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Joseph Smith's First Vision: Fact or Fiction?
MRM ^ | Wesley Walters

Posted on 07/24/2008 12:37:23 PM PDT by Gamecock

The well-publicized story of Joseph Smith's First Vision is not a true account of the origin of the Latter-day Saint movement. The facts are decided against it! First, the historical evidence shows that Joseph Smith, Jr. could not have been stirred by an 1820 revival, to ask which church was true. Second, early Mormon statements do not support his claim that in 1820 he learned through a visitation of the Father and the Son that all existing churches were wrong. Third, the details known about Joseph's early life contradict his assertion that in 1820 he had such a divine visitation and was persecuted by the community for telling such a story.

No 1820 Revival

First, his neighborhood in 1820 experienced no revival such as he described, in which "great multitudes" joined the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches. The Presbyterian records for the Palmyra Presbyterian Church show that it experienced no revival in 1820. (See Geneva Presbytery "Records," Presbyterian Historical Society.) The local Baptist church gained only six on profession of faith the entire year ("Records for the First Baptist Church in Palmyra," American Baptist Historical Society) while the Methodists actually lost members that year as well as the preceding and following years (Minutes of the Annual Conference).

Joseph Smith claimed that his mother, sister and two brothers were led to join the local Presbyterian Church as a result of that 1820 revival. However, four years before he made this claim, his own church paper had stated that the revival in which his family had been led to join the Presbyterian Church took place in 1823 (Messenger & Advocate I, pp. 42, 78). In fact, that account says it was the same 1823 revival that led him to go to his bedroom (not to a sacred grove) and pray "if a Supreme being did exist" and to know that "he was accepted of him." An angel (not a deity) is then reported to have appeared and told him of his forgiveness and of the gold plates.

Joseph's mother, likewise, knew nothing of an 1820 vision. In her unpublished account, she traces the origin of Mormonism to a bedroom visit by an angel. Joseph at the time had been "pondering which of the churches were the true one." The angel told him "there is not a true church on Earth. No not one" (First draft of "Lucy Smith's History," LDS Church Archives).

Furthermore, she tells us that the revival which led her joining the church took place following the death of her son, Alvin. Alvin died Nov. 19, 1823, and following that painful loss she reports that, "about this time there was a great revival in religion and the whole neighborhood was very much aroused to the subject and we among the rest, flocked to the meeting house to see if there was a word of comfort for us that might relieve our over-charged feelings" (p. 55-56).

She adds that although her husband would only attend the first meetings, he had no objection to her or the children "going or becoming church members." There is plenty of additional evidence that the revival Lucy Smith refers to did occur during the winter of 1824-25. It was reported in at least a dozen newspapers and religious periodicals. The church records show outstanding increases due to the reception of new converts. The Baptist church received 94, the Presbyterian 99, while the Methodist work grew by 208. No such revival bringing in "great multitudes" occurred in 1820.

It is clear that the revival Joseph Smith, Jr. described did not occur in 1820, but in 1824. Joseph Smith arbitrarily moved that revival back four years to 1820 and made it fit a First Vision story that neither his mother nor other close associates had heard of in those early days. The historical facts completely discredit Joseph Smith's First Vision story. (For further details, see "Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought" Spring 1969, pp. 59-100.)

Bible Reading Vs. Revelations

Furthermore, about 1832 Joseph Smith, Jr. began an account of the origin of the Mormon Church (the only one written in his own hand) that contradicts the official First Vision story he dictated some six years later. The account was never finished. (See the text in BYU Studies, Spring 1969, pp. 278ff.)

In this version Joseph presents himself between the ages of 12 and 15 as being a committed and perceptive reader of the Bible. He claims that his study of the Scriptures led him to understand that all of the denominations were wrong. He wrote: "By searching the Scriptures I found that mankind did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatized from the true and living faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament."

Six years later, when he set forth his official First Vision story, he decided that he never had reached the firm conclusion that all churches were wrong from his study of the Bible. Instead, he claimed that it was during a vision of the Father and the Son that he first learned this information. He presented this as coming as a great surprise, for he added parenthetically -- "for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong." That statement even contradicted what Joseph had said a few paragraphs earlier in the same account. There he claimed that "I often said to myself ...Who of all these parties are right; or are they all wrong together?" Although the former statement appears in the original manuscript (see BYU Studies above, pg. 290), such a serious contradiction could not be allowed to stand, and after Joseph's death the embarrassing words were edited out.

Even without those words, however, the 1838 official account is in conflict with the 1832 version. In the 1832 account it is his Bible reading that stirs him to seek God, while in the 1838 story it is a non-existent revival that motivates him.

In the 1832 version he claims to have seen only Christ, while in the 1838 rendition both the Father and the Son appear. In the 1832 account he already knows all the churches are wrong, while in the 1838 story it is the dual deities who first inform him of this. Different people may have different views of the same event, but when one person tells contradictory stories about an event, he completely loses his credibility.

Persecution Vs. Acceptance

The 1838 First Vision story not only runs into trouble with Joseph's earlier 1832 version, but it is also contradicted by what we know about his early years in Palmyra. In his official version Joseph claims he was persecuted by all the churches in his area "because I continued to affirm I had seen a vision." However, Orsemus Turner, an apprentice printer in Palmyra until 1822, was in the same juvenile debating club with Joseph Smith. He recalled that Joseph "after catching a spark of Methodism ...became a very passable exhorter in evening meetings" (History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, 1851, p. 214). Thus, instead of being opposed and persecuted as his 1838 account claims, young Joseph was welcomed and allowed to exhort during the Methodist's evening preaching. Furthermore, no one, either Mormon or non-Mormon, seems ever to have heard of Joseph's encounter with two divine Personages until after 1838. (See this admission in Dialogue, Autumn 1966, pp. 30-31; Saints Herald, June 29, 1959, pg. 21.)

From all available lines of evidence, therefore, Joseph's First Vision story appears to be a fabrication. There was no revival [as described by Smith] anywhere in the Palmyra area in 1820. Joseph was welcomed, not persecuted, by the Methodists. His 1832 account represents him as perceiving from his personal Bible study that all the churches were apostate, while his 1838 account said it "never entered into my heart that all were wrong." His 1832 version claimed only a vision of Christ, while the 1838 story transformed this into the Father and the Son. No one ever heard such a story until after he dictated it in 1838. In the light of such strong contradictory evidence, the First Vision story must be regarded as only the invention of Joseph Smith's highly imaginative mind. The facts and Joseph's words discredit it.


TOPICS: General Discusssion; History
KEYWORDS: lds; mormon; mormonbashing; smith
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To: Gamecock

Amen...

True Christians are proud of their Worship, indeed revel in sharing it with others...


51 posted on 07/25/2008 12:35:03 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: ejonesie22
Christ's community doesn't require membership initiations, doesn't require a yearly explanation of tithes, doesn't exclude family members from weddings, and doesn't claim that Christ's priesthood was given exclusively to mormonism:

These two allusions--the one by the Prophet and the other by the Lord--to the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood not only make clear the fact that the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored in accordance with the promise of John the Baptist when conferring the Aaronic Priesthood, but they make it possible to fix upon the place where, and approximately the time when, the event occurred.

Undoubtedly the place where the ordination was performed was on the banks of the Susquehanna river, in the wilderness between Colesville, in Broome county, New York, and Harmony, in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania; for it is there the Prophet says the voice of Peter, James and John was heard declaring themselves as "possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times;" for which appearing and declaration there could be no other occasion than the ordination of Oliver and Joseph to the Melchizedek Priesthood in fulfillment of the promises made by John the Baptist. The time at which the ordination took place was evidently between the 15th of May, 1829, and August, 1830 [although this was not written until after 1833]. The last named date is the one under which the Lord so definitely referred to the circumstance of having sent Peter, James and John to ordain Joseph and others to be Apostles, even special witnesses of His name, and unto whom He had committed the keys of the kingdom. Hence the time of the ordination must have been between those two dates.

Link

52 posted on 07/25/2008 1:44:43 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Eighteen new "I love Romney" threads in the past week,.and counting! Flacking for VP or love-god?)
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To: Stourme; ejonesie22
Oh so you're ashamed of your sect then...a rather cowardly choice you've made IMO. Why should I give your words any credibility when you don't even have the courage to speak the name of your church? I don't think the Angels of heaven will be giving you a standing O for your example any time soon.

It is not the name of our church which brings salvation, but the One who brings us that salvation by grace - not by works. As a Christian, I am a member of Christ's catholic (universal) church throughout the ages - all believers who have accepted God's grace through Jesus. It doesn't matter if we choose to worship in a barn, former bar or large cathedral, Christ promised us that where 2 or 3 gather, He is in our midst. As for me, I grew up in a non-denominational church, later was baptized and confirmed as a Catholic and am now attending an Assemblies of God church. I have worshiped with tens of thousands of other Christian men of all denominations at PK conferences. While there are differences, all recognize that it is Christ alone.

I know I am prepared to meet God S - are you? Have you done “all” you can do for salvation? Have you achieved perfection “in this mortal life”? Have you repeated a sin after asking for forgiveness? Have you “procrastinated” the day of your repentance? Have you cleared “all ungodliness” out of your life? Have you maintained all of the ordinance and rules?

Jesus is fully sufficient for me as He promised in the Bible. Is He that for you or only a component?

53 posted on 07/25/2008 3:03:02 PM PDT by Godzilla (The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.)
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To: Godzilla
Interesting isn't it. Tthe divided seek to divide the Community of Christians...

I guess they feel it will give them some power. Sadly, it is doomed to fail for they are not the first...

54 posted on 07/25/2008 3:07:42 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: ejonesie22
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Col 2: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

55 posted on 07/25/2008 4:46:20 PM PDT by Godzilla (The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.)
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To: SENTINEL
I came to Christ through Free Republic last year ...

Praise the Lord!

Thank you for your testimony.

56 posted on 07/25/2008 4:56:29 PM PDT by wmfights (Believe - THE GOSPEL - and be saved)
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To: Godzilla
It is not the name of our church which brings salvation, but the One who brings us that salvation by grace - not by works.

Salvation comes by the mercy of Jesus Christ. That, we can agree on. However, you must qualify for that mercy. Believing in Christ is the first step toward salvation; not the last.

No matter how "saved" you claim to be; you, like everyone else that's ever lived will stand before the judgment bar of God and the books for your life will be opened and you will be judged by your works.

The attributes that Jesus described on the sermon on the mount were not just suggestions or good advice. They were commandments. God doesn't change for man. He commands men to change for Him.

1 Corinthians 13:2 - 5
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

The whole and complete mission of the Church is to help the members achieve that goal. To help us achieve those Godly attributes. We do this by our service to one another and to the community.

Matthew 18:3
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Have you become as a little child? How is your church helping you to progress toward that end? Do you even know what it means?

It's a terrible trick of the devil that he has deceived so many to believe that all they have to do is to profess the name of Jesus and nothing more.
57 posted on 07/27/2008 2:53:44 PM PDT by Stourme
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To: Stourme; Tennessee Nana; SkyPilot; MHGinTN; colorcountry; SENTINEL; Ron Jeremy; ejonesie22
No matter how "saved" you claim to be; you, like everyone else that's ever lived will stand before the judgment bar of God and the books for your life will be opened and you will be judged by your works.

WHO does the mormon church claim will do the judging that you refer to?

No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.

From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are"

(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

"It's a terrible trick of the devil that he has deceived so many to believe that all they have to do" is obey the commands of Joseph Smith to reach exaltation.

58 posted on 07/27/2008 4:29:26 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Eighteen new "I love Romney" threads in the past week,.and counting! Flacking for VP or love-god?)
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To: Stourme

“No matter how “saved” you claim to be; you, like everyone else that’s ever lived will stand before the judgment bar of God and the books for your life will be opened and you will be judged by your works.” You need to read the Bible, more carefully or at least a first time. Those whom the Deliverer has saved are in Him and He will not be standing for judgment at the great White throne. Your mormon indoctrination is showing through. Stop diminishing the Work the Savior accomplished at Calvary. You blaspheme the Holy Spirit by asserting that His presence within the human spirit will not be sufficient and further earnings will be acocunted to determine worthiness. Get thee behind us, satan.


59 posted on 07/27/2008 4:34:26 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: ejonesie22
Your insistence that there are no divisions in "christianity" has no historical context.

Just because today, in America, you can sit down with people of other faiths and manage to not kill each other doesn't mean that the various religions and sects aren't divided.

One example
...many persecuted Anabaptists settled in Münster, Westphalia. Hofmann’s disciples were attracted to the city by dramatic changes that occurred there in the early 1530s. Under the influence of the Reformer Bernhard Rothman, Anabaptist sentiment was strong enough there to elect an Anabaptist majority to the city council in 1533. This was followed, under the direction of Mathijs and John of Leiden, by the expulsion and persecution of all non-Anabaptists and the creation of a messianic kingdom under John of Leiden. The city was surrounded in 1534 by an army of Catholics and Protestants, which perhaps encouraged further reforms, including the common ownership of goods and polygamy, both with the declaration of biblical precedent. The city was captured in 1535, and the Anabaptist leaders were tortured and killed and their bodies hung in steel cages from the steeple of St. Lambert’s church. Source

And another
Although armed hostilities between Catholics and Protestants largely subsided after the 1921 agreement, violence erupted again in the late 1960s; bloody riots broke out in Londonderry in 1968 and in Londonderry and Belfast in 1969. British troops were brought in to restore order, but the conflict intensified as the IRA and Protestant paramilitary groups carried out bombings and other acts of terrorism. This continuing conflict, which lingered into the 1990s, became known as "the Troubles." Source

Harmony between the sects calling themselves "christianity" is a complete myth. Any truce that exists currently is completely due to the fact that genocide became unfashionable and the division of church and state.

The Lutherans slaughtered the baptists by the tens of thousands.

Even in this country, during the early years several people were executed for teaching baptist doctrine.

How about another...
Homosexuality is a grievous sin and I will never support it's practice.

Unfortunately that's not the way some sects see it...
Last month, members of an Atlanta congregation splintered off after their local church leaders decided to allow their ministers to perform gay unions on church property.
Full article

"By their fruits ye shall know them." -Jesus
60 posted on 07/27/2008 4:36:58 PM PDT by Stourme
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To: All; don-o; Mrs. Don-o; Godzilla; Tennessee Nana; Stourme
This is what Paul taught concerning Christians ... not the unsaved who will stand to be judged according to their lack of Him in them, these were Christians to whom Paul wrot e the following in his first letter to the Corinthian Believers:

I Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [Notice that Paul is here speaking of what is placed upon the foundation which is Salvation in Christ; what Paul is about to describe if the rewards review for the saved, not the great throne of Judgment]

13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. [The fire burns up that which lacks the image of Christ in it, yet the believers shall be saved even as the metaphor of fire burning off the dross in an ore sample of Silver, leaving just the pure.]

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [God does not place Himself for judgment, so that which is the Temple of the Living God is not to be judged at the Great White Throne from whence hell will be the destiny of some in creation. ]

61 posted on 07/27/2008 4:45:46 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Revelation 911; Colofornian; P-Marlowe; Osage Orange; JRochelle; xzins; Alamo-Girl

Thought you folks might enjoy this thread and the discussion


62 posted on 07/27/2008 4:49:26 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: ejonesie22; SENTINEL; Zakeet

Meant to ping you gentlemen.


63 posted on 07/27/2008 4:56:57 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Stourme
By their fruits ye shall know them ...

Matthew 7: 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. prophets Deut 13:3, Jer 23:16, Rom 16:17, Eph 5:6, Col 2:8, 2nd Pet 2:1, 1st John 4:1 sheep's Micah 3:5, 2 Tim 3:5 wolves Acts 20:29

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Let's see, what were Joseph Smith's fruits:

Adultery with other men's wives

Peepstone divination

False Prophecies

Lies, even to his own congregation concerning his sexual deviances

False claims of scriptures from God

False stories of visions of God the Father Almighty

And entire false religion with rituals and signs lifted right out of Masonic lore

We could go on, but what's the point. The man is exposed by his fruits to be exactly what Jesus warned. And the founding principle of Mormonism is that the Holy Spirit left the body of faithing Christians for 1700+ years until Smith showed up ... thus mormonism denies the Holy Spirit Power that Jesus promised would never leave of forsake believers. So, the ultimate spirit of mormonism is the spirit of anitchrist. Oh they have a form of godliness, even look so clean and proper, but they deny the power thereof. 'From such turn away' was Paul's advice to Timotheus.

64 posted on 07/27/2008 5:06:06 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Stourme
You are right, it would be much better for us to turn our back on those who follow similar doctrines or better yet the same “prophet” and Scripture..

As I have said more than once, the desires of man and the work of the evil one have taken advantage thought the entirety of Christian, as well as man's history. It does not diminish the fact that we share the same fundamental message.

We do more than just “get together and play nice” we serve Christ together in love and fellowship, sharing the same message of salvation.

Sorry if that is inconvenient for your purposes...

65 posted on 07/27/2008 5:20:34 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: MHGinTN

Some harvest..


66 posted on 07/27/2008 5:23:13 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: MHGinTN


Your argument is with John and by association the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. They're right, you're wrong. Period. If you don't like it, write your own Bible. John says we'll be judged by our works and James explained why....get over it. /shrug
Revelation 20:12
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

James 2:17
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Titus 3:8
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

2 Corinthians 11:15
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Jonah 3:10
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Those whom the Deliverer has saved are in Him and He will not be standing for judgment at the great White throne.

Oh really?
Ecclesiastes 3:16 - 17
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

The son of David says that the righteous and the wicked will be judged at the final judgment. You're batting 0 or 0. Stop contradicting the Bible and spreading false doctrine. Sheesh!
67 posted on 07/27/2008 5:31:51 PM PDT by Stourme
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To: Stourme; SENTINEL
Sadly, you missed the key to understanding of whom the passages speak: "12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God"

Recall, for your edification, whom Jesus referred to as 'let the dead go bury the dead'. Those whom the Son has saved, are alive in Christ, not dead in their tresspasses and sins. This isn't batting practice, son, it is your eternal destiny at stake. You will not gain salvation after all that you can do. He is the Savior, your efforts will never earn so great a gift as His Life accounted for you.

68 posted on 07/27/2008 5:39:58 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: SkyPilot

You might find this assertion from the mormon an interesting insight into their mindset.


69 posted on 07/27/2008 5:49:40 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Stourme; Tennessee Nana
Using a word search is not the best way to try and pretend to know the scriptures. Let's see if you actually comprehend what is written about in II Cor 11. Your word search turned up righteousness but you didn't comprehend the context!

II Cor 11:10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.

12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. [Even you can see this is referring to false apostles!]

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. [Those are dead spirited beings being referred to. Read the passages again and see of what your word search can teach to you by reading further before and after the texts the search highlights.]

70 posted on 07/27/2008 5:59:36 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Stourme
We will leave the rewriting of the Bible to fit personal needs to your “prophet’

As far as the garce/works "debate" this is what I find so interesting. Your church is like a tone deaf musician, you can play the notes but can't make the music.

It is not by works we are saved, it is by our works we are known to be saved. Grace saves us period:

Ephesians 2:7-10

7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

That seems pretty clear to me.

Because of our acceptance of God's gift of grace we do good works, not as a requirement for entrance into the kingdom, but because we want to share the joy and love. The Holy Spirit fills our souls and our love comes through in our actions. Yes, we will be known by our works, know as ones who truly accepted the gift so freely given among all of God's people.

James says it best...

James 2:14-18

14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

71 posted on 07/27/2008 6:00:46 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: ejonesie22; Stourme; SENTINEL
And from Titus 3 we see works and grace side-by-side, and the proper designation of each:

1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

...

14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. [Paul teaches that there is a difference in fruitfulness and supposed works of righteousness. Good works bring fruitfulness AFTER THE PERSON IS IN CHRIST A NEW CREATION. Such a new creation will God in no wise stand before the same judgment seat where the dead in tresspasses and sins are to be judged according to their works.]

72 posted on 07/27/2008 6:15:45 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: ejonesie22
You are right, it would be much better for us to turn our back on those who follow similar doctrines or better yet the same “prophet” and Scripture..

We do more than just “get together and play nice” we serve Christ together in love and fellowship, sharing the same message of salvation.

You share a message of salvation even though you don't agree with their doctrines

Isn't it ironic that you afford them that benefit of the doubt and yet deny me any such charity?


73 posted on 07/27/2008 6:20:29 PM PDT by Stourme
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To: Stourme; ejonesie22

Um, that is strawman post. You need to now show how it is that we deny you anything. In fact, I can find posts I’ve made to mormons in which I have said without reservation that 1)Salvation is in Christ’s purview, and 2) there will be many mormons in Heaven, but not because they earned Salvation but because of His tender mercy He has saved them (as taught in Titus 3 and many other places) ... and how or by what means He does this for them, I haven’t an assertion, but I have some ideas on it. We know for sure that those who work to promote the spirit of antichrist are working against His Kingdom though, don’t we! Denying the power of The Holy Spirit to indwell the faither is of the spirit of antichrist and is precisely what your church is promoting in their current ‘restoration’ drive. Watch for it in mormonism apologists’ posts. It comes out regularly.


74 posted on 07/27/2008 6:30:55 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: ejonesie22
We will leave the rewriting of the Bible to fit personal needs to your “prophet’

As far as the garce/works "debate" this is what I find so interesting. Your church is like a tone deaf musician, you can play the notes but can't make the music.


Is it not possible for you to make a post to me that doesn't contain these juvenile derogatory digs? Can you not be civil for one moment?

18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

It may pain you to admit it, but we are saying the same thing. We are saved by grace. Because we have faith and love for the savior we will do good works. We will be judged by our works because that is the manifestation of our faith.
75 posted on 07/27/2008 6:33:27 PM PDT by Stourme
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To: MHGinTN

Indeed...


76 posted on 07/27/2008 6:50:19 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: Stourme

If you don’t like it, write your own Bible
______________________________________

DUH...

That’s what this thread is about...

The false prophet Joseph Smith didnt like God’s requirement of righteousness to live a Godly life...

He wanted an excjuse to keep on committing adultery and cheating on Emma, his only legal wife..

and so he wrote his own porn, err I mean thingy...

I cant say Bible, there’s only ever going to be one of those...

The Old Testament and the New Testament...


77 posted on 07/27/2008 7:05:44 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Stourme
You don't believe in the same message as we do, indeed your Christ and God who was once a man, along with your multi factor path to salvation among other things, is a bit alien to Christians.

We may have liturgical and administrative differences but we share the exact same path to salvation and the same Christ. There is no "benefit of the doubt" because there is noting to doubt, we share the same message of God's Grace and the blessing of our various denominations authorities, not exactly the sign of warring factions...

78 posted on 07/27/2008 7:07:04 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: MHGinTN; greyfoxx39; colorcountry; Pan_Yans Wife; Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; Osage Orange; ...
By their fruits ye shall know them ...

Here's my list ...

A prophet who taught:

  1. That Jesus and Satan are brothers, that God had incestuous relations with His daughter (Mary), and that Christian pastors are "dimwitted hirelings of Satan

  2. That God is a polygamous celestial stud married to our Heavenly Mother

  3. Of Kolob and of other worlds named Planet Oblish and Planet Enish-go-on-dosh ruled by a governing power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam

  4. Of sacred scriptures based on pagan works such as prayers to Egyptian gods for dead spirits – which were supposedly translated using occult devices such as peep stones

  5. Of prominent display of Satanic symbols such as pentagrams, baphomets, earth stones, and saturn stones on his churches' religious buildings and literature

  6. Of the wearing a fig leaf apron in temple ceremonies to symbolize Satan’s power and priesthoods

  7. Of having Lucifer teach Mormon church doctrine in the temple ceremony

  8. Of portraying Satan as the god of this world in Mormon rites and ceremonies

  9. Of offering prayers to the devil – Oh God, hear the words of my mouth

  10. Of praising Satan by chanting Hebrew words in the temple ceremony whose translation is Marvelous Lucifer

  11. That husbands can resurrect their wives from the grave

  12. Of having special grips and clasps to tell ghosts from angels and the devil

  13. Of practicing baptism for the dead

  14. Of wearing magic underwear to protect from physical harm – with symbols so sacred that they must be cut out and buried and the garment burned when it wears out

  15. That the Ten Lost Tribes and the apostle John will be discovered living in cement houses in a tropical land adjacent to the North Pole separated by a high mountain range

  16. That men about six feet tall, dressed like Quakers, will be discovered dwelling on the moon where they live for about 1,000 years

  17. That science will prove the earth has knobs on each end

  18. That he was commanded by god to retranslate the Bible because the existing translations contained errors – eventually devising an Inspired Revision completed in 1833 - which was rejected by his church who still uses the King James Version

  19. That his followers should burdened by a complex series of regulations which determine their progression as gods of their own planets - complete with a harem of goddess wives

  20. That he was greater than Jesus


79 posted on 07/27/2008 7:09:29 PM PDT by Zakeet (Be thankful we don't get all the government we pay for)
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To: Stourme
First I only state fact. You tell my friend to go write his own bible, even though he is the one holding true to the Word of God, and this admonition comes from one who follows a man who made a good effort to create his own version of the holy book.

As for the rest, no we don't agree, you agree at this point, that will change when the perspective or argument does the same.

What I have found interesting in my study of mormonism is how utterly confused everything is. I have confined myself to works both of the faith and by your theologians, no "anti sites" unless I need a citation. Some say grace is enough in one breath, then jump to works in the next. They change emphasis trying to find contradiction with Orthodox Historic Christianity depending on the argument at the time..

80 posted on 07/27/2008 7:16:06 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: Stourme

Jonah 3:10
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
_____________________________________________________

Stop taking Scripture out of context...

This comes from never having read The Bible for yourself...

Rocket Science would be a breeze for you, compared to tossing out scriptures after 40 years of ignoring the Word of God..

The WORKS were REPENTANCE......

For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

The whole passage of Scripture...

Jon 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Jon 3:5 ¶ So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Jon 3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Jon 3:7 And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

Jon 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that [is] in their hands.

Jon 3:9 Who can tell [if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

Jon 3:10 ¶ And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.


81 posted on 07/27/2008 7:22:30 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Zakeet

That science will prove the earth has knobs on each end
___________________________________________

Oooooooooooooooo I like that one...

Did Admiral Byrd crash into one when he flew over the North Pole ???


82 posted on 07/27/2008 7:29:47 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

No silly, they are retractable...

God’s is a very smart guy, he did not want unauthorized people spinning the globe....


83 posted on 07/27/2008 7:38:36 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: Stourme; MHGinTN; ejonesie22; Tennessee Nana; SENTINEL; greyfoxx39; colorcountry; Pan_Yans Wife; ..
Welcome to FR.

Revelation 20:12 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Well, when people want to be judged by their works instead of depending on the grace and mercy of God, then they shouldn't be surprised when God gives them what they want.

Besides, when they reject Christ, there's nothing left for the judgment to be made on. It's Christ or the Law. If you reject Christ, the Law is the only other option.

84 posted on 07/27/2008 7:40:54 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: ejonesie22

Oh, silly me...

Admiral Byrd called ahead and reserved a knobfree day to fly...

:)


85 posted on 07/27/2008 7:42:42 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana
Well we would not want him knocking the world over...
86 posted on 07/27/2008 7:45:03 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

Perhaps demons can ‘see’ magnetic lines of force. If so, the view of our ionesphere would tend to look like knobs were located at the North and South poles. It is curious, eh?


87 posted on 07/27/2008 7:45:58 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Stourme
Gal 3:1-14 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

If you add anything to the work of Christ on the cross, you're saying that the death of Christ is not good enough to save you. If your works are needed in addition because they're good enough and Christ's death isn't, then your works should be good enough by themselves and that's what you're depending on; not Christ's death.

Way to spit in the face of Christ and tell Him He didn't do enough for you; that you can do better. I don't think so.

88 posted on 07/27/2008 7:49:21 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

Stourme did a word search on ‘works’. You can’t expect him to understand what he found. Note the astonishing contradiction of his own argument by one of the passages he used thinking it verified his specious assertion! Maybe he will get busy and actually read the passages in context now. [2Cor 11:15]


89 posted on 07/27/2008 7:50:49 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: MHGinTN

Thanks for the ping!


90 posted on 07/27/2008 7:55:51 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Godzilla; greyfoxx39; MHGinTN; ejonesie22; wmfights
It is not the name of our church which brings salvation, but the One who brings us that salvation by grace - not by works. As a Christian, I am a member of Christ's catholic (universal) church throughout the ages - all believers who have accepted God's grace through Jesus. It doesn't matter if we choose to worship in a barn, former bar or large cathedral, Christ promised us that where 2 or 3 gather, He is in our midst.

I usually lurk and just read these threads, but every once in a while...

It is indeed strange that the door-knockers can't grasp the true unity of the body of Christ. Have had the visits from the guys with the 'Elder Soandso' name tags and from some other group that says they are witnesses of something or other and it seems that sooner or later they want to talk about what church I go to and then suggest that I'm not doing it right because there are so many different church names out there while they (whichever 'they' it is that day..) are the true way because they are united, bigger, have new revelations, have the real Bible and/or all of the above...

It is distracting that the Body of Christ has managed to find ways to put different names on the sign in front of their buildings. It is true that attending any one of these buildings does not make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a BigMac. It is also true that not everyone who attends any of the various buildings for worship is a true Christian. It is even more true that from all the various 'church' groups that say they are followers of Christ there are those who know, as Godzilla said, the One who has called us and gives us salvation through His grace, they are the true Church.

One of the activities that I have been attending yearly (since 1983) is something called the Creation Festival, a four day outdoor music and teaching event that is held in the middle of Pennsylvania (here on the right coast) and now also in George, WA (on the left coast.) It is an event for Christians of any and all denominational affiliations.

I bring this up because some years ago now I was doing youth work at a Baptist church and my friend was youth pastor at an AoG church. Our groups would do things together and one of the events we combined on was the Creation Festival. It happened that whichever one of us would send in for the tickets would name the group for that year under his or my church name. We both found that in the course of promoting that year's event we would run into people who reacted strangely to either the Baptist or the Assy of God name. We both found that to be upsetting since the group that attended with us was not really exclusively from our two churches. People were getting hung up on the name of the church rather than what we were trying to accomplish. About 15 years ago we decided that the church name, whichever one we used, was more a hindrance than a help so we changed the name of our group to the name of a band we once were a part of.

Now our group includes people from three states, various denominations (we have Presbyterian, Reformed, AoG, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic represented in the core group) and we enjoy the time each year getting together with other members of the Body of Christ to worship and fellowship without the confines of the man-made barriers called denominations.. Why? because I have more in common with a Baptist, a Presbyterian, a Lutheran, or a Roman Catholic who really knows Jesus than I do with a lot of people who just sit in a pew...

So, Elder Soandso and those people who think they witnessed something can come and ring my doorbell, but if and when they do, they can try to talk about whatever it is they are selling that day but we will talk about the Name that is above every name, and they can try to talk about believing the Bible as far as it is rightly translated, but I will talk about the One who wrote the Book, and they can try to tell me that God is an exalted man like me because the Bible talks about the finger of God and the eye of God and the hand... (you get the picture..) but then I will just have to mention that by that logic God could also be a great big chicken because the Bible also says He will cover us with His wings...

So, Godzilla, right on... The only Name we need know is not the one on the sign out front of whatever building is is we worship in, it is the only Name under heaven given among men where by we must be saved. Jesus is all sufficient..

91 posted on 07/27/2008 8:42:37 PM PDT by NoCmpromiz (John 14:6 is a non-pluralistic comment.)
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To: SENTINEL

I am so thankful you are out! I had a brother in law in for 21 years and he’s out too!


92 posted on 07/27/2008 8:44:48 PM PDT by greccogirl
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To: NoCmpromiz

I will just have to mention that by that logic God could also be a great big chicken because the Bible also says He will cover us with His wings...
___________________________________________

LOL

Have to remember that one...


93 posted on 07/27/2008 9:01:52 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: NoCmpromiz

Amen.


94 posted on 07/27/2008 9:05:59 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Haley Barbour 2012, Because he has experience in Disaster Recovery.)
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To: Zakeet
It is this one that is the bottom line: That he was greater than Jesus.

Great summary.

95 posted on 07/27/2008 9:17:57 PM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: NoCmpromiz

Great post! And that festival looks like a huge joy in the spirit.


96 posted on 07/27/2008 9:19:03 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: MHGinTN
And that festival looks like a huge joy in the spirit.

It is an indescribable experience. Of course, it helps if you like contemporary Christian music, enjoy the outdoors, can take a little heat from the sun and some rain now and then. And if you can't stand (put a denomination name here), God will make sure the group camped next to you is from the First (U Name It) Church of Where-ever... :-)

I have gone enough years now that the memories tend to run together, and the people that attend with us have changed over the years, but every once in a while someone tells you what the experience has meant in their life... Like one guy who was a High School Senior the time he attended, then went to Bible college, and spent some time up in Toronto area doing inner city ministry. He invited me up for a weekend about seven years later and during that weekend he gave his testimony and said "I was struggling with my faith until one summer this really weird guy invited me to the Creation Festival, and that changed my life and walk with the Lord.."

Oh, and Tennessee isn't all that far from the site in PA... come join us some year ;-)

Seriously, would love to have other people join with us. Freepmail for further info..

97 posted on 07/27/2008 9:54:51 PM PDT by NoCmpromiz (John 14:6 is a non-pluralistic comment.)
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To: NoCmpromiz

I just might do that in ‘09! And I have a little moho to travel in.


98 posted on 07/27/2008 9:56:37 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: ejonesie22
***There is no “benefit of the doubt” because there is noting to doubt, we share the same message of God's Grace and the blessing of our various denominations authorities, not exactly the sign of warring factions... ***

Not hardly.

Christians believe Christ died for our sins. Mormons teach that man does all he can, and Christ makes up for any shortcomings.

Plus, to the Mormon mind, we are not saves, we are Gentiles.

Hardly the same viewing of God's grace.

99 posted on 07/27/2008 11:24:50 PM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, Am I good enough to be a Christian? rather Am I good enough not to be?)
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To: Zakeet

Other than that he was a great guy. < /sarc>


100 posted on 07/27/2008 11:26:58 PM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, Am I good enough to be a Christian? rather Am I good enough not to be?)
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