (Gerard May, Creatio ex Nihilo, does not think Irenaeus' view was fully fleshed out), but he did not limit the final state of deified man because of it.

Today Catholicism believes many things that St. Irenaeus and St. Justin would be shocked by.  Catholicism even believes things St. Augustine would be shocked by.

LDS cannot and should not maintain that there is textual evidence for all "unique" LDS beliefs.  This doesn't even align with what Joseph Smith taught as the "restoration" anyway.  LDS can make scholarly arguments that MANY "unique" LDS beliefs are restorations of original Christianity that modern Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, and even EO) developed AWAY from.

 

I got the following from a friend (I think).  Either the Catholic Church was guarded by God as it DEVELOPED truth from the ECF, through 21 Ecumenical Councils (and many non-ECs), or the CoJCoLDS is a divine restoration.  The volumes of Catholics trying to assert that the texts left by the ECF align well (very well, almost perfectly) with modern Catholic teaching are one of the many reasons that I agree with Bickmore:

https://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/bickmore-doctrinal-trends-in-early-christianity.pdf

"Whatever one may think about the various explanations Catholics and Protestants have given for the fact of doctrinal development -- and I certainly haven't given them a full treatment here -- I think it has to be admitted that they were formulated after the fact.  That is, Catholic over the centuries loudly proclaimed that they were teaching exactly what the Apostles explicitly taught, or at lease only what could be deduced from it, until a resurgence in historical investigation brought about massive evidence to the contrary."

  

I reject the idea that it is fair to say that St. Justin was a Catholic or St. Ireneaus was a Catholic.  I think they stood in the tradition of the Apostles who received divine revelation and wrote divine scripture.  I think they are analogous to many LDS today who stand in the tradition of the Apostles (ie those in communion with Russel M. Nelson, both alive and dead).  I do not claim inspiration when I try to describe what I believe concerning deification, I merely claim to be aligned with ancient and modern Prophets and Apostles.

Charity, TOm 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, TOmNossor said:

If by this statement you mean that St. Justin Martyr and even St. Irenaeus were Catholics, then I believe you have gone too far.  St. Justin (early 2nd century) surely believed in deification, but he did not believe that man was created ex nihilo.  Nowhere does he evidence that the final state of deified man was limited to less than Christ's state.  St. Irenaeus for all intents and purposes (IMO) did believe in creation ex nihilo

Both St. Justin and St. Irenaeus stand within the Catholic Tradition.  Other saints held heterodox views.  Sainthood is a matter of sanctity, not orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy is about true teaching and true worship and the umbrella captures saints and sinners alike.  Justin and Irenaeus worshipped liturgically after the Catholic manner.  Justin clearly describes an early form of the Latin Catholic rite.  We can excuse his Platonism, since he gave up his life for the Church.  Yes, Irenaeus taught ex nihilo.  He also taught that God is an uncreated, spiritual essence, not the glorified, defied human male with his own heavenly father of LDS teaching.  Justin and Irenaeus are more Catholic than LDS.  

11 minutes ago, TOmNossor said:

I reject the idea that it is fair to say that St. Justin was a Catholic or St. Ireneaus was a Catholic.  I think they stood in the tradition of the Apostles who received divine revelation and wrote divine scripture.  I think they are analogous to many LDS today who stand in the tradition of the Apostles (ie those in communion with Russel M. Nelson, both alive and dead). 

It's interesting that you claim Justin's Platonism and Catholic liturgy, and Irenaeus' uncreated spiritual essence who created ex nihilo, to be analogous to LDS who stand in the tradition of the Apostles.  If you mean they stand within the apostolic tradition of Catholicism, I agree with you.  If you mean LDS apostles, I can't think of any LDS apostle or prophet who was a Platonist, valued Catholic liturgy, or believed the Father is disembodied spiritual essence who created ex nihilo.

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13 hours ago, Spammer said:

Both St. Justin and St. Irenaeus stand within the Catholic Tradition.  Other saints held heterodox views.  Sainthood is a matter of sanctity, not orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy is about true teaching and true worship and the umbrella captures saints and sinners alike.  Justin and Irenaeus worshipped liturgically after the Catholic manner.  Justin clearly describes an early form of the Latin Catholic rite.  We can excuse his Platonism, since he gave up his life for the Church.  Yes, Irenaeus taught ex nihilo.  He also taught that God is an uncreated, spiritual essence, not the glorified, defied human male with his own heavenly father of LDS teaching.  Justin and Irenaeus are more Catholic than LDS.  

It's interesting that you claim Justin's Platonism and Catholic liturgy, and Irenaeus' uncreated spiritual essence who created ex nihilo, to be analogous to LDS who stand in the tradition of the Apostles.  If you mean they stand within the apostolic tradition of Catholicism, I agree with you.  If you mean LDS apostles, I can't think of any LDS apostle or prophet who was a Platonist, valued Catholic liturgy, or believed the Father is disembodied spiritual essence who created ex nihilo.

Hello!

I am aware that Catholics do not believe all saints (or even all Doctors of the Church) always spoke/wrote with perfect orthodoxy.  

This thread was started discussing deification.  When I was a Catholic, I never heard words like St. Justin or St. Irenaeus concerning deification.  When I began sharing their words, they were so foreign to Catholic ears they were declared heretical.  When I read CCC460 to a LDS friend in my Catholic mother’s (Catholic High School and Catholic College) house, my mother exclaimed that we do not believe that.  In very rarified scholarly circles before the mid-20th century you could find deification speak (Aquinas is quoted in CCC460), but it was largely absent from the Catholic consciousness.

 

What I claim is that St. Justin and St. Irenaeus attempted to understand the teaching of the early church.  Their understanding concerning deification was not something that existed within the Christianity of Joseph Smith’s day.  It was something restored.  I am familiar with the Baltimore Catechism and CCC460 would be declared heretical by anyone well versed in the Baltimore Catechism.  I am less familiar with the Catechism of the Council of Trent (I think that is what it is called), but I think CCC460 would be declared heretical by anyone well versed in it. 

 

I claim that LDS scholars write about LDS revelation and embrace the inspiration of LDS leaders as they attempt to come to grips with what is viewed as inspired and what they understand about the world based on all their learnings.  This is what St. Justin and St. Irenaeus did.  The term “heterodoxy” is not a particularly important classification within the CoJCoLDS, but folks who write like St. Justin today would not be called Catholic Saints.  Folks who write like Blake Ostler and Sterling McMurrin are not labeled “orthodox” or “heterodox” when they agree and disagree, but they stand in the tradition of the apostles.

There are two possible reasons that LDS can find so much of our thought in the ECFs.  Perhaps as Bickmore suggests, the thought is there because it was part of the deposit of faith and Christianity developed away from the truth.  To support his conclusion, he suggests that earlier writings conform more to LDS thought than later writings.  Alternatively, perhaps orthodoxy was so poorly defined in the early church that there is a little bit of everything and ALL of it was embraced by faithful Christians (until they were declared heretical and excluded from communion).  Neither of these views aligns well with what Catholics taught concerning Tradition before Newman’s essay and neither of these views are particularly supportive of the idea that the Early Church was/is in communion (using the idea that orthodoxy is the sign of communion) with the modern Catholic Church.  Thus, I suggested that the statement you made concerning the Catholicity of the ECF should by challenged.

Charity, TOm

Edited by TOmNossor

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5 hours ago, TOmNossor said:

Hello!

I am aware that Catholics do not believe all saints (or even all Doctors of the Church) always spoke/wrote with perfect orthodoxy.  

This thread was started discussing deification.  When I was a Catholic, I never heard words like St. Justin or St. Irenaeus concerning deification.  When I began sharing their words, they were so foreign to Catholic ears they were declared heretical.  When I read CCC460 to a LDS friend in my Catholic mother’s (Catholic High School and Catholic College) house, my mother exclaimed that we do not believe that.  In very rarified scholarly circles before the mid-20th century you could find deification speak (Aquinas is quoted in CCC460), but it was largely absent from the Catholic consciousness.

 

What I claim is that St. Justin and St. Irenaeus attempted to understand the teaching of the early church.  Their understanding concerning deification was not something that existed within the Christianity of Joseph Smith’s day.  It was something restored.  I am familiar with the Baltimore Catechism and CCC460 would be declared heretical by anyone well versed in the Baltimore Catechism.  I am less familiar with the Catechism of the Council of Trent (I think that is what it is called), but I think CCC460 would be declared heretical by anyone well versed in it. 

 

I claim that LDS scholars write about LDS revelation and embrace the inspiration of LDS leaders as they attempt to come to grips with what is viewed as inspired and what they understand about the world based on all their learnings.  This is what St. Justin and St. Irenaeus did.  The term “heterodoxy” is not a particularly important classification within the CoJCoLDS, but folks who write like St. Justin today would not be called Catholic Saints.  Folks who write like Blake Ostler and Sterling McMurrin are not labeled “orthodox” or “heterodox” when they agree and disagree, but they stand in the tradition of the apostles.

There are two possible reasons that LDS can find so much of our thought in the ECFs.  Perhaps as Bickmore suggests, the thought is there because it was part of the deposit of faith and Christianity developed away from the truth.  To support his conclusion, he suggests that earlier writings conform more to LDS thought than later writings.  Alternatively, perhaps orthodoxy was so poorly defined in the early church that there is a little bit of everything and ALL of it was embraced by faithful Christians (until they were declared heretical and excluded from communion).  Neither of these views aligns well with what Catholics taught concerning Tradition before Newman’s essay and neither of these views are particularly supportive of the idea that the Early Church was/is in communion (using the idea that orthodoxy is the sign of communion) with the modern Catholic Church.  Thus, I suggested that the statement you made concerning the Catholicity of the ECF should by challenged.

Charity, TOm

Hi.  Thank you for the reply.  I think I understand you better, now.  I perhaps should have mentioned that I am currently associated with the Eastern Catholic Tradition, specifically that branch not in communion with Rome - Eastern Orthodoxy.  I speak/write from that tradition, which is both Catholic and focused like a laser on deification.  I agree that theosis is not commonly understood or accepted in Western Christianity, so from the perspective of the LDS church, it makes some sense to assert that Joseph Smith restored lost teachings.  It's central in the East, however, and always has been. It's understandable that people would think the teaching was lost, since most Westerners are unaware of the Christian East and equate the Catholic church solely with Rome.  This is a mistake.  The historic Catholic Church comprises both East and West, churches in communion with Rome and those that aren't.  In the West, people think 'Roman Catholic' when they hear or read the word 'Catholic.'  Rome is just one, albeit the largest, of the Catholic branches.  Erase the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world and you're still left with 500,000+ Catholics from other liturgical families, all of which accept Justin and Irenaeus as saints and assert vociferously the validity and ancient provenance of theosis. To members of the Eastern Catholic churches (those not in communion with Rome and those who are), that the Roman branch seems to have largely forgotten about theosis doesn't mean the doctrine of theosis was lost.  To the contrary.  It's believed that theosis was taught by the apostles and handed down to the present day, preserved in unbroken continuity.  It was only lost (too strong a word. Kind of forgotten is better) in the West.  Thus, everything you've said above applies exclusively to the Roman branch of the Catholic tradition (and its Protestant offshoots).  The same goes for other things LDS church members commonly bring up when discussing apostasy and restoration (bad popes, crusades, inquisitions, etc etc). For members of the Eastern Catholic tradition not in communion with Rome (the Eastern Orthodox, the Copts, Church of the East, Armenian Christians), Rome is considered to be schismatic and every church that came out of Rome (including the LDS church, which came out of American Protestantism), broke off from a schismatic church.  To the Eastern Orthodox, both groups are lumped together into a single category - the schismatic Church of the West.  It's important for non-Catholics to keep this in mind when discussing a doctrine like theosis and whether it needed to be restored.  For my tradition, the response is 'nope...it was only forgotten in the Western church.  A restoration is unnecessary.'

All of this assumes that it really was lost in the Roman church.  I don't think it ever was.  It's been deemphasized, sure, but you see it there in the Western (Latin) church fathers and the CCC. I think it’s commonly felt in Roman circles that the laity in general is woefully undercatechized, so maybe that explains Catholics who think theosis is heresy. It's seems it’s starting to come back, though, and not in response to LDS claims.  It's because Western Catholics are beginning to rediscover the Eastern churches they used to be communion with.  This is helped along by the fact that there are Eastern churches from the Byzantine and Syriac rites who do believe in theosis and who have long been in communion with Rome.  They've always been there, fully Catholic and any Latin Rite Catholic can validly receive communion there and vice versa.  They're a small fraction of the Roman communion whole, however, and the rank and file Roman Catholic who attends mass every Sunday doesn't know much about the Easterners in their midst.  If they did, they would find theosis taught openly, the same as in Eastern Orthodoxy.

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On 11/7/2018 at 9:33 PM, mfbukowski said:

The scene takes place in the Council of the Gods in the premortal life.  Father is judging who will come to earth and who will not- those who did not accept his plan but put forth Satan's plan

Again- I have not followed the thread nor have I looked up to see if that is the "official" interpretation- that is strictly my opinion based on pretty much nothing but my understanding of the gospel, because you asked me to do so.

Thanks. I had not heard that interpretation before.

Jim

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53 minutes ago, theplains said:

Thanks. I had not heard that interpretation before.

Jim

The first time I was studying Isaiah that came to me as being a VERY LDS way of seeing that scripture.

To me it was a verification of that whole doctrine of the "plan of Satan" as opposed to God's plan.   Since then I have not been able to see it any other way.

I see it almost like a play in my head, with the characters gathered around- and Father addressing those who followed Satan and then turning his head to his Son- right then naming him "God".

In my mind that was the moment where He received the title.  It was like turning to your son and passing the responsibility for taking care of the family by calling him by the title of the family head, let's just like Jesus turning to Peter and calling him to lead the church by changing his name from Simon to "Peter" - the Rock.

"Son, you are hereby to be called "God' and shall rule over the earth"

It was very convincing to me that the LDS view could even be found in the Old Testament.   There are other Isaiah scriptures as well that relate directly to the Endowment which are further confirmations to me of the validity of the concepts behind the presentation of the Endowment.

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