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wmickas
Con (against)
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The Contender
JohnSmythe
Pro (for)
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Is Mormonism compatible with Biblical Christianity?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 293 times Debate No: 103984
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
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wmickas

Con

Mormons and Christians have many similarities. We both believe that Christ is the savior of the world. We may have similar values. The differences we have are very important. Mormons disagree with the trinity and have a view of God that goes against even the Book of Mormon. They believe in works instead of grace alone through faith alone. They believe in an open canon instead of a closed cannon which causes some problems with the consistency of their teachings over time. My opponent will give his or her case for why Mormonism is compatible with Biblical Christianity.
JohnSmythe

Pro

As a practicing member of the LDS Church, I assume it as my prerogative for this discussion to assert initially what we do and do not believe. As definitive, undeniable statements of doctrine, per our procedure only those writings or ideas ratified by the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the general membership of the Church are valid (and still subject to human error, BTW). These are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants (with the two Official Declarations), and Pearl of Great Price. When clarification is needed, I will adopt a very rigorous standard of evidence to avoid going off into the weeds and keep this debate centered on what most Mormons actually believe rather than what a few do or did believe. Only statements from General Conference (our biannual meeting, presided by the president of the Church with the participation of the Quorum of the Twelve) offered during the tenure of the current prophet will be admissable.

Now, as to the Trinity, the Athanasian Creed (used by other Christians such as Catholics and Lutherans, but rejected by us) states:

"And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal"

and the Nicene Creed (likewise rejected by us)

"We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the Son of God,
begotten from the Father, only-begotten,
that is, from the substance of the Father,
God from God,
light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made,
of one substance with the Father,"


Now, whatever form of unity we ascribe to the Father and the Son, we have to be willing to accept for them with us later, per John 17:21-23

"That they all may be one; as (note: my emphasis) thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. "

So if Jesus and the Father are indeed consubstantial one with another, which consubstantiality makes Christ God, then you must be willing to accept that same unity for us both with each other as with God and Jesus Christ. The "as" I bolded is "kathM63;s" in Greek, and has a definition of "according to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as, as."

http://biblehub.com...

We believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are indeed one.

"We believe these three divine persons constituting a single Godhead are united in purpose, in manner, in testimony, in mission. We believe Them to be filled with the same godly sense of mercy and love, justice and grace, patience, forgiveness, and redemption. I think it is accurate to say we believe They are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance" (https://www.lds.org...)

This is supported by the original Greek.

Christ says that He and the Father are "hen" (Greek neuter adjective), rather than "heis" (Greek masculine adjective), meaning that they are not one person, which resulting person would of course be male and warrant the masculine adjective, but instead of one will/purpose/function, as in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one (hen): and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

Surely Paul and Apollos are not a duality, consubstantial, each being a human yet not two humans but one as Athanasius would have us believe, but instead the planter and the waterer of course have the same aim (despite different tasks), that of the growth of the plant.

As for the open/closed canon, that is easily dismissed by the fact that Christians (Acts 11:26) were still Christians despite having an open canon (Revelation was received after Paul`s death, and the church at Antioch already existed and was Christian despite having an open canon).




Debate Round No. 1
wmickas

Con

As a former practicing member of the LDS Church I thank my opponent for the chance to debate him. My opponent talks about his criteria for discussion. "Only statements from General Conference (our biannual meeting, presided by the president of the Church with the participation of the Quorum of the Twelve) offered during the tenure of the current prophet will be admissible." I believe this is a strange statement since the 9th Article of Faith (located in the the Pearl of Great Price in the LDS standard works) says "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." This means that you cannot only believe what the current church leader says, you have to believe all of what Mormons believe God has revealed to the leadership. I have a question for my opponent. Should we accept current teachings from Thomas S. Monson and other current leaders and ignore teachings from the leadership of the tenures of Joseph Smith- Gordon B. Hinkley? Before we can have a conversation, I believe that we must establish criteria.

Trinity: I have met Mormons who actually agree with the athanasian creed. Just recently I have had an email exchange with a representative of Fair Mormon (a Mormon apologetics website). He told me that layman Mormons and several Mormon missionaries with little to no theological training tend to confuse trinitarianism with modalism. The problem I had with this response is that some of the LDS leaders have done the same thing (if you want resources, please ask). Now I do agree that we should not take the opinion of anyone Mormon as authoritative but I should point out that Mormons are diverse as Christians are diverse.

Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon support the trinity. The Book of Mormon does announce the trinity more clearly than the Bible.

Bible support for the trinity:
Old Testament: Zechariah 2:8-9, Exodus 3 (pay attention to verses 2 and 4)Genesis 16:10-13Judges 6:11-23, Psalm 2:2, Psalm 110:1 Isaiah 48:12,16, Judges 5:13-14 Genesis 18 (cross reference with John 1:18 and Exodus 33:20) (he is not the father but another person but might be a pre-incarnate Christ) Genesis 1:26 Amos 4:11 The Hebrew (אֱלֹהִים Elohim) (which is a name for God) is in the plural meaning 3 or more

Jesus: Matthew 28:19 ,John 5:22-23,26,31-32, John 10:30, John 14:13, John 17:5,21-23 etc.

Paul: Philippians 2:6, 1 Timothy 3:16, 2 Corinthians 13:14 etc.

Book of Mormon support for the trinity: Only one God (Alma 11:26-29)
Jesus Christ is the eternal father (alma 11:38-40)
For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.(2 Nephi 11:7)
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen. (2 Nephi 31:21)
Compare 1 John 5:7 to 3 Nephi 11:34-36

Based on the Book of Mormon's support for the trinity. I believe that the belief in an open cannon would place the highest level of scrutiny of scriptural consistency to those who claim to be apostles and prophets. I do see inconsistencies between modern leaders and previous leaders and LDS scripture itself as troubling for the LDS Church.

I give my opponent the chance to respond.
JohnSmythe

Pro

Frankly, you didn`t address a single one of my arguments. You only sort of acknowledged my point about not accepting everything that ever came out of a leader`s mouth. I won`t compliment you by adding more. Address my arguments, and I`ll post more.

As to "open canon"

https://www.lds.org...

"In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the canonical books are called standard works."

If you want to consider the consistency of the canon, you have compelled yourself to remain within the Standard Works.


Think of the relationship between the leadership and the standard works like the the Supreme Court and the actual law. The Supreme Court issues binding interpretations (stare decisis), but a future court might think differently and overrule without issue. Peter and Paul disagreed and that doesn`t make either one a false apostle. Paul and Barnabas did as well. Moses smote the rock rather than speaking and angered God. Abraham first said God said he needed to kill his son, and then said God said he didn`t. Nathan told David he could build the temple, but God gave a different direction later. Jesus said that divorce was wrong, when Moses had said it wasn`t, and on and on and on. Now, the Court can`t change the law, which is why only after the ratifying consent of the membership is a new revelation added to the canon.

This is consistent with practice since the beginning of the Church. Lectures on Faith was removed from the Doctrine and Covenants because they "were never presented to nor accepted by the Church". This is contrasted by the rest of Doctrine and Covenants, and "it was thought by Elder James E. Talmage, chairman, and other members of the committee who were responsible for their omission that to avoid confusion and contention on this vital point of belief, it would be better not to have them bound in the same volume as the commandments or revelations which make up the Doctrine and Covenants."


Now, you`ve posted a giant list of scriptures I lack the time and inclination to examine and individually refute. I`ll instead post my own giant list of scripture and focus on the critical point


https://www.fairmormon.org...

Now address the point. The Book of Mormon has the same phrase as the Bible.

"And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one" 3 Ne. 19:23

If God and Christ are consubstantial, then we also will be consubstantial with them per the Bible and Book of Mormon, for we shall be one as (Kathos, meaning "to the same extent) "thou, O father, art in me".
Debate Round No. 2
wmickas

Con

Thank you, for your response. My opponent accuses me of not addressing his claims. Indeed, I did not respond to specific claims. I gave my own case for believing in the trinity and provided my own case for the trinity from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I also pointed out that it is problematic for modern Mormon leaders to provide a view of God that differs from the one found in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Open canon: I am referring to the belief that that the teaching of modern apostles and prophets should be taken as scripture along with the Bible. The Mormons do believe this.

"In addition to these four books of scripture, the inspired words of our living prophets become scripture to us. Their words come to us through conferences, the Liahona or Ensign magazine, and instructions to local priesthood leaders. 'We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.'(Articles of Faith 1:9)." Gospel Principles Chapter 10- Scriptures

I believe that his supreme court analogy is inconsistent with what I just quoted from one of his handbooks.

I believe that proof texting one passage of the Bible or any other sacred writ of any religion is disingenuous. John 17 is merely expressing that the church should exhibit the same unity that the father and son have. This does nothing to critique the trinitarian belief in one God in 3 distinct persons. As the Fair Mormon representative said, people have confused trinitarianism and modalism. What we need to do to gain a complete view of God is comb though all of what the Bible says on the subject for me as a Christian. My opponent needs to do the same thing with his scriptures. I affirm that if you compare the LDS standard works and previous leaders with modern leadership you will find differences. The problem is as I said in the last round is that these apostles and prophets should be held to the highest level of scriptural consistency.
JohnSmythe

Pro

It has been taught since Joseph Smith in the Church: "A prophet is only a prophet when acting as a prophet". If a prophet feels strongly enough that a certain new principle he is teaching ought to become doctrine he can initiate that process whenever he wants. He will do as President Kimball did. He will talk to his counselors and they may ratify his opinion, then go to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and they may ratify his opinion, then go to the membership of the Church and present it and may will ratify it. That is the process.

Brigham Young said "Can a Prophet or an Apostle be mistaken? Do not ask me any such question, for I will acknowledge that all the time, but I do not acknowledge that I designedly lead this people astray one hair’s breadth from the truth, and I do not knowingly do a wrong, though I may commit many wrongs, and so may you. But I overlook your weaknesses, and I know by experience that the Saints lift their hearts to God that I may be led right"

Brigham Young himself said he was prone to making mistakes.

Joseph Fielding Smith said:

"An individual may fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends. But the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be"

Now for the voice of modern prophets: "
Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted."

You said ""I affirm that if you compare the LDS standard works"

Good, then let`s discuss the standard works then and leave statements that were not ratified by the above process alone.


And if you want to be consistent, you will apply the same principle you attempt to apply to the Book of Mormon to the Bible. Jonah was racist against Assyrians, Nathan told David he could build the temple, then changed his mind, Micaiah the prophet initially lied to Ahab, Peter was "compelling the Gentiles to live as Jews" (Galatians 2) but later changed his mind (Acts 15), hundreds of laws from the Old Testament were abolished essentially.

Even Jesus said "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel", and "Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter yet not" but a sceptic could say he "changed" his teaching when at the end of his life he said "Go ye therefore and teach all nations."

Now as to your objection of "Prooftexting" John 17, I find it to be the single most important chapter of scripture. It is our longest account of Christ speaking with the Father. He has no reason to employ parable or metaphor to hide His meaning, but is humble and direct. Much of Trinitarian theology is built on John 1, why not finish with John 17, which mentions on two separate occasions mentions our future unity as being "kathos" or "according to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as, as" God`s unity with Christ.

You said, "John 17 is merely expressing that the church should exhibit the same unity that the father and son have." That is a very candid confession.

Per your own words, if then the unity of Christ and the Father is as "one God", then at some point we shall become "one God" with Them. Taking this to its logical conclusion, then shall the Trinity become an enormous Plurality as all righteous Christians become one in Them, all the same God, all the same being with a billion hypostases.

This false conclusion would be supported by 1 Corinthians 6:17

"But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit"

Paul had just compared the union of a man with a harlot as becoming one literally flesh with the harlot, thus profaning our bodies and making the members of Christ joined to a harlot. Therefore if God is only a Spirit, we literally become one spirit with him.





Debate Round No. 3
wmickas

Con

Thank you, for your response. Given all the things that you said about prophets and apostles making mistakes, I would have question to ask my opponent. Why would a manual that is used in a Sunday school seem to give the idea that whatever the modern prophets and apostles say in the magazines and general conference is in fact scripture. My opponent then quotes from previous leaders of the church saying that they are fallible and that they are sometimes are wrong. This is troubling because 2 Timothy 3:15-16 says all scripture is God breathed but if these prophets are sometimes wrong how could their words be "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

I have already addressed John 17 as being a problem for modalism not trinitarian theology. While we are on the subject of John 17, I should point out that that this contradicts Mormon doctrine. This states that Jesus was glorified before the world began. In the King Follett Sermon by Joseph Smith, we read,

"We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see." (The King Follott Sermon https://www.lds.org...). We must be careful that when we use scriptural proof texts that there is not a verse that contradicts our doctrines,
JohnSmythe

Pro

I`m weary of the Trinity discussion. Your argument that John 17 only opposes modalism is sophomoric. If I take what you say as truth, then again, I am compelled to accept that one day the Trinity will no longer be the Trinity, and that It and They will become a Plurality with all the righteous, all being consubstantial, yet not one billion but one, each being the Lord but not one billion lords but one Lord. This is contradictory of the immutable nature of the supposed Trinity, not to mention bizzare, and so the Trinity refutes itself. Let`s let the experts settle the matter.

Harper`s Bible Dictionary "The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the NT [New Testament]"

Oxford Companion of the Bible "Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the canon"

Whether or not such citations disprove the Trinity, it is clear amongst scholars that it is debated whether or not the Bible states the Trinity at all, let alone compelllingly. Ergo, the Trinity cannot be used as a litmus test for Christianity and we may set its dubious veracity aside.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, to the canon.
As my opponent again repeats himself without addressing my argument, so I refer him again my previous argument. The gaping chasm between Old Testament Judaism (the religion Jesus himself believed in) and modern Christianity would refute his notion that the prophets can never say one thing one period of time, and then another in a future. In attempting to hold me to the errant declarations of a few, which I and the Church have repeatedly disavowed either formally or by default, you follow the atheist`s footsteps, for they do the same with Christ and the Old Testament.

Observe the atheist:
https://www.atheistrev.com...

Watch my opponent`s spiritual predecessors debate Christ and Isaiah in exactly this manner, and how they could have debated other prophets. Forgive the directness, but I`ve repeated the foregoing argument twice without your acknowledgment.

"Then the Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 [Con saith] unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." (Matthew 19)



"[And Wmickas said]
Moses said: 'No man can see God and live': and Isaiah hath said: 'I have seen God and behold I live.' Know, therefore, O king, that he is lying." (Apocryphal "Martyrdom of Isaiah", referencing Isaiah 6 where Isaiah sees God, and Exodus 33:20, where God says that no man can see him and live)"





"2. And (God) said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

(...)

"11.
And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

**. And Wmickas called out to Abraham, and said, "'A belief in an open canon instead of a closed cannon[sic] will cause some problems with the consistency of your teachings over time. God himself told you to kill your son, so do it!'" (Genesis 22, ** verse sarcastically added)








"24. Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment

(...)

28. For i
t seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

29. That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

** Then said Wmickas from amongst the brethren, 'Brethren, a belief in an open canon instead of a closed cannon[sic] will causesome problems with the consistency of your teachings over time. The Lord told Abraham, '
And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.' The Lord said an EVERLASTING covenant. The problem is as I said is that these apostles and prophets should be held to the highest level of scriptural consistency." (Acts 15, again ** verse added)









"
5. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

** And as Paul was yet speaking, Wmickas cried aloud, "You are not a true apostle! For behold, Luke has written of your story 'And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.' (Acts 9). How sayest thou that they heard not the voice of him that spoke to you! We know that God spake unto Luke: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." (Acts 22)



Do you see how humans can make mistakes and/or misinterpret God and/or overattribute to God what perhaps He did not say exactly in order to justify a policy or commandment?



The King Follett Sermon refers to God the Father and merely states that He has progressed from a previous point. What exactly that was has never been revealed to us by the canonical process. But if you want the Bible to examine the question.


http://biblehub.com...

"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" Christ is the firstborn, the first thing made, before, mind you, the world was. It therefore makes sense then that he had that glory before the world was, but being the firstborn (protokotos) means he cannot have been "uncreate" in the Trinitarian sense.

You brought up grace, and the fact of the matter is we believe that Christ saves us because of who we become, rather than the sum total of what we have done. Christ cannot save the devil within the divine theodicy. It is not given him of the Father, nor can the Father give it and remain just. Rather, Christ`s atonement indefinitely postpones judgment for us repentant sinners and capacitates us so that in some future day we may "become one, as thou, O Father, art in me", so that we can be like Them and being like Them be admitted into Their presence and partake of what They do. Our works capacitated by Christ`s efforts make us reach that level. Christ said "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, as I overcame and sat in my Father`s throne." We have to overcome. With his infinite help, yes. Without him, it is impossible. He is the owner of the airline, we just buy tickets, to use a simple metaphor.


Debate Round No. 4
wmickas

Con

Thank you, for your response. My opponent starts off with starts off with the discussion of the trinity. He uses the argument that the Bible never uses the word trinity. This is a for a lack of a better word silly. I agree that we do create names for doctrines that the Bible supports. The question is does the Bible support the doctrine of the trinity. Some of my arguments for the trinity is included in round 2 of our discussion. I will also expand on this on the Bible verses that he mentioned.

He states that I follow in the footsteps of the atheist. I completely disagree. A lot of the Atheists that I have spoken to have shown that they either have next to no knowledge of Christianity or they deliberately strawman Christianity. There are few exceptions of course I have had numerous discussions and debates with them.

Bible verses: I will not answer all of these because there are so many. I believe that this commits the tu-quoque fallacy. This fallacy is committed when you shift my argument on to me instead of dealing with the argument.

I will answer one because it deals with the subject of the trinity
Exodus 33:20 and Isaiah 6:5: I believe that the only way that this could work is in light of John 1:18. This means that Jesus Christ (second person of the trinity) revealed himself numerous of times in the Old Testament as the angel of the lord which is often crossed reference with the lord himself. (see Alan Segal two powers of heaven) I assert that the only way that you can understand passages like these is in light of the trinity

Grace: this leads into my conclusion.
What is The Mormon view of grace and works?

2 Nephi 25:23 "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

"The phrase 'after all we can do' teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fullness of the Lord"s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him. The Lord has commanded us to obey His gospel, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end" (see John 3:3""5; 3 Nephi 27:16""20; Articles of Faith 1:3""4). ( True to the Faith Page 77)

Saving Ordinances
"In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing (Wyatt's comments: As a Mormon, to perform these ordinances in the temple, you would have to get a recommend from your bishop every two years which means he judges whether or not you have been faithful to the church in tithes, church attendance and obeying the word of wisdom (no coffee, tea, tobacco, drugs or alcohol)). With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord." (https://www.lds.org...)

What is the Biblical view of Grace and works?
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Philippians 3:3-9 (I believe Paul's commentary on the previous verse) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

The Biblical assessment is that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The doctrine of regeneration teaches us that we were born not desiring or seeking God and God by his grace changes us to seek him and to seek to please him.

In conclusion, if you want to experience the hope that you can only find in Christ go to http://blazeofhope.weebly.com... If you want me to be a guest speaker go to http://blazeofhope.weebly.com... If you want to debate me on another format other than debate.org, go to http://blazeofhope.weebly.com... Thank you to my opponent for engaging with me in this debate
God bless!
JohnSmythe

Pro

A staggering three times I point out to my opponent that Bible prophets made mistakes, and three times he does not acknowledge the point! It was not tu quoque, it was pointing out that if he applied his belief that prophets must be infallible (which he learned from the Bible), then he must also discard the Bible (thereby negating the very proposition).

As for grace, the categorical dictum comes forth from the mouth of the Lord Jesus.

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

and in the parallel passage in Luke,

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

My opponent cited Jesus` admonition that his disciples righteousness' exceed that of the pharisees. Who then is righteous?

1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

James writes, in chapter 2:
"14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."



and most condemning of all

Philipians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."


The Jesus we read of, especially in Matthew is a Christ of action, not profession.

I appreciate the opportunity for debate and am happy to have already found the hope in Christ.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wmickas 3 months ago
wmickas
I believe that we could have another debate on the topic of grace vs works
Posted by wmickas 3 months ago
wmickas
I believe that we could have another debate on the topic of grace vs works
Posted by Eris2005 4 months ago
Eris2005
I'm personally for the compatibility of Mormonism with biblical Christianity, mostly because I'm Mormon too...
Posted by Eris2005 4 months ago
Eris2005
I'm personally for the compatibility of Mormonism with biblical Christianity, mostly because I'm Mormon too...
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