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Pageant sidelines debate

Posted by on April 12, 2006 – 1:42 pm

The annual Easter pageant on the grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been enjoying mild weather and no rain, but there is plenty of stormy debate on the sidelines.Now only a few nights remain until the Jesus The Christ presentation for 2006 is over. The free, 75-minute presentations begin at 8 p.m. through April 15 at the temple, 525 E. Main St., Mesa.

This year, as always, the pageant is visited by street preachers and protesters, who take up places along the sidewalks and proclaim the Mormon faith a false religion. Many members of the church engage them in conversation, but most ignore their angry talk.

Mike Palmer is back despite complaints that he gets assaulted in his witness work. The Glendale man informed the Tribune before the pageant that he has been the victim of religious persecution at the Mormon temple. He calls himself one of the Christians being persecuted by the Mormons. Saying he is labeled anti-Mormon, Palmer contends, I love the Mormon people. Thats why I do what I do.

Im really a Christian evangelist, he explained. Like the prophets of old, I warn Mormons that their god is not the god of the Bible — with the attendant consequences — so that theyre not ignorant and can decide for themselves whom they want to follow.

Palmer has been at the temple grounds many years at Easter and for the annual Christmas lights doing his own teaching and witnessing.

And like the prophets of old, sometimes I suffer, he said. For a decade, he said Mormons have allowed him to exercise his free speech on the public sidewalk. However, in the past few years, the violence has been escalating, and Mormons havent been very American, he said in his letter to me on March 31. Palmer said he gets assaulted about once a year and reports those to police. Hes even had someone shoot a blow dart at him.

In December, he said, a woman punched him in the eye and nose, and he was later treated for a detached retina and had surgery. His vision continues to be poor in that eye.

I fully expect I might be murdered someday near the temple by an angry Mormon, Palmer said.

Craig Ray, a Mormon, who has long served as a self-appointed watchdog of the detractors of his faith, has been talking actively with the whole group of street preachers this year, trading scriptures and trying to out-Bible them.

“There are the fundamental things that we disagree with, Ray said, including salvation and godhood. I can take a scripture and say I believe this interpretation of that scripture and you interpret it a different way. That is what gives us two different religions. I can do that all through the Bible and you can do that all through the Bible and we can come up with the scriptures that we differ on interpretation.”

Still, he insists, the overarching message that Ray tries to impress on the church’s critics, mostly with Street Preachers Fellowship, is that “God loves us and God put us here and we are to do good unto others.

In his love-thy-enemy style, Ray likes to point out where they have common ground.

Still, it can be a sideshow when the final prayer is said at the end of the pageant and people begin leaving the grounds. Then the hand-held loud-speakers or megaphones begin proclaiming the real truth.

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  • Craig Ray says:

    Thanks Lawn, some of the street preachers are starting to feel the pageant will be over soon… and they have to go back to their lives… so they are stepping up the preaching mixed with very harsh name calling of the LDS people… things such as whoremongers, idol worshippers, deceived, and going to burn in hell… are some of the comments being said.
    It is a sad commentary to see those who profess to be religious, to act like this against another Christian Church… gathered at their public function to try to help the community feel the love of Jesus Christ at this special time of year.
    I encourage all to use some restraint and remember the words of Jesus…”Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

  • Kay says:

    I noticed that you make Mike Palmer sound confrontational as an “anti”, and Craig sound like a love-your-neighbor mild-mannored single voice in the crowd apologist. I have talked to Mike at both Christmas lights and the Easter pageant, and find him quite mild mannored. He holds a sign (low) and has well-informed discussions with anyone who approaches him. This is a contrast to the big sign and megaphone holders. A handful of people standing against a religion is hardly persecution. The church has their own walkie-talkie toting security and the Mesa PD to protect it. I don’t think they have anything to worry about from a few words.

  • James B. says:

    Very interesting topic. I’m glad to see that most pageant goers (mormon and non mormon) deal with this issue politely and that the preachers can practice free speech. Let’s remeber that although a person professes to be Mormon (or any other faith for that matter), it does not exempt them from having human flaws. The mormon faith condems violence just as much as any other faith here does. And it looks as if the majority (just as with any other christian faith here) understands that!
    I love the idea of finding simmilarities and building on common ground. Understanding to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. May we all be able to reach out in love to all people, despite any differences we have!

  • Dan says:

    As a Mormon, I have been attending the Easter Pageant for 20 years. I have noticed the street preachers getting louder and more confrontational. It is inevitable that they would get it back at them. Mormons are human too.
    I have been very involved with these people as has Craig Ray. I continue to be amazed at how they portray our religion. Most of their banners I can totally agree with. The majority of their claims stem from the faith or works issue. We do not believe that our works are what get us to heaven as they continually claim. We do believe in being saved by grace. The way I see it, what it always boils down to is two things. The threat to their paid ministry, and justification in being saved in their sins.

  • Keith says:

    I myself consider myself a Christian. I probably interpret scripture along the same lines as these street preachers and probably would agree with their beliefs. i myself think it is wrong for them to stand out in front of the Mormon Church during their pageant and shout anti-mormon stuff and then turn around and preach the gospel too. What an oxymoron. Why not hand out food and water to folks walking in along with a pamphlet or something. Give out free Bibles. Reach out in love people. That is what Jesus Christ would do. He ran with the lowest of the low. The tax collectors, prostututes, etc. Lets bring the Kingdom to the people. Love each other and get along, regardless of your denomination.

  • Eric Bunker says:

    Being a pragmatist, I wonder what real value these street preachers accomplish doing what they are doing at the Easter Pageant? It seems that they could be more effective in gaining supporters to their cause in preaching their gospel in a different venue. Isnt the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result every time?
    If they truly loved the Mormons as they claim, then they could evaluate their efforts by the number of converts they make. If they were salesman, their company surely would have fired them by now because the crowd they are selling to just isnt buy it. Their efforts at the pageant seem about as useful in gaining converts as trying to sell Green Bay Packer merchandise in Dallas at a Cowboys game.
    They like to call themselves prophets, warning the people of impending doom. If they really were prophets, then like He did in days of old, God would have come to them in vision, or in a dream or in a burning bush and told them what to say. But they dont make such claims. They are just ordinary Bible thumping preachers, making personal interpolations of what they read and touting it as the real and only truth. They are no different that the thousands of other Bible thumping preachers who are doing the same with their own special interpolations of that holy book.
    If the real truth be told, these street preachers seem to be more interested in sending Mormons to Hell than they are of saving them. They remind me of Jonah in the Old Testament, who after he got spit out of the belly off the whale, went up and preached to the people and then built a grandstand on the edge of town waiting for them to get burned up by God and was mad when it didnt happen.
    We are living in an age of increasing jarring controversies with people screaming at each other. I cannot believe that God would be a supporter of such contentious attitudes, regardless of the religion that is being preached or the intensity one feels about the truth found in his particular brand of religion. True religion is preached with mildness and softness, and not with anger and contention. Regardless of the religion we each profess, when we engage each other in such contentious ways, we are only serving the will of the author of all evil.

  • Adam James says:

    Wow. You would think these “preachers” would have a life of their own? Nothing better to do then stand on the street all day and bad mouth another religion? Come on now, get a life. If you have your own religion then stick to it and leave others beliefs alone. If there is one thing you should respect it is someones religion. If you agree with that religion or not doesn’t matter. There is nothing more dear to some people then their religion. So respect that! By prosecuting someone because of their beliefs you only make them stronger. These preachers just don’t get that. They are just sad, pathetic, white trash with nothing better to do then stand out on the street all day and make fun of other peoples beliefs. I don’t care if these people are Mormons, Baptist, Hindus, Muslims, or whatever… leave them alone! and these “preachers” call themselves Christians? I don’t know much about Christians, but I do know Jesus Christ would never stand out on the street making fun of people and calling them names! Truly pathetic. Get a life and stick to your own religion.

  • Alma M. says:

    As a member of the Church, I am compelled to correct the wishy-washy brothers. Frankly, they should not make apology for some members attacking the street preachers. Joseph Smith said, “those professors were ALL corrupt,” and if one really believes the prophet then let us take a queue from the Muslims and discourage the infidels! God will not be mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Do not they deserve what they get?
    Maybe the brothers on this blog are not worthy enough to have received their endowments, but if we have sworn to consecrate ourselves, our time, talents and EVERYTHING for the building up of the Kingdom of God, then should not we obey God rather than man? Forget the street preacher’s rights! Everyone should be Mormon first and American second so as to establish Zion, as the oath requires. As I await my confirmation as a judge, that is what I plan to do when behind the bench.
    Perhaps these brothers do not remember the old temple ceremony back in the day (with the blood oaths) where it was taught that Lucifer pays these people? (Although everyone knows this, even though it is not expressly in the ceremony anymore.) If they are evil, then run them off. Use the police and judicial system as is done in Salt Lake.
    I am grieved that some want to find similarities in our beliefs. Contrary to the MTC training tapes, there is no point in trying to find similarities, for there are none. Real Utah Mormons used to know this in the day. Craig Ray was right when he said, “There are the fundamental things that we disagree with, but he is wrong when he lumps everyone as Christian. Even President Hinckley said he does not believe in the traditional Christ. (“The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.”) So let us get real. If the fundamental things are wrong, the whole house is wrong.
    You cannot have fundamental differences and claim to be the same. Either we are Christian or they are, but there are no similarities between us. I mean, either god was once a man or he was not. Either we can become gods or we cannot. And let us stop arguing about grace v. works. These brothers sound like Democrats on FoxNews, trying to dodge the issues. Clearly one DOES have to work for the ultimate salvation – exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. There are temple WORKS (baptisms for the dead, endowments, and marriages); callings; family responsibilities, providing LDS homes for spirits in the pre-existence; plural marriage, if we survive to the end times, and plural marriage facing us in the Celestial Kingdom and millennium (and if that is not work…); paying a full tithe; knowing all the oaths, covenants, signs, and tokens. All these are needed to even have a chance of making it into the Celestial Kingdom. These are works. They are preparatory to the work of ruling and reigning in our own universe and through the millennium. What is the big deal? There is work. There always will be.
    If Joseph Smith thought it was right to use his authority to destroy the printing press in Nauvoo when it was critical of him, then those who truly believe him should not hesitate to destroy their critics today.

  • Greg N. says:

    Ephesians 4: 29-32
    [29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    [30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    [31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
    [32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
    I ask a simple questionhow can any street preacher feel justified with the teachings of this scripture when they stand outside a place of worship with megaphones and accusatory signs, berating those in attendance and making a mockery of the beliefs that others hold sacred?
    I also ask them whether or not they use this same behavior with all of the other religions that do not agree with their own? I submit that if they do not, they are hypocritical, for dont ALL unbelievers have to be ministered to? Why single out Mormons for this type of behavior and ignore the hundreds of other world religions that differ from their own?
    Maybe these street preachers are just being smart, because this type of behavior in front of a Jewish synagogue would be labeled anti-Semitic and in front of a Muslim mosque would be considered racist. Can you imagine how differently the press would react to a similar scene in front of one of those places of worship? It would be an outrage and should be considered such in this case also, since it is nothing short of outright religious intolerance (ie. bigotry).

  • Dave Gray says:

    I note the fact that there are intolerant people yet again standing outside LDS church activities yelling, screaming and shouting abuse. I have tried several times to engage these, what I personally consider to be misguided people and have tried several times to understand what their point is. In every case they make no sense.
    Their point seems to be simply “the Mormons are wrong and I have the first amendment right to stand here and shout and scream this fact.”
    In most cases, if you follow their reasoning you will find that they appear to have no basis for their ranting. They claim to be there to show the Mormons that their God is a false God and that the heaven that they are going to is a false heaven. This rant is based on, as far as they will tell us, on the facts as they understand them.
    I don’t understand why they do it. If I talk to someone about my religous beliefs and they aren’t interested then I leave it there. I don’t get in their face and shout abuse at them. I don’t follow them around and rant and rave that they are wrong.
    I am British and follow the soccer team Sunderland who are currently doing as badly as a soccer team could do. I don’t shout and scream at my sons, who support a different football team, at how wrong they are to support that team. I don’t stand outside their stadium with a banner shouting and screaming how Newcastle United are a false soccer team.
    I am never intolerant of someone else’s beliefs to the level of protesting their right to have those beliefs. Even though those doing the shouting outside the LDS activities frequently claim to be baptists, I don’t stand outside a Southern Baptist Convention meeting with a placard claiming they are wrong.
    So why do these people do it? What do they hope to achieve? If they hope to make LDS people think that they are ranting raving lunatics they succeed very well. If they want others to wonder what they are trying to cover up in their own lives, they are succeeding very well there too. If they want to be pitied by all who see them, they are succeeding.
    However, if they want others to think that they are good examples of christian charity who would turn the other cheek,they are failing miserably. If they want people to think that they are christlike and willing to give service to others instead of calling them names and being offensive they are failing there as well.
    I wonder how much good they could do if they spent the considerable time and energy they waste on their ranting and raving and used instead in giving service. If they spent all the time they spend on creating websites that spew the same stuff they shout in the streets in homeless shelters or being foster parents or in building others up, can you imagine how much good they could do?
    A Christlike life can be evidenced by our behaviour. In how much time and energy we give in serving others. They may claim that what they are doing is giving service to Mormons, but they know and all the people they verbally abuse know that this is not so. If your only service is to tell the other person that you think they are wrong you are doing no good. If all you do is call the other person names or visibly ridicule and belittle his beliefs, then this is a form of Christ like behavior not found anywhere in the Bible.
    Having said all this, I accept that they have the right to speak their mind. They can rant and rave as much as they want. Yet I wonder why they feel that they have the God given right to break the law as you mentioned in your report. I also amazed that Mike Palmer can go so low as to claim that he fully expects to be murdered by an angry Mormon.

  • Ex-Pagan says:

    I find it amazing that so many of you have such off ideas about the men at the Easter Pagent. None of you seem to have talked to any of them. This is nothing new and comes from Pagans and Christians alike.
    You have no problem quoting scripture as long as it supports your point of view. Yet the scripture you use is either out of context or not applicable in the situations you apply them to. It shows among other things that you don’t have the ability to understand the teaching in the Bible.Without the Holy Spirit you can’t. So many of the critics that come out and hate the Christian men or are luke warm about what the Christian men are doing have such little conviction about their own beliefs. The fact that you walk away and yell things at them as the light turns green or as you drive by in your vehicle shows your weakness. I frequently hear you disagree with scorn, uninformed inference, and a willfull ignorance of the facts and background of the Christian men that dedicate their lifes to the supreme calling to let people know that there is a God Almighty that earnestly desires to have a spiritualy intimate relationship with them. He also desires that all shall be saved and none shall perish.You can’t make up your own personal Jesus and expect that to save you from Hell. That kind of Christ dies with you. That Christians should teach that publicly from their living rooms is not what Christ comanded. The apostles taught publicly and all probably lost their lives because of it. Jesus suffered the same fate for similar reasons.
    You luke warm “Christians” make Christ so sick he pukes. Jesus spoke softly when it was appropriate and spoke, even acted, with scorn to those that corupted and decived others with nice clothes and nice words that were ment to decieve. The Pharisees, the money changers in the temple, the teachers Paul talked about in Galatians, etc. Many thought they were all fine and great. Jesus comes along and starts turning over tables and publicly scorning the legal authorities(pharisees) saying to them “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead mens bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. ” All of a sudden people start conspiring against Him. They can’t even keep their stories straight when they stand to accuse Him and call for His death. They ask to free the real criminal and call for the death of the only truly innocent man. You all seem to tollerate the Mormon and all of its disgusting teachings yet regect and even convict the Christians that preach the Bible and only the Bible. When the anti-Christ comes will you fit your description of Jesus Christ? When Christ comes back will He fit your description of the anti-Christ? When a false prophet comes will you recognise him to be so? There is a test for that kind of person, do you know it?
    In order to build up something good you must first tear down the dead and corrupted thing first. Sometimes that means saying things that don’t make you “feel good or happy”. Some may think that they are there for just the Mormons but they are there for all to hear.
    You speak of tollerance. I don’t remember Jesus be tollerant of sin. He was intollerant of the things you obviously feel we should tollerate. Secret ceremonies, blasphemy, hearsay, self-exaltation(becoming a god), preaching “another gospel”(testament), Christ being the brother of Lucifer(whom he created), God being a man with a “body of flesh and bone as tangable as any man’s”, and Hell not being a place of eternal torment. These are all lies that the Mormon church has taught from the begining and therefore show it to be another novel creation of Satan. You can’t belive and practice those things that Satan has asked you to do(like put on your apron in you endowment ceremony) and expect Jesus to tollerate you when you stand before Him. When you die you will be judged by the works you have done. If you profess to believe these things and practice them you can’t stand before God blamless. Christ will not be your advocate. Christ is not the “white and delightsome” man the mormon doctrine teaches He is. You ignore the teachings of Christ because they convict you of your own sin and pagan nature. If all this seems harsh to you or you dismiss it you have little knowledge of the one true Christ that can save you from hell.
    You are blind and must repent and be baptised!
    Get born again!

  • Scott says:

    Im always amazed at how much opposition there is towards the LDS church by so-called Christians. Why do they so strongly oppose a church that has no paid ministry, that donates hundreds of thousands of dollars and man-hours each year to humanitarian causes outside of its own organization, that promotes family, that promotes traditional Judeo-Christian values (like honesty, integrity, love, respect, etc), that promotes tolerance, that promotes racial harmony, etc, etc, etc. Whose side is the opposition on, really?
    I dont see any other church/religion/people anywhere that takes so much heat other than perhaps the Jews and any religion trying to survive in a Communist or totalitarian country. Strange, isnt it?

  • Bible Reader says:

    Where in the world do these Mormons get off on this idea that they have unpaid ministers as if they can slap the face of all clergy from Prostestant Churches? First, they reveal their ignorance of the Apostle Paul, who spoke clearly about he and those with him being paid in ministry (1 Corinthians 9:1-14), where Paul argues against the LDS position in verses 7 and 11, “who goes to war at his own expense?… If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?” Then Paul concludes in verse 14, “Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.” Paul argues similarly with the church in Philipi. Only the ignorant would deny this. But let me ask a few questions to the Mormons who still, while denying the New Testament, want to argue Smith’s doctrines.
    How much does an Apostle or Seventy member get PAID? How much does the first Presidency get PAID? LDS Seventies member Paul H Dunn revealed some of this when he was put on the witness stand in the AFCO securities fraud trial in 1983. The Wall Street Journal (11/9/83), which covered the story, showed that his salary was $40,000 in ’83. When the Mormon Apostle George P. Lee was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1989, the newspapers revealed that they Seventies were PAID clergy with perks that rival CEOs of large corporations, like “company” credit cards, free apartments, free cars, per deims, etc. This Chritsian-bashing business from Mormons about “unpaid ministers” is as bogas as the day is long. What about the President of the Mormon church who gets at 1.2-Million dollar free condo as a perk? The Salt Lake Tribune, 12/8/88, states, “The $1.2 million condominium at 40 N. State that is home to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be exempt from property taxes, Salt Lake County commissioners ruled Tuesday.” He does not even have to pay property taxes on the dang thing! What do you honest, law-abiding, tax-payers think of this LDS scam?
    The Mission Presidents are not general authorities for the LDS, but they get paid salaries too, according to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 914, and what about the LDS Church fighting IRS in court for their missionaries getting PAID support through people giving to the LDS church and then the missionaries get it filtered to their mission expenses. Paid is paid, no matter how it comes. These Mormons are so befuddled by their buzz-word Mormonese that they can’t see the truth that their ministers are paid just as many Protestant minsters are. Don’t be fooled. Mormons have paid ministers too. Right now they have about 51,000 of them riding bicycles around the globe and a bunch of them in taylored suits in Salt Lake City.

  • Ex-Pagan says:

    “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p.7 )
    “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight: that those professors were all corrupt . . .” (Joseph Smith, “History of the Church, Vol. 1, page 5-6.)
    “What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world.” (“Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, page 270.)
    (In questions directed to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. . .)
    First — “Do you believe the Bible?”
    If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do.”
    Third “Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?”
    Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness.” (Teachings, page 119.)
    “And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (1 Nephi 14:10).
    I know your history do you?
    “And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose foundation is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence. . .” (1 Nephi. 14:17).

  • John says:

    I would like to thank Ex-Pagan and Bible Reader for demonstrating so eloquently and precisely why it is impossible to reason with street preachers.
    Jesus said, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44) I ask youWhere is the love??

  • Dan says:

    “The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep” (John 10:13). The only ones paid in the LDS church are in full-time administration, not the shepherds, or those in the trenches with the people.

  • Ex-Pagan says:

    The main reason paid ministries are looked down upon comes from the temple endowment ceremony. Satan mocks those that make money as pastors and priests, etc. You need to examine the root of your critical points and perhaps you would see the reason Christians have a problem with the teachings of the LDS church.

  • Dave Gray says:

    I suppose it’s a waste of time but I’m going to add my 2c worth again.
    Why do people like Ex-pagan think that ranting , shouting and belittling another is the way that Jesus would have behaved?
    To be blunt about it all, when President Hinckley said we worship a different Jesus than most “christian” churches he meant that we beleve there is more to Jesus than the “christian” denominations understand. He is the same person, but they do not undertsand his real role in the plan, they try to “pull him down” to their level. They don’t want him to be a god-like person, they want him ot be ust a man.
    I suppose it would be true to say that if the shouters, hecklers etc are what being a “christian” is all about. If a “christian” is someone who does no good works himself and belittles the good works of others. If a “christian” is someone who takes someone else sacred beliefs and parades them to others trying to show how stupid they are. If a “christian” turns a missionary who pays for himself, either through his own savings, the donations of his family or his fwllow church members and says he is a paid minister like Bible Reader does in his comment on April 18.. Well, if these are what defines a “christian” then I am not a “christian”, I don’t want to be one, I don’t want to be associated with the title in any way shape or form.
    BUT if a Christian is someone who does things that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints do then that’s the sort of Christian I want to be – I.e someone who believes that Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, who suffered in Gethsamene and died on a cross that I might be forgiven of my sins and be able to become like him and both his and my Heavenly Father. A peron who believes that I have to live as good a life as I can, giving service to others whenever I can, regardless of whether it’s convenient or not, regardless of the financial cost to me. A person who believes that I still need the mediation of my Savior to ensure that my sins are forgiven, no matter what I do. That to me is a Christian – someone who by his actions has the light of Christ in his countenance. That’s the sort of Christian I want to be. But please don’t lump me in with the other type.
    I am sorry for the people who think that they are saved no matter what they do and who revel in mocking and belittling those who know it is their works that will save them when their faith is insufficient (see James 2).
    I wonder if those of a like mind to me may be wasting our time and efforts discussing things with people who obviously don’t want to listen.

  • Ex-Pagan says:

    “That to me is a Christian – someone who by his actions has the light of Christ in his countenance. That’s the sort of Christian I want to be.”
    In responce to the first six letters in that staement:
    You can not define Christianity for yourself. It is not left open for that. It is not a private faith you are supposed to hide away. As a Christian I am a light in this world and I am to let that light shine brightly and not put a shade over it.
    That second half has a potential double meaning. It could be read as saying that by beliving that what Christ did on the cross He has paid ALL of your sins and forgoten them completly without compensation from the beliver. But being that beliving is not an action or work I doubt that is the meaning you asign to it.
    Sor it must be read as the Mormon sees it. Saying that “I have done all these great works, righteous in nature, so that I may recieve the light of Christ”.
    If It is the first I have no problem with it.
    Ephesians 2:4-10
    “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved,
    and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
    not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ”
    If it is the second, that is blasphemy and God sees it as an offence to Him. By regecting the Holy Spirit your sins will go with you before the judgement seat. You will not be allowed into the kingdom of God. Read the parabel of the wedding feast to see what Christ Himself says about it.
    You don’t have to look in the New Testament only.
    Genisis 22: 1-12
    Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
    “Here I am,” he replied.
    Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
    Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
    Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
    “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
    “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
    Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
    When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
    “Here I am,” he replied.
    “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
    We see that Abraham knew that he and Isaac would be back. That God would provide the sacrifical lamb. It was Abrhams faith that was sufficent.
    Genesis 15:6
    “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    “I wonder if those of a like mind to me may be wasting our time and efforts discussing things with people who obviously don’t want to listen.”
    Galatians 1:6-9
    “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
    For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
    Romans 16:17-18
    I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
    Paul is speaking to belivers (Christians) such as myself about people such as mormons.
    We won’t listen to you because you don’t represent the risen Lord and Saviour. Your teaching is not Biblical and you worship a different God. My God, creator of all things and Saviour to all that call upon Him, is spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth. Your god is a puny little man that lives on a planet near a star called Kolob. You have nothing to offer me as far as spiritual teaching goes. And he has nothing to offer me as far as redemption goes.
    If any of this offends you perhaps your testimony is not as strong as you would want the world to think.
    The Christian bumper sticker: He paid a debt He did not owe, because I owed a debt I could not pay.
    The Mormon bumper sticker: We are saved by grace after all that we can do.
    God does live in me so I do know love.
    I don’t see God’s love in Mormonism.
    More to come….

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