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11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 0 replies · +2 points

I would say that it's more than a little troubling when someone builds a religious movement let a lone an entire religion on a vision or visions they say they have had. In the case of Joseph Smith, even a modest amount of investigation will yield enough information to, at the very least, cast serious doubts on the veracity of his claims. The Boy Smith, like any good spinner of yarns, expanded and improved on his first version of his "in the woods" experience and along the way gave several versions of what happened in the woods. The changing story seemed to occur every time there was a crisis of leadership in Smith's group.
Interestingly enough, his story in its basic form, sounds a lot like a famous evangelist of that time, Charles Finney. What's interesting is that as a result of his vision, Finney launched an evangelical movement that drew thousands to make a commitment to Jesus; the Jesus of the Bible. Smith, on-the-other hand, started a religion that among other things taught that God had once been a man who morphed into becoming a god, that men could do the same thing, that to reach the highest level of reward in his (Smith's) religion, men had to practice polygamy, and that rituals stolen from the Free Masons were all apart of that ancient wisdom that had been lost but now was being restored by the "prophet" Smith.
While Finney drew people to Jesus, the mantra of the Mormon religion became a confession of faith in the Mormon church, Joseph Smith and the BoM. Do we see a theme developing here? With Finney it was all about Jesus. With Smith, it was all about Joseph. People, it seems, would rather believe a good story and the accompanying good feelings it generates, than the truth. Devotion to an idea gives people something to believe in and a life's purpose. It doesn't even have to be true, just believed.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 10 replies · +4 points

We could have a full blown discussion here on the validity of (Christian) supernatural occurrences, but the fact of the matter is that they are all subjective and open to whatever meaning a person wants to assign to them. I believe what the OT and NT reveals about God's supernatural workings in the lives of people. I also believe what Jesus said about false prophets and about signs and wonders that could lead astray, the elect, if possible.
So we really need to get down to what the source of the manifestations are. We all know to well that Joseph Smith was an occultist and what the source of occult powers is. We also know that when Joseph Smith conjured up his BoM he used occult means to do it. We know that subsequent Mormon "prophets" and many rank and file Mormons claim seeing "spirits" during dead dunking and other such temple rituals borrowed, we all know, from the occult based Free Masonry. Joseph Smith's other work of fiction, the BoA, includes a facsimile with a drawing of what he said was the Mormon god. In reality it was the Egyptian fertility god Min sitting on a throne exposing himself.
It would all be really funny if it weren't so serious. It's serious because Mormons have been duped by a form of spirituality that is more in line with occult spiritism.
So dear Mormons ii would behoove you to leave this false religious cult and seek after God.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 3 replies · +2 points

I have absolutely no clue what it was you experienced that's why we don't count an experience as objective truth. About the only thing we can do is consider it. I don't doubt that God can send a roaring sound, have people speak in tongues, multiply money or clothing or that someone can see an aura.
Here's one for you. One time I was in a church and a candidate for the pastor's position spoke. The congregation chose him. He destroyed the church. One of the women reported to me sometime later that when the guy got up to speak she saw a black aura around him????????????????????
I had never heard of such a thing but I asked someone I trusted about it. He told me that an aura like that generally means "death". Well it certainly was the death of that congregation.
I think the best way to approach any of this is to "consider" it. I'd observe the person who reports this type of thing over time and see what sort of fruit they have in their lives and what their grounding in the Word is.
I watch GodTV quite often because it's the home of the modern prophetic movement. I'll listen to some of these folks and often not be overly impressed with what they have to say. However the audience goes just bonkers. I'm thinking, "There's nothing here folks, just some guy speaking emotionally and with a lot of confidence."
People often get manipulated out of their own desires to experience something supernatural.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 0 replies · +2 points

There is a Christian religious movement now that is very fond of identifying people as apostles and prophets. I was reading a blog where someone was all upset about this. It doesn't really upset me but I wonder why someone would need to have themselves identified as being an apostles or prophet. I think we serve God in what ever manner He calls and leads us and it's not necessary to attach a label to it.
But anyway this guy was all bent out of shape about the whole thing. I looked in the Bible and there were men identified as apostles other then the original twelve. The broad definition is "one who is sent". The narrow definition is someone who was chosen by and who had seen Jesus. I guess it depends on the definition.
The blogger didn't like modern day prophets either. Prophecy is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit so I would think that someone who God has blessed with and who exercises the gift of prophecy would be a prophet. In fact, in the Book of Acts, Paul stops and stays at the home of Phillip the evangelist. We are told that Phillip had four virgin daughters who were prophetess. In the same place (Acts 21:8-11) we are introduced to a "prophet" named Agabus. Agabus foretells what will happen to Paul in Jerusalem. Agabus preferences his remarks by saying "This is what the Holy Spirit says:......"
So the first century Church was a miraculous, Holy Spirit led Church. The Book of Acts also chronicles many instances of false prophets and the manifestations of supernatural fakery and/or demonic activity.
When Mormons talk about instances during certain temple ceremonies where the spirits of dead people are observed, it isn't rocket science to figure out what's going on. Nor when we hear the factual accounts of Joseph Smith's involvement in the occult does it take a major amount of discernment to determine by what spirit he operated.
The problem we see is that there are Mormons who support all of this and think that what Smith was involved in is really groovie. Having bought a lie and given themselves over to a deceitful spirit, they are now reaping the results of their actions.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 3 replies · +1 points

Our Mormon friend who wrote to Sharon (referenced in the article above) claims that lies have been told about Mormonism. Probably so............so what? Does that make the things that are factual not true? I was raised Catholic. Does anyone think that there were lies told about the Catholic Church and Catholics? I went to Catholic school and I don't ever remember a nun or priest ever saying anything about other religions. It just wasn't part of the program. I can't remember even anyone railing against Martin Luther. In fact my remembrance was that the Catholic church needed some reforming.
We did hold to the idea that the Catholic church was God's one true Church but we didn't believe that those who weren't Catholic couldn't realize salvation.
I think the "lies" claim of Mormons is all apart of the "persecution complex" which Mormons seem to, at some level, enjoy and wear as a badge of honor.
Facts are stubborn things. The facts about Mormonism can be found in Mormon publications and historical documents. The real enemy of Mormonism is their own documentation which is plentiful.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 0 replies · +2 points

What you are talking about is dispensational theology. The idea is that there are different "dispensations" in God's program. Folks that endorse this approach will say that at the closing of the cannon of scriptures things like speaking in tongues etc. ceased. The Bible verse(s) they point to are at the end of First Corinthians chapter 13. That's Paul's treatise on love. He says that all of these gifts of the Spirit will end when the "perfect" comes. Those that subscribe to dispensational theology say that the "perfect" is the Bible.
To me, it's obvious that the "perfect" is Jesus. There will be no need for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit when Jesus returns. That seems to make sense to me. There are people who are very uncomfortable with spiritual manifestations. Part of it I'm sure is because spiritual phenomenon can be difficult to qualify. Although Paul gives quite detailed instructions on all of this, there are those who fake it and those who are easily taken in by pure emotionalism. What's interesting to me is that dispensationalist claim for cessation applies to only the miraculous. The other things listed there in First Corinthians 12, 13, and 14 that are not miraculous haven't disappeared according to the dispensationalist. Paul mentions prophecy, tongues and knowledge as those things that will disappear. I don't think anyone would say that knowledge has disappeared. It's the same with the offices of the church mentioned in Ephesians. It talks about prophets, evangelists, apostles, pastors and teachers.
Dispensationalists want prophets and apostles to disappear but not evangelists, pastors and teachers.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 1 reply · +3 points

Some months back Andy Watson did an excellent series of articles here on MC about the Mormon god Minn (I think the name is). This god was recognized by Joseph Smith in his wonderous "translation" of the BoA. The facsimile that Smith recognized as "god" was this Egyptian fertility god sitting on a throne exposing himself.
Now my guess is that since Smith had no clue that the text he was "translating" was a common Egyptian funeral (text) and not the writing of Abraham as Smith claimed.
So when Mormons talk about their god, that's the god Smith identified with. If I remember right this god was a fertility god. Funny that Smith the polygamist would choose such a god. What's kind of amazing is that there are Mormons who will rationalize, justify and make excuses all day long for the reprobate Smith.
Why don't they get it? I think we know. It was also very difficult for some of the Hebrews to give-up their foreign gods.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 0 replies · +2 points

Last night I was watching a program on the Simthsonian Channel on the search for the real Indiana Jones. Anyway it got into the whole Nazi occult connection. Himler was the dude that was trying to spiritualize the Nazi movement. I was just half watching it because I was practicing my guitar or something but I do remember part of it having to do with this building Himler built. I'd say it was like a Nazi Temple. It's still around today. I'll have to see if I can find the information.
So there was definitely a spiritual side to Nazism.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 0 replies · +3 points

If I wasn't married, I'd kiss you..............if you could stand it!
You went right to the heart of the matter. We go back to the promise God made to Abraham; the Abrahamic Covenant. We find it in Genesis 15:6......I may jump up here........"Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness."
I use to teach something called the Bible Walk Through. The point was to take people through the Bible visiting the promises God made and pointing us to Christ Jesus. It was a combination of history and theology/doctrine. But that verse, Genesis 15:6 is the basis of our faith. I get so wound up thinking about it.
I need to go back and teach that again. It was something, that when I went through it as a participant the first time, that I realized how totally ignorant I really was about the Word of God. It spurred me on to intensive study and that's what led me to the idea of Christian apologetics and that's how I ended up here. It all took several years of course.

11 years ago @ Mormon Coffee - From the Mailbag (3/8/11) · 8 replies · +3 points

Those who have hung around here very long, know that one of my main interests is supernatural or spiritual phenomenon. Shortly after I was saved thirty-nine years ago, I learned about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is cited often in the Book of Acts starting in chapter one and then of course in First Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14. I was green as grass as a Christian even though I had been raised Catholic. But one thing about the Catholic church in the era I was brought up, it was very open to a move of God's Spirit which might include physical healing or even the appearance by say, the Virgin Mary (i.e. Our Lady of Fatima, for example). So the idea of supernatural phenomenon was not new to me; at least the idea.
Anyway to make a long story short I sought the Baptism and received it in quite miraculous fashion as I spoke in tongues and this was accompanied by a Word from the Lord. The Word went something like this:
"I feel compelled to tell you that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit to a Virgin, was born, walked this earth, taught many things, died on the cross, arose from the dead ascended into heaven and will return to establish his kingdom."
When I finished I looked at the person who had laid hands on me to receive this Gift of God and the person was crying and said, "I've been praying that you would become a Christian." Now that's the shortened version of a process that was a year in the making from the time I first started considering that there might just be something to this whole deal of Christianity and (the story) includes many other accounts as to how God led me to Himself by His Spirit.
OK, should we play, "Can you top that" and whoever has the most dramatic testimony "wins"? That's not really how the truth is determined. The Bible is very clear as to who God is, who Jesus is, what Jesus did on the cross, and what the means of salvation is.
If someone tells me who their God is, I will tell you who the author of their spiritual/supernatural experiences is. And when I know who the author of their experiences is, then I know by which spirit the are operating.
People can be sincere, pious, devout, strive for clean righteous living, have positive emotions about what they believe and even claim supernatural experiences, but if the author of their faith and hence their experiences isn't God, then they are not operating within His Spirit.
Satan is very clever and can provide people with all kinds of affirming feelings and supernatural occurrences. God gave us His revealed Word the Bible to guide us and keep us on track. When people askew God's Word and settle for an imitation/fake scripture, a fake prophet, and a fake church, they will also have false promises and no salvation. Fake prophets promise much but can deliver nothing.
While I'm very open to the supernatural, over the years I've become one of the biggest Christian skeptics when it comes to what people claim. I hope maturity has something to do with it, but it's also understanding the deeper things of God as is revealed in His Word. I have a pretty high threshold of believability before I'll accept what someone tells me regarding what the Lord told them, or a vision they have seen, or a prophecy spoken by them or someone else.
God expects nothing less of us then to be constantly vigilant and questioning of what we are told.
False prophets, as in Mormonism, have it made because people buy the program with their emotions, supposing it's spiritual and directly from God. God expects us to have our intellects fully engaged and working with our spirits in concert with His Holy Spirit.
Our mantra should be, "Show me the evidence."