[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Offenders For a Word

by Antonio da Rosa

I did it. I accepted another bookshelf hand-me-down. I added it to my growing number of them. I spent 4 hours today re-arranging my books and un-dusting my books (in tribute to Amelia Bedillia, the children's book maid).

I opened a book that I hadn't looked at for a while, (in my apologetics section) entitled "Offenders for a Word", sub-titled "How Anti-Mormons Play Word Games to Attack the Latter-day Saints". I actually scanned most of the pages. My eyes lit upon some highlighted material.

Here are a few tidbits:

(begin quote)
----------
Mormons share with other Christians, too, the historical data of the New Testament, deviating only ... in its interpretation... Later-day Saints have long tended to feel most at home with evangelical Bible commentaries, when they use such scholarly tools at all, because of the belief that we share with them in Christ's literal resurrection, in the historicity of his miracles, in the birth narratives, and in the Savior's divinity... Mormons consider Jesus divine, the Only Begotten Son of God, and the only perfect man who ever lived. Their Articles of Faith affirm that men are saved, if they are saved, "through the Atonement of Christ."

A comparison of twenty elements of personal identity possessed by "the Mormon Jesus" and "the Jesus of the Bible" -- and many, many more elements could be compared if space and the reader's patience did not constraun us -- should make it clear to even the most hardened missing persons detective that the two are the same person.

Category------------The Mormon Jesus---------The Jesus of the Bible
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
birthplace------------Bethelehem------------------Bethlehem
ethnicity-------------Jewish----------------------Jewish
of David's line?------yes-------------------------yes
stepfather's name-----Joseph----------------------Joseph
mother's name---------Mary------------------------Mary
time period-----------early first century---------early first century
occupation------------carpenter, preacher---------carpenter, preacher
taught in temple?-----yes-------------------------yes
sojourn in Egypt?-----yes-------------------------yes
baptized by John?-----yes-------------------------yes
walked on water?------yes-------------------------yes
water to wine?--------yes-------------------------yes
gave parables?--------yes-------------------------yes
public office?--------no--------------------------no
manner of death-------crucifixion-----------------crucifixion
time of death---------under Pontius Pilate--------under Pontius Pilate
place of death--------just outside Jerusalem------just outside Jersusalem
sign at death---------earthquake------------------earthquake
resurrected?----------yes-------------------------yes
ascent to heaven?-----yes-------------------------yes

...[A well-known anti-Mormon has] committed the logical fallacy of equivocation. This elementary logical error, also known as the Fallacy of the Ambiguous Middle Term, is surprisingly common in anti-Mormon writings, but perhaps its clearest manifestation occurs in connection with this question of Mormonism's allegedly "different Jesus." As one elementary logic textbook defines it, "This fallacy is committed whenever we allow the meaning of a term to shift between the premises of our argument and our conclusion...

Once this is understood, it becomes apparant that we are talking here merely about differing views of one individual, Jesus, and not about distinct and separate individuals... After all, the Catholic Jesus is different from the Pentecostal Jesus, and both differ from the Coptic Jesus...

To have different views of an individual does not magically create different individuals. Citizen C may think Senator Bunkum a paragon of fiscal restraint, as well as a statesmen of rare wisdom and moderation, while Citizen D regards him as a heartless skinflint and an indecisive political coward, but we are still, mercifully, left with only one Senator Bunkum.
----------
(end quote)

As a disclaimer, although I hope you all would know, I believe Mormonism is a cult which teaches damnable heresies concerning Jesus and the Christian faith in general. Mormons, believing what they are taught, are lost, on their way to the lake of fire. The book I quote from is NOT endorsed.

Also, because Matthew or I may slip and say that Mormons believe in the same Jesus as we do, it does not mean that we believe them saved. What we mean is that they refer to the historical Jesus the same as we do, though with differing beliefs about Him.

The bottom lines are these:

1) Mormons need to know that the historical Jesus whom they read about in their King James Bible will guarantee for them eternal life, their eternal well-being and resurrection, by faith in Jesus alone for it. He guarantees this gift apart from works of any kind; and without trust in Jesus' promise to guarantee for them eternal life, they are lost.

2) When a Mormon believes the saving message of Christ, it will be encumbent upon the discipler of him to lead the individual into the evangelical faith through the convincing testimony of the Scriptures (the King James version will do just fine) in conjunction with the Holy Spirit (who now indwells this Mormon). Serious temporal and eternal consequences may result for the saved Mormon who shuns the faith delivered to the saints.

35 Comments:

  • Antonio, your logic is perfect.

    I would point out that 2 Cor 11:4 talks about 'another Jesus' before the Gospels were written.

    Paul is not talking about people who are believing in the Jesus of the four Gospels.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 31, 2006 12:45:00 AM  

  • Sloppy thinking gets worse over time.--Jenny Holzer

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, May 31, 2006 1:54:00 AM  

  • Anon, why do you not tell us how this is sloppy thinking. I am not interested in your quotations, I want to know what you think.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 31, 2006 9:03:00 AM  

  • This blog keeps my head spinning, but for some reason I read it. I have no idea why.

    Eternal life is being redefined here. This is a grave place to go as now Christ is only a means to an end. The chief end of man is to have eternal life, not God.

    How are we seperating the promise of God and seperating it from the person of God. They are interwined. This is where I think we have neglected to think of the work of the Holy Spirit and reverted it back to mere acceptance. God has truly affected our minds, our will, and emotions in our salvation. The work is His and our whole person is affected.

    I remember Piper saying that Satan would love eternal life if Christ wasn't there. How can you seperate having Christ with eternal life? Our eyes and hearts are fixed upon Christ when receive the gospel. Eternal life is only eternal life because of Christ.

    You are saying God-haters are going to make it to heaven because they believed the promise. You are seperating the promise of eternal life from God himself. The real hope of heaven is that "Christ died to bring us to God". That is in essence eternal life.

    The fact is eternal life is really only eternal life because God is there.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Wednesday, May 31, 2006 2:57:00 PM  

  • Shawn
    "The chief end of man is to have eternal life, not God."

    This is absolute rubbish. When have Antonio or I (or Jodie) said this? The chief end of a Christian is union with God in heavenly glory. Eternal life is a means to this end and faithin Christ for eternal life is the entrance to the hope of this end.

    "How are we seperating the promise of God and seperating it from the person of God."

    By having faith in Jesus, one has faith in the promise of God for eternal life. Ask me a harder question.

    "God has truly affected our minds, our will, and emotions in our salvation."

    You are confusing conversion with regeneration and sanctification, Shawn. Regeneration and Sanctification indeed have an effect on the emotions and will, but conversion involves the mind or heart.

    Shawn. do you really think thay Jesus would say to a person:

    "You believed in me for eternal life, but you were not happy enougth about it. If you had only worn a smiley face, you would have been truly converted. You must go to hell for your lack of emotional change."

    This makes God into a burger bar manager who wants us to always wear a happy face. We are saved by our trust in Christ, not by our emotions. If a man knows he has eternal life through Christ, he is saved, regardless of his emotions.

    "You are saying that God-haters are going to make it to heaven because they believed the promise".

    Can God-haters not be saved?

    Are we saved by faith + not hating God?

    "The real hope of heaven is that "Christ died to bring us to God". That is in essence eternal life."

    Shawn, when have I denied this? Can you quote me?

    Amen! Christ died to bring us to God. Now, do we come to God by trusting in Jesus or by believing a list of doctrines and feeling certain emotions?

    "The fact is eternal life is really only eternal life because God is there."

    Shawn, when have I denied this?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 1:01:00 AM  

  • That's good to know Matthew, but I'm not seperating justification from sanctification. Justification and sanctification and distinct but not inseperable.

    This understanding of taking the promise out this context is quite surprising.

    The fact is by saying Mormons who believed the promise of eternal life (Christ died to bring us to God) are saved, but reject and live in complete abandonment of that truth to follow a Heresy of Christ smacks in the face of this truth of eternal life is that Christ died to bring us to God. The work of the Holy Spirit has been turned just a possibility not an accomplished fact.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 4:37:00 AM  

  • Shawn, the conclusion of sanctification is at our glorification.

    The convert will certainly be brought to God then and will certainly cease to harbour any misunderstandings about christology.

    That is an accomplished fact, not a possibility (though a believer who persisted in a false understanding of the person of Christ might well be excluded from Christ's intimate company in heaven).

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 5:16:00 AM  

  • JesusNotJoseph.com

    By Blogger Aaron Shafovaloff, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 7:41:00 AM  

  • This is a re-posted comment from the prior article, that I just made . . . I think it's pertinent to this thread as well!:

    I would just say that rather than Antonio's fear of affirming Jesus as God as a condition for salvation; I would frame this as the "PRESUPPOSITION" of the Christian theistic perspective. In other words, as Mt 16 (Peter's confession), articulates "Who Jesus Is (Messiah/God in Flesh [Son of God]) provides framework and the shape in which the "gospel is communicated".

    So what's the consequence relative to this discussion?

    1.)The Mormon and JW have a different a priori presupposition (e.g. Jesus as the spirit brother of Lucifer, and Jesus as a "generate" subordinate created being) which does not provide framework which the "offer" of eternal life is ever provided for.

    2.)Consequently, if, as Antonio, and others are asserting, a Mormon or JW appropriates genuine eternal life through Christ, they have crossed thresholds and no longer are operating within the frameworks provided by their particular belief systems. Since within their belief systems (given their shaping presupposition)an offer for "eternal life" (i.e. a biblical offer) will never be made in the same way as it is freely offered within the Christian theistic framework of understanding.

    3.)Conclusion: There are different definitional presuppositions that shape particular belief systems. Christian theism is shaped by the presupposition that Jesus is God (Mt 16) which provides context and framework which, logically, the free offer of the gospel is and must be made (Eph. 2:8-9). Other belief systems (LDS JW et al.) do not start at the same point, consequently their offers for salvation are skewed and end up pointing man back to self as the instrument for appropriating salvation. If Mormons or LDS call out for eternal life through Jesus Christ, they have crossed over a threshold and are now operating within the Christian Theistic Worldview, which is presupposed by the deity of Jesus Christ!

    I will develop my thoughts further here, on the PRESUPPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL, in the near future on my blog!

    In Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:15:00 AM  

  • BTW, Antonio,

    Who is the author of the work you quote?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:22:00 AM  

  • Matthew said>though a believer who persisted in a false understanding of the person of Christ might well be excluded from Christ's intimate company in heaven).<

    Purgatory does not exist and in your theology, you give place to a hybrid para-form of it. Anything outside of God's intimate love is hell. There is no middle ground. You cannot work to gain that love. Christ did. You must grow in it after having accepted it. The more you allow Him to love you, the more you will love in return. You put the cart before the horse. You cannot work to gain his love. Nothing can seperate you from his intimate love for the saved man. This is further legalistic teaching that mirrors Roman doctrine. Either you are in or out. This teaching places a roadblock in the way of knowing Him which is what heaven is. In essence your teaching still teaches that man must work to get to heaven. You just believe in an in between place instead of hell. But just because you minimize and re-ivent a place of limbo doesn't make it true. Your theology still teaches men to work for God's favor instead of resting in the God/man Jesus Christ who brings you boldly before the throne of Grace.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 6:28:00 PM  

  • Bhedr, it may be beneficial to ask about what Matthew or I mean when we talk about the Kingdom rather than invent things that we most definitely do not believe. Your comment shows that you do not understand our position nor care to.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:36:00 PM  

  • Bobby, the authors last names are Peterson and Ricks.

    There really is not any substantial Mormon apologetics going in in it though. It is a layman's apologetic to strengthen the faith of the average Mormon.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:38:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    One question:

    Do you or do you not believe in an Outer Darkness reserved for unfaithful Christians outside of the intimate realm of Heaven?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Friday, June 02, 2006 2:35:00 PM  

  • "Outer Darkness", or better translated "Darkness Outside" is a metaphor, it is used parabolically. There is no spatial area outside of heaven called the "outer darkness".

    The sub-comers will not be participants in the glories, honors, position, and intimacy with Christ that the overcomers will. The darkness outside pictures the non-lit area outside the banquet hall, metaphorically. This would correspond to exclusion of the activities and experiences reserved for those who overcome, whom they have been prepared for.

    It is unfortunate that after all this time, and all my writing that I still get misrepresented, mischaracterized, and maligned by people who have not taken any opportunity to truly consider and understand my positions.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, June 02, 2006 6:36:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    You are always trying to make a martyr of yourself and everybody else the devil.

    My point is with your liberal interpretation of the text, you have created another hades of sorts. Seperation from God's intimate love is hell, regardless of how one slices it.

    We overcome by the blood of the Lamb. All who are covered by His blood will be in his presence and in the righteousness of Christ. He cannot cast Himself out of the banquet hall. You miscaracterize the power of the blood and lay works and legalism back on the back of the believer. The law inhibits us from service through grace. We must be led by grace as our Spirits cry out Abba. Mt Sinai has no place here anymore. We will all be at the banquet, but we will be rewarded differantly.

    The danger in this teaching of yours is that man will have a reason to boast of God's love. This love comes by his choice...not works of any kind. You enhance the teachers pet mode of the giving the apple to the teacher and gaining special favor and love. This is so unlike the Spirit of Christ if you pay attention to the gospels. In fact... as in the woman at the well, his intimacey yearns for the one in greatest need.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Friday, June 02, 2006 7:27:00 PM  

  • "The sub-comers will not be participants in the glories, honors, position, and intimacy with Christ that the overcomers will."

    I think the distinction needs to be made between two distinct concepts:

    1. The Millennial reign of Christ on earth, at which time Christ will reign with his Church-bride at his side and reward those intimate with him with the right to further display his glory and wisdom.

    2. The eternal state with a new heaven and a new earth, after Christ has eradicated all of the effects of sin from all of creation (including death), and all enemies have been destroyed including death, he subjects himself to the Father, "that God may be all in all."

    If during #2, God is all in all, I don't think there is any room for class distinctions, or special places of closeness to Him. There will just be Him, and those He loves, "that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."

    One of the effects of sin that Christ will eradicate is the fact that we respond to him each to varying degrees.

    Also, I believe it will still be us as individuals with our own personality and special relationship with Him. "Which of your children do you love less?" Is a silly question based on the premise that God is not infinite in his capacity for love, or just. He is Righteousness and He is Love.

    God bless,

    Tim

    By Blogger Tim, at Saturday, June 03, 2006 1:08:00 AM  

  • This is Free Grace moving towards its logical conclusion. Posts like this help clarify the true nature of Free Grace. Very well done Antonio and Matthew.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at Saturday, June 03, 2006 10:22:00 AM  

  • You know,

    I love all my Children the same, but in one sense I believe I love them differantly. I could never stop loving them.

    If you are his child. Nothing can seperate you from His love. Neither perils, famines, powers, things present or things to come. Certainley not a system of belief.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, June 03, 2006 12:24:00 PM  

  • Jonanthan, thanks a lot.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, June 04, 2006 9:50:00 AM  

  • Ouch, the waters are getting a bit messy over here. Perhaps the point is being missed with these assumptions by some?

    Why is it that we think there is no longer any accountability for our actions as believers?

    Christ has saved us from the power and penalty of sin, but not from our responsibility to walk by the Spirit.

    While I love all my children and they will never lose their familial rights as children, their actions will merit different responses from their father, IOW, as a father I cannot overlook the disobedience of my children.

    This is the basic premise for the judgement seat of Christ and the loss of rewards in the Kingdom reign. A reward without an incentive is no longer a reward but a gift. The gift was eternal life throught Christ Jesus our Lord. The rewards are the privilege of reigning with Christ and gaining the blessings of an overcoming christian life.

    By Blogger Jim, at Monday, June 05, 2006 5:18:00 PM  

  • Yes but are you agreeing with the position of casting your children into outer darkness Jim?

    You are either clothed in Christs righteousness at the banquet or you are clothed in yours. Whoever is clothed in something foreign will be cast into outer darkness. Your works and filthy garments or Christs pure garments.

    I am hoping one sees the danger in seperating the love of God by any merit other than Christs. Even if you have a para-purgatorial metaphorical image of another place other than God's glory in Christs glorious righteousness, you introduce an alien element regardless. An alien source to trust in and no flesh will glory in his presence.Either way it still insults the righteousness of Christ. 1 Corinthians.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, June 05, 2006 7:18:00 PM  

  • Jim, thanks for your thoughts.

    Brian, what do you think the outer darkness is and why?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 12:38:00 AM  

  • "What we mean is that they refer to the historical Jesus the same as we do"

    I agree in regards to Jesus' life on Earth, but they believe many very different things about Jesus' life in heaven, particularly before his incarnation. They believe that Jesus is our brother and also the brother of Lucifer. I guess this goes back to the topic of LDS beliefs about the divinity of Jesus, or perhaps the divinity of ourselves.

    By Blogger brett, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 2:18:00 AM  

  • The historical Jesus is the person who hung on the cross for our sakes and who was raised from the dead. If one trusts in this person for eternal life one will posess eternal life, regardless of any misconceptions about His nature.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 4:19:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    You just keep banging the same drum, w/o any real engagement of my comment here; and my current article. You have no wiggle room to make the assertions that you do--i.e. your "mis-conception" thought.

    I'm starting to feel like this is a lost cause, and not worth the effort of engaging you guys anymore. There are many critiques of your position (and Antonoio's) out in the blogosphere right now--and yet you guys provide no real substantive response, just anecdotal assertions. Even Bud Brown, a FG'r, disagrees with you guys! And more importantly scripture does as well.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 9:32:00 AM  

  • I have yet to see anything in the way of a solid refutation of our position.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 12:04:00 PM  

  • I'm not sure how, in all humility, how much more solid a response can be given than the one I gave you above, and in my recent article. You haven't really dealt with it?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 1:25:00 PM  

  • Now I agree with you in a sense, Matthew, when doing "offensive" (denotative usage of that word)apologetics, as I've been trying to do with you and Antonio much of the success of such an engagement is measured by the response of those I am making the argument to--in other words the threshold of persuasiveness becomes the measurement--in this case I guess I've failed in making a good argument to you.

    But,

    In the sense that I've been doing "defensive apologetics" with you guys--I think there has been some success--judged by the fact that I believe that what I have presented to you guys meets Christological/Soteriological standards established in scripture, and throughout the teachings of the church throughout its history.

    I wish you would reconsider your position Matthew, it's seriously flawed. You can't just stick your head in the sand, and pretend that there are'nt serious substantial objections being made to your position--and not just by me--but by other "known" (i.e. people you would be aware of)bloggers as well. Your approach doesn't seem genuine to me anymore--nor does Antonio's. And whether or not some of the critiques are coming from Lordship/Calvinist folk really makes no difference at all--unless you guys are going to engage in "guilt by association", and merely write off their critiques as well, just because they are coming a variant theological tradition. In other words I believe much of their critique has merit on its own, apart from their lordship "stuff".

    In Christ,

    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, June 06, 2006 1:34:00 PM  

  • I am sorry, but I really do not understand what the problem is. I have seen a few Scriptures quoted, which do not seem to have any real bearing.

    But as to the substance of your arguments, I just do not understand what the problem you have with our position really is.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, June 07, 2006 12:35:00 AM  

  • Antonio~
    Do I understand that you do NOT affirm the virgin conception of the Lord Jesus Christ?

    TELL ME I AM WRONG!!! PLEASEā€¦ TELL ME I AM WRONG!!!

    Is my understanding faulty on this? I thought the Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin,
    NOT the product of some kind of extraterrestrial fornication! I thought the Lord Jesus Christ was always the One true God not one among many! I thought the Lord Jesus Christ never had a sexual encounter with anyone or anything ever, ever, ever, and never ever will!

    I do see a vast difference between the Mormon perversion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the biblical presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ! Based on the authority of Peterson and Ricks I am wrong, but if there was a better authority, say the Scriptures (the Bible only) then I would go with that authority.

    What motivates? What drives these controversies? What is the point?

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Saturday, June 10, 2006 1:33:00 PM  

  • John, the reason why this issue is so important is because it concerns the nature of saving faith.

    Is faith a kind of minimum standard of righteousness, or is it merely the appropriation of the gift of eternal life?

    Faith is not a condition for receiving eternal life, but it is the receiving or appropriation itself. Hence, the degree of understanding which the believer has of Christ's person has no bearing on whether they are trusting in our Lord for eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, June 10, 2006 2:01:00 PM  

  • Matthew,

    You just met back up with the "Hyper Calvanists" in that last statement whether you realize it or not. You are admitting now that faith is a gift of God, but you are taking it a step further and removing it away from being something man can claim to posses. Essentially nothing hinders you from now being a Pedo-Baptist. Think about what you are saying. Some outside entity is now believing for the believer in your last statement

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:00:00 PM  

  • How do you work that one out?

    I do not think that faith comes purely as a gift and I did not say so.

    Belief is certainly something conscious. A baby could not exercise passive trust in Christ for eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, June 11, 2006 1:22:00 AM  

  • Hey Bhder!

    I'd like to thank you for some very excellent posts!

    Free Grace (not the cheap GES kind)

    By Anonymous Free Grace, at Monday, June 12, 2006 4:52:00 AM  

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