Monday, June 23, 2008

As Long as You Believe in Christ? Protestant Unity?

Protestant churches will attack the church and Joseph Smith etc, claiming us to be in conflict with their perception of what God is all about. But what exactly is this perception that we aren't in harmony with?

I should first point out that to be classified a "Christian" doesn't require belief in any creed or agreement, but belief in Jesus of Nazareth being the promised Messiah (Christ - anointed), whatever you perceive that to be. Nothing more. Either that or we classify a "Christian" to be someone who's life and principles are in exact agreement with how Christ lived and felt (I can't remember meeting anyone that Christ like).

The same applies to the term "Protestant". Protestantism CAN'T exclude anyone from being called a "Protestant" that fits with the meaning of the word (ie their existence stems from protesting against the doctrines of the Catholic Church). Which ours doesn't, as the restored church, but others they attack do. What I'm saying is that neither Christianity nor Protestantism are clubs that require the agreement of other members to join. In fact as each new Protestant sect arose it was persecuted by the others.

Today's Protestantism (in most cases) on the one hand poses unity of their various religions, by claiming that "as long as you believe in Christ" you are saved. They say that it doesn't matter that their various sects have different opinions on things, because they all claim to be following the anointed one (Christ), and therefore are going to heaven. Yet on the other hand they (overall) claim Latter-Day Saints aren't saved in spite of us believing in Christ. And any other Christian sect who challenges the unity idea too seriously is also attacked.

Yet in spite of Protestantism claiming unity now, and that all claiming a belief in Christ are saved, that isn't what they REALLY teach from the pulpit, when you look between the lines.

If you go to any sect claiming speaking in tongues they will quote 1 John 3:24 "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." To this they add that if the Holy Spirit is in you then you WILL be rolling around the floor speaking in tongues. And if you aren't doing this then the Spirit isn't in you, and you don't have God in you. This means you aren't really saved at all, unless you are speaking in tongues. And for that you should be among those doing so - at their church.

The "Uniting Church" sect poses that God wants all churches united into one - a uniting church - them. And therefore to be doing what God wants you must be supporting them. This means that if you are going elsewhere you aren't really right with God.

This is all subtle suggestion - Yes, you can go where you like, but you won't be right with God unless you ----. And we do that here; you won't get it in all/most of those other churches.

Baptist sects like to quote the bits about Christ being baptised by full immersion, and pointing out the necessity of baptism in God's program. They won't blatantly state that you won't be saved if you are baptised by sprinkling in some other church, but point out that baptism isn't baptism unless by immersion. This then leaves the person with the knowledge that their previous sprinkling wasn't in harmony with God's command and they must come to them to be baptised properly.

Some may be thinking, "well that is what LDS believe in regard baptism." Yes, it is. But we don't claim that it doesn't matter what church you go to or what you believe. They are claiming it doesn't matter, yet also claiming you won't be right with God unless you've had THEIR baptism.

Then there are churches that pose that we won't be right with God if we aren't worshipping on Saturday specifically. That kind of reminds me of that rule in the Geneva Convention that says that you can't stab a man with a rusty bayonet, because he might die of blood poisoning (yes, that is actually in there). The point of the sabbath commandment is to take one day out of seven to reflect on God and spiritual things. Making an issue of WHAT day that is, other than for uniformity, is truly the leaven of the Pharisees. They will say the famous, "as long as you believe in Christ it doesn't matter where you go," then liken worshipping on Sunday to sun worshippers. And then point out that Christ went to the synagogue on Saturday and so you must also. Otherwise you aren't following Christ and right with him.

The Salvation Army quote Christ stating that you won't get into heaven if you aren't feeding the poor among you etc (Matt 25:41-43). They point out that they are the only ones so dedicated to such. And therefore to be really right with God you need to be going there.

Then there are those who say that you aren't a follower of Christ if you go to war, because he said to love your enemies. Then there are those that say that there is no trinity, and believers in a trinity are following paganism. And so it goes on.

So it seems that the real problem that the LDS church has with Protestantism isn't really what we believe. But that we don't put in the famous line, about it not mattering where you go, before saying it.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm not sure where you get your views on the Christian Church from, but you miss quote a lot of things. Who has been influencing you?

Jesus is the only way.

In John 14:6 Jesus says I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me. Some people believe that you can earn your way into heaven, but the truth is nothing we do can make us right with God, not our good works, not even our Church affiliation. Our salvation is God's gift to us: Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Salvation is by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. Faith alone in Jesus Christ is proceeded and followed by repentance. A turning away from sin. A growing in holiness. That your life would reflect Jesus Christ and not this world.

Doug Towers said...


Actually I'll be posting on this issue, of who gets to heaven and why, soon. I'm working on several posts at present, but I think it should be the next one I put up after the one I'm to put up now.

I was brought up a Protestant. I went to 3 different churches on Sundays. Though originally I went to a church in the afternoon that went from 3PM to 8 PM (I went as a child at 3PM and the parents came later). It was a Methodist mission. In the morning I generally went to the Congregationalist church. But as time went on I went to most other generally known churches, and many versions of some.

I can't exactly disagree with anything you've said, other than your belief that being saved from hell puts you back with Heavenly Father. As I've said I'll get into this on another post.

I would also say that while joining a church may not bring you back to God's presence, it will make an enormous difference to just what you think God wants and how you apply it. That will serve to bring you back into his presence. Jesus certainly is the way to obtain freedom from hell. And he is the one to follow the teachings of. He is the way to our Heavenly Father. We are in complete agreement there.

But while Protestantism states this view as a public statement, the things that I say in this post are what is presented to the mind of the average church participant.