& LABEL SWITCHING
Hi...have you seen The Titanic yet? I haven't, but I heard a quip... "Professionals built the Titanic; amateurs built the Ark."
Anyway, the thought occurred to me that LDS have a sort of "titanic faith". They have LOTS of faith....and if faith saved, they'd be saved. But faith is only as good as its object. Faith in a "Titanic" object is doomed. LDS will SAY they are trusting in Christ to "save" them....but that is a "label switch" with regard to the historic/Biblical definition of salvation. They OUGHT to be saying "I believe in Christ as my RESURRECTER." There is a difference between being resurrected and in being a part of the resurrection of the JUST rather than the unjust. All will be resurrected, but few will be saved (Luke 13:23-24). Salvation is MORE than resurrection.
So what are LDS trusting in to "save" them in the sense of being "just"? Lets clarify two terms: Matt 13:42 says we must be "righteous" to enter the kingdom of God & vs. 49 says we are either just or wicked. The words just and righteous both come from the same root word in the Greek... so to be just is to be righteous, and headed for God's kingdom. D & C 76 says those who come forth in the resurrection of the JUST will dwell in the presence of God and Christ forever (62,65) and that does happen to fit with the Biblical definition of salvation. So now that we are past the "label switching" we can talk about what LDS are trusting in to JUSTIFY them...so they can enter the one heaven that does exist (where God and Christ are present)... and not be in the category described as "the wicked".
We learn that LDS cannot be justified in "unrighteousness"... or, in simpler words "ye cannot be saved in your sins." (Alma 11:37) To cite another verse... D&C 76:52 says of the ones who come forth in the resurrection of the just: "that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins..." Now to muddy the water a bit... later in the chapter it says these just men are "made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood." (69) So the idea is first obey, so you can be considered just, and then the atonement will help you. Folks... I see this as a "Titanic faith".
One smart lady, I'm told, chose to look over the life-boats on the Titanic and tell people there weren't enough. Well THIS lady is telling you your boat will sink. Has anyone got a list of how many "commandments" you are to follow? (Sorry if I sound like a broken record... but I'm still waiting for an authorized list.)
How can I make it so clear you can't miss it? If a kindergardner is told "you get to go to the zoo next Friday if you keep the class rules"... the child will need to KNOW what the RULES are. But no LDS can give me an authorized list.... no LDS can tell me how many there are. HOW can you obey the rules without a LIST??????
The closest I've come to a "list" is the statement in D&C 136:37...and when you look it over, it is quite laughable.... It says keep "all" my words from the days of Adam thru J. Smith. So we are supposed to do pre-law animal sacrifices, Abrahamic circumcision, temple sacrifices (and day of Atonement requirements) and feasts...plus the new covenant??? What was Joseph thinking? At the very least (once we throw out the doubletalk) it would include the whole of what is given in the new testament, which is 1050 commands.. plus what is in the LDS revelations... so just how much of a chance does one have of keeping "ALL" these 1100+rules...as the D&C verse says? I mean...how can it be that LDS read this command and interpret it to mean that one can FAIL to keep some of the words/commands, but then repent, and then TRY to keep them, but break them, and repent again...etc...etc.?? I'm telling you.... it's a Titanic faith! James 2:10 is gonna sink that boat! D & C 1:31-32 likewise shoots holes in it, as does D & C 82:7-10.
The good news is Romans 5 tells us about a water-tight Ark (figuratively speaking). In verse 9 it says we are JUSTIFIED by His blood and since that is already a present reality, we shall (a promise) in the future be spared from wrath thru Christ. And in chapter 8, verse 30 we see that as MANY people as there are who attain that status of being justified will end up being glorified. Thus it becomes quite significant to state that one is (at any point in time) justified. Romans 5:1 says we ARE justified by faith...and thus have peace...and access...and a reason to rejoice. What is the object of our faith that justifies us? Christ's shed blood (Rom. 5:9); and Christ's obedience (not ours)which is transferred to our record as a gift (5:18-19) when we believe. Now THAT I can handle.
One final thought on label-switching... LDS (with a straight face) will tell you that salvation (all kinds) is/are a gift...but there just are strings attached to the higher kinds. (From the LDS dictionary: "It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals receive strength and asistance to do good works...that allows (them) to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.") Folks...check a dictionary or a concordance... the words "free", "gift" and "grace" all indicate something that does NOT have such pre-requisites! Thus the II Nephi 25:23 statement "It is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do" is PURE 100% doubletalk... it is saying it is free after you pay for it. Now... I have to say this: one characteristic of a cult is doctrinal label-switching. And whether or not you like the word cult... this sort of label-switching can damn people to the lake of fire! We are talking about HOW you get to God's presence here! If we are "saved by grace" but LDS "grace" is the precise OPPOSITE of Biblical grace.... LDS are not really saved. Please sense the danger!..... please get off the Titanic and into the "Ark of safety" -- Jesus Christ HIMSELF. The object of faith is not to be a church...not a prophet...not a feeling...not a priesthood...not your ability to be "righteous" in your performance (Rom. 3:10!) but it is to be the POWER of the shed blood to fully justify you.... now! He's been waiting for you to give up trying and start trusting.... in HIM!