Sunday, February 1, 2009

If only the Bible ended on page 5

If only Moses had put down his pen in the middle of Genesis, Chapter 3!

After all, the Creation story had been told and the Fall, too, of mankind. The enemy of righteousness had even been introduced. What more was there to say?

Surprisingly, I fail to find a single sect anywhere that would take that drastic a set of scissors to the scriptures, although most of religious history has been a dreary tale of people trying to tell God that He could no longer add to His word, drawing lines in the scriptural sand that they forbid Him to cross.

If the Bible ended in Genesis 3, circa verse 13, then the critics of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ might indeed have a valid point when they attack the doctrine of humanity's birthright as children of a Heavenly Father, our destiny, through the grace of His Son, to become like Him.

You see, page one of the Anti-Mormon Handbook generally goes something like this:

"Satan told Eve that if she ate of the forbidden fruit, then she would become like God, knowing good from evil. This was a lie, the Big Lie -- and those wicked Mormons are deluded by it, too."

Unfortunately for the critics of the doctrine of theosis, the Bible doesn't end with Satan's sneaky little speech. And, in fact, it is God Himself, in verse 22, who throws a wrench in their gears.

For God Himself declares: "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil."

Is this still the Big Lie? Obviously not.

If Satan never told a truth, or mixed truth with lies, he would be far less convincing. His very important omission, in his words to Eve, was that even though knowing good from evil is indeed the first step to becoming like God, a lot more is involved in order for us to get there. Important things like repentance, obedience, ordinances and the grace of Christ. Hence, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden that they might not eat of the fruit of the tree of life without having done any of the above. Immortal beings they would indeed have become, but cut off from God, spiritually still-born.

We are indeed the offspring of God, as Paul declared. And someday we may see Him and be like Him and inherit everything that He has, as joint-heirs with Christ, as the New Testament teaches repeatedly.

6 comments:

Doug Towers said...

Clifford

I thoroughly agree with your point about God teaching this same truth. It is something I also present in defense of that claim.

The only area where I feel differently from what you have expressed is relative to truth and Satan.

The Bible tells us that there is no truth in him. I have seen him, and he is just darkness as a being: There is no light of truth in him at all.

I would tend to see his comment more from the perspective of him using the right words, with the wrong inference, as you have stated also, rather than being him telling the truth.

I'm probably being pedantic, but I think it important to realise that he is totally without truth. I remember often hearing the claim that Satan would teach 9 truths to teach one lie. Yet I firmly believe that Satan wouldn't know how to teach a truth if his existence depended upon it.

Clifford said...

Doug:

But the situation here is that both God and the serpent made the same statement, and since God can never lie, then in this case, the serpent did speak a truth as well.

Doug Towers said...

Clifford

I have used the point you are making in discussion with those who have used this same claim of this doctrine being Satan's idea. So don't misunderstand my direction. I'm in total agreement with you on that.

I'm not denying that Satan spoke true words. I'm saying that he has presented them in a way that makes a false idea from the true words.

As language is merely a noise or writing to convey a meaning; if the meaning is altered, the sound being the same is meaningless.

I'm not disagreeing with your point in the post, just the inference that COULD be derived, that Satan can actually teach truth.

Doug & Laurel said...

Hi Clifford
I stumbled across your blog on LDS BLOGS. I thought you mighe be interested in a site my wife and I just built called MormonsMadeSimple.com, which uses simple, explanatory videos to explain the Mormon faith. Feel free to feature any of these videos on your blog, or just share them with non-member friends. We're hoping these videos will be missionary tools to help members share their beliefs. Anyway, sorry to spam your comments section. I couldn't find any contact information for you on your blog.

- Doug & Laurel

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

I appreciate your thoughtful posts! Keep them coming....

Clifford said...

All: Thank you for your comments and I take no offense, Doug and Laurel, at my blog being used to help promote the gospel in new and creative ways -- I am honored.