A new LDS label

I like the label “Latter-day Saints”. But it will take the sweeping power of God to infuse biblical truth as I am being taught by the Spirit into that label.

John MacArthur would push for this biblical label: “Slaves of Jesus Christ”

So what if I joined the two for this?

Latter-Day Slaves of a biblical mindset – set free to joyfully serve a new Master, the Lord Jesus Christ

The label cuts through worldly evangelicalism and superficial fundamentalism. And strikingly, the label is politically incorrect for American Christianity(ies) and completely unmarketable in all of the big, religious business in our country.

It is an unflattering label that binds me in worship and love to the repulsive, despised, suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.

Thinking of heart issues . . .

(Be looking for the new “LDS” posts integrated with the regular inquiry on this blog.)

8 comments

  1. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:15

    Wherefore thou are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Gal. 4:7

    A lengthy, but appropriate quote from Thomas Arnold’s “Sermons” explaining Galations chapter 4:

    “First, then, when St. Paul says that the Jews before Christ came, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world, there are two things to be explained: what he means by “bondage,” and what by the “rudiments of the world.” A slave – one who is bought by his master, like a beast, and with whom his master may do whatever he chooses – is not very likely to serve for love; so far from it, he thinks his master a sort of natural enemy, whose interest is exactly opposite to his own. His service he thinks a burden, which it would be his happiness to get rid of: his commands he obeys, not because he respects or loves them, but because he will be punished if he disobeys: where he thinks that he can disobey without risk to himself, he does it immediately; and he puts as little strength and heartiness into his labour as he dares, because his work is task-work, and not the service of the heart. And this is the state of men in general towards God, if they know the truth of his nature, and have been taught what are his commandments; in other words, it was the state of men under the law….

    This then is what St. Paul means by a state of bondage: and when he says that it was a bondage under the rudiment of the world, he means that it was like the restraints which children are put under, when they are learning the first rudiments or beginnings of their schooling… and their state therefore is one of bondage, because they do not like what it is their duty and business to do.

    But you will observe that St. Paul goes on to say, that the state of Christians was the very opposite to this. “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. So thou are no more a servant (or slave), but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” If you have followed the explanation of the former verses, you will see that when St. Paul says, “We are no more slaves but sons,” he means that Christians serve God not from fear but from love; and that, so far from disliking their service, and grudging all the obedience which they render, it is their pleasure to serve God; and they never think it a service at all, but a privilege and a delight. They share in the Spirit of Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, – as Christ loved the Father with an entire love, and found it his meat and drink to do his Father’s will; as he resigned all his own will to his Father’s, and sought not his own glory, but the glory of him who sent him; – and as, agreeably with these feelings, he never addressed God but by the title of Father… as these, I say, were Christ’s feelings towards God, so the Spirit of Christ gives to Christians to feel the same, – and they, too, like Christ, addressed God by the name of Abba, that is, Father; and they too feel towards him like sons, loving him, honouring him, and feeling it their pleasure to do his will rather than their own. And all this mighty change has been wrought; men were changed from slaves to sons, – from serving God with fear and dislike, to serving him with love and pleasure, – because “God sent forth his Son, made of woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons.” (Thomas Arnold; “Sermons” Chapter 3)

    We are no longer slaves Todd, but children, and then joint heirs. I feel to remind you of God’s words to Peter:

    “What God hath cleansed, call thou not unclean.”

    I fear you do a disservice to the works of God’s hands in the name of overcorrecting on doctrinal disagreements.

  2. You remind me of some good things, Seth. Rich indeed. I have been made a son of God (a latter-day son – not having always been this), made a priest before my God, made a joint heir with Christ. I am to live and govern as a royal king, forever. I shall not die. It’s promised by the Savior. To think about it, everything seems like a magical fairy tale. But it is all true.

    And yet all because of grace, I have not deserved any of these positions.

    This only fuels my joyful, loving, thankful, service to the eternal YHWH (the Adonai Jehovah, the Angel of Jehovah, and the Spirit of Jehovah) . . . absolutely, Most High God of all, the loving One who knows no other, tolerates no other, and shares noncommunicable glory with no other.

    Someday soon, my slavery will be perfect. Every thought, every emotion, every action in complete obedience to the loving Father. Now that is exaltation.

    I am LDS. 🙂

    I stand by the beautiful label. I am so thankful to be made a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. My slavery to Satan was hell. My marriage to the law was awful – full of wretched condemnation. My sinful self’s continual bondage to sin tormented me daily.

    I will be eternally grateful to my new Master.

  3. I think it’s pretty clear it isn’t “slavery” Todd. And I agree with Arnold’s reasoning on that score wholeheartedly.

    That said, it’s possible that we’re quibbling over semantics. Using different words to describe the same feelings and ideas and thinking – because we use different words – we don’t have the feelings, or don’t share the ideas.

    But then again, I’ve occasionally thought the same thing about the entire LDS vs. Evangelical debate.

  4. I might add that we are not alone in calling ourselves “Latter-day Saints.”

    Dr. Peterson:
    “Writing about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and about the community at Qumran that seems to have produced and guarded them, the Austrian scholar Georg Molin reflected in 1954 that the title ‘Latter-day Saints,’ although it belongs to a modern religious movement, could also properly have been given to the ancient authors and custodians of the Scrolls.”

    Dr. Nibley:
    “The sectaries of Qumran knew that the greatest of all prizes was not to be cheaply bought, that there could be no cheating or cutting of corners; to prepare for eternity, one must be willing to go all the way. Whatever may have been their human failings, these people, as the Roman Catholic scholar Georg Molin observed, must be taken seriously and viewed with great respect. The proper title for them, the name they gave themselves, he maintains, is ‘Latter-day Saints’—and he deplores the preemption of that name at the present time by a ‘so-called Christian sect’ (Die Söhne des Lichtes [Vienna: Harold, 1954], p. 146).”

  5. Bryce, I am odd. 🙂

    To be honest, I don’t like how Nibley manipulates source material. And I do think that other LDS scholars beyond Peterson have been more fair with the DSS evidence.

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