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Christian - Christ is the only way to salvation

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Aqualung, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Yes, but you also have to accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour, not just hope that grace will save you. It requires you take action (confession and belief).
     
  2. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Blueman,

    Unless you are either Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, you would have to admit that, somewhere along the line, there was an apostasy from the gospel Jesus Christ taught. If the Catholic Church's doctrines, for instance, are the same today as were taught anciently, there would have been no need for the Protestant Reformation.

    Kathryn
     
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  3. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    yeah. I never said that it didn't.

    good point. You either follow the church the Jesus Christ set up when he was here (the catholic church) or you follow the one that he set up after the apostasy (the LDS church). If you're protestant, you are confirming that something needed to be changed, and that there was an apostasy.
     
  4. Jenyar

    Jenyar Member

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    s
    That's only because you don't distinguish between restoring a church and restoring a gospel, as you should.

    For your argument to make sense, you'd have to show that the Bible (i.e. the good news - gospel - of salvation and the literature it inspired) had been affected by this "apostasy" and was restored at the Reformation. But it was only "restored" in the sense that it was returned to the people it was meant for; restored to lay people by making it readily available in a form that didn't depend on priests - the printed book. Without the Reformation, Joseph Smith would have had no King James version to translate from. It was not rewritten, because it didn't need to be. The gospel had been preserved, the church had gone astray.

    Without a preserved gospel, no "apostasy" could have been identified. How would someone know what apostasy was? Similarly, if you hold that the Bible had been corrupted, but you then quote from it to prove your point - besides citing a source you had just declared spurious - you're confirming the same principle: you need a frame of reference to identify false teachings by. That was the apostles' main task, and because of them we have that frame of reference today: the Bible.

    To say that Paul warned of an apostasy but did not give the people any way of identifying such apostasy is absurd, to say the least. Did he foresee a tragedy almost worse in consequence than Adam's sin, and then made a point of avoiding the antidote in his letters? Did the apostles, intent on preserving the gospel by making disciples, neglect to equip them with the proper knowledge? Not many people would believe that early saints like Perpetua died in the persecutions under such complete ignorance of the true gospel that the baptisms they had received and the testimonies they were giving had became insufficient. That's why some Mormons have been forced to speculate that whole books must have been omitted from the Bible, so that what we have left of the testimony of the apostles (the foundations of the church) is so meagre that it needed to be miraculously restored.

    Make a mental note: doctrine is not gospel. Not Orthodox or Catholic or Mormon doctrine is gospel. Doctrine comes down to tradition, ritual, and teachings based on the gospel. But only gospel is gospel. Doctrine gives structure, gospel gives meaning. Israel had all the doctrine to make a magnificent religion, but in all that doctrine, the gospel was overlooked - not just overlooked, crucified at the hands of doctrine.
     
  5. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    For your argument to make sense you would have to disregard the fact that that many people, reading the exact same Bible, can have that many different denominations. Obviously something is missing, or people would interpret it the same.

    Jesus didn't write the Bible - Men did. Jesus didn't decide which books would be in the Bible - Men did.
     
  6. Jenyar

    Jenyar Member

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    That's a terrible argument. People may have different opinions about an exact same sentence, not to mention a book - no matter how complete. There's nothing missing from the work Jesus did, or from the gospels that testify to what He did (there are no less than four of them in the Bible, all witnessing to the the same events), but there is a lot missing from people's adherence to the Bible - or more specifically: people's adherence to God's word.

    No book or law will ever be "complete" enough to automatically prevent people from falling short of its ideals, applying it selectively, or simply disobeying it.

    Besides, if your argument is that the Bible is an insufficient testimony to the complete gospel because people disagree about its application, that would preclude even plain facts from being "sufficient" - even God's own words. When God calls something "complete", it's because it achieves what he intended - not because people agreed about it. People don't interpret something the same just because it's "complete" in some sense. You just have to look at the Mormon church for evidence: it claims to have a "fullness of the gospel" in the Book of Mormon. But is it considered sufficient? No, three other scriptures are necessary to appreciate this "fullness", each adding some doctrines that are not found in the Book of Mormon. That's why Mormon author Neal Maxwell wrote: "Strangely, it is not only the fullness of the gospel that is rejected by some, but the fullness of its attending implications." For Mormons, "fullness" is a flexible term, and therefore so is "completeness". By this ideal of measurement, if we had the Bible's scriptures exactly as they were intended by the original authors, even if there were no apostasy whatsoever, a Mormons would still call it incomplete. And the final proof: with all this completeness, Mormonism has already spawned more denominations than some much older churches (see The Mormon Denominations by Christopher C. Warren).

    That's actually it's strength ("God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong"). Jesus didn't write anything - the time when God wrote on paper or stone tablets was long gone, this time He would write on human hearts. He would appear in the flesh to fleshly people, and give them physical and spiritual proof of the life He wants them to have. Remember what Jesus' message was? "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." How near?
    Romans 10:5-10 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.​
    What men wrote was concerning what Jesus did. Just like faith is dead without actions - no matter how much someone writes or says about it - so our faith and our actions are dead without Christ's actions. And that's the gospel.
     
  7. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    That's because they have no idea how to interpret it. They have no background on what it could mean, and no one telling them, yep, that's right, or no, you got that completely wrong.
    Nope. not much is missing from a record of his life. Yet people still happen to confuse everything. So there's got to be something that is missing.
    Good point.
    It should be complete enough that people can know what they need to do, however.
    I don't disagree with that, though.
     
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