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Who Claims Authority?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by cardero, May 24, 2006.

  1. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    You don’t need faith to use your brakes you need the practical sense to use them.

    “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
    -- George Seaton
     
  2. Evandr2

    Evandr2 Member

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    If I may answer that question:

    Most do not understand the strict requirements of the LDS church regarding the need to stay within certain boundaries or be denied the privilege of participation.

    This attitude is not one of haughtiness but one of love and concern for the individual.

    Allow me to explain: When a person is baptized and then later gets married in the temple they are taking upon themselves certain very sacred covenants and obligations. The violation of these covenants is a very serious matter in the eyes of God and puts that individual in jeopardy of woeful judgment.

    It is better that a person not be under these oaths and covenants than to be under them while guilty of the violation of them for God will not be mocked.

    The right to be married in the Temple means that you have demonstrated your devotion to keeping the covenants that you will make. You must learn to crawl before you can be expected to run. The Lord loves you far too much to allow you to make covenants that you will not or can’t keep.

    The temple is a sacred place. The temple ceremonies are sacred and thusly not open to the public. The interior of a temple is extraordinarily clean and reverent. The verbiage of the ceremonies is not for open public comment or debate nor for the ears of any but those who have need and have proven worthy to receive them. The Temple is thusly not open to the general public. It may seem harsh to deny someone access to a Temple ceremony because they are not worthy to enter the Temple but there can be no ground given to the integrity of sacred things.

    By the same token, many look upon ex-communication as an act of proud indignants when in reality it is an act of love. If you saw a car headed toward an unsuspecting person and you had to tackle them out of the way would you consider that action to be an act of rudeness or an act of love. The same goes for ex-communication. Membership in the congregation of the Lord's church and Temple marriage are better left undone than being unworthy to receive them.

    Many religions philosophies understand this concept. Some extremists even enforce their rules to the point of condemning their members to death for violation of or opting out of the philosophy. The big problem with such a act is it does not allow the members of that religion to embrace the individual and bring them back into the fold. In short they are denying them the ability to repent of what they consider to be transgression.

    The LDS Church enforces its need to act only as far as it is good for the person without denying them their free agency. If a person is in line to be woefully judged by their failure to live up to certain responsibilities than the Church simply and mercifully removes that person form that position until such time as the repentance of the person removes the danger. During that time the church and its members do all they can to embrace that individual with love, encouragement, and respect while that person rectifies their situation.

    In short and simply put, Anyone can enter the Temple if they take the path that the Lord has laid out.

    Please try not to blame the Prophet or those in authority within the LDS church. They did not make up these rules, they were given them by direction of God and are bound by covenant to keep them.

    Vandr
     
  3. Evandr2

    Evandr2 Member

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    Neither one of you have answered the question of how does one acquire faith. It was the faith of Moses that caused the Lord to part the Red Sea.

    I have written a long discourse on faith in the beginning of my book, Faith and Evidence, but I will not post it here, it is too long but it does clear up the subject.

    I invite you to read the discourse and then present your rebuttals.

    In short I will say that Faith is the byproduct of knowledge given by the Holy Ghost.

    I have a question - Is your faith a result of the "Linus Syndrome?"

    Vandr
     
  4. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    I would suggest that it isn't just inspired scripture that should be considered, for many texts claim to be inspired. Instead, look for the power that inspired scripture possesses to make beneficial changes in the lives of individuals and the wider community.
     
  5. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Why should omnipotence imply that it must be used at all times?

    Aside from which, if an omnipotent being just zapped that knowledge into us, then we would be no more than automatons. What then would be the point of our existence?

    You seem to be laboring under a false dichotomy here, PureX. Why should God want us to suffer? There are plenty of instruction manuals around telling how we can overcome the suffering we create for ourselves. We just don't pay attention to them very well sometimes. We get to choose.

    Oh c'mon -- that's just dodging the question. You're perfectly capable of assuming a premise to be true, and then seeing what logically flows from it.

    Simple logic only tells us this if you assume the premise that we do not have free will. Since I don't accept the premise, and neither do the texts of religions that purport to teach something about God, your logic falls flat.

    Again, only if you assume that God did not create us with free will.

    I would also ask by what measure you know that the method used to create knowledge is imperfect? Just because there is suffering involved? There is suffering involved in how I garden as well, but without the suffering I impose on plants while gardening, the result is mayhem, not beauty. We don't know how "perfect" creation is, because we are not anywhere near being "created."

    And so there would be no point in life at all, so we may not as well exist.

    I did, thanks! I hope you did as well.
     
  6. illuminatingtherapy

    illuminatingtherapy New Member

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    Why should we accept any claims of authority? Does anything apply to all? Something Universal? Does government have all the answers? How does one qualify to have authority? :shrug:
     
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  7. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    From my pov, that's a fairly accurate rendition of how religions operate.

    The question of authority may lie within the text of each book, though at times due to the age of the text, that can be a sticky wicket. Followers of Book A then use authority A. Followers of Book B use authority B.

    The real difficulties happen when followers of Book A split authorities into authority A.1 and authority A.2 (and in some cases the authorities splinter into the thousands). Then who is the authority? At that point, the text itself, as best as one can understand it, might be the best authority. Of, if the competing authorities are taking up violence and oppression vying to be the Only Authority, maybe it would be best to run like heck in the other direction and stay away from all of them. :)

    I know there is some strain of thought that there is some mystical "Church" out there, but from my observations that hasn't been true for quite a while. I know I was taught in a Church that other Christians were going to hell, or weren't true Christians, and have had Christians tell me the same when I was in that Church, which doesn't exactly sound like anything especially unified as "the Church." There have been some major steps towards greater unity in "the Church" even during just my lifetime, and I hope that trend continues, because it's of benefit to everyone (not just Christians).
     
  8. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    I picked up the other half for you. :) It was a great post.
     
  9. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Therefore the differences in the churches today show that no one church has all the commandments at this time.
     
  10. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Perhaps the difficulty is, who should take any religion's institution as authoritative or speaking for God? Only those within the religion would bother, eh? And why is that? Because those are the people who are convinced that the Founder of the religion spoke for God.

    Perhaps it's putting the cart before the horse to seek out authority to speak for God in any religion's polity, but rather seek to discover if any of the people who founded those religions had any right to speak for God. If you find faith in someone who made such a claim, then you look to see what authority he set up, and go from there.
     
  11. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Or, all the other churches don't, but at one does. It's either none or one. Not only none.
     
  12. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    I wouldn't claim to be able to prove whether a great Apostasy occured or not, but I do think something went at least a bit awry when Christians started killing Christians in the name of Christ. :sarcastic
     
  13. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    If the differences today don't show that none of them have all the commandments, the 19th-century differences didn't show that, either.
     
  14. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Even worse, it's like the game we used to call Chinese Telephone, where the message you start off with is nothing like what you end up with.

    And then, there's the all-too-human tendency to hear what we want to hear, rather than what's being said.

    It's because of this I had a tough time relying on personal revelations from the Holy Spirit to be a sufficient guide to spiritual truth. It might be helpful, and even necessary, but may not be sufficient.
     
  15. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Would it be insufficient for the provenance of said texts to qualify under 1-3, and for the intentions (#4) to be clearly spelled out?

    We have the texts, we have people who speak the language (Farsi and Arabic haven't changed that much in a century), the texts must all have the handwriting verified as genuine by handwriting experts. If there is no original text available, it's not canonical, no matter how useful it may appear to be. Translations aren't much of an issue, as there are plenty of scholars available and cultures haven't changed so much in that amount of time. The texts were kept by people who knew the person who wrote them, and their provenance is known and verifiable by multiple sources.

    The texts, where they deal with the subject of who has authority after the passing of the Founder, are very clear. First it is the founder's eldest son, who is then to appoint a Guardian to take over after his passing. The Guardian must be a lineal descendant of the founder. The elected arm of the organization is also spelled out in the original texts. There is NO authority given to anyone to change teachings in the texts -- there is some authority to interpret how they are applied.

    I would suggest that the writings on the subject of who has authority must be pretty clear, since we're the only religion in history to make it this far without splintering into sectarian divisions.

    (There's a reason for this which has nothing to do with any claim to superiority over other religions, but that's another thread.)


    In closing, I don't think your criteria above do much of anything to prove anything is inspired by God. They might be of use to see if some authority is genuine or merely self-proclaimed within a religion, but don't seem to prove anything about God.
     
  16. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Oh, I'm not so sure about that. I mean, God seems to have given Jews meat and Hindus salad. Though given what it would take to feed people in those respective environments, that would make sense. :)

    Sorry, I know that was off topic and not what you were getting at, but I couldn't quite resist. :sorry1:
     
  17. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Ah, well I'm back now. That's an interesting question, lunamoth, though it's one I've never asked.

    I just assume it's because they haven't investigated Baha'u'llah's claims and found them to be true. If they did, then they would be Baha'is, eh? :shrug:

    imo people have not just a right, but a duty, to figure things out for themselves.
     
  18. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    I had to ask, since I used to be an atheist...I didn't feel like a quivering glob of jello at the time, nor looking back do I think I was.

    I was dedicated to a Higher Power, though -- Truth (however uncomfortable it might make me when I found some of it). Is that the difference?

    If you meant something more like "if you stand for everything, you stand for nothing" well, yeah, that I can accept.
     
  19. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Mrs. C, faith will certainly keep cars running. Without mine, there are more than a few cars I would've trashed over the years. :D
     
  20. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I don’t acquire faith, I acquire beliefs and I aspire to truth. How is this done? Keeping an open mind helps, asking a lot of questions couldn’t hurt. Contrasting and comparing and reasoning these beliefs with what you already know and continually pursuing the things that you don’t. By rationalizing what I know and comparing it to what I have observed and experienced. Sharing and collecting beliefs not only to accumulate other knowledge but to discuss what other people have experienced.
    No, it is faith that you apply to this belief that you think that this event has transpired. There is no evidence that this event has ever occurred (and whether or not GOD had anything to do with it) and no evidence forth coming to announce that it will happen again. Could it have happened? Possibly. As long as possibility remains, the belief is valid and I can respect that (I can do something with the belief, I cannot do anything with faith). Applying faith will not bring you any closer to the truth. Many people conclude all their beliefs this way which is why I will forever question anyone who claims authority.
    I do not think that GOD instills faith but reminds us, that as individuals, we have the intelligence and the understanding needed to conclude our own truths. GOD is not a BEing of faith, GOD is a BEing of Truth and as such, I believe that if he desired followers he would provide them with infallible Truth. Clearly He has not. As you mentioned previously the Holy Ghost does not leave room for doubt (which like faith I could do without anyway) or questioning. If this were true, everyone would be under the umbrella of His authority. This is also clearly not the case. So instead of questioning their beliefs many people have “stood still” in their faith. The moment one stops questioning their beliefs or challenge authority one stops becoming a human BEing. If there was such a thing as sin, I think this would qualify. One of the purposes of GOD that I discovered through my relationship with Him is that GOD embraces questions that humans have and there is evidence (from my experience anyway) that there is a real joy answering them for us. GOD understands that we are humans. He does not expect people to believe everything that drips from His tongue. GOD does understand that we may have to prove things to ourselves (with or without His assistance) and would be very content seeing this understanding unfold within us.
     
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