“I kind of like Glenn Beck”

It is the humorous new quote in a book review written by the king of evangelical, Calvinistic bloggers, Tim Challies.

American Evangelicals might not be listening to LDS General Conference, but they certainly are reading and listening to Beck.  And it is often with a smile.  A friendly smile.

Beck is #3 on the American radio airwaves.  Through his humor, determined will, and hard work, we shall see if he will make it to the top tier, the highest golden level of influence, in our capitalistic country.

42 comments

  1. God can and does use followers, teachers, and believers of false doctrine to accomplish good. Such is the case with Glenn Beck. While his personal beliefs are a travisty, he does teach many good and wonderful things.

    In reality, I believe this is one of the reasons Mormonism is so dangerous. It is a perfect fulfillment of 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Mormons clothe themselves with righteousness, thus fooling many into believing that their doctrine just have to be good, but in reality they are pushers of a false, damnable doctrine that will lead people to hell.

    Darrell

  2. I wrote a long response to Darrell, realized how pointless it is, and deleted it. So I’ll just say, thank you Darrell for your keen insight into who I am and what my motives are.

  3. John,

    I don’t know you personally, and I don’t know Glenn Beck personally. I would never venture to judge anyone’s personal motives. That is not my point at all.

    There is an old saying that I am sure you have heard: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. Good intentions don’t really matter. As an example, let’s say my kid is sick and I give him medicine that I honestly believe will make him better. I have great intentions. However, unknown to me is the fact that this medicine is not going to help him as it actually has something in it that will trigger an allergic reaction in my son and kill him. Did my good intentions keep my son alive?

    There are many good people, at least by the world’s standards they are good, who are deceived by lies. That is one of the sad things about Mormonism. It is a religion that is clothed with righteousness and, as a result, it is very appealing. It appears clean, safe and wholesome, but in the end misses the mark and leads people down the wide path to Hell.

    Darrell

  4. John, the older I get the more tired I get with the slang labels.

    Hey, you can call me on the carpet, too, if I start calling people derogatory names.

  5. There was a time, around when I was baptized, when the constant discussion with ‘concerned’ friends and extended family about my future eternity in hell kept me up at night and frequently brought me to my knees.

    At this same time I was developing a relationship with The Lord that I never had, and he gave my wife and I sacred experiences and comfort beyond measure, some of which directly involved the Book of Mormon and the LDS church. He gave me the strength to begin to overcome some of the weaknesses I had previously decided I would never be able to shed. At the same time, while these changes were happening, some of the people I loved most in life told me, almost with a gleam in their eye, about my pending eternity in the roaster. It’s enough to make a person give up and I would have if it wasn’t for the esperience that I had and the changes I saw in myself; I saw myself finally becoming the kind of husband I needed to be for my precious family, by his Grace.

    It’s seven years now, the best seven of my life. Also by His grace, I no longer find myself affected by the spirit of fear. In fact, Darrell, I can think of nothing less Christian than predetermining the damnation of a group of people when you obviously no so little about their beliefs. I’d invite you to read the Book or Mormon with pure intent, if for nothing else to educate yourself a little more on what I believe and my relationship with the Savior. I am frequently reminded of my own weaknesses, mostly in my lame attempts to serve him in the callings he has given me. I wish I could express myself better, it’s not my talent- which is why the Lord gave me an English teacher for a wife :). However, if you could see what is in my heart, or in the heart of the Latter Day Saints that I have been priviledged to serve with, you would change your rhetoric. It is anti-christian, trying to scare people into your belief system, and it does nothing to serve your purpose.

  6. Fair enough Todd. My apologies, and I agree with you.

    I agree with beck on almost as many things as I disagree with him on. It’s the constant demonization of those who believe otherwise and fearmongering that makes me sour.

    And here I am demonizing Glen Beck. 😦

  7. John, to fear man is a torturous snare. I have often been there, and I still am tempted to fall in its pit. I do not have to be afraid of any man, except to fear and revere the Man.

    I do think that the critics of Glenn Beck have some points for consideration. I muse over Glenn playing on the fears of conservatives. And sadly, there is not the proper proclaiming of God, Gospel, and Hope in any of the television and radio broadcasts.

    There are a lot of conservative, religious, competing voices in our country giving warnings. Who is right? Who is wrong? Well, it gets down to the original sources that are springboarding their dire exhortations.

    I shouldn’t fear man. If I do, it becomes obvious that the man has become my idol, where the creature becomes bigger than God.

    But I do fear God. He is a God of just, righteous wrath. I see this over and over in scripture. I just spent the whole last year in the book of Jeremiah. And then the last two weeks, I have been meditating on the awful five poetical dirges (four of them acrostic) in the Book of Lamentations.

    God is terrifying. It use to be that people had a hard time trusting the God of the Bible. Now, in some American sectors, they don’t even like the God of the Bible. And they are bold and vocal about it.

    Everyone, positioned in either their American moralism or blatant rebellion will be confronted by this all-seeing God. All creatures will stand before Creator. And it will be shown how the creature falls short of the Glory.

    Thank God for the mountain peak of mercies and compassions smack dab in the middle of Lamentations.

    Thank God that we can repent of our sins and throw ourselves in complete trust upon Christ and His finished Gospel work.

    There is full safety, eternal love, and perfect glory in the ark of Christ.

  8. Darrell, I can think of nothing less Christian than predetermining the damnation of a group of people when you obviously no so little about their beliefs. I’d invite you to read the Book or Mormon with pure intent, if for nothing else to educate yourself a little more on what I believe and my relationship with the Savior.

    John,

    I don’t have a whole lot of time to respond right now, but I would be happy to discuss this in more detail with you. I know and understand LDS beliefs all too well. I was LDS for a large portion of my life. I was sealed in the Temple and held numerous callings in the Church: served in the Bishopric, served on the Stake High Council, served as Ward Mission Leader, and taught Early Morning Seminary just to name a few.

    My wife was LDS her entire life, and we have numerous relatives on her side who are still LDS. I praise God everyday that He called my wife and I out of the LDS religion and into His arms.

    Darrell

  9. Darrell,

    I apologize for being presumptuous about your experience with the LDS church, it just seems that you and I have experienced two completely different entities. I have held some of the same callings as you, including my current service in a branch presidency. I praise him everyday that he has brought my wife and I into the LDS church, and into His arms. I’m glad you found what works for you and wish you all the best in your labors.

    By the way, the expression on the boy’s face in your picture is priceless. Is he your son?

    Todd,

    Amen on everything you wrote about fear. I’m actually thankful for that time spent on my knees in fear, though. It helped me solidify my testimony of Christ’s power and of the Comforting power of the Holy Ghost.

    I read here silently fairly often and I find much of what you write helpful and interesting. I often find myself evaluating my heart because of what you write, even when I disagree. That is never a bad thing. I just thought you’d like to know that more people read than just they who comment.

    I won’t be back on tonight, my 12 year old daughter is first chair violin in her middle school orchestra tonight. My wife and I are bewildered about how muscial talent could have crept into our family. 🙂

  10. John,

    Thanks for the kind comment about the picture. 🙂

    How are you enjoying your calling as Branch President? How long have you served in that capacity and how long have you been a member? You mentioned 7 years in your previous comment, is that correct?

    Don’t get me wrong, my experience in the LDS Church was not what I would call a bad one. I still have friends and family who are LDS and I still cherish many memories from my time as a Mormon. However, I would be very careful when equating nice experiences as evidence of truth. I do not believe the two are necessarily related. I have had nice experiences in discussing theological matters with Muslims and JW’s, but I don’t take those experiences as evidence of truth. I have had some wonderful experiences since becoming a Christian; however, those experiences, in and of themself, are not evidence that Christianity is truth.

    My belief that Mormonism is a false religion is tied to much deeper matters than experience alone. I heard the common mantra over and over again while I was LDS: “People leave because they were offended.” All I can say is from my experience that is totally false. Perhaps there are a few that leave for such petty reasons; however, I would say the bulk of the people leaving the church today (and there are MANY who are leaving… I have heard numbers as high as 100,000 per year) are leaving due to historical and theological inconsistencies.

    God Bless!

    Darrell

  11. I’m glad you found what works for you and wish you all the best in your labors.

    Okay, one more comment and then I will call it quits for the night. I want to address the above statement. I appreciate the kind manner in which you shared this; however, I want to challenge you on something. Is truth tied to what “works” for someone? I think you and I would agree that what we are after, at least when it comes to religion and faith, is what is true, correct? My point is this, if something works for somebody but is a lie then it is not worth being involved in, correct?

    I hear sayings like this all the time: “I am glad Christianity works for you, but it just doesn’t work for me”. These kind of comments make me shake my head. Christianity is not about what works… it is about what is true. Something is only valuable in so far as it is true.

    Darrell

  12. Hi Darrell,

    It’s late but I’m going to have to make one more comment and bow out-busy day tomorrow.

    -I’m a counselor to a branch president. It’s been a real growth experience. There have been many miracles and also many setbacks. I wouldn’t trade it though. The experience I mentioned aren’t the nice experiences you mention, though they exist too. I reference the experiences between myself and the Lord that have cemented my testimony. They are the only real evidence for truth that I have. Answered prayers, invaluable lessons learned through scrpitures just when I need them, healing in my heart- these mean much more to what I determine to be true than Who interpret what scripture what way.

    -I agree 150% that it is obnoxious for LDS memebers to put all ex members in the offended category. I’ve known good men and women who have left for very real reasons. I don’t agree, but they are still my good friends and I trust that the Lord knows their hearts much better than I. Many people come and go from most churches. I’d just caution that membership levels in a church should never be confused as evidence for or against a church. Many may leave, this cannot affect my testimony. You’ll recall Peter’s response to the Lord in John 6 when the Lord asked the twelve if they will leave him also. Inconsistencies can and are found in any established religion.

    -As for your second comment, I apologize if what I wrote may have seemed flippant. I believe that the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a real historical event and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was established by the Lord and despite all of it’s warts and culutural issues, it is His Church. However, you have obviously came to another conclusion carefully. I don’t know you, or what is in your heart and I’ve also been around long enough to know that bludgeoning another over religion on a blog is a ridiculous and sprirtually draining experience. I have known thoughtful people who have Christlike attributes of many persuasions. I feel safe in my assumption that you are in a position where you can and do serve the Lord. I don’t have to believe that all of your beliefs are correct to believe that. Therefore, if you have found the peace that I have within the LDS church soewhere outside, I will not begrudge you this or try to take that peace from you by punding my belief down your throat.

    Hopefully, what I wrote above is at least semi-coherent.

    God Bless!

  13. Historical and theological “inconsistencies” are a result of living in a mortal world with imperfect beings — they are all over the place, not just in the LDS Church.

    What would be the need for exercising faith and enduring to the end if there weren’t trials along the way or things that didn’t always make complete sense in our mortal minds?

    That is why trusting in the arm of the flesh will not be sufficient when the mists of darkness come upon us — we must rely on the witness of the Holy Ghost to our hearts to be able to continue along the straight and narrow path.

  14. Rob,

    The theological inconsistencies within the Mormon Church are between its teachings and those of The Bible. I trust the Word of God (The Bible) and not the arm of flesh. As a result, I must deny the teachings of the LDS Church and stick to the Word of God.

    As for the Historical Inconsistencies, I agree with you that they do come from living in a mortal fallen world. In fact, I believe these inconsistencies mainly come from the efforts of the LDS Church to whitewash its history rather than deal with answering tough questions – this is nothing more than a function of the church being run by men. Fortunately, with the internet age they are now being forced to do so. Personally, I find their answers to fall painfully short.

    God Bless!

    Darrell

  15. john f. Thanks for the kind words.

    Darrell,
    I’d find your argument much more convincing if I believed the Bible was itself free of inaccuracies and inconsistencies.

  16. And for the record I love the Bible and believe it is God’s word and I believ it supports my faith.

  17. John,

    I would recommend spending some time studying the supposed inaccuracies and inconsistencies in The Bible as they really don’t exist the way that atheists and cultists portray them. I will say this: it is interesting that you attempt to build up your faith by tearing down The Bible. The Bible itself speaks to its infallibility and in reality, by tearing it down you do not help the Mormon faith, you actually hurt it.

    Truth be told, the popular Mormon mantra that the Bible has been changed and mistranslated is utter hogwash. As an example, looking at The New Testament alone, it has been demonstrated that what we have is 99.5% pure text to the autographa.

    The BOM on the other hand is whole different story… and the changes to it have been proven. I own an 1830 copy of the BOM and have done a side by side comparison to the modern version. The differences are actually staggering.

    FYI, the co-author on my blog has done several posts about the reliability of The Bible, common misconceptions about it, etc. Check them out.

    http://www.toughquestionsanswered.wordpress.com

    Have a good night!

    Darrell

  18. Darrell,

    I hate the word cultist, it’s as much of a slang label as the one I used earlier in the thread. In reality, the word is only used to vilify those who dare to disagree with you.

    Anyway, back on point. I do not need to tear down the Bible to build my faith, I love the Bible. I read it as I have it and I don’t think I have ever thought to myself that a verse I don’t understand must have been mistranlated, as we Mormons are frequently caricatured. My testimony, however, comes from divine communication through the Holy Ghost and answered prayers, not any book. To base my testimony solely on the contents of a book and not on answered prayers would be substituting that Book for God.

    I am not as well studied in the Bible as you and I won’t even pretend that I am. However, to claim that the Bible never contradicts itself utterly confuses me when so many have interpreted it’s contents in so many different ways. Anyway, as I said earlier, i have no interest in argusing with you about this.

    Best Wishes

  19. Darrell, you are the one who sounds like a cultist here (in the way you are using the word cultist), which is ironic given your repeated accusation of Mormons as being cultists. Small, creedal Christian churches built on the charisma of a particular preacher and differing in tone, mood and doctrines from the next such church down the road more closely resemble the type of cults to which you are referring.

    Also, you are trusting in the arm of flesh if you are blindly following the Bible without seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit (as indicated when you wrote “I trust the Word of God (The Bible) and not the arm of flesh.”). This is because the individual scrolls that later were collected to constitute the Bible were all written down by mortal men, with all of their own foibles, opinions and perspectives on the matters that they were writing about. We believe that the doctrines of the Gospel are indeed contained therein and we are very grateful for it as scripture. But to claim that you are not trusting in the arm of the flesh by trusting the Bible as infallible and sufficient is inaccurate (because the books and epistles of the Bible were written by men) and it also isn’t biblical in itself to claim that the Bible is infallible and sufficient.

    As an example, looking at The New Testament alone, it has been demonstrated that what we have is 99.5% pure text to the autographa.

    Darrell, what do you think is the oldest extant manuscript of a full New Testament writing?

    You make an interesting argument when you say that the Bible itself refers to its own infallibility. This is, of course, not the case, considering the Bible didn’t even exist as a single canonized collection until the fourth century AD and, even then, it contained books that are no longer contained in the Bible (such as the Shepherd of Hermas).

    Being aware of issues surrounding the Bible, its creation and transmission through the centuries, its canonization and its uses thereafter does not mean we are tearing down the Bible. It was never meant to be an infallible or sufficient document; nothing therein indicates that this should be the case. That is a constraint imposed much later on the Bible from the outside and does not arise from within. Interestingly, Latter-day Saints have faith that the Bible is holy scripture and the Word of God as well. Gratefully accepting further scripture that serves to reinforce, support and clarify Gospel doctrines found in the Bible does not lessen the Bible.

    John Scherer, don’t let Darrell bully you into retreating on your knowledge of the contents of the Bible. My guess is that he does not know more about the Bible than you or is not necessarily more studied in the Bible than you. It is probably true that he has read many more creedal Christian commentaries on the Bible than you but it is such writings that create and impose the constraints of Biblical infallibility and sufficiency on the Bible rather than the Bible itself. My guess is that if you’ve read the entire Bible through once, and the New Testament a few times (in addition to the constant review of a few verses here and a few chapters there as you prepare talks or Sunday School lessons), then you’ve studied the Bible just as much as Darrell. Above all, trust the Holy Spirit as you study the Bible because we have the promise that it will teach us all things.

    Also, please don’t fall for Darrell’s tactics in calling you a cultist. He is trying to damage your self confidence and your devotion to the ecclesiastical structure of the Church, as it has been revealed in the latter days. It doesn’t matter if a creedal Christian call you a cultist thanks to our separation of church and state and the anti-discrimination laws that have been enacted in the United States. Because of those things, a creedal Christian calling you a cultist is just sticks and stones. Absent those things, well, you have Missouri circa 1833 — so thank God for our robust First Amendment and anti-discrimination laws (otherwise you might not have a job if your boss were a creedal Christian).

  20. John,

    I understand not wanting to argue. That is not my goal here either. Nevertheless, I do believe much good can come from having a well thought out thorough discussion and debate of ideas. Mormonism teaches that truth can come from many sources, even those outside the LDS Church, correct? Sometimes that can come from having a healthy exchange of ideas. If you are interesting in continuing our discourse in this manner, I would love to do so.

    I apologize if the word cultist offends you. I am using the term as a specific reference to those sects which fall outside of traditional Christian beliefs, yet still claim to be Christian. I do not mean it in a name calling sense. I use it more to refer to specific groups – Jehovahs Witnesses and Mormons happen to be two examples of such groups.

    Now, you say you do not need to tear down The Bible to build up your faith, yet that is exactly what you did. Instead of responding to the contradictions I mentioned, you resorted to accusing The Bible of being contradictory. You essentially said, “Contradictions in Mormonism don’t bother me because The Bible contradicts itself”. That is tantamount to saying, “It is okay if I commit the sin of stealing because you commit the sin of stealing”. You are basically using one wrong to justify another wrong – trying to say two wrongs make a right – justifying. The only problem with your logic is you have yet to prove The Bible contradicts itself.

    You said:

    …to claim that the Bible never contradicts itself utterly confuses me when so many have interpreted it’s contents in so many different ways.

    This is good point, and I think it will help if we distinguish between what The Bible says and what someone interprets it to mean. Because these two things are not always one and the same. There are many people who take a verse or two from The Bible and build their beliefs solely based upon those verses. Many times this is done without reading them in context, and they can come to a wrong conclusion. However, just because these people interpret something incorrectly does not mean The Bible itself is contradictory. This only means that they are reading and interpreting it wrong. I would really recommend checking Billy Pratt’s posts on The Bible at our blog. Here is the link:

    http://toughquestionsanswered.wordpress.com/category/bible-interpretation/

    God Bless!

    Darrell

  21. John F,

    I don’t have time to respond to your comment in full as I have to get to a work appointment. However, I do want to mention a couple of things. You said:

    …the individual scrolls that later were collected to constitute the Bible were all written down by mortal men, with all of their own foibles, opinions and perspectives on the matters that they were writing about.

    I have a question for you: Do you believe God can preserve His Word despite the fact that imperfect mortal men were involved?

    Also, you said:

    Darrell, what do you think is the oldest extant manuscript of a full New Testament writing?

    I actually have 2 posts in relation to this here.

    http://toughquestionsanswered.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/a-former-mormons-view-of-the-bible-part-1/

    and

    http://toughquestionsanswered.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/a-former-mormons-view-of-the-bible-part-2/

    You said:

    You make an interesting argument when you say that the Bible itself refers to its own infallibility. This is, of course, not the case, considering the Bible didn’t even exist as a single canonized collection until the fourth century AD and, even then, it contained books that are no longer contained in the Bible (such as the Shepherd of Hermas).

    Before I respond to this, I would like to ask you one question. Do you believe The Bible you have today is the Word of God? Yes or No.

    I will try to resond more later.

    Have a great day!

    Darrell

  22. There are many people who take a verse or two from The Bible and build their beliefs solely based upon those verses.

    For example, Luther, Melachton and Calvin (although each of them built their beliefs on different verses).

  23. Darrell,

    I agree that a healthy conversation is a good thing, but we’ve reached a dead end. You believe that the Bible as you possess it is infallible as God’s word and all that we need to know God’s will for us (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong and I’ll apologize in advance). I believe that the Bible as we have it is a precious record of God’s dealings with man, as recorded and transcribed by very fallible men. This is a huge gap that we cannot bridge unless you can show me some kind of revelation that was received when the Bible was complied, showing that the record is complete and perfect. I know of no such revelation. I assume that your belief is well considered and genuine and I expect you to assume the same of mine.

    You state that any disagreements stem from man interpreting the Bible and not understanding what it actually says. You seem to miss the point that you are a man. Even the most learned man is completely and utterly fallible. Therefore, to use any written record as the end all and be all of God’s word, absent prayer and teaching by the Holy Ghost is idolatry to me. I am committed to living my life in a way that I can hear the promtings of the Holy Ghost and be taught of God. I have had these prmptings, and I have cut myself off from them by going against what I knew was right; I have learned by experience how precious a gift peronal rvelation is and I can never turn away from the revelations I have received. They are written upon my heart.

    Regarding the word cultist. I accept your apology, but the use of this word is blatant religious bullyism. I can see no other use for the word. You could have simply said Latter Day Saints, or churches such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and LDS. However, use of this word contains precious shock value, doesn’t it? By the way, I have yet to see a definition for a cult that would describe the Latter Day Saints and not the early christian church.

    john f,
    Thanks for your comments and support. I do accept, however, that my study in the Bible has not been what it should and I like to freely admit that as a personal motivation. My goal is to compete the entire Bible again before the end of 2010.

  24. By the way, I have yet to see a definition for a cult that would describe the Latter Day Saints and not the early christian church.

    Which is fine because, after all, that’s what the Restoration of the Gospel is largely about — restoring truths, knowledge, and most importantly, priesthood authority that were found in the early Christian church. Basically, they’re a good bunch to be lumped in with.

  25. Therefore, to use any written record as the end all and be all of God’s word, absent prayer and teaching by the Holy Ghost is idolatry to me.

    The appropriate term is “Bibolatry” and it is a practice that surfaces with varying force throughout the history of creedal Christianity and in slightly differing forms, the most pronounced of which is found in American Evangelical Creedalists from the late nineteenth century until the present day.

  26. John F,

    I did a post a little earlier, but it has not come up yet. Hopefully it will post soon. I put a couple of links in it so I think it has to go through moderation before posting. I will wait to hear back from you on that post before commenting any further.

    John Scherer,

    You said:

    You state that any disagreements stem from man interpreting the Bible and not understanding what it actually says. You seem to miss the point that you are a man. Even the most learned man is completely and utterly fallible. Therefore, to use any written record as the end all and be all of God’s word, absent prayer and teaching by the Holy Ghost is idolatry to me.

    I am little confused about something. When I asserted that my reason for not believing in Mormonism was due to its contradictions with The Bible, you made the assertion that The Bible itself has contradictions in it. Your support for this fact was to say that many people interpret The Bible differently. When I mentioned that the different interpretations are not due to the Bible itself being in error, but due to incorrect interpretations, you appear to agree with me, but have now jumped into a completely different argument: to say that man cannot come to what is truth? I am a little confused about what you are saying because you appear to be conflating two separate arguments: Bible being contradictory and man’s interpretations of The Bible. Can you clarify your reasoning on this and how you see these two points as being related?

    Allow me to clarify a couple of things. First, I completely agree with you that we should seek guidance from God (Holy Spirit) when reading, studying, and interpreting The Bible. However, I firmly believe that when doing so we can trust what The Bible tells us. In addition, I firmly believe that we are commanded to compare anything that is presented to us as the Word of God to The Bible prior to accepting it. This is the problem I have with Mormonism as there are numerous facets of Mormon belief and doctrine which contradict God’s previously revealed Word.

    I believe it is a completely invalid argument to state that we can’t trust what The Bible says and that we need to look at it through the lens of additional scripture. This shows and utter mistrust of God – to state that He would not preserve His Word when He promised He would. Mormonism typically looks at The Bible through the lens of more modern “scripture” and “prophets.” Oftentimes, when I challenge Mormons about how their modern scripture/prophets/doctrine contradicts The Bible they often retreat (just as you somewhat did) into claiming that The Bible is in error, not Mormonism. This, to me, is an utterly unfounded and illogical argument, and it also goes against what we have been commanded to do – compare what has already been revealed to any new revelation in order to test the truth of the supposed new revelation. Mormonism turns it the other way around… saying we can trust what the newer revelation says, but can’t fully trust the older revelation.

    Darrell

  27. Thanks Todd!

    John F,

    You said:

    The appropriate term is “Bibolatry” and it is a practice that surfaces with varying force throughout the history of creedal Christianity and in slightly differing forms, the most pronounced of which is found in American Evangelical Creedalists from the late nineteenth century until the present day.

    Perhaps you mean Bibliolatry, and I think you demonstrate a severe misunderstanding of Evangelical beliefs if you believe that we do not believe in seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit when studying and interpreting The Bible.

    Why am I not Catholic? I am not sure what you are looking for here. Do you want me to list out the specific areas I disagree with them? In reality, there are many areas where I happen to agree with them. Although, the areas where we happen to part ways are profound enough to cause me to attend another Church. I think you may be attempting to build a false dichotomy here as the reason I am not Catholic would not really apply to the reason the Mormon Church is separate from Traditional Christianity.

    Looking forward to your answers to my questions that have now made it through moderation.

    God Bless!

    Darrell

  28. John F. and John S., let’s just take one book of the Bible.

    John’s Gospel

    Certainly, these are God-breathed out words through the human author. The words are human and divine. It’s marvelous.

    Yet Joseph Smith comes along, and claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit, he crossed out words and inserted words in the KJV book.

    So here are some questions concerning your bibliology . . .

    1). In what the biblical author originally wrote, what percentage of the Gospel does the LDS Church think the Holy Spirit has preserved through the ages?

    2). If parts of John’s Gospel have been lost, does the LDS Church believe that the Holy Spirit has restored it fully for your vital guidance in 2009?

    3). Which do you consider to be a better rendering of the Holy Spirit’s communication in John’s Gospel – the KJV or the JST?

    4). What are some of the examples that come to your mind in the KJV John’s Gospel that you believe the Holy Spirit would correct?

  29. I’ve got to read your questions carefully, Todd and Darrell, and I don’t think it will happen tonight. I will get to it though.

    A question, believing God speaks truth through the Holy Ghost as you do, why would God’s word stop when it did? What is different today and the days of the early christian church?

    Regarding John’s Gospel. I love this book and I know you do as well. However, you and I read chapter 17 say to reach ideas about the nature of God that couldn’t be farther apart. I struggle to see your viewpoint on this scripture and I’m sure you struggle to see mine. How do we know what is truth?

    I’m sorry, I’ve got to go. My wife is under the weather and I have four kids to feed, bathe and ensure that homework is done right.

    Good Night.

  30. Four kids, John? That is great. Certainly, you and I both agree on how precious are the four kids that God has given to each of us as gifts.

    Wives. We both agree that they are priced far above rubies.

    But we don’t agree on the capstone treasure of all . . . Jesus and His Father and the divine glory of John 17. And it is because of the man, Joseph Smith, that stands between you and me, friend. I really hate what he did to the opening verse of John’s Gospel – John 1:1.

    What is the Truth? The perfect, living Word

    How am I in a trusting, obedient relationship experientially knowing this Truth? Through the perfect, written Word given to us by the Holy Spirit. Continually, the Holy Spirit is illuminating and applying the Word directly to my life that I might be made more like Christ. The Spirit is mightily glorifying the Son.

    (John, I hope your wife gets to feeling better. I have been praying to the Lord over two boys in our church family. Both had been tested positive for swine flu.)

  31. Hi Todd,

    I apologize for jumping in here…I’ll make it short…

    Have you ever thought about what it would be like if we only had the account of Matthew and not Mark, Luke, and John? Many times one or more of the apostles fill in a few key details that the others left out or wasn’t clear. It gives us much greater understanding and perspective of the Savior and his Gospel.

    I’m grateful for additional revelations from God — his word spoken to all the inhabitants of the earth, not just in Jerusalem and not just in the days of old. Together, despite being recorded by imperfect mortals, they bring us to a more profound understanding of God and His son, Jesus Christ.

    BTW, I have five kids, a wife, and most important, a witness and testimony.

  32. Todd,

    Thanks for the sentiments. My prayers will be with the boys in your church, and with those who will be responsible for providing and distributing vaccines. My wife is feeling better already, it was no big deal.

    You are absolutely right about the value of a good wife and children. Meeting her was truly a grace given to me. I shudder to think who I would be right now without the Christ like influence that she and the children have on me. They teach me something new each day. I had a boy and a girl when I was converted. At the time, I thought it a blessing that I started with one of each and I wouldn’t have to pay for more than two. Thankfully, He changed my heart and I realized that it was his will for me to have more.

    Anyway back to the matter,
    You see Joseph as a man who keeps me from seeing the Lord as you do. However, when I read the scriptures I see the same God that Joseph taught about and served. For all of his faults, for me to call Joesph anything but His prophet would be for me to lie. The Book of Mormon, along with the New Testament has been a vehicle for Him to change me. The writings of a farm boy could not have affected me in this way.

    Darrell,
    I’m sorry that what I’ve written has confused you. I tend to do that often, which is why I mostly lurk. However, I fail to see how this time. My belief in the teaching of the Bible, particularly the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ are unshakable. However, I cannot say that God’s word ends there: He never did. For me to cut Him off at that point would be to deny myself great blessings that he Has provided and I believe will continue to provide in the future.

    I believe the Bible. However, it was written by men. Over the years, it has been transcribed by men. Today, it is read and interpreted by men. Those are three causes which can and has lead to confusion. I have never read the New Testament without being instructed and uplifted, but I do not accept any work that has touched man’s hands as infallible, even an inspired man. This includes the Book of Mormon, messages from modern day prophets and the JST.

    I really appreciate everyone’s input into this conversation, even though I only entered it because of my anger over Darrell’s prediction of my future in Hell. God’s grace has been given to me in such enormous measure in my life. If I could only descrie the person I was before, he makes me cringe. In return, I seek to serve him in the way that i believe he has shown me, which is as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My service is only to serve as a reflector of his light that others may see and I believe it buys me nothing, nor can it. There have been so many miracles though
    that he has shown me. I would not be anything worth saving if it wasn’t for what he has done for me.

    Again, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation, friends. I hope I’ve explained a little better where I am coming from.

    God Bless- and have a great weekend.

  33. I’m sorry that what I’ve written has confused you. I tend to do that often, which is why I mostly lurk. However, I fail to see how this time.

    My confusion stemmed from the evidence you supplied for your claim that The Bible has contradictions. You appeared to be saying that this was evidenced by men’s different interpretations of various passaged of The Bible. When I addressed this fact you then jumped to a completely different argument about how you don’t think we can know which interpretation is true. I was confused about how these two arguments are related. But I think I understand what you are saying now. Thanks!

    Your argument appears to go like this:

    1) Any book that is written and translated by men cannot be free from error.
    2) The Bible was written and translated by men.
    3) Therefore, The Bible is not free from error.

    Do I have you correct on this?

    Given the above, I do not believe you have established the truth of the 1st premise – that any book that is written and translated by men cannot be free from error. This premise completely ignores the fact that God was involved in the writing and translating of The Bible. Could God not have insured that the men who wrote and translated The Bible did so without error? Could He not have worked through these imperfect men and still ensure that what we have today is correct? God is Omnipotent after all. Due to the fact that premise one is not necessarily true, your argument is not sound.

    In addition, you have forgotten another vital point in this discussion. The Bible itself says that The Word of God will never fail or be changed. You readily accept The Bible as the Word of God; therefore, since The Bible is the Word of God (as you already admitted you accept) then it must be error free.

    Onto another subject… it is awesome to hear that you and Todd both have four kids. I guess the three of us (John S, Todd, and myself) are all part of the small club of those with 4 kids. I have 2 boys and 2 girls. They are all so wonderful!

    God Bless!

    Darrell

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