Archive for the ‘Mormonism’ Category

Problems in Doctrines and Covenants: Discovery and Naming of Egypt

May 15, 2017

Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Abraham 1:23, states:

The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;

There are a number of issues here.

a) Egyptus

The -us ending is typical of masculine Latin nouns. It’s not a typical way of ending Chaldean nouns (masculine or otherwise).

b) Egypt’s Discovery

If one of Ham’s daughters discovered Egypt, she would roughly precede Nimrod (the grandson of Ham), who founded Babel.

Genesis 10:8-10
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Thus, there would be no reason that her name would have any particular “Chaldean” meaning.

c) Etymology of Egypt

From etymonline.com

Egypt
Old English Egipte “the Egyptians,” from French Egypte, from Greek Aigyptos “the river Nile, Egypt,” from Amarna Hikuptah, corresponding to Egyptian Ha(t)-ka-ptah “temple of the soul of Ptah,” the creative god associated with Memphis, the ancient city of Egypt.

Strictly one of the names of Memphis, it was taken by the Greeks as the name of the whole country. The Egyptian name, Kemet, means “black country,” possibly in reference to the rich delta soil. The Arabic is Misr, which is derived from Mizraim, the name of a son of Biblical Ham.

So, notice that the name “Egypt” comes from the Amarna language, and means “temple of the soul of Ptah,” not something to do with being forbidden.

-TurretinFan

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For Those in the Roman Communion Who Want to Own Ryan but not Biden…

October 19, 2012

Consider that the corpulent Cardinal Dolan is willing to publicly call both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden “Catholics” in his speech (about one minute, twenty seconds into his remarks) at the Al Smith dinner. The easily offended might want to stop just after that bit, though, and before his joke involving Benedict XVI.

It was nice to see him identify Mormons separately from “Protestants.” However, Cardinal Dolan then shortly afterward suggested that both Obama and Romney have a “love of God and country.” Which god exactly do either of those men love?

Dolan went on to identify something he called the “five finger gospel.” It’s a handy mneumonic for “You (1) do (2) it (3) to (4) me (5).” On the other hand (UPDATE: no pun intended), that’s not the gospel – that’s the law.

Here Cardinal Dolan’s remarks:

You can also find Romney’s remarks here (link) and Obama’s remarks here (link). Personally, I thought Romney’s jokes were more funny, though for some reason he felt it necessary to make about three references to the fact that he totally abstains from alcohol.

– TurretinFan

James Jordan or Joseph Smith?

August 31, 2011

Here’s the quotation: “We shall no longer be under the Father — except in the more general sense that as creatures we shall always be “under” God. As the fully mature Son sits with his Father on his throne, so shall we (Revelation 3:21; John 17:21-22). We shall be co-elders with the Father and the Son. In this final phase, the Spirit will be with us not only as the Spirit of the Father and as the Spirit of the Son, but then fully as the Spirit of Glory. He will fully give us his own Divine property of glory. He will no longer be conveying us either to the Son or to the Father, except as he is the bond of this everlasting fellowship.”

You tell me if that’s James Jordan of “Biblical Horizons” or Joseph Smith of “The Book of Mormon,” “The Doctrines of Salvation,” etc.

How about this one?

“The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood … . We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds … .”

-TurretinFan

Romanism and Mormonism Common Ground?

February 25, 2010

According to Francis (Cardinal) George (president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of Chicago): “Our churches have different histories and systems of belief and practice, although we acknowledge a common reference point in the person and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (source – Emphasis added)

Layman Romanist Matthew Bellisario disagrees with “His Eminence” and states:

The only thing we have in common is using the name, Jesus Christ. … I don’t know what in the world the dear Cardinal was thinking when he said this. … What is more ridiculous is that a Cardinal would think that all of this is a common point of reference of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(source)

I think Cardinal George has the better argument from Vatican II (after all, if Muslims worship the “same God” while explicitly denying the Trinity, how can Mormons really be left out of the big tent?). However, ignoring Vatican II, Bellisario has the better argument from reason. After all, it is (to use his word) “ridiculous” to suppose that the there is common ground with Mormons in the person of Christ, given that Mormons allege that Jesus was a created being. And while Mormon soteriology is closer to Roman soteriology than it is to Reformed soteriology, Mormons deny (among many other significant differences) that is “absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” and consequently it appears that the Mormon gospel is different from the Roman gospel (which are both different from the gospel that Paul preached).

– TurretinFan

Thanks to Dr. James White for bringing the main article to my attention.

Mormonism 101 – Index Page

August 4, 2009

In 2007, Dr. White provided a helpful series on Mormonism, entitled, “Mormonism 101.” Until now, there does not seem to have been a handy index of those posts. I’ve provided such an index below, using the headlines that Dr. White provided at the time. I’ve also thrown in a special item that was released on Mormonism during the series, and a link to a pdf version of an article on Mormonism that was released shortly after the series completed.

Mormonism 101: Badly Needed in our Culture Today

Mormonism 101: The First Vision Continued

Mormonism 101: More on the LDS Scripture’s View of God

Mormonism 101 Continued

Mormonism 101: Second Level Statements: The King Follett Discourse (#1)

Mormonism 101: Second Level Statements: The King Follett Discourse (#2)

Mormonism 101: Second Level Statements: The King Follett Discourse (#3)

Mormonism 101: Second Level Statements: The King Follett Discourse (#4)

Mormonism 101: Second Level Statements (More)

Mormonism 101: Second Level Statements (Final)

Mormonism 101: Third Level Statements (#1)

– Special – Jesus and Lucifer: Spirit Brothers?

Mormonism 101: Third Level Statements (#2)

Mormonism 101: Third Level Statements (#3)

Mormonism 101: Third Level Statements (#4)

Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#1)

Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#2)

Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#3)

Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#4)

Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements–Final You Graduated!

“Truth and Honesty in Evaluating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (pdf format) – Reprinted at the link with permission from reformation21. The Online Magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, 24 (Sept. 2007).

Enjoy!

-TurretinFan

Justification and Faith

July 20, 2009

There is an important distinction we need to make. A man is saved (justified) by faith in Christ alone for salvation. A man who trusts in his own works will be lost. This is the teaching of the Scriptures, made especially clear in Paul’s epistles.

That said, man is justified by faith alone in Christ alone. That is to say, man is not justified by having a correct understanding regarding justification. Thus, we do not exclude from salvation every person who has (in some way or other) a faulty understanding of justification, provided that he sincerely believes on Christ alone for salvation.

In consequence of the above distinction, we do not exclude people based on their membership in an apostate church or cult. A believer ought to experience growth that will lead them out of that apostate church, but there are many seducing spirits in this world:

Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Some churches teach a false gospel: the Roman Catholic (so-called) Church is one of these. That false gospel will not save. But (thanks in large part to the Reformers) there are now Bibles available to members of that church. They can read and find the same conviction that stirred Martin Luther. It’s even the case, these days, that many priests of Rome teach a Protestantized message. Perhaps, in some such parishes there may be priests who are contradicting their church’s teachings to be faithful to the Scripture. If so, whether on an individual level or on an institutional level, praise be to God!

Another church that teaches a false gospel is the Mormon Church. Its gospel also will not save. But there are Bibles in the hands of most Mormons, and they too can read these and be convicted by the Word of God. I don’t know enough of Mormon culture to say whether the gospel may be preached in some wards by the leadership there. If so, again, praise be to God!

Nevertheless, those who do follow the gospel of Christ ought to come out of these churches. That too is the teaching of Scriptures. For it has been prophesied that there will be false teachers:

2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

These days the idea of “damnable heresies” is not politically correct. “Heresies” itself is a bit strong for the typical person. But the fact is that these men will and have come and called themselves a part of us, though they are not in heart. What then is the Apostle Peter’s exhortation:

2 Peter 3:17-18
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Beware of false teachers, dear reader, and whether you believe your current church is right or wrong in general, trust alone in Christ for salvation, as it is written:

Proverbs 3:5-7
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

-TurretinFan

P.S. By the way – to those who do already acknowledge truth of Sola Fide: just so you know, that itself won’t save you. You’re not justified because you believe in Sola Fide, you’re justified (if you are) only on the basis of faith, and that being faith in Christ alone for salvation. If you think good theology saves – you’re wrong. Theology does matter: but having great theology won’t keep you from being in the category of those who on the last day, with many sincere folks with worse theology than yours, saying “Lord, Lord” etc.

Is Mormonism Christian?

January 14, 2009

In this short (less than 15 minutes) clip, Dr. White explains clearly some important distinctions between Mormonism and Christianity.

-TurretinFan

Another Bad Idea from Texas

April 5, 2008

Texas authorities have kidnapped (using mechanisms that purport to be legal) 52 girls of all ages (up to 17, naturally) from a fundamentalist Mormon (LDS) compound, which appears to be the entire female population under 18 in that place. This seems to be a remarkably bad idea, done with good intentions. There are few things that one can do to radicalize a population of men than to steal their women, and especially their daughters. There are few things that one can do to anger women than to take away their children, especially their daughters. If the authorities had done this to a compound of fundamentalist Muslims, one would expect immediate violent consequences. I think these Mormons will be somewhat more restrained.

The basis for the mass kidnapping was that a single girl aged 16 had alleged physical abuse. From this tenuous and dubious thread, the authorities apparently took every last girl they could find from the compound. Quite possibly the authorities had the best intentions of trying to do good to these girls. Fundamentalist (and mainstream) Mormonism is an evil cult, and promotes illegal marriages. It is even possible that the allegation of physical abuse by the single 16 year old girl was a true allegation.

The major problem, however, is that this sort of action fundamentally interferes with the sphere of authority of parents in raising their children. It is not the government’s right or responsibility (in Texas or anywhere) generally to interfere with parents raising their children. This kind of event is easy to dismiss, because the government is interfering with a fairly oddball cult.

The problem is that if this sort of precedent is upheld, we can expect to see the same mechanism applied to other religious groups – including both Muslim and Christian religious groups, depending on who is the prevailing group controlling the government.

I hope that the Texas government will realize their mistake and rectify it quickly. This persecution of the Fundamentalist LDS folks may be well intentioned, but it is improper and heads us down a slippery slope. I’m not sticking up for the LDS in any way. Their religion is corrupt and false.

By God’s grace, perhaps some of these kidnapped girls will end up in Christian foster families where they will hear the gospel and be saved. If so, God be praised! He can use the sinful acts of men for His own glory. Indeed, I hope that will be the end result of the process. I hope souls will be brought to Christ even through this debacle.

As a practical note, we should be prepared for the opposite situation. We should be prepared that our children – the children of our churches – may someday be taken from us and scattered above. With that in mind, we should do what we can to give them the gospel early and often – to put the word of God in their hearts and minds, so that if they are placed in a gospel-free environment they will be a salt and light to it, as opposed to absorbing the teachings of their new captors.

Perhaps this is a one-off occurance that will never happen again. I am not suggesting that the end is near or the sky is falling. I certainly do find the actions of these Texas officials to be most imprudent and unlawful. I certainly can see how anti-Christians governments could apply this sort of precedent to shatter Christian communities, and that is troubling.

One of the most troubling things about the situation is that it is eerily reminiscent of the situation that transpired in Waco, Texas with the Branch Davidian cult. In that case, the results were much more dramatically bad in terms of their physical consequences in loss of life. I am very thankful that the FLDS folks did not defend their rights with guns, because it would probably have meant their immediate extermination.

Let us pray for the Texas officials that God will give them wisdom to do what is right, and for the broken families that they will be brought to the truth of the gospel.

-TurretinFan

Mormon Theology from a Mormon

March 1, 2008

When the two young men show up at your door, most will not make a presentation like the one that follows. Nevertheless, for someone wanting to see some of the differences between Christianity and Mormonism (particularly with respect to the Gospel and the afterlife), the following blog entry from Mormon Matters provides some succinct distinctions.

Obviously, I do not endorse Mormonism. Nevertheless, the article may be eye-opening if the only thing you know about Mormonism is that they wear special underwear. (link)

It is key to be aware of the fact that we teach a very different gospel from Mormonism. We teach the pure gospel taught by Jesus and the apostles.

-TurretinFan

Monergism vs. Synergism Discussion

February 16, 2008

In the video below, Dr. James White discusses monergist salvation with a synergist.

http://www.youtube.com/v/iZYKJPfSXAY&rel=1

I mostly agree with Dr. White’s answers. However, as to the answer regarding the burning house, I’d have something else to say.

The analogy about the burning house is inaccurate, because the synergist does not assert that total passivity is the way that man is rescued from sin. Instead, the synergist asserts that man cooperates with God in order to be saved.

In other words, the situation is more like people hearing the voice of the fire marshall sounding through the smoky haze and some carefully follow his instructions and escape, and others ignore his instructions and perish.

Still, one might ask, do those who escape have any ground for boasting?

The intuitive answer is “no,” but it is important to understand why that is.

Imagine there is no fire marshall at all. Some manage to escape the fire by strenuously exerting themselves to escape the blaze, and others die because they make bad attempts.

No, again, one might, do those who escape have any ground for boasting?

I still think the intuitive answer is “no,” even though in this instance their salvation from the fire is entirely their own work. We wouldn’t think people who bragged about how they escaped when others perished to be very nice people.

So, perhaps that’s not quite what we mean by boasting. In other words, maybe what we mean by boasting is having any part in the credit for our salvation. In the last case, the escapees clearly can take credit. They used their wits or their muscles, or just their bravery to escape the fire.

But when we then reflect that back to the middle analogy where people cooperate with the fire marshall, we see that again those who are saved are those who are more obedient, more attentive, or have the good judgment to listen when others try to find their own way out. While they cannot take all the credit for their escape, it is a difference between them and the others that is the critical reason why they are saved and the others are not.

Even so in synergistic salvation. In synergistic salvation, man gets some of the credit, because man does some of the work. This detracts from the glory of God and contradicts Scripture. The former reason is enough to make the doctrine suspect, but the latter is the reason we reject synergism.

Scripture says:

Romans 3:24-28
24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Praise be to the God who Justifies!

-Turretinfan


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