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February 11, 2021 8:21 pm
.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism hoping you're having a very pleasant Friday. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM today we wrap up our look at an article that Eric has written an article titled 10 common mistakes Latter Day Saints make when reading the Bible and if you're new to this series I have mentioned in the past that this is not only a good lesson for professing Christians to learn but it's also of course good for Latter Day Saints but if we're going to understand the Bible accurately.
There are some rules that we need to follow in order to come to that conclusion.
So today were going to be looking at point number nine and 10 in Eric's article, but before I go there Eric, where can people find this on our website MRM.org/10 common mistakes-is between 10 common mistakes and the number 10 10-common-mistakes so point number nine making a verse say something that the speaker or author never intended to say.
I think we've touched on that in a previous broadcast this week that it's very important to try as best we can to understand what the author was intending to say not what we think we need to hear. We need to know for instance, what did Paul mean when he wrote… Or what did James mean when he wrote James… Start off in this section Eric by saying perhaps a verse we hear on the streets more than any other is Matthew 71 were Jesus said in the sermon on the Mount quote judge not, that ye be not judged. You say, this verse is often cited when someone doesn't like an evangelist or we could even say just your average Christian acquaintance passing out tracts or witnessing saying that nobody should judge how many times have we been standing outside. Let's say the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City and they say why are you here and you say well I'm just trying to share the good news and they said what you shouldn't judge. What's a good reaction if somebody states that you you shouldn't judge the problem with that is itself refuting because in saying that you've made a judgment call and I think that's lost on just Latter Day Saints.
I think it's lost a lot of people who were not well-versed in what logical fallacies are all about. This is why we sometimes get emails from upset Latter Day Saints telling us that we are not acting like a Christian because were judging and my response. Many times has been very simply will then why did you write me because what you wrote is a judgment against me. You're saying I'm not being a Christian because I've done such and such that the judgment and I think we need to point this out as delicately as we can. Sometimes keeping your answers very short, allowing them to think it through, can be very helpful. But let's be serious. A lot of people don't catch hints very well and sometimes you have to spell it out for them, and sometimes by explaining that what you just did was a judgment against me, but yet you said you shouldn't judge do you see a problem with what you said and I think the question you're using here is asking why are you judging me. I think that's a simple way when they say you shouldn't judge so why are you judging me, and I think we get this from Greg Coco in his book tactics.
An excellent book if you want to learn how to witness and dealing with showing that the Emperor has no clothes. When I have had Latter Day Saints tell me is though say well I'm not judging you say okay so what are you doing well. I'm just saying what you're doing is wrong. Well isn't that a judgment call for citizens and so really the accusation is a backfire, and it goes back another face and I have had Mormons just shaking their heads and finally sick. I don't know how I can express it.
I just know what you're doing is wrong, but I can explain it is a will that can't be explained, then it must not be very logical and it must not be what Matthew 71 is talking about when you agree though Eric that it really boils down to the Latter Day Saints not liking. We've said we could be citing their own material and I've had Latter Day Saints just like me. Citing their own material, but the reason I'm doing it is because I assume that I think correctly, that they should respect what I have just cited to them if it's a quote from their current profit or current apostle or from a source that they should respect their own Scriptures. Whether it's the book of Mormon, or the doctrine and covenants or pearl of great price. Quoting their own material. I find gets us much further down the road in the conversation, then let's say, citing someone who might be a Christian critic of Mormonism I can't even recall when I've ever done something like that because I know it's not quite as effective if I want to use my words as effectively as I can in the shortest amount of time because I don't know how much time I'm going to have this individual. People tend to get weary when you bring up things that make them uncomfortable. So we should keep that in mind when were talking to them.
The Bible is very clear about judging John 724 Jesus says judge according to righteous judgment. So there are times we have to make a righteous judgment. Paul said the Christian is responsible to judge those in the church in first Corinthians 5 and chapter 6.
Your intentions are important. I mean you can go around and point fingers.
Jesus talks about that as well because if you have a log in your eye and your point out somebody else's planner, then you need to look at yourself in the mirror and say I have some things to change, but John writes in one of our favorite verses Bill first John 41 is as it were supposed to do what were supposed to test the spirits because many false prophets have gone out into the world and so for us to take a look at what other people have to say and say no this is not right according what the Bible is saying if I'm wrong, then go ahead and show me that but just to try to get out of the situation by saying what you shouldn't tell me I'm wrong will tell me why I am wrong and I think we can go somewhere with that. They just say you were wrong in saying they were this the problem. Point number 10 will wrap it up here confusing terms given to mean something completely different now.
I think this would come under the category of equivocation when you explain what you mean by that.
When you cite first Corinthians 1540 through 41. Quote those verses, Paul writes, there are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial, but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the son, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars for one star different from another star in glory bill you had this first use on you. One time in a witnessing encounter were a woman open up your Bible and read those verses to support the three kingdoms of glory. What was your response. It was an interesting encounter. I think I have talked about it on the year before, but I remember having this very good conversation with the Silvius woman and she was trying to defend. To me this concept of 3° of glory as you just mentioned the celestial, terrestrial and celestial kingdom. So I asked her if she could prove what she believed from the Bible and she felt very confident that she could so she opens up her Bible to first Corinthians 1540 and she starts reading it and I'll never forget this.
She closed her Bible very softly and looked at me with this smile on her face like see what I just did. I asked her Isis. I don't recall you mentioning to list you'll and that list she opened up her Bible again and started looking and she looked up at me and she said it's not there is no it's not to list you'll really focus a word that Joseph Smith made up and it seems pretty easy. How we came up with that.
He just takes terrestrial and celestial, and combines the two together as I think he did. In many cases when it comes to names in the book of Mormon, but it's not in the Bible. It's not something that Christians have believed in the article.
I continue on and I say, there are several problems. One, if this is supposed to be a rundown of the three kingdoms of glory than what happened to the celestial kingdom which is the lowest of Mormonism. Three kingdoms there are in fact only two bodies listed here as you mentioned. And just like first Corinthians 1529 that we talked about, we must understand the context of first Corinthians 15 and Norm Geisler and Ron Rhodes. I think do a good job of explaining this when they write the context of the passage very clearly has to do with the resurrection bodies see verse 35 Paul in this verse is talking about the heavenly the celestial body as opposed to the earthly or the terrestrial body. He says the earthly body is fallen, temporal, imperfect and weak. While the heavenly body will be eternal perfect and powerful.
So there is a reason why he doesn't mention celestial because he's not talking about comparing three things he's talking about the human body and the physical body we have, but were going to have a celestial body someday and that's what the Christian calls glorification of the body. That's the whole purpose of first Corinthians 15. If you don't understand. First rent is 15 that's how you're going to make mistakes like the three kingdoms of glory and baptism for the dead, we might mention that quote you gave from Norm Geisler and Ron Rose can be found in their book when cultus asked and that's on page 239 we wrap this up Eric because I think this subject. As I mentioned, I think, in every previous show is important for us as Christian believers. Just as important as it is for our Latter Day Saints friends and acquaintances that if we are going to read the Bible we have to follow certain rules you mentioned earlier in one of the broadcasts that we call this hermeneutics. There are rules that we must use if we hope to understand this. Best we can and I got admit folks sometimes it's hard because were talking about a document that is several hundred years old, coming from a culture that I personally am not acquainted with. I have to educate myself on this culture because I was not raised in that culture and plus were dealing with other languages and that can make it even more difficult.
So, I will admit, sometimes it can be a little hard while it can be hard as well. If you're sticking to the King James version of the Bible. The version that the Latter Day Saints use comes from 1769. That's over 200 years where you have different words used words that we would understand. One way are using a different way there. So I recommend if you're Latter Day Saints. I know that the official version is the King James version, but if you want to just do yourself a favor and do your devotions try a version such as the English standard version, such as the new international version of the new American Standard version. There many good English versions out there you can go to Bible Gateway.com and for free read from these different versions compare it to what the King James says you might see some things in there that you didn't see before.
Because it's in a modern language that's more understandable for the 21st century. Try it out. Read the book of John read the book of Romans and see if what you're reading is the same as what you understood. The King James to be as I've said many times in the show. I I cut my teeth in my early years of Christianity on the King James version and so a lot of that these endows and allows don't have the same effect on me as it may have on someone else who is not used to that one of the reasons why I personally feel that the LDS church is going to be very slow if they ever do it all to get away from the King James is.
I personally Eric, I don't think the LDS leadership really want their people to actively read and understand what the Bible has to say and why do I say that folks because I'm not denying that they do studies in the Bible not saying they don't but I think once an individual. Latter Day Saints hasn't genuine hunger for the word of God wants to read it and understand it. They're going to quickly see Mormon doctrine can't be supported from those tax.
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