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558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 1 reply · 0 points

Isn´t that what you´re doing, believing blindly in everything Joseph taught? I mean, could you ever study the Bible and come to a conclusion different from what Joseph taught as a revelation?

I often come to interpretative conclusions different than Joseph had. He often asked questions based on a misunderstanding of a scripture, and was answered with a doctrinal principle, not an expounding of the historio-social context of the original writing. I'm just as grateful for Joseph's revelations as I am for Johns, Peter's, and Isaiah's. I read and interpret them individually, and also collectively.

The question is, can you read the Bible and come to an interpretive conclusion different than that found in the Athanasian Creed?

Do you really believe this is just a matter of different interpretations? Can´t you see the discrepancies? I mean, give the Bible to someone who doesn´t have a Christian background and let that person tell you what his conclusions are - they are never coming close to saying anything similar to what Joseph taught about God, His nature, man becoming gods.

Of course not. They'll read the New Testament for the first time, not having any Christian or scriptural background, and immediately and clearly discover that it teaches one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. ...The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

And they'll realize that only those who believe that clear and simple truth in exactly those terms and no other interpretation can be saved. Right?

Do you really believe this is just a matter of different interpretations?

If you want to know how to seek God, read the Bible. Simple.
I do. But my standards for interpretation don't allow me to see the truth, wherin your standards (as defined in 4th Century Creeds) does. Right?

you´re just trying to open a crack to then convince people that Joseph is the only way through which we can reach God.
I never said that, nor do I believe that.

Those who come to different conclusions based on things that contradict the Bible are worshiping false gods or even demons maybe.
I'll just let the circular self-serving reasoning of that set it. It'll probably take a while.

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 5 replies · +1 points

So your view of God is that he would save someone who blindly assented to your interpretation of the Bible and followed through with that based on just the acceptance that the Bible says what you say it says...

...but that he would not save someone who did their own serious and sincere study of the scriptures, prayed sincerely and diligently for guidance, felt He was led by God to an understanding, made difficult decisions to break from family tradition to follow what he believed God desires for Him to do... but those conclusions happened to be different than your particular brand of biblical interpretation?

That wouldn't make any sense. You have to be passing a judgement and assuming that everyone who doesn't agree with you must be lying about their striving to submit to and learn the will of the Lord.

Either that, or you believe God isn't really interested in saving individuals, he just wants the correct answers checked on a multiple choice test - where the key to determining the answers is highly and demonstrably open to interpretation.

It's hard to see the other option of how you understand God. Does he want us to seek him out diligently? If so, will he punish those who do so, but come to a different conclusion based on the gifts, skills, and experience he was provided with?

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 1 reply · +1 points

huh, did i just read straw-man somewhere?
Would you like me to cite the different places on this blog (many under this post) I, and Mormons in General, have been accused of being each of those things above listed?

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 1 reply · 0 points

That´s not necessarily true. more info here: http://www.crystalinks.com/scrollsilver.html

I don't see how that has anything to do with the date when texts were edited, compiled and given their present narrative context, which was what I was describing. Priestly blessings, prayers, and other such traditional oral ritualistic presentations clearly are not original to the compiled histories, and I'm not sure there a single reputable biblical scholar who tries to argue that they would be. That scroll doesn't mean the Book of Deuteronomy or Book of Numbers was present at that time it was drafted - it means that selected sayings later contained in those books were.

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 2 replies · +1 points

So are we studying man´s understanding of what God revealed to them? Why? If that´s the case i should then reject the Bible as Scripture and seek to receive it directly from God so that i can study my own understanding of it. That´s a bizarre concept that turn scriptures into nothing of value besides historical value, maybe...

Why do we study science, instead of just start from scratch with our own observations? Does doing one mean you can't do the other? God wants us to study his dealings with others, which are often what initially bring us to Him, and then He wants us to also learn from our own personal experience with Him as well. Scriptures are a tool presented to the World to bring us to God and develop our faith to the degree that we are willing to learn from God personally, and willing to act upon what He teaches you.

See, i don´t know what your criterias are for determining such things, but my judgement rejects that statement - especially after studying JS history as a treasure hunter. Also why do you accept the Mormon church´s revelation and not that coming from Buddha? Does Buddha have true insights about the nature of God that you consider as valid as those of JS?

You don't believe God can call and use Treasure hunters?

I have applied and confirmed and been blessed a great deal by putting in practice the principles brought forth from the Revelations presented by LDS Church. They enhance the principles I have learned - and continue to learn - from the valuable Biblical scriptures.

While the Buddha did not teach about any God, there are buddhist writings that ask wonderful questions that invite pondering on difficult subjects. Such concepts and questions can be springboards to revealed and observed answers.

Were they more authorized than the prophets of the Bible? And why are their "understanding" more valuable that that found in the Bible, and what makes it true?

I have no reason to believe any true prophets were 'more authorized' than others.

The understanding isn't "more valuable", except in the cases where it addresses specific circumstances, counsel, and principles that specifically concern a modern day setting. It's an oft-used example, but Noah didn't rely on old prophetic records to get into the boat - it required a new directive. Moses didn't just apply Noah's revelation, he recieved new and time-specific direction from God as to the specific things needed to do in order to safely get Israel out of Egypt. The Biblical Principle is that, for those able to receive it, God gives present day guidance, and did not ever intend to simply leave an ancient textual depository left to be interpreted. When he desires present day action, he actively directs His people through a spokesman.

This does not in any way devalue what has come before. What has come before sets the expectation, and presents the Hope of God's directing power. The Scriptures themselves are not the Word. Jesus Christ is the Word. The scriptures are descriptions and explanations and expressions of God and His dealings - and are certainly meant to be of benefit and as a guide to us - a guide to help us to recognize Him, and find Him, and have a desire to Trust in Him completely.

God did not want us to stop seeking his will and coming to known Him at the close of a book - He lives - and that means he can communicate not only to the world through a unified body or spokemen, but also individually, to confirm that what his spokesmen (living and dead) have declared is True.

To say God wants us to come to him in addition to reading ancient texts is not an attack on the Bible - it can, however, be seen as an attack on the principle that God ran out of things He wanted to say to humanity - collectively and individually - 2000 years ago.

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 1 reply · -1 points

What do you mean by the Protestant Bible? It isn´t the Protestant Bible, it´s everybody´s Bible! It´s the Word of God! Weird comment that one...

The Protestant Canon isn't the only accepted definition of "Bible" in Christiandom. Roman, Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopic, and several others have different understandings of what it considered The Bible, including more books, less books, etc. See here if you're interested in learning.

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 8 replies · +1 points

(ctd from above)
That being said, I understand the Strict Monotheism being professed by Deutero-Isaiah as a new exilic theological development (as opposed to the more ancient Israelite Monolatry - acknowledgement of others, devoted worship to One) that solves, expounds, and reinterprets some of the events (and theological problems) that have occurred in Israelite history - especially as a result of the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple and the Kingship (the basis and context for the presentation of the Adam story in Genesis - the Garden is Jerusalem/The Temple, Adam the King/Priest being set up as King over all, and then being exiled and losing his glory for not heeding to strict obedience to the commandment of God - the same thing that happened to Saul!)

I do not believe God changes his mind. I do believe the way man understands what God has revealed through his actions, the events of history, and in their personal lives, however, does change. As does the amount of information present, as God chooses at his will to reveal more as His children are prepared to receive it, and act upon it.

God loves us. He's perfect. We're not. Not a single writer of a scriptural text was perfect, nor had an exhaustive 100% complete and accurate understanding of God. They were given much, and expressed what they understood - and these expressions of God's revelations are precious, and need to be studied, and applied, and tested.

I do believe there are many writings throughout the world from many different cultures - not contained in the Bible - that were written through inspiration, and are the result of encounters with God's work and His hand, even though the writer may not have fully understood, or have been ignorant as to the source. These individuals who wrote would not have been prophets per se, (individuals specifcially sent forth and authorized to present their works as representative of the Lord's will) and such works may not speak of God blatantly, or they may call him by different names. They may make some very mistaken assumptions along with their true insights, and in fact the incorrect may far outweigh the correct and inspired - but the inspired insights are powerful, and can be highly profitable for pondering and learning about the True God. God always reveals himself to those who humbly seek him - we don't always understand the message when it comes, and we don't always follow up with the right questions.

When it comes to LDS scripture, I don't believe the CoJCoLD has a 100% complete and accurate understanding of God in all things. I do however, strongly believe that is does present additional authoritative expressions of divine inspiration and revelation that can add powerful new context and understanding to what has gone before. I do not believe all of the interpretations or speculations based on those revelations are necessarily accurate. I do, however, believe that God has revealed more, and has specifically called and authorized individuals as Prophets to declare and present this revelation to the world.

The revelation that has come forth through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint - and through the instrument of Joseph Smith in particular - has powerfully changed my life for the better, and has added to my willingness and desire to submit myself to God's will, and to trust in Him. More than anything, I recognize all prophets (including Joseph) are highly fallible and weak men striving to present their understanding of the Lord's revelations the best he can. The difference is that they were authorized to present this to the world, and specially supported by Him in this task.

I do not worship prophets, and I do no worship scripture. Scripture is an imperfect, yet powerful, and essential tool in helping one to know God. But in the end, the purpose of all scripture is to bring one to God Himself, to let Him reveal Himself to you personally. Not just through words on a page. Not just through feelings.

If God is real - and I know He is - and if God loves us - which I know He does - , he won't need for us to rely on interpretations of ancient texts alone to know him, or to hear His voice.

That's where I stand.

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 12 replies · +1 points

(ctd from above)
I understand the major narratives of the OT to have been compiled and edited during the exilic period, with most of the prophetic writings either beginning shortly before, or taking place during or after. I recognize the hand of compilers seeking to understand the reason for what had happened to their nation, and using a didactic form of history to present it. I recognize that even in the prophetic books, there are important signs of multiple authorship (particularly in Isaiah) who wrote in different periods, reinterpreting the earlier writings in context of then-present understanding.

I do not believe "writing under inspiration" necessarily constitutes being taken over and being assured that every concept or word being written is the pinnacle of literal perfection, or like taking dictation from God. I understand it as the writer receiving light and knowledge from God, and using his gifts to express his understanding of the light to the best of his ability, using the tools at his disposal.

Some express it in poetry. Some use symbol. Some re-write narrative history in a symbolic way. Others use the more direct rhetorical 'Thus sayeth the Lord" mode of presentation. Others just plainly call it as they see it.

There is a difference between believing that scripture contains writings that contain and strive to express
the mind and will of the Lord, and that every single stroke of the pen in the current accepted collection of 66 books contains literally verbatim God's Infallible Dictated Words.

I believe all scripture given of inspiration is extraordinarily profitable in learning about the nature of God's dealings with man, how man has interpreted history in light of what God has revealed, and using it to place in context that personal things that are happening in my life. There are powerful examples to follow, and terrible examples to avoid. It is highly profitable for instruction in so many practical areas of life. (ctd...)

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 16 replies · 0 points

"Have you ever stopped to think that the Bible began to be written "in the beginning" of human history, or at least shortly thereafter, and that for a few thousand years, it was the only book God had given to man. "

If you're just trying to score points, you're going to be disappointed with my reply. If you're actually interested in knowing how I "Stop to think" about the Bible - and indeed a way I approach all scriptures, LDS canon included - then read on. My past visit here sets me up to think this isn't going to lead to a discussion, just a series of straw-man arguments to show clearly and angrily why I'm obviously a blasphemer and a liar who hates and mocks God, can't possibly have any real desire to love and know Him, and am destined for the pit of hell.

But it's possible that may not happen. I'll reply again if it doesn't. But for those interested in an actual response to his question:

I'm unsure if you've ever looked into Biblical scholarship concerning authorship and dating of the texts, or how you have considered what has been presented (such as the Documentary Hypothesis).

Not knowing that, however, I will say that I am not a scriptural inerrantist (that goes just as well for LDS specific scripture as to the Bible itself). (ctd...)

558 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - God Never Sinned Featu... · 26 replies · -1 points

"Ah, here's the deal, the Book of Romans tells us that men are without excuse when it comes to knowing who God is and serving Him. "
Eventually, all men will be. I dont think the intent was that everyone at every single stage in life, everywhere in the world, from an infant up, is fully responsible for knowing with 100% accuracy the nature of God, and his actual will.

By the time the Judgement comes, no one will have an excuse. At some point, our loving and merciful God will have given everyone a clear knowledge with which to make an informed choice to follow Him, or reject Him. I am following God according to what He has revealed through sincere prayer and study of the Scriptures.

"Good intentions don't count for anything.omeone can be sincere and end up being sincerely in hell. "
God doesn't care if your intention is to love Him, and to serve Him, and to truly learn His will? He just cares if we accurately know certain facts? He will nonchalantly cast into hell someone who has honestly and diligently sought to know Him, but came to some incorrect factual conclusions? Is that really your position?

"I really don't find any pleasure in writing things like this"
Reading several of your posts gives the opposite impression.

"Mormons insult God and blaspheme Him and then want to be judged on good intentions. "
Most Mormons love God, and would be horrified to discover anything they were doing would insult or blaspheme God. They certainly don't do it intentionally. They strive to love God with all their heart, might, mind and strength - and many do. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." - Do you think the Father less merciful than Jesus?

I for one personally think the 'God was a sinner' idea is based on incorrect assumptions based on a popular reading of Joseph's latter discourses. I reject it, and think it is incorrect.

I do not think, however, that those who think it a possibility that our Holy and Perfect God was made perfect through an Atonement are viewed as wicked, evil hellbound miscreants by our loving Father. Just mistaken, and in time, they'll be lovingly corrected. They certainly don't love God any less, or worship him any less with this concept in their mind.