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19 hours ago, zil2 said:

Finally, perhaps @prisonchaplain can give you some tips on engaging with latter-day saints. :)  (Should he have time and notice this.)

Greetings. The topic of this string can easily lead to difficulties. What is a Christian? Latter-day Saints have throughout their roughly 200-year history experienced opposition from Protestant Christians--especially Evangelicals. Infamously, Governor Boggs, of Missouri, ordered that they could be shot and killed without penalty, because he wanted to drive them out of his state (this happened in the 19th century). So, the seemingly innocent, "Are you really Christians?" comes across as aggressive.

LDS will say they are Christians because they believe in Jesus Christ for salvation and because their fruits (godly lives) are positive. One of the common retorts are that the doctrines are different--especially concerning the Trinity and salvation by faith alone. In reality, the doctrines (teachings) are different. My own struggle, as a Pentecostal, is that Oneness Pentecostals (especially the United Pentecostal Church) deny the trinity. Nevertheless, while most Evangelicals consider them to be wrong, they would not deny their Christianity. Of course, some do.

So, in trying to learn about Latter-day Saint beliefs it might be best to simply ask doctrinal questions without debating what a Christian is. This site is a good place to learn a lot. However, another great starting place might be to read The Articles of Faith: 13 Beliefs | Come unto Christ (churchofjesuschrist.org). Those 13 teachings are the foundation of Latter-day Saint belief--so much so that they are considered scripture. 

Edited by prisonchaplain
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49 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I'm much the same way, which is in part what led me to this faith.  I'm an adult convert that made a post here one day asking questions.   Now here I am.   Using this logic only, what makes more sense to me?

1.  There is a vengeful God that created man to spend eternity worshipping Him?

2.  There is a premortal family existence in which a loving Father created an opportunity for us to grow, learn, and become like Him for eternity?

I have thought about this. Well, not the second part exactly it's pretty specific and not really something that would exactly cross my mind but why God would create us just to worship him.  Seems pretty arrogant, but he did create everything I suppose he deserves it. I don't understand where you're getting the vengeful from? Maybe a have a wrong definition of vengeful?

A premortal family existence? What about divorces, step siblings, that one annoying aunt/sibling, death and remarriage? Also, why couldn't he have just created us already grown and learned?

28 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Protestant Christians--especially Evangelicals. Infamously, Governor Boggs, of Missouri, ordered that they could be shot and killed without penalty, because he wanted to drive them out of his state (this happened in the 19th century). So, the seemingly innocent, "Are you really Christians?" comes across as aggressive.

Ohhh. sorry. Noted. Hopefully I wasn't too awful. But also, I'm pretty sure LDS is Christian.  I'm not sure why everyone has decided that if you don't believe exactly what they believe you're absolutely wrong about everything and condemned by God. 

Edited by Maytoday
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8 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

Ohhh. sorry. Noted. Hopefully I wasn't too awful. But also, I'm pretty sure LDS is Christian.  I'm not sure why everyone has decided that if you don't believe exactly what they believe you're absolutely wrong about everything and condemned by God. 

The doctrinal difficulties are not minor. It's not a matter of whether to drink alcohol or not. Who is God? How will we spend eternity? Who are we? I ran a post a few years back comparing my own church's Statement of Fundamental Truths (16) with the Latter-day Saint's Articles of Faith (13). There was not one point of agreement. It's fine. I'm still here--still welcome. We continue to have great conversations about important questions. 

To put this another way, I am welcomed to discuss beliefs here but would not likely be asked to be a speaker at a Sunday ward service. Likewise, while there have been "convicted conversations" in Evangelical churches (during which LDS and Evangelical speakers engage each other), it's unlikely that an LDS speaker would fill an Evangelical pulpit at a regular Sunday service. 

So, we respect each other's faith walk. We work at understanding each other's beliefs. But we know that there are some serious differences in how we understand God, the Church, the world, and even ourselves. 

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27 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

I don't understand where you're getting the vengeful from? Maybe a have a wrong definition of vengeful?

A lot of people feel that the Old Testament portrays God as vengeful.

31 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

A premortal family existence? What about divorces, step siblings, that one annoying aunt/sibling, death and remarriage? Also, why couldn't he have just created us already grown and learned?

Check out The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  The family @Grunt was referring to is the fact that we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father.  In that family, there would be no divorce, step siblings, death and remarriage - just spirit children of heavenly parents.  (Whether there'd still be that annoying aunt / sibling, I'll leave to individual speculation. :D )  (Welcome to the rabbit hole of the importance and eternal nature of the family unit.)

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12 minutes ago, zil2 said:

The family @Grunt was referring to is the fact that we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father.  In that family, there would be no divorce, step siblings, death and remarriage

I misunderstood that.

 

27 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

The doctrinal difficulties are not minor. It's not a matter of whether to drink alcohol or not. Who is God? How will we spend eternity? Who are we?

Well no. Of course they are not minor. I'm not saying I'm going to invite LDS (Or Pentecostal) to speak at my Church. I would be hesitant to invite even Catholics or Lutherans. and yet that's not the point of Christianity.  

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9 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

I'm not saying I'm going to invite LDS (Or Pentecostal) to speak at my Church. I would be hesitant to invite even Catholics or Lutherans

Off topic, but I think some evangelicals have spoken at BYU. If I’m wrong feel free to correct me everyone. 

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@Maytoday, having read several of your posts now, I suspect that you will enjoy your interactions here and learn much. You show a healthy, balanced, sincere approach that works well. Ask a few questions at a time and read the responses carefully. The posters here appreciate interacting with non-LDS like us. You will receive thoughtful answers. Welcome and blessings to you!

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1 minute ago, LDSGator said:

Off topic, but I think some evangelicals have spoken at BYU. If I’m wrong feel free to correct me everyone. 

You're probably right. I'm aware that Ravi Zacharias, Evangelical apologist, spoke at the Tabernacle a few years back. When this happens it's pretty clear that a noteworthy non-LDS speaker has been invited. 😉

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Just now, prisonchaplain said:

You're probably right. I'm aware that Ravi Zacharias, Evangelical apologist, spoke at the Tabernacle a few years back. When this happens it's pretty clear that a noteworthy non-LDS speaker has been invited. 😉

Yikes, it sure ended poorly for that chap, huh? (Google his name) 

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2 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Truly shameful...yes--especially given his brilliant and cogent defense of the gospel. To whom much is given much is required. 

The damage he did to Evangelical believers is horrendous. I’m not going to say people lost their faith because of him (yes, put your faith in the Lord, not men) but some absolutely had their foundation rocked. Whenever I read Case for Christ I see Ravis name and cringe a bit. Just knowing how it ended. 

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8 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

The damage he did to Evangelical believers is horrendous. I’m not going to say people lost their faith because of him (yes, put your faith in the Lord, not men) but some absolutely had their foundation rocked. Whenever I read Case for Christ I see Ravis name and cringe a bit. Just knowing how it ended. 

I have a friend who worked for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and after this, it really hurt him, and he ended up quitting and trying to start his own sort of thing.

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Just now, Maytoday said:

I have a friend who worked for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and after this, it really hurt him, and he ended up quitting and trying to start his own sort of thing.

So sorry for your friend bro. It’s most sad for his victims of course, but my heart breaks for your friend. 😞 

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I was just reading this:

"Zacharias warned the woman—a fellow believer—if she ever spoke out against him, she would be responsible for millions of souls lost when his reputation was damaged."

He knew!!! He used the fact that people would be hurt by it and try to blame them!!! WHAT????

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1 minute ago, prisonchaplain said:

Sadly, I had to learn to deal with disappointing Christian leaders in my coming-of-age years. Both were defrocked. One went to prison. May God empower all of us to walk worthy lives 'til the time of our home-going.

Image result for jimmy swaggart jim bakkerImage result for jim bakker breakdown

Jimmy Swaggart and James Baker, right?

Edited by LDSGator
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6 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Yes, @LDSGator. AKA the two Jimmies.

"Miracle Man" by Ozzy Osbourne was him mocking Swaggart over his troubles, but since the song merely references "Little Jimmy Sinner" it could actually apply to both men. 

The video depicts swine wandering through a chapel while a man in a mask melodramatically begs forgiveness. 

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Just now, Ironhold said:

"Miracle Man" by Ozzy Osbourne was him mocking Swaggart over his troubles, but since the song merely references "Little Jimmy Sinner" it could actually apply to both men. 

The video depicts swine wandering through a chapel while a man in a mask melodramatically begs forgiveness. 

I love that song. I named my mini poodle after Ozzy! 

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38 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

He knew!!! He used the fact that people would be hurt by it and try to blame them!!! WHAT????

Power corrupts. It's evil and wrong--especially when done under the guise of Christianity. Dear God, guard my heart and mind! 

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6 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Power corrupts. It's evil and wrong--especially when done under the guise of Christianity. Dear God, guard my heart and mind! 

Boom.

I’m convinced beyond all doubt that some people join religions because they want that power and authority over others to bully them, or much much worse. Ravi didn’t join because he’s a “beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” He joined because he wanted to flex his muscle, get accolades for it, and he eventually turned into a complete monster.  

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3 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

I’m convinced beyond all doubt that some people join religions because they want that power and authority over others to bully them, or much much worse.

In which case the religion gets the blame when they turn out to be monsters.  

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