Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mormonism in Mark 16:16, Faith and Ordinances= Salvation

I posed the question months ago to two folks, who never answered, so let's make it a headline:

Please answer directly, according to Mark 16:16 what does Jesus say it takes to be saved?

16he who hath believed, and hath been baptized, shall be saved; and he who hath not believed, shall be condemned. (Young's Literal Tranlsation, 1898)

This is Jesus talking. It predates all of Paul's writings. Many scholars believe Mark used the source material quoted in the Gospels much more literally than any other of the Evangelists.

The passage is remarkable for several reasons. First, grammatically it weighs faith and baptism equally for salvation.

Most non-LDS try to grab the second half of the verse for justification to ignore the parts they don't like in the first half. Jesus says, "he who hath not believed, shall be condemned."

I am not really interested in what it takes to be condemned. Anyone can be condemned. Just ignore Jesus. What I am concerned about is what does Jesus expect of me to be saved?

Believe and be baptized. In equal force. Belief is the intellectual part, so to speak, the motivational force. Baptism is the physical obedience. The requirement to not just think about salvation, but do something as well.

The letter to the Hebrews clearly recognized this:

"Although he [Jesus] was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. 9 And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him" (Heb. 5:8-9, NET Bible).

So it is a simple request I make: Tell me why I should ignore Jesus' direct statement about what it takes to be saved, instead trying to parse from what it takes to not be saved to ignore the command to be baptized?

If I truly believe LDS doctrine is Biblical doctrine, and I do, this passage stands like a lighthouse in the darkness of false doctrines about salvation. On the other hand, for those who profess "sola scriptura", it will be interesting to hear why such a direct, clear and unqualified statement by Jesus, the author of eternal salvation, should be ignored.