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Elements Of The True Church?


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The topic in this chapter is also about eating meat sacrificed to idols, which Jewish-Christians held to be a sin. So, this represents a good principle that is applicable in other areas. "To his own master he stands or falls..."

 

Where does it say idol meat?

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Where does it say idol meat?

Oh my gosh, I hope you are not talking about Billy.   :sad:

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Oh my gosh, I hope you are not talking about Billy.   :sad:

:rofl:  :rofl:

Two funnies for you!

 

If they would let you say "lmao" on this board, I might have done that. <_<  :spiteful:

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Sorry for dodging this issue (not being straightforward), etc., - I blame my job, a few dozen other interests, etc.


 


I saw Tim Keller's name on another thread, started looking at some videos (my son turned me onto him a few years back) and found this that talks about Bible interpretation. I would say that my church would welcome his beliefs.


 


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:rofl:  :rofl:

Two funnies for you!

 

If they would let you say "lmao" on this board, I might have done that. <_<  :spiteful:

;)

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Sorry for dodging this issue (not being straightforward), etc., - I blame my job, a few dozen other interests, etc.

 

I saw Tim Keller's name on another thread, started looking at some videos (my son turned me onto him a few years back) and found this that talks about Bible interpretation. I would say that my church would welcome his beliefs.

 

 

Thanks for a reply, and I get what he is saying I think.

 

OK so there's a lot of diversity in the EV community.  But for me I don't think that really answers the question of authority.

 

WHY WOULD he be welcome in your church??  Because he accepts the same concept of "authority" as you do.  He does not believe Genesis 1 is literal, etc.

He accepts your view as the "correct" view and therefore he would be welcome!

 

All I see here is a kind of "It could be this, it could be that" approach.  Yet the bottom line is that somehow one still has to choose a church.

 

One still has to accept position "A" and exclude others, thereby giving "authority" to position A

 

Am I really expected to believe that that process does not involve asking God "which church is true"?  And yet we hear over and again how Evangelicals do not do that or think it is wrong.

 

I'm not buying it. 

 

You feel you know you are saved because God speaks to you.  You pray about finding the right wife, going to the right school, heck, probably buying the right car, and feel you get answers.   I am positive you DO get answers about all these things and more.

 

So God can tell you who to marry, but not which church to join??  That seems contradictory!  Why would you pray to God about ANYTHING if you didn't think he could and would answer?

 

You already believe God can answer prayers - and the decision to act on that belief is a religious decision in itself.  The very assumption that God can answer ANY prayer MUST HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN YOUR LIFE or you would not believe it.  It would be a totally foreign concept.

 

It just makes no sense to me that you believe that God would not guide you to a church which had the "correct authority" ie: the same concept of what is true and what is not as you do.  I am convinced you do not really believe that at all.

 

And if you don't, you are very close to Moroni 10:4-5 which says that God can tell you which church is true, and indeed the truth of "all things".

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It just makes no sense to me that you believe that God would not guide you to a church which had the "correct authority" ie: the same concept of what is true and what is not as you do.  I am convinced you do not really believe that at all.

 

And if you don't, you are very close to Moroni 10:4-5 which says that God can tell you which church is true, and indeed the truth of "all things".

 

What makes you think that any one church has the correct authority?

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What makes you think that any one church has the correct authority?

Where did I say that?

 

My point is that when one selects any church, one must believe it is more "correct" than others, and therefore has more authority.

 

I do of course believe the COJCLDS has authority but I did not say that.  And the reason I believe that is that God has demonstrated to me that that is true

Edited by mfbukowski
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I quoted what you stated. 

Read it again, this time for comprehension. I was talking about your belief that no church had "authority" and yet you think one is better than another.  That is contradictory.

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Read it again, this time for comprehension. I was talking about your belief that no church had "authority" and yet you think one is better than another.  That is contradictory.

 

And you believe that one has authority and all others don't. 

 

I believe that some churches teach more truth than others. Authority is from Christ alone. Not contradictory. 

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And you believe that one has authority and all others don't. 

 

I believe that some churches teach more truth than others. Authority is from Christ alone. Not contradictory. 

Yes, contradictory.  Truth IS authority.  The church with more truth is more "authoritative"

 

And how do you know which teaches with more authority and truth?

 

Man, nobody wants to answer anything- because you cannot. 

 

Mudcat said it best- everyone takes a stab at it and does their best.  But that's not what you are saying at all

 

Two questions have not been answered:

1- How is more truth NOT "more authority"?  You do not honor our authority because you believe we do not teach truth.

 

2- How do you know which church is true, without applying Moroni 10:4-5? ie: praying to know God's will about what church you should join?

 

Rob Bowman could not answer it either.  I think there is no such answer for this among Evangelicals.  And yes- that is a generalization.

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Yes, contradictory.  Truth IS authority.  The church with more truth is more "authoritative"

 

And how do you know which teaches with more authority and truth?

 

Man, nobody wants to answer anything- because you cannot. 

 

Mudcat said it best- everyone takes a stab at it and does their best.  But that's not what you are saying at all

 

Two questions have not been answered:

1- How is more truth NOT "more authority"?  You do not honor our authority because you believe we do not teach truth.

 

2- How do you know which church is true, without applying Moroni 10:4-5? ie: praying to know God's will about what church you should join?

 

Rob Bowman could not answer it either.  I think there is no such answer for this among Evangelicals.  And yes- that is a generalization.

 

The more truth one has, the greater the connection to the one and only Authority. 

 

Truth and Authority are different things, but are connected. Authority is given or bestowed, and denotes power. 

 

I agree with Mucat, all we ever do is the "best" we can. But, is that all the answer? It's a general overview. 

 

In my view there are five different aspects that contribute to finding the truth. Or how much a truth a church is teaching. 

 

1) Historical witness ("These things I have seen I passed on to you...")

2) Written word (These things I have written so that you might know...")

3) Spiritual witness ("The spirit bears witness with our spirit...")

4) Spiritual discernment ("Don't believe every spirit, but test them...")

5) Wise counsel ("a wise man is he who listens to counsel...")

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The more truth one has, the greater the connection to the one and only Authority. 

 

Truth and Authority are different things, but are connected. Authority is given or bestowed, and denotes power. 

 

I agree with Mucat, all we ever do is the "best" we can. But, is that all the answer? It's a general overview. 

 

In my view there are five different aspects that contribute to finding the truth. Or how much a truth a church is teaching. 

 

1) Historical witness ("These things I have seen I passed on to you...")

2) Written word (These things I have written so that you might know...")

3) Spiritual witness ("The spirit bears witness with our spirit...")

4) Spiritual discernment ("Don't believe every spirit, but test them...")

5) Wise counsel ("a wise man is he who listens to counsel...")

1) Historical witness ("These things I have seen I passed on to you...")

 

That proves absolutely nothing about spiritual truth.  We could have a perfect video of the crucifixion and resurrection and that would prove nothing about Christ being the Savior or the Son of God.  Some guy was crucified, and magically came back to life or it was faked, perhaps he was drugged by the vinegar in the sponge to become deeply unconscious. There was no one there with an ekg machine to monitor his heart.   History proves nothing.  These were uneducated people- if he looked dead, he was dead.  It would be very easy to pull off a faked death in those days- and there have been books written on how it could have been done.

2) Written word (These things I have written so that you might know...")

 

Hearsay is not even admissible in a court of law.  Could be total fiction- proves nothing.  Uneducated witness were duped into thinking that Jesus died and came back to life and lived their lives believing a lie.  History and witnesses prove nothing.

3) Spiritual witness ("The spirit bears witness with our spirit...")

Only spiritual witness can tell us the truth.  BUT YOU DISCOUNT IT FOR TELLING YOU WHICH CHURCH IS TRUE so we have to cancel this one out.

4) Spiritual discernment ("Don't believe every spirit, but test them...")

Circular.  You can't do this without a witness that they are true.  They cannot be tried rationally for the reasons already listed.  History doesn't prove them, rationality doesn't prove them.  Ultimately this is just "spiritual witness", which you cannot use for finding the true church according to your own rules.

 

5) Wise counsel ("a wise man is he who listens to counsel...")

Hearsay.  And how do you know he is "wise" without spiritual witness?

 

I truly do appreciate you answering but it all just boils down to "spiritual witness" in the long run. And thanks for acknowledging that truth and authority are linked

 

That's all any of us have- but it is all we need.

Edited by mfbukowski
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What we learn correctly from atheists is that rationality and God do not go together.

 

We all need to understand this.  I was an atheist so I have an acute understanding of all this.  Only spiritual witness works.  It's all we as religious people have, and the sooner we all realize it the sooner we can get unified and take on the real problems of the world and become a force for good.

 

All this silly squabbling among people of faith has absolutely no basis and allows great evil to happen in the world.   "If we do not hang together we will most assuredly hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin.

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That proves absolutely nothing about spiritual truth.  We could have a perfect video of the crucifixion and resurrection and that would prove nothing about Christ being the Savior or the Son of God.  Some guy was crucified, and magically came back to life or it was faked, perhaps he was drugged by the vinegar in the sponge to become deeply unconscious. There was no one there with an ekg machine to monitor his heart.   History proves nothing.  These were uneducated people- if he looked dead, he was dead.  It would be very easy to pull off a faked death in those days- and there have been books written on how it could have been done.

Hearsay is not even admissible in a court of law.  Could be total fiction- proves nothing.  Uneducated witness were duped into thinking that Jesus died and came back to life and lived their lives believing a lie.  History and witnesses prove nothing.

Only spiritual witness can tell us the truth.  BUT YOU DISCOUNT IT FOR TELLING YOU WHICH CHURCH IS TRUE so we have to cancel this one out.

Circular.  You can't do this without a witness that they are true.  They cannot be tried rationally for the reasons already listed.  History doesn't prove them, rationality doesn't prove them.  Ultimately this is just "spiritual witness", which you cannot use for finding the true church according to your own rules.

 

Hearsay.  And how do you know he is "wise" without spiritual witness?

 

I truly do appreciate you answering but it all just boils down to "spiritual witness" in the long run. And thanks for acknowledging that truth and authority are linked

 

That's all any of us have- but it is all we need.

 

1) Historical witness. You claim that it proves nothing about spiritual truth. In fact, many who witnessed his death and resurrection did not follow him. What historical witnesses do is add confirmation, not subtract it. In other words, if it wasn't true, we would find no historical witnesses. No historical witnesses presents a greater problem to finding truth than having it. 

 
2) A written account by an eye-witness is indeed admissible as evidence in court. Whether it's persuasive or not is another question. It is also of a historical nature, in that the context of it's writing is known history. So do these written accounts prove "nothing"? I guess that depends on if you're interested and open to finding the truth. 
 
3) Spiritual witness. You continue to claim that I discount this. That is false. I don't discount God's personal witness in our lives. What I discount is that there is such a thing as a "true church" which you have yet to defend. 
 
4) Spiritual discernment has to do with testing what is new against what is known already to be true. This isn't circular unless nothing is known to be true already. 
 
5) Wise counsel. How do I know who is wise? It is a good question, however, all through the bible we are instructed to seek wisdom and instruction from those who have gone before us (elders). This has not one thing to do with a spiritual witness. 
 
 

 

What we learn correctly from atheists is that rationality and God do not go together.

 

We all need to understand this.  I was an atheist so I have an acute understanding of all this.  Only spiritual witness works.  It's all we as religious people have, and the sooner we all realize it the sooner we can get unified and take on the real problems of the world and become a force for good.

 

All this silly squabbling among people of faith has absolutely no basis and allows great evil to happen in the world.   "If we do not hang together we will most assuredly hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin.

 

So I hear you saying that rationality and God do not go together. And we need to understand this. 

 

Should we irrational means to understanding? Or am I supposed to use rational means to understand what God means? 

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1) Historical witness. You claim that it proves nothing about spiritual truth. In fact, many who witnessed his death and resurrection did not follow him. What historical witnesses do is add confirmation, not subtract it. In other words, if it wasn't true, we would find no historical witnesses. No historical witnesses presents a greater problem to finding truth than having it. 

 
2) A written account by an eye-witness is indeed admissible as evidence in court. Whether it's persuasive or not is another question. It is also of a historical nature, in that the context of it's writing is known history. So do these written accounts prove "nothing"? I guess that depends on if you're interested and open to finding the truth. 
 
3) Spiritual witness. You continue to claim that I discount this. That is false. I don't discount God's personal witness in our lives. What I discount is that there is such a thing as a "true church" which you have yet to defend. 
 
4) Spiritual discernment has to do with testing what is new against what is known already to be true. This isn't circular unless nothing is known to be true already. 
 
5) Wise counsel. How do I know who is wise? It is a good question, however, all through the bible we are instructed to seek wisdom and instruction from those who have gone before us (elders). This has not one thing to do with a spiritual witness. 
 
 

 

 

So I hear you saying that rationality and God do not go together. And we need to understand this. 

 

Should we irrational means to understanding? Or am I supposed to use rational means to understand what God means? 

1- The problem is, it may have been a plot to dupe the alleged "witnesses".  Think of the illusionist David Copperfield but 2 thousand years ago.  Witnesses don't help.

 

2- Same problem.

3- Post 116 says:

The more truth one has, the greater the connection to the one and only Authority. 

 Truth and Authority are different things, but are connected. Authority is given or bestowed, and denotes power.

Clearly you have linked authority with power and truth.  You think your church has truth, therefore it must have some more authority than churches with no truth.

Would accept a "Christian" baptism as equivalent to a Mormon baptism?   How about a Mormon sacrament service compared to a Lutheran communion service?

How about a Mormon blessing on the sick as opposed to a Protestant one?  Would you have Mormon Elders come and bless your children if they were sick?  The "true church" is the one with truth and therefore authority, as you have already tacitly admitted.

 

The problem is that you affirm "God's witness" in our lives, but somehow that doesn't apply to why you don't ask the Mormon Elders to bless your kids. Somehow you think that your church is "true" and has "authority", as above, because it is true, but God cannot tell you that it IS true. 

 

I find that very problematic.  If Mudcat is still around, it would be great if he would weigh in on this one.  I am sure that his view is that in "doing his best" in finding the right church, he is indeed guided by personal witness.  I don't see how anyone could deny that.  God guides you in everything you do EXCEPT in finding the right church???  Come on- I do not for one minute believe that you DON'T believe that.

 

Clearly you understand authority- and think your church has it and we do not-  you just refuse to admit it.

 

4)- Yes it's circular because INDEED "nothing is known to be true".  How can it possibly be??  History does not prove that Jesus was the Son of God, the Virgin birth etc etc.  It does not prove the atonement.  You assert that it proves the resurrection.  We disagree on that one but I will even stipulate that it does to make the point.  How does history prove the virgin birth or that Jesus was God's son?  It cannot possibly.

 

5) Authority all over again.  Who is wise?  Warren Buffet is wise.  Bill Gates is wise.  Stephen Hawking is wise.  Rorty is wise.  Our prophets are wise.  Yet you find someone who you thinks has "authority' AND is wise, I am absolutely positive, when you have a spiritual problem.   Do you go to the local Mormon Bishop?  Of course not.  Why not? Because he couldn't possibly be wise?  Is there no such thing as a wise Mormon?  How about a wise Catholic priest?  Would you seek out a Priest?  How do you know who is "wise"?

 

Again, clearly you acknowledge authority but you pretend not to.  You think your church Elders are wiser, and better prepared to help you spiritually because you acknowledge their authority and do not acknowledge the authority of Mormons, Warren Buffet, or Catholic priests in spiritual matters.

 

You believe that your church has truth and authority or you would not behave as if you do.  Otherwise you would be living a lie, and I am certain you are not.

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Oh I missed this part

 

So I hear you saying that rationality and God do not go together. And we need to understand this. 

 

Should we irrational means to understanding? Or am I supposed to use rational means to understand what God means?

 

It has some typos and I did not understand it.

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1- The problem is, it may have been a plot to dupe the alleged "witnesses".  Think of the illusionist David Copperfield but 2 thousand years ago.  Witnesses don't help.

 

2- Same problem.

3- Post 116 says:

Clearly you have linked authority with power and truth.  You think your church has truth, therefore it must have some more authority than churches with no truth.

Would accept a "Christian" baptism as equivalent to a Mormon baptism?   How about a Mormon sacrament service compared to a Lutheran communion service?

How about a Mormon blessing on the sick as opposed to a Protestant one?  Would you have Mormon Elders come and bless your children if they were sick?  The "true church" is the one with truth and therefore authority, as you have already tacitly admitted.

 

The problem is that you affirm "God's witness" in our lives, but somehow that doesn't apply to why you don't ask the Mormon Elders to bless your kids. Somehow you think that your church is "true" and has "authority", as above, because it is true, but God cannot tell you that it IS true. 

 

I find that very problematic.  If Mudcat is still around, it would be great if he would weigh in on this one.  I am sure that his view is that in "doing his best" in finding the right church, he is indeed guided by personal witness.  I don't see how anyone could deny that.  God guides you in everything you do EXCEPT in finding the right church???  Come on- I do not for one minute believe that you DON'T believe that.

 

Clearly you understand authority- and think your church has it and we do not-  you just refuse to admit it.

 

4)- Yes it's circular because INDEED "nothing is known to be true".  How can it possibly be??  History does not prove that Jesus was the Son of God, the Virgin birth etc etc.  It does not prove the atonement.  You assert that it proves the resurrection.  We disagree on that one but I will even stipulate that it does to make the point.  How does history prove the virgin birth or that Jesus was God's son?  It cannot possibly.

 

5) Authority all over again.  Who is wise?  Warren Buffet is wise.  Bill Gates is wise.  Stephen Hawking is wise.  Rorty is wise.  Our prophets are wise.  Yet you find someone who you thinks has "authority' AND is wise, I am absolutely positive, when you have a spiritual problem.   Do you go to the local Mormon Bishop?  Of course not.  Why not? Because he couldn't possibly be wise?  Is there no such thing as a wise Mormon?  How about a wise Catholic priest?  Would you seek out a Priest?  How do you know who is "wise"?

 

Again, clearly you acknowledge authority but you pretend not to.  You think your church Elders are wiser, and better prepared to help you spiritually because you acknowledge their authority and do not acknowledge the authority of Mormons, Warren Buffet, or Catholic priests in spiritual matters.

 

You believe that your church has truth and authority or you would not behave as if you do.  Otherwise you would be living a lie, and I am certain you are not.

 

 

1) Think of David Copperfield. Your appeal to a personal witness misses the fact that Jesus himself demonstrated physical proof of his resurrection to those who doubted him, Thomas, James, Peter, Paul etc.. Jesus didn't say to them, just search for a personal witness of my resurrection and you'll then have it. Even in LDS doctrine, didn't Jesus visit the America's? And demonstrate his physical resurrection? (I may be wrong here so feel free to sideswipe me). 
 
If historical witnesses to a physical even aren't a valid form of confirming the truth, then why did Jesus tell them to tell others what they have seen? 
 
2)...
 
3) In your response you are interchanging the terms "true church" and "the right church". To me these are completely different. In light of LDS (and Catholic) claims to be the true church. 
Indeed I believe that God guides us to the "right" church. I disagree there there is one monolithic org. that is the "true church"
 
Your questions on baptism, blessings, and sacraments from other faiths such as LDS or Lutheran. 
Would I consider a Mormon baptism (or other) to be equal to a "christian" one for example. My answer is I don't know. It's up to that individual. Would I seek prayer, advice, or other things from a Mormon? I probably would if I knew them. 
 
My view is that (as I have stated) there isn't one "true church" which has all authority power and control (and truth). So, no I don't think that "my" church has all truth and yours has none. That is not my position at all. I see it analogous to percentages. I do believe that the church I attend has a higher percentage of truth (in it's doctrine), than the LDS does. IF I felt the LDS had a higher percentage I'd be LDS. What those percentages are, I couldn't say for sure. The more I learn, they tend to fluctuate. 
 
4) Nothing is known to be true? You know you exist, yes? You know that others exist, yes? You know that God exists, yes? Many things are known. We all build on what we know and have learned. 
Spiritual discernment is this process. I agree with you that history doesn't prove Jesus was God's son or the atonement, etc. 
 
5) Who is wise is related to what we have already learned (discernment). For example, some people are really very smart, but not very wise. Some people make lots of money, then gamble it away the next day. Smart, but not wise. I have met many wise folks who are not of my faith, who I have lots of respect for. 
 
 
The last point you made about rationality and God not going together doesn't make sense because it's contradictory. 
 
You wish people would "understand" it. Yet is your point rational or not? 
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"

If historical witnesses to a physical even aren't a valid form of confirming the truth, then why did Jesus tell them to tell others what they have seen?"

To create the possibility in their minds that they could receive their own witness of his existence.

" I disagree there there is one monolithic org. that is the "true church""

So you do not believe that your church has the most truth? And that there are others that have just as much? Why do you go to that one then? Because you like the social aspects?

". So, no I don't think that "my" church has all truth and yours has none"

That isn't what LDS mean when they say "true church", besides authority (which is another word for acting with the power of God), we believe other faiths have many truths. It is not an all or nothing claim.

" I do believe that the church I attend has a higher percentage of truth (in it's doctrine), than the LDS does."

Why do you believe this? If it is because it better matches your interpreations of scriptures, why do you feel those interpretations are better than our interpretations?

"Spiritual discernment is this process"

Which is a personal experience. One can't put one's own spiritual discernment in a box and give it to someone else. Everyone who experiences must experience their own, correct? Even if is discernment about another's discernment.

Edited by calmoriah
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Think of authority as the power given by God.

Do you believe your church has been given the highest percentage of truth and power by God, more so than other faiths?

"power" to act as his instruments, to fulfill his Will on earth, for God to work through you.

Edited by calmoriah
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