Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where does your doctrine lead?

In my conversations with Evangelical Christians I have come across 3 disturbing beliefs that are a result of the mixing of apostate thinking with pure doctrine. Remember that correct belief "Orthodoxy" will lead you to correct behavior "Orthopraxis," which will lead you to a correct heart towards God "Orthocardia." A questions we should all ask ourselves is if our belief is leading us closer to or away from God. Additionally, correct belief should also lead us closer to our families and neighbors. Remember the two great commandments to love God and our fellow man? If loving God and our family and neighbors is so important, then the correct doctrines of Christ should increase our love and tolerance towards all mankind in addition to increasing our ability to love God.

#1. Family doesn't matter to God.

In a discussion about the eternal nature and significance of family to God, several of my evangelical friends were attempting to convince me that our immediate temporal family here on Earth was unimportant, temporary, and had no lasting value in the eyes of God.

To the LDS, family is the basic unit of social organization on Earth and in Heaven. Adam and Eve were organized into the first family before The Fall, and existed in that state of innocence and purity in the presence of God with a command to have children. LDS believe that family relationships can endure beyond death and be enjoyed for eternity.

#2. If you are not Christian, you are not my brother.

In a conversation about the pre-existence and eternal nature of the spirit within us, some Evangelical friends of mine were of the opinion that only professing Christians where their brothers and would be saved. This excluded me, because although I profess belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeemer, they tell me that I don't believe in their version of Jesus which they claim is the correct Jesus.

LDS believe that all mankind are spirit children of our Heavenly Father regardless of color, ethnicity, faith or creed. In fact, if you are Muslim or Hindu or Agnostic and are true and valiant to the truth which God has put in your heart and mind, then you will be both saved and exalted. That is because Christ is truth, and if you believe in truth, you really believe in Christ without knowing you do. God will make allowance for tradition which prevents some from getting the words right when the heart, head, and hands are clean in Christ. The Bible says "where there is no law, there is no sin." Eventually, those who are true and faithful will accept Christ in word to go along with their deeds. And also, the necessary temple work will be done on their behalf to satisfy the technical demands of salvation and exaltation. But, those who are faithful and true to the truth they are given by God will not be denied any blessing.

#3 God does not answer prayer about personal matters.

In a conversation with an Evangelical about personal testimony and revelation, my friend stated:

[there is NOT one passage in Old or New Testament scripture instructing us to inquire of the Lord on what we ought OR ought not to do regarding personal matters!]

[The Bible does NOT model for us a mode of decision-making where we examine our hearts for communication from God telling us what to do.]

And then he sited the Evangelical author Greg Koukl's, “Decision Making and the Will of God:”

[The Bible does NOT teach us to expect subjective internal promptings from the Holy Spirit as any kind of normative guide.]

Other Evangelicals claim that God will inspire with regard to "wisdom" or how to apply the Bible, but not about "knowledge." The only source of spiritual knowledge is the Bible alone. Therefore, they say that you cannot pray about whether something is true or not, but only if you should or shouldn't do something. The Bible teaches that "the Holy Ghost will guide us into all truth;" not just all wisdom. Truth encompasses both knowledge and wisdom. And that is the point of this post is that correct belief leads to correct action, and the Holy Ghost is required together with scripture for both.

LDS, know that Christ says again and again "Ask and ye will receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." LDS know that God does care about the even the smallest details of our lives. In some instances the answer may be "it mattereth not." But that still is a wonderful answer. If you have been led to believe by your doctrine that God does not care about the intimate details of your life, to not bother praying, or to not expect answers to prayer, maybe your doctrine isn't helping you develop as close of a relationship with God as you think.

No comments: