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Why did Jesus revere Abraham?


The Mormonator

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This is a question for all Christian critics of Mormonism.

I want to know what your thoughts are on this issue.

First, read the following NT verses:

Matt 8:11

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 13:28

28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

John 8:39,40

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham
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No, you are just impatient. Somehow I feel that this thread will catch fire. After all, who here can stand the claim that since Jesus didn't condemn Abraham, that means He also did not condemn polygamy?

If anything, you will be attacked for your logic and not for your question. It's like that around here.

You make a good point though, if Abraham did somthing so wrong, why is he revered by the Son of God?

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I just watched that Godmakers clip ( :P ) and it even went as far as to portray LDS as teaching doctrine of Jesus and God as a polygomists... Among other things... It is interesting though that Jesus being wed is not and uncommon discussion today. I have no idea what to say about all the anti stuff out there always quoting early church leaders speaking of Jesus and his multiple wifes. (one of them Orson Pratt, although he was at one point excommunicated)

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The Mormonator: My question is this: Why do Christians (Catholics, Protestants, EVs, or whatever) hold that polygamy is always a sin???

We don't all do that. Most contend that the bible never commands polygamy, not that it did not happen. Abraham's taking of the handmaid was not blessed by God.

The Mormonator: It is apparent from the verses I quoted above that Jesus revered Abraham and Jacob. He even said that they were in the Kingdom of Heaven. How could someone guiltly of polygamy (assuming it was a sin for them) be held in such high regards by Jesus himself?

God looks at the good traits in people, Abraham had faith, and a lot of it. He was faithful to God and was willing to do anything God asked of him, including sacrificing Isaac.

You really need to forget what Christians say about polygamy and look at what the BOM says about it. The first and second chapters of Jacob. It is not the bible that condemns polygamy, it is the BOM. This contradiction with the D&C is insurmountable. Jacob 2:30 doesn't help you with this.

sr

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Abraham's taking of the handmaid was not blessed by God.

How do you know? God considered Abraham to be perfect after the fact.

You really need to forget what Christians say about polygamy and look at what the BOM says about it. The first and second chapters of Jacob. It is not the bible that condemns polygamy, it is the BOM. This contradiction with the D&C is insurmountable. Jacob 2:30 doesn't help you with this.

Why not? Just because your pet theory about how to interpret LDS scriptures can't account for Jacob 2:30 doesn't mean the verse must suddenly vanish. There is no contradiction whatsoever between anything we LDS consider scripture on any point of doctrine.

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Jacob 2:30 doesn't help you with this.

Not even God can make exceptions?

Relate that to what I said and perhaps I can answer. Jacob 2:30 applies to more than one item listed. It equally applies to polygamy and to whoredoms. Perhaps you can tell me if the God of the BOM makes exceptions to whoredoms?

sr

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It equally applies to polygamy and to whoredoms. Perhaps you can tell me if the God of the BOM makes exceptions to whoredoms?

sr

Except now *you* are putting words into God's mouth . . perhaps it is in your mind that they are equal . .

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It equally applies to polygamy and to whoredoms. Perhaps you can tell me if the God of the BOM makes exceptions to whoredoms?

sr

Except now *you* are putting words into God's mouth . . perhaps it is in your mind that they are equal . .

Anyone can read the passage, it is quite clear. The context demands that "these things" apply to, many wives, concubines and whoredoms. LDS do not understand this passage any better than non-LDS.

sr

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God revealed his truths line upon line. Abraham was the first of the covenant promise. Spiritually, he was an infant and with the other early patriarchs, Israel was in it's infancy too. They were blessed because they reached out to God and were willing to let God work through them, and God used who he had to work with at the time, imperfect as they were. However reading the OT into the NT, as God revealed more and more of his teachings up to the fullness in Jesus Christ, things changed. Not only is divorce and remarriage banned in the new testament, but it specifically states in the Pauline letters that the Bishops and Deacons are to be husbands of ONE wife. Just because the early patriarchs practiced polygamy, does not mean it was condoned, but rather tolerated. In the beginning, God did not create Adam, Eve, Evette, Evie, Evonne...etc. It was one man, one woman.

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LDS do not understand this passage any better than non-LDS.

Yes, but LDS do not do violence to the text by demanding that "these things" includes whoredoms, when there are clearly other more probable readings.

Let's analyze the text:

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

In context "these things" are things to be hearkened to, some things that can only be countered by a command. I submit that "these things" refer to a commandment.

What commandment is "these things" referring to? It in v. 27

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any aman among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

Therefore I conclude "these things" means the commandment to have at most one wife and no concubines.

The next question to ask is where whoredoms fit in this. V. 28 establishes the seriousness of disregarding the commandment.

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

In v. 28 the commandment giver considers the violation of this commandment to be a whoredom. Rules and commandments can define what is a sin or whoredom. Therefore we can expect when a new (or otherwise) commandent is given, the commandment giver will not consider that which is in harmony to the new command to be an abominable whoredom.

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David also was a polygamist (with God's direct permission as per 2 Samuel 12:7-11) and yet his writings are canonized in scripture.  Hmmmmm......Yet another case of "You bash the Bible and all Christianity when you bash the LDS Church."

David was also a murderer and an adulterer. Does it follow that God approved of these things?

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We don't all do that. Most contend that the bible never commands polygamy, not that it did not happen. Abraham's taking of the handmaid was not blessed by God.

I never claimed the Bible commands polygamy. But I would like you to show me the text where it says that Abraham's and Jacob's plygamist marriages were not blessed by God. On the contrary, in chapter 17, immediately following the chapter in which Abraham becomes a plygamist, God comes to Abraham and makes his convenent with him, promising him he will multiply his seed and make him the father of many nations,etc, etc. You would think that if plygamy is such a bad thing, God would have said something about it to Abraham. But it is not even mentioned. Not even a little slap on the wrist. Nothing. Hmmm, very curious.

God looks at the good traits in people, Abraham had faith, and a lot of it. He was faithful to God and was willing to do anything God asked of him, including sacrificing Isaac.

Yes, God looks at the good traits. But he does not ignore all the bad traits as you are implying. Since Abraham had a few good qualities God just decided to overlook the fact that he was a polygamist??? The last time I checked polygamy wasn't just a little frivolous sin, as you seem to be treating it here.

It's interesting. When Abraham practices polygamy, it is reduced to a small, insignificant, detail that can easily be over looked. Afterall, everybody's human right!!!

But when Joe Smith and the Mormons practice it, it's a terrible greivous sin that must be absolutely condemned!!! Joe Smith could in no way be a Prophet of God!!! He's a dirty polygamist pervert!!!

Oh, but Fathers Abraham and Jacob. Bless their Holy Righteous souls.

You really need to forget what Christians say about polygamy and look at what the BOM says about it. The first and second chapters of Jacob. It is not the bible that condemns polygamy, it is the BOM. This contradiction with the D&C is insurmountable. Jacob 2:30 doesn't help you with this.

I don't think I need to do that. I know exactly what the BoM says about polygamy. I've known that my whole life. It's teachings are in exact accordance with the LDS view on it:"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up aseed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." If you don't understand that verse then that isn't my problem.

I will not forget about what Christians say about plygamy until I can get somebody to actually answer the question instead of making up silly irrationial justifications or trying to defflect the question somewhere else. Which you have done here.

It is not the bible that condemns polygamy, it is the BOM.

Thanks for reiterating my question. If the Bible does not condemn plygamy, then why do Christians???

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Israel (Jacob) was also a polygamist, was he not? Christ was descended from him as an additional point of Irony.

Jacob was a conniving liar. Abraham was a liar and an idol-worshipper. Christ's descendants include murderers, harlots, adulterers, and all sorts of other sinners. Does that mean Jesus thought these things were OK?

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Makarios,

How else would one grow up if the name given to them was Liar. Jacob in Hebrew means supplanter or liar. Pointing out Araham's, Jacob's and David's sin doesn't change the fact God gave David his wives, Abraham was called a Friend of God and Jacob was considered the Father of the Faithful. I doubt God has ever called you his friend so let's not judge Abraham too harshly. I didn't know Christ had any descendants. Could you tell me who they were? His ancestors fit into the catagories you were talking about. Isn't repentance great. Oh by the way David lost God's blessings (re: God's permission for polygamy) when he commited adultrey and murder. This is what Nathan told him. You need to read this story. It could, but problably won't, open your eyes concerning polygamy. This is a blessing from God according to Nathan irresective of what David did later.

Dr Fatguy

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Jacob was a conniving liar. Abraham was a liar and an idol-worshipper. Christ's descendants include murderers, harlots, adulterers, and all sorts of other sinners. Does that mean Jesus thought these things were OK?

That's a good question. You tell me. When Jeusus says that they (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) are in the Kingdom of Heaven with all the other Prophets (Matt 8:11, Luke 13:28) what does that mean??? Does it mean that you can be a "conniving liar" and an "idol-worshipper" and still go to the Kingdom of Heaven???

Jesus also suggested to people that they should "do the works of Abraham" (John 8:39,40). What does that mean??? Abraham was a polygamist. Was Jesus suggesting that polygamy is something we should do, since it was a "work of Abraham"???

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For Abraham, polygamy, Old Testament, Jesus, sin, Smith, LDS polygamy, etc., see:

Becoming Gods by yours truly (Appendix A-"More On Polygamy"), just before DCP's Appendix "Why I Am A Mormon."

Also see, Chapter 9 ("More Than One Wife")

Sorry folks, can't reproduce a whole chapter and a whole Appendix.

RAbanes

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MORMONATOR: That's a good question. You tell me. When Jeusus says that they (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) are in the Kingdom of Heaven with all the other Prophets (Matt 8:11, Luke 13:28) what does that mean??? Does it mean that you can be a "conniving liar" and an "idol-worshipper" and still go to the Kingdom of Heaven???

RA: see Becoming Gods, p. 297 (Appendix A)

MORMONATOR: Jesus also suggested to people that they should "do the works of Abraham" (John 8:39,40). What does that mean??? Abraham was a polygamist. Was Jesus suggesting that polygamy is something we should do, since it was a "work of Abraham"???

RA: Well, clearly not, since it woudl also mean we should lie, and it also would have meant that those LDS who WERE polgamists should have treated their second wife/concubine as shamefully as poor Hagar was treated. Guess not. Must mean something else. . . . hmmmm.

RA

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rabanes:

To be honest with you, I am not interested in buying your book.

Is it available in the library??

If it is then I would probably be interested in checking it out, but otherwise, I will not have a chance to see your response. Sorry.

I am curious about what you put in your book though. Is it based solely on text out of the Bible, or do you use your own thoughts and theories mixed with your own interperetation of scriptures to answer the question?

My question about this issue is purley based on text. Not my own thoughts, theories or interperetations. It is exactly how it is written in the KJV.

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MORMONATOR: To be honest with you, I am not interested in buying your book.

RA: fair enough.

M: Is it available in the library??

RA: Should be. Or, you can go into a Christian bookstore, find it and read it (just don't bend the pages :P . Let me know if you have trouble finding one. If so, just email me privately.

M: If it is then I would probably be interested in checking it out, but otherwise, I will not have a chance to see your response. Sorry.

RA: Ok, well, how about I just say that I stand in agreement with David Whitmer, witness to the Book of Mormon. He said: "I do not endorse Polygamy or Spiritual wifeism. It is a great Evil, Shocking to the moral Sense; and the more so because practiced in the name of religion. It is of man not God, and is Especially forbidden in the Book of Mormon itself" (David Whitmer Proclamation, Mar. 19, 1881, reprinted in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, vol. 5, pp. 69-70).

M: I am curious about what you put in your book though. Is it based solely on text out of the Bible, or do you use your own thoughts and theories mixed with your own interperetation of scriptures to answer the question?

RA: Actually, what I do in each chapter is to:

1. present LDS beliefs via a personal story I have had with a faithful member of the church

2. supply a list of quotes from LDS leaders

3. take a close look at the particular view

4. provide a classic evangelical response, addressing as many current LDS arguments

5. stress the need for all of us to discuss these things in a more christ-like way

6. I use biblical verses, interpreted in context, according to language, culture, history

The purpose of this book is not to convert, but to inform, and then let God do the rest. I am no longer concerned that much with converting, but discussing, sharing, and yes, sometiimes debating, but I figure that wherever any of us our led, then that is where we are led. My job is to share what God has placed on my heart, speak the truth in love as I see, and do so in as much a Christ-like way as possible

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