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The Importance of Faith


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5 hours ago, stemelbow said:

Additionally, as I said, I find even the notion that God coldly tells anyone, even someone who committed a murder or something, that He never knew them, problematic.  It's as if He's lying by saying as much, or He simply decided not to try and get to know some people, or many people, and those are ones who end up being condemned in eternity.

You've used this false dichotomy previously.  What about other possibilities of what it means to "know" someone?    Websters gives several: 

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Definition of know

transitive verb

1a   (1): to perceive directly : have direct cognition of

       (2): to have understanding of importance of knowing oneself

       (3): to recognize the nature of : DISCERN

b    (1): to recognize as being the same as something previously known

      (2): to be acquainted or familiar with

      (3): to have experience of

2     a: to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or certain of

        b: to have a practical understanding of knows how to write

3     archaic : to have sexual intercourse with

When Jesus says, "I never knew you", it is with regard to the person's nature or character, their motivations and desires.  When he says, "I know you" it is the same as saying, "your behavior is like my behavior", and this is how scripture defines it as I posted elsewhere

Knowing God:

1 John 2:3-6:
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

Being Known of God:

Luke 6:44:   "For every tree is known by his own fruit."
John 10:14-15  "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father"
1 Cor 8:3  "But if any man love God, the same is known of him."

Edited by InCognitus
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On 9/2/2020 at 12:00 PM, smac97 said:

I don't think it works to juxtapose loving God against loving His Church.  It's easier to love God, of course.  He's perfect, after all.  And remote.  Meanwhile, the Church - both the "institution" and its constituent members - are decidedly not perfect, and they are right here, all around us.  Both their positive and negative attributes are often readily apparent, though the latter seems to get a lot more attention.  It's harder to love the Church because it is flawed.  Harder, but still necessary.  If "Christ ... love the church, and gave himself for it," should we not also feel the same way?  Even despite its flaws and mistakes?

Hi my friend. In this one paragraph you used the word "church" a number of times. Sometimes with a capital and once, in your quote without. Please help me understand. Do your use of this word, including the quote referring only to the LDS church. or to the broader Christian community that together compose - the Church (bride) of Christ? In the verse you quoted, is the church that Christ loves and gave himself for limited to the LDS church or does it refer to the broad-based inclusive Church -- both LDS and non-LDS? When I think of His Church or the Church, it never dawns on me to use it in terms of the Mennonite, Baptist, or LDS church. It is very similar to the use of the term "the gospel." I love it when my LDS friends refer to the gospel until it hits me that they are referring only to the LDS Gospel. I am sure there are several more words like this, yes? Perhaps, the priesthood is another example Are there any situations where LDS folks use these terms to more inclusive of the Christian community - both LDS and non-LDS? Thanks.

Edited by Navidad
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On 9/2/2020 at 1:33 PM, Amulek said:

I don't see how this could happen while simultaneously maintaining our ability to genuinely choose to follow / freely enter into a relationship with God. 

 

I don't know that uncertainty is critical to testing our nature, per se, but it seems to me that a certain amount of uncertainty is required in order for there to be a legitimate choice. 

 

I know I have done this before, but on this topic, I highly recommend "The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires our Trust more than Our 'Correct' Beliefs" by Peter Enns. Tremendous book by a good scholar and guy.

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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

You've used this false dichotomy previously.  What about other possibilities of what it means to "know" someone?    Websters gives several: 

When Jesus says, "I never knew you", it is with regard to the person's nature or character, their motivations and desires.  When he says, "I know you" it is the same as saying, "your behavior is like my behavior", and this is how scripture defines it as I posted elsewhere

Knowing God:

1 John 2:3-6:
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

Being Known of God:

Luke 6:44:   "For every tree is known by his own fruit."
John 10:14-15  "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father"
1 Cor 8:3  "But if any man love God, the same is known of him."

Squeeze whatever meaning you want out of it.  I"m just going with what it says.  

Let's try this:

If Jesus tells me He never knew me he means:

"I don't really like what you are thinking and doing"

Or

"I can't recognize your nature"

Or

"You are different then I knew you to be, so I don't recognize you"

That last one doesn't seem to make sense in light of what is said in scripture, no?  The other ones simply defines Him as a liar, it seems to me.  That is to say He would really know the person, but either doesn't like the person or can't really figure out their nature (I guess depending on what he means by nature).  

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On 9/2/2020 at 1:00 PM, CV75 said:

'll suggest that horrible wrongs aren't the price of uncertainty (humility, faith as a principle of integrity) so much as the price of certainty (pride, material indulgence) in horribly wrong things. Certainty is often an attitudinal choice.

If I may add something . . . I think that it isn't necessarily the certainty in horribly wrong things that always make the problem. There can also be wrongs that stem from the price of certainty in good things as well. Just my .02 cents.

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On 9/2/2020 at 2:57 PM, smac97 said:

Yeah, but coercion isn't part of the Plan of Salvation.

I think this is a wonderful ideal. My personal experience from being on both sides of the table is that coercion - either subtle or overt can be found in the proselytizing strategies of missiologically-minded conservative Christians, both LDS and non-LDS.

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1 minute ago, Navidad said:
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Yeah, but coercion isn't part of the Plan of Salvation.

I think this is a wonderful ideal. My personal experience from being on both sides of the table is that coercion - either subtle or overt can be found in the proselytizing strategies of missiologically-minded conservative Christians, both LDS and non-LDS.

I suppose my conception of "coercion" is influenced by my training as a lawyer. See, e.g., here:

Quote

The broad definition of coercion is "the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will." Actual violence, threats of violence, or other acts of pressure may constitute coercion if they're used to subvert an individual's free will or consent.

In legal terms, it's often said that someone who's been coerced was acting under duress. In fact, "duress" and "coercion" are often interchanged. Black's Law Dictionary defines duress as "any unlawful threat or coercion used... to induce another to act [or to refrain from acting] in a manner [they] otherwise would not [or would]."

It's not always easy to tell when the line between subtle intimidation and coercion has been crossed and even harder to prove. A shrewd business negotiation may be considered contract coercion only if it can be proven that it was signed under duress. Similarly, proving criminal coercion (or duress) rests on the surrounding facts of the incident and may be quite subtle. For example, telling someone "Gee, I'd hate for something to happen to your daughter" is technically vague even when it's said with coercive intent.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 9/2/2020 at 6:03 PM, OGHoosier said:

I think the Givens' are onto something when they write about how a certain cognitive distance is required for us to truly have choice which reflects what we truly want and who we truly are. There's a saying that people show who they really are once they put on a mask; being separated from those who know us and their expectations of us offers us the chance to really let loose. Given that the face of God is veiled from us and we feel independent, we can act as we are and show who we are and what we value most highly. We can choose whether or not to become worthy of godhood. 

There's also the idea that faith is a principle of power and constitutes the very power of God. In that case this life would be a sort of workout, strengthening our divine muscles if you will. 

There's also a thought that I have had recur to me a few times. Perhaps it is crazy. But I am a firm believer that suffering is an essential part of this earthly experience. I don't know how many of you have ever read the Eragon books (if you haven't, then spoiler alert) but in the end the good guy goes to fight the evil emperor and gets totally whooped. The hero loses the climactic final battle in devastating fashion: the evil emperor is for all intents and purposes a god at that point and is just way too powerful for any combination of opposing forces to ever overcome him. The hero's last-ditch effort is to cast a spell that causes the evil emperor to feel, to experience, to understand every negative emotion he has ever caused in his generations-long reign. The experience is too much for the Bad Guy, who destroys himself and rids the world of his tyranny. End scene. 

It occurs to me that we could become a lot like the Bad Guy of Eragon without a knowledge, a personal knowledge born of experience, of suffering. We could cause it and just not know, and as Gods, who could teach us? I believe that apotheosis requires a period of suffering, an inoculation against coldness and cruelty, but to have that we must first know what those concepts are and what they mean to the individual, and that requires experience. It's kind of like the Primary song, "How could the Father tell the world?/Of sacrifice, of death?/He sent His Son to die for us/And rise with living breath." How could the Father show the world of cruelty, of coldness, of wickedness and pain? How could He teach us about these things so that we would recognize and avoid them? By inoculation: during our "short night in the inconvenient hotel" as Mother Teresa described mortality-as-juxtaposed-with-eternity, we would be exposed to these things. We would be exposed to despair and suffering, so that we would not consider them too cheaply. 

As to how this connects back to faith, it seems to me obvious that God has to be at a distance during such an experience. In a tragic sense, humanity needs to be free to be choose cruelty as well as good, so that we may see that all things have their opposites. But that freedom would not exist were God to hover there. Nor would we be able to experience despair or hopelessness, with God ever nearby. To experience these things for even the shortest time, God needs to pull away for a minute. We all need to go through Gethsemane, to be crucified together with Christ. We all need to ask, at one point or another, "Oh God, where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?"

Or, in the words of the Exemplar, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" 

Faith is a necessity because of the necessity of God's distance. God has to be distant, He has to, or else the Plan fails. It rends Him, we are told, but it is not avoidable. Thus, He asks us to have faith, offers it as a means of sustenance, and waits until, for each of us, "it is finished." This is my theodicy and with it my theology of faith, such as it is. 

I know this is off subject a bit! I see in your profile you are a Mr. Pibb fan. I thought I should inform you that almost fifty years ago when I was a graduate student in the Baylor University School of Religion we all got together and awarded Mr. Pibb an honorary doctorate. You see, the school of religion was a haven for Dr. Pepper drinkers - mostly thoroughly addicted! Those who dared drink Mr. Pibb in Texas were struggling with their self-esteem as was Mr. Pibb. So we had a ceremony with some professors to alleviate these issues and granted Mr. Pibb an honorary doctor honoris causa! From that day on, drinkers of Dr. Pibb felt much better! Now you know the rest of the story!

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:
Quote

I don't think it works to juxtapose loving God against loving His Church.  It's easier to love God, of course.  He's perfect, after all.  And remote.  Meanwhile, the Church - both the "institution" and its constituent members - are decidedly not perfect, and they are right here, all around us.  Both their positive and negative attributes are often readily apparent, though the latter seems to get a lot more attention.  It's harder to love the Church because it is flawed.  Harder, but still necessary.  If "Christ ... love the church, and gave himself for it," should we not also feel the same way?  Even despite its flaws and mistakes?

Hi my friend. In this one paragraph you used the word "church" a number of times.

Yep  On this board, I think a reference to the "Church" is axiomatically going to be a reference to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That's how I intend it, anyway.

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Sometimes with a capital and once, in your quote without. Please help me understand. Do your use of this word, including the quote referring only refer to the LDS church. or to the broader Christian community that together compose - the Church (bride) of Christ?

Mostly the former.

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

In the verse you quoted, is the church that Christ loves and gave himself for limited to the LDS church or does it refer to the broad-based inclusive Church -- both LDS and non-LDS?

I think the Church is unique in the world, but I do not believe it is the exclusive receptacle of the Savior's love and atoning sacrifice.

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

When I think of His Church or the Church, it never dawns on me to use it in terms of the Mennonite, Baptist, or LDS church. It is very similar to the use of the term "the gospel." I love it when my LDS friends refer to the gospel until it hits me that they are referring only to the LDS Gospel as they understand it to be. I am sure there are several more words like this, yes? Perhaps, the priesthood is another example Are there any situations where LDS folks use these terms to more inclusive of the Christian community - both LDS and non-LDS? Thanks.

It's a matter of parameters, I suppose.  The Church is actually fairly universalist, since virtually everyone will be "saved" in a kingdom of glory.  And such salvation is not limited to just those who join in the Church in this life.

I am reminded here of the story of Emeth from The Last Battle the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Emeth is a Calormene character was raised to follow Tash, the antithesis of Aslan, and did so with an emphatic devotion and loyalty. Nevertheless, Emeth manages to travel to Aslan's paradisaical country after the destruction of Narnia, and is welcomed by Aslan. Aslan's words to Emeth, in which he ratifies the good deeds the latter did even under the name of Tash, are as follows: "I take to me the services which thou hast done to Tash {the false God}... if any man swear by him and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me {Christ} that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him."

The implication is that people who reflect a righteous heart are to some degree justified, regardless of misbelief. This is a cornerstone of Christian theology: one party cites the Christian paradigm that faith in Christ alone saves, and the other wants to account for the fate of those born and raised into another faith. There has been extensive commentary on the question. In a letter from 1952, Lewis summarized and explained his position: "I think that every prayer which is sincerely made even to a false god, or to a very imperfectly conceived true God, is accepted by the true God and that Christ saves many who do not think they know him. For He is (dimly) present in the good side of the inferior teachers they follow. In the parable of the Sheep and Goats those who are saved do not seem to know that they have served Christ."

I think C.S. Lewis was essentially correct in his soteriology, a view which I think is widely shared amongst the Latter-day Saints. While the saving ordinances for the "Emeths" of this world will be necessary (just as they are necessary for those who are raised with an actual knowledge of and testimony of Christ), the countless numbers of God's children who have lived and died on this earth without having had a chance to hear about and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior will nevertheless have the same access to the Restored Gospel and the salvation that comes through it as is available to those of us to are given a chance to hear and accept the Gospel.

In short, if a person is good and decent, he should keep moving forward in what he understands as the best way to serve God and his fellow brothers and sisters.  The Lord will sort things out in the end.

Thanks,

-Smac

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20 hours ago, smac97 said:

I suppose my conception of "coercion" is influenced by my training as a lawyer. See, e.g., here:

Thanks,

-Smac

Thanks, that helps. From my experience as a peace advocate I was taught that there exists both hard and soft violence. Soft violence enters the world of coercion and perhaps psychological or spiritual threats. It isn't the brick or the bat, but it is violence nevertheless. This distinction probably does not hold true in the courtroom. Patrick Mason recently published a book he titled "Mormonism and Violence" in which he focuses on hard violence. I thought it was an excellent book. My only suggestion was that maybe he and I write a sequel together focusing on Mormonism and soft violence or the broader category of Religion and Soft Violence. A couple of years ago on this forum I was involved in a rather sticky discussion about my view that members of the LDS church at times may persecute non-Members. I was thoroughly flogged for that (in a soft violence sort of a way). I was basically, but not exclusively talking about soft violence - a kind of a verbal and psycho-spiritual persecution. Take care my friend.

Edited by Navidad
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6 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Yep  On this board, I think a reference to the "Church" is axiomatically going to be a reference to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That's how I intend it, anyway.

Mostly the former.

I think the Church is unique in the world, but I do not believe it is the exclusive receptacle of the Savior's love and atoning sacrifice.

It's a matter of parameters, I suppose.  The Church is actually fairly universalist, since virtually everyone will be "saved" in a kingdom of glory.  And such salvation is not limited to just those who join in the Church in this life.

I am reminded here of the story of Emeth from The Last Battle the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Emeth is a Calormene character was raised to follow Tash, the antithesis of Aslan, and did so with an emphatic devotion and loyalty. Nevertheless, Emeth manages to travel to Aslan's paradisaical country after the destruction of Narnia, and is welcomed by Aslan. Aslan's words to Emeth, in which he ratifies the good deeds the latter did even under the name of Tash, are as follows: "I take to me the services which thou hast done to Tash {the false God}... if any man swear by him and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me {Christ} that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him."

The implication is that people who reflect a righteous heart are to some degree justified, regardless of misbelief. This is a cornerstone of Christian theology: one party cites the Christian paradigm that faith in Christ alone saves, and the other wants to account for the fate of those born and raised into another faith. There has been extensive commentary on the question. In a letter from 1952, Lewis summarized and explained his position: "I think that every prayer which is sincerely made even to a false god, or to a very imperfectly conceived true God, is accepted by the true God and that Christ saves many who do not think they know him. For He is (dimly) present in the good side of the inferior teachers they follow. In the parable of the Sheep and Goats those who are saved do not seem to know that they have served Christ."

I think C.S. Lewis was essentially correct in his soteriology, a view which I think is widely shared amongst the Latter-day Saints. While the saving ordinances for the "Emeths" of this world will be necessary (just as they are necessary for those who are raised with an actual knowledge of and testimony of Christ), the countless numbers of God's children who have lived and died on this earth without having had a chance to hear about and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior will nevertheless have the same access to the Restored Gospel and the salvation that comes through it as is available to those of us to are given a chance to hear and accept the Gospel.

In short, if a person is good and decent, he should keep moving forward in what he understands as the best way to serve God and his fellow brothers and sisters.  The Lord will sort things out in the end.

Thanks,

-Smac

I never met C.S. Lewis. In college all his works were required reading. Both he and his beliefs were complex, yet wonderful. I agree with your comments about Emeth and would take them one step further - no ordinances needed! Oh and your last sentence beautifully and fully describes my eschatology - "The Lord will sort things out in the end!" As always, well said!

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10 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I never met C.S. Lewis. In college all his works were required reading. Both he and his beliefs were complex, yet wonderful. I agree with your comments about Emeth and would take them one step further - no ordinances needed! Oh and your last sentence beautifully and fully describes my eschatology - "The Lord will sort things out in the end!" As always, well said!

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about the need for ordinances.  You and I agree much more than we disagree.  Let's relish that.

Thanks,

-Smac

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29 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The Lord will sort things out in the end.

I would disagree with this idea.  Trying not to derail to far, but the Lord's pattern in dealing with His children seems to be to teach and provide opportunities for them to learn and grow.  I would expect this pattern to continue into the millennium and the next life as well. 

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Squeeze whatever meaning you want out of it.

Now you're thinking.  As it says in  Luke 6:44:  "For every tree is known by his own fruit."  When you squeeze fruit you get juice.  When you squeeze pits you get just the pits.  That sizes it up quite well.

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

I know this is off subject a bit! I see in your profile you are a Mr. Pibb fan. I thought I should inform you that almost fifty years ago when I was a graduate student in the Baylor University School of Religion we all got together and awarded Mr. Pibb an honorary doctorate. You see, the school of religion was a haven for Dr. Pepper drinkers - mostly thoroughly addicted! Those who dared drink Mr. Pibb in Texas were struggling with their self-esteem as was Mr. Pibb. So we had a ceremony with some professors to alleviate these issues and granted Mr. Pibb an honorary doctor honoris causa! From that day on, drinkers of Dr. Pibb felt much better! Now you know the rest of the story!

I absolutely love that story. Dr. Pibb it is. 

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18 hours ago, Navidad said:

If I may add something . . . I think that it isn't necessarily the certainty in horribly wrong things that always make the problem. There can also be wrongs that stem from the price of certainty in good things as well. Just my .02 cents.

Sure! I qualified "uncertainty" in terms of humility and faith, and "certainty" as pride and material indulgence, so hopefully that covers whatever pride and material indulgence might be placed in good things. That would be an abuse of God's spiritual and temporal gifts and tools. Pride and material indulgence are attitudinal choices, as in "the the love of money is the root of all evil."

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On 9/3/2020 at 8:08 PM, pogi said:

How so?  Science doesn't like it if we say their science is based on faith. 

How would faith always be necessary? I was speaking in the context of the common ground between 1)LDS doctrine of faith as an eternal principle and 2)my belief that faith is an eternal principle.

I provided some quotes for the LDS view and did explain mine a bit previously. But I do think that from a scientific point of view, faith is inherently part of the process. You consider an idea and test it. The testing is inherently a form of "belief" that it is true, even if only temporary. And generally I think that faith is intrinsic in science because it believes in the value of truth and therefore endeavors to discover and understand truth.

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On 9/4/2020 at 3:45 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

God doesn't hide anything.  A naturalistic God in a natural universe cannot hide anything.  It is not part of His nature.

I would agree with you. However, others have made the argument that God for whatever reason sometimes elects to do so.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

 

I would agree with you. However, others have made the argument that God for whatever reason sometimes elects to do so.

Those others make the fundamental mistake of defining God as supernatural -- which is a key assumption in the normative Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition.

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52 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Those others make the fundamental mistake of defining God as supernatural -- which is a key assumption in the normative Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition.

And this is why any God which actually "exists" must be immanent.

The myth of an invisible reality we cannot perceive, found in foundationalism died along with the Death of God understood perfectly by Nietzsche.  He was not speaking of a God we experience, he was speaking of a supernatural God who is transcendent and beyond the possibility of human understanding and interaction, our old pre- 1990 friend who is everywhere and nowhere, sitting at the top of a topless throne.  ;)

Man when I saw that video I was hooked.  This religion actually "got it".   This is a religion good old Nietzsche could have accepted and now Rorty became Nietzsche's Zarathustra.  ;)  

The replacement for that is Instrumentalism- the view that "reality" IS what we experience as opposed to a "real world" beyond that which we can experience, ie: Cartesian dualism.  Ideas about science - and everything- are tools- instruments which work for awhile until another instrument comes along with another paradigm which replaces the first one.

That came out of William James and Dewey and others and then Kuhn made it popular.  

It's William James' Radical Empiricism- only believe in that which can be experienced, AND GOD CAN BE EXPERIENCED.

If we could just get this view out there so that it is taught in Sunday School,  we would have something and secularism could disappear- if seen as the separation of church and state.  It would be clear that there are private beliefs and public beliefs all based on their effectiveness to do what they are designed to do.  Science is the tool for public beliefs, and religion is the tool for private beliefs.   And in this context, "religion" does not have to be about God- it is any private belief that gives your life meaning.  It could be "save the whales" if that floats your boat.  ;)

   I know you totally get it and I am preaching to the choir here!   

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On 9/2/2020 at 9:59 AM, Kenngo1969 said:

Risingtide!!!  Long time no hear! :friends: 

I think part of the reason why God has not [yet; I think the Second Coming might well resolve many matters of faith over which different denominations dispute, although, still, there will be different faiths in the Millennium] is because God speaks to different people in different ways.  I think of good Catholic and Protestant brothers and sisters who are members of this Board.  I would never gainsay another person's faith.  If one feels something is missing in his life, perhaps I have something that would be helpful.  If not, I think he should be the best [fill-in-the-blank-with-denomination-here] he can be: As much as I believe only one path will get someone all the way there, I believe there are many paths that will get someone most of the way there.

And when it comes to religious disputes, for better or for worse, I think we're rapidly approaching a time when people of faith no longer can afford to wage internecine or interreligious battles over this or that: We must, in the words of Benjamin Franklin to his fellow treasonous rebels, "all hang together, lest we all hang separately."

 Thank you Kenngo for your welcoming words.I just re-read Helaman 16, which has some similarity to my questioning, verse 18 "That it is anot reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so, and he be the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, as it has been spoken, why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto them who shall be at Jerusalem?"

I see some similarity to this in my question and speculating why God doesn't reveal to all with certainty His doctrines that believers are divided on. Those saying it was not reasonable that a Christ would come. could not see things from God's perspective, and neither can I or any mortal. It may be this reason or that, that God reveals in the manner He chooses. I'm not in a position to understand.

But I am commaned to love my neighbor, even my enemy. In that I should be humble and resist judging their heart when it comes to matters of faith.

I hope your right that people of faith would soon see the foolishness of religious bickering, when its becoming clear that we have more in common in facing a world that is ever more skeptical about the existence of deity.

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On 9/4/2020 at 1:21 PM, ksfisher said:

I would disagree with this idea.  Trying not to derail to far, but the Lord's pattern in dealing with His children seems to be to teach and provide opportunities for them to learn and grow.  I would expect this pattern to continue into the millennium and the next life as well. 

I don't know that the idea of the Lord "sorting things out" (in this life or in the next) is inconsistent with allowing humans their agency.  I like what one of the Beatles said (can't remember which one at the moment; sorry): It'll be all right in the end.  If it's not all right, it's not the end.  Yes, I believe God tests us, definitely in this life and probably, to a certain extent, in the next.  But I don't think He's always moving the goal posts (just a leeeeeeetle further back) each time we attempt a field goal: "Oh, sorry!  You almost made it!  Try again!"  And we know that, in the Millennium, children will "grow up unto the Lord" without the same sort of opposition they face now.

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1 hour ago, Risingtide said:

... I hope your right that people of faith would soon see the foolishness of religious bickering, when its becoming clear that we have more in common in facing a world that is ever more skeptical about the existence of deity.

 

I've tried to do my part to bring that about: https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/toward-interreligious-oneness/

For what it's worth, I don't see the same noise-to-volume ratio among religious critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I used to.  They simply don't seem to be as active as they used to be.  Now, it seems as though much of the most strident criticism comes from within the Church of Jesus Christ, from the supposed "faithful opposition."

Edited by Kenngo1969
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26 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

For what it's worth, I don't see the same noise-to-volume ratio among religious critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I used to.  They simply don't seem to be as active as they used to be.  Now, it seems as though much of the most strident criticism comes from within the Church of Jesus Christ, from the supposed "faithful opposition."

I've not been active in apologetics for a number of years, so I hadn't noticed the shift. I have a degree of sympathy for many who struggle with religious questions. Many come to harbor tender feelings and have challenges not easily overcome. I'm grateful for those who were patient with me at times when I've struggled myself.

Edited by Risingtide
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3 minutes ago, Risingtide said:

I've not been active in apologetics for a number of years, so I hadn't noticed the shift. I have a degree of sympathy for many who struggle with religious questions. Many come to harbor tender feelings and have challenges not easily overcome. I'm grateful for those who were patient with me at times when I've struggled myself.

I don't disagree with that.  Struggling, however, is one thing.  Open, active, often-hostile opposition (and this, remember, among the supposedly-faithful opposition :huh::unsure::unknw:) is quite another.

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