Are Fathers Evil?

The first time I attended a non-Mormon Church service was when I lived in Arkansas. A neighbor invited me to attend church with her and out of curiosity I decided to check it out. Talk about culture shock!!! This was my first experience of hearing a Preacher give a Sermon, and his preaching was that of a “fire and brimstone” Southern Baptist.

My neighbor must have warned him that a Mormon would be attending because he spent about five minutes attacking the Mormon Church and all who follow its teachings. From my Mormon ears, all I heard was that I was a horrible sinner and I had better repent or else I was going to hell. By the time the service was finished I had a horrible headache. I ran away from there as fast as I could, never to return.

Sermons are one thing many Mormons aren’t familiar with. Sacrament Meetings entail a few people who have been asked to give talks for that Sunday. These talks are nothing like a Sermon given by a Pastor. During my fifteen years as a Christian, thankfully I have heard many wonderful Sermons from many different Pastors. Each Pastor tends to have his own style of preaching, but I have discovered that his message testifies of a few simple truths:

1) Every human is evil and can never come even close to meeting God’s demands
2) Heavenly Father gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe that Jesus met God’s demands for them.

It took me awhile before I realized that these basic truths were being taught by every Preacher I heard. The first time I recognized this was when a Preacher I know was giving a Sermon about prayer. He boldly stated that all the fathers listening to Him were “evil”! When I heard that, I was a little uncomfortable. I know that our earthly fathers aren’t perfect, but calling them “evil” seemed to be a bit harsh. I wondered why the Preacher hadn’t chosen to use a softer word like “weak” or maybe even “sinful”. Then, I noticed a little later in His Sermon where He even commanded us to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father!

In reality, this Preacher was Jesus giving His Sermon on the Mount. His actual words were: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Talk about being blunt!! When I read His Sermon in context there was no indication that those listening to His Sermon were particularly evil. I remembered that Jesus had told the rich young ruler “there is none good but one, that is, God”. But saying Fathers are “evil” seems so much worse than saying someone is “not good”.

I soon discovered that Jesus talked about man’s evil deeds several other times during His Ministry. In the book of Mark, Jesus tells us where evil comes from: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts”. In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, Jesus asked a question of those who thought that God wasn’t being fair: “Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”

Jesus proclaimed God’s eternal consequences for all who do evil: “for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5).

Reading Jesus’ words enticed me to dig deeper into scripture. By the time I finished my study there was no doubt in my mind: all humans are evil. I discovered that the reason it’s difficult for us to see ourselves as evil is because our definition of what “evil” is differs from God’s definition. We like to categorize our sins, claiming that some are worse than others. We certainly don’t think that anything we do ourselves is actually “evil”.

I wasn’t surprised when I read that God considered murder and adultery evil; but the prophet Nehemiah preached that not keeping the Sabbath day holy was evil. He also testified that Israelites who married outside the faith committed a “great evil” (13:27). The writer of the book of Hebrews testified that “unbelief” is evil. Moses wrote in Deuteronomy that it is evil to not give money to a poor man in need. In Genesis, he taught the same message about man as what Jesus had taught:
for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”.

Everything I’ve mentioned so far is only part of what Biblical Preachers name as “evil”. (The word “evil” appears 624 times in the Bible.) The Apostle Paul understood that God sees all sin as evil when he lamented “but the evil which I would not, that I do” and “when I would do good, evil is present with me.” (Romans 7) In Timothy he wrote that the love of money is the root of all evil.

To the Galatians, he wrote God’s consequence for not following every single command: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” James solidified Paul’s curse when he proclaimed: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” He then gave examples of evil:

“the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” and: “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work”.

Studying God’s Words leaves no doubt that our holy God considers any sin as evil. The writer of Proverbs tells us that “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” On Judgment Day “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

The inescapable conclusion is that everyone who sins is evil! I am so amazed every time I read words from these same Preachers saying that God loves us in spite of our evil! It’s hard to believe, but His mercy is shown to evil sinners! In Galatians, Paul gives us the only reason why:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

To the Ephesians Paul wrote: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It’s through Christ’s Atonement that our evil hearts are “sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10)

The very same Jesus that proclaimed the dire consequences of evil, shares our only means of escape—it’s through faith alone that we are saved and gain eternal life:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14-16)

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32 Comments

  1. nathmac said,

    November 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Ravi Zacharias’ address to the LDS Tabernacle on who-Jesus-is and how we relate to His holiness and his finished work on the cross, comes to mind…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have been an avid fan for a long time…

  2. November 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    1) Every human is evil and can never come even close to meeting God’s demands.

    This is the doctrine of total depravity. Are Newborns evil? According to this doctrine, yes. And, it is this doctrine that supports the reason for Infant baptism because we are born evil. Also, this doctrine has correlation in early Gnostic Tradition as well. Why? Because the belief is that the flesh is corrupt and depraved and until a person reaches a sense of “Gnosis” they can’t overcome the flesh. Interesting how Gnosticism interrelates to some Christian teachings.

    2) Heavenly Father gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe that Jesus met God’s demands for them.

    Okay, which doctrine is true? Predestination? According to the teachings of Reformed Theology, it is because human depravity is attested to in scripture that it is only those who are deemed to be the elect of God that receive salvation and justification. In fact, the whole reformed theology states that Christ’s atoning sacrifice is efficient to save all, it only is limited to those whom God himself calls into fellowship with him. If you disagree with this, then how can you support the doctrine of depravity? Why? because according to the doctrine of Depravity, human will can not even choose to turn to Christ, it all solely relies upon God himself to prick the heart of the unregenerate man and save him before his confession. If you do believe this, then why does God allow some to die without coming to know him, while he moves upon others? It comes back to the doctrine of Predestination. A doctrine that I am presuming you do not support here at all because you said that God grants the gift of eternal life to those who believe.

    Does one come to believe on their own volition? Or, does it take God to choose them out of their depraved state and already save them before they even confess their belief and ask for forgiveness of sin?

  3. shematwater said,

    November 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Beautiful Timothy.

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 19, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Timothy,

    I could care less about “Reformed Theology” or “Gnostic Tradition” or even the term “total depravity”. When I first became a Christian, I discovered that there were many different beliefs among many different people among many different religions. Listening to all these people claim that what they believed was truth, I got pretty confused. Then, I noticed several different times where Jesus testified about a very important truth and I decided to follow His example.

    Whenever there was a question as to what was true, Jesus pointed to scripture as the place to find the answer. Many times the Sadducees and the Pharisees argued about which doctrines were true. We even see the Samaritans holding different beliefs than the Jews. Jesus never once tried to support true teaching by turning to the learned theologians, traditions, human reasoning, logic, feelings or even emotions!!! Instead, He turned to scripture to explain what truth was. Jesus even proclaimed that when you read scripture, God literally speaks to you!!! (Matthew 22:29-32)

    Once I realized this, I chose to follow Jesus’ example!! I threw out all the arguments amongst different denominations or Churches. I could care less about any of them. I believe what God’s Word tells me, even if my puny little brain can’t understand what I am reading! I use scripture to interpret scripture—meaning if one passage doesn’t make sense, I turn to other passages regarding the same topic to help clarify what I don’t understand.

    The reason I believe that all humans are evil is because that is what God tells me in His Word. If you choose to believe some man-made doctrine, then I proclaim to you the words of Jesus: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    In speaking to fellow believers in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul wrote:

    “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (2:1-5)

    Our God is so merciful that He loves evil humans anyway! In fact, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    It is only through belief that anyone gains eternal life. And, the other amazing thing about our Heavenly Father is that through faith, we are credited with righteousness. Every evil human becomes perfect and righteous in God’s sight, the very moment they are brought to faith in Jesus! He alone deserves honor and praise!

    Speaking of the Prophet Abraham:

    “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

    But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Romans 4:20-5:1)

  5. shematwater said,

    November 19, 2009 at 9:20 am

    LDSWOMAN

    You fail to even address what Timothy said. It was a simple question.

    If all men are evil how do they have faith? If you must have faith to be saved how do aquire that faith?

    Answer this very simple question, and then use your godlike intelligence to reason it out and see where the answer leads. After you have done this and can still say you believe it, that is fine, but you do not do this. You read the scriptures, and take only the most basic understanding you can, leaving out any real thought that is required to understand the deeper meanings. This is what Timothy is speaking about.

    So, answer the question, and then we can discuss the doctrine.

    (Oh, and I say you have godlike intelligence because God declared the same in Genesis 3: 22 as being the result of the Fall.)

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 28, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Hi Shem,

    Sorry it took so long to get back to your question, this past week has been very busy. You asked:

    “If all men are evil how do they have faith? If you must have faith to be saved how do aquire that faith?”

    Faith is a gift from God and men acquire that faith through the Holy Ghost. The Apostle Paul explained how men come to faith: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) The Holy Ghost works His miracle of faith through hearing the powerful Word of God.

    Paul also explained in 1 Corinthians 12:3 “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    Faith is a gift from God and man does nothing to acquire it. In fact, he can’t! Jesus explained that coming to faith is like being born again. It is literally crossing from spiritual death to spiritual life:

    John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

    A spiritually dead man can’t do anything, let alone “birth” himself. As the Apostle John explains, a dead man does nothing to be born:

    “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

  7. shematwater said,

    November 28, 2009 at 10:12 am

    LDSWOMAN

    Than you have to say that God chooses who will be saved. If one must have faith to be saved, and that faith is a gift from God, than only those chosen by God to receive the Gift will be saved. Thus it seems you believe in the doctrine of Predestination.
    I am not saying anything against this, just clarifying (though I may say something against it at a later time).

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    “If one must have faith to be saved, and that faith is a gift from God, than only those chosen by God to receive the Gift will be saved. Thus it seems you believe in the doctrine of Predestination.”

    I’m not sure about the “doctrine of Predestination”, but I do know that Jesus claimed “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

    Becki

  9. Todd Wood said,

    November 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Becki, you have shared so many good verses. I am not too sure about “double predestination” shared by some in a categorical, equal action by God, but I do love the golden chain provided in Rom. 8:28-29.

    Heavenly, Holy Father has marked out the boundaries of my life before hand to be conformed to the image of His beloved Son. I see this in Jesus’ prayer in John 17, too.

    And Becki, I have just listened to your audio testimony on http://www.hishealingnow.com – thankyou . . . beautiful . . .

    You are called!

    You are justified!

    You are glorified!

    It is altogether amazing what God has done with evil people like us. Washed completely clean.

  10. shematwater said,

    November 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    BECKI (LDS WOMAN)

    Christ did say that few are chosen. Which is one of the verses used to support predestination (as is Romans chapter 9). The idea being that God has already chosen those who are going to be saved and those who will be damned. Those who have been prechosen are given the faith to accept Christ and believe in him, while those who were not prechosen were not given this faith.
    The only real diffence I see in what you say and this doctrine is this: This doctrine says the choice was made in the beginning, when all was created, and you say this choice is made in this life (I think).

    Can you give a better explanation, or show how your doctrine is different.

    (Personally, I think Christ was saying that many people are called into the church, but only few are chosen for exaltation and Godhood. Read the whole story about the guests coming to the feast. Many are called to the Wedding -or the church- but few are actually accepted at the final judgement. Of course this is an LDS perspective, but then, I am LDS)

  11. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Todd,

    Thank you. It isn’t easy to lay my life bare for all to see, especially in re-visiting all the pains and exposing my sins for all to see. But I pray that by doing so it gives God all the glory and that many will come to know the truth through my testimony.

    Every breathe I take is for “…him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” (Revelation 1:5-6)

  12. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Shem,

    You wrote: “Christ did say that few are chosen. Which is one of the verses used to support predestination (as is Romans chapter 9). The idea being that God has already chosen those who are going to be saved and those who will be damned.”

    If that is what predestination is, then I don’t believe in it! Scripture does not teach that God has chosen any to eternal death or any to be damned. On the contrary, it teaches that God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

    The Apostle Peter wrote that “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

    The Prophet Ezekiel claimed “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11)

    Jesus took away the sins of the world (John 1:29) not just the sins of those who believe in Him and are saved. Peter claimed that Christ’s death even bought and paid for those false prophets who blatantly deny Him:

    “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1)

    Jesus desires to save everyone, but there will be many who reject His free gift: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37)

    God alone deserves the credit for bringing evil and sinful humans to faith. But those who reject His precious gift are solely at fault.

  13. Todd Wood said,

    November 30, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    amen

  14. November 30, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Becki (LDSWOMAN)

    You stated:

    1) Every human is evil and can never come even close to meeting God’s demands

    Yet, then turn around and deny this very thing. Do you believe all humanity is born evil? Yes or No? If Yes, then you have to explain how they are able to come to faith when they are evil and can’t choose to even come to Christ.

    Which comes to the next point you made:

    LDSWOMAN:

    2) Heavenly Father gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe that Jesus met God’s demands for them.

    Does Heavenly Father give the faith that enables some to believe while others are denied this?

    Also, are you advocating that while men are born evil, that you hold to a universal salvation and that it is up to mankind in their unregenerate state to choose of themselves to believe in God or not?

    These two statements are very contradictory because If you accept one, you have to deny the other.

    What it seems to be is that you are picking what you are personally interpretating to be doctrine and what is not doctrine because you do not really lack understanding of scripture.

    And, by the way, if you truly study out Matthew 23-25, you will find that Christ actually was speaking of the Generation (First Century) Jews who were going to crucify him. And, the very language used in Matthew 23 is where Christ refers to himself as Israel’s God YHWH who had constantly gathered them together like a hen gathers her chicks. This of course if a whole different discussion that you probably will deny as being scripture and truth.

  15. shematwater said,

    December 1, 2009 at 11:17 am

    LDSWOMAN

    You have then made a contradiction. If it is our choice to accept this gift than not all credit goes to Christ. He gets the credit of bringing it to us, but we get the credit of accepting it.

    Even if faith is a gift from God, the desire for faith must come from us or we would not accept that gift of faith. Thus there is something in us that is outside of Christ that ensures our salvation.

  16. Todd Wood said,

    December 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    shematwater, where is the biblical scripture that supports your last sentence?

    I often need the Holy Spirit to corral my wayward logic with His Word.

  17. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 1, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Shem,

    I’m sorry, you have misunderstood me. I did not say that it is our choice to accept the gift. In fact, I stated the opposite. Remember the Corinthians passage I quoted? It states that coming to faith is not by man’s choice, but God’s:

    “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

    A spiritually dead person cannot make choices. It would be similar to when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life (John Chapter 11). Lazarus had been dead for over four days. As a dead person, he could not make the choice to accept whether or not he wanted Jesus to bring him back to life. Jesus brought him back to life and then he was able to walk out of the tomb. Similarly, no one can make the choice to accept the gift of being born again spiritually. It simply happens to them through the powerful Word of God, which is the channel (or means) that the Holy Ghost uses to bring a spiritually dead person to life!

    And, again, a dead person has no desires, so unbelievers can’t desire, nor accept faith. Now, once a spiritually dead person is born into a spiritual life, that person is a new creature and can make choices because it is alive. Just as Lazarus made the choice to come out of the tomb after Christ brought him to life.

    A new believer who has been made a living creature can make the choice to not feed their new spiritual life and they can starve themselves to death. Similarly, after Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, he could have made the choice to stop eating food and could have starved his physical life to death.

    There is absolutely nothing outside of Christ that ensures our salvation!

  18. discoveringgrace said,

    December 1, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Great article! =)

  19. shematwater said,

    December 2, 2009 at 9:30 am

    LDS WOMAN

    Than you agree with the doctrine of Predestination, which you very strongly said you did not. If we cannot accept the gift ourselves, or even desire the gift, than it is by the choice of God who is saved. Thus you must either say that all are saved, because wants them to be, or God chooses who is going to be saved and who is not going to saved.

    What you have said is complete contradiction. You have stated that God does not choose who will be saved and who will be not, but than you have said that it is all him. If he is not choosing who is going to be saved and who isn’t than there must be something outside of his power that is making that choice.

    TODD

    Don’t be rediculous. There does not need to be a biblical reference to see the contradiction in what is being said. You and LDSWOMAN have outlined the doctrine of Predestination, stating that this is how it is, and then denied that you believe it. I have no real problem with you believing it. That is your choice. However, if you are going to at least admit that you do.

  20. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Shem,

    It seems I am not doing a very good job at communicating my beliefs to you. I apologize that I do not have the gift of writing, nor am I very good at explaining myself. Please let me try again, point by point:

    1. When the doctrine of Predestination was first brought up, I wrote:

    “I’m not sure about the “doctrine of Predestination”, but I do know that Jesus claimed “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    Very clearly, I do believe that God chooses. And, I find it amazing exactly what type of people our Almighty God chooses as His own (praise the Lord):

    “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” (1 Corinthians 1).

    2. You wrote back with this definition of predestination:
    “The idea being that God has already chosen those who are going to be saved and those who will be damned.”

    3. I wrote back that:

    “If that is what predestination is, then I don’t believe in it. Scripture does not teach that God has chosen any to eternal death or any to be damned.”

    4. Now, you have written:
    “You have stated that God does not choose who will be saved”

    I did not state this. God does choose who will be saved. Salvation is all God’s doing, as stated in 2 Timothy 1:9:

    “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”.

    God does choose who will be saved. But, He does not choose those who are damned, as is evidenced by all the Bible references I listed on November 30th.

  21. Todd Wood said,

    December 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    And Shem, as a follow up, I just need to be convinced by the Word of God.

    Scripture easily convinces me that there is a gracious predestination for God’s people. It is all through the scriptures. I am in awe of God for doing this.

    But now you are trying to tell me that I have to believe God predestinates vast groups of people to hell, too? I think I will follow scripture instead of where your logic wants to carry me, friend.

  22. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Todd,

    Amen and Amen! Thank you. You explained it so much better than I did.

  23. shematwater said,

    December 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    LDS WOMAN

    If God chooses who will be saved, then he also chooses who will be damned. This is simply because if you are not saved you are damned, and thus if you have not been choosen for salvation than you will be damned. Thus, by choosing those who will be saved, God has choosen (or reserved) those not chosen for damnation.

    This is my point. If God chooses who will be saved than by default he has chosen those who will be damned, and thus you have argued the doctrine of Predestination.

    Now, I agree with you that the Bible does not support the idea of God choosing people for damnation, but that must mean he does not choose people for salvation either. He Either makes both choices or neither choice, but he cannot make one without making the other.

  24. Todd Wood said,

    December 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Shem, we have got to let the Holy Spirit through his Word cut us off in our logic before we step off of the beautiful theological cliffs right out into the open air.

    We all think we are following perfect logic. But the Word of God has taught me over and over again to not make my own reasoning the final authority.

  25. catzgalore said,

    December 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I have a headache.
    Are you sure I have a headache?
    You have not seen it, nor have you experienced it.
    You cannot prove that I have a headache.
    If you see it, it isn’t a headache, because it can’t be seen.
    If you experience it, it is no longer MY headache, it is YOURS.

    There is no logical way to actually prove that I have a headache except to trust my word.

    What I am saying is that there are things we cannot prove one way or the other. There are just some things that we cannot fathom. God isn’t constrained by time. We cannot understand everything, we just have to trust His Word. Sometimes it seems contradictory. I have to trust the Lord at that point that someday it will be clear. Just because I don’t understand something doesn’t make it untrue. You are great at defining what someone else believes. Just because you can follow your own “logical” conclusions doesn’t make it true. Predestination has been argued for centuries. The truth is we don’t know the total mind of God.

  26. shematwater said,

    December 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    TODD and CATZ

    What you are really saying is that there in no logic to all this and so you cannot actual explain the doctrine.

    We must takes some things on faith, that is true. However, obvious contradictions do not need to be taken on faith. When a person says that God is not evil, and yet he commands some people to do evil, this I do not need to take on faith, as both cannot be true. Just as it cannot be true God chooses those who are to be saved without chosing those who are going to be damned (unless there is a third choice).

    Faith is not needed when we can know. Faith is needed for those things that we cannot know. Thus we have fiath that God is just and merciful. We have faith that Christ’s atonement will give us salvation. We have faith that Heaven is greater than this Earth. However, I do not need faith to know I am alive, nor do I need faith to know that I am married. These are things that I know and thus are beyond faith.

    The argument that we can’t understand God does not work, for God told us that we have the same capacity for understanding that he does, for we are “as God, knowing Good and Evil,” and for this cause he invites us to reason with him (Isaiah 1: 18). We have God-like intelligence, and thus we have the capacity to understand God. I will agree that we cannot know the way things work in Heaven, for that is an eternal existance, and ours is a temporal one. But those things that are shared by both (such as logic) can be understood by both.

    To opposite things cannot be true unless there is a third to reconsile them. Thus, as I said, God cannot choose those to be saved without also choosing those to be damned unless there is a third place (some being neither damned nor saved).

  27. catzgalore said,

    December 12, 2009 at 10:11 am

    It is true that I don’t know everything. Surprise- nobody does. NOBODY has it 100% correct. What Christians (not LDS) have in common is that they trust Jesus Christ and His Sacrifice has paid for ALL their sins. If you don’t believe that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for all your sins, then I cannot call you a Christian. I am not saying that all that call themselves Christians really are the blood-bought children of God… only God knows that for sure. And all those things I don’t understand? I trust in Him– knowing that I don’t HAVE to understand.

  28. December 13, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Catzgalore said:

    It is true that I don’t know everything. Suprise – nobody does. Nobody has it 100% Correct.

    Me:

    Catz, you are right, and when it comes to true Latter-day Saint Doctrine, many people (like yourself) really do not know anything at all. This is evident when you say:

    “What Christians (Not LDS)” shows your ignorance in what is and what is not LDS Doctrine, and what it is we truly believe.

    Secondly, surely you do not truly know anything about the truth of Christ’s Atonement. Why is this?

    According to your statement “Jesus Christ and His Sacrifice has paid for ALL their sins.” With the qualification of “If you don’t believe that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for all your sins, then I cannot call you a Christian.”

    According to this statement, what you really are saying is this: “Jesus Christ and his sacrifice has paid for ALL Christian sins that are past, present, and future sins. If you don’t believe that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for all your past, present, and future sins, then you cannot be called Christian.”

    This is a very dangerous doctrine. Why is that? Because you are ascerting that in order to be a Christian, you have to pray the Sinners prayer, and that when you pray this prayer, then you are forgiven of ALL your sins (past, present, and future). This is what is called cheap grace (which Dedrich Bonheoffer talks about in his apologetic work – Bohneoffer was a German Christian Apologist – The Cost of Discipleship).

    The second reason why you do not understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the scriptures is because Christ Sacrifice did not begin, nor end at the cross. Plus, Christ did not just die to atone for the sins of mankind, but Christ also came to save mankind from Sin and Death. This is symbolized by the doctrine and ordinance of Baptism by Immersion.

    So, two questions for you to answer:

    1) Do you believe that mankind is saved from ALL their sins (past, present, and future) and therefore, because of this, all Man has to do is receive Christ in their heart by the Sinners prayer and therefore are saved no matter how they live their life after their conversion?

    2) Do you believe that Christ’s sacrifice only saves men from their sins (when the confess) or do you accept the scriptures when they say that Christ came to save man from their sins and from death?

    The reason I ask these two questions is because scriptures does call Christ the first fruits of the Resurrection (remember, he rose from the dead on the third day after his burial and baptism is the dying, burying, and resurrection symbolic of Christ’s Atoning sacrifice).

    So, either you are correct and your understanding of Christian is someone who is forgive of ALL Their sins (past, present and future) and therefore, a Christian does not have to make an effort to change their lives to forsake the old man or the scriptures are correct and these scriptures expose your lack of knowledge as being just that, ignorance and a lack of scriptural truth and integrity.

    Personally, I, as a Latter-day Saint Christian, truly do understand the nature and truth as to the reality of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Something that you apparantly do not understand.

  29. catzgalore said,

    December 17, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Let me tell you why I didn’t answer your questions. First you tell me what I believe and then you say if I believe that way I am ignorant and lack scriptural integrity.

    Why should I answer such a pompous post? You already know all the answers. You are not honestly trying to ask questions, you are not trying to clarify what I believe…you are just trying to stick it to me and show me what an ignorant fool I am and that I lack integrity! You know Everything. You have all the Insider answers… “Apparantly” I am just a dork who doesn’t understand. True. I am. I admit that I don’t know everything. I need Jesus DESPERATELY! I am a sinner saved by grace. Hallelujah!!

    You said…
    Personally, I, as a Latter-day Saint Christian, truly do understand the nature and truth as to the reality of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Something that you apparantly do not understand (this reminded me of an English butler with his nose in the air).

    Personally, I as a non-LDS Christian, do NOT understand everything about Jesus’ death and resurrection. I do not understand everything about why God chose to love me. It is incredible to me that He would choose me to be His servant. But I will be eternally grateful.

  30. December 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Catzgalore,

    So, instead of actually “answering the questions” from a biblical perspective, you feel that I am a pompuos fool?

    The question is simple. Either you are saved from your all your sins (which you are claiming), and if so, then that means a Christian is in a position where it does not matter how they live their lives.

    Now, If you truly did know the scriptures, then look at Romans 6 and tell me what Paul says about the purpose of Baptism. What are we being baptized into? His death. We are being buried with Christ, only to be raised in Christ as a new man.

    What did Christ do? He came to save mankind from Sin and Death. Remember, the Apostle Paul says that by one man sin and death entered the world. He then talked of another who will come and save mankind from sin and death. He is talking of the Fall of man, and the redemption and atonement of Jesus Christ.

    Again, I personally know and testify that Jesus Christ is my savior. The one being pompuous here is the one who can not truly answer simple questions. The one being pompuous here is the one who is falsely accusing members of the LDS Faith that they do not have Jesus Christ, nor do they believe in the reality of Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. So, before you through your adult size ad hominem attacks, stop and take a moment to examine exactly what it is you are teaching, what it is you are saying and see if it truly does line up with scripture. If you truly understand and base your belief on the Bible, then you will know two things.

    1) Jesus Christ claimed his divinity by saying that he is the I AM, which the Jews of the First Century surely understood Christ Claiming himself to be God. Because of this, and from historical evidence, we know that YHWH is Israel’s God, and Israel’s God is none other than Jesus Christ. This completely destroys the doctrine of the Trinity because Jesus Christ was a spiritual being who came into mortality to save mankind from sin and death, not just sin, and rose with a body of flesh and bone on the third day.

    2) The Bible is not the complete and total infallible word of God because no where in the Bible does it state that God closed the canon of scripture. However, what Christ did was state that the very foundation of HIS CHURCH will be built upon Divine Revelation when Peter confessed Christ as the Son of the Living God.

    Both of these two points are against modern Evangelical and modern Christianity.

    Now, if you truly do not understand the nature of Christ Atonement fully, then I suggest that you seriously take up the study of the Atonement of Christ and see how men are saved, from what they are saved, and why Peter preached that those who were pricked in their hearts had to Repent, have faith, and be baptized (Acts 2)

  31. catzgalore said,

    December 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I can’t answer your questions. They are not really questions, they are TRAPS. You are telling me what I believe, except guess what I don’t believe that the second part logically follows the first. You insist that since I believe that Jesus paid the price for my sins that I don’t have to care about my actions. No matter what I say, you would have a bullet to shoot me down with. You are ready with your weapon, which is your logical human brain, to tell me why I am wrong. I’m not good in shootouts.

    Ask the question somewhere else. You might find somebody somewhere that loves a good fight.

    I’m not going to stand in front of your target.

  32. Aaron said,

    May 2, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Nice post! I just found this blog but I quite like it, please keep up the good work. Thanks for also showing me something new in the Sermon on the Mount.

    Too bad the comment section derailed into a typical internet non-topical distraction. Timothy’s first comment uses a false dilemma and it sounds like he is trying to setup a straw-man argument to assert LDS doctrinal supremacy. Maybe that’s how Mormon apologetics works.

    I’ll bite on the end result though.

    Timothy wrote: “The question is simple. Either you are saved from your all your sins (which you are claiming), and if so, then that means a Christian is in a position where it does not matter how they live their lives.”

    You jump to a wrong conclusion here. I’ll agree that Christ died on the Cross to save us from sin and death. We are forgiven for all our sins. Your conclusion however denies the power of God and the victory Christ won on the Cross. It assumes that we are not changed by our belief in Christ. It assumes sin is a verb alone when it is most often used as a noun.

    Thanks for bringing Romans 6 into the discussion, lets see what the Holy Spirit was saying through Paul:

    “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

    When Christ died on the Cross He gave us the opportunity to change the very fundamental nature of who we are. This is the ‘new heart’ of the Old Testament and the ‘new birth’ of the New Testament. I am not totally depraved, I am not in sin. I am in Christ. I am the righteousness of God though Him who loved me first. To paraphrase Paul from above, ‘how can I continue in sin when I am not in sin, I’m in Christ’.

    “3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

    Do I make mistakes? Sure, what fool would say they do not sin (verb). But it is not my nature anymore. My deep desires are the desires of God, He gives us His desires when we accept the grace that Christ offers us. So when a Christian makes a mistake he quickly repents for it and moves on. He is free in Christ, no longer a slave to sin but a slave to Christ. And thank the Lord for that, how freeing it is to not have to concern myself constantly with am I worthy enough, have I been perfect enough? NO. But Christ was and is and He counts His righteousness as mine. This is why the Psalmist and the Preacher so often talked about how the wise rejoice in having their sins (verb) exposed so that they can kill them and move on. The Christian, who accepts the forgiveness God offers has had all his sins forgiven. Past, present and future.

    This probably does not fully qualify your dilemma though so let me add that you cannot truly love God if you do not want to please Him, and that means by going in sin (noun) no more. Yet remember, Sin (verb) is not the problem, sin is a reflection of where you are, what you are rooted in, it is the ‘fruit’ of your nature. By accepting Jesus’ grace we are rooted in Christ, the fruit of which is a desire to live in Him. So your claim that grace means it does not matter how we live our life after believing in Him is a straw-man fallacy, a heresy even. It denies that we are reborn in Christ and freed by Him. It assumes that we must be our own little saviours. Good luck with that.

    I’ll tell you what though Timothy, I’ll study the atonement deeper. You study grace and sin more.


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