Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Shawn McCraney Strikes A Blow For Adultery

Well, Jesus must love lust. According to Shawn, there is no such thing as repentance. He pointed out that he is still just as lusting after women other than his wife in his heart as he ever did 10 years ago when he was acting on that lust for other women by having an affair.

This just proves, again, how completely false the Gospel of McCraney is. As I have previously reported here, the very word translated as "repentance" is the idea of completely changing ones mind away from sin.

Shawn seems almost proud of being an unrepentant "sexual deviant" (his words), "right now in my body are all things vile." This is not the teachings of the Bible in the context of conversion.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Ps 125:4 ¶ Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.

Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
What do you say about someone who is completely, proudly unrepentant? The Ps 125:4 verse is particularly telling, since it specifically conditions blessings upon righteous desires of the heart. So what does a guy who is still committing adultery in his heart, what blessing does that guy get?
1 Cor 6:9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Did the "were" hit you like a train? That is past tense, and it is because, as Paul notes, the Spirit sanctifies. The Greek word means "to purify", and is the basis of both the words "holy", as a description of God and Jesus, and "saints", as in members of God's true Church. So you were evil, but you are becoming pure and holy. Hard to see the raging desire for sin in Paul's remarks here.
2 Pet 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:


Worthiness is unimportant to Shawn. This is not what the scriptures say:
2 Thes 1:5 ¶ [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

2 Thes 1:11 ¶ Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:

His theology is contradicted everywhere in the Bible, and I tried to just note some of the brief examples.

Also, a hat tip to Walker for calling into the show and skewering Shawn in such a nice fashion. Trust me, the chance that Shawn will acknowledge the fact that the OT was actually LDS in its belief is less than zero.
[Update:  Shawn did go on the air and attack Walker, saying he spoke with some professors who said Shawn was safe to ignore Walker, that Walker had it all wrong and twisted.  Hmm, as usual, Shawn takes a call and spends less than 2 minutes letting the guy talk, refuses to let him actually present his evidence, then presents a straw man argument about why people should not investigate.  You don't need to trust me or Walker on this.  Go to http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/ and read for yourself what a believing, educated Christian scholar, who has interacted directly with Mormons on the issue, has to say.  It just shows once again how Shawn's main attacks are based in ignorance of what the Bible actually, plainly, teaches.]

Very briefly, in passing, I am not aware of any theologian or systematic theology which claims that passages such as Genesis 1:26, which say "Let us...", refer to the Trinity. Certainly no Jewish commentator believes that. I know books such as the Catholic Encyclopedia deny there are ANY examples of the Trinity in the OT.

Shawn made an outrageously funny claim about "knowing" the Bible is true. Essentially he knows it is true because he has studied it. That's it. He specifically said the testimony of the Spirit "is not feelings, but the evidence it presents". He further argued that nowhere in the Bible does it say to pray or research the truthfulness of the Bible, as it does in the Book of Mormon.

He is wrong:
1 Thes 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Does Shawn really think he can study his way into a manifestation of the Spirit and Jesus, and that he can study his way into having the Spirit dwell in us?

And it ignores the most classic explanation in scripture to tell us how we come to know scripture is true:

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Well, I can only speak for myself. I don't think every man is constantly committing adultery in their hearts, because I know I don't. It is not that it makes me better than Shawn, but I think this does prove that the power of the Spirit he claims to have is far less powerful than the LDS version.

The non-Mormon McCraney Jesus may think continuing in LUST is OK, but the Jesus of the Bible doesn't find simply ceasing the act to be actual repentance:

2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.


For Shawn, stopping the sin physically is good enough. But it works death. Godly repentance and sorrow is to change your mind, and develop a zeal for the good, which leads to salvation.

It's late, but I thought Shawn was worthy of being commented about.

33 comments:

Walker said...

Thanks for the hat tip. I found it odd that providing sources and scholarship was "sketchy" to McCraney. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't push to include the NET commentary, but I think his unwillingness to hear it spoke volumes. My wife watched the show and said he seemed nervous during my call.

Anyway, keep the faith.

even_more_anonymous said...

Bob,
I too have a problem with people saying they "know" the truth without the Spirit testifying it to them, especially in Galatians 5:22-23 explains the feelings of the Spirit, and then concludes, "against such, there is no law". How can you deny your feelings when the Bible itself claims that nothing else can emulate the same feelings as does the Spirit.
Good job again Bob, I enjoy each blog.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Bob has completely and utterly missed the point. I've never heard Shawn say that there is no such thing as repentance. You are no better than a lier and you're misrepresenting what he is saying.

For anyone foolish enough to take Bob seriously, just watch the show for yourself at hotm.tv it is episode 189.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Anonymous,
Maybe you just write things without paying attention. Who knows. But Shawn did in fact state that he will be saved because of grace alone, and not because of any righteous or worthy living on his part. Said Shawn (transcription from 5:56 to 11:59:

"I do not agree with adultery. I don't justify adultery, condone adultery in the least. I could have tried to offset his accusation by mentioning that he spoke of things in my life 10 years past. But that would have been a smoke screen, quite frankly, because I am very much still the same man. When in my flesh, a fact I made clear to Rick when I asked that I continue to be an adulterer every time I look on a woman with lust in my heart, according to Jesus. The point is, that the caller Rick believed that he was in the position, it was his right, it was his duty, to be my moral superior, and publicly castigate me for the sins of my life. What made Rick think that he needed or could do this?
He, Rick, embraces the first approach, the LDS approach to reaching God, which is through his own righteous life and actions. With this belief in hand, he some how came to think that he can look out at his neighbors, families, friends and enemies and kind of tisk-tisk, because he would never, and he never has, fallen to such depths of depravity. Right here on this point alone we have a major divergence between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity. Mormons actually believe they're going to enter heaven between a combination of Jesus shed blood, which will cover sin, and, and, their righteous worthy lives. Genuine Biblical Christians know they will enter God's glory not because they are worthy, or unworthy, but for no other reason than faith on the shed blood of His Son. The attitude of worthiness based on anything but the righteousness of Jesus is one of the greatest lives in the world, and it is embraced not only by most LDS, it becomes the world view of many, many misguided Christians. My response to Rick created concern for some Christian brothers and sisters of mine who called me to discuss their fears. They seemed to want to make sure that I was not saying I was literally involved in an adulterous affair presently, right now, because how I responded made it seem like I was.

(Rest below)

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Shawn's comments continued:

I want to say something now that's going to bother some of you greatly, it will certainly be misunderstood, but its not going to prevent me saying it. I have never, ever, met a man more evil than myself. Shawn McCraney, the man sitting right in front of you, right now, here, on the stage now, is, not was, is, a selfish alcoholic, he is a prescription drug addict, he is a rabid adulterer, a sexual deviant, and a violent man. If you need to see me in my flesh as anything else, you've got your wires crossed. And if you want me to reassure you of anything otherwise, it's not going to happen. Right now in my body, in my flesh and bone, live all things vile. They came with my physical entrance into this world and experiences I had growing up as a child. Take me out and get my old man going and the right circumstances and I can assure you I am capable of almost every evil act under the sun. I have nothing, nothing in myself at all that will justify my natural person before God. Nothing but my faith and trust and love in him. And yet, in this state, my fallen nature, while I was in sin, He came and saved me. I am a sinner saved by grace. Saved through no good thing in me, and through this salvation I was made a new creature in Christ spiritually, in Jesus, in Him. Anything that comes out of me that is positive, or loving or beneficial or good, originates from Him and in Him alone. And for this I praise Him. And as Paul said, with my spirit I serve the Law of God, loving others, forgiving others, (right Michelle). Returning evil with good, but with my flesh the Law of Sin. Again if you are looking for someone to claim something else to present you with any other picture you have come to the wrong place. There are plenty of men and women out there who are more than happy to hold themselves up as someone you can marvel about, but I'm not one of them. But if you want to meet a sinner saved by grace, who loves and trusts, forgives and gives his allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ as my king and God, then you can look to me for that title."

That ended his segment. Notice he said, emphatically and repeatedly, that on the inside he has not changed. Not at all, in fact he could move back to the prowler life on a heart beat. He believes there is absolutely nothing he is responsible to do for his salvation. Phil 2:12 means nothing to him.

As Mormons, I guess the literal meaning of repentance unto salvation, obedience unto salvation, enduring to the end the same shall be saved is just a little too Biblical for someone like Shawn.

Or maybe Paul was wrong, and adulterers don't go to hell, which Shawn proudly declared he still is.

BTW, talk about twisting Jesus' statement into non-recognition. He actually uses it to justify why he should not try to repent of committing adultery in his heart. Wow. Black is white in some worlds.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Shawn's monologue perfectly illustrates the falsehood of Evangelical, Born Again thought. They MUST contend there is absolutely no need to do anything at all, or else obedience WOULD be a factor in salvation.

In light of the fact the Bible and most Christian denominations believe there is some need for obedience to obtain salvation, I would point out that Shawn's perspective is likely the logical outgrowth of why he was never satisfied as an LDS member. He self-medicated and developed self loathing, and has essentially gotten himself into a belief structure which celebrates a sinful nature as a way of contrasting personal unworthiness with the object of their worship. It is just sad that such a position is so unBiblical. He is analogous to a member of NAMBLA sitting with other pedophiles, telling everyone who will listen how accepting his nature has really set him free, and God will take him as he is. (BTW, Shawn used the pedophile analogy when describing why he refuses to engage me or other LDS apologists, so please don't send me any email.)

The Bible says we are to be obedient to be worthy of salvation. Sad that Shawn rejoices in his personal sin, rather than the power of the Spirit to lose his sin nature.

Chad said...

Hey Bob,

Once again nice post. Shawn is losing the battle and just trying his best to decieve others. I feel sorry for him.

Take care, Chad

Anonymous said...

This is going to boil down to a grace vs works argument, and just know I'm not going to go there with close minded mormons who persistently trample the spirit of grace, which is assuming they even had it in the first place.

Realizing what we are when it comes to being viewed by a JUST and HOLY GOD isn't a celebration of sin. It's being grounded in reality and not being in a state of disillusion that you are more than you actually are and that you can actually please God with your works. This attitude you seem to mock, is clearly shown in Mosiah. Which I thought you as a Mormon would actually believe in...

Read Mosiah 4:1-8, I'm only focusing on the first few verses however. "behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.
2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.

This clearly shows the importance of realizing our carnal state before God. Which, if you're honest, we can never truly compensate for this in our lifetime. You might not sin very much outwardly or inwardly (doubtful, but whatever) yet you are still a sinner. You are no better than anyone, and you do not know the Lord, because if you did you would be humbled and realize your carnal state before his glory.

All Shawn is showing is that all of us, no matter how good or righteous we appear we are still in a carnal state. The good we do, the repenting we do, comes from the spirit of God's grace within us. So that we do not boast, that the glory belongs to God. In 1 Corinthian 15:10 Paul says "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

Yet, your comments and the blog perfectly represent how you have missed the point Shawn was getting across and how you truly do not understand the holiness of God and his Son and how he works with true believers. Which in turn proves the point that your religion doesn't produce Christians.

Shawn isn't celebrating sin. If you actually believe that, you're a bigger fool than I ever imagined. He's giving the glory to God for absolutely everything good that has and will ever come from him. Which despite whatever you say, is Biblical and is the mindset of true Christians.

Anonymous said...

"Once again nice post. Shawn is losing the battle and just trying his best to decieve others."

No, he's not. I think you guys are still missing the point.

M said...

"The exchange remained respectful in nature, which I had hoped. I found it ironic that I was referred to as "sketchy" for countering his points and attempting to bring up sources, mainly because I in turn thought it was "sketchy" that he didn't really want to answer. I also thought it was funny that he didn't want to have an "equal exchange." My wife watched the show (without me there) and stated that she could tell McCraney was getting nervous. True or not (I'll flatter myself by saying it is), I hope it demonstrated that there are LDS members out there who do study, who are updated with information, and who won't take anti-Mormon attacks lying down. I might email him (probably the "Divine Council" excerpt from my pastor letter). I might call back. I have a gut feeling I won't be allowed back on the show. But it might be worth a try"

Ha! I thought that was you Walker! That's funny. I was watching the whole time wondering, "Is that Walker from the Anti Anti blog?" I don't think Shawn was nervous though. I think he wanted to discuss things with you offline, either in person or through email, to verify what you were telling him. This type of thing takes a long time and I think his show is for people who want to call in and share quick comments or questions. It's not like this blog which is similar to a debate forum. You should email him and ask to meet with him. My guess is that he will accept. Shawn is a nice guy. What were you going to present to him?

M said...

I understand what Shawn is saying about being born again. He's not saying we should do whatever we want and rejoice in our sin. It's totally wrong to have that attitude. He is saying that our hearts in our flesh without Christ are ugly and sinful. He is saying that we can't be worthy to enter Heaven or the Temple and walk the Christian walk on our own. We need Christ. Any good actions we do are from His Spirit and His Grace and Righteousness, not our own. Any repenting we do, we do with his and by his Spirit in us. His Spirit never leaves us and when we fall, which we will because we are imperfect humans and He knows that, His Spirit will pick us back up and put us back on the straight and narrow path (straight is the path and narrow is the gate and few be there that find it). Once we realize who and what we are in relation to God (God being the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and get rid of all arrogance and pride in our hearts from thinking that we are so righteous and worthy by our own actions, like the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14, then we are exalted:

[9] To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: [10] "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men -- robbers, evildoers, adulterers -- or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

[13] "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

[14] "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

As in the Beatitudes:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10


Bob, thanks for having this blog. I love sharing scripture with my LDS friends. The more I talk with them, the more my faith in Christ is strengthened. I don't dislike the LDS Church. I actually really like it and admire a lot of good things about it even though I disagree with some of the doctrine.

Anonymous said...

"Well, Jesus must love lust. According to Shawn, there is no such thing as repentance. He pointed out that he is still just as lusting after women other than his wife in his heart as he ever did 10 years ago when he was acting on that lust for other women"

Isn't it better to admit that your lust for other women is a sin than to tell people that God told you that you should marry other women in addition to your first wife? This is exactly what Joseph Smith did. He was quoted as saying, "Heaven help me when I look upon a pretty face." And then proceeded not only to have sex with other women but also to marry them in God's name. That's pretty despicable. The LDS have no right to criticize Shawn McCraney for admitting that he is a sinful human being. In the flesh, we all are.

Walker said...

"Ha! I thought that was you Walker!"

That was me.

"I don't think Shawn was nervous though"

The main reasons I've heard for thinking he was nervous was him stumbling a lot with his words.

"You should email him"

I did

"What were you going to present to him?"

"Many Christian theologians interpret [the "us" and "our"] as an early hint of plurality within the Godhead, but this view imposes later trinitarian concepts on the ancient text. Some have suggested the plural verb indicates majesty, but the plural of majesty is not used with verbs… In its ancient Israelite context the plural is most naturally understood as referring to God and his heavenly court…If this is the case, God invites the heavenly court to participate in the creation of humankind." (Commentary on Gen. 1:26, 1sn, New English Translation Bible, 1st ed.)

Walker said...

"I'm not going to go there with close minded mormons who persistently trample the spirit of grace"

"Grace must be met with grace; favor must always give birth to favor; gift must always be met with gratitude. An image that captured [the idea of grace] for the ancients was the picture of three goddesses, the three "Graces," dancing hand in hand in a circle...From [many] ancient witnesses, we learn that there is no such thing as an isolated act of grace. An act of favor and its manifestation (the gift) initiate a circle dance in which the recipients of favor and gifts must "return the favor," that is, give again to the giver...Only a gift requited is a gift well and nobly received. To fail to return favor for favor is, in effect, to break off the dance and destroy the beauty of the gracious act." (David DeSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture, 2000)

"For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace." (D&C 93:20)

Oh, yes. Us poor, stupid, blasphemous Mormons who don't understand grace. How dare we.

Walker said...

"Isn't it better to admit that your lust for other women is a sin than to tell people that God told you that you should marry other women in addition to your first wife?"

Red herring. Nonetheless, having sex with your actual wife and having an affair are different.

"Heaven help me when I look upon a pretty face."

CFR

Walker said...

Yet, if one is led by the Spirit, they should not be a sexual deviant, drug addict, etc.

If Shawn had said, "I've done all these things in my life. I still struggle. I couldn't have overcome them and cannot hope to fully overcome them without the atonement of Christ," then I would understand where he is coming from.

But to declare yourself as still being these things is completely different.

Perhaps he meant the former. If so, he needs to learn to express himself in a more accurate fashion.

Anonymous said...

"If Shawn had said, "I've done all these things in my life. I still struggle. I couldn't have overcome them and cannot hope to fully overcome them without the atonement of Christ," then I would understand where he is coming from.

But to declare yourself as still being these things is completely different.

Perhaps he meant the former. If so, he needs to learn to express himself in a more accurate fashion."

I get the impression that that is what he is saying, that it is only Christ's Spirit working through him that allows him to overcome the sins of the flesh. He isn't rejoicing in his sin and he definitely isn't rejoicing in his own self righteousness either. He is rejoicing in Christ's righteousness. Maybe he does need to express it better though.

Seth R. said...

I wonder if McCraney can point to a single example in the New Testament where forgiveness is being offered to a person who hadn't done something positive to move from sin or wasn't being told to do so.

Tony said...

CFR? Council on Foreign Relations? lol. Or were you just saying there was no reference to such a "quote" Walker.

Anyways, I agree that if that is what Shawn was saying, he didn't express it very well.

Also, he neglects the fruits of the Spirit, feelings, etc if he thinks that mere intellect is what constitutes the Spirit. If that's the case, every man, believing or not, would have the Spirit in them according to such logic.

Walker said...

"CFR?"

Call For Reference. I want the document.

Aaron said...

Hey Bob!
Great article on repentance. Which episode of HOTM did Walker call in on?

Walker said...

Aaron,

http://walkstar.blogspot.com/2009/11/heart-of-matter.html

The link to the video is found there also.

Anonymous said...

Interested in your comments about Shawn and adultery. Check out www.calvarycampus.com and listen to his confession during a message Jon 12.1-6. Confession begins about 21-22 minutes into his message.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

I think the location of his "confession" is found at http://www.calvarycampus.com/smsermons.html at about 26:30 and going forward.

I love that he rips on the LDS position of avoiding sin, calling it a failure in every sense of the word. Of course, such failure ridden statements by Jesus, such as 'pluck out your eye' or 'cut off your hand', or 'better to wrap a millstone around your neck and cast it into the deep than offend a child' are all about preventing sin. It is absurd to think the Bible does not teach it is better to never sin than to sin and repent.

Stiil, Shawn acknowledges that he lacked self-control, and the LDS approach therefore could not work for him, therefore the LDS Church's approach is a failure. He objectified women, but eventual as a Born Again came to appreciate women as sisters. Still, two years ago he start lusting after a woman volunteer on his show. (Side note, Shawn again shows his very limited and ignorant approach to study of the Bible with his erroneous attempt to use the Greek words "philos", "agape" and "eros" for the different types of love. The NT actually regularly mixes the usages of phileo and agape. See Carson's "Exegetical Fallacies", 2nd Edition, page 28, 31-32, 51-53. Note especially the use of Agape in 2Sam 13:15 where it is used of the incestuous rape of Tamar by Amnon. One would probably think "eros", ya think?)

Then, magically, Shawn realizes as he is getting hot for volunteer mama, someone who was also apparently hot for Shawn. Shawn says it is because he FINALLY has dig into the scriptures and been touched by the Spirit that he has Spiritual trust in God to resist. This is just more verbal diarrhea by Shawn.

Why? Because his admitted AFFAIR against his wife was with a young woman in Park City. That's right, read his book. Converted to Born Again in California, moves to Park City, where he finally leaves the Church. AFTER his affair!

Sorry, but I find this as just complete oral garbage when viewed in how he is trying to make a point of being Born Again providing superior strength to his LDS past, and he still can't control himself. I also point out that LDS people enjoy anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 the rate of divorce as compared to Evangelicals (comparing temple marriages or the LDS population as a whole, respectively).

Just because Shawn thinks because he lusted after women and acted on it while LDS is the norm, the only difference I can detect is he is finally not acting on his desires, which he still has and nearly does act on.

Shawn is not a reliable witness when it comes to the superiority of Evangelical to LDS spirituality.

BHodges said...

I've read Shawn's book I Was a Born-Again Mormon, and it doesn't say he committed adultery, FWIW.

Tyler Andersen said...

Being fair, I don't seen why it would be important to Shawn to publish the fact that he'd committed adultery if he believes he's sufficiently repented as a Christian fundamentalist.

Lance Marchetti said...

I was trying to research something BEFORE commenting on this post, so as not to be ignorant or misquote anyone...and I got totally sidetracked AND look what I found!
An ORIGINAL 1830 Palmyra Book Of Mormon photographed by the owner
(John Hajicek)! (inephi.com)
What a Find! I hoping this will solidify my defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ once and for all!

Brandon said...

Bob, the thing you are not getting about christians, like shawn, and the idea that we are sinners is that we believe the flesh is wicked and no matter how hard you fight it, you are bound to this flesh until it dies. We do not want to sin, but it is a part of the flesh and we cannot escape it in this life. We might be able to deny a sin 1 million times, but maybe not 1 million and 1 times and guess what? that 1 time that you don't deny it means you are as big of a sinner as anyone.

Why do you think that people who no longer drink stand up at an AA meeting and announce "my name is so-and-so and I am an alcoholic"? They know that just because they stopped drinking it does not change the fact that it is still within them. They still would not have control over their behavior if they tried drinking again. A christian can say that they are a sinner (adulterer, addict, etc) because they do not have absolute power over their flesh. If that were the case, Jesus was not necessary.

Despite what the LDS church teaches, we are sinners from the womb and it is plain to see it. Just think about this- do you have to teach a child how to steal, lie, hit, etc? I have 2 kids and it is plain to see that the answer is "NO!" We were taught (at least you and I) how to do good things and act proper and respectful towards others. (BTW, no less than 1 month ago an elder in the LDS church told me that he knew when he was little that it was wrong to steal because God made us in His image and we were born good, do you agree?)

It is only when you realize how filthy and rotten you are in your sin that you will ever truly understand the sacrifice of Jesus and His grace and mercy. Would you go and sit in the electric chair to take the place of someone who did not know you? He would. Can you even comprehend the idea?

Bob said...

Brandon,
I don't know to what degree you are excusing willful sin in lieu of willful repentance, or a lapse of obedience followed by repentance and a return to obedience.

The fact is that the natural man is the enemy to God, and fights against Him. The carnality of our bodies does not excuse the commandment to be obedient if one is truly a disciple of Christ. I don't think you read the Biblical verses connected with this blog. You nor I can negate God's command to us to be obedient, or the salvation which can follow from true repentance. To repent is to not just cease an action, but it is to literally change our mind, hate the sin, and resolve to never do it again.

Humans, by our nature, are tempted, and often succumb to temptation. Does that mean we cease trying to be obedient? Re-read my blog. Then find even a single verse by any Bible author which says we need not be obedient or converted to be saved. What do you think it means to be "born again"? Born into what? From where?

No sir. I have studied Christianity in its many forms for many years. The LDS Church teaches the actual Biblical doctrine of the joint place of Grace and obedience. Both are necessary. Grace alone cannot save. It needs conversion and obedience. Obedience alone cannot save. Without Grace and the atonement, there is no possibility of salvation.

It is not enough to simply "realize how filthy and rotten you are in your sin". There is no salvation in only the realization that we have sinned, and the atonement and Grace are unmerited. We must also change our course.

Thanks for the comments,
Bob

Brandon said...

Bob,
I have no excuses for my sin. I try to be obedient and "do all I can do" not to those sins which I truly detest, but it does happen. I have recognized most of the sin in my life and I do my best not to do it again and some days I succeed and others I don't. I pray daily. I try to keep God in my thoughts constantly throughout my days in whatever I do. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot do it all of the time.

I completely understand what being obedient to God is. And I also understand that we are asked by God to be obedient to Him. But that is where you and I differ obviously. You are obedient to gain favor with God and earn your exhaltation, while I am obedient because He has and continues to transform my heart. He lives in me. I do not want to sin and grow further away from Him because he has graphed me into Him. Obedience is simply a reflection of Him and it is nothing that I can do.

Your works-based salvation can gain you nothing. It is by grace (a FREE gift that is given with no strings attached) and mercy (not getting what you do deserve-HELL) that we are saved and that is it. Grace is no longer grace when you start attaching your works/obedience to it. But I know that explaining this to you is going to be lost because you cannot understand freedom until you have experienced freedom. As a slave to the mormon church you will never know what freedom in Christ is. Your idea that "Grace alone cannot save" is a slap in the face to your Creator. You will not agree with this, I know, but you are saying that Jesus was NOT the ultimate sacrifice and his atonement is just a step in the right direction. In other words- Jesus is insufficient. What exactly is your definition of grace anyways?

This is still the point that you are obviously not getting: If your works are but filthy mentrual rags to Him, how much worse is your sin? Have your thought of this? Are you under the impression that you do not sin or that your sin isn't as bad as any other sinner on the earth? Do you truly believe that you will never sin again after you have repented for that sin? Never again tell a lie? Lust after a woman? Covet anything that someone else has? Calling someone a fool or hating anyone? I know that you know that these are all sins, but you have not turned from them. You will do at least one of these things probably by the end of reading this. Sin is abundant in your life no matter how much you deny it. And if you do deny it, then it is your prideful nature that is sinning (and I'm sure you have repented for that one as well). The fact of the matter is that you and I both deserve hell. We have earned it and DESERVE it. But His grace and mercy abound.

Now, I'm sure this point has been brought to you but if I am wrong, what have I really lost? Perhaps some knowledge, blessings in this life, and a trip to the terrestial kingdom (maybe I'll work my way up though after this life and I discover the truth). And if you are wrong? My bible says that you will go to a place with "weeping and knashing of teeth" where a "burning that cannot be quenched" consumes everyone there and "a lake of fire" awaits you in the end while there are no 2nd chances after you die.

Your Heavenly Father loves you. He wants to KNOW you and you do not get to know Him by doing things for Him. But you have been deceived by the same serpent in the garden who told Eve that she "will be like God" just as the mormon church teaches.

I absolutely pray that you and the other LDS people that I know can put your pride aside and read the word of God (the bible) like it was a new revelation to you.

Bob said...

Brandon,
I appreciate you writing in, but the fact is you don't understand LDS or Biblical teachings on the meaning or role of Grace, Works, Obedience and Repentance.

First, please don't pretend to know my motives for obedience. I am obedient for two primary reasons.
First and foremost out of an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude for the Grace and forgiveness I have been granted, which I did not nor do not deserve. For Christ to forgive me out of my sins, and to provide His Spirit when I am such a flawed person is truly amazing and humbling.

Second, I am obedient, to the extent that I am, because he has asked me to be.

As for what is gained by obedience, Jesus (and I think he is an expert on the subject :-) ), says that obedience is the basis of salvation (Matt 10:22; 19:29; Mark 13:13; 16:16; Luke 7:50 (Notice Jesus says her "faith hath saved" her, yet it was her actions motivated by faith, and therefore her faith which saved her, because it translated into action); see also Luke 18:42; John 5:34, 38 "might be saved", but the word does not "abide" in some, indicating their works in fact influence their salvation; Acts 2:37-47 "What must we do?", "Repent and be baptized", the "Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Note the actions which were required to be saved?)

Acts 16:30-33 "What must I do to be saved?", "Believe"...Paul "spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house", and "washed their stripes, and was baptized..." What "washed their stripes?

Romans Romans 2:2 "judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things." Was there an exception from those saved by grace through faith? No.

Eph 2:8-9 "by grace ye are saved faith...created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk therein."

Eph 4:17-20 ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

So we have been commanded to not walk in the acts of the unconverted. What happens if you do?

Col 2:6-8 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Read my posts. Not works based. Christ centered. Worlds apart.

Peace.

Steffen'effer said...

To Seth R,
You asked for an example of a time a person was forgiven without some "positive" action or without being told to do something. Well if you ever bothered to read the bible and the story of Christs death you'd read of the thief on the cross. He confessed with his mouth that Jesus was lord right there literally on his death bead and Christ testified to him, today you shall be with me in paradise. Not spirit prison to be thought the true gospel, paradise, heaven with god. No work saved him, he was being put to death for all of his sins, only the requirements of being born again and thus saved by the true And living god.
Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as lord and believe in your heart that god raised from the dead, you shall be SAVED. Praise god.

Seth R. said...

Steffen,

Having read the Bible - I also noticed what Christ said to Mary in the garden after 3 days in the tomb.

"Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my father."

So wherever this "paradise" place is - it isn't heaven. The place where God is. The thief went to paradise.

Not heaven.