02 March 2009

50 Answers to 50 Mormon Answers to 50 Anti-Mormon Questions (Answer 23)

Wow, it's been a while. This series left off back in August with Question 22. I've now got a little bit of time (spring break next week), so we can resume our journey of untangling the sophomoric attempts by FAIR (Foundation for Apologetics and Information Research) to answer, in their own unique and convoluted way, some rather straightforward questions from Tower To Truth. We pick up with #23

Tower To Truth Question:

23. Why does D. & C. 42:18 say there is no forgiveness for a murderer when 3 Nephi 30:2 says there is forgiveness for him?'

--------------------------------------

FAIR Answer:

Doctrine and Covenants 42 is "the law of the Church" and pertains to those who are baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who by baptism are adopted into the house of Israel. 3_Ne. 30:2 pertains to those who are still "Gentiles" and who are not yet "numbered with [God's] people who are of the house of Israel." For a member of the Church to commit murder there is no forgiveness, whereas a person who has not yet made baptismal covenants may, under certain conditions, be forgiven. Some Lamanites repented and were forgiven of their murders (see Alma 24:10-12).

--------------------------

My Response:

Alma 24:10-11 (all emphases mine)--
10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.
11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do, (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain
12 Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.

Did you notice a couple things there? This passage claims that our sins are forgiven by the MERITS of Christ--not by His blood. But....
  • Colossians 1:19-22--For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death...

  • 1st Peter 1:18-19--you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold...but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot...

  • Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14--In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins

  • Revelation 1:5--To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
All of these verses talk about how we are redeemed, purchased, forgiven, washed by Christ's BLOOD--not His "merit." (This idea almost sounds like Roman Catholic doctrine, where, if we come up a little bit short in our efforts to be perfect, we can ask for a withdrawal from the "treasury of merit" that was built up by Saint (insert name of favorite saint here).)

A couple things here. First, LDS theology says that Jesus became a "God" based on His merit--that through obedience to eternal laws He attained godhood. That of course is a lie. Jesus is God because HE IS GOD--and for no other reason. He did not have to "earn" His title as God.

Second, we don't "get God to take away our sins"--as if we do enough to have God look at us and say, "Way to go!! You're such a good person, I'm going to save you!!" He looks down at a world of horrible, wretched, filthy sinners and grants repentance to some, draws them to Himself, and saves them from His wrath--not because we are somehow "good enough" (a most laughable concept if I ever heard one yet is, nonetheless, being taught in even many "Evangelical" churches), but simply because of His grace.

Now, to the main point I want to make. This particular exchange is almost perfect for showing the most glaring difference between Mormonism and Christianity. According to Mormonism, the blood of Jesus can cleanse you from sins--with a few exceptions. See, you can kill someone before you become a Mormon and get forgiveness no problem. But if you commit murder after you join the LDS system, there is no forgiveness.

Truth of the matter is, it does not matter when you commit murder. Even if you kill someone after you come to know Christ, if you ask forgiveness and you truly belong to Him--He will forgive. King David had Uriah killed after following God. Peter would have killed Malchus if he had his way. And yet these and many like them were still saved by the blood of Christ.

Because, you see, God's forgiveness is not bound by time. In fact, in the book of Revelation refers to Christ as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)--even though He was slain thousands of years after the foundation of the world. So if a person is truly saved, it does not matter if they commit a particular sin before or after they get saved--God can forgive that sin.

And contrary to another lie told by the LDS church, there is no sin that cannot be covered by the blood of Christ--even murder.

No comments: