LDS. Your remarks are exact duplicates of those advertised all over anti-mormon land for gullable evangelicals to reinforce their preconcieved beliefs about the LDS Church. I was anti-Mormon for years so I know what is out there and I can say this: What you are babbling IS NOTHING NEW!!!!!
NCCG. For something to be the truth it does not have to be "new". It's the hedonists who clamor for new things.
NCCG. New Agism, though it has a theology of sorts, is based entirely on feelings. If it feels right, it is right, the same premis as Mormonism.
LDS. Are you suggesting that Christianity is not based on any feelings at all?
NCCG. Those are your words. I never said that feelings were not involved. So let us dispose of that straw man to begin with. The New Testament testifies that it is a combination of the Word and feelings, but with the Word as the chief measure. You will have observed, no doubt, that Christ always appealed to the Word (OT) when He was attacked by devils or men. We find few recourses to feelings as the primary means of identifying the Truth. The same is true of the apostles. And whilst, to be sure, they had strong emotional feelings (many times off the mark) it was the Word they principally called upon. Hence the commendation of the Bereans who, having listened to Paul, checked out what he said in the Scriptures - THEY DID NOT RELY ON THEIR FEELINGS. That is not to say they did not have feelings, or that the Spirit did not act on them, but that they knew from their long tradition that the Word was the arbiter.
LDS. The Bible, God, Jesus Christ, Resurrection, Atonement, along with dozens of other tenets of mainstream Christianity CANNOT BE PROVEN at all.
NCCG. This is another straw man. By what method are you making such a judgment? From a jurisdictional (legal) point-of-view the evidence is overwhelming for the resurrection - there were hundreds of witnesses to it, possibly thousands. And the only way you can destroy that is by attacking the reliability of the New Testament: And to do that you must join the unbelieving liberals, something I've noticed Mormons are all too keen to do when the NT shows up their false teachings. They turn to the liberal "scholars" and insist the scholars cannot be wrong, placing more faith in them than in the Word, inspite of the differences scholars (especially liberals) hold.
LDS. ...and Christ said we should believe through faith.
NCCG. That is true. But not all faith is blind. Jesus' teachings were, and are, powerful, and people are invited to test those words by Paul, not to mention God Himself in the OT. But is this not typical of LDS posters here? When the orthodox put their positions up on the Board the LDS attack them with "logic" but when the Mormons are attacked they reply with their feeling-based testimonies, making a reply impossible? You have already stated that you KNOW what you believe is true, implying that there is no longer any possibility in your mind that you are wrong, and that therefore all attempts to persuade you otherwise are futile. This is what is known in common parlance as CLOSE-MINDEDNESS which breeds ARROGANCE. If this is your final word, then frankly I don't know why anybody bothers to talk to you, or why indeed you are here on this BB, unless it is to clone images of your perfect self.
LDS. How many bible passages refer to the holy Ghost as confirming truth to us? Would you really have us believe this confirmation is not based in "fellings" whatsoever?
NCCG. No, I did not say this. This is your straw man.
LDS. No wonder so many Christians are lost. They are taught NOT to rely on their prayers to God, but in a supposed PERFECT AND INFALLIBLE Book that was written by FALLIBLE MEN!
NCCG. There are probably many reasons why many Christians are lost and it is impossible for us to say exactly why in most cases. Similarly, it is plain to see why so many Mormons are lost because they have been brainwashed into thinking that their leaders can NEVER lead them astray, and that therefore the thinking faculty is no longer required, since "all the thinking has been done" for them. They are simply to follow blindly, and when contradictions are presented to them, they are to trust in their feeling-based testimony and ignore the Word.
LDS. They are taught that if they pray to God about anything that might be in conflict with what THEIR BIBLE INTERPRETATION already dictates to them, then it must be from Satan or the Nephilim [fallen angels] or whatever nonsense they can rationalize with.
NCCG. This may well be true in many cases but this does not negate the truth of the orthodox teachings generally. You will always find fanatics everywhere and it is a mistake to measure a theology or religious experience solely on what they have to say.
LDS. You want to prove to me using the Bible that feelings and prayers to God are not to be trusted? Go ahead, I will take that challenge any day of the week. I notice Evangelicals never care to quote these supposed scriptures that tell us not to believe our prayers to God if it conflicts with the man made creeds they have come to worship in place of God over the centuries.
NCCG. You may well be right here. But then the Mormons are no different. Instead, they fall back on their feeling-based testimonies.
LDS. You have nothing to offer me Steve.
NCCG. My name is not Steve.
LDS. I know what I know because GOD told me. Not you, Nephilim, Judith, Stan or anybody can EVER change my mind about that because he confirms it ever day to me whenever I talk to him. You would have me trust in your neo-western brand of the hundreds of Christian sects which claim the same nonsense as you do. I'm not buying it.
NCCG. We will ignore for the moment that LDS doctrine and practices has evolved and changed (this is always predictable defended as "progressive" by LDS, and yet when you tell them that the Body of Christ has been progressed by innovators (e.g. Luther, Wesley, etc.), they cry "division" and "chaos". Mormonism has fragmented too).
I do not represent any "sect" or "denomination" since these are, in any case, but temporary vessels. The human body waxes old and changes and the outward vessels of the Body of Christ do the same. But it's the inner spirit that counts. If it doesn't, I pity you when you reach old age.
NCCG. New Agers also believe they are gods in the making, which Mormonism believes too.
LDS. Wow really? Does that mean Christ was a newager?
NCCG. No, because He never claimed the LDS doctrine. When he called the Israelite leaders "elohim" He was not, as all those conversant will Hebrew will tell you, talking about Deity but about earthly theocratic Judges. It is here Mormonism has gone off on a major tangent from the truth.
LDS. Does that mean the early Christian fathers were newagers as well? Makes you wonder why you call it "New" age when its such an original doctrine.
NCCG. As I said, originality and newness prove nothing. I'm sure Satan has had many "original" ideas. This is dead end thinking.
NCCG. I repeat, LDS beliefs lie at the core of New Ageism - feeling based and all are gods in the making.
LDS. I repeat, was Christ a new ager? Your logic here makes obvious your ignorance in early Church doctrines.
NCCG. I think I know what I have studied better than you do and I am not going to get into a silly, childish exchange as has happened on this BB before such as "I know more than you".
LDS. Did any of the early Christian fathers accept the possibilty of diefication of mankind in any sense? The common Evangelical would be shocked to learn that such beliefs did indeed existed among many if not most of the early Christian fathers, but most recently were comments made by notorious non-LDS scholars such as Dr.Ernst Benz who stated that:
"One can think what one wants of this doctrine of progressive deification, but one thing is certain: with this anthropology Joseph Smith is closer to the view of man held by the Ancient Church than the precursors of the Augustinian doctrine of original sin were, who considered the thought of such a substantial connection between God and man as the heresy, par excellence." [Benz, E.W., "Imago Dei: Man in the Image of God", in Madsen, T.G., ed., Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels, pp. 215-216.]
The notorious Christian author C.S. Lewis recently wrote that:
"The command "Be ye perfect" is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him--for we can prevent Him, if we choose --He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said."(Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp. 174-75.)
Of course Lewis is referring to Christ's words "Ye are Gods" when he says "he meant what he said!"
Irenaeus of Lyons [ca. 180 A.D.] said that:
"we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods...." [Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4:38:4, in ANF 1:522.]
Do we cast blame on him because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, "I have said, ye are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High." ... For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality."(Irenaeus, Against Heresies,4.38. Cp. 4.11)
Origen claimed that God "will be 'all' in each individual in this way: when all which any rational understanding, cleansed from the dregs of every sort of vice, and with every cloud of wickedness completely swept away, can either feel, or understand, or think, will be wholly God...." [Origen, De Principiis 3:6:3, in ANF 4:345.]
"Every one who participates in anything, is unquestionably of one essence and nature with him who is partaker of the same thing" [Origen, De Principiis 4:1:36, in ANF 4:381.]
Saint Clement of Alexandria wrote:
"Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a GOD". (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks, 1)
"if one knows himself, he will know God, and knowing God will become like God.... His is beauty, true beauty, for it is God, and that man becomes a god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, 'Men are gods, and GODS are men.'"(Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3.1 See also Clement, Stromateis, 23).
Saint Justin Martyr said that men
"made like God, free from suffering and death," and that they are thus deemed worthy of becoming GODS and of having power to become sons of the highest." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 124)
Saint Athanasius who was argueably the founder of the Trinity doctrine stated that:
"The Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be made <B>GODS</b>.... Just as the Lord, putting on the body, became a man, so also we men are both deified through his flesh,and henceforth inherit everlasting life."(Athanasius, Against the Arians, 1.39, 3.34.)and that "He became man that we might be made divine"(Athanasius, De Inc., 54.)
Saint Augustine, the greatest of all Christian fathers stated that:
But he himself that justifies also deifies, for by justifying he makes sons of God. 'For he has given them power to become the sons of God' [John 1:12] If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made GODS."(Augustine, On the Psalms, 50.2).
Samuel Angus reveals that Lactantius believed "that the chaste man will become'identical in all respects with God'." [Angus, The Mystery-Religions, pp. 106-107.]
NCCG. These are, to be sure, interesting comments, but we will go round in circles discussing them without being clear what the main reference points were. To be sure, we acquire divine qualities, but becoming gods in our own right is not a Biblical teaching. The Bible says there is only one God, clearly and succinctly. Were we to believe you, we would be forced to believe the Bible was contradictory, and thus head out on the slippery slope to liberalism and atheism. But the Bible uses words with different meansings depending on the context. I have mentioned the judges of Israel. "elohim" can also refer to wooden idols. Given the muliple meaning of the word "elohim" and the fact that language is such that multiple meanings can be ascribed to a single word, it makes better sense to understand the context than to fit factors in equations which obviously don't belong there.
Are we to become gods? Clearly the Bible says so. Does this mean that we become dieties like Yahweh? Obviously not, since Yahweh has made it abundantly clear that there are no more deities besides Him. Now at this point you have to make a choice: did God lie or is the Bible unreliable? If the latter, how do you know that your own scriptures are reliable? because of feelings?? Mormonism claims to be a restoration of the NT Church, but if the NT is not reliable, how are we to know what the NT Church was? We are left guessing, which seems to be where most apologists like to leave us, insisting that the Word isn't good enough and that we must therefore rely on FEELING-BASED TESTIMONIES. No thank you. I will do what Jesus did, which was to quote the infallible Word. And if it wasn't infallible, then Jesus was mistaken; and if Jesus was mistaken, then had better all go home.
We are the offspring of God - Acts 17:29, Heb. 12:9
We are heirs of God - Gal. 4:7
We are joint heirs with Christ - Rom. 8:14-17
We shall inherit all things - Rev. 21:7
We shall receive a mansion - Jn. 14:2
We shall sit on God's throne - Rev. 3:21
We will be given a crown of glory - 1 Pet. 5:4
We shall receive the same glory and image as the Lord - 2 Cor. 3:18
We will receive the same type of body as Christ - Phil. 3:21
We will be given power - Rev. 2:26
We will be made rulers - Matt. 25:21,23
We shall judge the world and angels - 1 Cor. 6:2,3
We shall judge the world and angels - 1 Cor. 6:2,3
We will bear the image of the heavenly - 1 Cor. 15:49
We will be like God - 1 Jn. 3:2
We will partake of God's divine nature - 2 Pet. 1:4
"come to share in the very being of God." [2 Peter 1:4 NEB.]
We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him..and every man
that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself." (1 John 3:2-3)
"ye are GODS, and children of the most high"
(John 10:30-36; Psalms 82:6
NCCG. These passages are easily explainable within the framework I have described above. But Mormons cannot consider that framework because it upsets their doctrinal apple-cart.
Yes, I believe in Spirit-inspired feelings but I am also aware of demon- and fleshy-inspired feelings, and I am warned in the Scriptures that the heart is terribly deceptive. I observe the lives of the apostles and of Christ and I see how they apply the Word. And I see that they apply it for salvation and not in the way LDS apologists do. You may, of course, try to persuade me otherwise, because I am not as close minded as you
There are no LDS feeling-based testimonies in the Bible that I know of. Take those away from Mormonism and you force them to confront the Word in a much more systematic way, forcing responsibility to search the truth out.
Indeed, we are to seek certain answers in prayers. But God is not wasteful. If He has already declared that there is only One God then it is rank blasphemy to ask Him if there are any more. That is atheism. q