Friday, January 27, 2006

To All My Mormon Pals

So I've been having a discourse with a devout Mormon lately. I wish that I could post it here, but Hotmail doesn't keep your outgoing messages so unless I can get him to send them back, I have no way of showing you.

Basically, through THIS website I was led (by clicking that dangerous little button at the top right of your screen) to a website which hosts a few documentary films about Mormons, produced by Mormons and for Mormons. The videos, which as stand alone documentaries are pretty decent, are to show other Mormons that, there are Mormons out there experiencing the same struggles as them. At least that's what the videos are on a surface level.

So my response to these videos was to email their producers just to tell them that the docs were pretty good, but from a Bible-Believing Christian perpective they were quite skewed. I mean can you blame me? The fundemental difference, theologically, between Mormons and Christians is this:

Christian: Through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, who was God, we have recieved the free gift of Grace, the forgiveness of our sinful nature, and the promise of Salvation and eternal enjoyment of God in Heaven, for all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ and devote themselves to serving him. (I realize that this is a horrible run-on sentence.) Here is a verse that explains what I am trying to say.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God (RSV)

Mormon: Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: "We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior...the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life." This view (read it carefully) is very different, and in opposition to the Christian belief in Jesus (pay special attention to such language as "the opportunity of"). Here is the Mormon verse that sums up this message:

". . . We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." -- II Nephi 25:23

Now compare the two verses, the first from the New Testament of the Bible, the second from the Book of Mormon.

Here is what a Mormon website (the first that comes up when you Google 'Nephi we are saved by Grace,' says about this verse:

In the Mormon community, this scripture means, "Yes, in the end we are saved by grace, but first we must do everything we can." In other words, "If we do what we can first, God will then make up the difference, making our offering sufficient -- but only if we give everything we can first."

As Christians we know that the desire to live better lives and to serve Christ is not a product of our ability. It is as simple as this, "Christ died for us, and with that knowledge we want to give everything." (Ralph C. Wood Ph.D) But it's even more simple than that. If we ask for Christ to guide our lives, our thoughts our desires, and if we ask for Jesus Christ to "use us," we will only find joy in serving him and only frustration in serving ourselves.

On a surface level Mormonism looks like a pretty decent way of life and I have to admit that statistically Mormons are doing pretty well for themselves. But I also know that many Mormons are silently suffering because we are a fallen people, and thus can only live up to a standard of living-righteously superficially. I'll end on this verse, God's word is a lot better at explaining this than I am:

Rom 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

Contend for the Faith -According to John Piper

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Perfect Answer

So help me if I ever speak in massive generalizations on this site. For example, if I ever say "is being rich evil, yes, but being poor is too," please post a hateful comment. I just read that quote on another guy's blog. One big problem with the communication of ideas is that very few questions in philosophical discourse have a yes or a no answer. In fact, very few questions can be fully answered in any remotely concise way. However, through reasoned discussion, and through the processes of both induction and deduction, the parties on both sides of a topic can be further enlightened. Which brings us to another "problem" which is that both parties are usually incorrect in there reasoning to some extent on any question. That is why we must have reasoned discourse on all contentious topics. That is why so many questions go so bitterly unresolved, because we are all so prideful and impatient that we just shout insults at each other and run in opposite directions when we haven't already rehearsed the perfect answer on a topic.

Here are some topics on which we should all have the answers that we would like to give memorized:

Does God exist?
Is homosexuality wrong?
Is homosexuality a predisposition?
Is abortion wrong and should it be legal?
Is there any religion that is the one true religion?
Who was Jesus, and what's with all the hullabaloo?

The questions go on and on. Those are just a few that I hope to be able to answer. The next time you hear of a contentious topic take 5 minutes and write down your opinion on the matter. You might be surprised at what you actually believe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"I Just Want To Be Selfish Right Now" - You Idiots

Not many things make me more angry than the title phrase of this post. I realize that the people around me, specifically the people in careers around me are not believers. But can't they see how asinine this phrase is? Do they not realize that selfishness is the cause of all the problems on earth? YES, ALL the problems on the planet. Have you ever heard of Adam of Eve? If not, that is what the whole story is about. I don't care who you are, I don't care if you are a young-adult with no kids, if you are single, if you don't have a whole lot of friends; there is no excuse for selfishness. Grow up.

Let me explain something: Sin is the cause of every bad thing that happens in the world. Pride is the root cause of sin. The reason for our pride is our selfishness, thinking of our own good before the good of others. Therefore, our selfishness causes bad things to happen. Stop being selfish. If you are one of the MANY people who say this phrase, stop it. I don't know what movie planted this stupid saying in your head but freaking stop saying it. That is unless you believe it, which if you have ever uttered this evil phrase, you probably do.

Love to All.