Mormon distributor “Deseret Book” now selling Joel Osteen’s “Become a Better You.”

joseph-smith.jpgjoel-osteen-pic.jpg

How bad can Joel Osteen’s watered-down, candy-coated, version of the gospel be? So bad that it’s being sold to Mormons by Mormons!

Joel Osteen’s “gospel” is so far from biblical orthodox Christianity that the Mormon distributor Deseret Books feels Become a Better You is safe enough to sell to Mormons.

Congratulations Joel: You have successfully perverted the gospel so much that it’s now palatable to Mormons.

Here’s the link.


57 thoughts on “Mormon distributor “Deseret Book” now selling Joel Osteen’s “Become a Better You.”

  1. If this happened to John MacArthur you would be furious, right?

    Why are you so happy that it happens to Joel Osteen?

    He has no control over who reads his books and who buys them.

  2. Once again, Joel Osteen’s utter failure to uphold Christian truth in an age of apostacy only further supports what is all too clear about his teaching: it is spiritually bankrupt.

    Here is a link to articles our ministry has created on Osteen’s heretical compromise that is anointed as “Christianity” today.

    http://www.spiritwatch.org/behindsmile.htm

  3. Actually, if it happened to John MacArthur we wouldn’t be furious. We would first off, be surprised, but secondly, we would be very happy because we then would know that the mormons would finally have the truth shown to them (since their view of the bible is one fillled with errors). Joel Osteen is so far removed from what a Bible-believing Christian should look like, but more importantly, what a Bible-preaching man should sound like!

  4. coldfire,

    I wouldn’t say we are “happy” about Osteen’s book being sold by Mormons. It’s actually quite sad. Sad in that the Mormons, who desparately need to know the TRUE God, are being spoon-fed a bunch of feel-good nonsense by one of the most biblically illiterate “pastors” in this country. And before you ask “If he’s so bad, why do so many people listen to him.” It’s for that very reason that he IS so popular–he tells people what they WANT to hear, not the truth (which they NEED to hear). Besides, Osteen has said in an interview with Larry King that he and Mormon Mitt Romney believe in the same Jesus. Enough reason for this move by Deseret Book.

  5. Coldfire,

    Brian Culver and Fourpointer stole my thunder! :o)

    1). John MacArthur would never be sold by Deseret Book (singular).
    2). Where did you get the impression that I was “happy” about this?
    3). I would be glad if MacArthur’s books were sold to Mormons. They would finally get to hear the truth. Same if they sold books by John Piper, J C Ryle, C H Spurgeon, K P Yohannan, etc.

  6. mike says:

    Its a freakin’ bookstore people, do you have a problem selling “christian” books at Borders, after all its an agnostic store that sells to agnostics? You folks are so stuck up about your privately held beliefs that I can’t help but see the reincarnation of the Sadducees and Pharisees in your form of “christianity”

  7. Mike,
    Way to exhibit that “Christian spirit”…

    I guess you don’t get the significance…I’ll explain it.

    Joel Osteen’s “gospel” bears no resemblance to the actual gospel that we love so dearly…that’s why this is news…he is now preaching that false gospel to a group of people that desperately need the actual gospel.

    Clear enough? :)

  8. Robert hits the nail on its proverbial head. Earlier it was asked if we’d be objecting if MacArthur’s books were sold at Deseret and it was correctly pointed out that they wouldn’t be.

    This is because MacArthur preaches the real Jesus and the real Gospel, the Mormon Church preaches in another spirit, about another Jesus and a different gospel (see-2 Cor. 11:4; Gal 1:6-9).

    Joel Osteen has just said on national TV that Mormons are trusting the same Jesus he is. Well, here’s the what the LDS Church actually teaches about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the only Savior there is: Mormon Church: Jesus Literally God’s Child

    If that’s the Jesus Osteen belives in then he isn’t even saved himself. To paraphrase a famous saying: “Lakewood, we have have a problem.”

  9. Mike,

    No, we wouldn’t be upset about MacArthur’s books being sold at Border’s, either. Border’s sells all kinds of books–atheist, agnostic, Christian, Hindu, history, cookbooks, self-help, etc. Their target audience is everybody.

    Deseret Book, on the other hand, sells ONLY materials that are approved by the LDS Authority. Their target audience is Mormons. The only people who would be interested in perusing Deseret Book would be Mormons (or people investigating Mormonism). I would look for a book like “Miracle of Forgiveness” (written by then-LDS president Spencer Kimball), because that was written by a Mormon, and for Mormons. I would not go to Deseret looking for a book like “The God Delusion,” because they would probably not carry it.

    As for the perpetual claim that we who point out the truth are “Pharisees”: Well, that’s an accusation we’ve come to live with. Like “heresy hunters” or “God police” or some other such nonsense.

  10. Don’t know who this “ecothearcy” is, but he seems to be a spammer. He left a comment on one of the posts at my blog (I forget which one), with a link to some whacky YouTube Video about some–I don’t know–Western Christian world-domination thing-a-ma-doodle. Don’t bother with the video he linked above. It’s just more of the same.

  11. I got the same feeling too. He’s left the same comment on several posts on RN. If he continues to do so I will begin to put a stop to it. I hate to do that, but some people tend abuse things.

  12. The Book of Mormon calls the believers in Christ Christian at a time before His virgin birth. The purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince the reader that Jesus is the Christ. His role as the creator of the world and as our resurrected Savior is fully supported. That He prayed to his Father is illustrative of His teaching us how to pray. When in his earthly ministry He taught us to pray, “Our Father … in heaven. He also prayed that we may be one, as He and the Father were one.

    As a member of His church, I desire to be like Him, not just to worship and be saved by Him.

  13. It isn’t difficult to see why the term “Christian” is in the BoM, since that term had been in use for about 1,827 years before it was written. You need to remember one thing–the BOM was a made up work of Joseph Smith’s imagination, not an “ancient book” written before and near the time when Christ walked the earth. So any “prophecies” about Christ do not come from a pre-Christ perspective, but a post-Christ perspective.

  14. Joseph Smith made the same mistake when he wrote the Book of Mormon with the word “Bible” found in 2 Nephi 29:10-12.

    “Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words:”

    The use of the word “Bible” was a big mistake for Joseph to make. This verse was supposedly written between 559 and 545 BC, however, the word “Bible” hadn’t been created yet. Furthermore, you never once find it used in all of Scripture, even by those in the New Testament. So when Joseph Smith made up his B of M he overlooked the fact that the word “Bible” didn’t even exist at the supposed time that 2 Nephi was written.

    Now would some Mormon please explain to me why people living 500 years before Christ in the America’s were speaking King James English as recorded in the B of M?

  15. Jorello says:

    Abraham, Moses, and Isaiah didnt speak King James English either, nor did they speak Greek or Latin from which the King James version was translated from by scholarly men (possibly even inspired scholarly men). Which only goes to show that you are a monkey – what a revelation! If God wants an ancient text/scripture translated into a modern language for his modern people – he can and will take greek, hebrew, reformed egyptian, adamaic, aramaic, etc. and translate it through revelation and inspiration into modern terms that the target audience/his children will understand. Noone ever called the Savior, “Jesus” while he was alive because its an English translation of his name, nor were his followers called “Christians” (again, an english word that means – “follower of Jesus”) Get a brain, pilgrim!

  16. Problem is, there’s no such language as “Reformed Egyptian.” I could go into the Anthon Transcript, or the fact that the Book of Abraham was found to be a fraud by linguists and Egyptologists (It had nothing to do with Abraham, it was an Egyptian embalming manual), the Kinderhook Plates, the fact that Joseph had a panic attack when Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages, the near-4000 changes to the BOM……..

  17. Sphinx says:

    Fourpointer, no offense, but you didn’t address Jorello’s comment. Instead, you jumped to another one you are more comfortable with. It appears to be a valid point – if you are translating a document and you encounter a word that has no exact corollary in recipient language (my favorite example in Spanish is animo), you either create a new word (like the KJ translators did with “atonement”), or you use the next best thing – a close synonym. I have a hard time believing Mormon story, but I do insist on logical discussion without ad hominem attacks.

  18. Actually, I did address his comment. He said, “he can and will take greek, hebrew, reformed egyptian…” I was simply pointing out that the first time anybody wrote in “Reformed Egyptian” was about 1827 in a little town in Upstate New York. Therefore, Joseph could say that there was a word in there for “Bible”, and no one could ever say otherwise, since no one else has ever seen the plates. Because of this (among other reasons), his believability is shredded, since there is no way they can prove anything about the BOM, and there is no way of comparing the “translation” with the original.

    I think what Pilgrim was getting at was the fact that Joseph plagiarized so much of the BOM straight from the King James version of Isaiah. Besides, the word “Bible” had been in use for quite some time when Joseph wrote the BOM. The fact that he used the word “Bible” is a clear testament to the fact that he made the whole thing up. Furthermore, how hard would it have been to come up with a word meaning “a collection of ancient writings”? If the man speaking in 2 Nephi were an actual Hebrew, he would have referred to “scrolls” or “books” (see the many times in 1-2 Kings the writer says, “are they not written in the book…”) Point of fact, the Hebrews did not call their collection of OT scrolls/books a “Bible”, but “Tanakh” (the entire collection of 39 OT books), or “Torah” (First 5 books).

    The Jews at the time that 2 Nephi was supposedly written would not have any idea what a “Bible” was. It would be like telling them about a motorcycle. However, those living at the time when the BOM was written (as well as the generations which would follow) would know what a Tanakh, Torah, Pentateuch, etc were. Fact is, there is no Hebrew word that translates “Bible.”

    As for Reformed Egyptian: I guess we’ll never know if it does have a word for “Bible”, since the only place it’s ever been used was on those golden plates that good ol’ Moroni made off with.

  19. It’s quite interesting to hear the uninformed banter of those who know just enough to be dangerous (Pilgrim, fourpointer). Any academically sound look at the Book of Mormon acknowledges that of a certainty the book is no mere trifle and that it holds its own against educated scrutiny. The arguments against the book here are simple regurgitations of anti-Mormon rhetoric that has floated around for decades. One does not have to agree with the doctrinal dissertations of the Book of Mormon, but to dismiss it as merely a religious rambling of sorts is intellectual folly, and displays classic popular culture ignorance.

  20. Jorello says:

    The King James version of the Bible has been translated and edited 100’s of times – does that make it not correct (possibly- not likely). This begs the question – is God happy with the Bible and/or the Book of Mormon? If only we had a prophet like Moses or Abraham or Isaiah to clarify what really is God’s word and what is it that he wants us to do in these clearly turbulent times. Man, wouldnt that be nice. The only problem with that is – would most of his children accept that prophet or would they give him a similar reception as Christ and his disciples were given 2000 years ago? The answer is fairly obvious considering most modern day “intellectuals” rely on their “intellect” versus the fruits of the Spirit. The “intellect” and learning of men of the pharisees and saducees was what kept them from accepting Christ and his teachings . . . . BTW fourpointer – you didnt address my point – when Melchezidek spoke or wrote the word for God in his language (whatever that was) what did he say or write at that time? We dont know, yet we know who he was and have invented the English word “Melchizedek” – wierd, huh?

  21. Christos says:

    There were only four editions after the 1611 KJV not 100’s as you say and they were to correct printing/spelling errors.The english language as we know it was still evolving.

    To use your words “get a brain you monkey”.
    Have a nice day.

  22. Christos says:

    I apologize for using your words back at you,I should have just said you’re ignorant and left it at that.

  23. Sphinx says:

    I initially read Jorello’s “100’s of times” as hyperbole, Christos, but if you are talking about the actual component books of the Bible (not just the King James version) that were transcribed over the centuries, not to mention Tyndale’s, Wycliffe’s, and Geneva’s attempts, the hundreds could be thousands.

    I think that’s something not many people are comfortable talking about, but I would give everything to be a fly on the wall of the Hampton Court conference. About 75 years after Luther’s theses, a good king decides to convene the bright scholars of the land to compile an authoritative collection of God’s word. The scholars were given the task of what to include and what to exclude. They were given the tremendous responsibility of translating the word of God, as it was handed down to them through multiple languages and sources. And I think they did well. But what were their sources? Wikipedia has a nice article on the history, which you may read at your leisure. I will just quote two points of interest. The Bible “was translated primarily from Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts, although with secondary reference both to the Latin Vulgate, and to more recent scholarly Latin versions.” And, although King James had given instruction to the translators to be as asceptic as possible, “the translators provided no marginal interpretation of the text; but in some 8,500 places a marginal note offers an alternative English wording.” Of course, since the 1950’s, everyone and their brother has sought to create their own translation of the Bible. The NIV seems to be a fair translation, but I like to stick with the KJV.

    So, maybe Jorello has a point. Who or what are we to trust? How am I to know that the texts used by the King James scholars were accurate? Or complete? Occasionally, scholars find transcripts in caves that confirm few changes have taken place, but the Dead Sea texts, among others, show that there have been changes everywhere except maybe parts of Isaiah (they couldn’t understand him, so why change his words?). Who made the changes? And why? I want originals!

  24. Sphinx,

    I understand why you would “want originals!” I–and every other Christian–would love to see the original manuscripts from John, Isaiah, etc. Thing is, we do have textual evidence and manuscripts that attest to what was originally written. We do not have that same luxury with the BOM. It was supposedly “translated” from gold plates that no one has ever seen, save Joseph Smith. These plates were then “taken to heaven” by “Moroni.” So we have no idea what was on them to begin with; we have nothing to compare to the words in the BOM

    While you do make a decent argument about the KJV, there is one important distinction that needs to be made, as far as changes to texts, etc. Joseph Smith said, ” . . . the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.194.) Yet nearly 4,000 changes were made in 1837. Many of these changes were not just for clarity, but to make it line up with Joseph’s changing theology. For example the 1830 version, 1 Nephi 3, p. 25 (chapters and verses had not been divided yet) read “And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even the Eternal Father!” However, the 1837 version read, “And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” This is just one of many.

    The point I’m making here is this: Yes, biblical scribes have made errors here and there. But according to scholars, these wre not errors that pertained to doctrine. By the same token, if God Himself showed Joseph Smith, word for word, what to write down (while the plates were always hidden away somewhere), why would these changes need to be made? And why the changes about the Lamb being “even the eternal God”? Why would any changes need to be made at all?

  25. I’m not sure if Brian Culver, pastor and bookwriter extraordinaire, was referencing me as his “mormon friend”, and I’m not sure how he came to the conclusion that a non-denominational deist is a “mormon friend”, but I generally have difficulty accepting at face value the arguments of a disgruntled employee/member/patron. Hmm … which do I take more seriously: legitimate historians and scholars, such as Jan Shipps (practicing Methodist); the LDS church itself; or a disgruntled former Mormon who is now making a living out of bashing not only Mormons, but any other person/group who doesn’t share his dogmatic beliefs? (I’ll take them in that order, please.) Anyone who makes an emotional tirade, either for or against, is last on the list of credibility. Certainly there are many legitimate points to be made against Mormonism, (none of which have been made here by the semi-literate). But the Mormons may have the ace in the pocket, which trumps all other pedantic arguments: if God did in former times speak to his people through the likes of Moses and Paul, why not a prophet today? And if so, and was truly God’s spokesman, would he not supercede all previous declarations?

    The arguments made against current prophets use the same scripture in Revelation, although Deuteronomy makes the same point many centuries prior. No one has answered the question of prophets, and yet so many across nearly all faiths call themselves as “prophets”, violating the Christian tenet in Paul puts forward to the Hebrews (chapter 5), that no man calls himself, but is called of God, in the same manner as Moses and his spokesman, Aaron. Jesus did not call himself to be high priest, but was called directly by God. Jesus’ disciples did not call themselves, but were called by him. Paul went about destroying the early Christians before his conversion and calling to the ministry by Jesus himself. In each case, God or Jesus spoke directly to the prophets, who did not take upon themselves the title (except Aaron, who was called by the prophet Moses).

    Jesus himself dealt with self-made intellectuals who argued that he did things contrary to “scriptures” on many occasions: the Sabbath, forgiveness, and generally doing good and associating with sinners. The intellectuals could not stand that Jesus took away all their beloved rules – he was, in reality, changing the “rules” of the game at halftime. (Their anger in “righteousness” even impelled them to kill the rule-breaking Jesus). The same issue seems to be at work against Mormons, who claim living prophets, and are, in effect, changing the “rules” of the game.

    This “untouchable” view of the Bible that has surfaced over the centuries is irrational at best. The book is simply a collection of writings about or by prophets. To think that it stands in its pure form over centuries of transcription and translation from language to language is inane. The only way to “know” for sure is to speak to God himself. An intellectual investigation can certainly help, as long as personal biases are left aside. As far as my own credibility, I prefer logic and reason (although Kant issues a nice treatise about the danger of reason alone). But at some point faith is required – at the very simplest, you believe that the sun will rise tomorrow. (As Paul said, the foolishness of God is wiser than men.) I will say, however, that I have at the very least actually READ all the books in question, and I don’t rely on others to tell me what they say and mean.

  26. Geesh. It’s hard to see all the mirrors in here due to all the smoke.

    Manjar has shown his true colors. Anytime anyone throws out the reliability of the doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g. the Scriptures) as “just a collection . . .” of whatever, (fill in the blank), error ALWAYS follows.

    Furthermore, Manjar wrote: “It’s quite interesting to hear the uninformed banter of those who know just enough to be dangerous (Pilgrim, fourpointer). Any academically sound look at the Book of Mormon acknowledges that of a certainty the book is no mere trifle and that it holds its own against educated scrutiny. The arguments against the book here are simple regurgitations of anti-Mormon rhetoric that has floated around for decades.”

    Oh, if I only had a Nickel for every time I heard a Mormon (and those who deny to be Mormon but cling to adamantly defending the false religion) say those who challenge LDS are “uninformed” and “regurgitating anti-Mormon rhetoric” I’d actually be making a decent income. However, I make no income off showing people the error of Mormonism, (and they just cannot accept that we warn them out of love).

    The arguments you say that keep getting regurgitated are arguments that LDS cannot answer because LDS is in error. Just because you’ve heard the argument for say, the last 20 years, doesn’t mean that now it becomes true? There’s no statue of limitations on truth and error.

    * When the Book of Mormon came out listing words that were not in existence at the time that it was supposed to have been written, that is an error that does not change with time.

    * When Joseph Smith claims to have been able to read Reformed Egyptian which today has been proven to be a language that never existed (except in his mind), that is an error that does not change with time.

    * When the Book of Mormon lists materials in the America’s (e.g. glass, metals, tools, etc.) long before they were actually ever introduced, that is an error that does not change with time.

    * When the book of Mormon lists crops in the America’s long before they were ever actually here, that is an error that does not change with time.

    * When the Book of Mormon lists animals in the America’s long before they were ever brought here, that is an error that does not change with time.

    * When the Book of Mormon lists two great battles in which 100’s of thousands of men died on a little hill in New York, yet to this day not one shred of evidence can be presented by LDS to support that (the surviving soldiers did a good job at cleaning up) that is an error that does not change with time.

    * When the Book of Mormon claims that Indians are descendants of Jews yet DNA evidence proves this is a lie, that is an error that does not change with time.

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for an LDS map of all those places in the Book of Mormon. Why don’t they make one? Because these places never existed outside of Joseph Smith’s imagination. This too is an error that does not change with time.

    You see, the Book of Mormon is absolute fiction. The only people that still lend it any credibility are Mormons and those who claim they are not Mormons but really are.

    You can sling all the insults you want and twist and bend the facts like an acrobatic contortionist to try to make it all fit your religious indoctrination. In the end, however, it is still a false religion created by a false prophet leading millions to Hell.

    Your argument that Brian Culver is an ex-Mormon so therefore he must have nothing of value to say on this topic is not only a very silly thing to say, but also very dishonest. Unless of course, you can use special powers to know his heart.

    I’m sure if a Christian became a Mormon and had challenges to Christianity the Mormon view on this would change overnight (like many of their doctrines)!

    And finally, Mormons love to attack the person rather than deal with the issues. They are experts at attacking one second then playing the victim the next. This is a very popular pro-LDS anti-Christian approach. Here’s how the argument goes:

    If you’ve been saved from Mormonism by the grace of God and have a heart to share the truth with those still trapped in the cult, you’re labeled a disgruntled ex-Mormon, so don’t listen to that person.

    If you’ve never been a Mormon but love them enough to have studied their teachings for years and desire to share the truth with them, you’re labeled an ignorant anti-Mormon who just doesn’t understand them, so don’t listen to that person.

    So as you can see, they stack the deck so that no one can challenge them. A very good tactic, but an unnecessary tactic if you truly had the truth.

  27. Manjar,

    Despite your many words, you have not made a very rational argument for the validity of the Book of Mormon. All you have done is try and undermine the very Bible you claim to follow, even though you can’t be sure it’s trustable, which would lead one to believe you are of the McClaren/Paggitt/Rob Bell school of Emergent/Postmodern thought. If so, then any attempts to try and persuade you with logic and reason (and the Bible) would be fruitless, and a wate of time. (Especially funny is your quip about Brian Culver “making a living out of bashing Mormons,” which statement is quite laughable, since Brian doesn’t make a penny off of his blog.)

    It would also be a waste of time to show you the failed prophecies of Mormon prophets, the occultic practices of Joseph Smith, or inform you about Brigham Young’s role as the mastermind of the slaughter of 120 innocent travellers at Mountain Meadows (yet they named a university after him. Yeah, “Go Cougs!”). I won’t show you the almost 4,000 changes that have been made to “the most correct book of any on Earth…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194)–a book that was dictated to the modern-day prophet by God Himself (allegedly), and who wrote it down perfectly (allegedly).

    You say that no valid arguments have been made against Mormonism by us “semi-literate” folks. Oh dear, we seem to have been blessed by the presence of such a learned and scholarly fellow, one who can lead us out of our ignaorance and into unspeakable light! (OK, I stooped to your level. I do hereby repent.) Do help us, O wise one, convince us as to why we should accept this belief system (Mormonism) that preaches a different Jesus (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4) and a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). Oh, there I go again, quoting that silly old Bible again :( .

    I am not, nor have I ever been, a Mormon. I thank God for allowing me to learn the truth early in my walk with Christ. The fact of the matter is, the very reason I can reject Mormonism as a fraud is because I have read the official works of the Mormon church. I have read the BOM, the D&C, the Pearl of Great Price. I have read quotes from the Mormon “prophets”, from the original documents. These works would be laughable if not for the fact they have led so many to Hell. Everything I know about Mormonism I learned from the Mormon church. Perhaps you have some key that can unlock the floodgates of knowledge and wisdom and melt my heart of unbelief.

  28. Sphinx says:

    I originally got on this post because I was kind of freaked out by the Joel Osteen/Mormon connection. The epistemological comments were just for fun. But now I am intrigued. Such passion!

    But passion can be boring with burdensome details that mean little to a follower of Wittgenstein.

    Two questions: is Mormonism the only false church, or do you dedicate time to attacking the claims of other religions (in the Lutherian tradition)? And, is there a true church?

    As you continue to “provide a lifeline” to the damned. you may want to consult the life of Thomas More. Now he was a defender of the faith!

  29. David says:

    I grew up a “saved by grace” evangelical Christian ( i was saved on June 30, 1980). Recently, I’ve had a hard time with my religious roots as I realized that I was carte blanche condemning Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Rastafarians, Buddhists, and any other “not the right type of Christian” believers to Hell. Maybe God is condemning 95% of His children to Hell, but my heart tells me our Holy Father wouldnt do that. Maybe its not the end religion you belong to, but this journey called life and what we do with what we’ve been given (see parable of the talents). I’m not perfect and dont know who is or isnt going to heaven or hell -as far as I can tell there’s one judge and I’m not him and neither is anyone else on earth. Anyway, I keep praying that I will find God’s will and path for me and hope that I as well as all of you do to. In the meanwhile Im just trying to love God and my neighbor and hope thats good enough. Jorello, if there were a prophet on earth today, with todays media, wouldnt we all know about him? I’m looking forward to that day – or the day that Christ comes again to straighten out all this mess.

  30. David says:

    PS – trying to prove that one religion is right over another is an impossible task because relying on mans limited knowledge and learning will not get you very far . . .

  31. David says:

    If you believe you “know” you are saved and that someone else is going to Hell, be very careful in your judgement

  32. Firstly, the same arguments you use to negate the Book of Mormon will negate the Bible: where are the tablets that Moses brought down from the mount? Where are the original writings? How about the slaughter of the Midianites by the order of Moses? (Numbers 31) The archaeological argument would work if the archaeological record were complete. “I can’t see it RIGHT NOW, therefore it is not and never was.”

    Brian Culver DOES make money off of his preaching. See his link to his “home page” which directs the reader to buy his book.

    NOBODY has addressed the interesting point of prophets yet. If you met a living prophet today would you listen?

    Nor has anyone addressed the way many Christians call themselves to the ministry. No precedent for that in the Bible.

    Speaking of Bible, a most interesting “inspired” text is the Song of Solomon. Another intriguing story (not counting the “thou shalt not kill” prophet Moses’ killing of thousands of both Israelites AND heathen) is that of David and Solomon, the prophets who had hundreds (possibly thousands) of wives and concubines.

    Generally speaking, it is unwise to throw rocks in a glass house. Faith is just that: belief on the unseen. Dogmatic pride by any religious adherent implies possession of absolute knowledge, which it appears that God has yet to imbue upon any man or woman.

    To echo Sphinx, do you rant against all religions that vary from you, or is it just the Mormons you damn to hell? Statistics generally show that fewer than half a million are the zealous evangelical type of Christian (the ones appearing here). So explain why a just and merciful God would create a world populated over the millennia with BILLIONS of people and then damn them all to hell for eternity, save a select few evangelical Christians (to hell with the billion Catholics worldwide – they don’t believe in Jesus enough). I can imagine Jesus saying, “You believed in me, alright. But you didn’t believe in me quite the right way. Down you go!?

    If you’re going to convince anyone that adherence to Christianity is the way to go, you’re going to have to come up with some more compelling answers.

  33. Jorello says:

    God’s living prophet today is Gordon B. Hinckley. Read his words and testimony of Jesus Christ and pray to your Father in Heaven and he will tell you whether or not he is a true prophet of God – the same as all prophets throughout time like Moses, Abraham, Jeremiah, etc. God has never changed the way he leads his children – he always calls a prophet to make his will known – and invariably those who are searching for the truth will find his prophets just as there will always be detractors and persecutors.

  34. Dear Manjar, Jorello, and company:

    Besides questioning God’s plan of salvation for mankind (like the above commenter David) you also said, “I can imagine Jesus saying, “You believed in me, alright. But you didn’t believe in me quite the right way. Down you go!?” You certainly made your point that you can’t believe Jesus would say such a thing.

    And there’s your problem. Your theology (or lack of it) is based on your “imagination.” (just like above commenter David’s “heart”). For it is written, Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord Lord,” will enter the kingdom of Heaven. And many will come to Him saying “Lord, Lord” and what will He tell this “many”? Jesus will tell them “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” Read all about this in Matthew 7:21-23. I also recommend you read Matthew 7:13-14. Then if you still have an issue with the “few” entering heaven while the “many” go to hell, then your beef is not with us, but with God. It’s His Word, not ours.

    So the question then comes down to, will I believe a ranting commenter on his imaginations, thoughts, and inner-feelings (or commenter David’s “heart“) or the written, inspired Word of God? I’ll take the latter.

    I find it ironic that those on here trying to pigeon-hole us as hateful and attacking others ALWAYS refuse to address Mormonism’s preemptive, unwarranted attack on Christianity. Until you address that, I have no more to discuss with you on this and ask that you please refrain for your prejudiced and erroneous opinions of who is attacking who. It looks really impressive on your comments, but anyone who knows anything about Mormon history will either figure you to be ignorant of the truth, or purposefully lying.

    We will expose all false teachings (and teachers) as they come. We have a duty to contend for the faith. We have the Scripture as the plumb-line to test all “prophets” and Johny-Come-Lately religious movements. If it doesn’t stand the test of the Scriptures, it is to be discarded as the deception it is. The Bereans were commended for their careful testing of teachings.

    As for “attacking” all these other churches, in reality, we’re defending the faith from all these winds of doctrine that you and others keep blowing in here. You are so concerned about whether or not we have issues with other religions or cults, as if somehow this would make LDS less false.

    Remember, besides attacking Christianity, early Mormon leaders encouraged us to challenge Mormonism and the Book of Mormon.

    Re: Hinckley, what has he prophesied lately? (Seriously, I’m just curious). Has he contributed anything other than his famous “I don’t know if we teach that” routine?

    Regarding whether or not I’d believe a modern-day “prophet,” he would have to stand the test of the Scriptures. If he failed, like the Mormon “prophet” Joseph Smith, then he is to be exposed as the false prophet that he is.

    God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son . . . Hebrews 1:1

    And finally, the comment made about Brian Culver was that he’s supposedly
    making a living out of bashing not only Mormons, but any other person/group who doesn’t share his dogmatic beliefs.Fourpointer said he wasn’t making a living this way. Then you deceptively changed the wording and replied Brian Culver DOES make money off of his preaching.His preaching wasn’t the issue, it was his alleged bashing. The synopsis of his book makes no mention of Mormonism. Clever little change of wording there, Marjar. Very convenient and par for the course.

  35. Esteban C says:

    The Bible has at one point ot another contained many other books such as all the deuterocanonical books (Tobias, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch, the various Maccabees, First Esdras, Second Esdras, Epistle of Jeremiah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, Prayer of Azariah, and Laodiceans) which have fallen in and out of favor with different Christian churches and editors over the last several thousands of years. To look upon the Bible as a never changing “gold standard” of scripture is ludicrous. 100’s or even 1000’s of changes is a severe underestimation of the number of times the bible has undergone changes. A real study of its history reveals that hundreds of thousands of changes have been made through the millenia as the original languages were translated into and from Aramaic, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew among other languages and as the veracity and value of each book which now composes the various versions of the Bible were debated by the religious leaders and scholars of their era. I particularly am fond of the ‘Letter of Paul to the Laodiceans’ which I will quote in its entirety because it is not presently part of the aforementioned “gold standard” for no explainable reason as it centers on the central tenets of Christianity:
    1 Paul, an apostle not of men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, unto the brethren that are at Laodicea.
    2 Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 I give thanks unto Christ in all my prayers, that ye continue in him and persevere in his works, looking for the promise at the day of judgement.
    4 Neither do the vain talkings of some overset you, which creep in, that they may turn you away from the truth of the Gospel which is preached by me.
    5 And now shall God cause that they that are of me shall continue ministering unto the increase of the truth of the Gospel and accomplishing goodness, and the work of salvation, even eternal life.
    6 And now are my bonds seen of all men, which I suffer in Christ, wherein I rejoice and am glad.
    7 And unto me this is for everlasting salvation, which also is brought about by your prayers, and the ministry of the Holy Ghost, whether by life or by death.
    8 For verily to me life is in Christ, and to die is joy.
    9 And unto him (or And also) shall he work his mercy in you that ye may have the same love, and be of one mind.
    10 Therefore, dearly beloved, as ye have heard in my presence so hold fast and work in the fear of God, and it shall be unto you for life eternal.
    11 For it is God that worketh in you.
    12 And do ye without afterthought whatsoever ye do.
    13 And for the rest, dearly beloved, rejoice in Christ, and beware of them that are filthy in lucre.
    14 Let all your petitions be made openly before God, and be ye steadfast in the mind of Christ.
    15 And what things are sound and true and sober and just and to be loved, do ye.
    16 And what ye have heard and received, keep fast in your heart.
    17 And peace shall be unto you.
    18 The saints salute you.
    19 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
    20 And cause this epistle to be read unto them of Colossae, and the epistle of the Colossians to be read unto you.
    A scriptural account of an apostle of the Lord on par with all of the epistles of Paul that is not in the Bible? Could that nullify the veracity of the Bible? You be the judge – or not, as I have witnessed many of you passing judgement in this blog . . . As my brother Matthew said “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

  36. Jorello says:

    Gordon B. Hinckley’s testimony together with the 12 apostles gave their testimonies of Jesus Christ in 2000:

    “As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

    “He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

    “He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

    “We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

    “He rose from the grave to ‘become the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His ‘other sheep’ (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ (Ephesians 1:10).

    “Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: ‘His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

    ” ‘I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father’ (D&C 110:3–4).

    “Of Him the Prophet also declared: ‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

    ” ‘For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

    ” ‘That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God’ (D&C 76:22–24).

    “We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—’built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’ (Ephesians 2:20).

    “We testify that He will someday return to earth. ‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

    “We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles, that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son”

  37. Jorello says:

    Here are a few excerpts of the teachings of Gordon B Hinckley over the last 10 years:

    “I wish I could awaken in the heart of every man, woman, boy, and girl here this morning the great consuming desire to share the gospel with others. If you do that you live better, you try to make your lives more exemplary because you know that those you teach would not believe unless you back up what you say by the goodness of your lives. Nobody can foretell the consequences of that which you do when you teach the gospel to another”

    “There is too much of selfishness. There is too much of worldliness in our homes. We need to get back to the basics of respect one for another and concern one for another, love and appreciation for another, working together, worshiping together, and living together as families who love the Lord and look to Him for light and strength and comfort. Rear our families in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as He instructs us to do.”

    “Do we have a testimony of the God of heaven? You do. I do. God our Eternal Father lives, and what a marvelous thing to know that He lives. He who rules the universe is our Father to whom we may speak as a son speaks to his father. Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah of the New Testament, our King, our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer who gave His life for each of us. And the Holy Ghost bears testimony in our hearts concerning the Father and the Son. That’s my message”

    “We place very strong emphasis on the family. We feel there is no substitute for a family consisting of father and mother and children, with children growing up in a home where there is a loving father and a loving mother to teach them and lead them on their way. We strongly emphasize the sanctity of the family. We have a program under which we spend one evening a week in what we call a family home evening, wherein parents teach their children. We believe great good comes from that. No nation is stronger than its families. If you want to improve the nation, you improve the family. The family is the basic unit of society, and we so regard it”

    “The Lord has said that to those who pay their tithes and offerings, He will open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive them (see Mal. 3:10). What a wonderful thing it is really, when all is said and done, to be living honestly with the Lord in our payment of tithes and offerings. You wouldn’t cheat one another. You shouldn’t cheat the Lord. It does not work. I didn’t make the promise concerning it. He made it, and it is my testimony to you that He keeps His promise”

    “I feel so profoundly grateful in my heart for the blessings of our Heavenly Father. How good and kind and generous and wonderful He has been to us, as His sons and daughters. How thankful we ought to be every day of our lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the God of Heaven and His Beloved Son parted the curtains and opened the work in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, and brought about a restoration of all previous dispensations. All of the great doctrine, all of the great practices of earlier dispensations in this, the greatest of all dispensations. How thankful we ought to be that somehow the Lord in His kindness and goodness and mercy to us has made it possible for us to enjoy these blessings.”

    “Be prayerful. Don’t be ashamed to get on your knees, morning and night, and thank the Lord for His blessings. Pray for His inspiration and direction and help in all that you undertake to do in righteousness”

    “To you parents, you fathers and mothers, rear your children in light and truth. Let your children grow in homes where there is love and peace. Pray with your children. Teach them to be humble. Have your family home evenings. Live the gospel. Be men and women of integrity and faith and honesty and truth, and the Lord will bless you and you will see your children grow up in honor before you with a love and respect for you. The time will come when with gratitude in your hearts you’ll get on your knees and thank the Lord for His marvelous blessings upon you”

    “The Savior said, ‘Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy’ (Matt. 5:7). There is so much of hatred in the world. There is so much of bitterness in the world. There is so much of selfishness in the world. There is so much of arrogance in the world. What a marvelous thing to have in our lives the quality of mercy, of reaching out to others and lifting those with feeble knees who cannot, as it were, stand upon their own feet—to reach out in the spirit of mercy, love, and kindness. This is the very essence of the gospel of the Lord. ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them’ (Matt. 7:12). Oh, how we need the practice of the quality of mercy in our lives”

    “Are we Christians? Of course we are! No one can honestly deny that. We may be somewhat different from the traditional pattern of Christianity. But no one believes more literally in the redemption wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ. No one believes more fundamentally that He was the Son of God, that He died for the sins of mankind, that He rose from the grave, and that He is the living resurrected Son of the living Father.”

    “All of our doctrine, all of our religious practice stems from that one basic doctrinal position: ‘We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.’ This is the first article of our faith, and all else flows therefrom”

    “My great concern, my great interest, is that we preserve for the generations to come those wondrous elements of our society and manner of living that will bequeath to them the strengths and the goodness of which we have been the beneficiaries. But I worry as I see some of the signs of sickness of which I have spoken. I believe that a significant factor in the decay we observe about us comes of a forsaking of the God whom our fathers knew, loved, worshiped, and looked to for strength. There is a plainly discernible secularization that is occurring. Its consequences are a deterioration of family life, a weakening of self-discipline, a scoffing at the thought of accountability unto the Almighty, and an unbecoming arrogance for any people who have been so richly blessed through the goodness of a generous Providence as we have been”
    Recognize pornography for what it is—a vicious brew of slime and sleaze, the partaking of which only leads to misery, degradation, and regret. The Church expects you who have taken upon yourselves the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to walk in the sunlight of virtue and enjoy the strength, the freedom, the lift that come from so doing”

    “I urge you with all the capacity that I have to reach out in a duty that stands beyond the requirements of our everyday lives; that is, to stand strong, even to become a leader in speaking up in behalf of those causes which make our civilization shine and which give comfort and peace to our lives. You can be a leader. You must be a leader, as a member of this Church, in those causes for which this Church stands. Do not let fear overcome your efforts, for as Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear comes not from God but from the evil one. The adversary of all truth would put into your heart a reluctance to make an effort. Cast that fear aside and be valiant in the cause of truth and righteousness and faith. If you now decide that this will become the pattern of your life, you will not have to make that decision again. You will put on the ‘armour of God’ and raise your voice in defense of truth, whatever the circumstances now and in all the years that lie ahead (see Eph. 6:11)”

    “We are trying to preserve the traditional family—father, mother, and children—working together in love toward a common goal. In large measure we are succeeding against great odds. We advocate a family home evening, for instance, one night a week reserved for family activity together. Lessons from the scriptures are taught. Family business is discussed. Vacations are planned. We sing together. We pray together. It works!”

    “Fathers, mothers, you have nothing more precious than the little children to whom you have given life. Take care of them. Teach them. Love them. Rear them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God will hold those accountable who do not do so”

    “Brothers and sisters, tremendous is our responsibility and great and marvelous is our opportunity as sons and daughters of God. Every one of us is a child of God. We know that. Let us never forget that we are children of God at all times and in all circumstances and in all conditions and in all environments in which we might find ourselves and that there is never a time or a season or a circumstance when we can let down on our standards”

    “I hope with all my heart that every man and woman in this great congregation today will develop in your hearts a vital testimony of the living God. I hope that you will cultivate in your hearts a testimony of the divine Son of God, who condescended to come to earth, born under the humblest of circumstances, to become the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Because of His life, and because of His death, each of us is given the opportunity of eternal growth and development and progress. What a blessing we have. I am grateful beyond belief, my brothers and my sisters. Read of His life in the Holy Bible. Read of His life in the Book of Mormon, and seek to follow His commandments. I hope that every man and woman here today has a great feeling in his heart, has a living, vibrant testimony of the truth of this great latter-day work”

    “What does He [the Lord] expect of us as members of this Church? He expects us to be Latter-day Saints. He expects us to be His followers. He expects us to bring into our lives something of a pattern of the life of the Savior, the only perfect man who ever walked the earth, who condescended to come down, to leave His Father, to walk the dusty roads of Palestine and die on the cross in the great act of Atonement which has brought blessings into our lives that could come in no other way—the blessing of salvation, the blessing of the Resurrection, the opportunity of exaltation.”

    “… There is before us a great model of the Redeemer of the world, whose life and precepts and teachings we try to follow. And that will lead to growth and opportunity and exaltation. He has opened the way. And we, His grateful servants, ought to be working at it constantly”

    “Great are the promises of the Lord. The marvelous thing to me is that the Lord never asks us to do anything that He does not attach to it a blessing. It is not a sacrifice to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is never a sacrifice when you get back more than you give. It is an investment. And the living of the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a greater investment than any of which I know because its dividends are eternal and everlasting.”

    “No church in the world speaks up with a stronger witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Redeemer of the World than does this Church which carries His name—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His gospel is the gospel we teach. The spirit of love which He exemplified is the spirit in which we try to work”

    “The Church expects you to be chaste and virtuous. You know what this means. I am satisfied I need not repeat it here. But I do urge you, with all of the capacity of which I am capable, to avoid the corrosive, destructive forces of evil found in pornography. Pornography is the literature of the devil. Shun it. Stay away from it. Lift your sights and your minds to the higher and nobler things of life. Remember, ‘wickedness never was happiness’. Sin never brought happiness. Transgression never brought happiness. Disobedience never brought happiness”

    “We need more faith. More faith in ourselves that we can do what’s expected of us. We may feel terribly inadequate. When the Lord called Moses, Moses said, ‘Don’t call me. I’m a man of slow speech; I can’t do it. Get someone else.’ And what did the Lord say? ‘Who hath made man’s mouth? Now therefore go and do that which I have asked of thee.’ (See Ex. 4:10–12.) … The important thing, the wonderful thing that I see in this Church everywhere I go all over the world, is men and women who are very ordinary, really, by the standards of the world, who are doing marvelous and wonderful things as leaders in this Church. Not of their own strength and capacity, but because the Spirit of the Lord comes into their lives and the Holy Ghost teaches through them. And the Holy Ghost can teach us things that we cannot teach one another. Never forget that”

    “The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only element that will destroy the hatred that exists among people. If they will bring this gospel into their lives and recognize the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man and the effects of the Atonement of Christ, there will be a far greater measure of peace in the world. We will not have peace until that happens more generally. That is why you and I are here, brothers and sisters. That is the objective of our work—to teach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and touch the hearts of people so that they can look upon one another as brothers and sisters, as children of our Father in Heaven”

    “I thank the Lord for the Sabbath day. The Lord’s instruction regarding it comes from the Ten Commandments, but it is reaffirmed in strong and moving language in the modern revelation of this Church. No one has to shop on Sunday. You don’t have to buy butter on Sunday. You don’t have to buy milk on Sunday. You don’t have to buy clothes on Sunday. You don’t have to buy furniture on Sunday. No, of course not! Thank the Lord for the Sabbath day reaffirmed in this dispensation as the day of the Lord, sacred unto Him as it should be sacred unto us.”

    “To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing. It is a commandment. It is the first and great commandment incumbent upon each of us because love of God is the root from which springs all other types of love. Love of God is the root of all virtue, of all goodness, of all strength of character, of all fidelity to do right. … Love the Lord your God, and love His Son, and be ever grateful for their love for us. Whenever other love fades, there will be that shining, transcendent, everlasting love of God for each of us and the love of His Son, who gave His life for each of us.”

    “My plea to you, my urgent plea to you, is to live the gospel. Stand as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who are trying to emulate in your lives the great teachings which He set forth when He walked the earth. None of us will fully reach a stage where we can walk as He walked in this life, but we can work at it. And the more we work at it, the more easily we shall take on the luster of His image in our own lives. Be faithful; be true. Stand by your testimonies. When all is said and done, the most precious thing you have is the gospel of Jesus Christ”

    “I bring to your attention those great words of the Lord to Thomas: ‘Be not faithless, but believing’ [John 20:27]. This is such a marvelous season of your lives. It is a time not only of positive thinking but sometimes of critical thinking. Let me urge you to not let your critical thinking override your faith”

    “We are not an American church. We are not an English church. We are not a Japanese church. We are a world church with a world message and a world program, and our whole course is designed to help people, to lift them, to strengthen them—as has been said frequently, to make bad men good and good men better; to teach peace, the gospel of Christ; to try to exemplify the Golden Rule and a program of helpfulness to those in distress wherever they may be and whatever their circumstances”

    “There is a universal appeal in the gospel of Jesus Christ. … We come from different parts of the world, we come out of a variety of cultures, but we are all sons and daughters of God, and when we listen, when we place ourselves in tune with His Holy Spirit, there is a response within our hearts that is similar, and we feel it. Each of us has felt it in our lives. And regardless of our source or home, we all respond in the same way”

    “The Church is a constant in a world of change. It is an anchor in a world of shifting values. It emphasizes the importance of the family, and all of us have to know that family life is unraveling across the world. We are holding on to the family. We are trying to strengthen the family. We teach family ideals. We have a great program for the development of family solidarity that is satisfying a human need and offers hope to many, many people who are desperately looking for something as fathers and mothers, as they see their children moving in the direction of drugs and other things. Divorce is rampant across the world, and growing. There is need for stability. The family is the basic organization of society. A nation can be no stronger than the strength of its families”

    “We recognize the good in all churches. We recognize the value of religion generally. We say to everyone: live the teachings which you have received from your church. We invite you to come and learn from us, to see if we can add to those teachings and enhance your life and your understanding of things sacred and divine. Now we work with people of other faiths on common causes, many of them across the world. We recognize theological differences. We believe that we can disagree theologically without being disagreeable, and we hope to do so. We have been rather careful about surrendering in any way our doctrinal standards, anything of that kind as part of an ecumenical effort, but we certainly have worked with people, and do work with people, and want to work with other groups in tackling common social problems, things of that kind which are so much in need of attention these days throughout the world”

    “I want to give you my testimony of this work, and I want to say it in such a way that you can remember that I said it. I know this work is true. I know that God our Eternal Father lives. I am thankful for the knowledge that He loves us as His children. I am grateful that I feel in my heart a great love for Him. I know He lives, my Father in Heaven. I can scarcely comprehend the wonder of it all. He who is the Creator and Governor of the universe knows me, knows you, each of you children here today. He knows you, He loves you, He is concerned for you. I know that Jesus is my Redeemer, my Lord, my Savior. I know that. I can’t comprehend the full meaning of the Atonement, but I know that through His sacrifice He has made it possible for you and for me to live eternal lives of growth and knowledge and understanding and work.“

    “If there be any among you who are not having family prayer, let that practice start now, to get on your knees together, if you can possibly do it, every morning and every evening and speak to the Lord and express your thanks, invoke His blessings upon the needy of the earth, and speak to Him concerning your own well-being. I believe that God, our Eternal Father, will hear our prayers, and I urge you to have family prayers. Great blessings will come to your children if you will pray together, calling upon the Lord, expressing your thanks, and presenting before Him the desire of your hearts”

    “There is much of beauty about [the people of the world], but without the root that finds itself in faith and conviction concerning God and the risen Lord, there isn’t much of real substance when it comes to a crisis or a showdown of some kind. Seek for the real things, not the artificial. Seek for the everlasting truths, not the passing whim. Seek for the eternal things of God, not for that which is here today and gone tomorrow. ‘Look to God and live’\, as the scripture enjoins us”

    I challenge you to not find any good in the teachings of the man I call prophet.

  38. Esteban,

    The Bible does indeed contradict the books you mentioned (Esdras, Macabees, Tobiah, etc.) That’s why they’re called “apocryphal” or “deuterocanonical.” The Catholic church includes them in their canon so they can go on believing in purgatory and get their indulgences.

    As far as the “100’s or 1000’s of changes,” many of the most well-studied scholars have examined the Greek texts we have now against the earliest fragments available, and while there are some variations (called “variants”) these are simply transcriptional errors, and none of these variants has any impact on doctrine. And this is a practice that has been taking place throughout the centuries; it’s not something somebody just came up with in the last few years. That said, many of the changes made to the Book of Mormon came about because of changing doctrine, thus Jesus being “even the eternal Father” now reads that Jesus is “even the Son of the eternal Father.” check out this link: http://www.irr.org/mit/changingscrips.html and you can see the changes for yourself.

    As far as the “Letter to the Laodiceans,” this has been declared a forgery for the simple fact that two of the verses contradict the other writings of Paul. For example, verse 7, where it says that his salvation “is brought about by your prayers,” and verse 10, “…work in the fear of God, and it shall be unto you for life eternal.” Our salvation does not depend on someone else’s prayers; it is dependent on the grace of God and faith in Christ. Life eternal is not the result of our works—our works are the result of our eternal life. Clearly, this letter was not written by Paul, and as such should not be included in the canon.

    I won’t even dignify your taking Matthew 7:1 out of context. I’ve had to do it so many times it’s really getting old.

    Manjar,

    If I met a “living prophet” today, would I listen? Well, first I would hearken to the words of the apostle John, to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1st John 4:1) And if that “prophet” tried telling me that God our Father was not always God, but had to learn how to be God and “progress” toward Godhood, and that there are Gods He worships and reveres, then no, I would probably not listen to him.

    We “rail” (to use your word) against blasphemies and false religions because we are commanded to contend for the faith that was delivered to all the saints (Jude 3). We don’t shut the doors of Heaven. We simply show people how to get through them (i.e., we show them the true Christ). And it ain’t through Mormonism.

  39. fivepointer says:

    Fourpointer,
    Do you believe the Reformers were successful in correcting the errors of the Catholic Church? Wycliffe included the apocrypha + the Letter to the Laodiceans in his translation/version of the Bible. The original KJV also included the apocrypha. Luther included a section for the apocrypha in his Bible, although he also doubted the veracity of Hebrews, Epistles to James and Jude and Revelations. The only conclusion I draw is that only God knows what words he spoke to his prophets and that no matter how smart you are ie not relying on faith, but on proof, prayer is the only answer (yes, I am esteban c., but im having fun).

  40. * I do not look to Wycliffe, or Luther, or any man on earth (no matter how well-read they may be) as “authority.” In other words, I do appreciate what these men have done, the contributions they have made, the writings they have left us, and their insights into the Word of God. I am grateful that martin Luther took the actions he did against the Papacy, and that Wycliffe was bold enough to go against Rome and print Bibles in English. However, they did hold some beliefs I disagree with (Luther maintained a belief in infant baptism, Wycliffe was reliant on Jerome’s Vulgate to produce his Bible, thus the inclusion of the Apocrypha). And if even someone like John MacArthur or Paul Washer (two men whom I greatly admire for their stance on biblical truth) says something that contradicts what is written in Scripture, I can disagree with it and still respect the man.

    For example–I am a Calvinist. John and Charles Wesley were fervently Arminian. I disagree with them on some things, such as the subject of election vs. free-will. That said, I will go to my grave defending John Wesley as one of the godliest men who ever lived, and Charles as one of the greatest hymn-writers ever.

    * As far as the KJV translators, King James was the titular head of the Church of England (i.e., Catholicism Lite), thus its inclusion of the Apocrypha.

    * Luther did, for quite a while, tell his mentees to “throw Jimmy in the oven.” However, later in life, he came to repent, and to see James as the other side of the coin in the faith/works scenario. As for his unwillingness to accept those other books you mentioned: that’s up to him. I don’t reject them just because Luther did.

  41. fivepointer says:

    FOURPOINTER! NICE! Seriously, thank you for articulating your personal beliefs . . . (sorry I’m kinda likin my new nick) This goes to the top of my all time best fourpointer posts – without guile, informative, to the point and heartfelt. We may not agree on much, but I do respect you and your beliefs. Very honest! The only bad thing is that it leaves nothing for me to debate (or maybe thats a good thing ;-)). I would shake your hand and mean it if I could. I think thats my biggest hang-up with specific Christian religion(s) – all the differences on little points have to mean something – don’t they? If those little doctrinal differences dont matter, then why the need for so many different sects and denominations. For that matter, if there was a need for a Reformation (which I believe there was), why did the Reformation spawn so many different Christian churches/organizations? It seems as if everyone could see the church was broken, but there were too many ideas on how to fix it with not much of a consensus (who has authority & who doesn’t, infant baptism, baptism by immersion, what is and isnt scripture, which Bible translation is the best, who’s interpretation of each individual scripture is correct, election vs. free will, “end times” interpretations, homosexuality in the church, women’s roles in the church, the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches vs the Conservative Baptist Association of America, landmarkism, salvation with or without baptism, validity of different denominations baptism, what is and isnt a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, etc. etc. ad infinitum) If none of these things really matter, why all the debate, divisiveness and ultimately 1000’s of Christian religions, sects, denominations and churches. That is why I brought up ecumenism sarcastically, because I really dont see that as a good answer either – my problem is I cant really find a good solution period (isnt that one of the purposes of this blog?). I know Jesus is the Christ, Savior of ALL mankind, the ONE way and path to salvation, that he died for me and you and all of us, but as for all the rest, it seems too important just to gloss over all the little points or join myself to an organization that I cant be sure has all the right opinions on all those various “little” points.

  42. Thank you for the compliment. I have learned over the last few months to tone it down a bit when I’m explaining what I believe. I think John MacArthur’s approach is best. If you notice, he never gets agitated, never raises his voice, keeps and even keel no matter how vehement the disagreement.

    Like you, I am a bit perplexed about all the different sects. I guess it’s just a case of imperfect men trying to understand the perfect word of God. Add in a teaspoon of human pride (“No, you’re wrong!”), a pinch of divisiveness (music styles, etc), and you’ve got a recipe for American Church Salad–every flavor you could want in one bowl, and only a bit of cohesiveness.

    I am not advocating Roman Catholicism by any means (In fact I’m preaching a sermon on Matthew 16 this Sunday, and Mary in a couple weeks). But we too often look to other men as our source of authority, instead of the true Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I would encourage you to immerse yourself in the Word. Start with the gospels, then read Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, then 1st Corinthians. By that time, you should have a really good idea of who Jesus is/was/will be, you will understand grace and salvation and how it comes about, and right conduct in the church. I pray the Lord guides you on your journey.

  43. Manjar, where did you go? Perhaps you are on vacation.

    I was genuinely looking forward to your next post. I thought you would respond with a logical, on-point rebuttal (please don’t regress to name calling). Your friends who disagree with you and have addressed your comments, each in turn, with more than sufficient detailed, verifiable, clear responses.

    I am very curious to your entries, and recent lack thereof. Your responses to this well developed conversation (especially as of late), of which I am only an observer, lack any single shred evidence from you as to the plausability of the specific points raised.

    Rather than helping us understatnd, you appear to only be lashing out at the concerns in “attack mode” instead of answering them straight up. Please maintain your dignity and maturity and try not to lose your head. I have made that mistake way too many times.

    I am not bashing Mormonism, simply making an observation. Perhaps you will dismiss my request for a clear response (not reaction) as from an an “ignorant monkey”. Please do not salve you conscience with such an easy road of dismissal. You know that, any or us are not ultimately not satisfied with that road.

    Adios,

    Pedro

    P.S. I would admit that I’m not that attractive, bit I do not resemble a monkey; perhaps another animal. As far as my ignorance, I do not claim to be an expert on anything.

  44. I’m new to your blog, but just wanted to tell you “thank you” for what you’re doing. It’s only been recently (probably the last few months) that I’ve really begun to realize that just because someone puts the label “Christian” on something does not make it so. I really appreciate you having a blog like this where you’re willing to call a spade a spade, even if others will choose to get “offended” by the truth. Joel Osteen is someone, who for the most part, was always talked about favorably by other Christians that I know. When I started to dig deeper though, I realized that Joel Osteen is more of a “self help guru” than a pastor.

  45. Esteban C says:

    I consider myself a fellow pilgrim. While I understand your motives, I am saddened by your change in philosophy for your blog. It is your blog and I respect that only you decide how its run , but I am on a journey looking for truth and I want to hear all sides even if I don’t like them. Thanks anyway for everything.

  46. Dear Esteban:
    Thank you for your comment Esteban (I was wondering where you went). I have chosen to answer your comment here.

    Dear Rhea:
    Thank you for your comments. I too used to thing as long as they slapped the label “Christian” on it, (whatever it was), then by golly, it must be Christian. We are warned time and again to not be deceived for a reason! Jesus said that if possible, even the elect would be deceived. Unfortunately everyone who’s deceived has no clue as to their own deception (or else they wouldn’t be deceived). I hope this blog helps those like yourself (and like me) who God has recently called out of the Laodicean church. There is a growing number of underground of believers that are finally waking up. (Underground because they aren’t even accepted in most of their churches). I am grateful for them and hope that you can be further encouraged and strengthened by what you read here.

  47. Esteban C says:

    Thank you for your response pilgrim, your response echoes my own personal situation. Hopefully we “underground” believers are a likeness of the long ago would be fishers of men and are ready for Christ wherever we may find him, just as many of Christs disciples left their traditional jewish and otherwise religious groups to follow Him. I am still searching for the denomination, if there is one, that resonates with the Word and the Spirit as well as with all I have studied and believe about Christ my Savior. It is for that reason that I was drawn to this blog. I like to debate with all comers as I am firm in what I believe, yet try to put myself in others shoes, even if they are Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Anglican or Mormon. Maybe I will not come closer to finding what it is I am looking for, but I am compelled to continue my own personal search regardless. That is why I am saddened by your decision, because it seems like a door into my search thru the WWW will be closed by your decision. I have faith that even if that is the case, God will continue to guide me because above all I feel He knows me and only wants His children to find His Truth if they are earnestly and faithfully seeking it.

  48. Like me, Rhea has clearly examined what O’Steen says. A serious unfortunate conclusion regarding the largest church in the United States.

    O’Steen’s chief problems are continual errors of omission (i.e., the magnitude and fury of the Cross, the problem of sin, our nature before a Holy and beyod Perfect God). More to the point, what O’Steen does not say in his sermons or books. Not once or twice, but throughout his ministry. He typifies the ever-popular “ego-centric” approach to Christianity and the problem therein; The thought being, What’s in this deal for ME? How can I get a better car, better house, winning lottery ticket numbers?, etc. by using God as my servant.” Think about it…”YOUR best life NOW.” What a joke. Thanks a lot Joel. Without your “”8 secret keys” to happiness, we would all be lost and without hope. Amazing, how does he do it?

    Too bad for the apostles. Had O’Steen written his book in time, perhaps they would have had much better lives and been more fulfilled, and avoided being martyrs for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. Everything written in the Bible is summed up in the final commandment Jesus gave: ‘Love God with all of your heart; and love your neighbor (everyone) as you love yourself.’ Simple: 1. Love God. 2. Love Others…. Easy to say, very hard (at least for me) to do. Too much sacrifice required.

    Since the subject of sin would dampen his positive message, perhaps O’Steen would suggest that the fury unleashed on Christ could have been avoided if we all focused on the positive things. He should be very careful here and dare not minimize the Cross of Christ. I can’t really fathom it, but I does not mean that I should refrain from thinking of and discussing it.

    O’Steen’s followers worry me because a cursory review of scripture would create serious concerns regarding their leader’s base of authority. All of us are responsible for the challenge of knowing God as He is, not who we want or contrive Him to be. Press on.

  49. Curtis Dale says:

    I grew up in the Bible Belt and eventually became a staunch Mormon. I am very pleased with Joel Osteen establishing that he believes Mormons are Christians. Because I am a Mormon and I am a Christian.

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