When I started this blog, there were certain topics I have tried to avoid. However, this came up and I think it is important to comment on.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
It is facinating how people left to themselves to ponder the eternities and their relationship with God immediately begin to feel a huge sense of unworthiness and inadequacy and fear. All men are fallen and sinful and fall short of the holiness and perfection of God. These existential feelings of fear are so powerful that most people spend most of their time busily working, recreating, listening to music, or taking mind-altering substances just to drown out these thoughts and fears.
It is interesting over the ages how Satan has used this feeling of unworthiness before God to control man and justify great sin. I am not sure why we believe blood can fix and atone and cover our nakedness before God. We see that in ages past civilizations have sacrificed infants and virgins to appease their gods.
Other cultures have been promised forgiveness of sins by going to war and shedding blood like the muslim conquest or the Catholic crusades. In more modern times, our gods may be wealth, prosperity or even safety and we are convinced to be blessed by these gods requires we target and exterminate certain groups. All these are examples of "blood atonement" where man is fooled into thinking shedding blood will secure the blessings of heaven.
Inspiring how the infinite Atonement of Christ ends all this shedding of blood. No more do we have to sacrifice animals or people in an attempt to feel at one with deity. All we have to do is accept the infinite and last sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only the blood of Jesus Christ will wash away our sins and cover our nakedness and unworthiness before God. Only through the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Atonement can man find true peace, happiness, prosperity and safety.
Ted Shoebat was on Dr. Stanley Monteith's "Radio Liberty" talking about what he believed were evils of some of the early teachings and tradition of the Muslim religion. Mr. Shoebat focused on the foundational idea (in his opinion) that some early Muslims believed they could gain salvation by shedding the blood of Christians or others considered "Infidel"(symbolism of the Red Fez). Mr. Shoebat claimed that that these historic actions were a manifestation of a belief in "blood atonement."
His point was that while most Muslims do not believe that today, according to Shoebat, there may exist a core religious theology based on human sacrifice to appease Allah. Because Islam rejects the infinite atonement and blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, atonement for a Muslim may take on a different form. While Modern Islam has been moderated and muted by its interaction with the West; if left to itself or supported by the West (like in Syria), Mr. Shoebat feared Islam would revert back to its more radical roots.
But then Mr. Shoebat then made direct parallels with Mormonism and said that Mormons. "like all cults," also believe in blood Atonement according to the foundational teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in our Journal of Discourses. He then said, the Mormon faith has also been "moderated" but if left to itself would also revert back to its more radicalized form involving some form of human blood sacrifice.
I would point Dr. Stan to the FairLDS article on this subject:
First, the ideas Mr. Shoebat puts forth are absolutely false because Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and every LDS to the present accepts the infinite sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Second. Most Bible-believing Christians recognize that their Bible teaches 1. the existence of unpardonable sins and 2. The justification of legal Capital punishment by the State for murder.
The idea here I think Brigham Young was trying to convey is that if a murderer were truly repentant, and recognized that the State called for capital punishment as punishment for his sin, he might confess and voluntary submit to the punishment if there was some slight hope of forgiveness.
Brigham Young's words were never justifying the LDS Church authority to take life. It was talking about conditions whereby a murderer may voluntarily confess and then submit to the State's punishment like Sherem in the Book of Mormon. This is in contrast to the lengthy current process of numerous appeals before capital punishment is carried out by the State.
Who is Sherem in the Book of Mormon? Sherem was a popular figure among the Nephites who challenged and criticized the American prophet Jacob for encouraging the people to look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. Sherem criticized Jacob from straying from the Law of Moses and for thinking he could know things in the future. Sherem didn't keep his opinions to himself but made his criticisms of Jacob very public. At one point Sherem engages and challenges Jacob for believing in Christ and asks for a sign. After being overcome by God for several days, Jacob revives only to confess his sins for dening Christ and lying to God and then "gives up the ghost". Sherem in the Book of Mormon gave a full confession of his sins and voluntarily submitted to the law fearing he had committed an "unpardonable sin".
Brigham Young never taught that Capital Punishment fell under the jurisdiction of the the Church and especially not for apostasy. The Book of Mormon clearly teaches there should never be a law against a man's belief. Apostasy was never grounds for capital punishment. Those of all religions and even former-LDS-turned-critic have always lived and will always live freely among the LDS.
Nevertheless, they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished; therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief. (Book of Mormon, Alma, Alma 1:17)
Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds. (Book of Mormon, Alma, Alma 30:7)
I think LDS should appreciate why Satan attacks the LDS Church on the ideas that Brigham Young was talking about and the example of Sherem in the Book of Mormon.
Many people who are part of the Great Satanic Conspiracy get fooled into being initiated and taking the Mark of the Beast. They go in trying to convince themselves that Satan is not real. All they focus on is all the money and power. However, once on the inside, they feel they have committed the "unpardonable sin". They feel trapped that there is no way out out and that there is no way to be forgiven. So, most just continue on or "Eat, drink and be merry" until the end.
And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, 2 Nephi 28:22)
Imagine if there was a way to rescue and give hope to insiders such that many insiders would cross over for real, testify and confess of what they have done and seen. (Beware the many fake and false defectors) The confessor would then voluntarily submit to whatever State punishment applied; not necessarily capital. In Sherem's time, under the Law of Moses, many more sins were considered a capital offense than today. Voluntarily submitting to punishment helps us trust the confession. In a real way, Brigham's Blood Atonement is just teaching the concept of a plea deal.
It is my opinion that Satan hates this idea and it is exactly why he attacks the LDS Church for it. Remember how Jacob used the testimony of Sherem to reclaim many who had also been deceived. Also, this glorious doctrine possibly makes seemingly unpardonable sins pardonable.
I also think this was part of what was going on when Christ told the thief crucified next to him that "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." The malefactor acknowledged his sins, submitted to his punishment and pleaded with the Savior for his soul.
Part of the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to warn, alert and awake Gentiles to the reality of secret combinations and their consequences. But not only that, the Book of Mormon also contains the keys to put and end to satanic conspiracy and bind Satan forever.
By the way, one of my best friends was born and raised by a Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamist group. He is now an active Latter-day Saint. He says that their sect has contributed to keeping the Journal of Discourses in print and the anti-Mormon ideas of Blood Atonement were never taught. Their group never taught taking the life of another was ever justified for any reason except self defense. My friend says that had Blood Atonement, the way Mr. Shoebat describes, been a teaching of Brigham Young, he would have grown up hearing about it. According to him, there are zero Mormon Fundamentalist groups who teach it.
Thinking about how people get fooled into following the dark side. Lucas was correct about fear leading to the dark side. Also, I think Joel Skousen on youtube describes the conspiracy pyramid well.
1. There are many of us "useful idiots" who help build up secret combinations and support them because of our ambition and because the system benefits us. We even become too "invested" to think rationally or critically. The conspiracy gives a good person a good reason to do something and we naively do it without questioning even if the real reason is evil.
2. There are many who don't think too much about the ethics of it all but follow because they are controlled by drugs, money, power, lust, etc and the conspiracy provides these temporary incentives.
3. The conspiracy makes necessities and basic freedoms of life scarce, so many go along with the plan out of what they feel is self-preservation. There is never enough of this or that, so the conspiracy can control people by dealing out benefits, payoffs, bribes, gifts and privileges (king-men).
4. After people have taken bribes and gifts or endulged in incentives, the person has become compromised and can be further controlled by leverage, blackmail, extortion and fear. In fact the higher you go in the conspiracy ranks the more one has to compromise themselves doing unspeakable acts. These requirements prevent infiltration.
5. Many at the top convince themselves that they are doing good. People do evil best when they are convinced it is good. People tell themselves the ends justify any means. The ends of a global government and advanced civilization justify any uncivilized acts to force humanity to that end. Or that God in a cosmic ying-yang needs the dark side who he will pardon in the end for doing a necessary work and any personal sins along the way will be overlooked (Like Liam Neisen's character in the Dark Night)