Monday, May 18, 2009

Religious Double Standards When Dismissing Mormonism

Someone called me un-Christian for not accepting the Bible (as canonized in the 4th Century AD) as inerrant. They said that the Bible is the word of God - straight from God’s mouth to the prophets’ ears to the page. Then, in the same breath, they accepted as Christian someone who said that an entire book in the Bible is not inspired of God. (Martin Luther about the Epistle of James) They quoted Revelation (completely out of context in my opinion) to castigate us for adding to the canon, but they didn’t castigate Luther for taking away from the canon. That’s a double standard.

I do not judge others by what they profess to believe, particularly if they profess to accept Jesus as Lord and God. I try not to judge them (act as judge concerning the condition of their soul) at all, since that also is something Jesus commanded we not do. (Matthew 7:1-2) I disagree strongly with much of what other Christians believe, but I would NEVER take that disagreement and condemn someone to Hell because of it. *****I have been commanded by Jesus Christ not to do that.***** I have been commanded to let their fruits inform my decision.

I know that the fruits of our early Mormon prophets, especially, might lead people to dismiss them, but I also know that most Biblical prophets also would fail under the type of criticism that is used to condemn modern prophets. That’s a double standard, and I oppose it.

It's the same concept as claiming that God and angels visiting Joseph Smith is ludicrous and unbelievable, while simultaneously accepting all of the angelic and divine visions and visitations of the Bible as perfectly believable. That's a double standard; it's wrong and un-Christian.

10 comments:

Mommie Dearest said...

When someone insists that the Bible is the inerrant word of God (every word of the bible yet!)I wonder which version of the Bible do they mean? There are so many (dozens? hundreds?) and most of them have significant doctrinal differences from each other.

Mommie Dearest said...

I should read the OP thoroughly before posting a comment. Or maybe a moratorium on comments after midnight....

Clean said...

Great points, Ray, about double standards. Almost incredible how this happens all the time.

Clean said...

FWIW, it's the book of Revelation (singular), not Revelations (plural).

Papa D said...

Thanks, CC, for that correction. When you type late at night, as MD said . . . I'll fix it in the post.

Paul said...

Amen.

Of course, the double standard in play when a pot calls a kettle black does nothing to change the color of either pot or kettle.

Michael said...

Ray,

Are you under the mistaken assumption that the general mass of common humanity is methodical, logical, and well-reasoned in their approach to intellectual discussion? You silly silly man.

You only need to look to our lovely Deseret to see how such an assumption will lead to frustration. Even our own fellow Latter Day Saints cannot hold an intelligent Gospel Doctrine discussion without falling back upon unsupportable tradition or the use of prophetic authority to make their case.

Papa D said...

Paul and Michael, I agree - completely. Oh, the irony that is religious dogmatism.

My counter would be that at least Mormonism allows for the salvation and exaltation of those outside its borders in mortality - and for the inclusion of "other sacred texts" as "scripture" ("the word of God"). It's too bad not all members understand and accept that, but it's within the principles of Mormonism, nonetheless.

Emma said...

I've always found it interesting that scripture could be added to for 4 thousand years, but not any more. Why was it okay then but not now?

Papa D said...

Emma, because those who compiled the NT placed Revelation last (because it is an end-time focused message and seems to fit best at the end of the list). It contains a statement (Rev. 22:18-19) telling people not to add to or take from it, but, being at the end of the NT (the 3rd and 4th to last verses in the NT), it is easy for the ignorant (meaning ONLY non-informed) to read it as applying to the Bible itself. It's a ludicrous conclusion, since other books were written after Revelation (and since there is a similar verse in Deut. 4:2) - but it's an easy mistake to make for the uninformed.