Monday, May 11, 2015

I (Do Not) Love to see the temple

I personally believe the church continues to build temples to make money. To attend temples, members must pay tithing. All members are told to get a temple recommend which requires tithe-paying. If there is a temple within reasonable distance, the pressure to attend regularly (and pay) is even greater. They claim their temples are based on the ancient Biblical temple but they are not. (See the Mormon Coffee article mentioned below, it's illustrated.)

From Mormon Coffee, posted May 11, 2015:

"...considering the fact that every detail of the biblical temple is clearly presented in the Bible, the Mormon Church knows its assertions are untrue. Which means the Church is willfully deceiving people about Mormon temples."

I've been talking to a friend who is Mormon but has "lost her testimony." She hasn't completely left the church yet and sometimes points out what she thinks are its good points. I remind her on occasion that the LDS church lies to people. They can't claim to have made a mistake, to have erred based on incomplete or wrong information.

How can a church that continues to hide information and lie be a church that serves God?

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 6:24, KJV

Friday, May 8, 2015

Is God an Organizer or a Creator?

I have a Mormon grandmother. (I had two, but one passed away, and I hope she is in Heaven and not in the Spirit World of Mormonism.) My living Mormon grandmother is 100% dedicated, word and deed, to the Mormon church. At any time of day she can be found indexing names for Family Search, reading General Conference talks or the Sunday School lesson, listening to the Tabernacle Choir, or writing in her journal. She faithfully attends church meetings, rain or shine, unless she is very ill indeed. She is quick to quote scriptures and the words of General Authorities and give morality lessons to everyone at every opportunity. 

I often like talking to her about God because she waxes enthusiastic. I try to avoid areas where I know we'll have a conflict of ideas. Yesterday I brought up creation ex nihilo, creation from nothing, because we were talking about the greatness of God. (It's been three years since I left the Mormon church so I'd forgotten they don't believe in that.) I told her I'd read that all other religions besides Bible-based one like Judaism and Christianity believe that their god or gods only organized materials, or were already part of the world or the universe. 

She and I both thought she'd misunderstood me. (She's hard of hearing.) So I repeated myself and clarified that God is so awesome that He created everything from nothing and there are only two religions that hold to this. Grandmother, then understanding, insisted then that no, God organized everything. Then she corrected herself and said that Heavenly Father and Jesus and the others organized the matter that already existed. I told her that this was not based on the Bible but on the words of the Books of Abraham and Moses. Even science may support the idea that there was creation from nothing (the Big Bang). She got her stubborn look on and said she wasn't going to talk about it anymore. They organized all the worlds and that's that. 

I didn't want to fight with her so I steered the conversation toward  her comment about "all the worlds" and we speculated on whether we'd ever meet people from other planets. Soon it was dinnertime and the conversation had an excuse to end. But it left me with a sorrow that her god is a small god. He's a bureaucratic organizer. My God is a Great Big Amazing God who created the Universe. 

Today I researched creation ex nihilo. I read some articles that explained that there is no one Biblical verse that explicitly states this idea, but it is derived from various ideas presented in the Bible. (This is like the idea of the Trinity.) Most Christians do believe our God is the Creator, not the organizer. For example, see these verses in Colossians 1:

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

"In him all things were created." ALL things. "Through him and for him." These words were directed to the Christians of Colossae to teach them about Jesus and saved for all the world to read. If I trust that the Bible comes to us because God wants us to know him, then I trust that God is the creator of all things because these words are preserved in the Bible. Further, this trust leads me to believe that if my God can create all things in heaven and on earth, then I can believe he can do other miracles.

My grandmother is adamant that she be buried, not cremated. She quotes the scripture in Ezekiel 37 as supporting her reasoning to not have her bones destroyed. She talks like she is afraid if this should happen. She thinks God needs our bones to raise us. But her god is an organizer. Of course he has to have something to work with to resurrect people. 

If my God is the Creator of all things, then I trust he can make me again, bones or no bones. 

(For further reading, see an article by William Lane Craig.)