Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Bible as the Ultimate Authority - is this Possible?

I recently had, what I eventually came to realise was, a non-productive conversation with a Protestant, that brought to a head many other similar conversations I've had with Protestants. That is what prompted this post. For those who may not be aware "Protestantism" means all the churches claiming belief in Christ other than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds direct revelation from God as the ultimate authority. Catholics hold the Pope to be God's mouthpiece, and the ultimate authority on earth. Protestantism rejects the Pope as an authority from God, and holds that the Bible is the ultimate authority. This means there is no higher authoritive source for what God has to say than the Bible, to the Protestant. In fact it holds the Bible as the one and only authority. All beliefs are claimed to have been derived from the Bible. And to have any religious opinion it must be supported from the Bible.

The question then arises as to how sensible is this concept? Is the Bible a sound ultimate authority? Questions could be gone into of which of the conflicting ancient manuscripts is the most correct. And what of the changes that were made where the original word can't be detected due to the many corrections made of that particular word, in spite of our science. Some of these changes are on very serious issues, that is why they were changed. Then there is the problem of opinion of what each Greek or Hebrew word, in the Bible, really meant to a people we can't interview to find the meanings of those words.

Protestants will claim that God wouldn't ALLOW the Bible to be interfered with: He would make sure that it came through perfect. But if that is true how is it that the vaste majority of people who have lived upon the earth haven't even had one? In fact Protestantism teaches that for the first approximately 2400 years (up to Moses) no scripture existed whatsoever: That the Bible is the only scripture that has ever existed. So what makes them think THEY are so special, that God has gone to some specific effort to make sure they have perfect Scriptures? God is no respector of persons.

But I'm not going into these problems in this post.

The biggest problem with the Bible as an ultimate authority is that when all is said and done it is subject to private interpretation. Whatever you demonstrate from the Bible they just make excuses for. Traditional interpretation is held above the actual words of the Bible.

God is said to have created man in his "image and likeness". They claim this doesn't mean in his physical likeness or image, but in some other undefinable sense. But God used these terms also in the law given to Moses. And no one denies that the commandment refers to making something that physically LOOKS like anything living (Ex 20:4).

We have loads of scriptures stating that God has a body looking like a man. What do they say though? Either 1. It was an angel. Or 2. It is speaking figuratively and there was no actual thing to see. Whichever we choose, they are claiming the Bible's statement isn't correct as written.

We have loads of scriptures stating that people have seen God. One where God himself states the person saw him. What do they say of these? The answer is the same as that above. And the quote where it says that no man has seen God at any time. A shame they couldn't understand that one by reading the others properly that say similar things, but explain better.

The Bible talks of baptism for the dead. But they tell us that doesn't count because it is only written once.

Christ speaks of going TO the Father and sending back the Holy Ghost, and Prostestantism tells us that the Bible teaches a trinity (almost all Protestants - with due respect to those who know otherwise). Even with their talk of magic transformations of Christ (to try and confuse the issue), we still have the Father sending back the Holy Ghost.

We have the Bible giving many scriptures showing that we existed before coming here to earth. Yet they reject these also and say that he just knew ABOUT us before, but didn't know us as the Bible states.

They say that God's claim of being our Father is that he is our inventor.

Jn 3:16 states that God sent Christ because he loved us so much. Yet Protestantism tells us God has no real passions, and he just says these words to try and explain as best he can.

I could go on and on. However these above demonstrate the point I'm saying.

They tell us that we should understand not to take these things as written. But I would ask then by what standard are they judging that we should take them as they interpret them? After all they reject the concept of logic relative to God. And particularly considering that their interpretation ISN'T what the Bible says.

How can the Bible be God's ultimate authority yet we aren't really to believe it to mean what it says where it conflicts with traditional interpretation? Even the most simple of statements are interpretable. According to Protestantism we can't even believe Christ when he tells us that God loves us (as he has no passions). See how silly this whole thing gets?

The Bible as an ultimate authority is a dismal failure. People quote it out of context probably more often than they quote it in context. Or maybe it's just that I notice these things and it seems that way.

Fortunately Christ sent the Holy Ghost to those who are ready to accept it and listen to him, rather than trying to tell God how things are. God himself should be our ultimate authority, as Joseph Smith discovered.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Disclaimer - as I have recently been misquoted on another site I am declaring here that this article nowhere claims that masturbation causes cancer. I am surprised at the amount of responses that the opposing post received, considering that not one of his followers upon reading my article noticed that flaw in the claim of the writer. _ end of Disclaimer

This is a much debated, but highly important subject. General Authorites of the church are now speaking out more than ever before against masturbation. This is good, but many remain uncertain themselves or what to say to those involved.

I only mention this subject as it is a point to keep in mind and to get it out of the way first, as it is the least important.

I remember seeing a picture of a guy with thick dark rings around his eyes from masturbation, and reading of people having to be locked up in mental institutions due to their constant need to masturbate. Of course people will say, "well that's not me." Yet on the other side it could be argued that those in the mental institutions would have originally said the same. It is true, however, that the vaste majority don't end up in institutions.

Additionally I should mention that there are those who's genitals get damaged by this at times.

Bad health can begin to occur within the body by having to restore liquids, used in the process, so often. This is also a problem for young people in the stages of growth. Long term health problems would obviously eventually derive from this taxing of resources during the growth period. It would equally cause problems for those getting older where their body is working to keep healthy in spite of deteriation. In fact there is no age at which this isn't an issue to some degree or other.

But these health issues are minor matters compared to the overall problems.

Pornography places emphasis on people as objects. One reason is because you don't communicate with the person in the photo/movie. I once asked a rapist how it was that he could treat a person that way. He said it was because at that point he saw her as an object, not as a person. Pornography and masturbation create this thinking. People masturbating will probably be unaware of the more subtle changes that this has made in relationships with others. However those changes are there. We are a product of all our actions and thinking. we can't just do or think things negative about mankind and not have some negative effect. Strong feelings are produced during masturbation and the feelings prior. Many pornographic views don't show the person's face at all. For these reasons a person masturbating is less likely to appeal to the gender they wish to create a relationship with, as there will be a deeper sense of seeing that person as an object. This will diminish the human feelings the person would otherwise demonstrate naturally. Therefore less appeal to the other person: The person won't sense good respect.

People buying pornography generally will be secretive about it. They may hide it from family and friends. There is a sneaking around when buying it, making sure that no one they know sees them. Then they hide their actions in using it. This deception shows also. Our character is effected by our actions and feelings, whether we like it or not. This deceptive part of our nature comes out in our relationships with others also. If we are honest in everything else people may find us honest overall. But it still will have a negative effect. As this shows in relationships with family and friends, and these are places where all negative effects should be disposed of, masturbation can destroy important relationships we already have.

Another problem relative to secrecy is that it can grow. Adultery is a possible outcome. Masturbation encourages having sexual feelings for anyone displaying sexual parts. People with religious feelings don't usually plan to become an adulterer. It comes as a part of having secret feelings.

Under age sex offences are another possible outcome of such secrecy. In spite of the false propaganda, most child sex offenders (at least those dealing with someone 8-years-old and above) are not habitual offenders. I also remember noting on a 60 Minutes program that there is only about a 6 % recidivism (re-offender) rate for child sex offenders. So child sex offences aren't generally performed by some strange breed of person. They can happen by secrecy and being drawn to sexual parts (a product of masturbation). There is often this feeling of a secret romantic relationship between the offender and the child.

Everyone does it?
I have often heard the joke that there are only 2 types of people, those who admit they masturbate and those who are lying. I can assure all readers that this is false. I don't, and I know many who don't. I have no problems with this. My wife died young and I haven't had any sexual action for many years. I don't miss it at all. Not because I couldn't, but I understand the spiritual aspect of this, which I will come to.

God's Opinion
Matthew 5:28 "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

Galatians 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

Galatians 5:24 "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

James 1:15 "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

Doctrine & Covenants 88:121 "Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings."

Our Spirit
By "our spirit" I'm referring to that which is otherwise referred to as our "heart". This is by far the most significant factor. This area creates the question, "lust - good or bad?"

When a person gets on to a roller-coaster they take a ride which causes fear in their spirit. Their spirit comes to life more by this fear. People confuse this and call it "exhilarating" or "exciting". They want to go and do it again for this feeling. However if they actually inteviewed their spirit it would plead with them not to do it again.

Our heads are bad when it comes to interpreting our hearts. We feel strong sensations and interpret them. But is our interpretation correct? I remember the song, "there's a fine line between pleasure and pain". The truth is that there is no line between sexual pleasure and pain. People will sometimes use pain to increase sexual "pleasure". Some will go to great lengths with this. As ridiculous as it may sound to you, that feeling a person lusting interprets as "pleasure" is your spirit in pain. Increasing physical pain increases the spirits' pain sensation. To really come to see the truth of what I am claiming a person would need to start listening to their heart properly. This requires a process. Firstly a person would have to cease all sexual fantasies. Your mind is yours - don't forget that. Every time you begin to have a sexual fantasy you can either change it to a romantic fantasy where the heart feels the romance. Or you can make it a spiritual fantasy where you do wonderful, spiritual works for others and share heart feelings with them. Or, for that matter, you can do both these, as you wish. Seek to become one with your heart. Listen to it. Eventually you will begin to have communication, and you will come to understand yourself.

Children can be produced without lust, don't let the devil con you on that one. A beautiful relationship will exist between husband and wife. Getting rid of lust will increase the love in a marriage beyond belief. Try God's way and you will see it works, no matter how crazy it may sound. That is what we call "faith".

If you feel you need further assistance, read the whole of my article in "Masturbation; giving it up" - the link is at the top of the page ("Masturbation Problems").

Monday, November 05, 2007

Evolution - Is there a reason to believe?

Suppose you were called to be a juror in a court case where a man is charged with having murdered his ex-wife. You are told that the man lived in Perth (which is in the South-West of Australia). His ex-wife lived in Cairns (up in the North-East of Australia). This man is a salesman and has spent his life in the city. There is no record of him taking a plane, ship, bus, train or hiring a vehicle or boat. His photo was placed in the newspapers, and no one saw him travelling or staying at a hotel etc. So the Prosecutor sets out to prove that it is POSSIBLE for a person to cross the thousands of miles of desert on foot, finding waterholes and food, and thus murder his ex-wife and return home without being seen. Apart from the fact of how absurd this theory presented sounds to you, what is the obvious thought? Even IF it were possible for this to have occurred, the ability to commit a crime doesn't make a person guilty of having committed it.

Evolutionists have made this same change in the real question. They pose they need only prove evolution is POSSIBLE, and that will make it near enough to, if not, fact that man actually evolved from gorillas.

It is also presented that if any form of extinct species looking even remotely like man or gorilla is found, that this serves to prove it, as another "missing link". Wrong! It must be PROVEN that a gorilla changed into this extinct species, not that it is POSSIBLE. It then has to be PROVEN that the extinct species evolved into a man. By the logic they use I could just as easily present evidence that it is POSSIBLE that we are inventions of aliens, merely by finding evidence of space travel, or a myriad of other similarly "provable" claims.

I would call upon evolutionists to get back to the real question. Where is your absolute PROOF that man is an evolutionary step derived from gorillas? We all know you have none, and that you can't possibly ever have it. To prove what happened would require video filmed by the above mentioned aliens. So why don't we return to real science. Let's forget about dinosaur ages, ice ages, evolution and any other unprovable fantasies and return to teaching children and people generally what we actually know for a fact. Let's put these "scientists" to work on something that would be of value to mankind. How about economical ways to turn salt water into fresh water? - an end to drought. A cure for cancer would be nice. And a cure for asthma would be wonderful, while at it. I'm not talking about drugs and processes to keep a person alive, I'm talking of a cure. Of course these would have to be PROVEN ...... oh dear!