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Freedom of belief?

Discussion in 'Latter-day Saints DIR' started by EverChanging, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Seriously? So today's two billion Christians are supposed to take turns meeting in one another's homes? :rolleyes: That sounds very doable.
     
  2. MJS

    MJS Member

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    There are numerous references to both Christ and his apostles teaching and praying in the temple. Going from house to house sounds like missionary work to me. Meeting in houses does not mean that they did not also go to the temple. Regardless, temples were places used for specific things (such as ordinances), not just to have general meetings at.
     
  3. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    What does it say? What is possible with God is not possible with man.
    And thinking it through - almost everything Jesus asked us to do seems
    impossible to most people. In the end Jesus is simply portrayed as a
    man who loved the kids and His mum - and did everything for us.
     
  4. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    re teaching and praying in the temple.
    For how year did this go on for?
    Was there a Christian service in a Jewish temple?
    Why did God do away with the temple?
    Could these apostles be doing what many others did, showing their respect for a still-standing institution?
    There are intricate instructions in the Old Testament about service in the tabernacle (not temple) so where
    are these for a Christian temple?
    When it says the veil of the temple was torn, top to bottom, what does that signify to you?
    Why did the disciples and Jesus go on so often about God NOT dwelling in earthen temples?
    Why did these same people speak so often about the their own bodies being the temple of God?
    Who changed all this, and why?
     
  5. MJS

    MJS Member

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    Revelation given in Malachi 3. During the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ he will come to the temple:

    "1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

    2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:"


    Acts 2:46 - The disciples were daily in the temple.

    "46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart"

    Paul brought alms to the Jews. Such offerings were traditionally offered in the temple.

    "17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.

    18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult."


    In John’s vision of Jesus Christ, the temple was featured prominently.

    "12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

    "15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."

    "1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein."


    Christian services in the Jewish temple? Yes. The early saints revered the temple and attended the temple for as long as they could, until persecution prevented them.
    Why did God do away with temples? He didn't. Men did.
    Could these apostles be doing what many others did, showing their respect for a still-standing institution? No, it is clear the early saints revered the temple.
    There are intricate instructions in the Old Testament about service in the tabernacle (not temple) so where are these for a Christian temple? Many modern Christians believe in the existence of temples and perform ordinances within today. Restorationist groups, mainly.
    When it says the veil of the temple was torn, top to bottom, what does that signify to you? During the time of Jesus, the temple had two rooms, the holy place and the Holy of Holies. These two rooms were separated by a veil, or curtain. The Holy of Holies was the most sacred room in the ancient temple; it symbolized the presence of God. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest passed through the veil of the temple and entered into the Holy of Holies, where he sprinkled the blood of a sin offering to atone for the sins of all the congregation of Israel. When the veil of the temple was “rent in twain” (torn in two) at the death of Jesus Christ, it was a dramatic symbol that the Savior, the Great High Priest, had passed through the veil of death and would shortly enter into the presence of God. This also was a symbol that all mankind, though the blood of Christ, could partake in the gospel and be saved. The gospel was no longer restricted to Jews.
    Why did the disciples and Jesus go on so often about God NOT dwelling in earthen temples? Paul argued that God is the God of the whole world and can be worshiped at all times and at all places, not only in the temple. An analysis of the Greek text also supports this view, since the term, "made with hands" likely refers to idolatrous worship. In Acts 17 the Apostle Paul was on a missionary trip passing through Athens, and while waiting there finds the city engrossed in idolatry (Acts 17:16). So Paul began his preaching of Christ among the Athenians in the synagogues and in the streets (Acts 17:17). It is here that Paul stood on Mars’ Hill, among idolaters, and said these things. He also said this other times to others in a similar meaning. Earthly, physical temples are not of man, but are of God. God has been the director of the building of these structures, not man.
    Why did these same people speak so often about the their own bodies being the temple of God? Because our bodies house our spirits and we should keep our bodies clean and holy, just as the temple is the house of the Lord where the spirit dwells. The holy spirit also enters into our hearts to teach us truth and bear testimony of Christ, and the spirit cannot dwell in unholy temples.
    Who changed all this, and why? Man changed this because of widespread apostasy after the martyrdom of the early saints, including Christ's apostles. Doctrines and practices change over time as people live without direction.
     
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  6. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi @EverChanging

    I am an adult convert to the restorational movement (i.e. the movement that seeks to return to the earliest and most authentic form of Christianity) of which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is involved in. I was baptist (generally) growing up. I feel like there are certain characteristics which become habitual among the LDS that seem to be "generic" like their tendency to wear white shirts or to use certain phrases in their speech which seem particular to them. I wear multi-colored shirts and my religious vocabulary is a bit out of sync with some of the life-long members but it doesn't seem to cause many raised eyebrows or problems.

    I think that I was a lot like @PruePhillip in that I was exposed to a lot of misconceptions about the LDS theology and thus, do not blame others for any ignorance or misconceptions they might have since I came from that world of misconception and had been exposed to a lot of Caricatures of LDS theology which masqueraded as the real thing. This insight also stays with me such that I realize that I must still have misconceptions about OTHER religions that I simply don't know much about.

    i remember a quote from Joseph Smith to the effect that he felt free to think and come to his own conclusions about religion and supported the right of other religions to do the same. This sort of philosophy has been my own as a historian of early Judeo-Christian literature and I do not feel uncomfortable having my own interpretations and conclusions when discussing theology in the LDS sunday school classes or priesthood quorums.

    While in my baptist upbringing, we studied ONLY the bible and thus the proficiency and familiarity with biblical texts seems to be greater in my prior baptist church, the prior interpretations do not seem to be as rational or as logical nor as historically consistent as in LDS theology or in historical christian theology. This was a great advantage as I entered LDS theology as it paralleled the early Judeo-Christian literature more closely than my prior christianity (which makes sense if LDS theology is a restoration of a version of Early Christian theology). The reason the LDS do not seem as familiar with the New Testament per se is, I think, because they have so much more data they try to pay attention to.

    I honestly do not personally care whether a restoration to early christian theology and return to the early salvational theology comes through a prophet or through historical discovery by scholars (though I think revelation is more efficient and less time-consuming...). The only problem this causes is that most LDS and other Christians in the various Christian movements are not particularly familiar with early Judeo-Chrisitan literature where the early Christians themselves, describe in their own words, their own theology. While the LDS are best able to use such literature, since the early literature contains so many parallels to the restoration of that same theology, still, the LDS seem disoriented by references to early literature. The LDS are usually amazed and pleasantly surprised and glad for the confirming parallels from early Judeo-Christian textual witnesses, but still, somewhat disoriented by it (since hardly any christians have used such literature.)

    While my primary interest in early theology comes through historical channels, the restoration of that theology has given me a framework upon which to place the early Judeo-Christian literature. For example, while historians of early Judeo-Christian Literature discovered the genre of pre-creation existence, they are not able to put it all together in as rational and logical a framework as the LDS who possess this theology in a richer, more mature version than historians do. The religious historians are "getting there", but, as I said, restoration through revelation is so much more efficient and clear than restoration through historical discovery.

    I feel completely free to use all early historical data and plug it into my LDS model without the slightest worry of censure (Though I am careful to distinguish between speculation and doctrine).

    Good luck in coming to your own models @EverChanging as to what God is doing and how he is accomplishing it with this mortal existence.

    Clear
    φιεισεω-
     
  7. MJS

    MJS Member

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    Clear,

    I've seen some of your posts and have found them fascinating and enlightening. I find your knowledge of early Judeo-Christian literature of particular interest to me. I would love to have some guidance as to where to go and what to look for in regards to this literature and particularly what parallels you have found between early Christian doctrine and restored doctrines in the latter days.

    I am not a scholar. I have read the Bible (old and new testament) many times, as well as the other standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have limited experience reading and studying other apocryphal and psuodoepigraphical works. I also have a little experience reading translations of The Dead Sea Scrolls, the book of Enoch, and others.

    I'm am wondering what things you think I would be interested in reading and studying. Anything in particular?

    Thank you,
    MJS
     
    #27 MJS, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  8. MikeDwight

    MikeDwight Well-Known Member

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    Charlottesville: It's about the 1st Amendment

    As I think I was talking about in a 1st Amendment article here, lives hang in the balance on the State Education, University System, Government offices, quickly and efficiently identifying the Correct stance and procedure in regards to Religious Adherence. If there were no Religious Adherence, whats the point? We talk and talk and explore but I will give a Salvation Army Methodist Soap, Soup, Salvation, I'll give a Baptist a Freewill decision, I'll give the Presbyterians the Victorian era Home Sweet Home era is where that is, I'll give a Muslim 3 prayers a day, and I will never lessen and discount, especially when these are mentioned in regards to Chinese atheists, Nepali Agnostics, other students are Not that way, they personally Identify in the sects as something. The State and Government will be derelict of duty as this post seeing a "Laicite", a right to distance their occupation from these investigations? The Freedom of Belief of this discussion is right on with our 1st Amendment rights, as the Freedom of Press person identifies a position, and the free to Religion identifies a position.
    If we were to suddenly and professionally and suddenly engage gainfully with the LDS Church government could and should do all the time, or like Eisenhower's overhaul of PCUSA directly, then I'd have a starting place IN LDS, shouldn't we consider polygamy a reasonable accommodation history in LDS, or what do you see as more important to note?
     
  9. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST ONE OF TWO


    Hi @MJS

    1) THE RESTORATIONAL MOVEMENT CAN USE THE EARLY TEXTS WHILE LATER CHRISTIAN MOVEMENTS CANNOT USE THEM AS WELL

    I think, that if I had the insight to "do" religion over as a youth, I would have FIRST joined the Restorational Movement at an earlier age, since the LDS theological model, as a form of restoration of early Christianity, forms a framework upon which one can accurately attach the historical data that historians are discovering but are not sure how to put the discovered historical data together.

    For example, Michael Heisner, the wonderful Hebraist and editor of Logos Software, did his doctoral thesis on the Council of the Gods and was thereby labeled as a "closet mormon" since his discoveries were obviously very, very supportive of LDS theology. He is NOT LDS, but his research simply drove him into the direction of LDS theology (he just didn't know it WAS LDS theology).

    Frank Cross (one of the Dead Sea Scroll Scholars) who also wrote a book on similar subjects is in a similar position. He writes according to the historical data discovered in his many years of working with the Dead Sea Scrolls and the direction the conclusions took him and, the data parallels LDS theology is profoundly important ways. He is NOT LDS, the data simply drove him towards their theology.

    Charlesworth, the editor of the great and wonderful 2000 page tomes on ancient Jewish Pseudo-epigraphia, similarly, found himself converted to many important LDS concepts. He is NOT LDS. BUT, IF the scholars are to follow the historical data of the early Judeo-Christian literature, they will find themselves being pushed into the LDS direction.

    For example, pre-existence of spirits is a theological concept that is found in a great deal of the early literature. The historians cannot read the early literature without concluding the doctrine existed and it's details parallel LDS theology. They must either follow the data where it leads, (toward confirmation of LDS base doctrines), or they must avoid being historians of that early literature.

    For example, not long after the dead sea scrolls were discovered, they were touted by TIME magazine as the greatest religious discovery of that generation. However, as they discovered the descriptions of the Judaism of that era, having 12 priests as leaders, with a presidency of three; a eucharistic meal, baptisms, etc. Then the Jewish scholars did NOT like the direction the data was taking them (Zeitlin claimed the documents were of Christian origin!....) since the data demonstrated a Judaism that was quite Christian-like (just as described in the Book of Mormon). The Christians did not like the scrolls since it described a "Christianity" that existed before they thought it should have existed (a further LDS parallel). The LDS were one of few that were very, very happy with the Dead Sea Scrolls and their descriptions.


    2) THE IMPORTANCE OF SOME FAMILIARITY WITH KOINE GREEK AND IT'S ANCIENT USAGE
    I think that SECONDLY, I would have gained just a bit of Greek under my belt (or use an interlinear New Testament together with Moulton and Milligans discovery of use of early Koine words....) at an earlier age to see what the early Greek bibles actually DO say. The early New Testament text is frequently very different in text and meaning than the quotes from New Testaments we see on the forums and small differences can often result in large differences in theologies.


    For example, the translators of the KJV rendered Eph 1:5 as : “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ…. (Eph 1:5) " προορισας ημας εις υιο θεσιαν δια ιησου χριστου….)” and the translators rendered Rom 8:29 as “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son(Rom 8:29) "οτι ους προεγνω και προωρισεν συμμορφους της εικονος του υιου.

    The Greek “Horizo” in this case is the word we use for “horizon” in English. In common (κοινε) greek usage in the New Testament, one did not speak of οριζω in context of a "destiny", but of a territory or district having distinct boundaries, or, in the case of time, it was used to describe a day that was specified, or, in a concept similar to it’s usage in God’s plan, it could be used to describe an “appointed term” (such as the time between birth and death – that is, a time period that was set apart for a specific purpose).

    In all cases, it refers to certain properties that suggest boundaries and limitations and conditions that apply to this time period, that is, it refers to a plan for mankind, but not an unalterable “destiny” for an individuals damnation or salvation regardless of their own will. I understand why the translators used “pre-destinated”, but I wish they had used different terms. Moulton and Milligin demonstrated in the last century that Οριζω was been used in early papyri to indicate a very firm plan, such as an “order”, again, in the context of a set of boundaries and limitations consistent with a “will” or a “plan” (God’s plan in this case).

    Context of οριζω inside early judeo-christian usage :

    The early judeo-christian texts speak of God having established a plan for mortality for mankind. The Prophet Enoch relates God describing this period and his plan for mankind, saying “Before any visible things had come into existence, and the light had not yet opened up, I, in the midst of the light, moved around in the invisible things, like one of them, as the sun moves around from east to west and from west to east. But the sun has rest; yet I did not find rest, because everything was not yet created. And I thought up the idea of establishing a foundation, to create a visible creation. 2nd Enoch (version “A”) 23:2, 24:1-5

    The very nature of this plan required that physical and moral and chronological boundaries and conditions were involved. Examples of such usage of this specific term and it’s early context are found in early papyri such as Amherst and Tebtunis Papyri (b.c. 106 and 2nd c.e. respectively)

    For example, the constraints of Time and physical conditions involved in God’s plan to educate the spirits of mankind are woven into many early judeo-christian texts. The prophet Ezra asks God …could you not have created at one time those who have been and those who are and those who will be, that you might show your judgment the sooner?” He replied to me and said, ”The creation cannot make more haste than the Creator, neither can the world hold at one time those who have been created in it.”... “Ask a woman’s womb, and say to it, ‘If you bear ten children, why one after another?’ Request it then therefore to produce ten at one time.” I said, “Of course it cannot, but only each in it’s own time.” He said to me, “Even so have I given the womb of the earth to those who from time to time are sown in it. For as an infant dose not bring forth, and a woman who had become old does not bring forth any longer, so have I organized the world which I created.(the Fourth Book of Ezra 5:41-49)

    This “organization” of the world and conditions and limitations and boundaries of God’s plan are part of the context of this “plan” and underlie usage of the word “οριζο”. You can start to see why the word “planned” would have great clarification over the term “predestined” if early Christian translators had thought to use the better term. (Modern translators of early sacred text have the advantage of hind sight…

    POST TWO OF TWO FOLLOWS
     
    #29 Clear, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  10. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST TWO OF TWO


    3) THE EARLY CHRISTIANS DESCRIBE THEIR OWN BELIEFS IN THEIR OWN WORDS IN THEIR OWN LITERATURE

    And, THIRDLY, I think I would have paid more attention to early Christian Literature at an earlier age so as to learn to view Christianity from THEIR early context rather than from the biases of my own modern Christian movements’ biases.

    We all tend to be provential and limited in our conceptions of things outside our immediate context. Christians tend, on a whole, to think that their personal beliefs define what Christianity is and always was. My own kids have wondered why, in the 1970's, I didn't simply call my mom “on your cell phone” when I needed a ride home from school.

    When discussing the first C.E. (i.e. before the 4th c.e. Western canon existed) Historians discussing the early doctrines, have a similar feeling and want to roll their eyes when someone asks “why didn't that second century christian simply look the doctrine up in the New Testament? “ (which did not exist).

    Underlying the Early Christian TEXTS are early Christian CON-TEXTS. Just as my kids misunderstood conditions in the 1970s, Christians often have an inability to imagine that things NOW are not how things WERE. This is a contextual difficulty that any Christian wanting to understand Early Christian theology must overcome.

    Even base assumptions (with their attendant context) depend upon the time and place we are born. Luther took the second commandment out of his first old testament translation and this is the reason why the 10 commandments for protestants were different than the 10 commandments for Catholics for a time in Europe. Modern and Western Sunday school type of Christians have no idea this occurred nor why nor what sort of problems resulted.

    Even canons are different geographically and in different eras. While the typical modern, western canon lacks Enoch, Enoch remains inside the modern eastern Old Testament Canon. Anciently, Enochian literature was considered sacred by many Judao-christians. For example, The New Testament writer of Jude quotes from Enoch as scripture and there are at least 128 quotes or allusions to Jewish Enoch in the New Testament by Jesus and the apostles and other writers.

    20th century New Testament is NOT the same as the earliest New Testaments. For example, 5th century New Testament Codex Sinaiticus DID include hermas and barnabas as sacred text. The early christians read and referred to many of these texts well into the 17th centuries. For example, When we read the letters of Sua Maria Celeste to her father Galileo, we are reading the doctrine of “the wintertime of the just” from Hermas which WAS in the early Sinaiticus New Testament. When Columbus speaks to the King to ask for financial help and refers to “the scriptures” to show how big the earth is, he is quoting esdras (which is not in the modern, western canon). Still, Sua Maria Celeste and Columbus believed in the texts they quoted. In discussing early christian doctrines, we are not talking about individuals personal religion, but instead we are talking about early Judao-Christians and THEIR beliefs.

    I believe that the early and authentic Christianity is much more rational and logiucal and more data laden than the various later Christian movements.

    If you would like, perhaps you can PM me your personal email address and I will send you more than 300 pages of quotes from early Judeo-Christian texts, lectionaries, diaries, and text that were sacred and some non-sacred literature that are examples of parallels to the LDS restoration of early Christian theology.


    Clear
    φιφυειω
     
    #30 Clear, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  11. MJS

    MJS Member

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    Clear,

    Thank you for your response. Those are all fascinating examples of early Christian parallels in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Have you read any of the works of B.H. Roberts? I have read his "Seventy's Course in Theology" and "The Truth, The Way, The Life". These are fascinating works that do some digging into theology. Another prominent scholar is Hugh Nibley, as I am sure you are aware. Have you read any of his works? He has an excellent book that looks at the parallels between the story of Enoch in the Pearl of Great Price and the apocryphal book of Enoch. It is called "Enoch the Prophet". He has another book called "Mormonism and Early Christianity" which I have not read, but it seems to correspond to your interests.

    Thank you,
    MJS
     
  12. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    I don't accept Catholic or Protestant interpretations here, so it's Difficult.
    W.H.Y. would anyone want to restore the Old Testament?
    Who did away with the Old Testament?
    Jesus.
    Jesus fulfilled the law of the Old Testament, and gave us the New Testament
    or Covenant, ie animal sacrifice ended with Jesus who died for our sins, "Once
    and for all."
    etc..

    SOME of the Old Testament was "related to Semitic culture." Some. A lot of it
    relates to symbolic representation of Christ, ie animal sacrifice, priest, the Jew
    as a symbol of God's people, the ark and tabernacle of God's presence etc..

    Christians of the New Testament times were told they were to be the husband
    "of one wife." Smith said this covenant failed, and he made his own covenant.
    About a dozen times we read of the Old Testament failing - did people create
    a new testament? No, they restored what they had been given as God "raised
    up" a prophet. Mormonism is Smith's covenant - it's not God's covenant.
     
  13. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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