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Baptists Coming Back to Utah to Evangelize Mormons


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15 hours ago, RevTestament said:

No, it means that you go from this dead mortal state to a state of eternal life ie you bypass hell. He said what He was referring to in verse 

Isn't that exactly what Jesus Christ and I just said?  Those who are dead hear his voice and those who believe pass from death unto life.  "Shall not come into condemnation" means they bypass hell.

 

15 hours ago, RevTestament said:

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

I noticed you left that one out, because it does not agree with your interpretation - unless you believe everyone walking around is in the grave. No, my friend. He is not talking just about the spiritually dead, but the physically dead who are in the grave. How come they hear His voice? When did they hear His voice? When His body was in the tomb.

Is it possible that verse 28 is a reference to the judgement mentioned in verse 27?  If so, that is a different resurrection at the end of time.

Regardless, all who hear his voice and believe both now and at the end of time are resurrected from eternal death unto eternal life.

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18 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I guess it depends on what you mean by "inerrant." Some Evangelicals I know believe that inerrancy means that the meaning of God's words has been preserved enough to be relied on, which is a reasonable belief. Others of a more fundamentalist stripe say that every word of the Bible (usually the KJV) is "God-breathed" and is exactly what God revealed, verbatim. As someone with a background in textual criticism, I have a hard time with the second approach, and it has nothing to do with my having previously been a believing Mormon.

Personally, I choose to believe that the King James Bible contains an accurate and complete transmission of doctrines that God wanted man to have.

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13 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

All you have is words translated by translators. Without confirmation of their original intent, you do not really know the intent with which they were written. No wonder you end up adopting these modern ideas about eternal life, salvation and grace.

I like reading the New Testament in the original Greek, but even then there are still questions. For example, my Greek text is full of notes showing variant readings and commenting on the reliability of the main text.

Without the spirit it simply is not possible to learn the truth by reading alone. Read what?

In addition to my Greek text I have about 20 different English translations and other translations in Latin, Italian, French and German.

Which of these is true? All of them or none of them? And how would I know without the Spirit?

The idea that I can simply " believe the truth by reading, choosing to believe and hoping that what I just read is the truth" makes no sense without the Spirit.

Edited by Lachoneus
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5 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Now you are sounding like a Jehovah's Witness. I didn't know the spirit was "spooky."

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Unless one is open to the Spirit, He cannot teach you. I wonder if the first apostles thought the Comforter was "spooky?" 

All you have is words translated by translators. Without confirmation of their original intent, you do not really know the intent with which they were written. No wonder you end up adopting these modern ideas about eternal life, salvation and grace.

In all my discussions with people of various religions, it never comes down to "I made a totally rational and unemotional decision to believe." Years ago on the old a.r.m. listserv group, there was an Evangelical from Canada, Jeff Shirton (some people here probably remember him). He was a vigorous opponent of Mormonism and was singing from the same hymnbook as Free in Christ, that his beliefs were rational and not based on "feelings." I got into a long discussion of this with him about how he had become a committed Christian. At first he told me he believed the Bible because it was historically grounded. I said a lot of religious books are grounded in history, so what made him believe the Bible? He said he had just chosen to believe it was God's word. I asked him how he had made that decision, and after a lot of discussion, he told me he had been searching for something to believe in and had been reading the Bible. One day, while stopped at a light in his car, he had this overwhelming experience of the presence of God that pierced him to the center. In short, he had what Mormons would call a spiritual experience or the basis of a testimony.

I'm sure someone out there has made a dispassionate, strictly rational decision to believe in their religion, but I haven't met any.

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1 minute ago, Free in Christ said:

Personally, I choose to believe that the King James Bible contains an accurate and complete transmission of doctrines that God wanted man to have.

So, you mean inerrancy in terms of doctrines, not necessarily text? 

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Just now, Free in Christ said:

Personally, I choose to believe that the King James Bible contains an accurate and complete transmission of doctrines that God wanted man to have.

Let me assure you that a good as the King Jame text is, it is neither accurate nor complete in many places. It is good, but not perfect.

You still need the Spirit to guide you.

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13 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

It's not that easy. Everyone from Mormons to Catholics to Lutherans to Jehovah's Witnesses thinks they "believe what the Bible says and leave it at that." 

It's easy to claim to believe what the Bible says, but I challenge you to do a personal analysis of your church's beliefs and see for yourself.

One of the foundational principles of the LDS faith is the concern about the Bible being translated correctly, which as you must know, sets the stage for doubt when verses that oppose LDS theology are read.

"That must be one of those verses..." 

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1 minute ago, Free in Christ said:

It's easy to claim to believe what the Bible says, but I challenge you to do a personal analysis of your church's beliefs and see for yourself.

One of the foundational principles of the LDS faith is the concern about the Bible being translated correctly, which as you must know, sets the stage for doubt when verses that oppose LDS theology are read.

"That must be one of those verses..." 

I currently don't have a church, so I don't know what you mean.

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15 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

All you have is words translated by translators. Without confirmation of their original intent, you do not really know the intent with which they were written. No wonder you end up adopting these modern ideas about eternal life, salvation and grace.

What if someone told you the Book of Mormon and all modern revelations were actually authored by Satan and his original intent was to make you think feelings come from the Holy Ghost so he could deceive you.

How do you confirm the feelings you feel are the Holy Ghost?

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2 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

What if someone told you the Book of Mormon and all modern revelations were actually authored by Satan and his original intent was to make you think feelings come from the Holy Ghost so he could deceive you.

How do you confirm the feelings you feel are the Holy Ghost?

How do you confirm that the Bible is the word of God? What made you choose the Bible over all the other religious texts out there?

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9 minutes ago, Lachoneus said:

Let me assure you that a good as the King Jame text is, it is neither accurate nor complete in many places. It is good, but not perfect.

You still need the Spirit to guide you.

I assume you have an original text that we can compare or are you just regurgitating what you have been told - the opinions of other like minded individuals?

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2 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

Well, I read it.  That's about it.  

Then it was a pretty arbitrary decision, it seems, so it's kind of odd that you are so dogmatic in insisting your beliefs are correct. How do you know you're not completely wrong?

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11 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

Well, I read it.  That's about it.  

This makes it sound like you don't really have a personal relationship with Christ. 

Are you sure you are really "saved", even by Protestant standards?  Because my understanding is Protestants look for at least "Jesus coming into their heart" when they are saved, not just using logic with the scriptures.

 

Edited by Waylon
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21 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

Isn't that exactly what Jesus Christ and I just said?  Those who are dead hear his voice and those who believe pass from death unto life.  "Shall not come into condemnation" means they bypass hell.

 

Is it possible that verse 28 is a reference to the judgement mentioned in verse 27?  If so, that is a different resurrection at the end of time.

Regardless, all who hear his voice and believe both now and at the end of time are resurrected from eternal death unto eternal life.

I'm not sure I understand you. You seem to have a strange belief that those who die in Christ are immediately resurrected or something. They aren't typically. They go to paradise, which is what Yeshua called it when the man on the crosses with him was dying with him.

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11 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

What if someone told you the Book of Mormon and all modern revelations were actually authored by Satan and his original intent was to make you think feelings come from the Holy Ghost so he could deceive you.

How do you confirm the feelings you feel are the Holy Ghost?

I pray in the name of Christ like He instructed us to. You don't seem to have any experience with the Spirit. No wonder you buy into all these modern interpretations.

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While I am unsure that Free in Christ is explaining solidly Protestant doctrine, I think the problems he is having here are similar to the problems Baptists will have in Utah.  To a Mormon, Baptist teachings are simply not spiritually compelling.  Their doctrine relies on reducing the interpretation of the scriptures to word games to force them to fit the Protestant agenda.  It conflicts with the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, the understandings of the First Century Christians, and the billions of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who have lived since and have read the same Bible, yet come to different conclusions.  There is apparently a movement towards discounting the spiritual in favor of logic, if FIC is to be believed.  Mormons can see what "cheap grace" has done to Christianity in America, how worship has too often become a crass and commercialized experience and discipleship is far too often reduced to saying the saved prayer and doing nothing to live according to the teachings of Christ, and we see the difference like night and day.  Most significantly, apparently unlike many Baptists (if FIC is to be believed), Mormons have experienced the love and miracles of Christ firsthand, and their testimonies are powered by confirmation by the Spirit.  

(And if you believe that God does not have the power to protect sacred prayers by those honestly seeking truth from Him from false answers from Satan, well that's simply unbelievable and opens the door on all sorts of disturbing questions, such as if anything can be trusted (including the Bible and the teachings of Christ), if God really is all-powerful and stronger than Satan, if God really is good and really loves us, etc.  I don't buy this for a second and could never believe in a religion teaching such babble, that Satan can answer the prayers and provide false answers for those praying to Heavenly Father to seek his will).

I'm sorry, but from my view, the case for conversion to Protestantism is simply not compelling.

Edited by Waylon
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56 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

Personally, I choose to believe that the King James Bible contains an accurate and complete transmission of doctrines that God wanted man to have.

What makes you think all God wants us to have is found in the Bible?

i think God wants us to have much more and we are just slow to getting to the point where he will share more

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1 hour ago, Free in Christ said:

Question for you.  The Savior tells us in John 6:40 "this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life"

Does this verse apply to those who have already seen and believe upon the Son or to those who do not already believe?

Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Free in Christ said:

What if someone told you the Book of Mormon and all modern revelations were actually authored by Satan and his original intent was to make you think feelings come from the Holy Ghost so he could deceive you.

How do you confirm the feelings you feel are the Holy Ghost?

So we are supposed to assume Christ is a liar for this hypothetical to work?

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26 minutes ago, Lachoneus said:

I like reading the New Testament in the original Greek, but even then there are still questions. For example, my Greek text is full of notes showing variant readings and commenting on the reliability of the main text.

Without the spirit it simply is not possible to learn the truth by reading alone. Read what?

In addition to my Greek text I have about 20 different English translations and other translations in Latin, Italian, French and German.

Which of these is true? All of them or none of them? And how would I know without the Spirit?

The idea that I can simply " believe the truth by reading, choosing to believe and hoping that what I just read is the truth" makes no sense without the Spirit.

Here is a simple example of the problem Free in Christ faces. The Greek NT Matthew & Luke translates an Aramaic word into "camel." Thus, we get,

Matthew 19:24

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a arich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

However.  in the Syriac Peshitta version of the NT which is about as old as the Greek NT we get:

It is easier to thread the eye of a needle with a rope [presumable of camel's hair] than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Which is right? They both are derived from the same Aramaic word. This just came up in my SS class, and I was constrained to point this out. The Greek translation has even been accompanied by what I term a myth that Jerusalem had a gate called the eye of a needle. There is no such record of any such gate. The Bible and Jewish records mention a dung gate, etc, but not one called an eye of a needle. Yet, it appears in LDS materials as fact.

To understand the Bible we need to understand the manner of Jewish speech, etc. Otherwise, things get understood the wrong way. The "literalists" such as Free in Christ insist the literal way they read the words should be adopted, not seeming to realize that what they are reading is some translator's interpretation of ideas which came through yet another language, Aramaic. We get people insisting that Yeshua taught in Greek with the Septuagint, etc. Written words are an imperfect means to communicate ideas. Written words can be understood in different ways by different people. The only sure way to get the original intent is to understand the culture the words were written in, and to use prayer, and seek understanding through the Spirit. Without these the battle of words and proof texts used by Free in Christ is rather pointless. He would like me to "believe" his interpretation of these words, but I see them much differently than he does, when I read them in light of the rest of scripture. I've grown past his linear way of reading scripture a long time ago.

I agree that reading multiple versions is good, but even multiple versions of the Greek NT won't flesh out the above issue for you. Like you I have come to depend on the Spirit and prayer to supplement my own reading of the scriptures. A "literal" or mechanical reading of the scriptures just doesn't do them justice. My search for understanding has been a life long process, but one which I consider rewarding. The way I view it, it was necessary to overcome all the doctrines of man which have been introduced over the course of Christianity which I believe were due to man's own misinterpretation of scripture. Free in Christ has nothing better to offer than "read the scriptures as I do" - no study of textual context, no guidance by the Spirit, no promise of answers through prayer. I am just over that game.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

Then it was a pretty arbitrary decision, it seems, so it's kind of odd that you are so dogmatic in insisting your beliefs are correct. How do you know you're not completely wrong?

Well, for clarity, my point is that Baptists and LDS both choose to believe based upon the same thing.  That which we read and chose to believe.

I don't have a confirmational feeling or some other supernatural sign that something is true, but I do have something much more definitive and accurate - the written word of God.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

In all my discussions with people of various religions, it never comes down to "I made a totally rational and unemotional decision to believe." [...] I asked him how he had made that decision, and after a lot of discussion, he told me he had been searching for something to believe in and had been reading the Bible. One day, while stopped at a light in his car, he had this overwhelming experience of the presence of God that pierced him to the center. In short, he had what Mormons would call a spiritual experience or the basis of a testimony.

I'm sure someone out there has made a dispassionate, strictly rational decision to believe in their religion, but I haven't met any.

This!

Despite all of the condescending talk from Protestants about how Mormons rely on a "burning in the bosom," the real scandal is that when you get down to brass tacks you discover that they are doing the exact same thing - they just pretty it up a bit more.  

Here's a pretty standard formulation from the Baptist Confession of Faith, 1644 (emphasis added):

Quote

Paragraph 8. To all those for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, He does certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; uniting them to Himself by His Spirit, revealing to them, in and by His Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit, and overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.

 

You can find similar language in lots of the creeds. Using the Spirit to unite ourselves to him and govern our hearts sure sounds kind of bosom burning-y to me.

 

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1 hour ago, Waylon said:

This makes it sound like you don't really have a personal relationship with Christ. 

Are you sure you are really "saved", even by Protestant standards?  Because my understanding is Protestants look for at least "Jesus coming into their heart" when they are saved, not just using logic with the scriptures.

Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ doesn't mean I have a feeling in my heart.  I have His life within me.  He teaches me truth according to His revealed word every day.

"Saved" was just a decision to believe His words.  That's really it.  From that moment the seed started growing within me and I believe differently about the scriptures I read, how I think, act, etc.

Again, no spooky feelings or anything like that is available...or needed.

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

I'm not sure I understand you. You seem to have a strange belief that those who die in Christ are immediately resurrected or something. They aren't typically. They go to paradise, which is what Yeshua called it when the man on the crosses with him was dying with him.

Christ's teachings are very strange indeed.  How can people who are living and breathing "pass from death unto life"?

Yet that is exactly what happened to me the moment I chose to believe upon the Savior for eternal life.  

I am resurrected with Christ because He lives within me.

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