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CatholicLady

Is contraception immoral...

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That does kind of beg the question of "how is that possible?" If the translation was carried out under divine inspiration, I don't really see how it can admit to error. Hypothetically I suppose Joseph Smith could only have restored the "important" parts, but even then while some truths may be lacking, you would still think that what is there would be infallible. 

 

 

Your reasoning here is perfectly understandable.. Many people do thing and reason exactly that way (Sola Scriptura).  Many people in Joseph Smith's day did, but Joseph Smith himself did not.  There are historical records of Joseph Smith receiving a revelation...  And then at a later time editing said revelation. (More then just grammar fixes).  This caused quite a few close friends and allies who thought like you did serious issues and quite a few turned away from him and the church because of it.

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Thanks for all the explanations, guys! It sounds perfectly close to Catholic teaching on the OT (open to interpretation of either allegory or literal), except we don't put any sort of specific special emphasis on the Abraham sacrificing Issac part... not more so than the rest of the OT anyway. 

 

 

If we have an emphasis...  Its because we have had to defend our scripture (Nephi killing Laban) from those that say God would never command someone to kill a person.  Unknowingly you stepped on a common anti complaint

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If we have an emphasis...  Its because we have had to defend our scripture (Nephi killing Laban) from those that say God would never command someone to kill a person.  Unknowingly you stepped on a common anti complaint

 

Ahh, makes a lot more sense now. Thanks!

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Thanks for all the explanations, guys! It sounds perfectly close to Catholic teaching on the OT (open to interpretation of either allegory or literal), except we don't put any sort of specific special emphasis on the Abraham sacrificing Issac part... not more so than the rest of the OT anyway. 

 

This may just be my circles, but I've seen this story get quite a bit of use, mostly because of how readily it lends itself to a prefiguring of the crucifixion.You have a father who is willing to sacrifice his only son (yes there's Ishmael, but verse 12 says only and he is the only legitimate one), and a son who submits to his father in the sacrifice (looking at the age of the two, it is probably that Abraham would not have been willing to get Isaac on the altar without his cooperation).

 

I also particularly like the part where Isaac asks Abraham where the sacrifice is, and Abraham replies that "God himself will provide the lamb...," which is precisely what happened when God the Son was offered up as an offering. 

 

Also there are some extra-biblical traditions that hold that the mountain where Isaac was to be sacrificed was the same mountain where Christ was crucified. The specific location in the bible is vague enough that you can't be certain from it alone, though what we do know leaves it open as a possibility.

 

 

Your reasoning here is perfectly understandable.. Many people do thing and reason exactly that way (Sola Scriptura).  Many people in Joseph Smith's day did, but Joseph Smith himself did not.  There are historical records of Joseph Smith receiving a revelation...  And then at a later time editing said revelation. (More then just grammar fixes).  This caused quite a few close friends and allies who thought like you did serious issues and quite a few turned away from him and the church because of it.

 

I don't know if I'd count the question as affirming "Sola Sciptura." You can hold that the bible is inspired and even infallible (provided proper interpretation) while still affirming other non-bible sources as equally authoritative. In fact, I am of the opinion that you can only hold that the bible is inspired if you admit to some other authority, since nothing in the bible says that the bible (at least the New Testament canon) is inspired.

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This may just be my circles, but I've seen this story get quite a bit of use, mostly because of how readily it lends itself to a prefiguring of the crucifixion.You have a father who is willing to sacrifice his only son (yes there's Ishmael, but verse 12 says only and he is the only legitimate one), and a son who submits to his father in the sacrifice (looking at the age of the two, it is probably that Abraham would not have been willing to get Isaac on the altar without his cooperation).

 

I also particularly like the part where Isaac asks Abraham where the sacrifice is, and Abraham replies that "God himself will provide the lamb...," which is precisely what happened when God the Son was offered up as an offering. 

 

Also there are some extra-biblical traditions that hold that the mountain where Isaac was to be sacrificed was the same mountain where Christ was crucified. The specific location in the bible is vague enough that you can't be certain from it alone, though what we do know leaves it open as a possibility.

 

 

 

I don't know if I'd count the question as affirming "Sola Sciptura." You can hold that the bible is inspired and even infallible (provided proper interpretation) while still affirming other non-bible sources as equally authoritative. In fact, I am of the opinion that you can only hold that the bible is inspired if you admit to some other authority, since nothing in the bible says that the bible (at least the New Testament canon) is inspired.

 

 

Sorry I was not meaning to imply that you personally take it that direction...  Just pointing to a large group that do

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There are in fact Latter-day Saints who want to believe that God didn't really command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Like you, they simply cannot believe that a loving Father would give such a commandment, even if he didn't actually allow Abraham to follow through. But whether or not God actually commanded Abraham to kill Isaac, as the Bible teaches He did, it is well-established in LDS beliefs that we must be willing to sacrifice all we hold dear in obedience to God.

 

I've read some scholars who spin the Abraham and Isaac story slightly differently.  They claim that Abraham and Isaac were part of, or at least moved within, a larger pagan community that sacrificed children all the time.  The significant part of the Abraham and Isaac story is not that Abraham would prepare to sacrifice Isaac (which would be a common thing at that time) but that God would intervene to stop the sacrifice, thus making it clear to all that God absolutely rejects human sacrifice, even with the knife raised and ready to kill.  I know the actual text of Genesis makes it sound like God is a scientist with a white lab coat and clipboard to test Abraham's faith, but that's only one dimension of interpreting this very complex story.

 

Jeremiah 32:35 seems to indicate that child sacrifice was always repugnant to God, which has led some to think that Abraham imagined God's original command to sacrifice Isaac.  

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There are more important - God commands killing - stories in the Bible than Abraham, since ultimately God did not actually command (at least in the sense of follow through) the killing of Isaac. So trying to justify God's command is pretty easy there. He didn't follow through. So I don't know why anyone would try and contend that Abraham made up the idea himself based on pagan ideas. That strikes me as a bit out there. It's easy enough to simply say that it was a test and God never meant it.

 

It's a little bit harder to justify God's command to kill every man, woman, child and beast of the Amalekites in 1 Samuel and all the nations in Deut 7 (Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, etc). It's also a bit strange to me to take these commands as only allegorical.

 

The concern I have with taking anything one doesn't like as allegorical in the OT is that it imagines up a different God than that which as been revealed to us. The simple fact of the matter is that God DOES command killing sometimes. I find it fairly irresponsible to simply throw that out as allegorical. This is very different than whether snakes and donkeys talk or not. This is a distinct and importantly different God! That's a big deal. Whether God commands killing or not actually matters to our faith and our understanding of Him and what really matters. Understanding that mortality is not the end-all of our existence, and having that perspective is incredibly importing in our spiritual understanding of tragedy in life and facing why God would allow horrible things to happen. Moreover, the fearsome God of the Old Testament is part and parcel of who the Almighty is. He is a loving and merciful God. Yes. But He is also a vengeful jealous God who we must obey or we will face His wrath. These ideas are both important components in understanding and knowing who and what God is.

 

Understanding the truth of God, and what is and is not truly important in our existence matters. There is a distinctly important teaching in the idea that God can and does command things that are not strictly in line with the broad-stroke rules/commandments sometimes. It is important that we understand that God's direct command supersedes the broad-strokes. Thou shalt not kill is the command. And we must follow it. But if and when God says kill, who are we to say, "but the Bible says..."? This is true of anything. God's direct command to anyone overrides any thing. God's word to us is key and king. Taking the commandments as canonized in scripture as the end all of right and wrong denies the exceedingly important concept of personal revelation and direction. It leads, forgive me, to Pharisaical ideology.

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...when God says kill, who are we to say, "but the Bible says..."? This is true of anything. God's direct command to anyone overrides any thing. God's word to us is key and king. Taking the commandments as canonized in scripture as the end all of right and wrong denies the exceedingly important concept of personal revelation and direction. It leads, forgive me, to Pharisaical ideology.

Agreed.

 

Taking this in a different direction - when receiving personal revelation we are counselled to compare with established doctrines for veracity. I'm quite sure if I looked for it I could find at least one talk and possibly more to the effect that if our personal revelation does not match what has already been revealed we can be sure it is not of God. How then does one determine in such circumstance in which the directive goes against the grain that it is still of God?

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I think Jesus is the best example of God that there is. Not the God who supposedly ordered people to kill others in the OT. Again, I don't believe that ever happened. When I want to try to understand God better, and the type of entity that He is, I look to Jesus and see the type of man He was... and that is the type of God that I imagine.

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Understanding that mortality is not the end-all of our existence, and having that perspective is incredibly importing in our spiritual understanding of tragedy in life and facing why God would allow horrible things to happen.

 

I think the tragic, horrible thing about people killing people is not death. Death is only the beginning of eternal life. The tragic, horrible thing about people killing people is the hateful deed that is being done. To take another person's life is one of the worst things you can do to another person... it is the opposite of love, of selflessness, of generosity, of purity, of kindness... of everything we are called to be. It is the opposite of laying down our life for another, which is the ultimate act of love.

 

Of course, I'm not talking about self defense here, or of a just war... but those aren't the instances where the OT depicts God ordering to kill.     

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Wow, what a discussion has gone on here! 

 

After reading most of it, I am just thinking that I am so grateful that the Catholic viewpoint exists. My husband might not be here otherwise! His birth mother was raped at the age of 13 by her 17 year old foster brother. I cannot comprehend how difficult it must have been for her to go through that pregnancy, but I am glad she did, and that the woman who guided her through those decisions was Catholic and not LDS. 

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I think the Church has chosen to tread lightly on this issue, due to the complexity of it, and simply tell members to pray about it. I suppose there's wisdom in that, though I wish it were more concrete at times. And I suppose it's conceivable that there might be situations where birth control of some kind could get a pass from God, but I think generally speaking, Spencer W. Kimball's views on contraception were right - and his were also very Catholic. I have my doubts about abortions - even if in the exigent circumstances the Church still says to pray about it. That's not a "yes, go ahead and abort," message.

 

My own personal views on contraception and abortion are pretty Catholic, and I applaud the Catholic church for their stalwartness on that issue.

 

As far as when the spirit enters a human body, my understanding is that Church doctrine is that it is spirit which gives anything life - so I feel life begins at conception and that your spirit is somehow attached or associated with its body from the moment it begins in embryo. Just my guess.

Edited by Magus

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