Sunday, September 18, 2011

Theology Trumps Salvation?

I spent Thursday evening speaking with some anti-Mormons at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. At one point a young fellow said to me that I just needed to accept Jesus and be assured of his Grace, through faith, and I could be saved. I told him I had already done so. He said I had not accepted the idea of only Jesus' grace to save me, and I said that was true, since the Bible and LDS scriptures make it clear that one must do certain things, such as be obedient (Hebres 5:8-9), endure to the end (Matt 10:22; Mark 13:13) and of course be baptized (John 3:5; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 3:21).

Then he said "But you believe incorrectly about Jesus." I replied "What?" He said that because our theology of how God and Jesus relate to each other, then my understanding is not sufficient for salvation.

I replied that would mean all of the first and second century Christians were also not saved, since I believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus, and not the silly Trinity stuff. I said the early Christians had no idea what the Trinity was about, and if I am lost by his criteria, then so are they. I told him that theology is a luxury unneeded for salvation in the face of the scriptures.

What would you say?


Anonymous said...

In Joseph's first recollection of the first vision he report of the Father, son and Holy Ghost. The Trinity. How can you then say it is silly? Totally lost on that one?

Anonymous said...

As a long saved Mormon, I say our works don't save us, Jesus does, and anyone who says otherwise isn’t Christian. The church needs to reform from this current apostasy from Christianity. Only a false prophet would say otherwise. BTW, baptism is a work, clearly not necessary for salvation.

Bob said...

Thanks anonymous. I think your selective theology is what is really at issue. Phil. 2:12, Romans 6, James 5:19-20, and everything in the Sermon on the Mount, Mark 16:16, etc., all contradict your position.

How is it that a mother may be saved in child bearing? A wife can save her non-Christian husband? Why does Paul teach that Godly sorrow results in repentance unto salvation (2 Cor 7:10), or that partaking of the sacrament unworthily means you are eating and drinking damnation to your sould (1 Cor11:29)?

If you are a long saved Mormon believing in the false doctrine of Salvation only by Grace without the need of a personal commitment to the covenant of obedience to Christ, then you are not saved. You might want to re-read the scriptures for the theology they contain, and stop listening to the false teachers of the world.

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

None of those things save us, only Jesus does by His grace for which none of us are even close to being worthy. I remain LDS for personal reasons but believe the LDS church went very wrong very early in its history, teaching we can earn salvation is but one example, polygamy, priesthood ban, Adam-God, Mormon reformation, etc would be others. There is much toxic baggage in Mormonism that needs to be dumped.

Bob said...

With all due respect, if the Bible is the source of truth, then either you don't believe what it teaches, or else you don't know what it teaches, or maybe you don't care what it teaches. Salvation is only through Christ in the sense that no other person can pay the price. But a covenant means we must do something as well. The list is spelled out in scripture, some of which I listed. People sitting in the pews at LDS Church services sometimes don't understand the role of grace because we do emphasize personal accountability. But that does not change the doctrine of the Church, which is the balance of Grace, Faith and Works of Faith.

Love to meet you some time and go through the scriptures with you. You seem like an honest person. I just don't think you have the story correct. Good luck.

Neal Rappleye said...

Anon. said:

"In Joseph's first recollection of the first vision he report of the Father, son and Holy Ghost. The Trinity. How can you then say it is silly? Totally lost on that one?"

This is completely false. There is not a single report of the First Vision wherein Joseph Smith claims to have seen all three persons in the Godhead. As it is, though, this would work against the Trinity, since then Joseph would have no doubt claimed to have seen THREE personages, not "three-in-one."

Anonymous said...

Which of the eight different accounts of the first vision do you refer to?

Why not just leave it as Mormonism is based upon the untruths, tall-tales, and misdeeds of many, and, yet, there are many who know this that love the benefits of the organization. Once we admit this. That way, those who want to bed blinded can remain so, and those who want to know the truth can read the Bible.

The Trinity was known, read the early church Fathers. Justin Martyr, Polycarp, and other early fathers and see that even before 150 A.D. people were claiming the what the Bible says of God as being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 10:36 even tells us the Jews wanted to Kill Jesus for saying "I and the Father are one," because the statement was that of equality).

Theology never trumps salvation. For there are millions who hold to bad theology, and their destruction in the Lake of Fire (Mark 9, Rev 20) is very real.

Confused! said...

Maybe Anonymous got it wrong, but what he didnt get wrong is the fact that JS original draft of the first vision GREATLY differs from the published version currently in the pearl of great price. Also, with respect to the works debate, JS and BY both stated that polygamy is NECESSARY to go to the celestial kingdom. Now the official policy of the church is against polygamy, as stated by Hinckley on national tv on CNN. Now I dont want to get into a debate about theology, but I want to know why God tells JS one thing, and Hinckley another thing? This is really confusing me because it matters for eternal salvation. Help!

Bob said...

I love the arguments. So I put out the piece specifically on "Was there a First Vision", and I provide contemporary, non-LDS sources which only have one logical conclusion: JS had a First Vision. So you ignore that, and say, instead, that the stories don't synch up exactly, so they must be false. Wrong. It is precisely because there are differences that it is obvious that they all stem from the same experience, and no effort to falsify is being made.
The issue of a First Vision is made even more real in what Joseph Smith does with it. He doesn't join any other Church. He is accused, by contemporaries, of having an heretical theological view after some event around 1820.

In his personal, handwritten account he discusses his particular desire for forgiveness. In other accounts he describes different features of the experience, and includes additional details. You fail to note that JS does NOT make the first vision the center of the restoration of the Church. He focuses people on the testimony of Christ restoring his Church and the proof of that in the Book of Mormon. There are physical, corroborating witness of the Gold Plates, and the testimony from heaven reported by 3 additional men.
But your issue is the differences in the accounts. Did you lose your testimony of the Bible when you learned that John says the Last Supper is on a Thursday, and the other accounts on Friday? Did it bother you that Luke does not include the Great Commission in the final words of Christ he records? Does the different ways Judas is said to have DIED bother you? Does the lack of consistent record of the conversation Christ engages in while on the cross cause you to question the Atonement?
You are free to believe whatever you like. But don't pretend you don't ignore issues of your own faith which lack solutions within the Bible itself. You have made choices about why it is unimportant. Mormons will say we have the witness of the Spirit to confirm the important things, and we don't really care about getting proof of every detail. What is your excuse for not allowing the details to destroy your faith?

Bob said...

Sorry, it is late and I mis-stated John's position on the Last Supper. He says it was Wednesday. The other accounts say Thursday.
Sorry for the confusion.

Will I Stay Mormon? said...

Why can't I come up with comebacks like that?

Anonymous said...

"Mormonism is based on the untruths, tall tales, and misdeeds of many...." said Anon. 12:53p.m.

That statement could be used against all Christian sects today (as well as the past) and even non Christian religions. And it applies to Christianity when Constantine took it over and the Catholic church was born.
A good example for today is the Mars Hill church in Washington state. Appleby Baptist church in Texas. Westboro Baptist church.

It is amazing how the bigots deny their own past. And deny how unChristian they really are.

From: Abused by the cult of Evangelicalism