179th Semiannual General Conference & the Book of Mormon

Religious people sure do get excited over their holy books.  It is a fascinating experience to observe.

For LDS people, the Book of Mormon is the Most High among the “Modern” LDS scriptural trilogy.  Yet the trilogy has only been famous because of how it awkwardly yet tenaciously clings in an American piggyback, testimonial fashion on to the shoulders of the KJV Bible, especially this marvelous triune splendor:  Genesis, Isaiah, and John.

29 comments

  1. I’m assuming you’re referring to Elder Holland’s bold straight forward testimony of the Book of Mormon during the Sunday afternoon session.

    Guess you can either look at it as an old guy telling a big lie — or a special witness and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ testifying with all his might of the purpose and mission of the Book of Mormon.

    IMHO…words like “trilogy” and “famous” are associated with fiction and things of the world and have no place in describing a sacred scriptural record with a purpose to bring men unto God.

  2. If Elder Holland is an apostle and a special witness of Christ, what I really want to hear from him is his testimony of having seen the resurrected Lord.

    And I don’t want to hear that it’s too sacred to talk about. The biblical apostles didn’t think it was too sacred to talk about.

  3. You sound like your asking for a sign.

    You should have come to our Stake Conference last year. He talked specifically about his calling as an apostle and what it means to be a special witness. His words left no room for doubt, but the Spirit was the witness of the truth of his calling.

  4. Rob, from the time that I could first hear and comprehend, loved ones in my life were reading to me the KJV. Eventually, the KJV became the scriptural foundation of my life’s purpose and joy. So you can imagine the mental clashes that I experienced when first being exposed as a teenager to the LDS scriptural texts and their KJV phraseology. My friends’ starting point was how the imported KJV phrases were used in “modern” scripture. My starting point was the KJV phrases before they were tweaked by Joseph.

    Of course, Joseph testified, emotionally, sincerely, wholeheardedly, forcefully to the truth of these changes. And in America, 179 years later, so does Elder Holland.

    But there are powerful preachers today, great men of God, giving testimony to the authority and sufficiency of the KJV alone for scriptural guidance in the lives of God’s children.

    I could note religious bodies in America who have a huge interest in the KJV: Calvary Chapel Network (NKJV), Independent Baptists – black and white preachers, Black Pentecostal preachers, Reformed who follow the traditional, authorized texts, and the Mormons.

    These groups (and no doubt others) are examining 475 year old English Tyndale/KJV phrases every week, and yet look at the massive rift between LDS and these others on “testimony”.

    Before Elder Holland seeks to get me all excited about the Book of Mormon, I want to hear his faith testimony–not on the textual variants that we all already know about–but for all these latter-day topics over what he thinks is not trustworthy or complete in the King James Bibles that we all carry. And then let him back up his stance on the superior power and historicity of the Book of Mormon with its many KJV phrases by utilizing the casework of scholars and historians who love and cherish the Tyndale/KJV Tradition.

    Holland is claiming to be the genuine apostle for America today. But he is not making a true case at all for those who do love God and the scripture, the ones living outside the authority of the LDS Church hierarchy in the I-15 Corridor.

    keenly dependent on the Spirit and hungering to be dominated by His inspired words alone,

    Todd

  5. BRIDGET

    Why is it that all Apostles have to have seen the Resurrected Christ. I have not seen this qualification specified in the Bible. I know some claim it is, and if you want to believe that, go ahead. But I have not read it, and thus I do not need to hear about it in order to accept him as and apostle.

  6. TODD

    He is making a case through the spirit, not through Earthly scholarship.

    I have no doubt these men you speak of love the Bible, but all their work and research is the learning of men. It is through the spirit that one learns the truth of all things, and not through mortal understanding and reasoning.

  7. Rob ~ You sound like your asking for a sign.

    Asking to hear the nature of someone’s experiences with the Savior is asking for a sign? That’s rather spurious logic in my book.

    He talked specifically about his calling as an apostle and what it means to be a special witness. His words left no room for doubt, but the Spirit was the witness of the truth of his calling.

    So you’re saying that he claimed to have seen the resurrected Christ? If not, what is the difference between the witness Jeffrey R. Holland can have and the witness any person out there can have? What’s so “special” about his witness?

    shematwater ~ Paul indicates that it’s a requirement for the calling of apostle in 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?” The book of Acts also indicates that this was a consideration in selecting an apostle to replace Judas:

    “So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21-22, NRSV)

    Besides that, there aren’t any sure biblical examples of apostles who hadn’t seen the resurrected Christ. So I think it’s a fair question for a Protestant to ask.

    By the way, please don’t get me wrong. I think Holland gave an excellent talk and a very powerful and moving testimony of the Book of Mormon.

    But if I want to hear somebody bear witness to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, I can go to any Fast & Testimony meeting and hear that. Heck, I don’t even have to go to the LDS church to hear that. This Baptist preacher seems pretty passionately convinced that it’s a true book. That’s why I ask, what “special witness” does Holland have to offer?

  8. . . . that we have a fragmented, incomplete Bible that the Holy Spirit couldn’t preserve in the midst of mankind’s apostate buffoonery.

    But don’t worry. The Holy Spirit saves the day by giving Joseph the needed answers that were obviously not there in the KJV, clouded with human reasoning and corrupted by human philosophy.

    But what is “new” or “special” about this witness?

  9. BRIDGET

    In the Corinthians quote it really does not sound like he is using his vision of the Resurrected Lord as a qualification for apostleship. The two seem to be very separate things that he is rejoicing in. He is rejoicing that he is an Apostle, and that he has seen the Risen Lord. He does not say he is an apostle because he has seen God, only that he qualifies to rejoice in both situations.

    As to the Acts quote, what is really being said here? They are not saying it has to be a person who has seen the resurrected Lord, only that is has to be a person who was faithful from the beginning. There were many who followed Christ in the beginning that left after certain occurances or teachings. And there were others who had joined the Faithful later on in the Lord’s ministry. All Peter is saying that those who were of these two groups should not be chosen, but that one who had joined the Faithful in the beginning and had remained faithful should be chosen.
    We have no direct indication that either of the men chosen saw the Resurrected Lord. I do not say they didn’t, but that it cannot be proven. Personally, I think these men were of the Seventy that Christ had ordained (Luke 10).

    You make the assumption that all apostles had seen God because we are not told of any who hadn’t. Besides being falty in logic, Barnabas is refered to as an Apostle (1 Cor. 9: 5-6; Acts 14: 4, 14) and yet we have no record of him ever having seen the resurrected Lord. Thus, while “there aren’t any sure biblical examples of apostles who hadn’t seen the resurrected Christ” there is at least one apostle where we have no sure example of him seeing the Resurrected Christ.

    As to the difference in the Witnesses, it is really very simple. The common member who testifies of the Resurrection and Christ is giving a personal tetimony. It can be powerful, and true. However, the Apostles are called as “special Witnesses.” In other words, the testimony of an Apostle carries a special power given by the Holy Ghost in carrying his words to the hearts of men. When all men are called to share their testimonies, they do so before groups, before friends and family. An apostle is to declare his testimony before the world as a whole. This is the difference. There is power in the words of an Apostles that is not in the words of the average member, because they ahve been called to that specific calling.

  10. shematwater ~ In the Corinthians quote it really does not sound like he is using his vision of the Resurrected Lord as a qualification for apostleship.

    I have to disagree with you there, shema. The entire chapter deals with people at Corinth who are questioning Paul’s status as an apostle, so he is indeed listing his qualifications. See verse 3, “This is my defense to those who would examine me.” There’s no rejoicing in those verses, it’s an argumentative passage.

    They are not saying it has to be a person who has seen the resurrected Lord, only that is has to be a person who was faithful from the beginning.

    You seem to be avoiding what the text plainly says, and I don’t know how it could be any clearer than the citation I quoted. It says that the candidate “must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” How can someone be a witness to a resurrection that he never saw?

    You’re correct that we don’t have evidence one way or another on whether or not Barnabas had seen Christ. I actually find it unlikely that he was a member of the Seventy(-Two) or the five hundred (1 Corinthians 15:6) for that matter, since the book of Acts indicates that the apostles first met him in 4:36-37, though that wouldn’t preclude a special appearance just as Paul had. There’s also Andronicus and Junia who are called apostles with no information given on whether or not they had seen Christ (Romans 16:7). But I still believe that 1 Corinthians 9:1 and Acts 1:22 give strong indications that having seen the resurrected Christ was a requirement for the job.

    There is power in the words of an Apostles that is not in the words of the average member, because they ahve been called to that specific calling.

    That’s a pretty underwhelming, subjective distinction, but thank you for explaining your point of view on the matter.

  11. Jack — Didn’t Christ specifically call apostles in his time as special witnesses — he taught them more they he taught the multitudes. These apostles were given the authority and stewardship to preach in his name and bear witness of him during his ministry and after he was gone. These are they who were present at the last supper — not the multitudes. This is why they are “special witnesses”. I believe it would be hard to be a “special witness” without having intimate knowledge of who it is you are testifying of.

    Todd — Doesn’t the massive rift between the LDS and all the others examining the 475 year old English Tyndale/KJV phrases every week really come down to believing whether or not God visited Joseph Smith and has formally called prophets and apostles today to restore truths that were lost? The LDS believe this and rejoice in the restoration while everyone else has their own religious body because of their own interpretation of the same exact Tyndale/KJV phrases that they all have been reading each week for the past 475 years.

    You are asking Elder Holland to prove the Book of Mormon and back it up by the learning of man (i.e. “utilizing the casework of scholars and historians who love and cherish the Tyndale/KJV Tradition”) — can’t happen — “love and cherishing tradition” is great, but it isn’t enough because the learning of man is always incomplete and flawed. Only the Spirit can provide the proof.

    Did you get a chance to listen to any of the other messages from the prophet or apostles? If so, what did you take away from their messages?

  12. Rob ~ I’m not sure what your point is. If the LDS apostles have intimate knowledge of Christ, let them share what it is. That’s all I’m asking. The ancient apostles never held back.

  13. BRIDGET

    The problem is that they have knowledge that is not to be shared with others. Even in the days of Christ he taught the Apostles things that he would not teach the multitudes, especially those who were not of the Faith. So, for a modern apostle to follow that instruction, reserving the knowledge for the faithful that belongs to the faithful, how can anyone truly critisize them without critisizing Christ?

    As to what you say about the very verses you give, I never said that what you say cannot be seen in these passages. I simply said that I read something different, and thus the proof you require is not required by me (or other LDS) and that is why we do not need him to show this proof as you do, and why asking for such proof sound like asking for a sign to us. This is all I was saying.

    Oh, and as for bearing testimony of the Resurrected Lord (or witnessing of it) it you truly believe what you say than you prove you have no testimony, or that you have seen the resurrected Lord.
    However, to show that you can be a witness to the fact of the resurrection without having witnessed it, I would direct you to the book of Job. Chapter 19: 25-27 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”
    This man had a powerful testimony of the resurrection (both Christ’s and his) and bore witness to what he knew to be true. Did he see the resurrected Lord? No. But he is still a great witness to the reality of that resurrection.
    And like Job, I have not seen the Resurrected Lord, but I will bear witness to all who ask that he has been resurrected, for I know it as surely as I know my name.

    One does not need to have seen something to be a witness to it, one only needs to have an unshaking faith in it.

  14. 1). Yes, Rob, you nailed it . . . the fundamental heart issue.

    2). Yet I do not think what Joseph Smith sought to restore has brought any doctrinal unity to LDS. For instance, I can talk to a dozen different LDS who attend church in Idaho Falls and receive many different personal descriptions of the Spirit and multiple theories on Book of Mormon historicity and a whole sundry of interpretations on scriptural passages. I don’t think that it is the LDS doctrinal truth restored that has brought unity; the ecclesiastical unity arises because of the contemporary male priesthood authority in operation. There is no trust that the Bible alone inspired by the Holy Spirit can keep unity for Christ’s Church. Unity rests in following the modern day prophet and apostles.

    3). Sadly, Rob, I have never had trust in our modern-day Prophet, living three and half hours to the south of us because he displays no full trust in the ancient apostolic tradition. Neither he nor the other 14 elders are leading the way in causing us to stand firm and hold to the traditions.

    4). Rob, as a Baptist heading in to the ministry, I married a girl who grew up Pentecostal. My mom’s family is Nazarene. Some of my dearest friends are Presbyterian. There are statements of faith where we stand in 100% agreement as we cherish the Tradition. Don’t let Joseph or the modern LDS think tank slight this with cliches.

    5). I have not heard any of the other messages, Rob; definitely, Holland stands out as a preacher among the bunch. Which other would you recommend?

  15. shematwater ~ I did not say that the Bible makes an airtight case that one cannot be an apostle without having seen the risen Jesus, only that it strongly indicates it. Besides, I understand that the Bible isn’t a Latter-day Saint’s only source for revelation, so I don’t really expect you to be swayed by what it says on the matter. I’m only trying to explain why Protestants are concerned on this point.

    The Bible states pretty bluntly that the apostles went out and testified of the risen Lord, so I don’t see how pointing out that Christ shared intimate knowledge with the original 12 helps the LDS case in this regard. Besides, we don’t have any proof that the apostles withheld this intimate knowledge from the world after the ascension; that seems like a terrible waste.

    But the reason I’ve drilled this train of thought at all is because I believe that there’s a difference between the calling of apostle and the calling of evangelist. An evangelist is someone who goes out and preaches the Gospel to the world, not just in word but in power; an apostle is someone who has a firsthand testimony of the resurrected Christ. Yes, someone can have a spiritual testimony of the resurrected Christ without having physically witnessed Him, but it won’t have the power of an actual physical witness. (Job may have had a spiritual witness of God or Christ, but he certainly wasn’t an apostle.) So as far as I can tell, the LDS apostles aren’t. They seem more like highly revered evangelists and overseers than anything else. I don’t doubt that you’ll disagree with me; I’m just explaining my train of thought on the matter.

    Last thing: you and Rob have both darkly asserted that my line of questioning constitutes “sign-seeking.” Seriously, sign-seeking? No one is asking anyone to perform a miracle here, we’re just three people discussing the nature of what it means to be an apostle. When you throw that charge around lightly, it comes off as thought-stopping rhetoric designed to shut down the topic instead of exploring it, and it ranks right up there with “the prophet will never lead us astray” and “not all that is true is useful.”

    Point being, I’d be a little more careful with that charge next time around. Wouldn’t want someone to mistake your religion for an anti-intellectual cult.

  16. BRIDGET

    I understand what you are saying.
    First, the idea of Sign Seeking is not truly my idea, and I do not think what you ask is in truth sign seeking. However, I do think it is akin to it. You do not seek a sign for yourself, but you refuse to believe someone who has not had such a sign, and this is what I see in what you are saying. Simple as that.

    Now, you admit that the Bible does not explicitly state that one has to hae seen the Reserrected Lord to be an apostle. As such, the claim of the LDS leaders to being apostles really should not be a problem, but a cause for pondering what you see in the scriptures. If there is no direct indication that this is a requirement, isn’t it possible that it is not a requirement? And if it is not a requirement, is it not possible that these men are indeed apostles?

    You say there is no direct proof, but you act as if there is.

    As to proof that the Apostles did not teach all things to the saints, first look at the ending of John’s Gospel where he states directly that he has not shared all that Christ did or taught, nor could he. Thus, to say that they did not teach all that they knew is no more illogical than to say they did.

  17. shematwater ~ You do not seek a sign for yourself, but you refuse to believe someone who has not had such a sign, and this is what I see in what you are saying.

    Incorrect. I haven’t said a word about believing in the LDS apostles myself. I’ve only made the observation that they do not appear to have firsthand testimonies of the risen Christ as the biblical apostles did.

    What it would take for me to believe in their claims is another matter altogether, and I promise it has little to do with miraculous signs.

    The Gospel of John says:

    John 20:30 – Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

    And later says:

    John 21:25 – But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

    That doesn’t say the author willfully withheld information because it was secret, it says he didn’t write everything down because that would be impossible. Pretty understandable position in my book.

  18. BRIDGET

    I never said that the apostles testifying to a vision would make you believe them. I said that your words sounded like that. I know you would never believe them. That is obvious from what you say. However, the accusation of sign seeking, and in the manner that I describes, can also be seen in your words. This is all I am saying.
    And yes, you did quite frankly say that you would not accept anyone as an apostle who had not had such a vision. I am not only counting the leaders of the LDS in my analysis of your statement, but all men who might make the claim (it is simply that I know of no one else who has).

    As to John leaving out certian events or teachings, how do you think he chose which ones to write downa nd teach, and which ones not too. I think there is little support for the idea that he just wrote what he could without regard to what it was. It is far more logical to say that he chose those things appropriate for the world to record, and kept back those things that were meant only for the faithful sainsts. This is my point. I am not going a simply examination of the text, but an analysis of the psicology of John in order to have a better understanding of what he may have left out of his writings.

  19. Todd,

    You mentioned that you don’t see unity among the LDS today and I believe you are seeing many of the fringes and external rumblings associated with LDS doctrine. As LDS we acknowledge that we do not know *everything*and just like science or any other subject in life there it is human nature to push the edges and try to find the answers even it it means taking educated guesses. This is where and how you lose the unity. I believe this is largely the condition of the world today where each religion and their leaders interpret scripture and tradition in their own way. This is why there is a need for prophets and apostles to keep that unity.

    We live in a mortal and physical world and everything we do and see is very physical in nature. The things of the Spirit require work and effort to understand as well as a desire to seek to obtain. Further complicating the issue is that there is more than one type of spirit — one is good and the other is evil and because Satan is the great imitator it can be very difficult to learn to distinguish which is which.

    My point being that left to our own without prophets and apostles to bring unity to the doctrine and the people, it is only a matter of time before fragmentation happens. I believe that the Holy Ghost always brings unity and everyone that truly desires to recognize and follow the Holy Ghost will come to the same exact unity of faith in the understanding of doctrine, scripture, and truth — no matter where they started.

    While you may visually (physically) see a lack of unity among many LDS members on the periphery, if you could really see inside the hearts of a majority of the LDS around the world, you would see a unity strengthening day by day of those that are truly striving daily to become more Christlike as they seek the Holy Ghost in following the modern day prophets and apostles — it’s called gathering to Zion — some think of it as a physical place, but I believe it must first be a spiritual gathering as in the days of Enoch when the Lord said “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18). Their “hearts were knit together and in love one towards another” (Mosiah 18:21). The Lords people are a Zion people.

    I believe that in the world today there is a weeding out of the tares from among the wheat that is happening little by little, but is becoming more and more visible — those who choose to follow the physical and things of the world and those who choose to follow Christ and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Soon it will be impossible to be in the middle and sit on the fence.

    As I have said before, I believe there are many good people honestly seeking to follow Christ, not just LDS. Joseph Smith said ” For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it— ” (D&C 123:12). Only the Holy Ghost can bring the unity of faith and truth that will knit our hearts together as one together in love. The world puts labels on religions as if they were professional sports teams — pitting one against the other and comparing their stats, plays, and records. In reality there are only two teams — the sheep and the goats. In the end, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ — which means we know who will win.

    Finally, Todd, you’ve used the word “tradition” a few times and I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that.

    I believe, and I believe the scriptures support this, that “traditions” can be good and bad — good when they reflect correct truths and bad when they are incorrect. I am reminded over and over again from the Book of Mormon of the Lamanites and the “traditions of their fathers” that were handed down incorrectly from generation to generation until the current generation believed that they were correct (see Mosiah 1:5, 10:12, Alma 9:16-17, etc.). This means that we can’t just simply accept and follow “traditions” without seeking and receiving an answer to know if they are good or bad. Again, I’m not quite sure of the context or meaning when you use the word “traditions”.

    As far as other conference talks, I really liked President Monson’s talk on Sunday morning about reaching out to help and giving service especially in the difficult circumstances happening all over the world. Also, Elder Bednar’s talk about the need to strengthen the home was powerful to me as the father of my family. I felt there was an overwhelming message in all the talks of the need to show love to all those around us in these difficult times. That is certainly my desire and I will strive to do so even more each day.

  20. shematwater ~ However, the accusation of sign seeking, and in the manner that I describes, can also be seen in your words. This is all I am saying.

    You can keep saying it if you want. You’ll just be wrong.

    And yes, you did quite frankly say that you would not accept anyone as an apostle who had not had such a vision.

    Please show me where I “frankly” said this. (Hint: I didn’t.)

    As to John leaving out certian events or teachings, how do you think he chose which ones to write downa nd teach, and which ones not too.

    The text of John states very clearly why he chose to include what he included: “But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) In other words, he tailored his gospel to be a tool for evangelism rather than tailoring it as a tool for discipleship or church-building or whatever other areas of expertise John had. Tailoring your writing to reach a certain audience (i.e. unbelievers) ≠ excluding things because they’re forbidden from being taught to the general public. You’re not appealing to psychology, you’re just appealing to silence.

  21. Rob, so it seems to me that as you and I both see fragmentation in each other’s camps, we both believe very sincerely that the prayer of Jesus in John 17 will be answered about unity concerning His own people given to Him by the Father. Our problem is that we disagree over which Word is truth.

    I thank the Father, Son, and Spirit for this ancient prayer that is just as relevant to today. Indeed, there is one Zion.

    And I am thinking of the traditions mentioned in II Thessalonians, friend.

    Have a good weekend.

  22. BRIGDET

    First, concerning John. I agree with his purpose, and I also think that we of this day and age were his audience. But, as his purpose was one of missionary work it is even more logical that those doctrines recerved for the faithful would not be in it. In this you have simply stengthened my arguement. If he is reaching to the non-members to persuade them of the Saviors mission and sacrifice, and the truthfulness of the Gospel, he is not going to put in those things that require that initial faith and knowledge. He is not going to include all those things taught to him by Christ, because those things are not to be had by the unbelieving world. It is the psycology of John that I appeal to for this assertion, for as a true follower he would have done this.

    As to your words, I will not be wrong, for I am not speaking of your intended meaning, onoly the meaning that others are able to see in your words. If you want to be stubborn and claim that no one can see your words in any way other than what you intended, that is fine, but you will never have a truly uplifted, or educaiton discussion with that attitude. It is in knowing how the person you are talking too will take your words, what meaning they will see inthem, that you are able to convey any really coherant thought or idea.
    As I said, I do not think you are asking for a sign, nor do ai really think you are asking for others to have signs, but what you say can easily be seen as this.

    As to your frankness, I think you misunderstood. My fault, as I did not use the appropriate punctuation in my last comment. What I meant was that I was speaking frankly in giving the meaning of waht you said. No, you did not say it frankly, but you did say it, and so I gave a frank interpretation of your words.
    You started with this comment: “If Elder Holland is an apostle … what I really want to hear from him is his testimony of having seen the resurrected Lord.”
    The direct implication of this is that if he hasn’t seen the resurrected Lord he is not an Apostle.
    After this you quote a few scriptures to support the idea. When I say that the references you give are not a direct statement to the idea you said “The entire chapter deals with people at Corinth who are questioning Paul’s status as an apostle, so he is indeed listing his qualifications.” Again this implies the requirement of a vision.
    When speaking of the Acts quote you replied “It says that the candidate “must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” How can someone be a witness to a resurrection that he never saw?” The implication is again clear.
    Lastly you say “I did not say that the Bible makes an airtight case that one cannot be an apostle without having seen the risen Jesus, only that it strongly indicates it. … I’m only trying to explain why Protestants are concerned on this point.”
    Again, this assertion implies that you will not accept anyone as an apostle unless they ahve seen a vision. The wording is one of safty, allowing you to deny this attitude if needed, but taken with what you already said it is fairly obvious that this is your opinion, and you will hold to it.

    So, I quite frankly stated that what you say strongly indicates that you will not accept any person to be an apostle if they have not seen the Resurrected Lord, even though you agree that such an idea cannot truly be proven in the Bible.

  23. shematwater ~ As to your words, I will not be wrong, for I am not speaking of your intended meaning, onoly the meaning that others are able to see in your words. If you want to be stubborn and claim that no one can see your words in any way other than what you intended, that is fine, but you will never have a truly uplifted, or educaiton discussion with that attitude.

    So it’s not what I actually said, it’s what you decided I meant and you think I’m responsible for your mindset and your conclusions regardless of my actual words?

    Get real, shematwater. I had already rebuffed Rob for making the sign-seeking accusation by the time you brought it up, so you’re completely without excuse here.

    Next time you want to have a “truly uplifted, educational discussion,” leave the thought-stopping charges of sign-seeking out of it or expect to be called on it.

    Case closed. The end.

  24. BRIDGET

    You still do not understand my words, and I thought I was being very plain in them.

    First, I have never stated your intention, nor have I tried to say what you meant. I have tried to clarify what you meant by explaining what I and others can see in your words. If it is possible for a person to see two different meanings in the words of another it is very important to ask for clarification so that there is no mistake. Once the clarification was made I simply tried to explain that you should say things in a different way so as to avoid any future confusion.
    My point is that when you are discussing any topic what you intend doesn’t matter, and that is true. All that matters is what your audience thinks you intend. This is how good men get labeled as racist, or sexist, or whatever else. They say something, and their true intention is lost because they failed to account for the previous bias in their audience. It is something all people need to watch.
    When you say that a man must have seen the resurrected Lord to be an Apostle you must realize that there are those who will see this as seeking a sign.

    Now, on a final note, you never once rebuffed the idea of seeking a sign. This is what you say on the idea:
    “Asking to hear the nature of someone’s experiences with the Savior is asking for a sign? That’s rather spurious logic in my book.”
    “When you throw that charge around lightly, it comes off as thought-stopping rhetoric designed to shut down the topic instead of exploring it”
    So, basically, you have done nothing to prove that what you say is not sign seeking. All you have said is we shouldn’t accuse you of it. Talk about “Though-stopping” rhetoric.
    Neither me nor Rob made any direct accusation that you were sign seeking, only a cautious warnign that your words could be taken that way. This was not done with a desire to stop any thought, but promote it.

    But I will give you my honest opinion now, as it seems that you really don’t care to learn anything.
    What you say is seeking a sign, and in the manner I said. No, you do not wish to see a miracle, but you wish to hear about it. You can accept the prophets of the Bible because you have received the account of the signs they were shown. Because you have not received such an account from the modern prophets you will not accept them. Thus, you seek for a sign, not of power or miracles, but of words. You do not seek a sign to believe in God, but you do seek a sign to believe in his prophets. You do not want to challenge God, but you challenge his annointed messagers.
    No, it is not as grevious a sin as seeking a sign of God’s existance or divinity, but it is still seeking signs.

    Since you ended your case I have no real anticipation of an answer to this, and so I will not respond on this thread again, but what I said here needed to be said.

  25. shematwater ~ When you say that a man must have seen the resurrected Lord to be an Apostle you must realize that there are those who will see this as seeking a sign.

    And you must realize that unless someone says, “Can you show me a miracle?” or “Can you show me the resurrected Christ?”, it is not sign-seeking in any way, shape or form and to suggest otherwise is laughably, absurdly lame. Asking whether or not someone else has had an experience with miraculous things is only sign-seeking in your book because you have nothing better to argue.

    But I will give you my honest opinion now, as it seems that you really don’t care to learn anything.

    I beg to differ. I’ve learned plenty from this thread: that having a conversation with you is a complete and utter waste of time, and that when you’re called on one ridiculous self-righteous platitude, instead of backing down from it you just plod merrily on to the next one as if nothing has happened. See the next quote for an example.

    Thus, you seek for a sign, not of power or miracles, but of words. You do not seek a sign to believe in God, but you do seek a sign to believe in his prophets. You do not want to challenge God, but you challenge his annointed messagers.

    I hope you have fun on your little Rameumptom up there. I have better things to do.

  26. BJM,

    Since we agree so often… Let me say I am with you on this one. I think that the charge of “seeking signs” misrepresents the passages of the Gospels where the Pharisees demanded that signs are to be preformed in a manner to their liking (Matt 12:38; 16:1; Mark 8:11 etc.) and ignore the purpose of miracles in redemptive history and the relation of miracles as a divinely given gift and proof concerning the authority of prophets.

  27. BJM,

    Your welcome, I am sure that $20 is more useful.

    I do think that this turned into a particularly interesting topic, miracles played a particular role in establishing the genuineness of the messengers and the messengers of the Bible.

    I probably agree with you more than we both think, sometimes comm boxes are not the best way to express complicated subjects.

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