In the previous part of our discussion about Mormonism, Chris Shearer drew from popular apologetics website fairmormon.org in order to show harmony between Mormon theology and the Bible. This work of harmonizing sadly came at the expense of what Isaiah actually intended to write, as can be shown by simply marrying together several verses of Isaiah. The cast of fairmormon attempted to dislodge Isaiah’s clear-cut monotheism by undermining two verses, their arguments however, one focused upon exegesis, and another based very loosely on modern Mormon theories of time, couldn’t withstand proper scrutiny.
Let’s pretend their earlier attempts on Isaiah had been successful though, as interesting an exchange as that would be, it wouldn’t have any real bearing upon the collaborative force of Isaiah 43:10, 44:6, 44:8, 45:5, 45:14, 45:18, 45:21, 45:22, 46:9, 47:8. Due to which, let’s read these verses married together today, after which you can tell me, do you see any room for billions of gods and goddesses in Isaiah’s God given revelation?
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, This is what the Lord says: “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and those tall Sabeans—they will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains.
They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying, ‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.’” For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. Declare what is to be, present it—let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. “Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’
This ^^^ is the book which my Mormon friends insist doesn’t oppose polytheism, seriously. With such disregard for what the original author put to parchment, I sometimes wonder how much good can a message from myself really do, in fact, maybe all of my material, material which reads “THERE’S ONLY ONE GOD, NO MORE, NO LESS”, maybe that doesn’t mean what it appears to mean. Perhaps behind every one of my articles there’s an array of gods and goddesses just waiting to be “discovered.” It’s okay to say concepts take qualifying, and that phrases and concepts are nuanced, or complex, that doesn’t include blatantly contradicting your original terms however.
Maybe “stop” on a stop sign means “drive on” and “guilty” in a court of law means “everybody’s free to go home, thanks for coming”, would anybody tolerate this term switching madness outside of the semantics of politics and religion? You wouldn’t. You wouldn’t tolerate a manicurist charging you for brain surgery because that’s always what they called what they do, so, why do people permit it regarding their gender, the lives of their unborn children, politics and faith (one reason, selfishness).
Mormons don’t want Christ, they want Mormonism, they want whatever gets them their parents, their siblings, their way of life which they’re accustomed to, and if that means trampling the blood of Jesus again, they’re going to do that gladly. Isaiah doesn’t matter, Abraham, Moses, nothing of their testimony means a thing, and that’s the background in which Jim Ferris, close friend to Chris, interjects himself into our discussion. Let’s begin by reading their contribution.
doesn’t it say in Genesis….and God said….Let US create man in our image. After OUR likeness…Both MALE and FEMALE? Pretty self explanatory and self evident. Scripture is boatloads full of evidence showing that God the Father and God the Son are 2 separate individuals. Two Gods right there. In response to your claim, God not being eternal if he ever existed as a man, as according to LDS belief Not true. We are all eternal beings according to LDS doctrines. We are all without beginning or end as we all existed as Intelligence’s before we were born as spirits. To say Chris’ material is inaccurate is just an opinion. It all comes down to interpretation of “words” / “symbols” is all. At the end of the day…
Further. There is No other God for us other than the God we worship as God the Father. No Other….and there will never be any other for us. This is not contradictory to any scriptural context anywhere. Christ commands that we must become as He is. Simple…
I appreciate the reply, Jim. Although notice how you’ve responded, and I write this in love, my friend, you’ve replied to my exposition of Scripture not by explaining the verses which deny polytheism in Psalms, Colossians, Isaiah and Revelation, but rather, you’ve moved on into another portion of Genesis. The verses used by fair Mormon weren’t used fairly, they’d been removed from their context to make them say things the original writer didn’t intend to say. Revisit Psalm 86 with me once again: “Among the gods there is none like you, Lord” Okay, fair Mormon won’t continue reading any further, you and I can however, “no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvellous deeds; you alone are God.”
“You alone are God.” After which I presented Colossians 1:15-18, Isaiah 41:4, Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 48:12, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 1:17, Revelation 2:8, Revelation 3:14 and Revelation 21:6 (just an array of Scripture which remain internally consistent). We’ve even found Jesus Christ Himself teaching these figures in the Psalms aren’t gods, rather they’re the people “to whom the word of God came.” Did Joseph Smith, or any of the other presidents of the church of latter-day saints, teach other gods, true gods, who could be found in the book of Psalms? If so, that’s demonstrably false. If however it’s an idea that’s popular on the street level, just an idea which Mormon apologists use, not necessarily drawn from their church authority, wouldn’t they have to drop their misinterpretation of the “gods” of Psalms in light of Jesus’ word. Nonetheless, let’s jump right into Genesis together.
In the text you’ve stressed “us”, “our”, “male” and “female”, however, buddy, the “us/our” verses have always been understood in Christian congregations in light of God’s being one in essence, yet existing eternally and as three divine persons. Two separate individuals would fit snugly into the Scripture hereabouts. Notice no tension arises by a God who is ONE in Their essence and the material I’ve already shared for yourself and Chris to research, there’s however massive tension in the material when you inject Mormon polytheism into the mix. You’ve also capped “male” and “female”, perhaps you believe there’s something of a “male/female” dilemma in the verses of Genesis (I’d really welcome some clarity from yourself here). Anyhow, to provide you with somewhat of an answer, in Luke 24:39, we’re taught by Christ upon Their return in glory: “Look at [the marks in] My hands and My feet, [and see] that it is I Myself. Touch Me and see; a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” Cross reference Luke alongside of John 4:24: “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” So, God is spirit, and spirits don’t have flesh and bone, they’re invisible, and God? He’s residing in unapproachable light, any “male/female” dilemma wouldn’t lead me in reading Genesis to punt towards other gods or goddesses so to account for the male/female gender, rather, I’d simply understand “image” to be meant in a clearly specialist way.
You existed as “intelligence”? That would mean to write you didn’t exist as you are now, correct? [rereading this, I realize it could be read as a bit of an insult. Totally not my intention, I’ll say when it is. 😛 ] You’ve always existed in some fashion, albeit not as yourself, for example, before the creation of our earth, you weren’t Jim, were you? In the same style, as exulted men, gods too would’ve had to have existed in fashions, modes, therefore, as I’ve stated, god wasn’t always god in Mormonism. My Mormon friends might reply by writing “He existed!” however, that’s not the same as saying he existed AS GOD, rather, originally it was pointed out, in LDS theology, god wasn’t always god. He may have been matter/intelligence, that’s not to write they were god however, in the same way, you’re not god now, true? You’re not the alpha and omega. You exist, and you existed, you’re not in the form of god as of now however. Yet, Jesus, according to the Bible, existed in the form of God for all eternity (Philippians 2). Again, assumptions behind Mormon theology operate under the B-theory of time, which isn’t sustainable (simply reasoning from premises to conclusion so to accept the B-theory of time as accurate requires an A-theory of dynamic time to arrive at our conclusions).
Even in the above video it’s pointed out how in The King Follett Sermon Joseph Smith was quoted to have said “it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.” Once again. “God came to be God.” Clarity on the matter would be welcomed.
I’m thankful both yourself and Chris are studious and thoughtful and are trying to ground your views in the Bible, and yet, when you’ve explained “There is No other God for us other than the God we worship as God the Father. No Other….and there will never be any other for us. This is not contradictory to any scriptural context anywhere.” That’s not biblical, sir. That’s contrary to the Bible, which teaches how you, Chris, myself and all of creation are going to worship the Son just as they worship the father. Revelation chapter five reads: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!” Cross reference Revelation with the use of the Greek προσκυνέω (pronounced pro-scan-eh-who), as found throughout the Gospels, as it’s rightly translated as worship. Doubting Thomas himself even proclaimed “The Lord of me, and the God of me!” in their famous encounter with the risen Jesus. Who was Jesus the God of? Thomas. Does Thomas have two Gods, the Father God and the Son God, since that’s in direct contradiction to Mormon theology. Christ received worship from people throughout the New Testament, in fact, worship directed towards Christ was considered giving honour to the Father. Even the angels are found to be worshipping Jesus (Hebrews chapter one):
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. The Son Superior to Angels For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again,
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.” In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
If you have a Bible handy, join me in following the writer on Hebrews, since they’re making references to the Old Testament.
Cross reference with me from the portion of Hebrews which says “Let all God’s angels worship him [Him meaning the Son]”, and read that in light of Luke chapter four, verse five until eight: “The devil led him [Christ] up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
Notice in the above we’re confronted by something of a formula:
1). The angels are told to worship the Son.
2). Jesus teaches Satan (the fallen angel) only God should receive worship.
It’s interesting, and yet, mysterious, however, everything comes together by continuing on into Hebrews: ““He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire.” But ABOUT THE SON HE SAYS, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Where’s the writer drawing their quotation from? From [Psalms] chapter forty-five: “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Notice The Father in Hebrews firstly commands angels to worship His son, after which He addresses His son by “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever;” You’re not purely involved with Heavenly Father, rather, Jesus Christ is the lord of you and the God of you (just as Thomas exclaimed). Lastly, and I mean this in the best humour, so please don’t think I’m meaning to be rude or unsympathetic to you, but your opinion that my opinion of Chris’ opinion being inaccurate is merely an opinion is just your opinion. Writing something like the thing you have written is like trying to punch someone, only to have your own fist loop around and bop you on the nose. Not only can anyone who reads the verses in context see they’re inaccurately understood by fair Mormon, but even Jesus said it’s inaccurate.
There are rules by which we can accurately interpret words and symbols, it’s not a free-for-all. There’s grammar, genre, context, syntax. You and I shouldn’t casually rip Psalms into pieces and put gods that never were into the mind of the original author. Fair? Try and stay with me here, because not only have we examined Psalms, Isaiah, Revelation and Colossians, which each teach about one God, who beside there’s no other, we’ve also went into Hebrews, the Gospels, more of Revelation and more of the book of Psalms. You’ve tried answering my points by reading polytheism into Genesis, however, not only does a plurality of persons who each possess the same essence comfortably account for ALL of the verses we’ve already studied (whereas one verse in Genesis interpreted in light of LDS theology only creates contradiction), but also, a classical rule of proper hermeneutics is to read unclear verses in light of clear ones, not clear verses in light of unclear verses. Again, God bless you, Jim. I hope we discuss these things more.
Despite my asking about five/six questions, Jim never goes out of his way to reply, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. What really struck me in their reply was the disinterest and oversimplification of everything that had already been shared up until that point, since they’d replied to a lengthy and accurate examination of Scripture by inserting some wild misinterpretation into the mix, then adding “simple.” Easy peasy, one two three, now you’re in a cult baby. That’s how it’s done, there’s a pronouncement made, some kind of “evidence” given, and you’re expected to role over and pay your tithe of 10% to the temple. It would be a laughing matter if it didn’t actually work on people.
People are really being drawn into these systems, systems which chew them up and spit them out, taking whatever their pockets contain. It’s just a racket, transparent sure, but comforting. Atheism isn’t an attractive alternative to Mormons who believe they’re going to spend eternity as gods with their family, it’s actually not an attractive alternative to anybody who understands the implications of atheism. So, how do you explain to a person that their treasured beliefs are built upon deception, that they’re being taken for a ride. You’re going to find out how as our conversation continues.
― T. C. M