Misusing Science for religion,
I whole-heartedly agree with the Christian scriptures which commend us to use our minds and rational thought in deciding what we’ll believe. It is true that we’ve been told to think, and to love God with our mind. The problem as I see it, however, is that those in the Evangelical community are willing to throw-out information so that they can form their own narrow, contrived, TRUTH, and damn anyone else who doesn’t treat and interpret the data the same way that they do. Of course, this problem doesn’t wholly belong to Evangelicals. All religions, all non-religions, all schools-of-thought carry the bias of deleting data that doesn’t conform to their prejudiced worldview.
Through my personal reading of literature, history, and science, I recognize that this phenomena is not a new development. From Hitler’s misinterpretation and usurpation of the song of the Germans
into “racial superiority” from the “call of unity” it was initially meant to inspire, to a recent Evangelical attempt at defining Mormonism, the human bias and incomplete treatment of data continues. I call this the EPIC INTELLECTUAL FAIL.
It was recently asked
What role does the mind play in the LDS spiritual discernment process concerning the Book of Mormon? Are LDS investigators/members encouraged to fully engage their mind in the process of discerning the truth of the Book of Mormon?
Quite frankly, I thought that the LDS standard works clearly define what the role is. D&C 8:1-2
1 OLIVER Cowdery, verily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which has been spoken by the manifestation of my Spirit.
2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart
There you have it, they both have a part.
That would have been the end of the post, but what good Evangelical simply asks Mormons what they believe and let them answer? A true Evangelical has to state inaccurate information, miscontextualize Mormonism, and portray it as “Satan’s lie” for this is how you love someone. Numerous “facts” are then listed, which aren’t really facts. They are interpretations of data. A logical discussion on these data would begin by determining if the data is valid, not merely accepting them because someone who claims to be a good Christian told me they’re true.
Data that hasn’t been taken into account by this author.
Point 1. The Bible has not been historically proven accurate. As “the yellow dart” points out,
…I don’t know anyone in the academy–whether Christian, Jewish, atheist, etc.– who would agree with such an assessment. The only persons who even make such wide-sweeping statements are persons with what I would call fundamentalist views concerning the Bible; and why should anyone who isn’t a fundamentalist already adopt such a position? It is demonstrably false.
I certainly believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead, but I cannot prove it from archeology. I know the city Jerusalem exists and existed, but I also know archeological evidence disputes the Old Testament records that describe how big the city was and when. I know archeological records do not support the story of Jericho, nor the parting of the red sea. Most fundamentalists refuse to even entertain archeological evidence that disputes what they believe about the Bible, so I really feel the hypocrisy when these same people try and use archeology against the Book of Mormon. The lack of evidence is not the evidence of non-existence, that’s simple first year logic. I do not require archeological proof, and think it is wrong for others to impose such a subjective requirement that they do not also follow. “Hyporcrite, thy name is Evangelical.” Finally, I disagree with the characterization of “Many Mormons” buying into the “inspired fiction view.” This is just more smoke being blown out of the backside of a monkey. There’s no reference, no statistic, just a faith claim. I could just as easily say, “Many Christians in America are becoming less religious), but then I could also post to a NYT article to back up my claim. Kind of ironic that I’m the one providing evidence, when the accuser initially claimed their faith was built in archeological proof.
Point 2. While it is true that the Book of Mormon contains many issues important to the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, that’s kind of the point. The Book of Mormon itself insists that the book was meant to help us today, to help correct some of the false creeds and traditions of men that have crept up into “so-called” orthodoxy. The author also forgot to mention the things that parallel ancient heritage, such as chiasmus, the understanding of Asherah, and the ancient custom of renaming places as one journeyed. Why throw out data, just because you dislike the inference? because you’re biased.
Point 3. The “so-called” impossible gospel was written by offender’s for a word. If that’s the type of person you want to learn from, feel free. But it doesn’t make you look like you love Mormons, or that you have any charity, no matter how much you claimed to have done this by prayer.
Point 4. There were many ways Joseph did translating. Quite frankly, if God could work through Joseph of Egypt who had a divining cup, I fail to see how He couldn’t have Joseph translate through whatever he had. Quite frankly, this has been discussed ad naseum on / Fair/and Bushman.
Point 5. For all of the information on the Kinderhook plates, and not just tidbits culled by a dimwhit to discount Mormonism, see here: .
Point 6. See Fair.
Finally, and most importantly, just because the Book of Mormon doesn’t contain most of Mormonism’s distinct doctrines doesn’t mean the testing method provided is invalid. In fact, this is a common Evangelical straw man: “You read about the book of Mormon and pray to know if the Church is true.” The truth is, there are a number of assumptions Mormons make, it isn’t quite as naïve as Evangelicals would like to have you believe.
1.) You can read and study the words of both the Book of Mormon and the Bible and see how they differ. You can compare the contexts and see how the doctrines and principles are the same. You can then ask God to know if the book is true. Once you’ve determine it’s true, then you have to worry about how it got here. For most Mormons the simplist answer is it came from God because Joseph was a prophet. But the same princple can also be used to ask God to know if Joseph was a prophet, then one can ask God to know if our current Prophet is a prophet. It is true that you probably cannot test a religion completely separated from is distinctiveness, but it’s simpkly dishonest to infer this is what Mormonism does. In addition to reading the foundational scripture (the Book of Mormon) missionaries teach very distinct Mormon doctrines to their investigators. They introduce them to all of the restored scripture, invite them to church to participate themselves, they teach them about future covenants they will make in the Temple to make their family eternal, they’re taught to live the word of Wisdom, the law of Chasitity, and to live the law of tithing and eventually the law of consecration. I bet Jack could vouch that Mormon’s DO talk about their distinctiveness, and it’s pure dishonesty to imply they don’t.
If it’s truly possible for Satan’s ministers to be transformed as the ministers of righteousness I suppose it’s also possible for him to transform them into female Evangelical Christians and have them give misinformation about Mormonism, right? I mean, what’s harder, a glowing halo or a webpage?