How can the divinity of Christ be absolute?Have you seen him? Met him?
Had a two way conversation with him? Seen a picture of him? The entire
concept of Christ is simply based on faith. The same standard for believe could
given to Gandolf, Zeus, Aries, Hercules, Christopher Columbus or anyone else at
anytime in history. As long as you can't prove anything you can say
anything you want and appoint any attributes you care to.
What the author of the title (not necessarily DP) probably means is that a
belief in Christ's divinity is absolute to a traditional profession of
Christianity. The curious thing is that Mormons from Brigham Young to Bruce
McConkie have in part and practice rejected this divinity by insisting that
prayer is not appropriately directed to Jesus, thus effectively denying any
equation of Jesus and Jehovah. Added to this, we routinely refer to Christ
unscripturally as "our Elder Brother," which is hardly in keeping with a
profession of his divinity. --AGF
As a Jew I can say that this article is unconvincing. First of all, in the
Jewish concept, the Messiah was never supposed to be divine. God is one--and
ineffable. You simply can't have a physical God in Judaism. And you
definitely can't have God "split into three beings" in Judaism.C.S. Lewis's well-known quote is unconvincing too, because
it's based on the premise that everything in the Bible is inherent and
infallible. We don't really know which words in it are truly Jesus's
and which were put into his mouth by writers with their own platform.Finally, the Jesus in the picture (a typical one) acconpanying this article
simply does not look Semitic in any way.I don't make these
points to tell anyone what to believe or not to believe. But I hope they help
non-Jews see why Christianity has had so little attraction as a religon to the
overwhelming majority of us Jews.
There is only one God. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is
one." Deuteronomy 6:4// There is only one Savior. "I, even I, am the
Lord, and apart from me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:11// There is only
one Lord. "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" Ephesians 4:5//Jesus
Christ is Savior, Lord and God. He is the Word made flesh at Christmas. John
@ AGF: Why, logically, is Jesus less divine because, as you state, "prayer
is not appropriately directed to Jesus?" If we are counseled to pray to His
Father (i.e., as He taught in "the Lord's Prayer," for example),
rather than Him, how does that diminish his divine Sonship? His instruction that
prayer be directed to his Father, and not Him, bespeaks His absolute respect
for, and obedience to, the Supreme Creator whose eternal plan he effected.
(". . . not my will, but thine, be done.")
Oops, I'm enbarrassed. The phrase I meant about the Bible was
"inerrant and infallible," not "inherent and infallible. Should
have proofread better!
The fact is we simply don't know what Jesus was (other than the son of man,
of course) and even what his contemporaries thought of him. The Gospel of Mark
suggest that he confused everyone, even his own followers. And the other
gospels, especially John, paint very different and sometimes contradictory
pictures. Despite Lewis' claims, it seems more likely that
Jesus was in fact a great teacher, but was later put on a pedestal (with
varying degrees of supernatural qualities) in an effort to convert as many
followers as possible. There's no way the Roman empire would have
substituted their gods for simply a wise Jewish rabbi.
In response to Mayhem:Much depends on our definition of
"divine." More depends on the relationship between "God" and
man. In positing a god who is not capable of accepting prayer we create a sort
of demigod, unattested in scripture except with the mortal Jesus who laid aside
his divinity for a short time. In the Book of Mormon all prayer is addressed to
Jesus and answered by Jesus. Likewise the dedication of the Kirtland temple, 7
years later (when absurdly claimed by many, Joseph Smith no longer accepted the
fatherhood of Jesus). --AGF
Through the ages insistence on un provable absolutes has given rise to the most
destructive and un-Christ like societies.
The 10 Commandments do not state there are no other gods - they state that we
should have no other gods before God - if God is at the front, we can worship as
many other gods as we want.
The divinity of Jesus is absolute in exactly the same way that the divinity of
Zeus is absolute.The popularity of an idea, or its capacity to make
you feel better about yourself, is not a measure of its validity.
I think from the above comments there is a great deal of confusion about Jesus
and what role he has played. I, for one, believe the article accurately conveys
the correct principle that Jehovah was and is Jesus, and is the God of the old
Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph Smith was very clear on
that point while pointing out that He was the Son of God. It was also clear in
the teachings of Paul and is shown throughout the Book of Mormon. That we pray
to the Father in behalf of the Son is simply what Christ asked us to do from the
scriptures. While I believe that too often referring to Christ as our Elder
Brother diminishes His godship, we Latter-Day Saints do point out a correct
relationship we have with Him and with His and our Father. The only way,
however, to know these things is through the Holy Ghost. That becomes a very
personal matter between the worshiper and God and as such cannot be verifiable
to any non-believer. Nevertheless, it is a very real experience and cannot be
discounted so easily by some.
It was the consensus of Jeremiah and the post-exilic prophets that Samaria and
Jerusalem were destroyed for their "syncretism" --i.e., their acceptance
of gods other than YHWH. In other words, the prophets were monotheistic while
Israel was not. --AGF
My faith is that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, our Savior and
redeemer. Some of the wise comments here coming from an imperfect and
corruptible human beings are philosophies of men mingled with scriptures and
their own opinion and beliefs.
@Kenny......Quoting scripture that was written by "men" doesn't
make much of an argument. These men didn't know anything more than we as a
RE:Free Agency,As a Jew I can say that this article is unconvincing:"Deut, 6:4, S/B ("Hear, O Israel! The LORD(YHWH) our God(Elohim) is
One(Eschad) LORD(YHWH).!"Jesus is God in the O.T.and N.T.. Isaiah 9:6, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the
government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful
Counselor,’Mighty God’, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Luke 2:14-15, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace
to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone
into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to
Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which’ the Lord has told
us about.”By accepting worship, Jesus shows Himself to be the
Lord God Almighty. Matthew 28:9-10: And behold, Jesus met them and said,
“Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and
Worshiped him. Luke 24:51-2 they Worshiped him and returned to
Jerusalem with great joy.
Before you can talk about the divinity of Jesus, shouldn't you first
establish the divinity of the Bible?That hasn't been proven -
not by a long shot.Otherwise, this is all just so much arguing about
how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Re, coleman51: "...with His and our Father." It does not escape the
attention of the likes of J E Talmage that Jesus never uses the phrase "our
Father" except when teaching his disciples to pray. Rather he says "my
Father and your Father," reserving for himself a unique relation to the
Father that we do not share. This phraseology is retained in the Book of Mormon
as well, indicating (depending on one's perspective), a recognition by
Nephi or Mormon, or by Joseph Smith, of the distinction made by Jesus as
reported in the gospels. --AGF
Interesting, and heartening, to see the Church emphasizing the divinity of
Christ. In my experience, an awful lot of Mormons' theological culture is
either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the concept. Teaching a youth Sunday
School class, I once had a bishop "correct" me after I answered a
curious class member's (the bishop's son) question as to whether
Christ was God. He insisted that the answer was no. In my
experience, this kind of thing flows from Mormons' perceived need to
distinguish themselves from other Christians as to the nature of the Godhead --
after all, the thinking goes, if we're not radically different, what was
the point of a great dramatic Restoration of the primitive gospel? And yet in
doing this, and striving so hard to distinguish ourselves from some of the
potentially problematic details of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, we tend to
steamroll clear past the creeds' underlying message: the divinity of
Christ -- and throw that out with the "one Being" bathwater.Again, glad we're fixing that. Hope it sinks in.
@BLUE,It depends on if it is a straight pin or a push pin.
Articles such as this; which I find fascinating, tend to always result in
arguments back and forth -- including belittling comments and name calling.As for myself, from my own personal experience, I believe fully that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. You may argue that my personal experience
isn't worth me, but to me it is worth everything.Both extreme
sides of this argument may quote any and all sources to prove their point and in
the end, little if any difference will have been made -- so what was the
purpose? I will remain steadfast with my own beliefs. And since I can't
imagine that my personal beliefs can effect anyone else negatively -- I'll
If one wishes to adhere to the more sincere sentiment of Mormonism then Brigham
Young's doctrine of Adam/God is the most relative.
Christ is A God, but not THE God. Consider - The Father is the God
of Christ, even the resurected Christ - Jn. 20:17, 2 Cor. 11:31, Eph. 1:2,3,17,
1 Pet. 1:3, Heb. 1:4-9Christ, even the resurected Christ, is subject
to the Father - Jn. 20:17, 1 Cor. 11:3, 15:28The Son is, as are the
faithful, to inherit from God - Rom. 8:17, Heb. 1:4(If Christ is fully
God, what does the Father have that Christ doesn't that Christ will later
inherit?)The Father created the Son - Col. 1:15, Rev. 3:14 (The
Greek in Col. 1:15 says that Christ is the image or representation of God, not
God Himself. The Greek in Rev. 3:14 calls Christ the primary/#1 creation of
Blue, the answer to your question is -- yes and no. Peterson's argument is
based on a premise that's taken as a given: that the record of the life of
Jesus stated in the Bible is more or less accurate.Given that
premise -- and yes, the assent of faith is involved -- Peterson's argument
is that that record portrays a Jesus who declared he is God, and was
acknowledged as such by his disciples. That is, faith in the divine Christ is
an intrinsic part of Christian faith, and without it, Jesus isn't worth
more than idle historical curiosity.It's not so much "You
must believe that Jesus is divine," but rather "If you accept the best
evidence that exists for Jesus' life, and believe He's worth bothering
with, you must believe He is divine."
Skeptic,"Through the ages insistence on un provable absolutes
has given rise to the most destructive and un-Christ like societies."Horsefeathers. I can't prove that an individual human being has
inherent moral value, that all men are created equal (the vast preponderance of
the evidence says otherwise; just ask Aristotle), or that words like
"justice" or "beauty" have any real meaning, or objective worth.
Yet I insist on those absolutes. So did Christ, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther
King, J.S. Bach, and literally every human being who ever contributed anything
good to the world. Some people decline to *admit* that they
"insist on unprovable absolutes." But of course everybody does.
It's not that people "insist on unprovable absolutes" that makes
the difference between good and evil, but rather *what* putative absolutes they
insist on, and how they balance competing absolute truths against each other.
In John 10:30-39, Jesus answers the Jews who claim that Christ was asserting
that he was God. He asks why it's wrong to call himself the Son of God if
other Jewish leaders were called Gods themselves. Jesus had a clear opportunity
to confirm that he was God, but he equated himself to their mortal leaders. He
confirms that he is the Son of God, because God brought him into the world,
sanctified him, and his spirit indwells him.If Jesus is truly God,
why did Jesus basically lie by comparing his divinity to mortal Jewish leaders
and saying that instead that he was God's son rather than being fully God?
For more clarity, please refer to the LDS Topical Guide. One can get to it by
going to LDS.org, choosing “Scriptures”, then “Study
Helps”, then “Topical Guide.” See:“Jesus Christ, divine Sonship.”Jesus Christ –
JehovahJesus Christ, RedeemerJesus, ResurrectionIf one
would take the challenge to carefully and diligently study the teachings in the
scriptures listed in those (and many other) topics, one would find plenty of
times when Jesus referred to Himself as Diety, or the Only Begotten Son of God.
It’s there for those who want to search it out. Modern revelation adds
many corroborating scriptures. Taken all together, there are overwhelming
numbers of quotes and writings (both by Him and about Him) in the scriptures
that testify He is Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Savior of the World.
Because of this, I agree with C.S. Lewis’ analysis. He was either who He
said He was or a brazen liar. I believe He was who He said he was.
As far as proof, I believe it is unwise to try to “prove” the Bible
(or other scripture) using the finite, man-made, scientific method. One must
accept at least the possibility of the reality of the spiritual world to find
the real Christ. Look at Paul’s description of faith in Hebrews 11:1,
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen.” See also Alma 32:21,26-33. Respectfully,there IS
evidence. It is SPIRITUAL, but nonetheless real. It is seen in the testimonies
of Christians everywhere and the understanding, joy, hope, charity, clarity of
purpose, and awareness of life’s meaning they experience when they believe
in Christ and act in faith in that belief. That is the evidence (I believe)
Paul was referring to. Also, look to Moroni 10:3-5. I add my
testimony. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our advocate with the Father,
Jehovah, our King, the Messiah, the Only Begotten Son of the Father, the
Creator, and Head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. I
don’t know how to be clearer.
@The Proud Duck: Thank you for your follow up, I think perhaps the difference
is that you are not understanding the distinction between relative truths and
absolute truths. They are not one and the same and most of your reference are
I'm often mystified by the comments following Peterson's articles. In
this case, as often happens, roughly half to two-thirds of the replies seem to
be seeing things in his column that, from my perspective, he didn't say at
all. They simply aren't there. Where, for example, does either Peterson
or Lewis claim that the New Testament is inerrant or infallible? Thinking that
it gives an accurate account of Jesus' actions and statements isn't at
all the same thing as believing in its inerrancy or infallibility; we rely on
errant, fallible historical records all the TIME for quotations, etc.
Of course, Mormons should accept Jesus as the Son of God, as divine, as Jehovah.
The Book of Mormon is very clear on this. Joseph Smith's multiple visions
of Jesus affirm both the Savior's distinctness from the Father and the
Jesus's reality as a divine being.Those who disbelieve keep
insisting that we believing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints cannot know that Jesus is the Son of God because, they say, they do not
accept the same evidence we accept, so our evidence is invalid.Speaking as someone who is partially blind, I submit that eyesight is not all
it's cracked up to be as a source of fact-finding. To base base one's
belief system exclusively on a single sense (sight,in this case) is faulty at
best.My personal experience with Christ and with the Holy Ghost are
not only irrefutable sources of evidence to me of His divinity, but can be taken
as reasonable evidences by any reasonable person who knows me.That
there are so many witnesses that share similar experiences provide evidence
reasonable enough to suggest as thorough investigation of the claims.
RE:lds4gaymarriage Christ is A God, but not THE God. Consider -The Father
created the Son - Col. 1:15 . Wrong context and Greek is helpful. Who is
the image of “the Invisible God”’ the* firstborn (prototokos)
of all creation(Col 1:15 NIV) *First born refers to position of
pre-eminence’. Psalm 89:20, David my servant v 27. I will also appoint
him my ‘firstborn.’ David was not the literal firstborn of his
family but pre-eminent in position.. First created literally would be
prototoktisis a .different Greek word.RE: The Greek in Rev. 3:14
calls Christ the primary/#1 creation of God). Wrong,”To the angel
of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful
and true witness, the ruler (arche) of God's creation”(Rev 3:14
NIV)If Christ was A God then are Mormons Polytheistic? Christian
are Monotheistic(One God). In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God, The Word(Jesus) became flesh and made
his dwelling among us. (John 1:1,14)Jesus is God. See John 8:24.
Jesus is the Son of God; He is a member of the Godhead and has been from the
eternities. He was born, as foretold by many prophets of the Old Testament and
lived according to the precepts of His Father. He healed the sick, He raised
the dead and He overcame death by His resurrection. His life is recorded by
four Witnesses or Evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They all testify
of His life, death, resurrection. There are many things we don't know about
Jesus, St John the Evangelist said so. But what we do know is that He had power
over the elements - He calmed the seas, He walked on water, but above all, He
gave us hope and taught us to love one another. It doesn't matter if we
believe that He is God or not. If we don't, that is our loss. But when we
accept Him as our Lord and God, He opens heaven’s door and offers us life
everlasting. The bible testifies of Him being the Son of the Most High and as
such, he gave us a personalization of God and we became His friends for He
Proud Duck, Remember the talk credited to Ezra Taft Benson, titled, "Beware
of Pride"? Not accusing you, but I know that I have at times been a bit too
proud of my own understanding of things. Maybe I still suffer from that. You
said, "Interesting, and heartening, to see the Church emphasizing the
divinity of Christ. In my experience, an awful lot of Mormons' theological
culture is either unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the concept. Teaching a youth
Sunday School class, I once had a bishop "correct" me after I answered a
curious class member's (the bishop's son) question as to whether
Christ was God. He insisted that the answer was no. "Suppose
that the lad asked "is Jesus God" and you had answered, "Yes, but He
is not His own Father." Would that have changed anything? More importantly
would it have been more true?
As Joseph Smith has stated: "And now, after all the testimonies that have
been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him:
That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard his
voice bearing record the he is the Only Begotten of the Father--That by him, the
worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and
daughters of God." This is not the only one but in the Bible itself,
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into
heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." Through out the new testament
there are many that state that Jesus sits on the right hand of God. Today, we
have personal testimony from Joseph Smith that Jesus Christ and our Father in
Heaven appeared to him in the flesh. That they did indeed speak to him. We have
a new scripture given to us for our day that like the Bible testifies of the
Divinity of Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of the world. He is our
mediator with the Father.
@Bill in Nebraska....interesting quote. Which version of the "First
Vision" was this one? Joseph changed the story 8 times, at least. I'm
guessing this is the one that sounded the best.
Dennis,This is speaking of Christ’s divinity in the Christian
context. If you don’t believe in Christ or God, not a problem for me.
Though I wonder why anyone would spend time on a church-owned news site
commenting about something in which they do not believe (please don’t tell
me it is for my edification). BTW, it’s Gandalf not Gandolf. He would
not be amused.Blue,Rather we first must establish the
existence of God and Christ. The scriptures are a help in understanding them
and our relationship to them.Tyler DHis disciples were
not confused about what he meant. See the last half of John 6. Many left over
his claims to divinity (oblique though they may seem to us now).Very
Concerned, Jeff, and Bill in Nebraska,Well said. Thank you.
I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the apostles and prophets have
written that the grace of God the father and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
Holy Ghost which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever....
Ether chapter 12 verse 41This quote comes from the Book of Mormon
that has as part of it's title " another witness for Jesus
Christ.' The writing of these apostles and prophets and the above formula
of seeking the 3rd member of the Godhead to reveal it to you is what is called
faith.Faith is to have hope in things that are not seen, ...DISPUTE not
because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your
faith. ..Ether 12:6It is us that are on trial here, not God.
Joseph Smith testified of the divinity of Jesus Christ. He saw Him and
witnessed of Him. Joseph suffered tremendous persecution, poverty, and finally,
murder for this testimony. Regarding Joseph Smith's
"eight different versions" of the first vision. As someone who, at
times during his life, has written in personal journals for long periods of
time, I find it quite believable for a person to give somewhat different
versions of the same incident. If I were to write today the story of one of my
children's birth, It might vary somewhat from how I wrote it at the time.
Also, if I were writing for a particular audience, my narrative -
though still true - might look a bit different than if I were writing for
another. Also, a man of many years, with a higher level of maturity might write
things differently than a boy. Afer having gone through decades of persecution
for claiming the vision, he could have been more aware of the significance and
consequences of the vision. That may have affected what parts he emphasized in
the different accounts. It's all good. My thoughts? Given what
I have said above, the versions are all true.
@Twin Lights – “His disciples were not confused about what he meant.
See the last half of John 6. Many left over his claims to divinity (oblique
though they may seem to us now).”You simply restated my point:
Most of today’s Christian denominations are really based on the Gospel of
John – where Jesus proclaims himself in all his glory. You don’t
find this in the other gospels. In Matthew he is the fulfillment of
Jewish law. In Luke he is the comforter of the poor & outcast. And as I
said, in Mark people are simply confused. Reading the gospels side by side
rather than one at a time, it becomes quite clear how different the stories
are.And to your second point, yes, there were other interpretations
of who Jesus was and what he meant that we simply don’t have on any large
scale today, because those views were suppressed or wiped out by the Orthodox
Church (Marcion, the Gnostics, etc…); some of which had large followings.
How do we know one of those groups didn’t have the better and
more complete understanding?
Dr. Peterson, you may want to reread Paul Owens' article in The New Mormon
Challenge. Margaret Barker really isn't your most reliable source to be
referencing. Jews have been monotheists since well before the 10th century BC.
Monotheism did not come about as a result of Josiah's reforms in the 7th
century. It is deeply disturbing to me that Mormons are still accepting the
claims of critical scholars in order to bolster their case. For you to agree
that Deuteronomy and large parts of Isaiah are late products is not only
damaging to us, but it is indeed damaging to the Book of Mormon, which quotes
extensively from deutero-Isaiah. It has always amused me that the LDS must
denigrate and dismantle their "Scripture" (i.e., the Bible) in order to
elevate other writings. When you do this, you're tacitly admitting that the
Bible agrees with orthodoxy and not Mormonism-- precarious ground for you
indeed.Deuteronomy 32 is one of many passages that is particularly
devastating to LDS henotheism/polytheism. Verse 17 makes it clear that other
gods are actually demons; and the OT always makes it clear that these beings are
qualitatively different from the one God.
@ Dennis: The "interesting quote" that Bill in Nebraska gave you was
not in reference to the First Vision at all, but a subsequent vision, recorded
in section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph received multiple visions
of the Savior; the one referenced by Bill was in the presence of Sidney Rigdon
who, though he later left the Church, never recanted the testimony, "last of
all," that he gave with Joseph in section 76.Another vision,
recorded in section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants, was in the presence of
Oliver Cowdery who, like Rigdon, left the Church but never recanted. (Cowdery
came back eventually; Rigdon never did.)I'm guessing that
someone who knew that there were multiple versions of the First Vision also knew
that the vision Bill in Nebraska cited was not one of the versions of the First
Vision.Bill's citing of D & C 76 is a way of underscoring
what many Latter-day Saints know--that Jesus is the Son of God.
TylerD,Of course Mormonism does believe that other groups had better
insights than those that survived Nicaea.I have read the gospels a
few times (though I am no scholar). I think they are addressed to different
audiences but tell essentially the same story. The details vary by author and
target audience (logical).In Matthew 16 Peter declares Jesus to be
"the Christ, the Son of the Living God". In Luke, the divine sonship of
Christ is part of the annunciation to Mary. Mark opens his account calling him
"Jesus Christ, the Son of God". I don't have time for a full
recitation but you get my drift. They all thought of him as the Son of God
Sharonna, prototokos/firstborn refers to being both #1 in rank and chronology.
The same as “arche” (Rev.3:14). If Paul (or John in Rev.3:14)
wanted to only refer to Christ’s rank, without implying that Christ was a
created Being, could have used "archegos" (Strong's word #747).
Other possible substitutes include - "aitios"/#159, "rhiza/#4491,
"kefalay"/#2776, "kitso"/#2936 or "ktistes"/#2939. They
could have chosen "arkone"/#758. It occurs 37 times, all in a
"ruler" context. Col.1:15 calls Christ the IMAGE of God.
See also Heb.1:3. He portrays God to us, but isn’t THE God.1Cor.8:6 - there is ONE God, the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus.Heb.1:8,9 has God calling Jesus God, but calls Himself Jesus’ God. The
Father is referred to as Jesus’ God by Jesus and Paul several times.
Rom. 8:16,17 – we’re heirs of God, like Christ. What does the
Father have the Son doesn’t if both are equally God?The pagan
influenced Creeds teach “another Gospel” and “another
I have enjoyed all of the differing perspectives supplied by each of you fine
scholars.I am no scholar, nor will I pretend to be. I
was surprised to see the comments that argued that the LDS do not consider Jesus
to be divine. I have spent over 40+ years as an LDS member and had not heard
this claim before today, nor have I thought Christ was anything other than
devine.And to "brokenclay": Without disparagement intended,
I would counter that Deut. 32:17 is not "clear that other gods are actually
demons." In reading the entire chapter, I think what is "clear" is
that God (big "G") was upset with the Israelites because they had
created "new gods" (little "g") whom they were worshipping and
making sacrifices to instead of Him, who was/is the God (big "G") of
their fathers. These specific "gods" the Israelites were worshipping
were who he was calling devils. The chapter does not say their are not Gods
(big "G"). You may still believe that based on other studies you have
done, but this chapter does not provide the "clear" definitive statement
that you think it does.
@Twin Lights – To the Jews of Jesus’ time, all the
children of Israel were “sons & daughters” of God, which I guess
would square with Mormonism – so “point” for LDS. But no doubt
very few acted like it, so Jesus really stood out. The examples you cite could
simply mean that the people recognized that Jesus had realized fully his divine
nature.I think there’s some truth to your point about the
gospels telling essentially the same story to different audiences. But
interpretation is everything is there is no way of knowing how the
author’s meant what they said or even if they fully understood Jesus. For
example, the Gospel of John has very different meaning if interpreted mystically
rather than literally (which tends to emphasize belief over a change in
consciousness). And since the author is the same guy who wrote Revelations (a
most mystical work) I question the wisdom and accuracy of the literal
interpretations that have been passed down for 2000 years.Be that as
it may, I appreciate your civil response… it added nicely to the
Another great article, Dan. Well done, as usual.
To,lds4gaymarriage,. Who is the image of “the Invisible God”’
the* firstborn (prototokos) of all creation(Col 1:15 NIV ) 1.God is invisible 2.In Heb 1:3 . Jesus is described as the radiance of
God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s being. The Greek in Rev. 3:14, The word Arche has been understood as either
“beginning” or “ruler” in that passage as well, a strong
connection in the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:2-4.) 1Cor.8:6
- there is ONE God, the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus. God the Son is the dynamic one , whom with the Father all things came into existence. (John1:3),(Col 1:16) RE: Tyler D Jesus was the’ Son of
Man.’ Son of Man is a Messianic title.(Daniel 7:13).
“…Are you the Messiah,.., "I am," said Jesus. "…
the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on
the clouds of heaven(Mark 14:61-62)verse 64-65 ,the priest say
,(blasphemy). Jesus claims to be God. See Rev 1:7.
I love my savior Jesus Christ who is the son of Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit
testifies of the truthfulness of my statement. Yes, I too have had two way
conversations with God our Heavenly Father. Holy prophets throughout the ages
have seen and spoke to our Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ. They
created this beautiful world for us to live in and gave us our freedom to choose
for ourselves how we will live and conduct ourselves in our lives, and yes
including whether we want to believe in God our Heavenly Father and His son
Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost or not.
The Holy Ghost is offered as the most "infallible" evidence of the
existence of god, the divinity of Jesus, and the "truth" of the BOM and
the LDS Church.But what is the infallible evidence of the Holy
Ghost? Or any one person's experience of the HG?If the HG is
evidence of itself (I.e., "the taste of salt" needs no explanation),
then why does the Father need an inter-mediating deity between himself and man?
For practical purposes, this makes the HG the most powerful and supreme deity,
or at least the most relevant, in the LDS theohierarchy.So you pray
to the Father instead of Jesus or the HG, in order to get a "testimony"
that comes through the HG, but not through Jesus or the Father, and the
"knowledge" of the Father and Jesus is indirect whereas the experience
with/of the HG is direct and self-evident, yet the HG is the third member of the
godhead about whom Mormons know the least!Is the HG a man or woman?
A pre-mortal spirit or a resurrected but disembodied demigod?Neither
the "divinity" of Jesus nor the HG is remotely "absolute" in
I love the way religious "feelings" tell us what is true and what is
not. One thing I have learned over the years is never, ever trust
"feelings". I dare suggest most that defend religion and Christ
do so out of fear. I don't think I have to explain that either.
Wonderful article Dan. Thank you.
Scientist I must thoroughly disagree with you. The divinity of Jesus Christ as
Savior,Redeemer, Lord, King of Kings, the only begotten son of God in the Flesh,
and our mediator with the Father is ABSOLUTE. There is no one else. Just as
most Christians believe the Holy Spirit of God to be the Holy Ghost. We know
that the Holy Ghost is the third personage of the Godhead. Does it really
matter whether the Holy Ghost is male or female? The thing we know is that the
Holy Ghost TESTIFIES of both the Father and the Son to all who diligently seek
to know. The Holy Ghost also TESTIFIES of all spiritual truth. Whether you
want to believe this is irrelevant. Whether you want to have faith in this is
irrelevant. The only person who can save you from eternal damnation is you and
Dennis,Never trust feelings? Not what I have learned (and well
outside of the religious context).We defend Christ out of fear? So,
if one of your family is (in your view) unjustly criticized and you defend him,
is that out of fear Or out of love and loyalty?A Scientist,The infallible evidence of the Holy Ghost is talking to him. The same as for
other folks.BTW, it’s not that the taste of salt needs no
explanation, but rather that it is hard to explain because it is so basic (sort
of like defining the word “the”).Despite your making it
sound confusing, the godhead is really not all that tough. As to the Holy
Ghost, we know what we know. Please. Within Mormon doctrine, the
divinity of both Christ and the Holy Ghost are definite and indisputable.
%Bill in Nebraska: Your language is incorrect; one really dosen't know, one
believes and may have strong faith in his beleive. It is all this knowing
business that is so un-Christ like that causes the enmity among the different
religions. Demonstrate your believe in Christ like behavior and you have more
credibility.%Twin Lights: In religion everything is disputable and
nothing is absolulte.
@Bill in Nebraska – “Scientist I must thoroughly disagree with you.
The divinity of Jesus Christ as Savior,Redeemer, Lord, King of Kings, the only
begotten son of God in the Flesh, and our mediator with the Father is ABSOLUTE.
There is no one else.”Bill, I wish you could hear your
comments from the perspective of someone who does not share your faith, and feel
how divisive it sounds. Having faith is fine but statements like these do little
to foster Christ-like love and goodwill. I truly fear for our world when I read
things like this, because the tone and zealous certainty is precisely what we
heard from the nineteen 9-11 highjackers. Please think about this…
Tyler D: It really doesn't matter whether you are of my faith or even a
Christian. Fact is that Jesus Christ is the the absolute Savior of the world.
In the latter days before the second coming of Christ there will be only two
Churches on earth. Either they will be followers of Jesus Christ or they will
not, but followers of Satan. Just as it is written it shall be fulfilled just
as all prophesies concerning Jesus Christ has occurred. The 9/11 highjackers
were followers of Islam, yet Islam in and of itself is a peaceful religion.
They failed to follow the real teachings of their beloved Prophet just as many
Christians have failed to follow the real teachings of Jesus Christ. Until the
world returns to a moral world as described in the Bible, we will continue to
have atrosities as you mention. I don't fear the world as it is today
because I know it is only the beginning of ushering in the time when the Savior
of the world shall return.
@ Tyler D: Please, at the same time, realize that to equate Mormons with 9-11
hijackers is uncalled for. First, a sincere expression of faith is
not fanatical or insane, and to suggest that it is goes in the face of modern
psychology as well as sincere believers in a religion.In fact, the
9-11 hijackers cannot even be classified as truly Muslim. Their fanatical tie
of religion to regional politics is more the latter than the former.Are outsiders offended by the sincere expressions of faith given by a member
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Why? If it is because they
are otherwise honest people who have somehow come to believe that religion is
evil and not to be trusted, we can certainly help them to see otherwise. If it
is because they have long ago made the decision to hate religion or a specific
religion, then we are sorry they feel we're being divisive, but it would
not be good policy for us to give up our obligation to bear witness of what we
know to be true to accommodate those who would hate us anyway.
Sharrona:Jesus is described as the radiance of God’s glory and the exact
representation of God’s being.LDS4:Yep & Col. 1:15,16;Heb. 1:3
agree thereby show that Christ is NOT THE God, just a perfect representation
thereof. Sharrona: The word Arche has been understood as either
“beginning” or “ruler” in (Rev.3:14) LDS4: Agreed,
but LDS believe both are correct while Trinitarians reject one. Why did John
use a word with 2 meanings when he only meant 1, especially when so many other
single words, reflecting only the “ruler” meaning existed?S:1Cor.8:6 - there is ONE God, the Father and ONE Lord, Jesus. God the Son is
the dynamic one ..L:But the verse shows there is only 1 God, the Father.
That, combined with all of the verses that have Christ and Paul claiming that
the Father is the God of Christ and that Christ himself rejects the idea that he
is God (Jn. 10:30-39), and that Christ will inherit things from the Father, the
idea that Christ is equal to the Father is laughable.