Chancelucky

Friday, November 30, 2007

Did Mitt Romney Deny His Faith?





In the middle of the Republican Youtube.com debate on Wednesday night, an online version of Joseph Dearborn held up a copy of the King James version of the Bible and asked “Do you believe every single word of this specific book?”

Three candidates Giuliani,Romney, and Huckabee answered the question and all three ignored the “King James” bit. The King James or authorized edition of the Bible was the first royally endorsed English language version of the Bible. While Christianity was more than sixteen hundred years old, the Catholic Church did not believe that ordinary believers should have access to the Bible in their native language. The King James version is thus both a decidedly Protestant document that was published well after the church determined that God was no longer sharing new scriptures. That's at least according to the Catholic Church and mainstream Protestant churches. One of the notable exceptions to the idea that the Christian God’s revelation of his/her word stopped some time during the Roman Empire is the Mormon church’s belief that God spoke to an American prophet, Joseph Smith, during the 19th century in upstate New York. Mitt Romney is Mormon and claims to be proud of it.

I’m not sure that anyone would have known from his oddly nuanced and evasive answer. While the Church of the Latter Day Saints includes the Bible among its holy documents, it also includes the Book of Mormon which purports to supply missing details from the Bible that the other churches missed. This includes a narrative of Jesus’s whereabouts among the Nephites after the resurrection.

Romney replied “I believe the Bible is the word of God and I try to live by it….I might interpret it differently than you interpret it, but I believe it’s the word of God.”

The last bit may have been an allusion to his being Mormon, but I was struck by how embarrassed Governor Romney appeared to be about his own religion. It struck me that a proud Mormon would say that “Yes, I believe that the Bible is the word of God and that word was expanded and clarified by Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon. As such, I believe that the King James Bible is an incomplete record of the world of God.”

I’m not Mormon, but I would have respected that approach. Instead, he subtly denied his own religion by implying that the King James version of the Bible is the complete word of God and thus suggested that his personal religious beliefs are essentially the same as mainstream Protestants. The irony is compounded by the fact that the Book of Mormon in many ways stylistically parodies the King James version of the Bible. I’m not a theologian, but the similarities between the style of the King James edition and the Book of Mormon are troubling. As a 19th century New Yorker, Joseph Smith did not speak the same dialect as English Biblical scholars in 1611 AD. The oldest sources for the New Testament are written in Greek. Smith thus claims that God spoke to him in a King James (not Lebron) accent. I don’t want to get into the authenticity of the Mormon religion. It’s a long argument and I happen to think that people are free to believe what they want in spiritual matters. It’s more that Governor Romney was awfully reluctant to let America know about Joseph Smith. I’d even go so far as to say that he appeared to be ashamed of his own religion's prophet and its relationship to the evangelical Christianity that forms the voting base of the modern Republican party.

Rudy Giuliani, a Catholic, also slid around the question by selectively ignoring the King James reference and talking about “literal” construction vs. the “spirit of the word.” Again, he did not share any insights about how the Catholics view of the need to read the Bible directly differs from the evangelical view. Instead, he left the impression that he reads and consults the Bible directly without guidance from members of the clergy of his own church.

I’m no fan of Governor Huckabee, but perhaps as the one actual Evangelical of the three, he shared the most “liberal” view of the Bible. He explained that some aspects of the Bible are more important than others, particularly “Love Thy Neighbor” and Matthew 25:40 Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Oddly, Huckabee didn’t quote the King James version in his answer, instead he phrased it “As much as you’ve done unto the least of these, you have done unto me.”

How do I put this? I listened to the Republican debate for two hours and there wasn’t a single candidate who took that proposition seriously including Huckabee. They all hated taxes, they exhorted the crowd to cheer for the notion that the U.S. is going to win the war in Iraq (whatever that means), the need to keep poor immigrants out of the US, and all seemed quite proud to support the right to bear arms. I didn’t exactly hear a commitment to serving the poorest and most vulnerable Americans. Still, what the heck, at least Governor Huckabee did manage to quote the Bible and had compassion for illegal alien children who are honors students.

Btw As a non-Christian, when I was looking up the King James version of Governor Huckabee’s quote, I was struck by the following passage from the same chapter of Matthew.

25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
I know there’s probably some rational translation of this, but you know how Americans always make a big deal about Islam promising Virgins if you die for your faith. Anyway, all this talk about trim your lamps and Virgins having enough oil. Anyway, it sure can be read in some pretty interesting ways. By the way, the passage I found in the Qur’an that ties to this “Western” version of Islamic fantacism is about as ambiguous as this bit of Matthew and its ten virgins going out to trim and oil the bridegroom's wick.

If Governor Romney’s views on the King James’ version of the Bible came off as a bit selective or tortured, his view on actual torture was even less forthright. First he claimed that he would defer to Senator McCain as the expert on such matters, but he refused to condemn waterboarding. Then Senator McCain (in one of those moments where you actually respect the guy) came straight out and said that waterboarding is not only torture it’s simply un-American. Thrown by this, Romney protested that he didn’t want potential torture victims to know what Americans would and wouldn’t do to them. Somehow it isn’t presidential to discuss the sort of things you would do to drag information out of someone, whether the technique has any proven interrogation value or not. Maybe they should have threatened to "pluck out the eyes" of the interogee, which according to Governor Huckabee does have some basis in the Bible. On the other hand, what would you expect from a guy who strapped his dog to the top of his car for a four hundred mile long trip then got his wife to lie about it. Romney then put the cherry on his torture sundae by invoking the authority of his security adviser, Cofer Black, the vice-chairman of Blackwater.

I’ve never read all of the Book of Mormon. I have read the Bible and there’s a fair amount of torture in the Bible including some by God, still I like Governor Huckabee’s other take on the so called "Good Book" that the part of the Bible we should worry about is “love thy neighbor” and “What one does to the least of these, one does unto me (Jesus)”. I was expecting Governor Romney to offer some Biblical justification for his refusal to condemn the practice of drowning someone until he/she essentially has a nervous breakdown. I would have thought the Republican God whose word these folk claim to revere so much might have said something like, “Yep, it’s a war crime if the Japanese do it in World War 2, but you Americans are doing it for the right reason and I’m certainly not one to make your interrogation practices potentially less effective.”

Of course, that’s my loose translation from the Aramaic, unless of course God is still speaking in 17th Century scholarly English.

Just as amazing, William “Mr. Virtues” Bennett praised Romney’s performance after the debate and pointed out that his torture exchange with McCain was a show that Romney was strong enough to disagree with McCain on a security matter. Who would have bet on that?

No shock, the mainstream media hasn’t much commented on Governor Romney’s tacit denial of Joseph Smith. I’d say that’s a little tortured, though no more than mentioning Hillary Clinton four times and the sitting Republican President George Bush not at all. You wanna talk about denial!


note: Ironically, George Romney, Mitt's father, unfairly fell out of presidential contention in 1968 when he decided to oppose the war in Vietnam. Unfortunately, he used the term "brainwashing" to epxlain his conversion.

Romney to discuss his faith.




Labels:

18 Comments:

At 11/30/2007 09:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Mitt Romney lied about the Bible. What's new?

To paraphrase Ann Coulter, "If Mormons believed the Bible, they'd be Christians."

It's all been documented at romneyforpresident.townhall.com

Like Mormonism, the blog isn't what it seems.

(Funny photos too!)

 
At 11/30/2007 10:55:00 PM, Blogger Starting To Learn said...

I think that Romney is very clear on what he believes and what his church teaches. I suspect it was more in the manner of not wanting to "cast pearls before swine." (Matthew 7:6)

Like many Mormons I know whose religion and scriptures are very sacred to them, he was most likely uncomfortable sharing his inner religious beliefs in a secular setting.

The Mormon teaching on the Bible is readily available in their lesson manuals at lds.org.

 
At 12/01/2007 08:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'starting to learn' said, "I think that Romney is very clear on what he believes and what his church teaches."

Do you mean "clear in his own mind" or he is being "clear to us?"

If the latter, then, No, he isn't. If he was, he would have proudly recited your WHOLE 8th Article of Faith. But he obfuscated. No, wait. He lied. The New York Times found what the Mormon church teaches about the Bible here.

And, as shown at the romneyforpresident site, Mormons do NOT believe the Song of Solomon is the word of God. Therefore, Mitt Romney does NOT and CANNOT believe EVERY word in the Bible.

"I suspect it was more in the manner of not wanting to "cast pearls before swine."

Nice try. If true, why are you sharing your speculations with us swine?

Since you're just starting to learn, let me try to help you out. Read Acts Chpt 25 and 26, where the Apostle Paul uses the secular opportunity provided to share the truth with King Agrippa.

"Like many Mormons I know whose religion and scriptures are very sacred to them..."

Sacred? Did you mean "secret?" Like the temple ceremony? If they're really sacred, and, if like the temple ceremony, you can't talk about "sacred" things, then be consistent and don't tell us about your scriptures at all! It says in the Book of Mormon that it "is a sacred record of peoples in ancient America," yet you all talk about this sacred record all the time. You are double minded. (James 1:8)

"... he was most likely uncomfortable sharing his inner religious beliefs in a secular setting."

No, he's a politician. It's more likely he was lying. But you're in a cult and can't see that. (Don't tell me you're not in a cult. It carries no weight. No one who's in a cult knows they're in a cult.)

Again, see the example the Apostle Paul set in Acts happily sharing the truth in a secular setting. Further, Paul told Timothy to preach in season and out, confirming this practice. (2 Timothy 4:2)

But maybe those parts of the Bible haven't been translated correctly? (Sarcasm, which is also found in the Bible.)

"The Mormon teaching on the Bible is readily available ... at lds.org."

That's like asking Democrats what they really believe and saying you should go to www.dnc.org to find out. I'd rather listen to Rush Limbaugh to tell me.

Happily, in this one case, the lds site is honest and open. According to the NYT, "However, they do not believe the Bible, as it is currently available, is without error."

Even after Joseph Smith fixed it up? Even with a Mormon living prophet? Why doesn't your guy enlighten us all and tell us exactly what parts of the Bible are true and what parts are false?

The FACT is, Mormons, and Mitt Romney, do not believe EVERY word of the Bible. And that was the question asked. He should have just said, "No."

Or can't he handle the truth?

(Or, as Ben Stein has observed, "If they have the truth, what are they so afraid of?"

 
At 12/01/2007 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

anonymous,
thanks for the link.

Starting to learn,
I'm confused by the "pearls before swine" comment. Are you suggesting that Republican voters are "swine"?

anonymous,
thanks for the link to the New York Times article. I'm glad that Gov. Romney's Bible take was picked up somewhere in the mainstream media.

My take on the bit is simple. If you're a Mormon and you're running for office, be proud of your religion. If it's something you feel the need to hide, then I'd question the quality and sincerity of Mitt Romney's professions of faith.

 
At 12/01/2007 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Starting To Learn said...

My point (evidentially misinterpreted) is that Mitt Romney is very comfortable and clear about what he personally believes, he just didn't feel like that was the proper forum for embarking on a religious discussion.

I was not attempting to characterize any person or group as swine, but rather stating the obvious that most people prefer to share their innermost and intimate spiritual feelings with trusted family and friends - not a TV audience of millions, many of which were and are just waiting to hang the candidates on anything that they can. What is the motive to ask him in that forum when the entire curriculum of the church is available for anyone to read at lds.org? Romney has held leadership positions in the LDS church. It's not too big of a stretch to think that maybe he believes what the Church teaches.

I'm sure that Romney would be more than happy to share his feelings and beliefs about the Bible in a one-on-one setting with any person who was honestly wanting to know - not just trying to trip him up. I would do the same.

Anonymous - I don't believe that you sincerely want to know what Romney or any other Mormon believes. It seems you have already made up your mind. If not, might spend some time in the bible study lesson manuals at lds.org and might find out exactly what has been taught in the Mormon Church about the Bible over the last two years.

chancelucky - are you suggesting that the audience for that debate and the subsequent press was only Republican voters?

 
At 12/01/2007 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Parklife said...

As a disclaimer, its fair to say I have my own issues with Romney. Starting with the (R) next to his name. Going further, he appears more than confused on many issues. From guns to the bible to animal cruelty, you never know what is going to come out of his mouth.

..a TV audience of millions..

Thats kind of the point of the whole exercise. Especially one stamped with the Google seal of approval. The everyday person interacting with the presidential candidates... we get to ask the questions. They are supposed to give us the formulated answer. Its supposed to be a bit more intimate than some Pulitzer Prize winning journalist tossing softballs. Anyway, I guess my point is that if Romney isnt going to share with the American people about his feelings about his religion at a debate. Just when is this going to happen?

 
At 12/01/2007 05:54:00 PM, Anonymous pogblog said...

Besides thinking we'd all be safer if we wuz all carryin', in a speech to the NRA (National Rifle Association, National Machine Gun Association, presumably National Hand Grenade Association) putatively cherubic Gov. Huck said that there would be "duck huntin' in Heaven & I can't wait" (No rest for them unwicked ducks apparently) and he told an odious little story about how "I squeezed the trigger of my Weatherby 300 Mag and by the grace of God . . . the angels took my bullet right to the antelope & my hunt was over in a wonderful way."

Angels? Not what I woulda guessed in their job description? Aren't there enough starving children to comfort?

Hey, if you're a Bible-believin' Republican apparently you have got to toot your testosterone at every opportunity. It would be silly and pathetic if so many people weren't being waterboarded, slaughtered (like ducks?), unhealthcared et cetera.

 
At 12/02/2007 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

starting to learn said,

"Anonymous - I don't believe that you sincerely want to know what Romney or any other Mormon believes. It seems you have already made up your mind."

To which I say, I don't believe YOU sincerely want to know what Christians believe about Mormonism. Despite the preponderance of evidence that 1) the Book of Mormon is not true, 2) Joseph Smith is not a true prophet and 3) the CofJCofLDS is not true, it seems you have already "prayed about it," will not be swayed by facts and have already made up YOUR mind. (Which is why, to bring this back on point, I don't want a Mormon in the White House. The often are incapable of critical thinking.)

Whereas I have taken the time to mark up an 1830 copy of the Book of Mormon with changes to 1976. I have talked with numerous missionaries and IIRC, some bishops. Hey, I even bought the Missionary Lesson plans for myself! So don't be quick to judge those who reject Mormonism.

Instead of acting like a Liberal, attacking the motives of others, why not try to rebut them with facts? Surely if Mormonism is true, the facts will bear witness and no one will have to "pray about it."

To paraphrase Mitt Romney, "I know your faith better than you do."

Thanks for playing.

 
At 12/03/2007 06:40:00 AM, Blogger Starting To Learn said...

anonymous:

well, since we're playing...

"To which I say, I don't believe YOU sincerely want to know what Christians believe about Mormonism."

I know well what some Christians believe about Mormons. I have all of the main anti-Mormon texts such as "Maze of Mormonism" and "Mormonism:Shadow or Reality" and have studied them for their accuracy. They have very little.

You are repeating many of the untruths contained in books like those and completely ignoring several critical truths.

As for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, there are many evidences of such, including the signed statements of 12 men who saw and held the plates that Joseph Smith translated from. Many a court case was won with lesser testimonies from credible witnesses.

There is a web site, fairlds.org, that contains many scholarly works concerning evidences of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Have you read any of those?

And your comment:
"I don't want a Mormon in the White House. The often are incapable of critical thinking.)"
seems a little off.

Just a moment of viewing sites like:
http://famousmormons.net/
will show that Mormons are indeed capable of critical thinking. For example, inventing the television must have taken a great deal of critical thinking.

"Whereas I have taken the time to mark up an 1830 copy of the Book of Mormon with changes to 1976."
Hopefully you didn't really mark up an 1830 edition. The last one that was auctioned went for $100,000.
But if you just read through the Tanner's book to see the changes, you might be interested in this web site:
http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/Book_of_Mormon_vs_the_Critics.html



"So don't be quick to judge those who reject Mormonism."
I don't judge those who reject actual Mormon theology. I do tend to judge those who just repeat the unsubstantiated statements of the anti-Mormon texts.

Finally, you seem to expect "facts" to prove religion. Surely you understand that religion is a matter of faith, not facts.

 
At 12/03/2007 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Starting to Learn,
It's hard for me to know what you intended with the "pearls before swine" comment, but I do know how it read.

Obviously, anyone could have watched the debate, but it was in Iowa and directed at Iowa Republicans.

I do think that Romney could have taken the same approach that JFK used around his Catholicism or that Howard Dean used in 2004. JFK's Houston speech basically said that he was an American first and a Catholic in his personal life. Dean's response about religion was that he believed that it was personal and had no bearing on his political duties.
Governor Romney didn't actually do that though. My point was that he crossed the line a bit by essentially misrepresenting his faith. He could easily have used your approach and said, I'm proud to be Mormon and the tenets of our faith our well known and readily available at....

Anonymous,
I'm not sure what would be said about mainstream Christianity or Islam if it had been founded as recently as the Mormon Church. The history of the Qur'an isn't that different from Joseph Smith's story.
There also simply appears to be a lot we don't know about the gospels pre council of Nicea.

That said, I do believe that people are free to choose their faith and even to suspend belief in doing so.
A few months ago, I did look into the strange history of Oliver Cowdery and his relationship to the church, his beliefs, etc. during his own life. I've also had occasion to read some serious looks at Mormon archaeology which included some private concerns expressed by various Mormon archaeologists. Much of it does make me a bit skeptical. The whole King James thing also does seem a bit odd to me, but there are different ways to look at that issue since that is what Joseph Smith knew as the "bible".

I've known a number of individuals who left the church. I've also known a number of individuals who have either stayed in and some who've converted whom I like and respect very much.

As I've said, I personally think Governor Romney, if he wants to stay in the church, should be proud of it and not try to hide it as he appeared to do in Iowa.

 
At 12/03/2007 10:32:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

PL:
I'm with you. I rather liked the youtubed format. Yes, a lot of it was sort of silly, the guy munching on corn, the guy firing his automatic weapon, and the Bible question guy, but it did feel more authentic in some ways.

Mr. Pogblog,
There were actually aspects of Mike Huckabee that I liked, but he's also the guy who raised his hand enthusiastically to say that he didn't believe in evolution.
Also, his actual record is a bit scary.

 
At 12/03/2007 10:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chancelucky:

Good comments. You suggested,

"I'm not sure what would be said about mainstream Christianity or Islam if it had been founded as recently as the Mormon Church."

Do you mean "Would Christianity be called a cult in the early days" or do you mean "Would Christianity be considered a false religion when it was new?"

To the first: Christianity was apparently considered a "fad" or a "movement" after the Resurrection of Jesus (It was called "The Way.") But it was never a cult.

Among the characteristic of cults, cults have secrets and the promise of "higher knowledge" for insiders. There are no secrets in Christianity and no higher knowledge. Whereas Mormonism has it's secret temple ceremony that only the "worthy" can attend. (And, you guessed it, being worthy involves money.)

In Christianity, we're told that knowledge puffs up. Wisdom is what we're after. (There's a difference.) Anyone can become as wise as they want about God in Christianity by reading and studying the Bible and living it, although, as with all growth and learning, it requires time to grow. (And God says trials are required. No pain, no gain.)

AFAIK, Islam is not a cult either. It is a false religion. There's a difference. (Mormonism is a false religion too, but it is also a cult.)

As far as truth is concerned, truth is time-invariant. While we tend to fall for the fallacy of appealing to authority, or belief, or popularity, etc. etc. if Jesus was God when He said He was God, then He is still God today. Of course, time can bring new data, and when He rose from the dead, as He said He would, He proved He was who He said He was.

It is true that the Jews, notably Saul, before he became the Apostle Paul, considered Christianity a false religion. But it wasn't the newness of Christianity that was his problem. As he later wrote, his problem was a blind faith, a blind adherence to the traditions of his fathers. Like the Muslims today, he was ignorant and thought he was doing God's will. When the Lord confronted him head on, Paul was forced to deal with the facts. He became a believer even while Christianity was still a new "fad."

There's probably a fine line between appeal to popularity and something standing the test of time. I would say the test of time allows more data gathering and testing. But just because a movement or belief persists for a long time, doesn't mean it's true. Islam has been around for a long time. That doesn't make it true.

"The history of the Qur'an isn't that different from Joseph Smith's story."

BINGO! That's because they both have the same author behind them.

They both make similar claims for their founder. They are single point originators, and, as NASA would say, problematic with single point faults. Neither the story of Joseph Smith nor Mohammad can be independently verified. You have to swallow their entire story.

Whereas the Bible was compiled over a time period of 4000 years by different men in different locals. The veracity of the Bible does not rest upon the testimony of just one man.

"There also simply appears to be a lot we don't know about the gospels pre council of Nicea."

I don't know where you get that. I think you're falling for a popular generalization of how the Bible came to be. I can only suggest you study it for yourself and see if your belief is true. (And if it is, please tell me so I don't waste my life.)If you study it, you'll find we have very early manuscripts AND you can reconstruct the Bible independently and indirectly from sermons of the early church fathers.

"That said, I do believe that people are free to choose their faith and even to suspend belief in doing so."

Correct. No one is saying Mitt Romney can't be Mormon. What he can't be is President of the United States because he's sworn an oath of allegiance to his church (which really means an oath to his leaders).

"A few months ago, I did look into the strange history of Oliver Cowdery and his relationship to the church, his beliefs, etc. during his own life. I've also had occasion to read some serious looks at Mormon archaeology which included some private concerns expressed by various Mormon archaeologists. Much of it does make me a bit skeptical."

Well, good for you! You've done more research than most Mormons I've met.

However, part of testing for truth is testing for lies. In our country, we tend to think "innocent until proven guilty." The Bible says you should assume guilty until proven innocent. We are commanded to not believe everything, but test them. Indeed, this is how scientists are supposed to approach things. (Global Warning excepted, apparently.)

Mormons start out believing, without any basis for it, that Joseph Smith is a prophet. (Had they been born in Iraq, they would just as easily believe Mohammad was a prophet. Where you chanced to be born shouldn't change the truth.) Anyone can claim to be a prophet. And many have. Rather than believing them first, you should check their story closely to see if they are true.

"The whole King James thing also does seem a bit odd to me, but there are different ways to look at that issue since that is what Joseph Smith knew as the "bible"."

I don't know what you mean here. Do you mean the way the Book of Mormon just happens to be written in pseudo-Elizabethan English? Or how J.S. copied some parts of the Bible into the BOM?

As to the first, the 1830 addition seems to be written by someone with a 3rd grade education. The grammar is terrible. (Verb conjugation.) Guess God didn't know English. And it's not really Elizabethan. It just sounds liketh it.

"I've known a number of individuals who left the church. I've also known a number of individuals who have either stayed in and some who've converted whom I like and respect very much."

Either way, that's back to appealing to authority. Either Joseph Smith is a true prophet or he isn't. Either the Book(s) of Mormon are correct or they aren't.
Whether anyone else believes it or not, does not determine truth.

But there's no harm in asking them, so as to not reinvent the wheel, I suggest you gathering data by asking those who left Mormonism why they left. (More specifically than, "because its' not true.") If they have logical reasons and proof the Mormon church can't be true (like my marked up changes in the Book of Mormon), then you should act on the facts.

"As I've said, I personally think Governor Romney, if he wants to stay in the church, should be proud of it and not try to hide it as he appeared to do in Iowa."

Agreed. You don't know Mormons like I know Mormons, but Mitt Romney (and all Mormon missionaries) was taught a long time ago (at the Missionary Training Center) to not give meat when milk will do. They know what bugs Christians, and are very glib with the truth. You saw that in the debate.

If they have the truth, what are they so afraid of?

 
At 12/04/2007 12:00:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Anonymous,
It's fair to point out that 4,000 years of the Bible is mostly the Old Testament. The sources of the gospels are obviously more recent than that. Last I checked, Mark appears to be the oldest of the gospels and most scholars believe that it was written no earlier than 60AD or a generation after the Resurrection.

I'm not really one to sort between "false faiths" and "true faiths". My comment about early Christianity was simply that had Christ lived after the development of the printing press, there'd have been even more controversy about the origins of the Church.

My comments about the development of the gospels just have to do with the fact that there were other versions, most of them apocraphyl, that circulated for a couple centuries. The Book of Judas that came into the public eye more or less two years ago is certainly interesting. I'm not saying that the gospels themselves were fabrications. They appear to be very sincere attempts to document and synopsize the life of Jesus who very clearly did exist.

The case for Joseph Smith's tablets is way less persuasive unless you do happen to be a believer. It's really interesting to compare Joseph Smith to Hong Xiuquan, the man who claimed to be Jesus's younger brother and who started the Taiping Rebellion, at roughly the same time (within 20 years) that Smith founded the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

My comments about the King James thing were mostly along the lines of God speaking to a 19th century American in Shakespearean English. It seems strange to me, though the counter argument is that was the form that Smith knew for "godly talk" so it may have come back out on that form. There's a modern guy who wrote a series of books called "Conversations with God", Neale Donald Walsch, in which God appears to speak in idiomatic modern American English. Who knows?

As I've said, I do know a number of Mormons who I find perfectly likeable and admirable individuals. My mother in law was Mormon fwiw and was buried in the church. Oddly, one of my brothers in law is a Jehovah's Witness, yet another modern group who claims to have had a revelation.

 
At 12/04/2007 05:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chancelucky.

Well, you seem very well read, so there's not much more I can tell you that you probably don't already know.

It comes down to this: Either Jesus was God and has ALWAYS been God (Christianity); or Jesus was a mere man, born in a pre-existence along with his brother Lucifer, had to come to earth to be married and learn secret passwords and handshakes in the temple to become A god (Mormonism); or Jesus is really Michael the Archangel, not God (JW); or none of the above (Judaisms and Islam). They cannot all be correct. (i.e. mutually exclusive.)

Anyone can claim revelation. And many have. We were warned about false prophets in the Bible. (Score one for God).

Of all the above, Christianity is the only one that says there's hell to pay - for all eternity - with no second chance, if you're wrong. So I'd start my study with the Bible as we have it now.

Gotta go. If you're really searching, you will find the truth. (The REAL meaning of James 1:5.)

 
At 12/06/2007 08:45:00 AM, Blogger Parklife said...

Just for the record.. It seems Mitt, for some reason, feels the need to explain his faith. Cant wait for this one.

 
At 12/06/2007 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I looked over Mitt's statement from today. I'm not sure that he helped himself. The problem is that the guy appears to have no actual political convictions and that's what tends to come across.

 
At 7/01/2010 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

結婚率愈來愈低,離婚的比率卻愈來愈高!
昔日的七年之癢,現在已經縮短至兩三年!
離婚變成極可能的選項,您該怎樣維護自身權益?
想要離婚,夫妻財產怎麼分配?
想要離婚,我可以拿到贍養費嗎?
想要離婚,子女監護權會屬於誰?
這些問題您夠清楚嗎?
離婚往往是撕破臉的局面,不要奢望對方還會為您設想!
讓專家幫您解決問題,幫助您拿到屬於的一切、漂亮離婚

 
At 7/01/2010 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

男人有了外遇,但是他不想離婚
外遇情人面前,他可以享受著年輕戀愛般的美好
在回歸家庭時刻,他可以享受著老婆對他無微不至的照顧
在同事朋友面前,他可以享受著眾人對他的忌妒與羨慕
男人有了外遇,但是他不想離婚,他只想自私的擁有一切

 

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