Your Savior Has Already Taken Away All Your Sins! Lay Aside Your Heavy Burden of Guilt!

One weekend I went hiking with my husband and some friends in the Ruby Mountains. My husband carried our back pack with the water jug and when he was thirsty I would unzip the pack and get it out for him. After we had drank our fill I would put the jug back into his pack and zip it up. But, what he didn’t know is that whenever I put the jug back, I also put in a fist-sized rock. All of our friends knew what I was doing and it was a great joke. He didn’t notice his pack was getting heavier because the rocks were being added one at a time. Towards the end of the hike his pack had become quite a burden. He thought it was because he was just getting tired, but when he opened it up and saw all the rocks he realized what I had done.

An article I read in the Ensign reminded me of this hike. The focus of the article was the process of Repentance. It gave an idea for Family Home Evening using rocks and a backpack: “Collect a sack and several large rocks. Read the story of President Marion G. Romney and the repentant young man. Have each family member write a common sin on a rock and then place it in the sack. Take turns carrying the sack and compare the physical weight to the burden of sin. Then remove each stone while you read the paragraph following “There was the answer.”

The paragraph mentioned tells you how to know if you can remove the burden of each sin you’ve committed. The answer is because you’ve done everything required through the process of repentance. This is how to know if your repentance has been accepted by the Lord. It claims “The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of those who turn from their evil doings and return no more, because the Lord has said in a revelation to us in our day: “Go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth [meaning again] shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God” (D&C 82:7).”

But the Lord your God did not say this! Instead, He testified: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” The Holy Ghost inspired these words: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” John the Beloved claimed that Jesus:

“loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”. The reason Jesus came to this earth to rescue us is because we are filled with sin. The vast majority of sins cannot be abandoned. Most sins like unjustified anger, greed, gossiping, envy, lust, lying, etc. are committed over and over again throughout a person’s life time. Oh, there are a few specific commands that one can abandon. Man-made commands like the Word of Wisdom are easy to follow and create a false impression of righteousness; training a person to look at the few sins they don’t commit rather than seeing the great number they do commit. You might even be able to pay a full ten-percent tithe your entire life. But, if you don’t do it cheerfully, you are sinning. The most difficult command is to love God more than anything or anyone. We all break this command over and over again—every time we commit any sin.

Using the analogy that each sin is like a stone, every person who has ever lived would have so many stones piled on them they could not stand. They would literally be buried under a mountain. You could not “carry” this burden because it would be far too heavy to bear. Only a person who chooses not to acknowledge the extent to which they break God’s commands would ever claim that the “soul who sinneth [meaning again] shall the former sins return”! Only someone who does not know how often they sin could ever believe it possible to abandon most of the sin they commit. In their ignorance and their arrogance they believe their pack is almost empty when in reality it is so great Heavenly Father had to send His Son to remove it!

Looking back at the exercise for Home Evening, imagine taking several rocks and writing a sin on each rock. Start with the sin of being “Unforgiving”. In your life, how many times have you struggled to forgive someone? How about being “Covetous”? How many times have you coveted another persons looks, their home, their spouse, their car? How often are you “Contentious” or “Quarrelsome”? How are you doing at forsaking the sins of “Envy”, “Lying” or “Impatience”? Did you know that “Worrying” or being “Fearful” are sins?

How many times are you:
Bitter”, “Judgmental”, “Angry”, Discourteous” or “Unkind”? How often do you “Gossip” about others or “Slander” someone? Have you abandoned “Cursing” or the sin of “Lusting” after anyone you aren’t married to? I haven’t even mentioned the Sins of omission: Not seeking God’s kingdom first, Not blessing those who persecute you, Not feeding the hungry, Not clothing the stranger, Not visiting those in prison, Not praying continually, Not thanking God for everything, Not being content with what you have, Not trusting God to take care of you and Not giving God the glory for everything you do.

It is truly impossible to abandon many of these sins for even more than one day! But take heart! Jesus came to rescue you! Your filthiness was made clean—it was washed and cleansed with Christ’s blood. Once, your sins were as scarlet, but now they are as white as snow. You are without blame or blemish—no spot can be found. Your sins were taken and cast into the depths of the sea. All your sins, past present and future have been covered and blotted out—removed from you.

Please, do not reject what your Savior has already done for you. He loves you and longs for you to place your trust (faith) in Him. Don’t carry the burden of your sins any longer. Instead, leave them at the foot of the Cross and turn to Jesus in love and thanksgiving for all He has done for you.

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66 Comments

  1. shematwater said,

    November 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    It is not impossible to abandon any sin. There is not a single sin that you list that cannot be overcome.

    You speak as if overcoming sin is something that we have to do by ourselves before we can be forgiven, and this is not true. With the help of Christ all sins can be cast from us.

    Contentiousness is not that difficult to overcome, nor is covetousness. Loving God more than anything else is not difficult (as sinning does not prove you don’t love him).

    God has not removed the backpack full of rocks. What he has done is to open it for us, so that we can shake the rocks out ourselves.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    God has not removed the backpack full of rocks. What he has done is to open it for us, so that we can shake the rocks out ourselves.

    In regards to our topic of removing our burden of sin, what does your analogy “shake the rocks out ourselves” mean specifically?

  3. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    You speak as if overcoming sin is something that we have to do by ourselves before we can be forgiven, and this is not true.

    According to your prophets, the abandonment of sin must come before one can be forgiven:

    Abandonment of sin includes building a new life… There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. Providing that a person discontinues his sin with the right motives—because of a growing consciousness of the gravity of the sin and a willingness to comply with the laws of the Lord—he is genuinely repenting. This criterion has been set by the Lord: “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:43. Italics added.) In other words, it is not real repentance until one has abandoned the error of his way and started on a new path. … The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. True repentance prods one to action…
    Knowing the hearts of men, and their intents, and their abilities to repent and regenerate themselves, the Lord waits to forgive until the repentance has matured.
    ” Teachings of Presidents of the Church Spencer W. Kimball, pages 34-44:

    The Miracle of Forgiveness, President Spencer W. Kimball:
    Trying is Not Sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin… It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To “try” is weak. To “do the best I can” is not strong. (Pages 164-165) “Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load.” (Page 170).

  4. shematwater said,

    November 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    You still don’t get it. Full repentence of the sin does require us to stop, which is fully possible. However, forgiveness to the point where the Holy Spirit will dwell with us and help us to fully repent does not.

    However, for the sake of clarity, let us say that full forgiveness does not come until has abandon the sin. Fine. It is still not as difficult as you claim. Christ will help us, as that is what his atonement was about, and with that help we can prevail.
    We may receive a full forgiveness of a sin at any time, and then, if we sin again, we will be in need of repentence again.

    We know that full forgiveness can be granted at various times in ones life, for James has said “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5: 15)

    Read Mormon Doctrine, under forgiveness if you want a consise and clear explanation of the doctrine of forgiveness meant for non-LDS.

  5. echoechoecho said,

    November 21, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Shem, could you answer LDSwomans question in post number 2?

  6. catzgalore said,

    November 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    If it is fully possible for us to abandon sin, why do we need a Savior at all?

  7. shematwater said,

    November 23, 2010 at 10:11 am

    CATZ

    Read my post again. I never said it was possible on our own, but that it was possible with the Lord’s help. This is the purpose of the Atonement.
    Please read what I say before you try to argue with me.

    ECHO

    I did not answer it in my last post as I did not have the time.

    Shaking the Rocks out is repentence, or the process we must go through in order to rid ourselves of sin.

  8. echoechoecho said,

    November 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Shem said: ” Shaking the Rocks out is repentence, or the process we must go through in order to rid ourselves of sin.

    Jesus already rid us of ALL sin by taking ALL the rocks out of our backpacks, why do you think you can do a better job than he can? Why do you put your faith in YOU rather than in Jesus?

  9. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks, Echo, for your testimony of Christ’s mission!

    As Shem has said, the LDS believe that they have to rid themselves of their sins. I am so very thankful that God doesn’t believe this:

    As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12).

    As the Prophet Isaiah testified: “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” (Isaiah 38:17)

    God is a God of love. He loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to rid us of our sins! That is the mission of our Savior. Jesus fulfilled His mission and returned to His Father with Honor!

  10. shematwater said,

    November 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    ECHO

    You do not understand my faith if you think I put greater faith in myself than in Christ. At times it almost seems as if you are purposely ignoring half of what I say so that you won’t understand.

    I have no faith in myself. I have seen myself fail to many times to believe that I could do anything if I was left on my own. But I am not on my own. I have Christ with me every step of the way. Yes, I have walk if I hope to reach the final destination, but I must walk in the path that Christ shows me. He is my guide, and I must put complete faith in him that if I follow he will lead me back to my Father in Heaven. I couldn’t do myself, but with him leading the way all things become possible, if I just do as he has directed.

    I never liked the whole rocks analogy. It is incomplete and thus inaccurate. This is why I have chosen to moe away from it in this post, and instead use that of a guide. It is more accurate as it is more complete.

    LDSWOMAN

    Your quotes don’t mean a whole lot. They were both written by men who had gone through the process of repentence, and thus had their sins removed as they describe. That is what repentence is. To return to your rocks idea: Christ opens the bag and tells us to hand him the stones. Once we do this he then throws them as far as he can.

  11. echoechoecho said,

    November 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Shem said: “You do not understand my faith if you think I put greater faith in myself than in Christ. At times it almost seems as if you are purposely ignoring half of what I say so that you won’t understand.”

    I do understand your faith, you don’t understand what I am saying. Let me explain it one more time.

    The Rocks in the bag represent our sin, the removal of ALL the rocks in the back pack represents the REMOVAL of ALL our sins. The thing that removes our sin from the bag is God’s forgiveness. God is the one who is doing the forgiving here not YOU. YOU trust YOU, we trust JESUS.

    Tell me Shem….Is it easier to go through life loving your neighbor with a back pack full of rocks that you carry around and which have stopped you or slowed your ability to love your neighbor or is it easier to go through life with an empty backpack which never slows you down from loving your neighbor?

    In fact, aren’t you spending your entire life getting the rocks out of the bag instead of fully focusing on loving your neighbor? Our back packs are empty, we spend our entire lives serving our neighbor.

  12. shematwater said,

    November 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I understand what you are saying, and that is fine as it describes your faith. But it is not accurate in describing mine, which is what you tried to do, and what I was commenting on. You gave an inaccurate depiction of the LDS doctrine.

    Now, your hidden insults are just silly. Your hint that I can’t love and serve my neighbor because I believe in a process of repentance only shows your lack of understanding as to the LDS faith and doctrine.
    I have all the time and power I need to serve and love my neighbor, and I strive to do so with every breath I take.

  13. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Now, your hidden insults are just silly. Your hint that I can’t love and serve my neighbor because I believe in a process of repentance only shows your lack of understanding as to the LDS faith and doctrine. I have all the time and power I need to serve and love my neighbor, and I strive to do so with every breath I take.

    I don’t know what you are referring to. I guess my memory is so bad, I forgot that I said something insulting. Please refresh my memory, as I can’t even find where I said anything in the previous comments.

  14. echoechoecho said,

    November 29, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Shem said: “Now, your hidden insults are just silly. Your hint that I can’t love and serve my neighbor because I believe in a process of repentance only shows your lack of understanding as to the LDS faith and doctrine.
    I have all the time and power I need to serve and love my neighbor, and I strive to do so with every breath I take”

    The fact of the matter is that when two people are climbing a mountain and one has a backpack full of rocks and the other doesn’t, the one with the backpack full of rocks is going to be slower going up the hill than the person without all the rocks in their backpack. There is also a chance that the rocks in his backpack will prove to be too much a load to carry up the mountain.

    Since the bible teaches that one small sin is all it takes to break God’s entire law, that’s like a backpack full of rocks too heavy to carry. To heavy to even move.

    James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking ALL OF IT.”

  15. shematwater said,

    November 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    The insult is the hint that I don’t, and some how can’t, love my neighbor. Yes, that is insulting. It also shows a supreme lack of understanding of the LDS doctrine.

    ECHO

    The problem is that I don’t have a sack of rocks on my back, as LDSWMAN is subtly claiming. That is my point, and the one that you seem to be ignoring. The doctrine of Repentance has removed that burden from me, and so I am just as able as anyone else to love my neighbor and help them.
    Now, I would agree with the analysis you have given. However, wouldn’t it be more accurate to your beliefs to say that Christ was going to fly you up in his helicopter rather than make you put in the effort to climb mountain?

    Speaking in your terms, we both have had our bag of rocks removed, but I am still climbing while you are waiting for Christ to pick you up. Who is going slower?

  16. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    The insult is the hint that I don’t, and some how can’t, love my neighbor. Yes, that is insulting. It also shows a supreme lack of understanding of the LDS doctrine.

    What I am asking is where did I do this? What did I write that made you think this? That is all I am asking. I have not been feeling well lately, and I don’t know what you are referring to. I am thinking that I must have missed something that I said.

  17. echoechoecho said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Shem said: “Speaking in your terms, we both have had our bag of rocks removed, but I am still climbing while you are waiting for Christ to pick you up. Who is going slower?”

    Christ has already picked us up in the helicopter and taken us to the top because loving our neighbor isn’t a condition we need to meet in order to get to the top of the mountain. In fact, there are no conditions to getting to the top of the mountain that is why we are already there. Therefore I am now motivated to love my neighbor out of love for Christ and I am motivated by love alone. After all, Christ gave me a ride to the top of the mountain already! That IS AMAZING LOVE.

    But your climbing the mountain and you believe that loving your neighbor and repentance are two of the conditions you must meet to get to the top of the mountain.

    In the other thread you said to me: “Now, I have heard all the wonderful ideas that we try because we love Christ, but it doesn’t work.”

    You suggested in that statement that loving Christ doesn’t work to motivate us despite the fact that we have told you it does motivate us. However, what your statement really and truly reveals is what is buried deep down in your own heart, not what is in our hearts. I assure you we are motivated by Christ’s love alone. However your statement really should be an eye opener to you. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. And what your own statement reveals is that you yourself would not and could not be motivated by Christ’s love alone because that wouldn’t work for YOU.

    Why wouldn’t Christ’s love alone motivate you and work for you Shem?
    If it’s not Christ’s love alone that motivates you, what does motivate you then Shem?
    I believe this climbing-up-the-mountain analogy reveals your motivation, can you tell me what it is?

  18. shematwater said,

    December 1, 2010 at 11:59 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I apologize. After reading the previous quotes I have found my mistake. It was ECHO who sad this and not you, and so my comments should have been directed to Echo and not you. I am sorry.

    ECHO

    Then you should not have used the example you did; that of two people climbing.
    Second, I want to know this: If you are already at the top of the mountain, what good will your love do those who have not reached the top yet?
    Me, I have to rocks weighing me down, and I am still on the side of the mountain helping all those around me, making sure they don’t fall.
    You are at the top, so what are you doing?

    Now, concerning my comment on your motivation, you really missed my point on that one. I am not talking about you individually, but of people in general. You may be motivated by Christ’s love, and that is great. But if Christ has already taken people to the top of the mountain than what is to prevent them from just sitting down and doing nothing. In other words what you say may be true for you, but you cannot guarantee that it will work for anyone else. Your doctrine allows people to sin all they want and still be saved.

    Now, my comments earlier about subtle insults should have been directed to you, but now your being very blunt about it.
    You have no clue what is in my heart, nor why I do what I do. I have stayed away from personal comments and focused on the doctrine, comparing mine to yours, and showing exactly what I see in both. It is you who are trying to compare me to you. So, let us do this.

    I hate hurting people. I have apologized for things that other people are surprised about because it bothers me. It causes me great discomfort when my actions cause pain or disappointment. The greatest pain comes when I disappoint my Father in Heaven. It hurts, and I do all I can to undo what I did. It is not his love for me that motivates me, but my love for him.
    However, you on the other hand, have to be loved by him first. You are motivated by his love for you. It is only after he has done everything for you that you are willing to do anything for him, and even then you don’t want him to require anything of you.

    So, now that we have compared each other, who has the better motivation? The one who is willing to do anything he can to please the Father he loves, or the one who wants everything done for them because their Father loves them?

  19. echoechoecho said,

    December 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Shem said: “Then you should not have used the example you did; that of two people climbing.
    Second, I want to know this: If you are already at the top of the mountain, what good will your love do those who have not reached the top yet?
    Me, I have to rocks weighing me down, and I am still on the side of the mountain helping all those around me, making sure they don’t fall.
    You are at the top, so what are you doing?”

    Lets drop the analogies and speak plainly. Analogies are generally intended to make one clear point of comparison and you are trying to draw more points out of the analogies than I intended by them.

    Shem said: “Now, concerning my comment on your motivation, you really missed my point on that one. I am not talking about you individually, but of people in general. You may be motivated by Christ’s love, and that is great. But if Christ has already taken people to the top of the mountain than what is to prevent them from just sitting down and doing nothing. In other words what you say may be true for you, but you cannot guarantee that it will work for anyone else. ”

    The significant point here Shem is not what others will do with this unconditional free grace, but what YOU will do with it. Now tell me, what would YOU do with it? Would you just sit down and do nothing and sin all you want or would you be totally motivated to do the exact opposite?

    Shem said: “Your doctrine allows people to sin all they want and still be saved.”

    You can know for a fact that you have heard me proclaim the true and biblical unconditional grace of God when you conclude what you have said here above. You can know that what I am saying is in fact true because some people expressed the same sentiment after hearing the Apostle Paul’s message! And when those people expressed the same sentiment as you, that our doctrine allows people to sin all they want and still be saved the Apostle Paul responded: Romans 6:15-18 “ What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”

    Shem said: Now, my comments earlier about subtle insults should have been directed to you, but now your being very blunt about it.
    You have no clue what is in my heart, nor why I do what I do. I have stayed away from personal comments and focused on the doctrine, comparing mine to yours, and showing exactly what I see in both. It is you who are trying to compare me to you. So, let us do this.

    I assure you that though my words may seem hurtful to you, they are not intended to harm you but to give you a hope and a future. I also assure you that I am not judging your motives but instead I am asking you what they are. Only you have that answer. However I would ask that you not judge my motives by assuming I am insulting you. I have no intention to insult you, I do intend to speak the truth as I see it, sometimes truth hurts but it isn’t intended to insult you. My motive is to bring you good and not to harm you.

    Shem said: “I hate hurting people. I have apologized for things that other people are surprised about because it bothers me. It causes me great discomfort when my actions cause pain or disappointment. The greatest pain comes when I disappoint my Father in Heaven. It hurts, and I do all I can to undo what I did.

    I feel the same way Shem and I am glad you feel that way too.

    Shem said: It is not his love for me that motivates me, but my love for him.

    1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”

    Shem, please allow us to change the way you think about that. You have it backwards(not judging your motives and not trying to insult you).

    Shem said: “However, you on the other hand, have to be loved by him first. You are motivated by his love for you. It is only after he has done everything for you that you are willing to do anything for him, and even then you don’t want him to require anything of you.

    So, now that we have compared each other, who has the better motivation? The one who is willing to do anything he can to please the Father he loves, or the one who wants everything done for them because their Father loves them?

    Think about this Shem, what I am about to say isn’t intended to insult you but to help you see your blind spot. I am not judging your motives. Speaking the truth sometimes hurts but it is intended to heal you and not harm you. That’s my motivation.

    When we are motivated by God’s love for us we are glorifying him and his perfect love for us. When we are motivated by our own love for God, we are glorifying ourselves. It becomes our love that matters or that is most important, not God’s love for us. As the bible states, “we love BECAUSE he FIRST loved us” (1 John 4:19) Your position is the opposite of scripture. (Not judging your motives here, please don’t misunderstand) God loves you BECAUSE you FIRST loved him. This “doctrine” (again, not judging your motives) shows itself plainly in the fact that you must first repent and love your neighbor before you can be exalted. You must first love God Before he will allow you to be exalted. This isn’t about your motives but your doctrine. The thing is, that it is impossible for us to love our neighbor the way God wants us to without first knowing about God’s love for us. The world doesn’t love their neighbor in the same way God loves us.

    The world believes in conditional love and God believes in unconditional love. The whole LDS doctrine on exaltation is based on this worldly conditional love. The LDS doctrine on exaltation is filled with conditions to obtaining that Goal. As a result, you love your neighbor conditionally whether you realize it or not. Sin is deeply rooted in us and doesn’t always surface and so we don’t always see ourselves the same way that God sees us. That kind of conditional love is condemned in scripture. Those works will all burn up in the judgment. All of them. So until you first see and believe in God’s unconditional love for you, you will not be able to love your neighbor in the same way that God loves you.

    I got this message today on facebook for husbands and how they ought to treat their wives but at the same time it really expresses Christ’s love for us all:

    “This is Christ-love for husbands: loving her not for what I get out of it but loving to give, loving to make her life better, loving in terms that make sense to her. This is headship: not exhausting her with my expectations and demands but giving myself up for her.” Author: Time of Grace

    The LDS version would go something like this:

    “This is Christ-love for husbands: loving her only for what I get out of it, loving to take from her, loving for her to give to me, loving for her to make her own life better before she can live with me, not loving in terms that make sense to her but only in terms that make sense to me. This is headship: exhausting her with my expectations and demands before I will give myself up for her.”

  20. shematwater said,

    December 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    ECHO

    You are judging my motives, whether you think you are or not, and I find it hard to believe you don’t realize it.

    Yes, the Bible does say that we love him because he first loved us. What it doesn’t say is that we obey him because he first loved us, which is where your mistake is. You do not understand psycology, and thus you are misapplying it.
    In John 14: 15 Christ himself states “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Christ is stating that it is our love for him that truly motivates us to obey. If we love him we will obey. It is never said “Obey because I love you.” This is never said because it is rediculus and God knows it.

    You say: “When we are motivated by God’s love for us we are glorifying him and his perfect love for us. When we are motivated by our own love for God, we are glorifying ourselves.”
    This shows a great lack of understanding of psycology as you are backwards. When we are motivated by his love for us we are now the focus of our actions, not God. We are not glorifying him at all, only the attention he gives us. This is the mentality of the spoiled child. The Obey as long as they get what they want.
    However, when we are motivated by our own love for him, he becomes the focus of our actions and we play no part in it. We obey not for the attention, but because we know it pleases him.

    Now, you do a very good job of misrepresenting the doctrine of Salvation, which I find hard to believe is not purposely done.
    Gaining exaltation has nothing to do with how much God loves us. We do not have to repent to earn God’s love, as you seem to suggest. Yes, we have to earn the reward of Exaltation, but we do not earn his love. He loves unconditionally, and if you have any understanding of LDS doctrine you would know how absurd your comments are.

    You try to wrap things up nicely with your quotes about husbands love for wives, but as you already have everything backwards I think you should turn this around as well, because the quote you give is what we as LDS teach, and the alternative is much closer to what you believe.

  21. echoechoecho said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Shem said: “You may be motivated by Christ’s love, and that is great. But if Christ has already taken people to the top of the mountain than what is to prevent them from just sitting down and doing nothing. In other words what you say may be true for you, but you cannot guarantee that it will work for anyone else. ”

    The significant point here Shem is not what others will do with this unconditional free grace, but what YOU will do with it. Now tell me, what would YOU do with it? Would you just sit down and do nothing and sin all you want or would you be totally motivated to do the exact opposite?

  22. shematwater said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

    ECHO

    The significant part is not what I would do, or what you would do. The significant part is what the doctrine will inspire others to do. This has always been the significant part, and always will be.

    Any doctrine that allows for sin is contrary to the gospel of Christ and his Father. Whether you, or I, or any individual would take advantage of that means nothing. The doctrine allows for it, and thus it is a false doctrine.

  23. echoechoecho said,

    December 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I really would like you to answer the question because it is important in concluding what others would do. You are in the category of “others” from my perspective. What would you do?

  24. shematwater said,

    December 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    ECHO

    I am not going to answer the question, and you should realize that by now. The question is loaded, and you know it.
    It is also pointless, as I do not, nor would I ever believe the doctrine as you describe it, and thus it has no effect on how I would act.
    The only answer I can give you is this: If that doctrine was the only one available I would still reject it as being unjust, and thus not in line with the gospel of Christ.

  25. echoechoecho said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    The Jones are a married couple and they decide to have a babies. The Jones’ genuinely showered their children with their unconditional and perfect love.

    When a stranger asks the child one day: “why do you love your parents?”

    The child screams: “Don’t ask me that question! It’s a loaded question! My parents are unjust!”

    The Smiths are a married couple and they decide to have babies. The Smith’s sent their children off to this behavior school and they told the kids everything the kids needed to learn if they ever wanted a place to come home to after they were finished this school away from home. The list was so hard, the children were exasperated.

    When a stranger asks the child one day: “why do you love your parents?”

    The child screamed: “because they are just and loving!”

  26. ckuhrasch said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Shem said “Any doctrine that allows for sin is contrary to the gospel of Christ and his Father. Whether you, or I, or any individual would take advantage of that means nothing. The doctrine allows for it, and thus it is a false doctrine.

    I’m not sure I understand this. Doesn’t God allow choice? Perhaps I haven’t followed this discussion closely enough, but I thought that the fact that we could freely respond to the love of Christ was the reason that Christ’s plan was accepted over Lucifer’s. Isn’t that right?

  27. shematwater said,

    December 7, 2010 at 10:58 am

    ECHO

    First of all, you never asked me “Why do I love God?” That is a question I am perfectly willing to answer.

    I love my Father in Heaven for a few reasons. First, he loves me. Second, he is always just and will never ask more of me than I am able to give. Third, he is merciful, and always willing to forgive the errors that I make.

    So, your little post does not apply to anything I have said, as you are trying to change the questions around to fit your own comments.

    The question you asked was not why I love my Father, but if the doctrine you pose (that of Free Grace) would motivate me to obey. This is the question I refused to answer, as it is a loaded question. The reason I say this is simple. No matter how I answer you will twist it into support for your doctrine. This is why I refuse to answer.

  28. echoechoecho said,

    December 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Shem said: “as you are trying to change the questions around to fit your own comments.”

    Shem, please don’t judge my motives. It is a sin to do so.

    Shem said: “The question you asked was not why I love my Father, but if the doctrine you pose (that of Free Grace) would motivate me to obey.”I said:

    “The Jones are a married couple and they decide to have a babies. The Jones’ genuinely showered their children with their unconditional and perfect love.”

    That is free grace.

    Now tell me, what would YOU do with that free grace(love of these parents)? Would you just sit down and do nothing and sin against them all you want or would you be totally motivated to do the exact opposite? And how are these parents unjust?

  29. shematwater said,

    December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

    ECHO

    Again, you ask the question I have stated I will not answer.

    However, as to justice, what you have described is not the doctrine you are purposing. As you have it described there is nothing unjust, and in truth, nothing that contradicts the doctrine I have described.

    You said: “The Jones are a married couple and they decide to have a babies. The Jones’ genuinely showered their children with their unconditional and perfect love.”
    To fit your doctrine you would need to add the comment that “No matter what the children do the Jones never punish them, as long as they claim them as parents?”
    This is the part of your doctrine that is unjust. It is unjust to reward the son who always strives to be obedient with the same reward that you give the one who does not.

    Now, I could say “The Jones are a married couple and they decide to have a babies. The Jones’ genuinely showered their children with their unconditional and perfect love.” and have it apply just as equally to the LDS doctrine. However, I would add on “But they let the children know that their actions will always carry certain consequences, which the children will not be exempt from.”
    This is just, because it reward based on individual merit.

  30. echoechoecho said,

    December 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Shem, ckuhrasch asked you a question and you didn’t respond.

    Shem said: “Again, you ask the question I have stated I will not answer.

    However, as to justice, what you have described is not the doctrine you are purposing. .

    It is the doctrine I am purposing, you just aren’t comprehending what I am saying.

    Shem said: “The Jones are a married couple and they decide to have a babies. The Jones’ genuinely showered their children with their unconditional and perfect love.”
    To fit your doctrine you would need to add the comment that “No matter what the children do the Jones never punish them, as long as they claim them as parents?”

    Do parents that love their children unconditionally and perfectly as I have stated above discipline their children Shem? ( a yes or no answer is sufficient, your lengthy responses aren’t necessary)
    Did the children “do” anything to become the children of these parents? (Again, a yes or no answer is sufficient)

    Shem said: “This is the part of your doctrine that is unjust. It is unjust to reward the son who always strives to be obedient with the same reward that you give the one who does not.

    We don’t believe this so your entire comment is meaningless as are all your arguments against us since all your arguments are based on your false assumptions and misunderstandings about us. So it would save you a lot of time in writing your posts if you just discontinued making false assumptions until you do understand what we believe.

    Shem said: “Now, I could say “The Jones are a married couple and they decide to have a babies. The Jones’ genuinely showered their children with their unconditional and perfect love.” and have it apply just as equally to the LDS doctrine. However, I would add on “But they let the children know that their actions will always carry certain consequences, which the children will not be exempt from.”
    This is just, because it reward based on individual merit.”

    Is it “just” to REWARD a child for his unrepentant disobedience? (a yes or no answer is sufficient)
    Is the consequence itself ever the love and acceptance of the parents themselves or is the consequence one that is given inside the framework of a loving family where even the disobedient child is still loved and accepted?

  31. shematwater said,

    December 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

    ECHO

    Q. Do parents that love their children unconditionally and perfectly as I have stated above discipline their children Shem?
    A. Yes. True love understands the need for discipline, and thus will do so.

    Q. Did the children “do” anything to become the children of these parents?
    A. No, but that doesn’t really matter.

    Q. Is it “just” to REWARD a child for his unrepentant disobedience?
    A. No. But it is just to reward him for even the smallest amount of obedience. Thus, as long as a person is not knowingly ad directly in opposition to Go there is always something to be rewarded.

    Q. Is the consequence itself ever the love and acceptance of the parents themselves or is the consequence one that is given inside the framework of a loving family where even the disobedient child is still loved and accepted?
    A. This is actually very confusing in the wording, however, I will attempt it. The Love of a parent is never the consequence of what the child does. They will always love their children. The consequence for actions is always one that is given within the framework of this love, but based on individual action.

    Such as the parable of the Prodigal Son. The one who wasted his inheritance was welcomed home, given a robe and a ring, and a party was held to celebrate his return. However, the greater reward of all that the father had still went to the elder son who had remained faithful. The father loved both, but he gave the greater reward to the son who had proved himself worthy of the reward.

    Now, you say: “We don’t believe this”
    Then why does your doctrine teach this? Answer a simple question. Will Moses, who is considered one of the greatest men of all time, receive the same reward as the serial killer who confesses Christ just before he is executed? (A simple yes or no will be sufficient.)
    CKUHRASCH

    I apologize for missing your question.
    The answer is simple: Allowing sins is not the same as allowing Free Choice. We all have free choice to choose as we may. However, God will not allow us back into his presence if we are not obedient.
    It is like the father who tells his son that he is not allowed to smoke of drink alcohol in his house. Does the some have the freedom to choose to do so? Of course he does. But since the father has told him it is not allowed, if he does the consequence is to be cast out of the house.
    God has given his law. As long as we are obedient to it we are allowed in his kingdom. If we are not we are cast out. Any doctrine that would allow someone to remain in his kingdom and still comment sin is contrary to the gospel of Christ.

  32. echoechoecho said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Shem said:
    Q. Did the children “do” anything to become the children of these parents?
    A. No, but that doesn’t really matter.

    When we say we are saved through faith alone apart from anything we do, THIS ABOVE is what we are referring to. This includes not only God’s unconditional love and acceptance but also the free gift of exaltation(eternal life) THIS comes first, then comes this below…

    Q. Do parents that love their children unconditionally and perfectly as I have stated above discipline their children Shem?
    A. Yes. True love understands the need for discipline, and thus will do so.

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Q. Is it “just” to REWARD a child for his unrepentant disobedience?
    A. No. But it is just to reward him for even the smallest amount of obedience. Thus, as long as a person is not knowingly ad directly in opposition to Go there is always something to be rewarded.

    The Bible states that “without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God”. Meaning there is NOTHING to be rewarded. Do these people get rewarded in your beliefs even though it is impossible for them to please God?

    Q. Is the consequence itself ever the love and acceptance of the parents themselves or is the consequence one that is given inside the framework of a loving family where even the disobedient child is still loved and accepted?
    A. This is actually very confusing in the wording, however, I will attempt it. The Love of a parent is never the consequence of what the child does. They will always love their children. The consequence for actions is always one that is given within the framework of this love, but based on individual action.

    If as you say the consequence for actions is always one that is given within the framework of this love why is it in LDS beliefs that the consequence is the love of God himself? Just to clarify what I mean, If a person, as a consequence, only goes to the terresttial kingdom they will not ever see the Father. So the Father’s love and acceptance is the consequence rather than having the consequence inside the framework of a loving and accepting family unit.

    Question: Will Moses, who is considered one of the greatest men of all time, receive the same reward as the serial killer who confesses Christ just before he is executed?

    Yes and no

    Yes- both recieve free forgiveness and exaltation in eternal life through faith and NOT works. (Unconditional love and acceptance not based on works or merit)
    No- each one is rewarded within the framework of eternal life according to his works.

    So while Moses may recieve a much greater reward in eternal life than the death bed repentance of the serial killer, both Moses and the Serial Killer spend eternity together with each other and with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the One kingdom of Heaven.

    In LDS theology, everyone gets seperated not only from each other but from The Father and Son as well.

    It’s also true that God can use the death of the Serial Killer to lead people to Christ after he has died! Therefore, he could have many good works attributed to him even though he is already dead. Of course all of that is in God’s hands. As you can see, rewards both for Moses and the serial Killer are of grace not merit.

    Shem said: God has given his law. As long as we are obedient to it we are allowed in his kingdom. If we are not we are cast out

    This is a gospel of terror not a gospel of peace that the Bible teaches. Your God loves on condition of your obedience, our God loves unconditionally.

    Shem said: Any doctrine that would allow someone to remain in his kingdom and still comment sin is contrary to the gospel of Christ.

    The Gospel of Christ is the message of the free forgiveness of sins. If a person simply confesses their sins, they can know then and there that they have been forgiven, The Gospel is not a list of demands you need to meet in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Your God’s love is conditional, Our God’s love in unconditional. Conditional love is a psychological term that describes a form of dysfunctional parenting.

  33. shematwater said,

    December 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    ECHO

    “This includes not only God’s unconditional love and acceptance but also the free gift of exaltation(eternal life)”

    Which makes the doctrine unjust, as I have stated, as well as opposed to the Gospel of Christ, as I have stated. This says that it doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we accept Christ, meaning that sin is allowed and we are still saved.

    Q: The Bible states that “without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God”. Meaning there is NOTHING to be rewarded. Do these people get rewarded in your beliefs even though it is impossible for them to please God?
    A: I have never denied that without faith we cannot please him, but we must see the entire verse to know what is being said. It is simple to take a single phrase, but try the whole verse. Hebrews 11: 6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that COMETH to God must believe that he is, and that he is a REWARDER of them that DILIGENTLY SEEK him.”
    This verse does not say that without faith we cannot be rewarded. It says we cannot please him. Why does it say that? Because he is only truly pleased when we come home to him, and without faith this cannot happen. Thus, wihtout faith it is impossible to please him. However, even without faith the deeds of each man will be rewarded with a just reward.

    You say: “So the Father’s love and acceptance is the consequence rather than having the consequence inside the framework of a loving and accepting family unit.”

    Are you truly ignorant of both LDS faith and the nature of what love is that you can actually believe this statement? Do you actually believe that God cannot love a person who is in the Terrestial Kingdom with the same love as he loves those in the Celestial? How many times do I have say this?
    LOVE IS NEITHER EARNED NOR LOST, whether we are talking about God’s love for us or our love for each other.
    My mother always told us that nothing would change her love for us. I believe her, and yet she is the one who turned my brother into the Police when he broke the law. Is this proof that she doesn’t love us? No, and only a self-centered spoiled child would ever think it was. Her love was just as strong for my brother as it ever was, and it was just as strong for him as it was for any of her children. This act proved her love for us, it did not contradict it.
    In the same way God’s love for us is proven in the fact that he rewards us by our actions, and that some will not enter into his presence. This is true and absolute love. It is only his love for himself that would dictate any other action.

    As you said before: The reason he created us was so he could love us and we could love him. You described then the mentallity of a spolied child and the parent who is responsable. You have continued to describe this same mentality, and attempted to persuade that this is love. It is not love, but a selfish and self-centered mentality on both the parents end as well as the child. There is little true love in it, and this is why I will always reject this doctrine, as my Father is truly loving, not a narcissist whose only desire is for everything to praise him.

  34. echoechoecho said,

    December 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Shem said quoting Echo: “This includes not only God’s unconditional love and acceptance but also the free gift of exaltation(eternal life)”

    Shem relied: “Which makes the doctrine unjust, as I have stated, as well as opposed to the Gospel of Christ, as I have stated. This says that it doesn’t matter what we do, as long as we accept Christ, meaning that sin is allowed and we are still saved.”

    Well then my friend, families that unconditionally love their children, lovingly discipline them and give them a secure and certain place to call home are unjust in your thinking.. Can you hear yourself? Seriously Shem, this is a no brainer! I thought you were more intelligent than this. I give up Shem, your obviously far too blind to ever see the light after this explanation.

    Feel free to try to gain a place in your Family who’s Father always holds out the threat that if your not good enough, you can’t come home.

  35. shematwater said,

    December 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    ECHO

    You said: “families that unconditionally love their children, lovingly discipline them and give them a secure and certain place to call home are unjust in your thinking”

    No, as this is not what I said. What is unjust if that child continues to be knowingly disobedient and is permitted to stay. If the rule of the house is that there is no smoking and a child continues to smoke it is unjust to allow them to stay, no matter how much the parents may love that child. It is not unjust to that child, necessarily, but it is unjust to all the other children who are obedient. This inevitably causes contention and disorder, which cannot exist in the Kingdom of God.
    In all truth, if the parent did let them stay I would say that is evidence that they do not have a true love for their children, or at least their love for themselves is greater. A truly loving parent would know that it is by casting the child out that they will learn not to commit the offense. It is only after this is learned that a child can live in harmony with the rest of the family, and thus can live with his parents again.

    You said: “Feel free to try to gain a place in your Family who’s Father always holds out the threat that if your not good enough, you can’t come home.”

    Is this really any different from what you believe? You have said in a previous post about my beliefs (and I quote)
    “If a person, as a consequence, only goes to the terresttial kingdom they will not ever see the Father. So the Father’s love and acceptance is the consequence rather than having the consequence inside the framework of a loving and accepting family unit.”
    In simpler terms, if you are not in the presence of the Father than he doesn’t love you.
    Well then, he must not love all the thousands that refuse to beleive and are thus cast into hell by your doctrine.
    Your God, by your own reasoning, does not love unconditionally. His love is conditioned on our faith. As such those who do not have faith in him he does not love.

    I have no fear looming over me. Never has the LDS church dealt in fear, for perfect faith chaseth away all fear. I use the term fear because the point of a threat (as you claim) is to instill fear.
    It has been the rest of Christiandom that has used fear, both in the past and now.
    After all, it is you who tell people that if they don’t believe they will spend eternity burning in hell, not us.

  36. echoechoecho said,

    December 12, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Shem said: “Your God, by your own reasoning, does not love unconditionally. His love is conditioned on our faith.”

    His love is NOT conditioned on our faith. But I am not going to explain that to you. You won’t understand it anyways. Just like you can’t understand why a loving parent wouldn’t throw their child out of the house.

  37. shematwater said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    ECHO

    You can’t explain it. The simple fact is that if the love of your God is not conditioned on faith than you have no logical argument in claiming the love of our God is conditioned on works.

    Now, I can understand why a loving parent would not want to through their child out of the house, but I also know that a just parent has to. And since God is perfectly just it is required.

    Answer this: If he is so loving than why does he cast anyone into hell?

  38. echoechoecho said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Shem said: “You can’t explain it.”

    Pretending to be God again huh? As if you honestly and truthfully know, in advance, what I can and can’t explain. This statement is a SIN because you pretend to know when the FACT is that you don’t really know. So Shem, what is your true motive here? Is it to make me look bad? Is it to poison the minds of the readers against me? Give me an honest answer to that.

    Shem said: “Now, I can understand why a loving parent would not want to through their child out of the house, but I also know that a just parent has to. And since God is perfectly just it is required.”

    How unjust your thinking is!

    Shem said: “Answer this: If he is so loving than why does he cast anyone into hell?”

    People cast themselves into Hell by rejecting his unconditional love. You Shem reject his unconditional love. When you go to Hell, you will have nobody to blame but yourself.

  39. shematwater said,

    December 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    ECHO

    You said: “People cast themselves into Hell by rejecting his unconditional love.”

    Great. If you actually knew LDS doctrine you would know that it is not God who prevents you from entering his presence, but it is a choice you make in this life. So, just as you say that your God doesn’t cast people out, we can easily say the same thing.
    Think of the mother whose sons have been playing in the mud. She tells them they can’t come in until they wash off, and she sticks to this. So, if they choose not to clean up they do not come back into the house. Does this mean she does not love them? No.

    So, with this reasoning neither of us would have a conditional love.

    You said: “How unjust your thinking is!”
    Answer this simple question: If a person breaks the law is it just to ignore the crime?

    As to your question, it really seems more like you are trying to turn readers against me than I am with you. It is you who keeps making the thread personal, not me.
    Quite honestly, this entire paragraph of yours shows this very well. You don’t make any attempt explain what you claim, to disprove my assertion. Instead you turn the focus onto me, accusing me of sin and again making innuendos about me. This is a very subtle attack on me, designed to distract me and any readers from what I am saying by making my argument seem sordid.
    If you can explain in a logical manner how your doctrine shows unconditional love and ours doesn’t you would. You would not make such a dismissive comment as you have done, and as you have done several times throughout this thread.

  40. echoechoecho said,

    December 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Shem said: “Think of the mother whose sons have been playing in the mud. She tells them they can’t come in until they wash off, and she sticks to this. So, if they choose not to clean up they do not come back into the house. Does this mean she does not love them? No.”

    LDS teaching isn’t what you have written here. This analogy is so deceptive to say the least and in NO WAY reflects LDS beliefs. Here is what I mean: Are your boots clean Shem? Have your boots EVER been clean Shem? Will your boots ever be clean this side of death Shem?

    Shem said: “Answer this simple question: If a person breaks the law is it just to ignore the crime? ”

    I already answered this in post 32 using YOUR very own words so that you would understand the answer.

    As to your question, it really seems more like you are trying to turn readers against me than I am with you. It is you who keeps making the thread personal, not me.

    Give me written proof Shem. Give me the quote of what I said that made a personal attack against you that was unjustified by what you previously said to me and then give me the post number. And if I have done it I will apologize. I am in no way perfect and I admit that.

    Shem said: “accusing me of sin…”

    Yes, sin needs to be confronted head on, or do you disagree with that?

    Shem said: “If you can explain in a logical manner how your doctrine shows unconditional love and ours doesn’t you would. You would not make such a dismissive comment as you have done, and as you have done several times throughout this thread.”

    There you go again, sinning again by making it personal and judging my motives.

    Your boots are all muddy.

  41. shematwater said,

    December 15, 2010 at 12:14 am

    ECHO

    You said: “This analogy is so deceptive to say the least and in NO WAY reflects LDS beliefs.”
    How long have you been a member of the church, Echo? How is it that you have a greater knowledge of what I believe than I do?
    Don’t tell me what my church teaches. I know the doctrine. It is you who has no clue what you are talking about.

    Q: Are your boots clean Shem?
    A: This is none of your business.

    Q: Have your boots EVER been clean Shem?
    A: Yes. They were cleaned at baptism, and they are cleaned every Sunday when I partake of the Sacrement.

    Q: Will your boots ever be clean this side of death Shem?
    A: I think the answer to Q2 also answers this.

    You said: “I already answered this in post 32 using YOUR very own words so that you would understand the answer.”
    If post 32 is the answer than I must conclude that you believe it is just to ignore a crime. This then leads to the inevitable conclusion that there is no punishment for crime, and thus one is free to commit any crime they want without having any consequence for it. I am confused as to how this can be just.

    You Said: “or do you disagree with that?”
    Matthew 7: 5 “…first cast out the beam out of thine own eye…” Let us not confront sin in others until we have confronted in in ourselves.

    You said: “There you go again, sinning again by making it personal and judging my motives.”
    I have not judged your motives. I have simply pointed out that your actions have a greater implication to the motivations you accuse me of than mine do. You have done more to make people see these motivations in your words than I have. I then made a simple suggestion on how you could avoid such an appearance, which you again have tried to turn back on me.
    My point is not to judge, but to show difference and let others judge.

  42. echoechoecho said,

    December 15, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Echo said: “I already answered this in post 32 using YOUR very own words so that you would understand the answer.”

    Shem replied: If post 32 is the answer than I must conclude that you believe it is just to ignore a crime. This then leads to the inevitable conclusion that there is no punishment for crime, and thus one is free to commit any crime they want without having any consequence for it.

    I thought this quote from post 32 very clearly shows that I believe that a person is NOT free to commit any crime they want…

    From my post 32: “then comes this below…Q. Do parents that love their children unconditionally and perfectly as I have stated above discipline their children Shem?
    A. Yes. True love understands the need for discipline, and thus will do so.”

    Anyways Shem, this is one of several reasons why I think that it doesn’t matter what I write, I am not trying to be hard on you but you don’t appear to be able to listen to or understand the most straight forward answers even when written in your own words. So I am not refraining from explaining it to you because “I can’t explain it logically”. I can explain it logically. But rather, I have just given up because you can’t comprehend anything as simple as the example above unfortunately. I just don’t know how to simplify it more than I have already tried to by using your very own words.

    Shem, if you’re right and I’m wrong, then you really don’t have anything to worry about, do you? But if you’re wrong and I’m right, it just may be in your best interest to reconsider your position and really make an effort to learn what we believe because rejecting it WILL land you in Hell.

    Whether your reconsider or not, either way, I wish you well, my friend.

  43. shematwater said,

    December 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    ECHO

    Your quote from post 32 does not say what you are saying it does.

    If your doctrine “includes not only God’s unconditional love and acceptance but also the free gift of exaltation(eternal life)” in what is freely given than for the purposes of salvation sin is ignored, as you are still in the Father’s kingdom.

    So, what you are really saying is that God will let you into the house regardless of how filthy you are, he just may restrict your TV time if you don’t clean up.
    This is still allowing sin in the Kingdom of God, and this is why I have to reject the doctrine. God cannot allow sin. No unclean thing can dwell with him, and yet your doctrine allows all unclean things to dwell with him, just with a little less privalege.

    Echo, if you’re right and I’m wrong, then you really don’t have anything to worry about, do you? But if you’re wrong and I’m right, it just may be in your best interest to reconsider your position and really make an effort to learn what we believe because rejecting it WILL land you in Hell.

    Whether your reconsider or not, either way, I wish you well, my friend.

  44. echoechoecho said,

    December 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I agree that no unclean thing can dwell with him. But Jesus, all on his own, apart from anything we have done or will do, has already made us clean.

    Take care

  45. shematwater said,

    December 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    ECHO

    So even if we go around killing people we are clean?

  46. echoechoecho said,

    December 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Those who come to realize the impossibility of making themselves clean and instead trust that Jesus alone has made them clean, are so thankful for that, that they now desire to become as clean as God already sees them.

  47. shematwater said,

    December 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    And we are back to the illogical reasoning on the nature of motivation. Wonderfully circular, don’t you think?

    The real question is, if we are all clean because of what Christ did can God be justified in casting anyone out, no matter what they do?

    By the way, I was going back over the posts and I think I have stumbled across a miscommunication and misunderstanding in the conversation.

    In post 30 you asked a queston, and in post 31 I gave this reply/
    Q. Did the children “do” anything to become the children of these parents?
    A. No, but that doesn’t really matter.

    This is a little misleading. So, let me answer it again, with a little more detail.
    Q. Did the children “do” anything to become the children of these parents?

    A. Speaking of God the Father as the litteral Father of our spirits, then the answer is no, and the question, though a glorious piece of doctrine, doesn’t really matter to the discussion at hand.
    However, if we are refering to Christ as our father through the adoption of grace than the answer is yes. The children first believed, then they were baptized, and then they strove to follow Christ’s example. This is what made them the children of Christ through the adoption of grace.

    With this clarification, let us pause and reconsider the various things that have been said in the thread since this little mix up.

  48. echoechoecho said,

    December 20, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Shem said: “The real question is, if we are all clean because of what Christ did can God be justified in casting anyone out, no matter what they do?”

    You already asked this, I already answered it for you, in post 38. Here is a copy/paste of that question and answer for your convenience….

    Shem asked: “Answer this: If he is so loving than why does he cast anyone into hell?”

    Echo answered: People cast themselves into Hell by rejecting his unconditional love. You Shem reject his unconditional love. When you go to Hell, you will have nobody to blame but yourself.

  49. rlofferdahl said,

    December 20, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Shem said, “And we are back to the illogical reasoning on the nature of motivation. Wonderfully circular, don’t you think?

    Shem;

    Having followed you and Echo go back and forth here and elsewhere for over a year now, here’s how I see it:

    Both faith and reason are gifts of God. They both serve their respective purposes in spiritual understanding. Yet reason as an instrument has its place and its limitations. Reason’s place is not to stand in judgment over scripture, but reason’s place is to sit at the foot of scripture. I know that Echo knows this, and accepts this. And I know that you don’t. You always seem to fall back on your precious reason. And because of this, a year from now, you’ll both still be talking right past each other.

    The Bible is replete with examples and accounts contrasting faith and reason. But until, or unless, you are willing to let faith be your guide, and require your reason to follow, there will always be essential biblical truths beyond your grasp. Here is but one:

    And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

    RLO

  50. shematwater said,

    December 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    ECHO

    So, by this you are basically saying that no matter what a person does God will admit them into heaven, as we are all already clean. The only way to miss out on heaven is to simply refuse to go.
    Again, it is unjust, as it allows for people to freely sin and still be saved.

    RLO

    Please do not tell me why I do things.
    I understand faith and reason. It is you who does not. No, reason is not to judge scripture, but it is to make sense of it.
    God himself invites us “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1: 18).
    Paul seems to have taken this to heart. In acts 17: 2 we read that Paul “as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” And again, in Acts 18: 4 we read that he “reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” and in verse 19 he “..entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.” In acts 24: 25 he “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come” such that he made Felix tremble.
    Paul used reason to teach the doctrines of Christ. This was his way of teaching, and a method he used frequently. Thus, he fell back on reason, because it is through reason that we learn and understand all things.
    Paul taught the gospel by reason, so why am I rideculed when I teach the gospel by reason.

  51. echoechoecho said,

    December 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Shem said: “Again, it is unjust, as it allows for people to freely sin and still be saved.”

    I have dealt with this several times already because you say or ask the same thing over and over just reworded differently and you either aren’t listening or you are just not comprehending anything I say or you can’t think for yourself. Or maybe your just not putting in any effort to understand. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t matter…. I will post it once more and then I think I am backing out of the conversation as it seems pointless to me to continue for that very reason….

    From my post 32: “then comes this below…Q. Do parents that love their children unconditionally and perfectly as I have stated above discipline their children Shem?
    A. Yes. True love understands the need for discipline, and thus will do so.”

    You won’t understand this or won’t pay attention or whatever but those who have been made clean DO desire to serve and obey God. (Which I also mentioned in an earlier post which you seem to have missed along with everything else I write) Shem when I explained in an earlier post that people DO desire to serve and obey God, how is it that you come back with “it’s unjust, as it allows for people to freely sin…” People who desire to obey God don’t want to freely sin! (Why is it that you Pay absolutely no attention to what is said and so often!) And life as God’s children begins NOW, discipline begins NOW, it doesn’t begin when we reach eternal life. (Even though we know we have eternal life right now because it is not based on what we do here, but based soley on what Jesus has done for us. Eternal life is a gift given to us without conditions)

    It’s hard to imagine that you think you can teach anyone anything let alone give others the impression that you understand LDS doctrine when you can’t understand or comprehend anything simple that I say. I don’t expect you to understand everything but some things are just so simple and you still don’t get it. Even when I use your own words and explanations to explain it to you, you still don’t get it. “Respect” means making a whole hearted effort to learn what others believe Shem. For the past 10 years I have set my heart on learning what the LDS teaches and I use ONLY official LDS sources or talk to Mormons and I listen to them and give it my all in trying to understand their beliefs. I have Mormon family myself. It’s very important to me to understand what Mormons believe and to get it right. I owe Mormons that whole hearted effort to try to understand their beliefs and to try to get it right. (not that I know it all yet but I do try) And I will continue along that path.
    Learn what we believe Shem, learn wholeheartedly and strive to get it right! Think about what folks say before replying with repeated gibberish that makes it look like your not even paying attention. It only makes you look bad. It only makes it look as though if you can’t comprehend what we believe, who’s to say you even comprehend LDS beliefs correctly. So Try!

    I don’t mean to be hard on you, I just want to give you some advice that will make you look much better in the future than you do now, I have been alive twice as long as you have and have had to learn those lessons myself in my younger years.

    Take care Shem, I wish you well and will be praying for you.

  52. echoechoecho said,

    December 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Shem said: “I understand faith and reason. It is you who does not.”

    You have WAY too much pride and self importance. RLO stated that he has been following our conversations for a YEAR now. So he is making a WELL- INFORMED statement about your words based on all that he has seen you write for a whole year!

    RLO has written you ONE post and you already are just so worthy (sarcasm) and above and beyond being wrong about anything (sarcasm) and are able to make such an informed decision from information given in a single post(sarcasm) about him not understanding faith and reason. Your a Pharisee!

    You are so self deluded with pride! RLO made a well-informed comment based on careful study of your own words for over a year here, your comments aren’t well-informed in the least bit, and they are based solely on your overweening pride and self-importance. Has it ever occurred to you that YOU just might be wrong and that RLO does understand it better than you? Oh no! Pharisees can’t be wrong! And honestly, how would you know for sure, how would you know the FACTS until you have listened to him for a whole year!!!

    And your continual refusal to make well-informed and knowledgeable accusations based on fact rather than your wicked assumptions is an obvious indicator of your continual desire to sin against the eighth commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” You love to sin against this commandment by giving false testimony against your neighbor!

    Why don’t you listen and listen hard before you speak? Try to understand what someone is saying before you reach out and nail someone to the cross based on your wicked assumptions and your own pride. The Pharisees didn’t listen to Jesus either, they gave false testimony against Jesus and then they crucified him because of it!

    Don’t you know that pride comes before the fall? Make an informed decision, not a decision based on your own self importance. Maybe the real truth is that you don’t know anything about faith and reason and much to your own embarrassment! At least they way you decide these matters without first fully understanding sure shows how foolish you are already. You have acted just like a Pharisee and that is a well-informed statement!

  53. shematwater said,

    December 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    ECHO

    Concerning the accusation of pride, please look at yourself. As I posted earlier, cast the beam out of your eye before trying to take the mote from mine. Is it not possible that you are wrong, and that RLO is wrong just as much as it is that I am wrong?

    Yes, on occasion my wording is not the best, but it is more out of frustration than pride.
    Now, RLO can make all the assumptions he wants, and I really don’t care how much he has read of what I have written. He does not know me, nor does he know my methods and beliefs, which is what he is assuming he did know.
    He accused me of “judging scripture” with reason. You tell me that I am prideful for saying that he was wrong in what he said. Why is he not prideful when he tells me I am wrong? There is just as much possibility in him being wrong as there with me. So why am I accused of pride and he isn’t?

    Let me be a little more “prideful” and say that I think the reason is because he agrees with you, and so he can’t be wrong. I have to consider the possibility that I am wrong becasue I disagree with you, but he doesn’t because he agrees. So, who is being prideful?

    I have understood the doctrine you teach. My point in these posts is to show the reasons why I do not believe it is true. My questions, which were very specifically designed for this purpose, are never fully answered.

    As I understand it this is the basics of the doctrine.
    1. Christ did everything so we don’t have to do anything, which is good because we could never do enough.
    2. God stands ready to welcome all into heaven who choose to come in (acept Christ).
    3. Anyone who accepts Christ will be motivated to obey.
    4. We can literally do nothing that will allow us to enter heaven (but Christ has already done it all, so it doesn’t matter).
    5. However, based on what we do here we will receive different rewards once we are in heaven.

    How’s this for understanding? Please correct me if I am wrong in the basic description.

  54. rlofferdahl said,

    December 20, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Shem said: “Please do not tell me why I do things.”

    If you re-read my post, you will see that I never told you why you do things, but only that you do things. The truth be known, I have no idea why you do anything you do. But if you have a problem with people telling you what you are doing, well than maybe you should first follow your own advice, because you are constantly telling people, they don’t understand, that they don’t get it, that they are ignoring you, and you are constantly alluding to them and their beliefs as silly and accusing them of being spoiled little children. If you’re unwilling to recognize in yourself what you’re so quick to recognize in others, well then this conversation can end just as fast as it started. And that’s fine by me. So don’t be going and getting all over-sensitive and defensive on me. Start requiring of yourself what you insist from others. Respect works both ways: Give it, and you’ll get it.

    Shem said, “I understand faith and reason. It is you who does not.

    You understand faith and reason from your perspective. I understand faith and reason from my perspective. My perspective is based on the Bible. I’m uncertain what your perspective is based on.

    Shem quotes: ” God himself invites us “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1: 18).

    Good quote.

    But where did I ever say that God tells us not to use our reason? My point is that reason as a wonderful gift has its limitations. And simply that there are realms in which reason is simply an inadequate instrument for understanding. And in those realms, it is the gift of faith in which we are to rely on. There will be times when our reason wants to say, “No, that’s not reasonable.” But at those time, our faith will say, “Because it is not reasonable, I will believe it on faith.” But this is what I meant Shem, when I told you that unless you are willing to subjugate your reason to faith, there will always be essential Biblical truths beyond your grasp. I’m not asking you to entirely dismiss your reason. I’m only encouraging you to try to recognize the point where reason ends, and where faith starts.

    As to the remainder of your post (#50), again, good quotes.

    But again, where did I ever say that we should entirely dismiss our gift of reason? the answer is, I never did. Though your posts seem to imply such.

  55. echoechoecho said,

    December 21, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Shem said “Concerning the accusation of pride, please look at yourself. As I posted earlier, cast the beam out of your eye before trying to take the mote from mine. Is it not possible that you are wrong, and that RLO is wrong just as much as it is that I am wrong?”

    Pride is the root cause in a situation where a person makes uninformed decisions that someone else is wrong. Humilty is the root cause of making Informed decisions.

    Shem said: He accused me of “judging scripture” with reason. You tell me that I am prideful for saying that he was wrong in what he said. Why is he not prideful when he tells me I am wrong? There is just as much possibility in him being wrong as there with me. So why am I accused of pride and he isn’t?

    You are being prideful because you havn’t taken the time to listen first, RLO has only written one post. Give him a year. You havn’t even given him a chance to explain things to you. RLO is not being prideful because he has listened to you speak for a YEAR. His conclusion is based on lots of evidence you have given him over the last year.

    Shem said: So why am I accused of pride and he isn’t?

    Because you base your opinions on nothing other than a whim and he bases his opinions on a year of evidence of what you have written. He has informed himself.

    Shem said: As I understand it this is the basics of the doctrine.
    1. Christ did everything so we don’t have to do anything, which is good because we could never do enough.
    2. God stands ready to welcome all into heaven who choose to come in (acept Christ).
    3. Anyone who accepts Christ will be motivated to obey.
    4. We can literally do nothing that will allow us to enter heaven (but Christ has already done it all, so it doesn’t matter).
    5. However, based on what we do here we will receive different rewards once we are in heaven.

    1. Christ did everything because we could do nothing, which is good because God demands perfection and it is impossible for us to be perfect

    2. God chooses us. He gives us the gift of faith, repentance is his work in us and not our work, Jesus has forgiven the sins of the entire world, only those who believe take hold of that forgiveness.

    3. Anyone with the gift of faith is motivated and desires to obey God. They have died to sin.

    4. We can literally do nothing that will allow us to enter heaven (but Christ has already done it all, so now we can serve him out of love with our obedience).

    5. However, based on what we do here we will receive different unmerited rewards once we are in heaven.

  56. catzgalore said,

    December 21, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Shem I think you have the WORDS of the doctrine but not the HEART of it.

    Praying that God lets you see the HEART of it…

  57. shematwater said,

    December 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    RLO

    I know what you meant, and I also know that I did not say what I meant very well. For this I apologyze. I was a little annoyed at what you said, because it was wrong, and assumed much.

    This is what I meant: You do not know what my faith is, and are assuming that I place reason over my faith, which I do not.
    Reason has its limitations only when the person using it lacks the proper faith. I believe first, and through that faith my reasoning is enlightened and I understand; just as Paul did, and just as God has invited us to do.
    I fall back on reason, as you say, because that is what reason is meant for. Yes, there will always be doctrine that we will not understand and must take on faith, but once our minds are opened by faith that doctrine will slowly come into the light and we will understand it, and our reason will show the truth of it.

    Now, I never meant to imply that you claimed we should dismiss reason. What I meant was that you implied we should ignore it in matters of faith, which I cannot agree with.

    ECHO

    You said: “Pride is the root cause in a situation where a person makes uninformed decisions that someone else is wrong.”

    RLO was making a dicision about me, a topic I am very well informed about. Thus, by stating that he was wrong in regards to me I have shown no pride.

    You said: “You are being prideful because you havn’t taken the time to listen first, RLO has only written one post.”

    Error should be corrected when it is found, not a year later. I listened to what he said in his post, and maybe I over reacted a little, but he was still wrong. No matter how much explaining he does he is wrong.
    He fairly clearly stated that I either have no faith, or that I ignore it and so will never understand a whole lot. I don’t care how long he explains this, he is wrong. He does not know my faith, nor can he from these threads, no matter how long he reads them.
    Now, I do understand what he is saying, and I can certainly see why he is saying it. But this does not make it correct.

    Now, here is your clarification of your doctrine, and I follow each one with the reason I reject it, which is what I have been trying to explain (though not very well).
    1. Christ did everything because we could do nothing, which is good because God demands perfection and it is impossible for us to be perfect
    Rejection: If we can do nothing than why does Christ state that we will be judged by our works? Also, why give commands at all. The purpose of giving the law is defeated when you give a law that cannot be followed, and thus the giving of it is unjust.

    2. God chooses us. He gives us the gift of faith, repentance is his work in us and not our work, Jesus has forgiven the sins of the entire world, only those who believe take hold of that forgiveness.
    Rejection: If God chooses us and gives us faith then there is no free will. If it is his choice than he is choosing not to give this gift to some, and is thus choosing to have them cast out. So, on the whim of God some are saved and some are damned.

    3. Anyone with the gift of faith is motivated and desires to obey God. They have died to sin.
    Rejection: Again, takes away free will. Also, I will add that it makes things very unjust, in that those who are not given the gift don’t have any chance of being saved.

    4. We can literally do nothing that will allow us to enter heaven (but Christ has already done it all, so now we can serve him out of love with our obedience).
    Rejection: This is simply illogical. It conflates the entire nature of motivation so that what actually motivates people is not seen, and what doesn’t is given as motivation.

    5. However, based on what we do here we will receive different unmerited rewards once we are in heaven.
    Rejection: If it is unmerited than it cannot be based on what we do. This is a complete contradiction within one sentence. If it is based on what we do it is merited. If it is unmerited it cannot be based on what we do. The only way this works at all is if we have no free will to choose what we do, and so I again reject it.

    Now, let us be clear on a point, just to satisfy RLO.
    I do not say these things simply because they are reasonable. I say them because my faith leads me to understand their unreasonableness.
    I believe God to be perfectly just, and so any doctrine that denies his justice cannot be accepted because it contradicts what my faith is telling me is true. As every point you have given is unjust, all of it must therefore be rejected because it is in complete opposition to what I know to be true through my faith in God.

  58. rlofferdahl said,

    December 22, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Shem in post #57 said: “Now, I never meant to imply that you claimed we should dismiss reason. What I meant was that you implied we should ignore it in matters of faith, which I cannot agree with.”

    …that I implied we should ignore it in matters of faith… ?? Do you even read my posts? I have implied no such thing. Read my post #49 again. I said, “Both faith and reason are gifts of God. They both serve their respective purposes in spiritual understanding.”

    How is this implying that we should ignore reason in matters of faith?

    By constantly forcing others to backtrack and correct all your blatant mischaracterizations of what they have said, you make it impossible to carry on any kind of a meaningful conversation. You’ve done it to others, and now you’re already doing it to me. Don’t you see that your frequent over-reactions and your uncontrollable irritability with others is counterproductive? If you can’t show a little more maturity in your interactions with others, then I think I’d just as soon not discuss anything further with you.

  59. echoechoecho said,

    December 22, 2010 at 1:35 am

    RLO was making a dicision about me, a topic I am very well informed about. Thus, by stating that he was wrong in regards to me I have shown no pride.

    You said: “I understand faith and reason. IT IS YOU WHO DOES NOT.”

    You stated that RLO does not understand faith and reason. And on a whim only!

    He fairly clearly stated that I either have no faith, or that I ignore it and so will never understand a whole lot.

    Rather than sinning against the eighth commandment by putting words in RLO’s mouth that he didn’t say, carry his quotes over into your posts and let his own words speak for himself. You’re bearing false testimony against your neighbor repeatedly.

    Shem said: I don’t care how long he explains this, he is wrong. He does not know my faith, nor can he from these threads, no matter how long he reads them.

    Again, this is a statement made on a whim rather than based on you first listening and understanding what RLO is saying. It takes time, you cannot gain that kind of information in one post. It would take a lot of back and forth discussion and some understanding of what RLO is saying before you can make any sort of sensible decision in this matter.

    Now, I do understand what he is saying, and I can certainly see why he is saying it. But this does not make it correct.

    Give it some time. You can’t make an informed decision about whether or not he is correct until you first listen and learn and try to understand his viewpoint. That takes some time. Nobody is asking you to believe the viewpoint but learning it is never a bad thing.

    1. Christ did everything because we could do nothing, which is good because God demands perfection and it is impossible for us to be perfect

    Shem said: Rejection: If we can do nothing than why does Christ state that we will be judged by our works?

    All of our works are done, not to be saved but because we believed we were saved already. Our works are judged as evidence of our faith.

    Shem said: Also, why give commands at all. The purpose of giving the law is defeated when you give a law that cannot be followed, and thus the giving of it is unjust.

    The law doesn’t demand that we try our best, the law demands perfection and nothing short of it. One sin is all it takes to be condemned to Hell for all eternity. That is PURE 100% justice. But we are sinners. Therefore the law only condemns everyone to Hell with no exceptions.

    The Bible actually does tell us the purpose of the law…

    Romans 3:20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

    Therefore it is impossible for us to be justified by “faith and works.” The law only shows us our sin and unrighteousness. So what the law also does is this:

    Galatians 3:24 “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”

    Since we are justified by faith (alone) we are not under the law anymore. (In the sense of the law being a condition we must meet in order to be exalted) But, we do believe the law is a guide for our life as Christians who were saved through faith alone.

    Being justified by faith alone is 100% mercy.

    Just to sum it up, The law shows us the impossibility of getting to heaven based on “faith and works” and in that sense, leads us to Christ so that we can be justified by faith alone.

    . 2. God chooses us. He gives us the gift of faith, repentance is his work in us and not our work, Jesus has forgiven the sins of the entire world, only those who believe take hold of that forgiveness.

    Rejection: If God chooses us and gives us faith then there is no free will.

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”

    John 1:13 “children born not of natural descent, NOR OF HUMAN DECISION or a husband’s will, BUT BORN OF GOD.”

    You didn’t have free will in the matter of being conceived and born to your earthly parents. It was their choice to have a baby, not your choice. Your free will came after you were born. In the same way we do not have free will to be born again (see verse above) into God’s kingdom. Free will comes after we have been born again.

    If it is his choice than he is choosing not to give this gift to some, and is thus choosing to have them cast out. So, on the whim of God some are saved and some are damned.

    This is a teaching within Christendom but it is NOT a Lutheran teaching. We reject the teaching that God chooses some to be saved and chooses others to be damned. We Lutherans believe that God wants ALL men to be saved:

    1 Timothy 2:3-5 “ This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    3. Anyone with the gift of faith is motivated and desires to obey God. They have died to sin.

    Rejection: Again, takes away free will. Also, I will add that it makes things very unjust, in that those who are not given the gift don’t have any chance of being saved.

    As I stated earlier, free will comes after we are born again. The gift of faith can be resisted by men.

    4. We can literally do nothing that will allow us to enter heaven (but Christ has already done it all, so now we can serve him out of love with our obedience).

    Rejection: This is simply illogical. It conflates the entire nature of motivation so that what actually motivates people is not seen, and what doesn’t is given as motivation.

    We are motivated by Christ’s 100% mercy for the ungodly. That is amazing love and it’s all the motivation anyone ever needs. When a person comes to see just how amazing God’s love for the ungodly is, and that God has rescued us from Hell, they desire to love others in the same way Christ has loved us.

    5. However, based on what we do here we will receive different unmerited rewards once we are in heaven.

    Rejection: If it is unmerited than it cannot be based on what we do. This is a complete contradiction within one sentence. If it is based on what we do it is merited. If it is unmerited it cannot be based on what we do. The only way this works at all is if we have no free will to choose what we do, and so I again reject it.

    It is based on what we do, but it’s entirely dependant on what God does with what we do. God takes what we do and does things with it in accordance with his set plan and purpose, and that is what counts. Moses was only great because God himself did some amazing things through Moses. God could have just as easily worked out his plan through someone else. The fact the Moses was a great man is really unmerited.

  60. shematwater said,

    December 22, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    RLO

    You said: “Reason’s place is not to stand in judgment over scripture, but reason’s place is to sit at the foot of scripture.”

    The implication is that reason is not to be used when interpreting scripture, which is the primary source of doctrinal information and belief. It may have its place in spiritual matters, but the clear implication is that if reason shows a contradiction to what you believe it should be ignored in favor of faith. This is what I was talking about. This is why I gave all the scriptural references I did, showing that Paul used reason to explain the scriptures and teach doctrine.
    If the doctrine is not reasonable we should not simply dismiss this and go on faith, but should strive to understand.
    Now, this may not have been your intention, but it is implied by your words.

    Yes, I do get a little irritable when people presume to know things about me when they don’t. I do apologyze. I actually spent over an hour trying to write the response I gave to your post. I do not say things lightly and without reason.

    ECHO

    You said: “carry his quotes over into your posts and let his own words speak for himself. You’re bearing false testimony against your neighbor repeatedly.”

    rlo, in post #49 said: “I know that Echo knows this, and accepts this. And I know that you don’t. You always seem to fall back on your precious reason.”
    Now, I didn’t think I needed to directly quote this, as I assumed you read it, but here it is again. RLO has very clearly stated here that I sacrifice faith in favor of reason. He made a judgement concerning me, my motivations, and my methods. Does this clear things up a little so that you understand that I am not lieing in what I am saying.

    Now, my statement that he didn’t understand faith and reason is just as justified as him saying that I don’t. So, again we see a double standard in your accusations. I understand all your claims about his reading my posts for a year, but that doesn’t matter. For him to make such a claim he does not need to read my words, but provide evidence for the claim he makes concerning the uses of reason and faith.

    You said: “It would take a lot of back and forth discussion and some understanding of what RLO is saying before you can make any sort of sensible decision in this matter.”

    No it wouldn’t. If a man came up to me and told me that he had been watching me for a year and came to the conclusion that I didn’t love my wife, would I need to give a deep discussion on the matter to tell him he is wrong, because just watching me is not sufficient for him to determine this.
    In the same manner, when RLO tells me what my beliefs and motivations are from reading my posts on these threads I do not need to listen to him explain it. I can simply tell him he is wrong.

    As to the doctrine, and why I reject it. Let me give your response, and why I still reject it.
    1. All of our works are done, not to be saved but because we believed we were saved already. Our works are judged as evidence of our faith.
    The Bible actually does tell us the purpose of the law…
    Romans 3:20
    Galatians 3:24
    Since we are justified by faith (alone) we are not under the law anymore. But, we do believe the law is a guide for our life as Christians who were saved through faith alone.
    Being justified by faith alone is 100% mercy.
    Just to sum it up, The law shows us the impossibility of getting to heaven based on “faith and works” and in that sense, leads us to Christ so that we can be justified by faith alone.

    REJECT: Romans 3: 20 and Galatians 3: 24 use the term Law to refer to the Law of Moses, not the Higher Law as taught by Christ. As such they do not imply a salvations through faith alone.
    Also, if the law is only a guide for after salvation than you fall back into the same thing I said earlier, in that it allows sins.
    Being justified by Faith alone may be 100% mercy, but it has a 0% justice, and thus is contrary to God.
    As to your summary, the impression is that God simply wants to gloat his power over us, which is not a very loving act.

    2. John 15:16
    John 1:13
    You didn’t have free will in the matter of being conceived and born to your earthly parents. It was their choice to have a baby, not your choice. Your free will came after you were born. In the same way we do not have free will to be born again (see verse above) into God’s kingdom. Free will comes after we have been born again.
    This is a teaching within Christendom but it is NOT a Lutheran teaching.

    REJECT: John 15: 16 is spoken to the Apostles, the twelve that he had called. It is not addressed to every member. The meaning is that we do not choose what callings we are ordained to in the church, not that we do not choose to be in the church.
    John 1: 13 has nothing to do with choice, but with power. That is what will means, the mental and spiritual power to do things.
    Now, you have not proof that I did not choose to be born, or that I did not choose to be born to the family I was. It all comes down to a belief int he pre-existance (which I do see in the Bible). I believe we had free will before this life, just as we do now.
    Now, as to this not being your doctrine, that is fine, but then you are contradicting yourself. If God wants us all to be saved, but it is completely in his hands to save us, then we would all be saved. This kind of contradiction forces a rejection.

    3. As I stated earlier, free will comes after we are born again. The gift of faith can be resisted by men.

    REJECT: You can give no evidence for what you say concerning free will. Also, you state that we ahve no free will before we are born again, so how can we resist his gift, as this would require a consciously, and freely chosen decision.
    Finally, if we can resist than our salvation is not based on what God does, but on OUR shoice to accept or reject, which is another contradiction.

    4. We are motivated by Christ’s 100% mercy for the ungodly. That is amazing love and it’s all the motivation anyone ever needs. When a person comes to see just how amazing God’s love for the ungodly is, and that God has rescued us from Hell, they desire to love others in the same way Christ has loved us.

    REJECT: While this is a beautiful thought, it is contradictory to the very nature of the human race. It is actually very rare for a person to be motivated by someone elses love. The greatest motivation is not in someone loving us, but in us loving them. Your attempt to make Christ the focus of everything makes this doctrine illogical.

    5. It is based on what we do, but it’s entirely dependant on what God does with what we do. God takes what we do and does things with it in accordance with his set plan and purpose, and that is what counts. Moses was only great because God himself did some amazing things through Moses. God could have just as easily worked out his plan through someone else. The fact the Moses was a great man is really unmerited.

    REJECT: Then it is not based on what we do, but on what God does, and thus is still a contradiction of scripture, which states we are judged on what we do, making no mention of what God does.

  61. echoechoecho said,

    December 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Shem said: “Your attempt to make Christ the focus of everything makes this doctrine illogical.”

    I am thankful that you testify here that I have made CHRIST the focus of everything. That is exactly what I set out to do.

    Shem said: “While this is a beautiful thought, it is contradictory to the very nature of the human race. It is actually very rare for a person to be motivated by someone elses love. THE GREATEST MOTIVATION IS NOT IN SOMEONE LOVING US, BUT IN US LOVING THEM.”

    1 John 4:19 “We love BECAUSE he first loved us.”

    You go ahead and continue to exalt yourself. We will continue to exalt Christ.
    You go ahead and continue to have faith in yourself. We will continue to have faith in Christ.

    Thanks for the discussion Shem, I am finished my discussion with you. Have a Merry Christmas.

  62. shematwater said,

    December 24, 2010 at 12:30 am

    ECHO

    You said: “I am thankful that you testify here that I have made CHRIST the focus of everything. That is exactly what I set out to do.”

    Now who is speaking on a whim and not reading the posts. I never said you made Christ the focus, I said you attempted it. This would mean that you have failed to make him the focus, as an attempt indicates trying without success.

    You post: “1 John 4:19 “We love BECAUSE he first loved us.”

    You continue to do circular discussions. This pasage was brought up before. As I said then, it does not describe motivation. John 14: 15 describes motivation, but not this.

    Everything you have said is illogical and unreasonable, and fails to have any accurate interpretation of scripture in support of it.

    As you are done with the conversation I will leave my comment at this.

    Merry Christmas.

  63. echoechoecho said,

    December 24, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Shem said: “Now who is speaking on a whim and not reading the posts. I never said you made Christ the focus, I said you attempted it. This would mean that you have failed to make him the focus, as an attempt indicates trying without success.”

    You are like a slippery pig Shem. You won’t get away with stuff like this in the judgment. Prove to me where I failed to make Christ the focus of our motivation for loving others so that you can justify yourself before GOD right now in telling me that I ” failed to make him the focus” Here is what I said, now tell me where I wasn’t successful at making Christ the focus of our motivation…

    ” We are motivated by Christ’s 100% mercy for the ungodly. That is amazing love and it’s all the motivation anyone ever needs. When a person comes to see just how amazing God’s love for the ungodly is, and that God has rescued us from Hell, they desire to love others in the same way Christ has loved us.”

    That’s right, you can’t say I wasn’t successful because very clearly I wrote: “That is amazing love [Christ’s love] and it’s ALL THE MOTIVATION anyone EVER NEEDS ”

    Now tell the TRUTH with God as your witness and without wiggling out of anything …

    What did you really mean when you said: ““Your attempt to make Christ the focus of everything makes this doctrine illogical?”

    I think I know the answer, do you? Or did you just write it on a whim without thinking first?

  64. rlofferdahl said,

    December 24, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Shem, Echo;

    So it’s now come down to name calling by the one, and accusations of failure by the other. Nice. Just the emotional energy each of you need to be carrying into this season of our Savior’s birth. Why can’t both of you think a bit before you hit “Send?” I’m frankly ashamed of the conduct of both of you. Or better yet, why don’t each of you just drop it, privately admit your transgressions to the Lord, and then let this be the final post on this thread?

    RLO

  65. shematwater said,

    December 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    RLO

    I am just having fun. I enjoy this (yes, even the accusations, naming calling, and all the other aspects of the conversation). I get annoyed occassionally, but it usually passes within a few hours, so I am fine with it.

    ECHO

    You said: “That is amazing love and it’s all the motivation anyone ever needs.”

    In making this statement you have failed. This is what I meant. This may be enough for you, but you cannot speak for everyone.
    If it was all the motivation anyone ever needed than no one would ever fall once they knew of this love, like David did with Bathsheba, or Judas in betraying Christ. They both knew the love of God, and had been greatly blessed by it. However, both committed the most grevious of sins in taking an innocent life.
    God’s love for us is not enough to motivate the vast majority of people, which is why it is never given as a motivation for obedience. As I said, the scripture you quote makes no mention of obedience. In 15: 14 we see a reference to obedience, which is the scripture I have given, which clearly gives the motivation as our love for Christ, not his love for us.

    Quite simply put, you fail to make Christ the focus because the doctrine you put forward is false, and thus cannot be centered in Christ.

  66. shematwater said,

    December 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I think it is time to end this thread. It has been fun.


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