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Wheat and Tares and Tolerance


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24 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

In Catholicism, the opposite of Satan is St. Michael, the archangel who bested him in the battle of heaven. They are both angels, so not comparable to God. A Google image search will show the common Catholic view of this. 

In LDS doctrine, the intelligences are spoken of as varied in power/ability/glory/goodness…Christ was first among God’s children, so I don’t see Satan as being capable of being Christ’s true opposite.  I am not even sure he is 100% evil, but I see him at this point as lacking in any good, he has been wallowing in his rebellion against God too long to desire to do any good…but zero good isn’t identical to 100% evil, there could be some significant part of him that is not good, but not evil as well.  But I also think it is likely nonsensical to speak of percentages of good and evil in anyone.  I don’t think that is how those attributes work.

In LDS conception of Satan, Christ, and Michael/Adam, to me it is likely Satan is not as powerful as Christ, but probably more powerful than Michael…but in reviewing our scriptures there isn’t anything that really shows Satan as more powerful than Michael, so the Catholic parallel could be accurate in that regard.
 

The Bible talks of Satan of being in the presence of God at times.  Given how no unclean thing can tolerate divine glory, those of you who see Satan as 100% evil…can you explain how he can enter the presence of God and directly interact with him?  Serious question, I would like to know how you conceive of these narratives.

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Hamba said "And in the end, all (but the Sons of Perdition) will have repented of every single sin and will be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Might as well get started now!"

 

That's not the conversation. The conversation started when you pointed at people and called them Perdition. 

In other words, I'm not responding to what you feel is good for your own life. I am responding to what you are saying about others. 

Imagine your adult child has rejected religion, including any divine identity people would call Jesus Christ, even after decades of belief and what you both felt was their personal revelation at times in the past.

They feel differently now, and not as an act of rebellion but of sincere search for goodness and truth.

Would you downgrade their spiritual journey to one of rebellion against goodness and tell them atleast ultimately they will change in the eternities to agree with you?

 

 

Now this is where conversations turn ugly and misunderstandings happen.

We don't label people as "Perdition". We don't even believe there will be many who receive this title comparative to the vast majority who will "be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

Here is how we understand those called "Perdition" so we can be on the same page and not mistake another's words:

 

Sons of Perdition
See also Damnation; Death, Spiritual; Devil; Hell; Unpardonable Sin

The followers of Satan who will suffer with him in eternity. Sons of perdition include (1) those who followed Satan and were cast out of heaven for rebellion during premortality and (2) those who were permitted to be born to this world with physical bodies but then served Satan and turned utterly against God. Those in this second group will be resurrected from the dead but will not be redeemed from the second (spiritual) death and cannot dwell in a kingdom of glory (D&C 88:32, 35).

None of them is lost but the son of perdition, John 17:12.

It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance, Heb. 6:4–6 (Heb. 10:26–29).

Mercy hath no claim on that man and his final doom is never-ending torment, Mosiah 2:36–39.

He is as though there was no redemption made, Mosiah 16:5.

Those who deny Christ’s miracles to get gain shall become like the son of perdition, 3 Ne. 29:7.

They will receive no forgiveness in this world or the next, D&C 76:30–34 (D&C 84:41; 132:27).

They are the only ones who will not be redeemed from the second death, D&C 76:34–48.

Sons of perdition deny the Holy Spirit after receiving it, D&C 76:35.

Sons of perdition deny the Son after the Father has revealed him, D&C 76:43.

Cain shall be called Perdition, Moses 5:22–26

---

Now for a moment just think that everything we think is true, just for a moment. And then think that in this life and even after this life, before a final judgment we are shown all truth and evidence that we must repent and rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ. And if we do this, we can be fully clean and dwell in the Kingdom of God, because no unclean thing can dwell in His presence. Imagine all that was revealed to us and some would rather just not. Even after having received all, known all and have had full chance at redemption - not a second or third chance, but a full chance because of the mercy of Christ. Those who will not rely on Christ for salvation cannot enter into a kingdom of heaven. They say no to God and his Son and can therefore not partake in any kingdom of glory. 

I honestly doubt many will be so prideful. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Calm said:

The Bible talks of Satan of being in the presence of God at times.  Given how no unclean thing can tolerate divine glory, those of you who see Satan as 100% evil…can you explain how he can enter the presence of God and directly interact with him?  Serious question, I would like to know how you conceive of these narratives.

If you're speaking of before the creation then that is easy, Satan had not yet rebelled. God's justice would require a sin or act of evil, before being cast out.

If you're speaking of after the creation, well all those interactions happened on Earth, which is a fallen sinful world. God can appear to unrighteous beings, as indicated by many testimonies in the scriptures. This is because God has the power over his creations and he allows them to be in his glory through divine protection, like a super tinted windshield. It would not be possible otherwise. The simple answer is, God allows it for his purposes. 

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23 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

In Catholicism, the opposite of Satan is St. Michael, the archangel who bested him in the battle of heaven. They are both angels, so not comparable to God. A Google image search will show the common Catholic view of this. 

Having Googled those images before, I've always been impressed with the action figure version of Michael as he combats Satan as portrayed in art. 

the-archangel-michael-defeating-satan-16

Serious question:   Is he always depicted as having wings because of the fact that he is called an angel?  Or do you know of any scriptural references (or pseudepigrapha text) that describes him as having wings? 

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11 minutes ago, Calm said:

What about in Job 1?  Why do you interpret this as happening on earth?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+1%3A6-22&version=KJV

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them."

Context could indicate it was here on Earth. "the sons of God" could simply mean the Job and his family, or just men worshiping at the alter as indicated before this verse in verse 5. Seeing that Job specifically was pointed out in this interaction, one could assume he was there presenting himself before the Lord.

Satan being tied to earth and walking to and fro, being among them as they are also tied to earth, while trying to tempt or destroy them is reasonable.

God being spiritually present or omnipresent for that matter, while his faithful sons present themselves to him is reasonable and expected by the faithful.

The Lord made contact with Satan, thus allowing Satan to communicate with him and be in his presence. The fact that this could happen while being on earth would not be strange or contrary in any way.

Satan then leaves the presence of the Lord but to where? Back to tempt and destroy on earth. Leaving his presence does not mean they would have to have left earth, it just means Satan left the presence of the Lord.

 

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29 minutes ago, Calm said:

What about in Job 1?  Why do you interpret this as happening on earth?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+1%3A6-22&version=KJV

What's more is the fact that there are several recordings in the Bible and other Scriptures demonstrating the Lord being present on the earth. There is not one, after Satan was cast out that indicates Satan returned to heaven to be in the Lord's presence.

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33 minutes ago, Calm said:

What about in Job 1?  Why do you interpret this as happening on earth?

I was waiting to see PeaceKeeper's answer on this before I responded, because I wanted to see if anyone else saw these verses the same way I did (and I didn't want to influence PeaceKeeper's response).  What PeaceKeeper said is basically the same as what my thoughts are on this, but I honestly haven't come across any published interpretation of Job 1:6 and Job 2:1 that agrees with me :)   I don't think Job 1:6 is taking place in heaven.

It seems like every interpretation I've encountered of Job 1:6 is that this is depicting a "heavenly scene".  The part that's always bothered me about that interpretation is that heaven is never mentioned anywhere in the context.  That it is "in heaven" is always assumed, probably because "sons of God" are typically interpreted (by those outside the Church) as "angels of God" (especially in Job 38:7), and of course God resides in heaven.   And I realize that "The Satan" character portrayed in the book of Job isn't necessarily the same character as we understand to be Lucifer.  So there's no motivation for me to try to strain at creating a non-heavenly interpretation of Job 1:6 just to find some other way to explain why Satan seems to have free access to heaven after having been cast out of heaven in the beginning.   That's not my intention at all.  I'm trying to read the text as I see it based on the context and other scripture.

Before I explain why I tend to think Job 1:6 is not taking place in heaven, I'd like to quote the verse in context:

Quote

Job 1:5  And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

 As PeaceKeeper just said above, the context is about making burnt offerings.  And as Latter-day Saints, there's no reason for us to assume that "sons of God" refers to angels.  We don't make the "sons of God" to be angels in Genesis 6:2, so why make it that way in Job 1:6?  From a Latter-day Saint point of view, sons of God are men (or women - daughters of God) who have entered into a covenant with God.  They are either mortal men or the spirits of men in heaven before the world was created (as in Job 38:7).

Aside from the erroneous "angels" interpretation, the language that seems to get everyone hung up on a "heavenly scene" is the statement that these sons of God "came to present themselves before the LORD".   But if we look elsewhere in scripture to see the language used when making offerings to God, we find very similar wording, and sometimes the priest is the representative of the LORD.  For example:

Exo 23:17 (referring to offerings):  "Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD."

Exo 28:30  "And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually."

Exo 34:23  "Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel."

Deu 16:16  "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty"

Deu 31:11  "When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing."

Deut 19:16-18:" If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;  17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;  18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother..."

The last example shows that the priests and judges may be representatives of the LORD, and when people come to clear up their problems they are standing "before the LORD" (Leviticus 5:15, 18 is another good example of that). 

Of course nobody supposes that any of these people in the verses just quoted are going up to heaven to "appear before the LORD".  So I don't see any reason to make the same assumption for Job 1:6.  And God can speak to men or to Satan, from heaven, if he wanted to do that, when they come to "present themselves before the LORD" to make their offerings.

I'd like to hear if anyone else sees Job 1:6 the same way I do (as I explained above).  It looks like PeaceKeeper may agree with me.  And I'm not sure if my interpretation stands up to historical scrutiny.   I know it's been hard to put an exact date on the writing of the book of Job, but I tend to think the book of Job pre-dates the events described in the book of Exodus, where there's all the talk about the language of offerings (Job reads like it was written somewhere near or after the time of Abraham to me).  But it is also clear (from latter-day scripture) that offerings were made since the time of Adam, so similar language may have been used since the beginning.

That's my take on it, for what it's worth.

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10 hours ago, Calm said:

You made the claim there were opposites for everything,  I was pointing out that was wrong.

I was thinking he meant opposition to everything, as in that verse from the BOM, rather than an opposite of everything. But maybe I misunderstood him. 

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20 hours ago, teddyaware said:

If it weren’t for the spiritual dark side of existence there would be no God, because nothing at all, including God, could exist.

Huh?  Well there is no Satan, so maybe there is no god.  But here we are.  We exist. Solved it for you.

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1 hour ago, Brahms said:

that opposition in all things reasonably implies there are opposites to all things.

Opposition does not always imo require opposites, it could be referring to resistance to ideas, to changes, etc.  Think of two politicians running in opposition to each other, they may even be the same party.  They may have differing views, but they need not be opposite views, but through their opposition ideally the nuances of their positions are exposed so that informed choices can be made.  Without resistance to change, we would not understand fully the implications of those changes.

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34 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

Perhaps not in the same universe.....

the-7-best-mirror-universe-episodes-in-s

Mirror Spock wasn’t evil or illogical or all that different though than Prime Spock….just to be nit picky.

”Opposite” has a number of meanings and nuances and can even imply something that is supportive (a leading couple in a movie can be described as a man playing a role opposite to a woman, for example).  “Opposition” can mean opposite in position or resistance, dispute or rival, contrast, alternatives, ethical opposites…I think Lehi’s commentary is primarily based on the opposition of life and death, but how this plays out in a specific individual’s existence may not be so straightforward.

 

Edited by Calm
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On 10/5/2022 at 7:51 PM, Calm said:

CFR where he did that…I am not seeing it in his comments.

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/74860-wheat-and-tares-and-tolerance/?do=findComment&comment=1210118211

He later refers to them as Perdition.

Fact: people who deny Christ aren't bad for doing so. Maybe they don't think a good God would require a blood sacrifice. Maybe they don't think a good God would require belief. In other words, it is possible to be good while still rejecting the strict path of goodness Mormonism tries to define. Saying that's bad is actually pretty harmful to very good people.

Good is good on its own merit, not because someone says so.

 

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On 10/5/2022 at 6:06 PM, Brahms said:

The former.  If he was evil we would call him Satan.

I don't know your answer.  What say ye?

Good is good on its own merit, not because someone says so.

On 10/5/2022 at 6:06 PM, Brahms said:

Affiliation has to do with relationships.  Gates provide access.  How would we know what was good if we didn't have someone to tell us?  Our conscience is the light of Jesus Christ enlightening our mind, i.e. spirit. We all need good access to Him.

I think this is circular and ends up being nonsensical. 

The part I agree with the most is that we have consciences. I think that our awareness of goodness tends to arises from our awareness of Self and respect for the self: first our own selves. Then it develops fully when we respect others as their own selves 

 

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18 minutes ago, Brahms said:

Denying Christ is not a good thing to do, ever.  If you think that is good then you are mistaken.  The apostle Peter denied Christ 3 times and that wasn't good when he did that.  He felt bad and later repented.  The fact that he felt bad and repented was good.

This is how these conversations often go:

A) Those who deny Christ ultimately end up in Darkness.  

B) But what about nice ole Jim who rejects that belief?

Then person A either days something like

A) He isn't actually so nice...

Or 

A) He hasn't *really* rejected Christ. 

These, instead of actually respecting the position that, no, it's not unreasonable or bad to reject the concept of Christ or the idea that there is such a person, or the claim that there is. 

I know this will make lots of folks uncomfortable, because we've basically been taught to be very afraid of it, as if Goodness is a team sport where you must pick the correct Team, and much less important to actually be good.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/74860-wheat-and-tares-and-tolerance/?do=findComment&comment=1210118211

He later refers to them as Perdition.

Fact: people who deny Christ aren't bad for doing so. Maybe they don't think a good God would require a blood sacrifice. Maybe they don't think a good God would require belief. In other words, it is possible to be good while still rejecting the strict path of goodness Mormonism tries to define. Saying that's bad is actually pretty harmful to very good people.

Good is good on its own merit, not because someone says so.

 

Not seeing it, I think you are adding to his comments something he isn’t saying. Please provide the quotes where you believe he is doing this.  (My tech does not go straight to the linked posts as well, but only the page; I read each post of Hamba’s on that page as the original one you are saying he is identifying a certain group he later calls Perdition and none of them worked that way for me.)

His only comment about Perdition is this one and I fail to see how “Sons of Perdition” applies to anyone he has been talking about given the description of Sons of Perdition in LDS doctrine.

Hamba:  “And in the end, all (but the Sons of Perdition) will have repented of every single sin and will be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

 

Edited by Calm
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25 minutes ago, Calm said:

Not seeing it, I think you are adding to his comments something he isn’t saying. Please provide the quotes where you believe he is doing this.  (My tech does not go straight to the linked posts as well, but only the page; I read each post of Hamba’s on that page as the original one you are saying he is identifying a certain group he later calls Perdition and none of them worked that way for me.)

His only comment about Perdition is this one and I fail to see how “Sons of Perdition” applies to anyone he has been talking about given the description of Sons of Perdition in LDS doctrine.

Hamba:  “And in the end, all (but the Sons of Perdition) will have repented of every single sin and will be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

 

I did. He defined who is the anti-Christ, which constitutes pointing, and then referred to them later as Perdition. That's the substance. 

Disagree with it if you want but that's what he did and basically what alot of people do.

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2 hours ago, Brahms said:

Denying Christ is not a good thing to do, ever. 

Why?  And what does that even mean?

2 hours ago, Brahms said:

 

If you think that is good then you are mistaken.  The apostle Peter denied Christ 3 times and that wasn't good when he did that.  He felt bad and later repented.  The fact that he felt bad and repented was good.

Yes based on mythical accounts that were written many many years after it allegedly happened, 

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21 minutes ago, Calm said:

So you are combining this:

As we learn in Alma 1, Alma 30, and elsewhere, anythingthat denies the absolute and inescapable need for repentance and the Atonement is literally anti-Christ. It doesn't matter whether the false teaching is 'whatsoever a man does is no sin', 'in the end, all men shall have eternal life', 'be true to one's authentic self', 'I was born this way', 'God loves you just the way you are', or anything else that defends or celebrates the natural man.”

and this;

And in the end, all (but the Sons of Perdition) will have repented of every single sin and will be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

First off he says “anything that denies…is anti-Christ”, not “the anti-Christ”.  He is talking about ideas/teachings, not people.  He also does not imply that those promoting false teachings will never repent of teaching ideas that are anti-Christ. In fact, the way he states it, he is implying they are not Perdition, since most people, even those rejecting a belief in the Atonement fit into “all” and not the exception of Sons of Perdition, which term is clearly limited to those who have full knowledge but lie about it (they have to have first been devout members of the church or the equivalent of it in their time, apostatize, but still believe in the truth, in essence see the sun but say it isn’t there**).  How many of those teaching there is no need for repentance not only have been members of the Church, but still fully believe in the Gospel even while rejecting it?  You have to add some assumptions of your own to get to Hamba labeling anyone who teaches anything that implies repentance is not needed or denies the Atonement as Perdition. 

**https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/33-kingdoms-of-glory-and-perdition?lang=eng

No I don't think I make assumptions, I've lived the consequences of these claims and observed others do the same.

People must recognised the impact of their beliefs and teachings. As an internet stranger, my voice is a bit softer perhaps than the message coming from our children, the ones who who were raised in our beliefs as if they were reality. And bear the impact

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38 minutes ago, Calm said:

And you accusing someone of saying something they didn’t say because someone else has said it in the past doesn’t help in the healing.  There is enough in Hamba’s post imo that given your viewpoint you can find as harmful to discuss and encourage change, no need to crank up the criticism to make it appear more extreme. Others will find it easier to dismiss extreme accusations than reasonable ones.  You want change to happen, be accurate.  Otherwise you come across as the intolerance you are preaching against.

 

I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s sometimes hard to read things charitably when you’ve come to expect derision, contempt, and dogmatism from some posters

To Meadowchik’s point, I’ve certainly experienced this kind of treatment from members and leaders. You get a little jaded when church leaders use your children to try to pull you back into the church. For years I got alternate sorrow and anger from my family members who were taught I was lost and “anti-Christ.” Since my children have figured out the church they have told me that they understand now that I was only living according to my conscience. I respect church members who try to live up to what they believe is right. I’ve long since stopped expecting the same in return. 

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52 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s sometimes hard to read things charitably when you’ve come to expect derision, contempt, and dogmatism from some posters

To Meadowchik’s point, I’ve certainly experienced this kind of treatment from members and leaders. You get a little jaded when church leaders use your children to try to pull you back into the church. For years I got alternate sorrow and anger from my family members who were taught I was lost and “anti-Christ.” Since my children have figured out the church they have told me that they understand now that I was only living according to my conscience. I respect church members who try to live up to what they believe is right. I’ve long since stopped expecting the same in return. 

I have no doubt there are members who do this, maybe even some who post here. I see a problem though when someone who hasn’t done it gets accused, the whole cry wolf thing or at least a mistrust (from those who don’t belong to a group inclined to accept anything negative about the accused) that the accuser knows what they are talking about may get extended to any accusation someone makes if they aren’t careful in the one case (and this goes for apologists and critics and anyone else).  Just because it feels like it is in the same ballpark is not enough to build confidence that an accuser knows what they are talking about rather than just striking out (not in the baseball sense).

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