Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Accusation: Mormons don't understand the Spirit or the Atonement

Following are some random accusations towards Mormon beliefs on the ministry of the Spirit and how the Atonement works accompanied by my responses. This is a continuation of the same correspondence mentioned in the posts on 9/30/08 and 10/05/08.

Accusation:
We were born in sin and have a natural instinct or desire to sin but He also gave us a conscience and when we do something wrong He “reminds us” or “tells us” in that little voice. The closer we are to Him the louder that voice is. It’s not a feeling because feelings are not the voice of God but a true knowledge.

Response:
-I assume that you will agree with me that the fruits of the spirit are granted to those who are close to God. I also assume that you believe the Spirit is a teacher (John 14:26).
Paul defines the “fruits of the spirit” as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering...” -Gal. 5:22. I don’t know what your particular experiences have been, but when I learn something from the Spirit (who is a teacher), and experience the fruits of the spirit, I experience love, joy, peace, etc.; which, are feelings. I do not think you believe love, joy, and peace aren’t feelings.
So, often when the Spirit teaches something, there are feelings involved.


Accusation:
When we sin we need to confess it and ask for forgiveness. Not like a revolving door like “I’ll sin now and confess later and everything will be alright.” God knows our hearts.

Response:
-I absolutely agree. One of my favorite biblical verses on this subject is Heb. 6:1 - “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection (*there’s that “perfection” word again); not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God...”


Accusation:
The “restored gospel” is full of do’s and don’ts. Mostly do’s. You can’t “buy your way into heaven” by going to church, paying tithing, and doing temple work. You can’t get a better seat in heaven by having lots of children, becoming a missionary, or being a bishop.

Response:
-The Church of Jesus Christ does not teach that people can buy their way into heaven. The only “buying” that ever happened in the gospel is Christ buying us with his sacrifice (1 Cor. 6:20, 7:23, 2 Pet 2:1). People who have not studied the truths that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches do not realize that the Book of Mormon harmonizes with the Bible in stating-

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.” - 2 Nephi 10:24

We know that if we believe the Lord, we strive to keep his commandments, and he will reward us as He sees fit. Without the atonement of Jesus Christ, we would all be lost, no matter how righteous we were.

“yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement...”
-Alma 34:9


Accusation:
God loves all of us and desires a true relationship with us. He is a great friend, and wonderful father. You can get to heaven if you accept Him as your personal savior.

Response:
-I absolutely believe if we accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and do what he asks us to do, we can return to live with Him in heaven.


Best Wishes,
Rusty

1 comment:

ama said...

Hi Rusty,

It's been awhile since I visited your site.

I like this post because it's straightforward and hits many things that people who are antagonistic towards the Church of Jesus Christ bring up.

I recently wrote on this at my site as well and would love to hear some of your comments.

http://www.graceforgrace.com

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