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Articles of Faith Series Recap

Outer Brightness /
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2021 7:13 am

Articles of Faith Series Recap

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May 9, 2021 7:13 am

In this episode, the scions of light look back on the series of episodes they've done on the LDS Articles of Faith. They each share and discuss some of their favorite moments from that series.

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You're entering outer brightness. Okay, welcome fireflies to this episode of the outer brightness podcast. So today we're going to kind of do a recap over the past year and the articles of faith that we have addressed in our podcast episodes. So we've done quite a few of the articles of faith of the LDS church and we've addressed them as we understood as Latter-day Saints and also how we view these particular topics now as born-again Christians. So we would like to do a kind of recap on all these episodes and share the episodes that really spoke to us or that we really enjoyed most, share our favorite moments and kind of have a discussion that way.

So first off, let's go to you, Michael. Do you have any particular episodes that you really enjoyed from the articles of faith series that we've been working on? Yeah, one of them that really stuck out to me was our episode about the priesthood.

What about the priesthood? For a couple of reasons. One, it was one of the first episodes where my wife Brianna came on to the podcast and actually joined us. So that was really enjoyable. You know what they say, couples that podcast together stay together. I guess nobody says that, but it's actually kind of funny. It's like one of the first time she's on, she kind of calls me out saying how horrible I am and that I'm such a sinner. But I liked the point that she made in there, which is that God loves me anyway. And if his love is that strong and it's that secure, then why do we need a priesthood to seal us to God? And so I just, I really liked that whole episode because it's such an important topic to discuss with Latter-day Saints. I feel like the priesthood is sort of the alpha and the omega in LDS culture.

And so when that gets knocked down, it's like the first domino that knocks down every other single domino that there is. So that is how important the priesthood is to talk about and just really enjoyed going over all the different Bible verses that Latter-day Saints like to point to and really doing a deep dive into the context of all of those and showing that it does not in any way support the LDS story that the priesthood was lost and now it's been restored or anything like that. Yeah, I totally agree with that. I really enjoyed our discussion in particular on Hebrews because that was instrumental in my also deconstructing my LDS faith is understanding what the priest of Melchizedek really is, that it's something that's not we hold, it's something that Christ holds and it's related to his redeeming work, his intercessory work as the Savior, that he stands between the wrath of God and us and he takes that wrath upon himself. And so for us to take on that priesthood is, you know, when I really understood that it's kind of prideful to think, oh, I can take the place that Christ alone is fit for.

So do you have any thoughts on that, Michael? I just, I remember when we got to this episode, we actually kind of all talked about the book of Hebrews and how vital that they go back and I read Hebrews now and it is so clear as I read it that Christ alone is, Christ is our high priest and there are so many different parallels in there that I see that just makes this comparison to real Christianity versus even Mormonism because it talks about how the high priest would first, you know, sacrifice for themselves because they were sinners and it's like the same thing happens in the war too when they do communion and I view communion as being sort of the same type of thing. You're doing a sacrifice to renew your covenant, you know, so that your covenant is in force again and the first person that takes the sacrament every single Sunday is the bishop because he's got to take that for his own sin, but we've got a high priest who is alive and that was one of my favorite points in that episode too is he is alive and so he is able to save us to the uttermost and he doesn't have his own sins to atone for or anything like that, you know, and since he saves us to the uttermost, there's no need for anybody to stand in the way.

There's no need for a bishop or a priest or a stake president or a prophet or anybody and so I really recommend the book of Hebrews. I feel like if I'd been able to understand that book earlier on in my life, I probably would have come out of the church a lot sooner. Yeah, and I love the way too how the book of Hebrews ties everything in the Old Testament into its fulfillment in the New Testament.

I've mentioned in that episode, I'm sure, but R.C. Sproul said that if you were, you know, you ask a Christian, if you were on a deserted island and you couldn't have any book of the Bible, you could only choose one book of the Bible, what would you choose and he said it would be Hebrews or kind of all the reasons we've talked about that there's just so it basically lays out the entire plan of God from the beginning to the end and how all the animal sacrifices, all the temples, the laws, the commandments are fulfilled in Jesus and it's written to a Jewish audience because they understand that context. So yeah, I love that book too and it's like you said, I'm the same way when I read it now, I'm like, man, I read this and that and why didn't I get it?

I don't understand, but just goes to show that we need we need a new heart and new eyes to really understand it. Well, it's hard to read Roman, I mean Hebrews, sorry, as a Latter-day Saint because it seems like every single sentence in Hebrews is just going completely against your religion. So I think when I would read Hebrews, I would kind of, my eyes would just glaze over as I read it.

If I was listening to a Christian radio the other day and somebody said the same thing, if I was on a desert island, what book would I take? But it was Romans, you know, they picked, but I think as ex-Latter-day Saints specifically, I think Hebrews just speaks to us because as Latter-day Saints we were so focused on priesthood and on ordinances and Hebrews actually covers all of that stuff and it explains how that fits in the new covenant with Christ. And so I really like that book and I like how we were able to dive deep into it and talk about the scriptures and the context surrounding it and everything. So that was a really good episode to me.

Yeah, that's great. And we both talked about how that understanding salvation by grace alone through faith alone was pivotal to our understanding, wait, do I really need the LDS priesthood? You know, if I can have everything, if I can have all the blessings in Christ without the priesthood, the LDS priesthood, why do I need it? So Paul, do you have any thoughts on that episode before we turn to you for your favorite episode?

Yeah, I thought that was a really important episode as well for all the reasons that you both listed. It might be, if you were to rank the 13 LDS articles of faith in terms of most important to an LDS person's identity, it would probably be number one priesthood and number two, the Trinity, right? So it'd probably be those two articles of faith that cover those topics because the priesthood, you know, is so integral to how Latter-day Saint males especially see themselves, but also to Latter-day Saint females and how they interact with the LDS church and how they're taught to have a worthy priesthood holder as part of their home from the time that they're little girls. So yeah, that one is just so vital for LDS to Latter-day Saints to overcome that understanding.

And Michael, as you were saying that all of that Hebrews is hard to read for Latter-day Saints, I was like, yeah, not chapter four verse five. Other than that, yes, but that one stripped from context, they love. But yeah, yeah, that's what I would say on that episode. Yeah, I think that's great. I hope, I actually want to, now that we've talked about it, I want to go back and re-listen to those, but yeah, great episode. So hopefully that's been a blessing to the Fireflies and anyone who else who's listening. So, and we hope to have more episodes like that in the future, or that'll really challenge the faith of those who are stalwart or, and maybe encourage those who are struggling and also to kind of help us three with Brianna, also us four, kind of challenge ourselves and be willing to re-examine our faith and how we understand the scriptures. So hopefully we'll have more of that in the future. So Paul, are you ready to share your favorite article of faith episode that we did this last year?

Yeah, I have three. I think my, my, the first one I would list, and these are in no order, but the first one I would list as a favorite is the Trinity episodes that we did, What About the Trinity, based on article of faith number one. The reason, one of the main reasons that those episodes are my favorite, on my favorite list is because the way we tackled those where Michael prepared the notes for our episode, and he pulled from his book that he had written when he was a Latter-day Saint apologist, a biblical defense of Mormonism, and he pulled questions that he used to pose to Christians as a Latter-day Saint, challenging the doctrine of the Trinity. And so I thought it was kind of a fun way for the three of us, well, the two of us, you and I, Matthew, to get to know Michael's personality, and also for our listeners to do the same, and also to kind of witness in a fun way the journey that he's taken from Mormon to Jesus and the differences and the changes that have come to be in his doctrinal framework as a result of that.

And so it was fun to kind of tackle that topic in that way. The second one I would list as on my list of favorites from the articles of faith episodes is What About Salvation on the second article of faith. The reason I say Trinity and salvation is because those two topics are so critical to Latter-day Saints, and they're critical really to anyone, right? Because the question is, who is God, and how do we deal with evil, right? And so what about the Trinity? What about salvation?

I think it's so important to understand grace. When I first reached the point where I was ready to leave the LDS church and start attending Christian churches and really kind of asking myself, you know, the question, okay, so what am I now? Am I a Christian because I was a Latter-day Saint for most of my life, or am I not yet a Christian? If I am a Christian, when did I become a Christian?

What does that mean? All of those questions were kind of rattling around in my head and gripping my heart in those months after I left the Latter-day Saint faith. And I started reading a lot, a lot of Christian books. And one of the first books that I read during that time is called The Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll. And it's just a beautiful book. And the way he lays out the doctrine of grace is just, it's really clear. It's a popular level book, so it's not like heavy doctrinal, heavy scholarly level book.

It's a readable book for anyone. And, you know, there's a couple of things that he said that we covered in our What About Salvation episode, partially, and then furthermore in our What About Original Sin episodes. But he says this, learn a little theology. It is vital to understanding and appreciating grace.

We were born wrong with God. The same sin that Adam introduced has polluted the entire human race. No one is immune to the sin disease, and no human accomplishment can erase the internal stain that separates us from God. That's not a doctrine that fits within the Latter-day Saint framework, but it's a doctrine that is critical to understanding grace. And then the other quote that I think is just fabulous from Chuck Swindoll as he says, he's commenting on Romans 6, the question that Paul begins that chapter with, are we to continue in sin that grace may increase? And Chuck Swindoll goes on to say, if it is true that where sin abounded, grace has much more abounded, well then shall we continue in sin that grace may abound yet further?

First of all, let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone, it does not matter at all what you do.

You can go on sending as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If the preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. And when I read that, probably in 2011 timeframe, I mean, it hit me pretty hard because I was at the time just freshly out of the LDS church and I was engaged in trying to preach the gospel to Latter-day Saints and they constantly came with that charge of cheap grace. Oh, you just think you can sin all you want and you're saved. And I began to ask them if they realized that they were asking the exact questions that the apostle Paul's accusers threw at him because I don't know that they realize it all the time that they're asking those questions.

They should. They're the same questions. But it's important. If you're preaching is not subject to the charge of easy believism, simple, you know, cheap grace, you're not preaching the New Testament gospel.

And wow, that hit me like a ton of bricks when I read that back then. And so, yeah, what about salvation and what we talked about in those episodes? Really important for Latter-day Saints.

And I think that's why it makes my favorite list. And then my third one is what about religious freedom and respect with Jeremy Howard when we had him on? You know, in conversations with Latter-day Saints, it's always a challenge because and I when I was a Latter-day Saint, I wrote an email to my mother-in-law around this time of year encouraging her to see me as Christian. Let's celebrate Easter together. We both believe in Christ and the resurrection. You know, I understand that feeling that a Latter-day Saint has that desire to be accepted as part of the Christian community. But whether or not you personally or your doctrine is accepted as part of the Christian community is not what matters.

What matters is if is whether or not you've really had the heart change and are saved by grace alone through Christ alone. And so, but that question of our Latter-day Saints Christian can be really thorny because it can throw up roadblocks for Latter-day Saints to listen to us. And so I think Jeremy did a great job talking about the doctrinal chart that he has separating primary doctrines from secondary and tertiary doctrines. And you know, the fact of the matter is that Christians regardless of the charge from Latter-day Saints that Christians are all over the map and disagree about all kinds of things, we're aligned on the primary doctrines, who God is, how salvation is obtained, and the other primary doctrines, we're aligned on those. And so, and you know, to the contrary, Latter-day Saints are not aligned with Christians on those primary doctrines.

There's not agreement on who God is between Christians and Latter-day Saints, and there's not agreement on how salvation is obtained between Christians and Latter-day Saints. So those are key issues. And I think Jeremy did a great job of respectfully kind of laying out where those landmines are, how to have conversations respectfully about them, those types of things. So yeah, those are my, those are my three favorites. Were you falling asleep, Michael? That's a great, lots of great stuff there, Paul.

Thank you. Do you want to dive, Paul? I was like, no, I was just like, oh, I didn't realize we were going through our entire list because I only went through one of my episodes. Sorry, guys.

You know, I can't talk short. Yeah. No, that's all good. Thank you, Paul.

Yeah. No, I, I had a lot of the same thoughts that you had when you were listing your favorite episodes, Paul, that those, those episodes were just the first, the first three articles of faith really are just key. Those are just completely different worldview differences between Latter-day Saints and evangelicals. When, when you see God is loving everybody absolutely the same, that we're all just children of God by, by birth and that we're not really bad, you know, we're, we're born sinless and pure and have no stain or, or imputed or inherited guilt from Adam's sin. And that's a completely different worldview change from what the Bible teaches. And it's, it's a hard, it's a hard change to know that we're not automatically children of God and that we have to become adopted. We have to be given the right or the capacity to become children of God through faith. And so, yeah, it's just such key to, to getting through to Latter-day Saints. We, we even just reading, I was, I was reading to my girlfriend's family earlier, the first couple articles of faith and a Christian might read them and say, you know, okay, almost with presuppositions and understanding from the LDS perspective, you really have to tackle every single one and address it because there's just so different, so radically different. Michael, do you have any comments on episodes that Paul mentioned?

Yeah, I have to say that I really enjoyed that, that Trinity episode too. It was kind of hard for me getting back into that mindset and it probably wasn't as satisfying, you know, kind of feeling like, like I lost the debate, but you know, to, to Christ's glory. So it's, it's all good. But yeah, it wasn't fun losing the debate. I came in swinging, not pulling my punches, really trying to trip you guys up.

And I was proud of you for coming up with good answers for, for my sneaky attacks. I thought it just, it was a good way to show that there really is nothing that Latter-day Saints can pull out of their pockets. Like these, these arguments, no matter how tough they look, there are answers for them. And the Trinity is the stronger doctrine than the LDS God had.

Did you have any other comments about the other episodes that he mentioned, Paul, you mentioned earlier? What about salvation also, right? Yeah.

Yeah. About that, I like what you said too, Matthew, that, you know, all these terms are so loaded and with a Latter-day Saint, even the word faith means something completely different than what we mean. You know, when we say faith, we are talking about trust, a trust in God and that trust, what it does is it imputes Christ's righteousness to us. With a Latter-day Saint, they're going to say, oh, it's an action word and faith actually means obedience and it means moving forward and taking the LDS ordinances and sacraments. I've had Latter-day Saints say that it is a natural evolution. If you have faith, you will go and take the LDS ordinances. And of course I'm always like, well, how does that make sense? Because I was doing all that and then I left.

So how does that reasoning really work? But I like how we did that episode on what about salvation. I agree with Paul that that's a super important topic to talk about with Latter-day Saints. And I love how we followed it up with the next article of faith.

And we really went into every single point, just super deep. That was actually one of my, one of the ones I listed as one of my favorites was the sacrament, just going into that. And I learned so much about the different positions and real presence and just the different stances on that. So I definitely recommend those episodes to anybody who really want to get in deep with the theology and is nerdy enough to get in and get into the theology because we got into it really heavy there. And of course I enjoyed talking to Jeremy Howard as well. So yeah, all of those episodes were good episodes.

Yeah, for sure. I think along the lines of the religious freedom episode with Jeremy Howard talking about how to share the faith of Latter-day Saints, I think our episode with Jordan Rittenmeyer was right along those lines as well about one of his comments was saying that a lot of times the Christians when we're sharing the faith, we try to tell them we, instead of asking Latter-day Saints what they believe, we say, well, your church teaches this and it's wrong. And so he kind of said, we should be asking them what they believe. And if it's correct, then go with it and then move on and build off of that. And I thought that was an interesting way to think about it because I hadn't really tried to do that.

It's something I could still work on also when talking to Latter-day Saints instead of trying to be like, well, your church teaches us instead of making it more inviting and try to have a conversation with them. Yeah. And then I think I'm frozen again, guys.

I got kicked out there guys completely. Can you hear me now? Yeah. Okay.

Timer is still where it should be. It says we're recording. So hopefully we didn't lose anything at the end of this. What was the last thing you remember hearing? You were talking, Matthew.

You were responding to what Michael had said about us getting really deep in theologically on each of the sacraments. But I don't remember. Was it that long ago? No, I don't think it was that long ago. But yeah, I froze up again.

And then I got kicked out completely. So did you hear me talking about Jordan Rittmeyer? No, not at all. So it wasn't that long, right? It was only like a minute or something. Yeah, it wasn't too long.

Okay. It was probably right before I brought up Jordan Rittmeyer. Yeah, I'm just hoping that even though I was frozen, the recording picked everything up.

Yeah, I guess we'll have to see. But yeah, so just to kind of summarize, yeah, the episode with Jeremy Howard and Jordan Rittmeyer, I think those are both great. Those kind of go hand in hand with helping Christians to know how to talk to Latter-day Saint friends, how to share the gospel and to start the conversation without being overly abrasive or offensive. So those are really great.

And I think those go well together. Yeah. So Michael, did you have, did you have another episode you'd like to introduce? Yeah, the third one that I had on my list was actually one that we did recently. And that was, what about the gathering? And it was, it was kind of fun going back and revisiting it because as a Christian, it's not something that I even had on my radar anymore.

It was one of those things that I just threw out the baby with the bathwater. And so it was kind of nice going back and talking about it. I enjoyed hearing about some of the old LDS beliefs and mythology from Paul Nernberg, talking about how the last tribes of Israel came from the North Pole.

So that was something I'd never heard of in my life. And also kind of like hearing some of those quotes, like we finally found, you know, it took forever to find that quote from Joseph Smith, but saying that our blood actually changes into the blood of an Israelite. What's kind of interesting about that is if our blood is changing, then it's no longer adoption, is it?

It's literal descendancy, if that's a word. So I thought that was, I thought that was really interesting. Kind of talked to some Latter-day Saints after the fact and asked them their thoughts. And it does not seem to be congruent with current Latter-day Saint belief, but it is there.

And then I just thought it was fascinating too that, you know, early on the church was all about gathering. It was all about going to Missouri and how their language has changed. And it's no longer about, we're going to pack up and go. It is about staying strong where you are. It's about blooming where you're planted or lifting where you stand and holding the priesthood.

And it's like, it's all about holding the line. And it's just interesting how there's been a drift in doctrine. And I like talking about all those things and about what tribes of Israel we were all supposedly from. So I thought that was a fun episode.

Yeah, I agree. During that episode, I was trying to find my... When I was coming back into... Go ahead. Go ahead.

I was... No, no. Go ahead. You already had it started. Go ahead. I think I'm out of the way now.

Yeah, I enjoyed that episode as well. And Michael, you said your patriarchal blessing says that you're from the tribe of Ephraim by blood, right? Well, it says by blood or by adoption.

So it's kind of like it didn't know. So you choose. Yeah. So I'm choosing blood. Obviously, I'm a blood descendant. You can tell just by looking at me.

Yeah. So I was trying to find mine because when you said that, I was like, I don't remember if mine said anything about blood or adoption. So I did finally find it. And it says that I'm of the tribe of Ephraim. It doesn't say by blood or adoption. It does later say that you are a rightful heir of the priesthood.

So I don't know if that means by blood or not. But yeah, it was an interesting episode. I enjoyed kind of digging into that. And we had some fun in the editing.

So I think the Fireflies will enjoy that. But yeah, that's I agree. That's a that's a good episode. And you're right, Michael, it was, it was fun to kind of dig back into it.

Because you're right, as a Christian, the gathering of Israel, it's not really, it's not really a key part of, of Christian doctrine. Yeah. And so, I was gonna say, I do have bad news for you. And maybe this isn't the time to say it. But I think you were adopted.

Really? I think I think you're probably right about that. That just that just means that they chose Paul and they're stuck with you. Sorry, break it to you, buddy. You know, at least somebody chose to marry me. So well, if you wouldn't keep going back in time and telling him not to, I'd be I'd be hitched by now 50.

What was it? 50 women? No, I said three women that I told not to marry you. Yeah, no, earlier, I was just gonna say that I knew about that quote from Joseph Smith, where he said that it literally changes your blood. And it was in teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but I didn't have it. And I found it was in the other room. And if I if I had the physical copy, I would have found it. But I was trying to go through like a weird PDF copy or something. So I couldn't find it.

But yeah, no, I'm great. I'm glad we found it even though it took us like 20 minutes. Because I always found that was interesting.

No one ever talks about it in the church, but it's something he said. So only two minutes in editing. And there's probably probably worth the 20 minutes. Yeah.

So let's see. Was that all the episodes that you had? Michael? Yeah, that's, that's all the ones that I have. And Paul, you went through the ones you wanted to?

Yes, I did. So what about Yeah, I was gonna, I was gonna say basically, the ones that I thought were maybe not the most interesting or the ones that left the biggest impression on me, but I thought were just core were the ones on the Trinity, as we already talked about, also salvation, of course, but also original sin and scripture. I think those four are just like, so key to understanding if you want to transition from being a Latter Day Saint to evangelical Christianity, we already talked a little bit about original sin, but just just, and they're there. The thing is, is there's a lot of different understandings original sin. But I wanted to point out that there was a poll that was made in a debate group that I'm in with a bunch of Christians, if to ask if they believed in original sin, and the vast majority said yes. And they also all agree that that means that it not only makes us sinners that we're not only inheriting a sin nature, but also that we are inheriting the guilt of Adam as our federal head. So through him, he acted on behalf of all humanity. And through his sin, we are also held accountable. And we talked in those episodes about that through Romans five.

So I'd recommend anybody wants more information about that to go through that chapter. And what's amazing to me is that there is a lot of agreement on that issue. And even in classical Armenianism, they agree in total depravity. They believe that we do inherit the sin nature and that we can't have our own volition choose God, that God has to give grace first.

So we talked a lot about that in that episode. So I think it's just great that that, as we said, there it Latter Day Saints, they see that Christianity is just a big confusing mess, the big hodgepodge of just agree arguments and disagreements and everything. But really, there is a lot of agreement, a lot of these things, and there's disagreement on certain aspects of it and predestination and things like that. But ultimately, that that's not, you don't need to believe in one idea or the other to be saved.

What you need is to trust in the Lord Jesus and to believe in the in the in that Jesus is the eternal God, that he's the Son of God, trust in him alone for your sins. And so and then when we get into all these other debates, it's an in house debate, not an outhouse debate. So it's it's debating amongst friends and brothers brother. Oh, yeah, that didn't sound doesn't sound good. Yeah, I didn't think about that. I mean, what else are you gonna do in an outhouse? Right?

You got extra time. Michael, Michael had to bring up your your previous comment about God watching us while we shower. Here you come with an outhouse debate and step right in it.

You know, I was reading Proverbs, and there's something in there about keeping your mind out of the gutter doesn't say it that way. But But uh, I'm gonna say the sins on both of your heads on my I'll just I'll throw that down. Okay. Okay, sorry. We derailed you with with calling out your comment. So moving along.

No, we're all good, man. Um, yeah, so that was that was kind of what I want to point out about original sin. But also scripture. I really enjoyed our in depth discussion on scripture it looking back, it's crazy that we had four episodes on it. And it was only our it was our fifth or eighth episodes. So we had two two parters before then, I think the first one was, what if Mormonism isn't true? And then we said, what church is true, then those were our first four episodes. And then we had a four parter on scripture. And I was like, man, the fact that we still have listeners after all that, you know, for a four part episode on scripture, they're still they're still hanging around is pretty, pretty amazing.

But I really enjoy talking about that. And just the importance of scripture, because to me, as Latter Day Saint, that was that was one of the key things to it was not only that you need priesthood, and that God is our Heavenly Father. And you know, we need all we need the LDS church and ordinances and all that. But it's also that you can't really trust scripture 100% that there's always gonna be something in there that's missing or corrupted or whatever. That's that was to me, that was key to LDS doctrine. And then understanding that scripture is trustworthy, that it is it does come from God. And when we look at Jesus and his view of scripture, that it was the words of God also, that started to fundamentally shift how I read scripture, I wasn't just seeing it as like, Oh, here's a thing here and there, I can pluck out to prove what I already believe. It was like, Whoa, whoa, this is the document that God has given us to give us all of the faith, all the understanding and revelation is given to us for us today. You know, it's not just something to boost my faith or give me a testimony. I'm supposed to base my faith around this.

And when you when I had that shift, mental shift, it just completely changed my mind about things. And so I hope that we tackled that topic faithfully and carefully enough that they'll they'll see the importance of scripture also. So do either of you have comments on our episodes on scripture?

Just just that I agree that it is such a, an important topic to talk about, really agree with you there. Because when you're a Latter Day Saint, you've got everything that kind of counts as scripture, you've got your revelation, which we actually did a separate episode on revelation specifically, but all the revelation from the current prophets counts as revelation, and they've got all these are accounts of scripture, and they've got all these different books of scripture that they count. And it really feeds into their Bible reading, you know, they can't just read the Bible as a standalone book, it has to be influenced by their other scriptures. And, and it really just, you know, if the Bible is sufficient, if it is God's living Word, then it really just changes the perspective of things compared to being a Latter Day Saint.

So I really, I think that was a good episode too. And yeah, one thing that I've noticed, I think we mentioned this in that episode was anytime you've got another authority besides scripture, that authority usurps the scripture completely controls the narrative of the scripture, and just takes control. And so, you know, the scripture then has no authority. And I think that's why we see so much what I like to call doctrinal drift with the LDS Church, where 100 years ago, they believed different things than they do now. And that's because they don't have scripture anchoring them down like we do, you know, an unchanging scripture that remains the same and doesn't get new revelation. You know, it's actually vital to having the same gospel all the time. So yeah, I agree with you.

Yeah, and I just want to point out there too, to comment on what you just said, Michael. We see that in evangelical Christianity today, or even in the past century, that when churches start to go very off the rails, what is the cause of that? It's because they reject the sufficiency in the authority of scripture.

They reinterpret it through modern lenses, or they say, well, that was the racist or sexist opinions of that time, but we are in a much more enlightened era now. One example of that is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I think they came out of the Southern Presbyterians, and they had a dispute about the authority of scripture and how to interpret it.

And that caused a big split. And so then that formed the OPC, which is a very conservative Presbyterian denomination. But then you compare that to say the PCUSA, and they have a very liberal view of how to interpret and read scripture. And they just don't see it as something that is the controlling document or the controlling rule of faith, the absolute infallible rule of faith.

They see it as part of their faith. And they've taken other ideas and philosophies and used that to reinterpret scripture and say, well, that was then, this is now a thing. And so when you add any authority, even if they don't outright deny scripture or replace it, just saying, okay, we're going to look at scripture through this lens now, that ends up distorting scripture in a sense. So yeah, just the authority of scripture and interpreting scripture is difficult. So we're going to have an episode on hermeneutics where we talk more about this, because I think even for those who do have a high view of scripture, we disagree on how to interpret it. And even if we have the same hermeneutics, we'll still disagree on how to interpret certain passages. So it's not always clear cut, but it's amazing to see the ones who do have a high view of scripture that we do end up agreeing on a lot of things.

Paul, do you have any, sorry, go ahead, Michael. Yeah, I was just going to say too, because I've had Latter-day Saints kind of say to me, even recently, like what you're just saying, like, oh, well, you don't, you guys all read the scriptures and you interpret it differently. And I say, yeah, but not when it comes to the essential doctrines, not if we're taking the Bible as our sole authority, like you just said, if we have a high view of scripture, we actually do come out believing the same things on the essential doctrines, on the things that really matter. And so that whole argument does fall to pieces. Absolutely.

Yeah, sorry, Paul, go ahead. I agree that those What About Scripture episodes were really important. I think it was funny what you said about, it's incredible that we had listeners hang on after a four-part episode on scripture, but it really is important. And what's interesting to me, thinking back on those episodes and thinking back on kind of LDS views of scripture, you know, Latter-day Saints should have a really high view of scripture given some teachings that they receive. I'm thinking specifically of a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants that, you know, when they speak as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, it shall be the word of God, it shall be scripture to them, right? And so a lot of Latter-day Saints, they take that to mean that what their prophets and apostles say in general conference should be viewed as scripture and that kind of thing. But a lot of Latter-day Saints don't view it that way either.

And it's easier for them not to view it that way because of contradictions, because as Michael was saying, what they believed 100 years ago is not what they believe today. But also if you think about, you know, kind of what teachings they receive in the temple endowment with regards to scripture and how dangerous the philosophies of men mingled with scripture are, and that's kind of a barb thrown at the way Christians maybe view scripture or the way Latter-day Saints perceive Christians to view scripture. And so you take those things and you think, yeah, Latter-day Saints should have a really high view of scripture. And also they have this doctrine that ultimately it's the prophet of the LDS church who has the authority to speak on behalf of God and interpret scripture rightly for them. But when you really get down to brass tacks with Latter-day Saints, they really all are their own authority when it comes to scripture. When you have discussions with them, you know, they're kind of all over the place with the way they approach scripture while at the same time trying to, you know, kind of throw it up in our face as Christians that you guys are inconsistent.

But like you said, Matthew, you know, on the essentials, even though we may have some differences in some secondary and tertiary doctrines in the essentials where we come to the same conclusions based on the scripture. And I remember talking about in those episodes, nevermind, I lost my thought on that one. I was thinking something earlier and totally lost it. That's okay.

Maybe it'll come back. Oh, yeah. Just kind of more on that, the way that Latter-day Saints approach scripture and kind of view it like you were saying, Matthew, as flawed in some way, right? That ultimately there's this higher authority, whether it be the prophet or whether it be their own personal revelation from the spirit, that is their authority for how to understand scripture rightly. It's a very kind of post-modernist approach to scripture because the words of scripture can mean anything a Latter-day Saint wants them to.

Whereas as Latter-day Saints, we're, or not as Christians, we're beholden to conform our doctrine to the scripture, right? And so we're beholden to understand the scripture as it was given by God. And so we take it to be very important to dig in and understand what was meant by the passages of scripture. What was meant by the apostle Paul as he was preaching to and writing letters to his initial hearers and readers of his letters. What was meant by Jesus as he preached in that culture? And so doing the hard work of hermeneutics and exegesis to understand what is the doctrine that comes out of scripture rather than what is the doctrine that I put into it from my preconceptions. And that, yeah, those episodes were really important. Yeah.

And then just thinking back to our days in seminary and even on our mission, when we were teaching on our mission, were we really going verse by verse in a passage in the Bible and exegeting it? It was more like, here's this topic we're talking on. Okay.

Here's a verse in the Bible that supports it. Moving on. That's how it was for me anyway.

Yeah. I was exactly the same way. I would try to find, um, I would just kind of explain our beliefs and then I would try to find maybe a passage or two in the Bible, totally taken out of context that would support what I was saying. And then I would try to find one or two from the book of Mormon in my direction.

But yeah, context was never a thing that I looked at, uh, in teaching. Here's something I'm not sure if we tackled it in that episode or not, but it's something I've thought a lot about as a Latter-day Saint. I always looked at the Bible, seeing exactly what I do because the restored gospel is the same through all time. So these people had the same feelings I do or understanding I do about like eternal salvation, families are forever, temple ordinances, things like that. And now as a Christian, I read it saying, okay, Peter and Paul and the apostles, they probably didn't have all the exact same ideas or beliefs or understandings as I do. You know, we're, we're not, we don't have to look at the Bible now and say, Oh, they're a reformed Baptist just like me. Or, you know, there are many, it's just like me or they're Lutherans just like me. You know, what do you guys think about that? Do you have similar feelings about that?

Um, yeah, I guess they hadn't invented infant baptism yet because I don't remember seeing that just had to throw that in there. Oh man. Our Presbyterian friends are going to kill us.

They're going to boycott us. How about you, Paul? Did, did you get what I was the point I was trying to make though? You know, we don't always have to try to fit our circumstances or our understanding of everything on them and be, and then, you know, force it to, to understand, to agree with what we believe nowadays.

You know, I don't know. That's the kind of the point I was trying to make. Yeah. So, so, uh, let me just kind of echo it back to you, make sure I'm understanding correctly. So what you're saying is we don't have to try to retrofit our current beliefs in the way we view things, uh, culturally and societally, uh, onto the Bible, right? We can understand, uh, the, the scripture in its context and its historical context. Is that kind of what you're going for?

Yeah. And, and I think it's also just the humility of knowing that, you know, I, this is how I believe that scripture is most cohesively and coherently interpreted, but maybe I'm wrong, you know, maybe I'm wrong on some certain things like this. So there's a certain level of, I think requiring a little bit of humility there. Whereas a lot of you saying it's like, Nope, this is the gospel. It's the only true gospel. The way they, I mean, as a lot of people are saying, I would even try to say that the fair season Sadducees had some of the gospel truth, you know, like I remember, uh, pointing to the Sadducees trying to confront Christ and they're like a man or a woman married seven brothers.

Whose will she be in the resurrection? And I'm like, Oh, see that proves that they believe in eternal marriage because they're assuming that there's going to be marriage. But I just totally gloss over the fact that they don't even believe in a resurrection. So no, there is no consistent LDS doctrine there, but I just, I think I just sort of threw it into the scriptures when it wasn't there, if that makes sense. Same thing with, you know, Paul would talk about baptism and like kind of later on in Romans, I'm like, Oh yeah, see here, he talks about being baptized, but, but no, I don't look at the verses before that would say that Christ's righteousness is imputed at faith. You know, that totally set the context for what Christian baptism actually does and what it means, uh, to try to say that Paul believed exactly as, as I do.

So that's an interesting thought though. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, latter day saints kind of have that they're kind of pigeonholed into that view that was propagated by Joseph Smith, that, uh, the, the, the fullness of the gospel was preached to Adam and all of the patriarchs down through Abraham. Um, that, that really kind of pigeonholes them into, uh, a particular view of scripture that, that, you know, some of the difficulties that flow out of that Michael just described pretty, pretty well, I think.

Yeah. So hopefully we'll be able to tackle more on this topic with our Herman Riddick's episode. It's just the thought they had, you know, it's, it's, it's liberating to me is what I was trying to say to be like, okay, you know, I'm a fallible human. Maybe I don't have all the answers quite right, but what we do have is an infallible document, you know, the given to us by God. And we're trying to understand it and read it and, and show reverence to God by interpreting it and reading it consistently. And so maybe my views, you know, I'm not, uh, I appreciate both of your opinions and both of your views that, you know, you're willing to read and understand it and kind of reformulate your beliefs to form it to the Bible.

And I'm not, I'm not hardcore set my ways like 1689. I'm never gonna, you know, that's, I'm gonna live and die by that document. Although I do, I do feel it's consistent, you know, I'm not gonna live and die by it, but at the same time, from my understanding of scripture, when I read it and I compared to scripture, I come back and thinking, yeah, I think this makes sense.

This is consistent. So, um, but we should always be the, the rallying cry of the reformation was, uh, Semper reformanda, which is always reforming. I think that should always, that should be not just in reference to the church, but also to us as Christians always reforming to scripture. So there's so much more we could talk about scripture, just how important it is. But that's why I really enjoyed that episode or that series really, because it's just so fundamental and it's just so the way we look at scripture as Christians now is so differently than as Latter-day saints. And we could write entire books about just how Latter-day saints read scripture versus how we do now. But, uh, yeah, we could probably make an entire, another four episodes on it.

Who knows? But yeah, so yeah, those are the ones I wanted to talk about also. Um, we kind of already talked about baptism and the word supper. I think you brought those up, Michael, just, I enjoyed going in depth on the ordinances and going through the different passages and addressing the ones that Latter-day saints use to show their view of the sacraments or, you know, baptism and the sacrament or the Lord's supper. And I tried to, we, one of our listeners that we mentioned before, he, he wishes we had an Armenian view.

Uh, I can't really remember if we tried to put an Armenian view of the baptism of the Lord's supper, but I tried to represent as best as I understood the confessional Lutheran understanding. And that's because I've interacted a lot with professional Lutherans online. And so I've kind of dived into trying to understand their opinion on things because it is, it's quite interesting. It's kind of like, it's a very high view of the sacraments as compared to maybe a lot of other evangelicals and reading that I could see the way that they understand certain passages and it kind of helped me to understand certain things in a different way.

And I say, okay, I can understand it in that light. And it helped me personally because a lot of reform Baptist today don't really know the history of, of the reform Baptist theology. They kind of have, it's, it's more of like a, they're, they, they feel like modern Baptists and then they just kind of slap tulip on top of it. But when you look in history, the reform Baptist theology is actually quite different, especially regarding the sacraments.

They had a very high sacramentology. They, they believe that the baptism and Lord's supper were effective or efficacious for salvation, but for those who have faith. So it kind of interacting with the Lutheran view and reading the historical run from Baptist view, I'm like, ah, they're actually not that too different.

Of course Lutherans baptized infants, but but I re yeah, I really enjoy talking about baptism in the Lord's supper just because it's key to the Christian faith as a Latter-day Saint. I thought that they were, they were nice, you know, when Christians had baptism in the Lord's supper, it was nice of them to do that. But since they don't have the priesthood, they don't matter, they don't actually do anything. But as a Christian now it's, you know, I see now that it isn't, they are important to us. They're vital to our faith. And before I thought that most Christians didn't even do it. I'm like, well, you know, they believe they're saved by grace alone. Why would you even bother getting baptized? Or why would you even bother doing the word supper if you don't even need it? You know, you're already saved.

So what's the point? But then really understanding why it's important to the continuing life and faith of the Christian faith and each believer. It's, it's yeah, I just really enjoyed those and I hope, hope that blesses people who listen. Did either of you have any comments on those?

Yeah, I want to jump in here. Share something that, that I did in kind of preparation for our first episodes on, on what about the sacraments, but didn't share it during our conversation there. One of the things that I did as a seminary student and by that, I mean Christian seminary, not Mormon seminary. But as a, as a seminary student working towards a degree in biblical studies is I, I wanted to understand, okay, if, if I'm a Protestant Christian what do the Roman Catholics, what do Eastern Orthodox believe, right? Because the LDS position is kind of the church is organized by Christ. Then there's an apostasy, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are part of that apostasy. Protestantism brings it part of the way back, but not all the way back, which is why according to LDS views of, of history, you need a restoration rather than a reformation.

So I think it's interesting to kind of look at the sacraments that are accepted by Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants, and then ask the question, why do Protestants have so few? So if you look at LDS sacraments, right, they've got baptism, which they say is a saving ordinance, confirmation which is the giving of the gift of the Holy Ghost, according to Latter-day Saints. And that's a saving ordinance. They have Melchizedek Priesthood Ordination for males, which is also viewed as saving. Temple washing and anointing and the endowment, which is a saving ordinance. Marriage sealing, which is a saving ordinance.

By saving ordinance, as I mean, all of those are required for full salvation and exaltation, according to Latter-day Saint doctrine. Naming and blessing of children, which is not essential, but an ordinance that they do nonetheless. Consecrating oil, non-essential, but it's something they do nonetheless. And then administering to the sick and the afflicted, which is also non-essential, but something that they do, which are said to be all of these said to be priesthood ordinances. Roman Catholics have baptism, which is viewed as an initiatory right, confirmation also an initiatory right, as is the Eucharist. And then they have additional sacraments that are not initiatory. Reconciliation and penance, which is viewed as a healing sacrament. Anointing of the sick, which is viewed as a healing sacrament. Holy orders and marriage.

And Eastern Orthodox view is very similar. They have baptism, which is an initiatory right. Chrismation, which is the same as confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church.

It's an initiatory right. The Eucharist, they have penance, anointing of the sick. They have orders, which is like holy orders in the Roman Catholic Church and they have marriage.

Excuse me. And then when you get to Protestant views of the sacraments, you have two. So Latter-day Saints have eight. Roman Catholics have seven. Eastern Orthodox have seven. Protestants have two. Baptism and the Lord's Supper, which are the two that we discussed in depth in our episodes on what about the sacraments redo. And so it's an interesting question to look at that kind of comparison where there's eight, seven, seven and then two and ask the question, why are there only two in Protestant Christianity?

Is it logical to say more is better? Latter-day Saints have eight. Roman Catholics have seven. Eastern Orthodox have seven. So is it logical to ask that more or say more is better?

I don't think it is. Why do Protestants have just two? Matthew, what would you say? So it really comes down to our definition as to what qualifies as a sacrament because Protestants also will ordain people to the eldership and the, you know, to the, to the overseership pastors, deacons. So they have that, but if we don't consider it a sacrament, we also do have marriage, but we also don't consider that a sacrament. So the way I think that most Protestants throughout history have defined a sacrament as something that is commanded by Christ and it's for the church. So for the entire church.

And so by that definition, you look at Holy orders, well, or orders. Well, that's not for the entire church because not everyone is made into a pastor, a deacon or priest or whatever you want to call them. So they're not all ordained to the ministry.

And you look at marriage, not everybody's married either. You know, Paul in first Corinthians seven talks about how there are some that are called to be celibate or to lead a single life. So, and the blessings for the sick or, you know, last rites, extreme unction or whatever you want to call, depending on the tradition.

Those aren't for everybody either. So I think when you narrow it down to that definition, it's a sacred rite or ritual commanded by Christ for the entire church. The only ones that fit that are baptism and, or supper exactly. And where, where does it come from that it's commanded by Christ? So for baptism, I mean, you can point to the great commission and Matthew 28 says, go into all the nations, uh, making disciples, baptizing them and then them in the name of the father, son, and Holy ghost of I didn't butcher that stuff of memory. And then as far as the Lord's supper, that would be at the last supper with his disciples where he said, do this and remember remembrance of me. Now, I guess you could take that in a limited sense where he was commanding just to the apostles. But since we have further revelation like first Corinthians 11 and 12, uh, 10 and 11, sorry, 10 and 11, where Paul gets continuing instruction on the Lord's supper, we see that that's not just for the apostles, but for the entire church. So that's kind of where I would point to, to show that it's commanded by Christ for all the church. Yeah. Yeah.

Good. My, my point there being that, that the Protestant belief in two sacraments flows from scripture. So it goes to the, the importance of, uh, the Protestant call to go back to the sources, which for Christians is the scripture. Um, so even, even though latter day saints claim a great apostasy and they claim that the accretions of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches are part of that apostasy. When you, when you compare ordinances or sacraments, um, you see some of the same accretions show up in the latter day, same faith, even, even though they may be called by something different.

So like temple washing and anointing in terms of how it is performed with, uh, being an anointing with oil is similar to chrismation in the Eastern Orthodox church. Um, so I just think it's interesting that, that, you know, the claim is made that there's an apostasy and that, that it is a taking away of things and an accretion of, uh, things that don't belong. Um, but you see the latter day, same faith adopt many of those accretions that kind of come, uh, not from the Bible, but from tradition. It's just an interesting point that I didn't bring out when we were preparing for those episodes, but I wanted to bring out now since you brought it up, you kind of brought some ideas to my mind too, uh, what you were saying that Paul, I mean, if there was a great apostasy and the church was restored, then why are latter day saints so similar to these other religions? You know, how it sounds like the apostasy didn't like really happen because there's so many similarities, you know, they have so many sacraments just like these other religions. And then why is Protestantism got so few?

You know, why are we the standouts when they're the restored church and we're not, you know, why does that happen? Um, I just, that just came out of my mind while you were talking. Yeah. I can't recall.

I can't recall if it was in a general conference or like seminary as a lot of the same, but I heard that basically the whole reason we needed the reformation was to just break free from the authority of the Pope and like that was about it. Yeah. Yeah.

That's really how it's viewed. You're right. So, you know, there, if you have any more comments on our episodes on scripture or any other episode you want to bring up then. All right. It looks like a time to wrap up then. So yeah, thanks for joining us for this recap of our articles of faith series. Uh, there's still more to go. I didn't keep track of how many we have left to do two or three.

It looks like, uh, something like that anyways. Uh, did we, did we, did we finish our entire articles of faith series? Yeah. After, after we, uh, do the 13th tonight we're done. Okay. Awesome. I was going to say, I thought that, uh, maybe I just haven't uploaded them yet onto our YouTube channel.

So I was looking through and I see one, two, three, four, five, six, eight and 11. So I guess I'm missing a couple there, but, uh, yeah, thanks for joining us for that series. We're glad that you joined us and, uh, sorry that some of them were long winded, but we had a lot to say about some of these topics and we're glad that you joined us.

So yeah, thank you. Uh, also for this recap and if you have any suggestions for episodes in the future, please let us know, or if you feel like there's something we missed in one of these articles of faith episode, we would definitely be willing to go back and do another redux episode where we kind of fill in those gaps. So, uh, thank you fireflies for joining us and we'll see you next time. We thank you for tuning into this episode of the outer brightness podcast. We'd love to hear from you. Please visit the outer brightness podcast page on Facebook. Feel free to send us a message there with comments or questions by clicking send a message at the top of the page, and we would appreciate it if you give the page alike. We also have an outer brightness group on Facebook where you can join and interact with us and others as we've discussed the podcast, past episodes and suggestions for future episodes, et cetera. You can also send us an email at outer brightness at

We hope to hear from you soon. You can subscribe to the outer brightness podcast on Apple podcast cast box, Google podcasts, pocket casts, pod beam, Spotify, and stitcher. Also, you can check out our new YouTube channel and if you like it, be sure to do lay hands on that subscribe button and confirm it. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating and review wherever you listen and help spread the word. You can also connect with Michael, the X Mormon apologist at from water to where he blogs and sometimes Paul and Matthew do as well. Music for the outer brightness podcast is graciously provided by the talented Brianna Flournoy and by Adams road. Learn more about Adams road by visiting their ministry page at Adams road

Stay bright, flyer flies. I've come to know that you are the holy one of God. The word made fresh, the risen son. But the word of God. Lord, you promised that we as your church would remain upon this rock and the gates of heaven. But the word of God. So the word that goes out from your mouth. We hear your word and believe in you. But the word of God. Praise.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-20 01:17:22 / 2023-11-20 01:42:30 / 25

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