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Friday, May 22, 2009

Scene Four


Here is the latest edition. I am very excited and encouraged right now, because Josephine is really forcing me to understand the Word better in order to respond to her claims. I learned some really cool things writing this response. I hope you do too!


Josephine,

As usual, I will try to respond to your email one chunk at a time to avoid confusion. So, here is my response to the following email:


Thank you for your awesome, polite, and in-depth reply! I REALLY appreciate it! I do plan to call Jeff, but as I told him, it is long distance for me and I am currently attempting to get this service on my phone so that I do not have to worry about a huge charge(as I know Jeff and I most likely will talk for a while). Question: why is Jeff so important to contact verses you? You actually seem more open-minded in attempting to explain why and what you believe.

It really doesn’t matter if you contact Jeff verses me, I was just curious, because he had mentioned he was hoping you’d call him. I’m sorry if you got the impression that Jeff is not “open-minded in attempting to explain why and what we believe.” We are ministry partners, and work side-by-side all the time, and both take the same approach. In fact, I learned a lot of the way I go about it from Jeff.

I appreciate your insight in regards to my question. As I told Jeff, I am not asking questions to simply argue or prove this doctrine wrong...I am simply trying to understand the beliefs of many mainstream Christians. I too, was a "mainstream Christian' and consider myself to have been raised within the Baptist faith. However, I attended numerous churches in order to gain an open-minded perspective. I did not consider myself to be solely baptist, as I believed that the church I attended was not important(the important part for me was a love for the congregation and pastor).

Oddly, I never realized the church I attended and was baptized into taught the trinity. I always considered them to be one in purpose and will...but never did fathom Jesus being the literal God over the earth(even though I believed he helped with creation as it states within the bible). Even though you stated that the Trinity did not originate with the Catholics.....rather was created by Jesus....I have a hard time believing this. I assumed this would be the reply Jeff gave me as he also told me I was wrong about the history.

It’s interesting that you were not questioned on your belief in who God is when you were baptized. Also, Christians are not baptized into any church (different from Mormonism). We are commanded to be baptized after placing our faith in Christ to publicly show that we have done so. I also never said, nor believe, that Jesus “created” the Trinity. I believe, and will show you with Scripture later on, that the Triune God of the Bible has eternally existed, and will continue to exist that way forever and ever.

You provided verses for me, as I have pondered upon these as well. Even though these verses present a "trinitarian" doctrine in a sense, they still are not straight forward about the concern that Jesus is literally God. They simply state the ONE aspect, which can be interpreted differently as I am sure you are aware of. Being that I do not know every verse word for word I decided to copy and paste the verses you provided in an attempt to interpret their meaning.

John 1:1"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Keep reading...1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. A CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN THEM.... AND HIS SON....???


I’m glad you brought this up. The problem I have with, and what frustrates me as a Christian, is that you are not attacking my beliefs. You are attacking Modalism, a doctrine I completely disagree with. Christians do not teach Modalism, and never have. Modalism teaches that The Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son, and The Holy Ghost are three different modes, or aspects of One God. It’s almost as if God puts on a different mask, and can only be at one place at a time. One minute He is The Father, and then the next minute He is The Son. I am not at all saying that. I am saying that God is ONE Being, with THREE distinct personages; The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

Therefore, in regards to your comment about 1 John 1:3 (not John 1:3 as you stated), absolutely there is a clear distinction between The Father and The Son. What really bothers we here, is that you briefly mention John 1:1 and then try to use 1 John 1:3, to disprove something I do not believe, nor does the Bible teach; but, in so doing, you have completely failed to justify John 1:1 with what you believe. I have yet to have a Mormon being able to justify this verse. You agree that this verse is talking about Christ, but you cannot justify that:
1) Christ was in the beginning, because you believe that Christ was created after the beginning.
2) Christ (the Word) was God. I just need a clear explanation for that portion of the verse. Please hear me on this. How can you justify, “and the Word was God?”

Also, if you do keep reading John 1, verse 2 states, “The same was in the beginning with God.” Again, Christ (the Word) was God in the BEGINNING. If Christ was God in the beginning, how then was he created? And if you continue to read, verse 3 states, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” This, again, is contrary to what you believe, as I have mentioned before that you believe Christ created, “all other things.” This verse is very powerful. How do you justify that Christ created, “all other things,” when John 1:3 clearly states that without Christ, “was not any thing made that was made?”

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth...AGAIN, WHY DO PEOPLE OVERLOOK "AND".....and meaning to state two separte ideas...or in this case individuals....

I’m also glad that you brought up this verse, as it is the next one I would take you to. To answer your question, I certainly do not overlook the word “and.” I also agree that it is referring to two separate individuals, or personages. I have no problem with that. Again, you are using this verse to attack Modalism, but again, you also fail to justify the connection between John 1:1 and John 1:14. Remember that in verse 1, “the Word was God,” and here in verse 14, it picks back up and says that, “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Christ, being God, became flesh on this earth. This is so plain here in this chapter. Please, please justify this with your beliefs.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. SIMPLY STATES " I AM HE....He being the savior of the world...the messiah, the only begotten son....If you read before this verse 14-18"

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you are making this very easy on me, only because you are a step ahead of me each time bringing up verses that I would next use. Now, the problem with you using this verse, is that you do not know what it says in the Greek. I know I explained this to you two emails ago, but you sent me this before I had sent it. Nonetheless, I will explain again for clarity. In this verse Jesus says, “if ye believe not that I am he.” If you read this verse in the original Greek, it says, “if ye believe not that ego aimi.” The “he” is not there. You see, “ego aimi,” literally means “I AM.” If you look at Exodus chapter 3, when God appears to Moses in the burning bush, Moses’ question to God was, “whom shall I say sent me (Exodus 3:13)?” In verse 14, God replies to Moses by saying, tell them, “I AM hath sent me unto you.” Does this sound familiar? In the Greek Septuagint, it is the same words, “ego aimi,” “I AM.” I completely agree with John 8:24. Please also note that it is the same language used in John 8:28, which states, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” Again, it says, “then shall ye know that ego aimi.” Notice how “he” is bracketed. It is like that in both verses 24 and 28. In some Bibles the word “he” is just italicized in those verses, much like it is the JST version. The reason for that is because the word “he” is not in the original language, like I have just shown you. The problem for you, is that Christ is not just claiming to be, “the savior of the world….the messiah, the only begotten son.” He is also claiming to be, “I AM,” the name of God! How do you justify this?

14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. NOT ALONE? So does this mean He is NOT all rolled into one...?

Again, I have do not problem with this. You are attacking Modalism.

17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. TWO SEPARATE PEOPLE?

18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. WOW!


Absolutely two separate people. Again: One Being and Three distinct Personages.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am...again am....the messiah, the savior....

This verse is even better for me that John 8:24, 28, because it doesn’t include the word “he.” Again, “Before Abraham was, ego aimi.” He is not JUST, “the messiah, the savior,” but ALSO, “I AM!” Please see what I am showing you. The original Greek completely shuts down what you are trying to say. As I have also mentioned before, please continue to read John 8 through chapter 10. In John 8:29, the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus, but he disappears. In John chapter 9, Jesus heals the blind man, and then in John chapter 10, He talks about being the sheep gate. In verse 31, the Jews again pick up stones to stone Jesus. In verse 32 He asks them, “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” And there response in verse 33 is, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” One way in Old Testament Law to be stoned on the spot, is to claim to be God. The Jews tried to stone Christ, because he claimed to be God. I earnestly beg you to see this. This is so crucial!

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

By simply reading these verses, the ONLY one that mentions appearence is the last one....and even then it states Godhead, which can be interpreted to mean that Jesus was the embodiment of God being that He was perfect and sent by Him...

I’m beginning to feel like you saw my list of verses I use, and are just using one after another. I love Colossians 2:9, and have no problem with it. In fact, it helps my case. The word for “Godhead” in the Greek, is “theotes.” This word literally means, “deity,” or, “the state of being God.” The root word of theotes, is, theos. In the Greek, theos, is the word used for God. The case ending for theotes, is es, which is a genitive case of description. It is used to describe the state of something, or indicate possession. In other words, it is indicating that Christ contains the fullness of the state of God.

I agree with you that verses can be interpreted differently, as anything can, and that is an issue with me. You see, the problem is that interpretations are completely subjective. This is a point I always try to press with Mormons. The question is not how do you interpret the verse, or how did Joseph Smith, Jr., Jeff Durbin, or Luke Pierson interpret the verse. The question is, what does that verse say? What I am trying to show you, is that if you look at what these verses say in the original language, it is very difficult to deviate from its meaning, or what the author intended. What does the text say, plain and simple. What I keep hearing from you, is that you have to say, “well this verse could be interpreted this way, therefore, my view is correct, and yours is confusing.” The Bible, in its original form, is the sole objective truth that we have and need to test the claims of anyone, whether it be Joseph Smith, Jr., Jeff Durbin, Luke Pierson, or Barrack Obama.

My concern pertains to the numerous verses that CLEARLY state they are separate "physically"....there is no interpretation needed for these verses as they state the very nature or what apostles saw....or simply defined them as being TWO SEPARATE PEOPLE...
1 Cor. 8: 6
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him (NOTICING "AND" again....stating them as separate...)

Again, I agree, One Being and Three distinct Personages. You are focusing on the word, “and” to try and disprove Modalism, but at the same time you are missing the whole point of this verse. This verse is describing God, who is The Father and The Lord Jesus Christ. Notice how it says, “the Father, of whom are all things,” and, “one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” How do, “all things” come by The Father and by The Lord Jesus Christ if they are not the same Being. Can, “all things” come to be by two separate entities? I think not. How do you justify this?

1 Tim. 2: 5
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (ONE God...AND one mediator BETWEEN GOD AND MAN....JESUS!)

I agree. There is ONE God. You don’t believe this, do you? Don’t you believe in the “plurality of gods?” Christ came to earth in the flesh as God the Son, to act as our ONLY Mediator between us and God. I absolutely agree. This also proves that there is no need for a modern day prophet. There is ONLY ONE Mediator, Christ Jesus; NOT Christ Jesus AND a modern day prophet.

John 14: 10
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (again He emphasized, not of Himself.....)


I have no problem with this verse. I’m not really sure how you are using this verse to say that God is not Triune in Nature. Jesus came to do the will of the Father. Ok, He and the Father are separate personages. They are still the same God though.

John 8: 28
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do anothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
FATHER TAUGHT HIM? OR Did He teach Himself?

Ok, you are still missing Christ’s claim to being God here with, “ego aimi;” "I Am.” Of course He did not teach Himself. He is NOT the Father. Once again, Modalism.

John 14: 28
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (ASK YOURSELF: WHY WOULD JESUS CONTINUE TO EMPHASIZE THE FATHER IF HE WANTED THEM TO BELIEVE HE WAS THE FATHER?)

A better question to ask, is, “Why would Jesus want them to believe He is the Father?” You are again attacking Modalism. Jesus emphasized the Father, because He is NOT the Father, and He was doing the will of the Father.

VISUAL VERSES:(simple ability to read is all that is needed)
Heb. 1: 3
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (SO DID JESUS SIT BESIDE HIMSELF?)


Modalism, Modalism, Modalism. Of course He didn’t sit beside Himself. Again, however, you overlooking the point of this verse to try and disprove something the Bible doesn’t teach. Before we dive into the Greek, please note that from Hebrews 1:1,2, we can deduce that Christ is being compared to God in verse 3. The Greek word here for, “brightness,” is, “apaugasma,” which literally means, “reflected brightness.” Christ is a reflection of the Glory of God. Also, the Greek word for, “express image,” is, “charakter,” which literally means, “stamp, engraving, mark, or the exact expression of any person or thing.” The Greek word for, “person,” here, is, “hypostasis,” which literally means, “substance, real being, or nature of a person or thing.” Do you see that? Christ is the, “exact expression” of the, “substance”, or, “nature” of God! This is why it is so important to understand what the original language said. How do you explain this verse if Christ is NOT God?

Now, if you will keep reading in this chapter, you will find two more verses that you will have a very hard time with. In fact, I have not yet had a Mormon be able to explain the following verses to me:

“But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:8-9

Please note that from Hebrews 1:5 we can see that in these verses God is speaking to the Son, as the Father. Therefore, you can also see here that He is calling the Son, “ O God,” in verse 8, and “God, thy God,” in verse 9. This is very plain and simple: Christ is being referred to as God! Please explain this to me. Again, I’ve never heard an explanation from a Mormon Worldview.


Acts 7: 55-56
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WE SHOULD GAIN BY "RIGHTHAND")
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

I am so glad you brought this verse up, and you make a great point here (See, I’m not just dismissing your points!). At first glance this verse seems really strange, but if you dig into it, there is a very clear and definitive answer. Just for clarity, Acts 7 is talking about the stoning of Stephen. Please read the whole chapter, and then answer this question: When did the Jews decide they wanted to kill Stephen? It’s in Acts7:57, immediately after he claims to see, “the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” You will notice how in verse 54 they were angry with him, but they didn’t try to kill him. By saying this, Stephen was claiming Christ was the Messiah. You see, Stephen was mentioning Christ in reference to Psalm 110, which says:

“1The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 5The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. 7He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”

The Jews would have been very familiar with this Psalm. They knew exactly what Stephen meant. This Psalm was traditionally sang looking forward to their much anticipated and awaited Messiah. I already showed how the Jews wanted to kill Christ because of His claim to be God (John 10:33). They did not believe he was who he claimed to be, and that’s why they put Him to death. So, when Stephen mentions Christ in light of their beloved Psalm, as being the Messiah, they too, put him to death. Please also read Daniel chapter 7 in reference to this. I hope you understand what I have just shown you.

Acts 1: 9-11
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.(So if God IS Jesus....Does God Himself have a body of flesh? Many Christians would say He does not...but it is clear this is how He will return)

To answer your question, in Heaven, God does NOT have a body of flesh and bones (John 4:24, 1 Timothy 3:16, Luke 24:39), like Mormonism teaches. This is why Jesus had to become flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14) as God the Son. So, if Jesus where to manifest Himself here on earth, yes he would appear in flesh.

AGAIN, my pupose is to only show you a few verses pertaining to this subject. How does one attempt to read them and interpret them to mean they are the same? Where can those type of conclusions be drawn? I attempt to not overlook verses and pick and choose, but rather to attempt to understand it ALL and then conclude. I believe the verses used to support the trinity are not straightforward and can be interpreted to mean both. But see, this only testifies to me the confusion that arises among doctrine and although some profess that these concerns aren't important....I would disagree being that in order to pray and develop a relationship with God, we must be able to fathom Him and His son....to believe that they are the same almost sounds schziophrenic...being that God spoke numerous times...proclaiming, "THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR HIM...or I'm welll pleased" There was a purpose for this exclamation from heaven....and I assure that to believe Jesus simply said it would almost seem deceiving....of Him. Wouldn't a God who is simple, clear, and honest teach this priciple with clarity and understanding verses confusion as He is not the author of confusion.....

I appreciate your attempt to show verses pertaining to the subject, and to be honest, you did a very good job of doing so. It is great that you are trying not to pick and choose, but to look at the entire Bible, exactly what I am trying to do. You also have to very careful to try and understand the context of each verse that you provide. The biggest problem I see, is that you keep trying to “interpret” each verse. Like I said earlier, and I think I have shown you why, it’s crucial to understand what and why the text said in the original language. That should eliminate any interpreting and confusion. I absolutely agree that in order to understand God and His Son better, we must pray, but more importantly, we must understand what His Word says, because this is how He has revealed Himself to us. And again, prayer is subjective, but His Word is the Objective Truth (John 17:17). Hebrews 4:12 says:

“For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Another issue I have, is that you keep trying to put God in a box. In other words, you try to define God by earthly terms; by human wisdom. Although I agree that God is clear, honest, and not an author of confusion, I do not believe that He is “simple.” That is not a Biblical view of God. Isaiah 55:8,9 says:

“For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

God is not at all “simple,” but is very complex. How could one be the author and creator of the universe and be simple? Or know the thoughts and intents of your heart at all times (Job 21:27, Psalm 139:23, Isaiah 66:18)? I think the whole idea of a Triune God would seem a lot less confusing to you, if you start by considering what Scripture says about God’s Deity, and then formulate your belief. What you have done, is formulated your belief, and are now trying to make Scripture fit it. That’s where the confusion comes from. I think I have shown you that I can sit down, open up the Bible and see what it says about God’s Deity, and have no confusion at all.

The problem I have with most anti-Mormons is that they present verses to me all day long, but when I attempt to understand and reply with mine...I receive no answer or reply. Why do you think that is? Do you think people are not willing to change a belief even when supported by biblical evidence? Do you think people are not willing to be taught something new or different.....?

The reason you receive no answers back from “anti-Mormons” is because they don’t know what they are talking about. Most likely they have thrown some sound-bite verses at you trying to make you look bad, but when it comes down to it, they have no deeper knowledge of the text. They probably also do not have the dedication to take the time and respond, as I have done and will continue to do. I don’t necessarily think it’s because they don’t want to learn anything new. I am constantly studying Mormon theology, because I too want to test truth by what the Bible says. I am also always studying the Word to try and understand it better. I have doctrinal views (outside of who God is and how do we come to know him) that are even now changing, because I have dug into Scripture and discovered that what I thought was accurate, was not.

If you are interested in the numerous verses pertaining to this topic:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity

If I may say, please be careful when using Wikipedia. I use it occasionally, but only when I know the sources are legit. The thing with Wikipedia is that anybody can post information on there, and it is not always reliable. Also, please know that all the verses I have responded to you with, I have researched on my own, to earnestly seek the truth. And I am not accusing of you doing this, but I will not just paste something I found on the internet, just for the sake of answering somebody, without completely understanding it.

P.S. If you google this topic you will find numerous Chrsitians who are confused and concerned about this doctrine....as they too, see the inconsistencies...

I’m sure there are tons of people who claim to be Christians that are confused on the issue. Unfortunately there are way too many people who speak out against Mormonism, but really don’t understand what or why they believe. That doesn’t, however, prove that it is confusing, or doesn’t exist. I talk to Mormons all the time with varying views on Mormon Doctrine, but I won’t use that to disprove Mormonism. Again, that is completely subjective. I will only use the Bible as the Objective Truth. That is my presupposition. Everything goes back to the Word of God!

In the Name of Christ,


Luke Pierson

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scene Three

Here is the latest addition to Latter Day Saints Investigation: atlanta. I know these are long, but they are intense, and in depth! Enjoy!


Josephine, I have put together a response to the following email:

In regards to Joe, I find it hard to believe He would state anything other than separate being that he saw two separate beings...maybe someone else wrote it and said it was Joe. One thing about discourses, articles, etc. is that they were written by people who listened to them and then wrote it. This is why the ONLY official doctrine we use are Bible, BOM, DC, PEARL....all other sources are opinions and usually do not contain viable sources....

Here is my response:

When I mentioned that Joseph originally believed in a Triune God, I wasn’t referring to any of the First Vision accounts. Also, one issue that a really have a problem with as a Christian, is that Joseph, over time, changed his mind on the Deity of God, as I will show you. So, to be fair to you as a Mormon, what I am about to show you is all from LDS publications. Nothing is from “Anti-Mormon” publications. As I have asked of you before, please take the time to earnestly look into what I am presenting to you, for yourself. Please don’t just send me something someone else put together as an answer. So, following are several verses and quotes that show Joseph Smith, Jr. at some point in his life taught that there is only one Triune God, not the plurality of gods as he later taught.

1) “For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.” 2 Nephi 11:7

This verse teaches that Christ is God and that there would be no creation without Him. Very interesting considering that the LDS church does NOT teach that Christ is God and that creation exists because of Him (the official stance is that Christ created “all other things”).

2) “And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;” 2 Nephi 26:12

The LDS church does NOT teach that Christ is the Eternal God.

3) “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.” 2 Nephi 31:21

This verse to me, again, sounds like a very good definition of a Triune God; “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God.” I know you do not believe this, do you?

4) “And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—“ Mosiah 7:27

“Christ was the God,” and, “God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood.” Do you believe this? I know the LDS Church doesn’t teach it.

5) “AND now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.” Mosiah 15:1-4

Although I do NOT agree that Christ is the, “Eternal Father,” I certainly agree that they are, “one God.” I again ask you, do you? The Book of Mormon says that they are, and so does the Bible (John 1:1, John 8:24, 28, 58)!

6) “Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.” Mosiah 16:15

Again, although I do NOT agree that Christ is the, “Eternal Father,” I don’t believe that you do either.

7) “Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;” Alma 11:38-39

Again, I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record, as the Bible does not teach that Christ is the, “Eternal Father,” but it does certainly teach that as God, He, “is the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13).

8) “Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” Alma 11:44

This verse blows my mind as a Christian, because it again gives a perfect, and very clear definition of the Triune God of the Bible; “of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God.” The LDS Church does not teach that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute One God, and they don’t teach that He is Eternal either! Also, as a side note, I find it interesting that is some passages the Book of Mormon says The Holy Spirit, and some passages say The Holy Ghost. It’s not important to this discussion, just something I noticed and thought was strange.

9) “And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.” 3 Nephi 11:27

Again, “the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one,” sounds to me like a Triune God.

10) “And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.” 3 Nephi 11:36

Please see that, “the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one,” is a perfect description of the Triune God of the Bible. Please note that every example I have given you so far have been from the Book of Mormon, which was “translated” by Joseph Smith, Jr. and the published in 1830. I believe I have given you ample examples from your own book, which in 1841, Joseph said was, “the most correct of any book on earth” (History of the Church, Volume 4, Page 461), that prove early Mormonism and Joseph Smith, Jr. taught the existence of the Triune God of the Bible. I’m sure you will want to say that in many of the passages I have just shown you, that all three personages (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) are one, “in purpose.” However, as I have said to you before in my previous email, the text does not say that, in either the Bible or the Book of Mormon. Therefore, if you want to say that is the truth, then you have to add a word to the text, even to the “most correct of any book,” to make it fit your beliefs. Does this sit right with you?

11) “The representation of the god-head – three, yet in one is curiously drawn to give simply, though impressively, the writer’s views of that exalted personage.” Oliver Cowdery

Please note that this quote is taken from a letter Oliver Cowdery wrote to William Frye, dated December 25, 1835. It is describing the scroll of the Book of Joseph, which was never translated. This quote is again a perfect definition of the Triune God of the Bible. Now, I understand that this quote did not come directly from Joseph’s mouth, however, please hear me out on this. Oliver Cowdery was Joseph’s right hand man. He was the scribe that wrote down all the translations for Joseph from the Book of Abraham. Also, this letter was published in the December 1835 issues of both the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Joseph would have had to approve all content himself that was to be published in those LDS publications. Therefore, I find it very hard to believe that Joseph would have allowed anything to be published coming from his right hand man that he did not authorize or teach. So, even in December 1835, it appears that Joseph still taught and believed in the Triune God of the Bible and what he “translated” as the Book of Mormon. I will now show you, however, that even earlier that year, he started to change his beliefs and teachings about who God is.

12) “We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things--by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible: whether in heaven, on earth, or in earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space--They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form or likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;--he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Father; being begotten of him………And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made:” Joseph Smith, 1835 D&C, Lectures of Faith, Pages 52-53

“Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?”
“A. Two: the Father and the Son.”
Joseph Smith, Lectures of Faith, 1835 D&C, Page 55

“Q. Do the Father and Son possess the same mind?”
“A. They do.”
“Q. What is this mind?”
“A. The Holy Spirit.”

Joseph Smith, Lectures of Faith, 1835 D&C, Page 57

“Q. Do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute the Godhead?”
“A. They do.”

Joseph Smith, Lectures of Faith, 1835 D&C, Page 58

Now, I could say a lot about what I have just shown you, but I will try to keep it the topic at hand: the Deity of God. Although I am not sure of the exact dates when Joseph said all these quotes, I do know from the 1835 D&C, that they were said at some point during that year, the same year the quote about the Book of Joseph was printed, most likely even earlier than December 25, 1835. Here are my major issues with what Joseph began to teach sometime in 1835:
1. From the Book of Mormon, and from the Oliver Cowdery quote, I have shown you how the Triune God of the Bible (One Being, Three Personages) was taught by Joseph Smith, Jr. at least until some point during 1835. But I have also shown you that in the year 1835 he, Joseph Smith, Jr., began to teach that the Godhead only consisted of Two Personages, The Father and The Son, and that They possess the same mind, that being The Holy Spirit. If Joseph would have stuck to Scripture, or even his “translated” Book of Mormon, he probably would have been okay. Unfortunately, you can see here where he starts to add his own doctrine to Scripture. The Holy Spirit is definitely referred to as a “person” in Scripture (Mark 13:11, John 14:26, Acts 1:16, Acts 9:31, Acts 13:2, Acts 20:28, 2 Timothy 1:14, Hebrews 3:7). Here you can see that Joseph begins to refer to Him as a “mind,” which is nowhere found in Scripture, nor in the Book of Mormon.
2. I know that Mormonism does NOT teach that the Godhead created all things, EVEN in Heaven. Doesn’t Mormonism teach that things in Heaven (even our spirits in the pre-existence, including Jesus and Satan) were not created by the Godhead “of this earth?”
3. I also know that Mormonism does not teach that The Father is, “a personage of spirit,” but of, “flesh and bones, as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22).

13) “I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for the express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.” Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 6, page 474, 1844

You will notice here, that in 1844, Joseph Smith, Jr. is teaching a different doctrine on the Deity of God. I believe that I have show you that Joseph did NOT, “always and in all congregations,” teach on the, “plurality of Gods.” Also, if you are to subtract 15 years from 1844, you get the year 1829; and I have definitely shown you that neither Joseph, nor even the Book of Mormon, taught on the, “plurality of Gods” back that far.

14) “John was one of the men, and apostles declare they were made kings and priests under God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It reads just so in the Revelation. Hence, the doctrine of a plurity of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrines. It is all over the interface of the Bible. It stands beyond the power of controversy. A way-faring man, though a fool, need not err therein. Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many. I want to set it forth in a plain and simple manner; but to us there is but one God—that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and through all.”
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 6, page 474, 1844

Now, without getting too far off tract, I want to briefly touch on this. The “Plurality of Gods” Doctrine is NOT at all, “prominent in the Bible,” and it certainly does NOT stand, “beyond the power of controversy.” In fact, the only Scriptural reference that Josephs mentions, 1 Corinthians 8:5, is taken so far out of context, that if further explored, destroys this entire doctrine. 1 Corinthians 8:5 reads, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,).”
1. First, the verse correctly reads, “gods many, and lords many,” not, “Gods many, and Lords many.”
2. The context of this verse is Paul talking about the things that were being offered as sacrifices to the many false gods of the Corinthians.
3. If you read verses 4 and 6 of 1 Corinthians 8, you will clearly see that Paul says there is only ONE True God.

15) “Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God! I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization. “Father, I pray not for the world, but I pray for them which thou hast given me.” ‘Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are.” All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God—he would be a giant or a monster.”
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 6, page 476, 1844

What’s amazing to me, is that in only 14 years (1830-1844), Joseph Smith, Jr. went from teaching a Triune God to teaching a plurality of gods, and sarcastically making jokes about this same God he once believed in.

Ok, so I know that this has been really long, but I wanted to show you everything I could, from strictly LDS publications, that Joseph Smith, Jr., did at one point believe in and teach the Triune God of the Bible. What really bothers me as a Christian, from what I have shown you, is that either Joseph Smith, Jr. changed his mind, or God changed his Deity. I say Scripture proves it was Joseph Smith, Jr. My fear is that to make your beliefs work, you have to say that it was God. I again, absolutely sincerely, ask you to research for yourself the information I have just provided for you. I have spent at least another six hours preparing this, again, not just to prove you wrong, but to show you that what you believe to be the truth, is actually misguided. I want you to see the truth through Scripture. I want you to earnestly try and justify the differences between Scripture and the teachings of Joseph Smith. Jr. As always, please feel free to call me at anytime to discuss any of this. I am praying for you!

In the Name of Jesus Christ,


Luke Pierson

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mormonism: The New Postmodernism?

What exactly is Postmodernism? In writing this entry, I discovered that it is very difficult to define the word, "Postmodernism." It's hard to define because there is such a wide range of uses of the word. Postmodernism originally was a movement in art and architecture, but has now moved into philosophy and religion. Since I just poked fun at Wikipedia with this picture, I want to use the following definition of Postmodernism from http://www.apologeticsindex.org/:

"Postmodernism is the cultural worldview that now penetrates and owns our society. This worldview deeply values the following: spirituality, pluralism, the experiential, relativity, altruism, community, creativity, the arts, environmentalism, globality, holism, and authenticity. In many ways we are transitioning away from the "modern" values of rationalism, science, dogmatism, individualism, pragmatism, capitalism, nationalism, compartmentalism, and veneered religiosity."


"Rejecting objective truth is the cornerstone of postmodernism. In essence, postmodern ideology declares an end to all ideology and all claims to truth."


In other words, Postmodernism rejects objective truth; everything is relative! So, I'm sure you are wondering how this relates to Mormonism. I mean, after all, Mormons believe in objective truth, right? Well, unfortunately, the more we (as a ministry) dialogue with Mormons, whether they be missionaries, church officials, or lay people, the more and more we hear and see Postmodern overtones.

Yesterday afternoon, my good friend Angie and myself met with two Mormon Missionaries. As usual, they were very nice, zealous, loving, and caring young men. And as usual, about 45 minutes into the conversation, they could not answer for discrepancies from Scripture to what they believe and are taught (and are teaching door to door). So, if you have ever talked to Mormon Missionaries, you know what happened next: they began to bear their testimony. For those of you who do not know what I am speaking of, when they bear their testimony, they basically spend 5 to 10 minutes explaining how they know Mormonism is the truth because they have prayed about it, and because they have therefore received a, "burning in their bosom" from the Holy Ghost. This response, traditionally, is how they are taught to respond to a Christian when they cannot answer a question. This also usually signifies that they are done talking to you and want to leave. The problem with their testimony is that it is completely subjective. You cannot measure truth subjectively, that is of course unless you are Postmodern, and then everything is subjective. And just like yesterday, even when you get a Mormon to admit that their testimony is completely subjective, it doesn't matter to them, because they have no other fallback.
Towards the very end of our dialogue yesterday, as the two missionaries were packing up their stuff to go, they said something to me that I have not heard before, that completely blew my mind, and that absolutely wreaked of Postmodernism. When I began to present one of many false prophecies given by Joseph Smith, Jr., I was told by one of the missionaries that if it came from The Journal of Discourses, then it is not necessarily viable. For the record, the one I presented to them came from Church History, but nonetheless I was blown away. For those of you who do not know what the The Journal of Discourses is, it is literally a compilation of sermons given by LDS general authorities (Apostles, Prophets, etc.) every year. I was then told that if a publication is not officially printed by the LDS Church, then it cannot be considered truth, even if it is a book published by their Modern Day Prophet. Apparently, what the LDS Church has done, has labeled only publications found in the Quad (the JST/KJV Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price) as officially LDS. By doing this, they have found a loophole to disregard any false prophecies given by Joseph Smith, Jr. or Brigham Young, or any LDS Prophet; or any controversial teaching given by any of the former. So, even though we have every word of false teaching ever given by any Mormon Prophet in print, it doesn't matter. Even though Brigham Young said his sermons were as good as Scripture, it doesn't matter. It's all relative, unless it has the "official LDS stamp" on it. It's very sad, and very frustrating as a Christian. Because Mormons cannot use objective truth (The Bible) to prove the claims of Joseph Smith, Jr, as true, they have used his subjective claims, to say that what they teach is the only objective truth, which in turn actually makes it subjective truth, and therefore making it completely Postmodern!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Scene Two


Here is my second correspondence with "Josephine." Please feel free to watch the video, and pause it as you go so you can read my corresponding notes. I hope and pray this is an encouragement to you!

Josephine,

I will try to respond to your emails one at a time to avoid confusion. So, In response to this:

Simply my opinion: I believe that by not allowing comments or responding to replies(like Jeff) only allows for others to view your efforts as prideful, closed-minded, and unaccepting of non-Christians and Christians. I believe that if you want to bring others to your faith or learn from it, that you should allow room for questions, concerns, or opinions. If someone is rude or disrespectful, it is quite simple to delete those comments. By not allowing them, you are closing the door to any opposing or insightful statements that you yourself could learn and grow from. I love anti-mormons because they further prove the confusion that exists and also the closed-mindedness of their beliefs....(you however are different and are very polite and appear non-judgemental, but realize you are rare and could benefit from allowing comments) again ONLY my opinion.

I do appreciate your opinion, however, there is a very good reason why we, as a ministry, do not allow comments. We simply do not have the time to police our page. I understand what you are saying, however, that does not stop people from daily sending us emails with their opinions, questions, and concerns. We receive many ugly, hateful, vulgar, and inappropriate emails all the time. We do not want any of that content to ever be on our page. And believe me, as much of that trash that we receive, we could never keep up with it. Our policy is that if someone actually wants to dialogue with us, and not just post hateful comments from behind a keyboard, they will do it. So far, this policy has worked great, as we are constantly dialoguing with people from literally around the world. You also have to realize that this ministry is not the only ministry we are involved with on a daily basis, so time is a major issue with this concern. I am glad that you realize we are different from many “anti-Mormons” you encounter, however, I hope that you would also realize that we are not at all “anti-Mormon.” We deeply love and have a great respect for the LDS community. I know you are taught that anyone who teaches differing views that the LDS Church is “anti-Mormon,” but I hope you will see by our actions that this is not the case with us.

I also watched the video you sent me, so in response to this:




Trinity Doctrine, A False Teaching Of Man, Council of Nicaea
The trinity doctrine, is a false doctrine of Man that teaches ANOTHER JESUS as warned in the Bible at - 2nd. Cor. 11: 3,4).

That is to say, it teaches a Jesus that greatly differs from how Jesus spoke of himself in clear SIMPLE language throughou...


I will try to respond to the video slide by slide. I do appreciate you trying to provide a response to the Triune God of the Bible and to the Council of Nicea, however, my fear is that you really haven’t researched it for yourself like I asked you to. You have posted a video, that frankly, as I will show in a minute, is not very accurate at all, and takes verses completely out of context. Therefore, I earnestly ask you to please research this for yourself. Even Wikipedia does a good job of explaining the Council of Nicea for what is really was, and not what this video says it is!

So, the video:


Slide1: The question is which Jesus? The Jesus of the Bible or the Jesus of Joseph Smith?

Slides 2-3: Absolutely I believe Jesus, as I will show you.

Slides 4-5: These slides provide a major issue I have with this video. They take a verse out of context to try to disprove the Triune God. Here are my issues:
1) Jesus does not say that his Father is “superior” to him. In the KJV, John 14:28 says this:

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”

Now, as a Christian, I would say that this verse perfectly describes the Triune God. Because God is one Being, but three Persons, there has to be order; because God is a God of order, as you would agree. Even though they are the same Being, the Father is head of the Son in order, just as Christ is head of the Church, and a husband is head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23).

2) Also, if you look a few verses earlier in the chapter, John 14:10-11 says;

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.”

You see, this whole chapter/passage is Christ telling his disciples that they have seen God, because He (Christ) and the Father are ONE. The only way a Mormon can respond to this is through the next slide.

Slides 6-7: The problems I have with these slide are as follows:

1) This is very misleading. It says that, “Jesus taught that He and His Father are ONE IN PURPOSE.” Jesus never taught that. That is added Mormon doctrine.
2) I love that Slide 7 even goes so far as to quote John 17:22:

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:”

I believe this verse complies completely with the Triune God. You see, the Jesus never said that He and the Father were ONE IN PURPOSE, he simply said, “even as We are One!” In order for a Mormon to justify their take on John chapter 14, they have to add the words “IN PURPOSE” for it to make sense. How do you justify that? And again, please don’t respond with what you are told to say, but please search your heart and honestly tell me how you can justify adding words to Scripture to make your doctrines make sense.


Slide 8: I love how this slide says that, “Jesus taught us exactly who he was, in the simplest of terms.” If the creator of this video were to follow what this slide says, they wouldn’t have to add “IN PURPOSE” to John 17:22. I have on several occasions been accused by Mormons of adding to the text and making things too complicated, yet I am not the one that has added anything to Scripture. I would also say that Jesus taught who He IS, not just who He WAS. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Slides 9, 10, 11: I love that the creator of this video used 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 here, simply because I have brought up these very same verses to Mormons on several occasions. The KJV says the following:

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].”

I completely agree with these two verses and would say the same to any Mormon. The Jesus and the Gospel I preach are the same Jesus and Gospel of the Bible, which I am trying to prove to you by reasoning in the Scriptures. The Bible says that the Jesus and the Gospel of Joseph Smith is a different Jesus and a different Gospel than that which the Apostles of the New Testament preached


Slide 12: I completely agree that, “heresy is an opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs.” The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith teach a variance from what is taught in the Bible.

Slide 13: To answer the following question, “Does the Trinity Doctrine that originated from the Council of Nicaea – teach the same Jesus that Jesus himself taught?”; YES the Trinity Doctrine teaches the same Jesus that Jesus taught; however, as I explained to you before, this doctrine was NOT created at the council of Nicea. I am disappointed that this video is your response to me asking you to earnestly research the Council of Nicea. I again encourage you to research it for yourself. Just for clarity, I will briefly cover this again. The Council of Nicea gathered in 325 AD to define what was already being taught about the relationship of God and Jesus, and to destroy a false view of God, being taught by Arius, much like what is being taught by Mormons, that Jesus was not God in the flesh, but a created being. Please, please look into this. I am not making it up, and again, even Wikipedia does a good job of explaining this. What this video portrays, frankly, is a lie. It is very deceiving. And just for the record, I’m not sure if it is correctly spelled Nicea or Nicaea. I have seen it spelled both ways. I’m not sure that it matters though.

Slides 14, 15, 16, 17, 18: I’m really not sure what the point of these slides are other than try to say the Council of Nicea came up with the term “Trinity.” If that is the creators best complaint against the Triune God of the Bible, it a feeble at best attempt to destroy it. Also, this video claims that “one man,” whom I’m assuming is Arius, “showed how all strictly biblical language could also be interpreted to support his belief that there was a time when the Son (JESUS) did not exist.” Although I agree that this was his BELIEF, I fail to see where this “strictly biblical language” exists to prove his belief. I noticed the creator of this video also failed to do the same.

Slides 19, 20, 21, 22: So, I will admit that I had no idea what this filioque statement was. So, I researched it so that I know how to respond. Basically the filioque, which is nothing more than, “the Lord, and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.” was added to the end of the Nicene Creed. It was simply saying that the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and through the Son. It can also be noted that this statement was added in 381 AD, not 589, as the video claims. It was added to the Catholic Eucharist in 589 AD. Although I do not disagree with the statement theologically, and I’m not sure that you would either, it really doesn’t matter to me, because, again, just like the original Nicene Creed, it’s simply a statement about what was already being taught in scripture in order to fight a developing heresy. It also doesn’t matter to me, because it appears that this statement was added by the Roman Orthodox church, and is used by them today. Also, I found it very interesting that this video mentions how Photius of Constantinople later deemed this statement as heresy, which did happen in 858 AD, however, Photius was later excommunicated in 863 AD for being a heretic! So, again, it really doesn’t matter what he thinks either. My point is this, these slides use very deceitful attacks on church history to try and disprove the Triune God of the Bible. Not once does it use a verse here to do so. If this video is not going to attack Scripture, then why even attack? Please consider this. Please try and find Scriptural evidence to disprove this doctrine. It cannot be done.

Slides 23, 24, 25: I certainly agree with James 3:14-16, which says:

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.”

Although I would agree with you that God is not a God of confusion, this verse is not saying that. Once again, this verse has been taken completely out of context. This entire passage is speaking about the power of the tongue to cause division and evil, and how it needs to be bridled. This verse is not at all talking about God, doctrine, the Gospel, Jesus, etc. not being confusing. The “wisdom” that verse 15 speaks of is the wisdom of “bitter envying and strife” in verse 14. Therefore, the “confusion” that verse 16 talks about, is when a man curses out of one side of his mouth and blesses out of the other (please read the entire passage).


Slides 26, 27, 28: I too went to the official Assemblies of God website and checked it out. Although I disagree with their statement on the Baptism of The Holy Spirit, and speaking in tongues, I will say that their statements on a Triune God and how you come to know Him are correct. Now, it is interesting that the creator of this video used a quote from Augustine that was used on the Assemblies of God website. Before I address the quote, it really does not matter to me what Augustine said, as this creator still has yet to use a verse to back up his point. I want to see supporting scripture, not a quote from hundreds of years ago. I could not find this quote on the Assemblies of God website, and I have no idea what the context of the quote is. I have seen many times before when Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have tried to use quotes from early church fathers taken way out of context to try and disprove the Triune God of the Bible. Now, in response to Augustine’s quote, assuming this is exactly what he said, notice he never mentions “confusion,” as the creator tries to imply. He does say that, “anyone” who “tries to understand” the “Trinity” is “in danger of losing his mind.” Again, without understanding the context of this quote, it’s really hard to try and dissect it. I will, however, say that it is impossible for us to fully understand God (Isaiah 55:8, 9). If we could fully understand God, then we would be equal to Him. This still does not disprove the Triune God of the Bible. Slide 28 even says that, “this is not fully explained in Scripture.” Again, I believe I am showing that it is, and this creator has once again failed to show how it is not, or even show me who the God of Mormonism is!

Slides 29: The verse in this slide is Matthew 15:9, as follows:

“But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.”

Once again, this verse is taken completely out of context. Yes, Esaias did prophesy that people would worship him in vain and follow the “commandments of men’ (Matthew 15:7-9); however, if you again were to sit down and read the entire passage, you would see that Esaias was speaking of, and Christ was speaking directly to the Pharisees, who, as you know and would agree, set up their own set of rules and laws to follow, separate from the what God had established. The whole point of this passage, is that Christ was saying that our outward appearance and actions don’t matter in the eyes of God. It’s what is in your heart that counts (Please read the entire chapter of Matthew 15). That being said, I do completely agree that we shouldn’t follow the commandments and doctrines of man (such as the Pharisaical laws). I could ask you the same question though. Are the teachings of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith from God, or are they from a man? I believe I am showing you that there is no Scriptural evidence to say they are from God!


Slides 30, 31: I’m not really sure how, “The Trinity Doctrine is preventing you from knowing who Jesus’ Father Jehovah is.” The creator uses John 8:54, 55, which states:

“Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.”

I am so glad that these verses were used to try and prove this point. I know I am starting to sound like a broken record, but context, context, context! John chapter 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible! Please take the time to read the entire chapter. The context of this chapter is Jesus explaining how to know the Father! This passage not only disproves that the “Trinity Doctrine” prevents you “from knowing who Jesus’ Father Jehovah” is, but also blows the God of Mormonism right out of the water. Please pay special attention to the following verses, John 8:24, 28, and 58. The creator of this video claims that, “Jesus taught us exactly who he was, in the simplest of terms.” So, please, let’s do it! If you were to look up verses 24, 28, and 58 in the original Greek, Jesus claims that he is “ego aimi,” which literally means “I Am.” If you look at Exodus chapter 3, when God appears to Moses in the burning bush, and Moses’ question to God was, “whom shall I say sent me (Exodus 3:13)?” In verse 14, God replies to Moses by saying, tell them, “I AM hath sent me unto you.” Does this sound familiar? In the Greek Septuagint, it is the same words, “ego aimi,” “I AM.” Therefore, in John 8, Jesus is not only saying how to know his father, He is making a direct claim to be God! That to me, is, “the simplest of terms!” And as a side note, the word for God in Exodus 3:14 is not Jehovah, but Elohim. Also, if you look at the end of John 8 (verse 29), the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus, but he disappears. In John chapter 9, Jesus heals the blind man, and then in John chapter 10, He talks about being the sheep gate. In verse 31, the Jews again pick up stones to stone Jesus. In verse 32 He asks them, “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” And there response in verse 33 is, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” One way in Old Testament Law to be stoned on the spot, is to claim to be God. The Jews tried to stone Christ, because he claimed to be God. Again, “simplest of terms!” I again, ask you to earnestly research what I am saying. You will not be able to find a Biblical answer to counter it.


Slide 32: This slide is very deceiving because it is not clearly stating what the Bible says. We must understand who God is, absolutely! The problem, is that the Bible doesn’t just talk about “Jehovah God.” The Greek word for “God” is “Theos,” and can be translated as either “Jehovah” or “Elohim.” When it is translated as, “Elohim,” it refers to His power and preeminence. When it is translated as “Jehovah,” it is referring to His unoriginated, immutable, eternal, and self-sustained existence. I find it interesting that this slide is trying to prove “Jehovah God” when Mormons don’t believe that God was eternally God, or that he had an origin!

And again, the creator mentions that Christ and God are “ONE IN PURPOSE.” Where does it say that?


Slide 33: So this video ends on John 17:3, which says:

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Amen to that! I love that it ends on this verse! The question again, becomes, who is, “the only true God, and Jesus Christ?” If you can just bear with me for one more quick Greek lesson; the word for “God” here is again, “Theos.” Interestingly enough, it is the same word used for “God” in Mathew 1:23, when it is talking about Christ and it says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Jesus is God! They called him “Emmanuel,” “Theos with us!” Please see this!


Well, I believe I have rambled on enough about this. Again, I beg of you to please research everything I have brought up on your own! I have just spent almost 6 hours responding to this video, not because I want to try and prove you wrong, but because I believe your sincere earnestness is misguided; and I dearly want to see you come to saving knowledge of the one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Please get back to me when you can. I know it will take awhile to respond to this. I also ask that you please respond to each point I have brought up with research and not just another video. Please feel free to call me anytime you want as well. I can be reached on my cell at 219-746-1746. I am earnestly praying for you.

In the name of Christ,


Luke Pierson


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Latter Day Saints Investigation: Atlanta

As I mentioned, I have been dialoguing with a very nice young Mormon lady from Atlanta. I have decided to start blogging about our continued conversation, with the hopes of encouraging Christians, and showing Mormons the True God of the Bible. As you have noticed already, I have "borrowed" the CSI: Miami theme to chronicle this dialogue. If you can follow my logic, I will entitle this first "episode," LDSI: atlanta, Episode 1, Chapter 1, Scene 1. In order to hide this young lady's identity, I will simply call her "Josephine." Again, if you have any questions at all, please email me at luke@defendthefaith.org. This is her initial email to me, and my first response. And just for the record, I will not edit any of the conversation, unless there is something vulgar. There will be much more to come................



So you are against Catholics even though you accept the "trinity" which was created by them? This concept did not originate within the Bible....


Josephine,

Just curious, but have you spoken with Jeff Durbin yet? I know he was expecting a phone call from you. Also, I saw some of the comments on your page from some Christians who appeared to be tasteless and hateful. I apologize for them on behalf of other Christians. Rest assured you will not receive that sort of spirit from Apologia Christian Ministries.

One more thing before I respond to your comment, you will notice that I have blocked all comments on my page, not because you, but because it is Apologia policy that we do so. I thought I had done that already, but obviously forgot to. That being said, I found nothing offensive with your comment, but as Jeff has already explained, we will have to communicate either through private messages or phone calls.

Now, in response to your comment, it is true that Christians believe in the same triune Godhead as Catholics, different from the God(s) of Mormonism. However, we disagree with Catholicism in that they teach a system of faith plus works for salvation, much like the LDS Church does. The problem I have with your comment, is that Catholics absolutely did not start the "Trinity" doctrine, and is has in fact absolutely been around since the time of Christ. I would strongly encourage you to look into the history of the church through sources not from the LDS Church. Unfortunately, what you are being told about the doctrine of the "Trinity," is full of half truths and lies. I saw your comment on your page about the Catholic who couldn't fully describe the "Trinity." Frankly it doesn't really matter if he could or couldn't, because he did not come up with the idea. Also, I'm sure you will want to bring up the Council of Nicea, which is fine. I know you are taught that in AD 325, Christians came up with the "Trinity" at the Council of Nicea, when in fact that is not at all the case (again, you should really look into this). The Christians at that council gathered to define what was already being taught about the relationship of God and Jesus, and to destroy a false view of God, being taught by Arius, much like what is being taught by Mormons, that is that Jesus was not God in the flesh, but a created being. If you dig deep enough, you will also find historical proof of many early church fathers teaching on the Triune Godhead. You will even be able to find early Non-Christian historians talking about the early church fathers preaching a Triune God.

I'm sure you will want to tell me that the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible, which is also fine. The word "Bible" is also not in the Bible, and I could also say the same for many LDS doctrines, but it really doesn't matter to the legitimacy of the Doctrine. Besides, there are plenty of Scriptural references that back up the Triune Godhead (i.e., John 1:1, John 1:14, John 8:24, John 8:58, Colossians 2:9, just to name a few).

You also might find this interesting, because I am sure you are not taught this either, but if you search hard enough you will learn that when Joseph Smith Jr. started the LDS church, he also believed in a Triune God. He only changed his mind later and began teaching something different.

Please take the time to really research the point I have brought up and not just dismiss them as "Anti-Mormon," because that is what you are told to do. I would love to dialogue more about this.

Sincerely,

Luke Pierson

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Purpose of My Blog

No, this is not me riding in the taxi, but it could be my younger brother. I'd have to see his face to know for sure! For those of you who may not know who I am, my name is Luke Pierson and I am Vice President of Apologia Christian Ministries, based out of Chandler, AZ. I have entitled this blog "Ministry Bear" because I am often referred to, and even introduced occasionally by the President of Apologia, Jeff Durbin, as the "Ministry Bear." I'm not really sure why, but it could be because at times I may resemble a big scary grizzly bear, or other times a big snugly teddy bear...........I'll let you make the call!

I really have one purpose in doing this blog, and that is to "chronicle" daily events in my life, and how I try to respond to them in a Christlike manner. I want this to be a little more personal and "in-depth" that the official Apologia Blog. As you can see, I have hidden all comments, and there is a very good reason for that, which I will explain later. However, if you want to ask me anything about my blog, please feel free to email me at
luke@defendthefaith.org.

I have been dialoguing with a young Mormon lady from Atlanta the past week or so, and will soon be blogging about that. I hope and pray that my blog can be a blessing and encouragement to you!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Is Mormonism Christian?" Event Pictures

For those of you who were unable to attend this event, here is a picture of Jeff and I!