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“We're Christians just like you!”
Mormonism Research Ministry ^ | Bill McKeever

Posted on 02/19/2011 4:44:42 PM PST by Colofornian

When speaking to our Mormon friends about religious issues, it is not uncommon to hear them tell us, “We’re Christians just like you.” There could be many reasons for a response like this. Perhaps the Mormon with whom you are speaking does not really understand what Christians have believed over the centuries, or it could be that they are not really familiar with the positions of their own church. It could be that because both groups share a desire to live moral lives that this qualifies them as “Christian.” However, this conclusion is refuted by the fact that many religions emphasize wholesome living as a part of their beliefs. Christianity, as a religious faith, is known by its teachings (doctrine) and not necessarily by the behavior of its adherents (though we certainly hope that a Christian’s faith is reflected in their practice).

One thing we have found in most cases is it is very rare for the average Latter-day Saint to fully explain the unique teachings of Mormonism. In the LDS Church it is taught that milk must be given before meat. Since many Mormons know that some of their unique teachings will be questioned by their evangelical acquaintances, they often give an explanation of the LDS faith that is less than precise.

It is difficult to comprehend why Mormons would say they are Christians “just like us” given that the foundation of their church presupposes that all professing Christian churches outside of the LDS Church are in a state of apostasy. Do Mormons who make this claim really think they too are “apostates”? Putting that aside, you need to ask yourself some important questions before automatically accepting the notion that the differences separating Christians from Mormons are insignificant. For instance, if your Mormon friend is really a “Christian just like you,” does that mean you believe:

God was not always God?

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught,

“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345; also cited in Gospel Principles, p.305).

In contrast to this, Psalm 90:2 states, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you have formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”

God is a glorified, perfected human being with a body of flesh and bones?

According to Joseph Smith,

"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret, if the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345. Also cited in Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p.129).

The Doctrines of Covenants, considered to be scripture by Latter-day Saints, teaches, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's” (130:22).

Jesus taught that God the Father was not a man at all. In fact, John 4:24 records Jesus saying, “God is spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

God is only one among many Gods?

Joseph Smith said, “I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the elders for fifteen years” (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.35).

Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS Church, once stated,

“How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:334, October 8, 1859).

However, Isaiah 44:6,8 tells us that the God of the Bible knows of no other Gods. “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God…Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

God is married?

Gordon B. Hinckley, Mormonism’s 15th President, once noted in a conference message, “Logic and reason would certainly suggest that if we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. That doctrine rests well with me” (“Daughters of God,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1991, p.100. This is also cited in The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.257).

Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote,

“Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother. The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).

Just as there is nothing in Mormonism’s unique scripture that mentions God being married to a “heavenly mother,” there is nothing to imply such a teaching in the Bible either.

Jesus is the spirit-brother of Lucifer?

12th Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball wrote,

“Long before you were born a program was developed by your creators ... The principal personalities in this great drama were a Father Elohim, perfect in wisdom, judgment, and person, and two sons, Lucifer and Jehovah.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 32-33).

Since The New Testament claims that it was through Jesus all things were created (John 1:3; Colossian 1:16, 17), it is difficult to assume such a familial relationship. Lucifer is described as an angel and angels, according to Psalm 148:1-5, are created beings, not pro-created beings in a sexual sense.

Jesus is the literal “Son of God” who was begotten naturally by an immortal Father?

In a pamphlet published by the LDS Church First Presidency, it says:

“Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is to say, Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh, and which body died on the cross and was afterward taken up by the process of resurrection, and is now the immortalized tabernacle of the eternal spirit of our Lord and Savior” ("The Father and The Son; A Doctrinal Exposition by The First Presidency and The Twelve," June 30, 1916. Reprinted in Articles of Faith, p. 421).

Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie taught that God stepped down from His throne to “join with one who is finite and mortal in bringing forth, ‘after the manner of the flesh,’ the Mortal Messiah” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 1:315).

The Bible describes the incarnation of Christ as a miracle known as the Virgin Birth. Mary, the mother of Jesus, became pregnant without the aid of man, mortal or otherwise (Luke 2:35).

Christians are saved by grace coupled with works?

The Book of Mormon teaches in 2 Nephi 25:23, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

President Spencer W. Kimball said,

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation” (12th Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.206; also cited in The Book of Mormon Student Manual, religion 121 and 122, 1996, p.36).

Though Christians are saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10), the good works of a Christians do not justify (or make right) the believer before God. The apostle Paul made this very clear when he wrote, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Grace is given by God only after a person has denied themselves of all ungodliness?

Writing for the Mormon magazine Ensign, BYU professor Clyde J. Williams said,

“The perfect relationship between the atoning grace of Christ and the obedient efforts of mankind is powerfully stated by Nephi: ‘We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23). Furthermore, we are invited to ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.’ When we deny ourselves ‘of all ungodliness,’ then and only ‘then is his grace sufficient’ for us (Moroni 10:32)” (“Plain and Precious Truths Restored,” Ensign, October 2006, p.53).

Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “And unless men have the agency to choose to do good and work righteousness—and, in fact, do so—they cannot be saved. There is no other way” (The Mortal Messiah 1:406).

However, in his pastoral epistle to Titus, the apostle Paul wrote that a believer’s salvation was “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 Spirit.” He went on to write that this great kindness was “shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

Humans can become Gods?

According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism,

“Logically and naturally, the ultimate desire of a loving Supreme Being is to help his children enjoy all that he enjoys. For Latter-day Saints, the term ‘godhood’ denotes the attainment of such a state—one of having all divine attributes and doing as God does and being as God is” (2:553).

Brigham Young declared,

“The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself; when we have been proved in our present capacity, and been faithful with all things He puts into our possession. We are created, we are born for the express purpose of growing up from the low estate of manhood, to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven. That is the truth about it, just as it is” (Brigham Young, August 8, 1852, Journal of Discourses 3:93).

Historically, such a notion has been considered blasphemous by Christians. Never have Christians taught that mankind has the capacity to become ontologically like God. As God Himself said through the prophet Isaiah, “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10).

Mankind must believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God in order to get into heaven?

“There is no greater prophet in any dispensation than Joseph Smith… Joseph Smith was a prophet, and all the calumny and aspirations to the contrary cannot controvert that fact. Anyone who has concern for the welfare of his eternal soul should give attention to this message. Every man who has lived since the days of Joseph Smith is subject to accepting him as a prophet of God in order to enter into our Heavenly father’s presence” (A. Theodore Tuttle, “Joseph Smith re-established fullness of true gospel, Church,” Church News, March 17, 2001, p.14).

This concurs with what Brigham Young said in 1859:

“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 -- I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent” (Brigham Young, October 9, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:289).

The Bible declares that Jesus is the Christian’s living prophet and it is Jesus whom Christians must listen to and obey (Deuteronomy 18:15; John 5:46; 6:44; 7:40; Acts 3:22, 23; 7:37; Hebrews 1:1-2). Judgment has been given to Jesus alone by authority of the Father. “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).

Christianity ceased to exist after the death of the Twelve Apostles?

According to the LDS Church manual Gospel Principles,

“One by one, the Apostles were killed. Because of the persecution, surviving Apostles could not meet to choose and ordain men to replace those who were dead. Eventually, local priesthood leaders were the only ones who had authority to direct the scattered branches of the Church. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine, and soon the destruction was complete. The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy” (Gospel Principles, p.105, emphasis theirs).

But Jesus promised to be with His Church unto the “end of the world (or age)” (Matthew 28:20).

The Apostle John is still alive?

Doctrine and Covenants 7:1-3 states,

“AND the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people”

BYU Professor Robert Millet noted that not only was the Apostle John still alive, but that “Three “Nephites” mentioned in the Book of Mormon were also living today in a translated state.

“We know from the Book of Mormon (see 3 Nephi 28:6) and from modern revelation (see D&C 7) that John was translated-changed to a terrestrial state so as to no longer be subject to the effects of the Fall, including physical suffering, bodily decay, and death. Like the three Nephites, he is still ministering among the peoples of the earth and will do so until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, at which time he and they will be changed from mortality to immortality (see 3 Nephi 28:8, 27-30)” (Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series, p.85).

Jesus never made such a promise. Clearly such a conclusion is based on a misunderstanding that the Gospel of John corrects in John 21:22, 23.

American Indians are “Jewish”?

Joseph Smith said

“that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites and came directly from the tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country” (Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons 3:707).

Harold B. Lee, Mormonism’s 11th president, stated,

“The Indians on the American continent are descendants of the tribes of Ephraim, Judah, and Manasseh, we are told by the Book of Mormon. (Omni 15-19; I Nephi 5:14-16.) Their dark skin was a curse put upon them because of their transgression, which in a day to come in their descendants will be lifted and they will become white and delightsome as they accept the Gospel and turn to the Lord” (Decisions for Successful Living, pp.166-167.)

Genetic evidence denies such a connection. Modern data concludes that the American Indians are not of Hebrew ancestry but are instead of Asian descent.

The Garden of Eden was located in Missouri?

Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe wrote,

“Latter-day Saints know, through modern revelation, that the Garden of Eden was on the North American continent and that Adam and Eve began their conquest of the earth in the upper part of what is now the state of Missouri. It seems very probable that the children of our first earthly parents moved down along the fertile, pleasant lands of the Mississippi valley. The great floods that have often occurred there make the description in Genesis seem very reasonable indeed. And if the historian saw the flood there, it is not unlikely that the waters covered the highest points or peaks, for there the mountains are but hills” (Evidences and Reconciliations, p.127).

Milton R. Hunter, a Mormon Seventy, stated, “From the foregoing evidence, it is certain that the Garden of Eden was located in America, in what today is known as the state of Missouri and probably the adjacent region” (Pearl of Great Price Commentary, p.109).

The above represents just a small amount of the many contrasting beliefs between Mormonism and biblical Christianity. Our prayer is that you will take the time to carefully study the truth-claims of the Mormon Church and compare them to what the Bible already declares. In doing so you will be better prepared to discern what Mormonism is all about.

Further Reading



TOPICS: Apologetics; Ministry/Outreach; Other Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: christians; flamebait; inman; lds; mormon
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Did you ever stop to consider the primary belief differences between Christian denominations as compared to the differences between, say Christians and Mormons?

You see adherents of the same faith pretty much stick to the same essentials. Oh, sure, Christian denominations usually disagree on the Sacraments, the leadership structure of the church, and evidences and gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they agree on the essentials. That means that a Presbyterian will, with just a few exceptions, agree with a Lutheran re: beliefs. Etc. etc.

Now let's bring "Mormons" into the picture. If you, a Christian, say Mormons are "Christians." Then you "pretty much" -- give or take a few things -- also believe what Mormons do.

Is that true?

From the article: Since many Mormons know that some of their unique teachings will be questioned by their evangelical acquaintances, they often give an explanation of the LDS faith that is less than precise. It is difficult to comprehend why Mormons would say they are Christians “just like us” given that the foundation of their church presupposes that all professing Christian churches outside of the LDS Church are in a state of apostasy. Do Mormons who make this claim really think they too are “apostates”? Putting that aside, you need to ask yourself some important questions before automatically accepting the notion that the differences separating Christians from Mormons are insignificant. For instance, if your Mormon friend is really a “Christian just like you,” does that mean you believe:

Bill McKeever then goes on and asks you -- the Evangelical (or whoever) -- if you believe the following Mormon essential beliefs?

* God was not always God?
* God is a glorified, perfected being with a body of flesh and bones?
* God is only one of many gods?
* God is married?
* Jesus is the spirit-brother of Lucifer?
* Jesus is the literal 'son of God' who was begotten naturally by an immortal father?
* Christians are saved by grace coupled with works?
* Grace is given by God only after a person has denied himself of ALL ungodliness?
* Humans can become gods?
* Mankind must belief Joseph Smith was a prophet of God in order to get into heaven?
* Christianity ceased to exist after the death of the 12 apostles?
* The Apostle John is still alive? [on earth]
* American Indians are Jewish?
* The Garden of Eden was located in Missouri?

There ya have it. If you, as a professed Christian, disagree with more than a few of those -- and you say "Mormons are Christians, too"...Well, that would seem to call into question whether you are a so-called "Christian" if you so radically depart from so-called "Mormon Christians."

LURKERS: The average Mormon or Lds missionary is not going to try to get you to swallow these 14 Mormon Whale stories all at once. But true-believing Mormons adhere to them -- and this is what you have to believe to be an "essential" Mormon! (Elsewise you call into the very question the "prophetic" abilities of their leaders!)

1 posted on 02/19/2011 4:44:49 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Domandred

I thought this would be relevant given your brief comment the other day.


2 posted on 02/19/2011 4:46:08 PM PST by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian
There are Christians and there are Mormons. There are Christians and there are Muslims. There are Christians and there are Jehovah Witnesses. There are Christians and there are Scientologists.

As you can see, there are Christians and there are other forms of some type of religion.

3 posted on 02/19/2011 4:47:56 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White)
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To: Colofornian

The educated Mormon knows how to elude and dodge. See this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zA-rZQB-xQ

The regular Mormon just doesn’t know, so he fumbles around and then bears his testimony.

It’s important to have compassion for regular Mormons; they’re doing what they’re told.


4 posted on 02/19/2011 4:52:30 PM PST by lurk
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To: ReverendJames
Really? So what are these guys?


5 posted on 02/19/2011 5:01:48 PM PST by stormer
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To: stormer

6 posted on 02/19/2011 5:03:41 PM PST by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts...)
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To: stormer

Well Sir, unfortunately those people don’t realize the handling of snakes thing was added to the Bible later on. Imagine their surprise when they find out it ain’t there in the original. However you want to put it though, they do have the basic Biblical belief in the Christian Jesus than say, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and so on.


7 posted on 02/19/2011 5:06:38 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White)
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To: stormer
PS - just to add: There are some questions regarding whether Mark chapter 16, verses 9-20 belong in the Bible. There is some evidence that these verses were not originally part of the Gospel of Mark. Some of the oldest and most reliable Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark do not contain verses 9-20. Some other manuscripts contain Mark 16:9-20, but set them apart from the rest of the Gospel of Mark. As a result, it is not wise to use anything from Mark 16:9-20 as the sole basis for a doctrine or practice. Snake handling is one such example of a dubious concept from Mark 16:9-20.

Hope this answers your question.

8 posted on 02/19/2011 5:08:28 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White)
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To: stormer

They appear to be snake handlers. The picture also appears to be from the late 1930s.


9 posted on 02/19/2011 5:11:20 PM PST by svcw (God in His own time not ours)
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To: Colofornian
From the article: "“Latter-day Saints know, through modern revelation, that the Garden of Eden was on the North American continent and that Adam and Eve began their conquest of the earth in the upper part of what is now the state of Missouri. It seems very probable that the children of our first earthly parents moved down along the fertile, pleasant lands of the Mississippi valley."

Photobucket

10 posted on 02/19/2011 5:11:20 PM PST by greyfoxx39 ("This administration has turned off America's beacon to the world for freedom and left darkness")
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To: Colofornian

Good information, laid out simply.


11 posted on 02/19/2011 5:12:36 PM PST by svcw (God in His own time not ours)
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To: Colofornian; StayoutdaBushesWay; OldNewYork; MotherRedDog; sayuncledave; CatholicEagle; 0beron; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


12 posted on 02/19/2011 5:14:13 PM PST by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
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To: Bean Counter

"Clever, this one is..."

13 posted on 02/19/2011 5:17:32 PM PST by stormer
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To: ReverendJames

Interesting that you’ve managed to make yourself the arbiter of biblical veracity...


14 posted on 02/19/2011 5:19:11 PM PST by stormer
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To: svcw

15 posted on 02/19/2011 5:23:20 PM PST by stormer
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To: stormer

Ok, so another snake handler and a more current picture......point is?


16 posted on 02/19/2011 5:25:35 PM PST by svcw (God in His own time not ours)
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To: svcw

My point was to another poster who wrote, “As you can see, there are Christians and there are other forms of some type of religion.” My question to him was how the people in the picture comported with his version of Christianity - they would certainly identify themselves as such - but would he?


17 posted on 02/19/2011 5:30:36 PM PST by stormer
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To: stormer
Oh, I see. Well, I know people who say they handle snakes and yes they are Christians. I know people who only play the organ in church and yes they are Christians. I know people who jump and dance at church and yes they are Christians. I have seen churches split over the color of the carpet in the sanctuary.
The point is that mormons do not believe in the Biblical God. The post is simple to understand.
There are variations of stuff, but basic belief in the nature of God is consistent among all these people. mormons do not believe in the Biblical God, the Eternal God.
18 posted on 02/19/2011 5:38:19 PM PST by svcw (God in His own time not ours)
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To: stormer
Nope, just saying. I should hope you have the intellect to research these things on your own rather than, but never mind, I've done it so I suppose since you're computer literate you can do the same thing as well. When something doesn't sit well with you, just jump right in and do some on-line searching.

But then, here's this to ponder: It does not say, “Go out and handle snakes.” It says “they will pick up snakes with their hands.” It is describing something that will occur, not commanding that something should occur.

An example of this is the Apostle Paul in Acts 28:3-5, “Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand … But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.” Notice that Paul did not seek out to handle a snake. The snake bit Paul, but God protected Paul from the effects of the snake bite. Mark 16:17-18 is saying that if you are faithfully serving God in the spread of the Gospel, He can protect you from anything that may cross your path.

The snake handling churches are basically 'tempting God'.

19 posted on 02/19/2011 5:39:04 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White)
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To: stormer

One of them is probably NOT a wallpaper hanger!


20 posted on 02/19/2011 5:39:58 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: stormer

This one appears NOT to be so dangerous (by the shape of it’s head)

No; the SNAKE!)


21 posted on 02/19/2011 5:42:53 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

He’s the supervisor. I hope he didn’t lose his arm after being bit by a snake!


22 posted on 02/19/2011 5:44:32 PM PST by stormer
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To: Elsie

Not so sure - it’s hard to tell from the picture. With the exception of coral snakes, venomous snakes in North America (pit vipers) have triangular shaped heads. In other regions that isn’t the case.


23 posted on 02/19/2011 5:48:49 PM PST by stormer
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To: Elsie
This one appears NOT to be so dangerous (by the shape of it’s head) No; the SNAKE!)

Darn, you spoiled some good comebacks. I almost soiled my magic underwear because I was laughing so hard...

24 posted on 02/19/2011 6:00:24 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: Elsie
So what happens when liberals protest Mormons?


25 posted on 02/19/2011 6:06:54 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: greyfoxx39

wow (shaking my head in disbelief)


26 posted on 02/19/2011 6:06:58 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: svcw
They appear to be snake handlers. The picture also appears to be from the late 1930s.

I'd date it somewhat later. Probably mid 1940s, maybe shortly after the war. The guy at right is missing an arm, maybe from the war or possibly from a coal-mining accident (Appalachia).

Looks more like a timber rattlesnake than an eastern diamondback.

Note the tattoo on the wrist of the guy at left holding the snake. Note also the perspiration under both arms. Long sleeves but the lack of any apparent heavy coats (the woman has a coat, but it's not heavy) suggests either spring or autumn. Woman's dress is more suggestive of autumn. However, either they have the heat really cranked up (probably unlikely, these are poor people) or it's still warm enough to produce the profuse perspiration. Some perspiration might come from the snake handling, but probably not nearly that much, so it's still warm enough for the weather to produce some heat.

I'd say probably Pentecostal Church of God, timber rattlesnake, mid to late September day, in a small coal-mining town, hills of eastern Kentucky, mid to late 1940s.

27 posted on 02/19/2011 6:07:35 PM PST by Jeff Winston
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To: Colofornian
Christians are saved by grace coupled with works?

Not entirely correct - the grace is only available after the mormon has removed all sinfulness and ungodliness from themselves - then is the grace available.

28 posted on 02/19/2011 6:08:14 PM PST by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: ReverendJames

Thanks Rev. I was going to answer the same way. Growing up as a Pentecostal, I well understand how those in and out of the Church mischaracterize the many for the ungodly, sinful, self-seeking or just plain stupid acts of some who have selfish gain, glory seeking or focused on Man not God.


29 posted on 02/19/2011 6:08:24 PM PST by time4good
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To: All
Seekers of truth,

If you peruse the Free Republic religion forums you will notice a pattern. There's an anti-Mormon group of people here that spends a great deal of their time attacking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They post regurgitated propaganda on an almost daily basis.

They have a misguided obsession. You can witness many different tactics employed that you might find quite interesting. The straw man argument is a big favorite and is frequently preceded by cherry-picking quotes or other material. After the "quotation" the attacker will misrepresent what has been said or what was meant and then attack their own interpretation.Later they will have the audacity to claim they were "only" quoting our own material.  

They will of course insist ad nauseum that they are merely using our sources and are therefore innocent of any deceptive practice. LDS persons have no issue whatsoever having our scriptures or leaders quoted as long as it is presented fairly and accurately. This is rarely (if ever) done.

Another favorite is posting scripture or statements which on their own really present no dilemma. They make something out of nothing while never bringing up a single objection that hasn't been addressed a hundred times before.

You might note a couple of other tactics used to try to antagonize is the use of disrespectful or insulting terms or language and/or pictures. That's a Christlike thing to do right? Yeah I don't think so either. It does speak volumes about them though.

Some of them claim being some sort of special witness to you as being supposedly former Mormons. So someone who is an ex-member of any organization would never have an axe to grind or have reason to try to justify their actions by any means? Perhaps not but perhaps so. The LDS Church gains members from other denominations as well as others faiths all the time. This doesn't make them an expert on anything and you certainly won't hear them attacking their former Church.

Frequently they cruise the headlines of the day seeking any story that might be twisted into making the Church look bad. Anything will do, just watch the progression of posts following it and see what I mean.

After reading their posts, I invite you to seek the truth about whatever "issue" they seem to be "revealing" or "exposing". I promise that if you do so with honest intent, the "ahah" moments you will have will be many and frequent. You will start to recognize the tactics employed to cleverly twist and attack and will likely chuckle the more you see. In actuality, there's nothing new here. It's all been addressed many times before.

The latest twist in the anti-Mormon propaganda machine is to actually go to the links provided, but then they cherry pick what they want, quote and straw man attack that. Almost without fail you will see examples of this following this post.

Clever. It almost appears that they are helping you out by doing some footwork for you. Not so much. Don't be insulted, look for yourself. It's not the haystack they want you to think. So again, seek the truth. They aren't providing it. Use your God-given brain and discernment.

Here's a few links to get your started from a different viewpoint. I have found that the vast majority of the "issues" brought up can be found and addressed at http://www.fairlds.org/ but here's more:

http://scriptures.lds.org/
http://www.lds.org
http://www.fairlds.org/
http://www.mormonapologetics.org/
http://www.mormonwiki.com/Main_Page
http://www.lightplanet.com/response/index.html
http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDS_Intro.shtml
http://www.answeringantimormons.com/index.htm
http://promormon.blogspot.com/

Now you will likely notice the "you never address or answer our points" posts pop up as usual. All after providing the answers just as you have here.

Sometimes it is claimed that these sites present a needle in a haystack. Far from it. But if you give up before you try you won't know will you? They often state that these sites provide no answer. They just don't want you looking. It is as simple as that.

Will you wear blinders too? Seek truth. Find out for yourself. Want to chat with someone on any topic? A few of these sites provide just that. So do your homework sincere seeker of truth. Listen and read from both "sides". Make up your own mind.

I witness to you of these truths and wish you the best, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

 


30 posted on 02/19/2011 6:11:35 PM PST by Paragon Defender
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To: All
Seekers of the Biblical Jesus Christ and Gospel

Watch these free videos exposing the overwhelming DNA, archaeological, historical and linguistic evidence against Joseph Smith


The Bible Vs. The Book Of Mormon

DNA vs. the Book of Mormon

Jesus Christ / Joseph Smith

Cartoon from Secret World Of Mormonism / God Makers Video by Jeremiah Films

No Archaeological Evidence for the Book of Mormon
31 posted on 02/19/2011 6:13:58 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: svcw
Left off mentioning the early use of cymbals for an American church, the small size of the building, and its rough-constructed character.


32 posted on 02/19/2011 6:14:31 PM PST by Jeff Winston
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To: svcw

Almost certainly a timber rattler. Appalachia is the heart of timber rattler country, well out of eastern diamondback range. If it were an eastern diamondback, it would have to have been imported from close to the east coast, which is highly, highly unlikely.

Timber rattler it is, then. :-)


33 posted on 02/19/2011 6:22:29 PM PST by Jeff Winston
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To: time4good

What’s really sad is how some people in the Church will pick up on a verse or two and run with it without really checking up on it. The other part of what Mark wrote about is drinking poison. Scripture is consistent that God can and will protect us, according to His will, as we are serving Him. Scripture is also consistent that we are not to put the Lord to the test is what these people do. Sad. But then, they do have a knowledge of the Christian Jesus and do worship Him as such.
Peace Brother. James


34 posted on 02/19/2011 6:23:03 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White)
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To: Colofornian

“We’re Christians just like you!”

Mitt, is that you?


35 posted on 02/19/2011 6:27:40 PM PST by chicken head
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To: stormer
I suspect crazier cousins than ol' Joe Smith. Ain't a hell of lot more dangerous than stealing women, and money from unsuspecting folks.

Especially that dude with the plaid pants.........

36 posted on 02/19/2011 6:45:02 PM PST by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: Osage Orange
Food for thought, Proverbs 30:

5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Not directed at Osage Orange - yours is just the last comment posted - so you are "it".

37 posted on 02/19/2011 6:56:37 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country. The thing is, Sarah loves mine.)
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To: ReverendJames

I have been greatly blessed by a young man I later learned was Jewish) who asked: “What is sin, according to the Bible?” He said: “Don’t give that list: don’t smoke, don’t dance, don’t go to movies, etc.”

Now that is one of the best ways of studying the Bible, I have found over the last 50 years. If you want to know what faith is, or what is grace, or what sin is; and what is a Christian?”

The word “Christian” is in the Bible only 3 times. (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28and in 1 Peter 4:16)

What is sin, according to the Bible? Read Proverbs 21:4; Proverbs 24:9; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; 1 John 3:4; 1 John 5:17.

One of the best statement of faith I have read said: “The only infallible interpretation of Scripture, is Scripture itself.”


38 posted on 02/19/2011 7:07:04 PM PST by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: ReverendJames

I have been greatly blessed by a young man I later learned was Jewish) who asked: “What is sin, according to the Bible?” He said: “Don’t give that list: don’t smoke, don’t dance, don’t go to movies, etc.”

Now that is one of the best ways of studying the Bible, I have found over the last 50 years. If you want to know what faith is, or what is grace, or what sin is; and what is a Christian?”

The word “Christian” is in the Bible only 3 times. (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28and in 1 Peter 4:16)

What is sin, according to the Bible? Read Proverbs 21:4; Proverbs 24:9; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; 1 John 3:4; 1 John 5:17.

One of the best statement of faith I have read said: “The only infallible interpretation of Scripture, is Scripture itself.”


39 posted on 02/19/2011 7:07:04 PM PST by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: Paragon Defender

Paragon Defender,

You tell people to “read both sides”, but I noticed you only posted links to mormon sites. You tell them to “do your homework” and “make up your own mind”.

Great advice.

Here are some objective links to the other side. Many mormons who are leaving the church have found great insight and been exposed to things the official links don’t cover.

PD, before you complain about any posts critical of mormonism, I suggest you check these links first. They answer all your concerns. ALL.

PD, if you check them out carefully, and sincerely, I promise you will have many Ah-Ha moments! I promise. Take your blinders off. Seek truth. Do your homework if you are a sincere seeker of truth. Listen and read from both “sides” - not just the one-sided materials put out by mormonism.

... http://www.irr.org/mit/default.html

... http://www.exmormonsforjesus.org/

... http://4mormon.org/ex-mormon.php

... http://www.exmormon.org/

... http://www.mormoncurtain.com/


40 posted on 02/19/2011 7:09:04 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (.)
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To: Colofornian

No worries - I’m able to discern truth from error.


41 posted on 02/19/2011 7:09:06 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: LetMarch
In Jewish theology sin means basically not doing good when you could have. Or in other words, you could have done something good but chose not to.

Christian simply means a follower of Christ. That term came into being a bit later on to identify those people who followed Christ.

We've slowly have been finding and removing those added verses that were not in the original manuscripts. Right now we have 97% of the NT and 95% of the OT manuscripts pretty much of the originals that were used to compile the first Bibles. The New International Version is about as close as we can now come to the original manuscripts without the copyists marginal notes.

42 posted on 02/19/2011 7:28:21 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White)
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To: Bean Counter

LMAO! It never ends...


43 posted on 02/19/2011 7:46:33 PM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: stormer

Really? So what are these guys?
_________________________________________

Theyre mormons who like to play with snakes and none of them are named Indiana Jones ???


44 posted on 02/19/2011 8:04:00 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

Great - now I’m gonna have that tune stuck in my head...


45 posted on 02/19/2011 8:10:00 PM PST by stormer
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To: ReverendJames

Correct you are BROTHER! We need to reach Mormons for Jesus Christ. Son of God and Son of Man. Fully God and fully man. The Blessed Hope!


46 posted on 02/19/2011 8:22:21 PM PST by STD (Stock Up on Precious Metals While You Still Can)
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To: stormer
Photobucket
47 posted on 02/19/2011 8:24:12 PM PST by dragonblustar ("... and if you disagree with me, then you sir, are worse than Hitler!" - Greg Gutfeld)
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To: stormer
Photobucket

Photobucket

48 posted on 02/19/2011 8:26:22 PM PST by dragonblustar ("... and if you disagree with me, then you sir, are worse than Hitler!" - Greg Gutfeld)
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To: Paragon Defender
Photobucket
49 posted on 02/19/2011 8:28:56 PM PST by dragonblustar ("... and if you disagree with me, then you sir, are worse than Hitler!" - Greg Gutfeld)
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To: stormer
Photobucket

Brigham Young knew something about snakes......

Photobucket

Guess which wife was ticked off at Big Daddy Brigham?

50 posted on 02/19/2011 8:36:23 PM PST by dragonblustar ("... and if you disagree with me, then you sir, are worse than Hitler!" - Greg Gutfeld)
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