Skip to comments.Defending the Faith: What about those who have never heard? [How Lds promote baptism of dead]
Posted on 06/14/2013 12:35:01 PM PDT by Colofornian
Years ago...I had lunch with a conservative Protestant clergyman and his wife...Personally friendly and pleasant, they were nonetheless outspoken critics of Mormonism who frankly considered its claims about God blasphemous.
Our conversation...turned to the ultimate fate of the unevangelized...To make the question specific, I proposed the hypothetical case of a medieval Chinese peasant who...had never traveled more than perhaps 20 miles from his home and who had never so much as encountered the name of Jesus.
Hes damned, the clergyman said...I responded that such a fate seemed terribly unjust, since this Chinese peasant had never had a fair chance actually, hed had no chance at all to hear the gospel....
...I pointed out that their God seemed not only to hate the Chinese not to mention Africans, residents of the pre-Columbian New World, and sinful, unredeemed humanity in general but to be inordinately fond of the (historically Calvinist) Netherlands and Scotland.
You say that my view of God is blasphemous, I observed. But your view of God seems to me infinitely worse. You believe that he created us out of nothing. He was under no obligation to create us, but freely chose to do so. Then, historically speaking, he put the overwhelming majority of us into situations where they could never possibly have accepted Christ. And, because those people havent accepted Christ, he intends to torture them forever. Forever. He could have given them another chance...
Maybe Gods justice is different than our justice, proposed the clergyman. Yes, I said. It sounds much more like our injustice.
One of the very many aspects of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I treasure is its belief in the vicarious redemption of the dead...Joseph Smith offered a fair and solid solution to it.
(Excerpt) Read more at deseretnews.com ...
Hence, Peterson and the formal Lds church in this article is accusing the Christian God of being "unjust":
From the commentary: Our conversation...turned to the ultimate fate of the unevangelized...To make the question specific, I proposed the hypothetical case of a medieval Chinese peasant who...had never traveled more than perhaps 20 miles from his home and who had never so much as encountered the name of Jesus. Hes damned, the clergyman said...I responded that such a fate seemed terribly unjust, since this Chinese peasant had never had a fair chance actually, hed had no chance at all to hear the gospel....
In place of what Christians believe about those outside of Christ, Peterson offered the supposed Mormon view -- Baptism of the dead -- which allegedly offers "a fair chance" for such a "medieval Chinese peasant".
Peterson ends his commentary by claiming that the Mormon belief "in the vicarious redemption of the dead" is somehow "a fair and solid solution to" this "problem."
Let's briefly review this argument in this post -- and I'll add to it next post:
First of all, what is Peterson the Mormon apologist presuming about this "medieval Chinese peasant" -- from a Mormon baptism of dead perspective, anyway?
Well, Lds don't baptize nameless phantoms of the past en masse. No, that's what their massive genealogical enterprise is all about: Capturing govt records; capturing church history rosters; capturing names & dates off of tombstones.
So Peterson makes up this spotlight about some medieval Chinese peasant. Yet how many birthnames & birth-death dates does the Mormon church really have about medieval Chinese peasants -- many/most of whom were likely either illiterate or highly illiterate???
Several years ago on a thread, one FREEPER pointed out that: "Very few of the humans who have inhabited this earth were buried in graves - with head stones or plinths" -- so even recovering such names from the pre-Gutenberg era becomes a major challenge for anybody, especially the Mormon genealogical enterprise.
Please, Mr. Peterson. You seem to be an intelligent individual: Please explain how Mormon geneaologists search these tombstoneless from pre-records time out?
(Here Mormons tout the supposed "fairness" re: their system of theirs, yet how "fair" will it be for the tombstoneless of the centuries?)
[Cont'd next post]
Yet, Mormons claim proxy baptism is universal (or will be).
Have Mormons bothered to ever do the math?
Let's go with a young earth math theory for the moment -- that the earth is only 6,000 years old.
#1 A few experts have concluded that if this is the case, we may have had still 30-60 billion people who have ever lived on the earth.
#2, Now, if the Earth suffers few major catastrophes over the next almost 1,000 years, how many people could the earth have by the year 3,000? (One estimate from WikiAnswers suggests 80-110 billion).
#3 Now, toss in perhaps another 400-450 billion people who will have lived and died in the year 2000, 2100, 2200, etc. before the year 3,000 comes upon us.
My point? By the year 3000 Mormons may have to smoke their computer genealogical war machine room to accommodate 500-600 billion plus people who lived from 4,000 B.C. to 3,000 A.D.
Now, since Lds believe that such baptisms aren't done other than by proxy, please, Mr. Peterson, provide for us a "mathematical breakdown" of how this is supposedly "fair."
For example, tell us: How many proxy baptisms will the average Mormon teen-ager have to perform in the temple over the next 13 generations (keep in mind the exact % of Mormon teens even involved in this process) to crank up the Mormon necro-baptism number to an eventual 500-600 billion?
You see, Mr. Peterson, this is what happens when you let incredulity rule even basic logic. Mormons are "sold" on the "fairness" & "Justness" & "equality" argument that the door is (or eventually will be) "open" to "all."
But when you start asking them to define "all," they slouch away.
By "all," do you mean the pre-Gutenberg billions? (Uh...)
By "all," do you mean the "no records exist" for those who lived in the teen A.D. centuries? (Uh...)
By "all," do you mean the lack of worldwide temples & manpower mandated to even meet the current Lds fastfood Necro baptism machine need? (Never mind that no matter how many volunteers they grind up in their computer appetite clamoring for "More food...More food," it'll never ever catch up)
So, do tell Mr. Peterson of your "math formula" for necro-baptizing the billions and billions and billions of known people ... never even mind the 30-60 billion who have already lived & whom you can't find any extant records for!
Lds are 1.7% of the U.S. population...but that includes inactive "jack" Mormons still on the books. And worldwide, that % shrinks to morsel level...especially when you consider the Muslim world, the Communist world, the African world, and the Asian world.
So...imagine you're part of a group that has less than 10 million active members worldwide...and only a few million that claim active access to your inner sanctum temple.
And then, I as your "prophet" tell you that you only have to come up with the names and birth and death records of the billions of people who've ever lived...including pre-Gutenberg times (pre-1456).
How "fair" is that to all those who left no trace of their existence?
What? Does the Mormon god favor only the literate?
What? Does the Mormon god favor primarily those who lived in literate areas beyond Gutenberg times?
Or does the Mormon god favor only the church members of the 17th & 18th & 19th centuries for which the Lds church is more likely to glean records than most public sources?
You are correct sir, it does do that.
I bet his name was Cho or Wong.
Anyhow, I’m not sure that there’s much difference as far as the ancient Chinese peasant is concerned if one guy insists he went to hell with 100% certainty and the other guy insists he only went to hell with 100% certainty if someone didn’t bother proxy baptizing him 3000 years later.
As far as logistics go, if that’s what you believe it would seem like it would be pretty bad if you didn’t try to proxy baptize as many as possible, no matter if you couldn’t get to them all. That’s why it is very strange when the LDS apologize to people and claim they won’t proxy baptize certain groups when they complain about it. Seems like they are doing the dead a disservice by listening to living.
So, what is the answer to the question about people never being exposed to Jesus and His message?
Too bad J. Smith had absolutely no authority to do that.
As for the author's view that God is unjust, he needs to read and study the Bible and throw away his BOM.
God is just thatys why we have our whole lifetime to repent from our sins and be saved...
after we die its too late...
It would be unjust of Gode to allow people to not make a decision while they are still alive...
we must accept salvation through FAITH in the LORD Jesus Christ...
just waiting until we die and then lying around Hell and then deciding we dont like it cause its too hot and we want to go somewhere else is not faith...
That iodea is blasphemy, false religion...
dead dunking is part of a false belief a false religion
Joey Smith made that up because he didnt know what happened to his big brother Alvin when he had died young
Joey hoped Alvin had not gone to Hell because he died beforte Joey invented Mormonism
Joey asked a Christian pastor about it and the man told him that if Alvin had not accepted Jesus as his saviort then he died unsaved and went to Hell
Joey didnt like that true answer so Joey had his long dead brother dead dunked into Mormonism so he would enjoy all the bennies of the false religion, lots of sex etc and his own planet...
also Joey wanted another scam to use against his victims who had dead loved ones...
Sincve then many people both already saved Christian and pagan evil doers have been dead dunked...
ALL the Founding Fathers, Hitler, Ann Frank and many Jewish victims, criminals, and famous people, kings and queens have been dead dunked by maybe well meaning but extremely misguided people who did not understand the Biblical plan of salvation as designed by God...
Even long dead Stanley Ann Dunham was dead dunked in June 2008 to temple Mormon status given the “first anointing” and the “second anointing” the jhighest possible honors and levels that few even live Mormons could ascend to
then given a so called Mormon temple marriage to polygamous and dead Barak Obama Sr
and then so called “sealed” childrem making them full temple Mormons also..
NONE of this can be cancelled or reversed...
so we have our very first Mormon president ...a black man...
whether or not the racist mormons like it or not they are stuck with their own beliefs in their religious systam
seems like the Judeo/Christian God to me...
He enjoys laughing at His enemies in their dirision...
so due to all his mothers honors Mormon Barak Obama Jr outranks even bishop Willard Mitt Romney in the Mormon hierarchy...
Gosh Obama is the next possible profit/pope of the Mormons...
This morning Mormon Glenn Beck said of the Christian Bible and the end times
“the Bible is fiction, good fiction but fiction. I believe in the book of mormon and I read it for info on the end.. the book of mormon is a calendar of the end...”
and he encouraged his listeners to ignore the Bible and read the bom instead for info on what was going to happen in America...
It would be injustice if the person who wasn't saved, wasn't a sinner. The fact that the one who is saved is also a sinner and does not receive justice, but mercy, does not make the punishment of the sinner any less just.
Romans 1:18-23 has the most succinct answer:
"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things."
Verses 16-17 introduce this by proclaiming that it was God's intent to make his salvation available first 'to the Jew' (ancient Israel) and then spread to the world ('to the Greek - the non-Jews'). It is also clear that there are people and people groups that God chooses to withhold preaching from. When you review Paul's travels in the book of Acts, for instance, many times Paul is told directly by God to go to one place or another, and other times is prevented from continuing to a place that he otherwise had planned to travel to.
There are also scriptural examples of men who believed in God despite not hearing a preacher. Abraham would be one of these. James 2:23 "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness and he was called a friend of God. So to summarize, there are two answers:
1. It is God's choice by His grace who to enable to receive his salvation.
2. Mankind cannot claim ignorance of God.
Are some going to miss the full message? Clearly, yes. Does God get the ones he intends to get? Yes, this as well.
Our job as God's servants, then is to deliver the message where and however we are enabled...so here goes:
God, the Creator of all heaven and earth, is perfect. We are not. We cannot achieve that level perfection, so God made a way to bridge that gap. Jesus Christ - called the Son of God, and wholly God Himself - became a man, came to Earth, passed the test that mankind failed, and was sacrificed to pay the penalty for mankind's failures. Those who believe all of these things and choose to serve/worship God are declared not guilty and are spared the penalties that the rest of mankind will ultimately face.
I am not a believer in the “Once Saved Always Saved” doctrine. The New Testament tells us to endure to the end. Why do we need to endure if always saved?
I think the Mormons ask a fair question, but I think most Christians just give a bad answer. The Gospel writers tell us that Christ preached to the spirits in the spirit prison. Why? Why would Christ preach to spirits of dead people who had never heard of Him before?
The Gospel according to me says that He wouldn't do that unless there was a way of their being redeemed, I hope that is the case.
As far as the Mormons doing it through their Temples, well I guess I can't say about that but I'll not demean it until somebody comes up with a better solution to all those spirits.
As far as being able to do the work in a timely fashion, the Mormons say the purpose of the Millennium is precisely for this work. I have never heard of a better explanation for a reason to wait 1000 years for the judgment after the reign of Christ on the earth starts. Hopefully the Mormons can get it all done in 1000 years.
Something else the Mormons believe. They teach that if they don't get the work done for all people that ever lived on the earth then nobody gets redeemed. Either everybody gets a shot at Heaven or nobody does. They teach that during that 1000 years when Christ is personally reigning on the earth that there will be very good communications between the spirit world and ours so that those who's records have not been found will make their existence known to those on the earth doing the work.
#1...Since Abraham...pre-nation of Israel times...Abraham and the children revealed a promised deliverer, the Messiah.
The Gospel is essentially embracing/trusting a promise about this deliverer (from bondage, including sinful bondage).
Therefore, we see clear glimpses of the Gospel all throughout pre-Jesus times...to the point that even kings from other cultures came "West" and gave the Christ-child gifts. (Also, as an example, the Queen of Sheba in Old Testament times had access to revelations from the Jews)
#2...Alan Carp cites a key passage there in Romans 1 to study on this matter.
Essentially, Romans 1 says people suppress the truth they already are privy to...meaning it's hard to accuse God of being "unjust" or "unfair" about withholding Jesus, the Ultimate Truth, when most peoples thruout history have either denied or suppressed whatever truth was obvious within nature!
#3...The Bible consistently describes Christ as the Bridegroom -- and the Church as the Bride.
Now, I don't watch "The Batchelor" or "The Batchelorette" programs...but from what I know some of those not selected cater to the "drama queen" reaction when they are overlooked...
But when you go to a wedding, you -- or others -- don't point an accusatory finger @ the Bridegroom because of who he didn't pick as his bride, do you?
“I think the Mormons ask a fair question, but I think most Christians just give a bad answer. The Gospel writers tell us that Christ preached to the spirits in the spirit prison. Why? Why would Christ preach to spirits of dead people who had never heard of Him before?”
This is a common misunderstanding.
1Pe 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The spirits in prison here is in reference to the antediluvians, which sometime were disobedient... in the days of Noah... NOT to those who died before the time of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the word preached is not euangelizo, but is ekeruxen, which is a more general proclamation as opposed to Gospel preaching.
The meaning is that Christ preached to those who currently are spirits in prison, (but they were not spirits when the proclamation was made) whom Christ with longsuffering... waited in the days of Noah. In other words, the preaching mentioned in the previous verse, is the longsuffering wait of God in the latter verse that took place in the days of Noah.
One does not need to go into spirit prison to preach to the dead to save them. After all, the antediluvians could have repented and believed with Noah on the one true God. Just like any Gentile could have believed in the God of Abraham, and of Moses, and of Jacob, for salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22). Outside of the religion of Moses, up until the time of Christ, there was no salvation. None of the Pagans or atheists were ever justified in believing in their idols.
Rom 1:20-21 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
And today, there is no salvation outside of Christ, and those who do not believe are still without excuse.
Heb_9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
“I am not a believer in the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine. The New Testament tells us to endure to the end. Why do we need to endure if always saved?”
We are commanded to make our calling sure, to zealously guard ourselves and rest in Jesus Christ, lest we be found in the end to be false believers. The scripture is clear that the elect can never fall, even under the most powerful of Satanic delusions:
Mar_13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Joh_6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
On the other hand, there will be many who will falsely call Christ “Lord, Lord,” and boast of their exorcising of devils, and of many good works, who will be told “I never knew you.” Not that they had fallen from grace and were once known, but are now rejected; but rather they were never known at all, from the very beginning.
Mat 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
They must leave not because they once were saved, and because they lost their salvation. They must leave because they were “never of us” from the very beginning:
1Jn_2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Contrast this with the Sheep, who are always known of God, and are given from the Father to the Son by sovereign grace:
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
“The Gospel according to me”
That’s why you should stick with the Gospel according to John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Paul, Peter, etc, instead of some guy who translated “Reformed Egyptian” out of his hat, and later married something like 30 women, 12 of whom were still married to other men, and some as young as 14 years old.
In other words, it appears you are hoping that the goal of the mormon church for every soul, living or dead, to be "gathered" into the church of Joseph Smith, will be realized "since Mormons believe that it is the only true church that God recognizes, it is imperative when that time comes that Mormon leaders be in charge. But, if their agenda can be achieved before the Millennium by establishing more Mormons in politics and increasing their membership worldwide, so much the better."
JAKraig quote: They teach that if they don't get the work done for all people that ever lived on the earth then nobody gets redeemed. Either everybody gets a shot at Heaven or nobody does." ...and the ONLY "shot" at Heaven is determined by membership in the mormon church and in taking part in arcane rituals in mormon temples.
Sounds just a little bit like the current situation with the would be king of the US.
“Blessed are the poor of Spirit...” God knows our hearts and what was possible in our lives. He can tote up numbers that men cannot even conceive of. He perhaps also expects US to “spread the Word”. “Gospel for Asia” is, in this respect, a worthy cause.
Cultic Mormonism Placemarker