Skip to comments.Author of 'Mormon Christianity' Claims Christians Can Learn From the LDS Church
Posted on 11/14/2013 9:24:09 AM PST by Alex Murphy
A Roman Catholic scholar and former philosophy and religion professor has released a new book that defends Mormonism as "one of the youngest branches on the Christian tree," and claims that Christians can learn from the Mormon religion.
Stephen H. Webb, former 25 year professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College and author of the book, Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn From the Latter-day Saints, told The Christian Post that, among other things, "Mormon theology teaches us to think of matter in new and creative ways."
"Traditional theology teaches that matter is lifeless, without the soul it's just dead weight," Webb explained. But this view is not inherent in the Christian faith, he argued, "it took a long time until Christians started accepting this idea of matter."
Furthermore, with the discoveries of modern physics, Webb encourages Christians to accept a more lively, spiritual view of matter.
"Matter has something of the divine in it," he argued. "Matter can be elevated, it can transcend its own state."
Webb also claims that this concept is not pantheistic, but lies at the heart of Roman Catholicism, with the idea of transubstantiation, where the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Lynn Wilder, former Brigham Young University professor and author of Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way Out of the Mormon Church, told CP that "Webb's position on Mormon teachings is corroborated in Mormon scripture where God the Father has a body of flesh and bone (D&C 130:22) as does Jesus, and that all spirit -- even their Holy Ghost -- is matter (D&C 131:7-8)."
Wilder added, however, that this belief "is what makes Mormonism polytheistic instead of monotheistic."
"In Mormonism," Wilder explained, "each God consists of matter and is separate from the others," as opposed to united in the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
"Since a worthy priesthood-holding, temple-attending Mormon male can eventually work his way to godhood like all three members of the Mormon godhood did, according to LDS teachings, there could be millions of gods with material bodies," she added.
Wilder also emphasized that Mormons do not believe God created the universe ex nihilo, or out of nothing, citing Psalms 32 as the basis for this doctrine.
The Church of Latter-day Saints, she explained, teaches that the gods "reorganized matter that already existed (Pearl of Great Price, Book of Abraham 4:1)."
Webb, however, defended the Church of Latter-day Saints as a branch of Christianity.
"To me, Mormons should be grouped with all the other Protestant denominations in terms of how the Catholic Church sees them," as 'separated brethren,' he explained.
Webb also lamented the Roman Catholic Church's decision -- which he called "recent" -- to not accept the baptism of Mormons. "I think that's a very unfortunate decision," he said.
"Mormons are closer to Catholics than most Protestants," Webb added, noting that they "love the ritual, love the history, family, traditional values."
He expressed annoyance at the common Evangelical dismissal of Roman Catholic and Mormon churches in that they "don't feel Jesus there." Mormons and Catholics "don't have a born again experience," but believe that faith involves "gradual, deeper immersion in scripture and tradition," he explained.
Providing an opposing view, Wilder dismissed these arguments, emphasizing the fact that Mormons do not follow the Bible alone.
"Mormons believe that Christ's church fell away after the original apostles died, so the Catholic Church is not true," she argued. "The true church was not restored until Joseph Smith, so although Webb would say they are brothers, Mormon doctrine teaches otherwise."
Wilder also acknowledged that Mormons have communion, but emphasized that they use "leavened bread and water, not fruit of the vine or unleavened bread." In short, "the Mormon Jesus teaches a different way to be saved so [He] is not the biblical Jesus."
She also claimed to know the Church of Latter-day Saints more intimately than Webb, noting her experience at Brigham Young University and her husband's experience in the temple.
The author of Mormon Christianity "would not know the deep doctrines of Mormonism that are taught in the temple or in the various priesthood classes for members," she alleged.
"Traditional theology teaches that matter is lifeless, without the soul it's just dead weight," [Stephen H. Webb, Roman Catholic scholar and author of Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn From the Latter-day Saints] explained. But this view is not inherent in the Christian faith, he argued, "it took a long time until Christians started accepting this idea of matter." Furthermore, with the discoveries of modern physics, Webb encourages Christians to accept a more lively, spiritual view of matter. "Matter has something of the divine in it," he argued. "Matter can be elevated, it can transcend its own state." Webb also claims that this concept is not pantheistic, but lies at the heart of Roman Catholicism, with the idea of transubstantiation, where the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ....
...."In Mormonism," [Lynn Wilder, former Brigham Young University professor] explained, "each God consists of matter and is separate from the others," as opposed to united in the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. "Since a worthy priesthood-holding, temple-attending Mormon male can eventually work his way to godhood like all three members of the Mormon godhood did, according to LDS teachings, there could be millions of gods with material bodies," she added....
....Wilder also emphasized that Mormons do not believe God created the universe ex nihilo, or out of nothing, citing Psalms 32 as the basis for this doctrine. The Church of Latter-day Saints, she explained, teaches that the gods "reorganized matter that already existed (Pearl of Great Price, Book of Abraham 4:1)." Webb, however, defended the Church of Latter-day Saints as a branch of Christianity. "To me, Mormons should be grouped with all the other Protestant denominations in terms of how the Catholic Church sees them," as 'separated brethren,' he explained. Webb also lamented the Roman Catholic Church's decision -- which he called "recent" -- to not accept the baptism of Mormons. "I think that's a very unfortunate decision," he said. "Mormons are closer to Catholics than most Protestants," Webb added, noting that they "love the ritual, love the history, family, traditional values."
Well, presumably, everyone thinks his own religion can teach others.
Just, uhmmmm, no...
Mercy! Ol’ Joe Smith is the false prophet that just keeps on giving dontchaknow.
The American Mohamhead
“Mormons are closer to Catholics than most Protestants,”
I’ve always said that.
I hate when Christian teachers tell us “we have much to learn” from other (usually false) religions.
The most egregious is when we get lectured about lack of feminine modesty, or passion for our faith, and are referred to islam as a fine example of either quality.
Not going to bother reading, ROTFL.
I will stick with the WORD OF GOD and the teachings of CHRIST. Thanks anyway.
Question: Whether the baptism conferred by the community «The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints», called «Mormons» in the vernacular, is valid.
Difference of views: Mormons hold that there is no real Trinity, no original sin, that Christ did not institute baptism
Summing up, we can say: The Baptism of the Catholic Church and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ essentially, both for what concerns faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose name Baptism is conferred, and for what concerns the relationship to Christ who instituted it. As a result of all this, it is understood that the Catholic Church has to consider invalid, that is to say, cannot consider true Baptism, the rite given that name by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We definitely should celebrate our commonalities rather than rail against our differences.
I can tell you what I learned from studying Baptist history. The first baptist were put to death as heretics. Tens of thousands were martyred because they refused to give up their belief that infant baptism was wrong.
I re-examined my own commitment. Do I have their faith and undaunted commitment to Christ. Would I suffer any persecution for my belief in Christ like they did. Do I have that courage.
I have incredible admiration for those people. The protestant movement and the desire for religious freedom lead to the founding of the United States. The United States was blessed by God to be a beacon of freedom to the whole world.
We can learn a lot from people like that.
Take it up with the CDF. I just quoted from them.
To be candid, I neither know nor care what LDS believe.
.... The protestant movement and the desire for religious freedom lead to the founding of the United States. The United States was blessed by God to be a beacon of freedom to the whole world. We can learn a lot from people like that.
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)and which I should join.How much of "a lot" did you learn from "all wrong...all an abomination...all corrupt"?
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.
-- Joseph Smith's "First Vision", verses 18-19, taken from History of the [LDS] Church, Vol. 1, Chapters 1-5
If I wanted to learn more about this, could you advise me on when the first baptists lived (that is to say, in what century), and in what country?"
If I wanted to learn more about this, could you advise me on when the first baptists lived (that is to say, in what century), and in what country?"
I will say that Mormons I know do believe in The Trinity, they define it differently. They believe there is a Father, a Son and a Holy Ghost. Three entities. There are at least as many good arguments in favor of the Mormon view as there are in the Catholic view. The Catholics have had their view about 1500 years longer than the Mormons however.
I have no desire to reply to this article as far arguing any validity in it, but only to the view that Mormons hold that Christ did not institute Baptism. My comments therefore are only in a very narrow line.
You will remember that Christ sought and obtained “John's Baptism”. John was already doing it prior to Christ's ministry. Christ's Apostles continued it after both John and Christ.
I don't know how any protestant can recognize any baptism other than the Catholic baptism. If a protestant minister can baptize then anybody can. They claim no priesthood authority to do so. Most say they “feel” they have been called by the Holy Spirit to be ministers. Many are ordained by their sect to be “ministers” of their faith, not to any priesthood. To say the the Mormon baptism is invalid is ok but if you do you must also invalidate every other baptism that is performed outside the Roman or Eastern Catholic Church.
While it is true that Catholic faith teaches that the whole Church is part of a royal priesthood, only ordained priests & deacons are allowed to administer any ordinances in that priesthood. The Roman Catholic Priesthood is a very complicated organization. The rules and methods of being a priest have changed over the centuries.
Many will say that because Martin Luther was a priest that protestant churches hold the priesthood through him. That is totally false, one because most protestants do not trace their history through the Lutheran Church and two, Martin Luther never had authority to ordain anybody to be a priest, he was a priest, not a bishop. Bishops are priests, yes, but they are still special with special authority. Ordinations in the Catholic Church are done from high to low except for the POPE and the Pope is just the leading Cardinal which is usually an elevated Bishop and does not require special ordination for his position, however he must elevate other Cardinals. While technically Bishops and Cardinals are Priests that are “elevated” not really ordained they do require the formality of Letter or in person laying on of hands to receive their official elevation. No priest can elevate himself to the “office” of Bishop or Cardinal any more than a Deacon can elevate himself to a Priest.
The Catholic Church priesthood has evolved much, especially in the first 1000-1100 years, it is stabilizing now and for the last few hundred years has not undergone dramatic change although there have been some significant changes especially in the college of Cardinals size and age limits. At any rate, Martin Luther was never elevated or given authority to elevate others including deacons to priest.
The keys of the kingdom were given to Peter. Those keys included sealing in Heaven what was sealed on earth. I know of no place where the Catholic Church has given up those keys. There may be many good arguments as to who held them when but I know of no time when they were voluntarily given to any Protestant church.
The reality is that any church that proclaims itself part of the “Holy Catholic Church” is not with the possible exception of the Roman Catholic Church, maybe the Eastern Orthodox and maybe a few churches Whose history predate Constantine. Saying something does not make it so.
If a protestant minister proclaims the right through the Holy Spirit to Baptize then certainly Mormon ministers have just as much right to do the same thing. I realize that Mormons do not claim that authority as coming from The Holy Ghost, they claim their linage to Peter. Unless you can prove otherwise one “claim” is as good as another.
After saying all that, it does not mean that I think that only Catholics are Christians. I personally allow anyone who says that they follow Christ to be a Christian in my book, fortunately I am not a judge of any significance in any realm so it really doesn't matter what I think to anyone except me.
Tell us, EXACTLY: What is "wrong" within the Apostles Creed?
What's "off-base" there, even from a Mormon theological perspective?
What do you mean they claim no priesthood authority?
#1...the book of Hebrews CLEARLY says that Jesus ALONE is the High Priest:
...there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest truly meets our needone who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. (Heb. 7:23-27)
#2...Now go to Jesus' Great Commission in Matt 28:18-20 where He (a) says HE has ALL authority...it's not 51% Him and 49% the Vatican; and it's not 51% Him and 49% Salt Lake City. and (b) Jesus adds that He will be with His disciples ALWAYS -- even unto the end of the Age...making it clear He wasn't just talking about those disciples He was talking to.
So...Heb. 7:24 and Matt. 28:20 make it clear that Jesus lives forever...and He is present with us forever. He alone has the ability to authorize His priesthood & His apostles. He authorized Peter as an apostle...and what did Peter say the priesthood consisted of...?
It's in 1 Peter 2:4-9...see especially vv. 5, 9:
4 As you come to him, the living Stonerejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and, A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the messagewhich is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
In verse 9, Peter makes it clear that God's chosen PEOPLE -- a holy NATION -- is God's royal priesthood.
Martin Luther referenced this as "the priesthood of all believers."
John the Revelator says in Revelation 1 that those who have been freed from sin "have been made to be...priests..." (Rev. 1:5-6)
If you're free from your sins, you are a priest. If you don't believe that, you are labeling both John & Peter as false prophets.
Mormons claim that Salt Lake City is needed as their "mousetrap" divine vocal chord...when Hebrews 1:1-2 makes it clear that in the PAST God operated thru prophets, but now (in the Latter-days) He speaks thru His Son:
Mormons essentially ignore Hebrews 1:1-2...'cause it doesn't fit their "prophet restoration narrative"...
The author of Hebrews then -- after dismissing competition with the Living Prophet, Jesus Christ -- then dismisses competition with the Living High Priest Jesus Christ in Heb. 7:23-24...saying that the priests of old would die. Jesus Lives forever. He's got the High Priesthood covered! And the type of OT atonement was a mere type pointing to His Ultimate Atonement on the cross!
You see in the OT, the prophets represented the voice of God; and the priests represented the people and their need for their sin to be atoned before God.
Jesus came as Prophet, Priest, and King...all the prophetic verses in the OT point to Jesus holding this 3-in-1 role.
We don't need OT-type prophets and OT-type priests since Jesus is STILL operating HERE as both!
Instead, He still has the Holy Spirit speak prophetically thru spiritual gifts...and He has opened up the priesthood to a "chosen people...a holy nation...people who have been freed from...sins"...
And now that priesthood role is intercessory from a prayer perspective. We intercede prayerfully on behalf of others.
Women can do that. Intercessory prayer is a servant-leadership role -- something both men & women do from their knees.
In your arguments in your post, you make the same “priesthood” mistake that Mormons make with “prophet” status. . . .
While it is fine that you believe this way, there is a very significant number of people who believe that without linage there is no authority and they have plenty of good reasons for their beliefs. It is all about beliefs. Most Catholics would not agree with you. The priesthood to many is a needful thing.
People's ideas change. At one time Jews could not exist without priesthood but today they don't have any.
I believe that when Christ gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter He did not give them to me or anybody else except as Peter may have directed. To make it worse if as you say all believers in Christ have the priesthood then the Mormons have it too because they certainly believe in Christ. There has to be authority. God is not an author of confusion. The Scriptures are not authority, there are a number of different translations and versions and interpretations that make it impossible to settle many questions. The Vicar of Rome, the Holy Father, The Mantle of Peter, or The Pope at least is the final authority on earth and he is that authority only because he holds the priesthood and has been elevated and elected by those that also hold the priesthood. At least in their eyes these things are so. They believe it and believe you are not a holder of the priesthood. Catholics are good to Protestants and even are willing to accept their baptism but that is a recent development. Who is it on the earth that can authoritatively answer doctrinal questions other than the Pope, The Patriarch or the Mormon President?
Isn’t saying “Mormon Christianity” the same thing as saying “Holy Roman Empire?”
Mark, thanks but wait a few more hours...No Mormons showed up yet:) The poster is not Mormon. Hats off for the early apologetics response:)
>> “The American Mohamhead” <<
John Ahmanson, an early mormon, called him “Vor Tids Muhamed,” Finnish for “a Mohammed for our time,” in his book by that same name.
Most significantly, mormons believe that men become gods. All of their gods are former men.
He gave them to all believers, not to Peter.
Peter is no more elevated than any other believer.
 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
So — just to get this clear -— the first Anabaptists were in the 16th century? And did the Baptists derive from them?
1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
Incredibly dishonest response to the statement “Mormons hold that there is no real Trinity.” The doctrine of the Trinity, implicit in the name, is that there are three persons but only one God. Not three separate gods, nor one God playing different roles, but a Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, co-eternal, and almighty.
Mormonism is henotheism, which is polytheism with a focus on a central deity, or, at least, the deity that rules planet Earth.
This is contrary to all scripture, and damnable heresy.
Isa_43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
“Christ paid for this for all people. “
This is ignorance of what the doctrine of Original Sin even means. Obviously, Christ did not vanquish our sin nature, which will always be present until after we have died. As Paul himself, who lamented of his sins, testifies.
“Take it up with the CDF. I just quoted from them.
To be candid, I neither know nor care what LDS believe.”
You need to get educated. Even though you’re a Catholic and I’d rather you stay ignorant of all things, it is your duty to study the Holy Scripture and to be ready to “give an answer” to all evil-doers who preach Gospels contrary to the one handed down to us.
Don’t be apathetic. Get to work. Fight the good fight.
“While it is fine that you believe this way, there is a very significant number of people who believe that without linage there is no authority and they have plenty of good reasons for their beliefs. It is all about beliefs. Most Catholics would not agree with you. The priesthood to many is a needful thing.”
This is an anti-Biblical point of view, since your response shouldn’t be “it is all about beliefs,” but “what does the scripture say?” The Priesthood of all believers is no mere “belief,” as if it were a baseless tradition, but is openly taught in the scripture.
Peter is no more elevated than any other believer.
Wow, now I've heard it all. So we don't need leaders? Everybody can interpret the scriptures the way they want?
The reality is that interpretation of the scriptures is “belief”. People read and come to different conclusions. The reason that Christ confounded the Elders when he was 12 years old is that he explained the scriptures to them who completely misunderstood them.
Christ Church was built on the concept that man can know that Christ is The Son of God, any man or woman can know this through the revelation given by the Holy Ghost, but, just knowing Christ is Lord does not give anyone the power to seal on earth and heaven. Christ personally gave those powers, or “keys” if you will to only one person, Peter. Peter was not greater than anyone. He was humble enough that when he was crucified he asked to be hanged upside down because he didn't want to look like he was being like The Lord, he was lowly. A lowly person can be a leader. President Reagan was known for taking sandwiches and drinks to his secret service personnel at activities when they had to stand out in the cold. People in high places can be “servants of all”.
If there is no authority there is bedlam.
“If there is no authority there is bedlam.”
A contradictory statement, since you wrote just a moment before that Christ, as a child, astounded the Pharisees because they “misunderstood” the scripture. This is not a victory based on authority, where the Pharisees had to bow to His interpretation because they knew He was God, but by demonstration of the Holy Scripture.
Its unfortunate that you lack the keys, but the rest of us have them.
Words such as "false" "wrong" "error" do not attribute motive.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Yeshua hates nicolaitans, no leaders in his church.
You may want to ping a Baptist to discuss their history. Some I know claim the Waldensians rather than Anabaptist.
Here is a link.
What does it matter if they agree with me???
Let them wrestle with the two texts I cited -- 1 Peter 2:4-9 & Rev. 1:5-6.
God isn't going to hold them accountable as to whether or not to agree with me; I am not Lord of their lives.
However, He will hold them accountable if they take an eraser to those passages; clip them out; and live as if they don't exist.
The Scriptures are not authority, there are a number of different translations and versions and interpretations that make it impossible to settle many questions.
You know we're awfully glad that Jesus didn't take your same sorry attitude toward the Old Testament as you do toward the Bible...and here -- to strengthen the NEW Testament even more are His very words strewn all about & thruout it!!! (Gospels; Acts; Revelation)
I don't ever find Jesus using this sorry excuse about the Old Testament that you use: "Oh, there's different OT interpretations...and there's the Septuagint vs. the Tanahk..." Not at all. He quoted it constantly. Before referencing a passage, He would ask, "Have you not read...?" or He would say, "You have heard it said..."
The apostle Paul did the same thing in Acts 17:11 by commending the Bereans as "noble" because they took the new revelations and compared them to the existing ones (the OT) to see if they were so.
Paul didn't say to them, "Oh, yeah...you don't have a way of confirming what I'm saying 'cause the Prophets and the Psalms and the wisdom books and the Pentateuch are unreliable."
...if as you say all believers in Christ have the priesthood then the Mormons have it too because they certainly believe in Christ.
Why do you assume every "Christ" identity out there is the same or is THE genuine article?
Are you so easily fooled as a world traveler whenever a street peddler offers you a high-end brand-name watch? Are you that dupe-able?
Jesus said: "4 Jesus answered: Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Messiah, and will deceive many." (Matthew 24:4-5)
To hear you tell it, every false Messiah group that comes along -- the ones Jesus references here -- would somehow be "Messianic" (Christian) -- just because they believe in a "Messiah" with symbolism attached to the Christ of the Bible.
The "Christ" of the Marharishi of Transcendental Meditation is a Jesus who never suffered -- at odds with the cross.
The "Christ" of Guru Maharaj Ji supposedly merged with Krishna, Ram and Buddha -- at odds with the uniqueness of Jesus.
The only difference between the Moonie "christ" and the rest of us, said, Sun Myung Moon, is that Jesus had no original sin nature.
The "christ" of Christian Science think of themselves as "Christian," yet they don't believe Jesus is God.
The "christ" of the Jehovah's Witnesses is not Almighty and is "a god," but not "THE" God; nor did He bodily resurrect.
The "christ" of many gnostics would in no way incarnate a human body -- because that to them would be too "corrupt" of a thing to do.
The "christ" of Brigham Young was one redeemer-savior among who knows how many? "He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. On every earth. How many earths are there?...Consequently every earth has its redeemer..." Brigham told us (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 71, 1870) [Not exactly a "unique" redeemer among a slew full of them!]
The "christ" of Mormonism is a pre-existent spirit-creature; a son of a God-man whose next-in-line brother is "Lucifer/Satan" -- a "Jesus" who had to work out his own salvation; and whose blood didn't cover all of our personal sins (thereby rendering him as an incomplete, inadequate "savior").
Can somebody tell us: How can all these "christs" be one-in-the-same?
Can you answer that, JA???
Are you that easily duped?
Would you believe EVERY CHARACTER wanting to buy your used car (or house) with cash that looks a little fishy?
Let's take this "lineage" matter you brought up and apply it to the Mormons -- and Mormon "scripture", shall we?
I have two specific verses from the Mormon "Doctrine & Covenants in mind:
* 8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers 9 For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh... (D&C 86:8-9)
* Previous to that, Joseph Smith prophesied Sept. 22-23, 1832:
14 Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah;
OK, class, let me interrupt D&C 84:14-18 by asking which priesthood is referenced here -- the Melchizedek or the Aaron? (Answer? Melchizedek...so keep that in mind as you read vv. 15-18)
Cont'd: 15 And from Noah till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers; 16 And from Enoch to Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam, who was the first manwhich priesthood CONTINUETH IN THE CHURCH OF GOD in ALL GENERATIONS, and is WITHOUT BEGINNING OF DAYS OR END OF YEARS. And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, THROUGHOUT ALL GENERATIONS, WHICH PRIESTHOOD ALSO CONTINUETH FOREVER WITH THE PRIESTHOOD which is after the holiest order of God. (D&C 84:17-18)
So what are we to conclude here? Several things:
Per Joseph Smith...
#1...Past tense: this priesthood lineage the Mormons picked up in the early 1830s came thru fathers who weren't Mormon! (D&C 86:8-9)
#2...Past tense: ...this Melchizedek priesthood has continued in the church of God -- all generations! (D&C 84:17) Meaning there was no complete apostasy! Ever! And, btw, that lines up quite nicely with what the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3:21 -- that there would be glory IN THE CHURCH and in Christ Jesus THROUGHOUT ALL GENERATIONS, FOR EVER AND EVER! Amen.
God was glorified in the church via ALL generations!!
#3...Past AND present & future tense: this Melchizedek priesthood NEVER underwent complete apostasy...as the Mormons claim elsewhere...for "it continueth forever" (D&C 84:18)
Now...how do the Mormon leaders deal with these four verses?
Well, the hefty 500-page D&C Student Manual curricula the Lds church puts out...is a running commentary on that book.
With D&C 84:14-18, it's QUITE STRANGE!
First, they simply ignore commenting on D&C 84:17-18 completely! However, they do comment thru it indirectly with this reference to D&C 84:19-28: ..."he took the Melchizedek Priesthood, which administers the gospel, out of their midst in the sense that it did NOT continue and pass one from priesthood holder to another in the normal and usual sense of the word."
A "normal and usual sense" of the phrasing of those verses said the priesthood DID continue forever in God's church in all generations. Yet they somehow claim it didn't -- and that vv. 17-18 are be simply glossed over!
With D&C 86:8-9, here's how they tried to explain that away:
"'Oh', I can hear some of you say, 'there must be something wrong with that statement, for I am the only member of my family who has joined the Church. How could I have received the priesthood from my parents? In this scripture the Lord was not talking about your priesthood line of authority. He was talking about your inherited right to receive and use priesthood power...This means we receive a right to priesthood blessings from our blood ancestry." (pp. 191-192)
Just wow! Here, Catholics when they talk about continuing the priesthood authority they talk about a handed-down spiritual authority. And here Mormons usually talk the same way -- even as they say it "skipped" 1800 years!
And here they take plain language of "priesthood" "inherit" and "lineage" -- and say, well, it wasn't meant that way. It was NON-priests and priests alike -- your PARENTS -- who "eligiblized" to eventually receive that priesthood?
This is what you get in a cartwheel jumping church! herefore, either Mormons are internally lying/covering up that they believe Smith is a false prophet, or more likely, they believe Smith was telling the truth in D&C 84:17-18; 86:8...which means they believe that the priesthood was rec'd via "the lineage of their fathers" (86:8) and this was a continuous priesthood passed down "throughout all generations" (84:17-18) and therefore are in grave error that there was EVER a universal apostasy.
I find it odd the Romans tells us the scriptures are hard to interpret but when it comes to stones and keys and Peter those verses are crystal clear and literal.
1 Pet 3:15 (RSV) "...Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;"
I don't see where we are called to see the ins and outs of every little pagan religion out there...only that we need to be able to provide a defense (an apologia...a rational argument...a defense) for our faith in Christ.
I am not a Pelagian nor even a Semipelagian. I recognize that even the ability to have Faith is a grace of God (cf Matt 16:17, Gal 1:15, Eph 1:4). Without that grace, no matter how much ranting or raving we do about the evils of their pagan religion will cause them to leave it (frankly, with a religion that believes as they do about everybody else being apostate, it will just confirm them in their apocalyptic beliefs).
I've sure learned a lot from it!!
I've sure learned a lot from it!!
And, I'll probably be posting a BUNCH of it in this thread!!