See here for an important message regarding the community which will become a read-only site October 31.
Black Jebus in regards to the article (www.betemunah.org/priests.html) you asked me to read in reference to the Melchizdek priesthood, since you never got back to me regarding your understanding of the article and how it relates to the LDS view I emailed the author for his view of the LDS priesthood.
his response is the following:
The Melchizedek priesthood was simply the priesthood of the firstborn. As such, all firstborn Jews will be able to take this office once it has been restored. Currently, the priesthood of the firstborn is awaiting restoration and has been supplanted by the Levitical priesthood.
The Levitical priesthood can only be held by Levites who descend from Aaron and who are also Zadokites.
Thus LDS men are EXPLICITLY EXCLUDED from both of these offices. (emphasis his)
Black Jebus this seems to be turning into a discussion which is better suited for a forum. Thus I will respond to your comments at Welcome: Christianity: Mormons forum with a title something like "Discussion on my comment page"
First off Joe let me thank you for reading my link as you do not always read the links of your dissenters. Also I would like to thank you for engaging me in a dialogue.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). He also said, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing” (John 14:12), which included caring for the sick, troubled and powerless. To clarify, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey as I command.” Knowing who Jesus considers to be his followers should help us decide who’s Christian and who’s not shouldn’t it?
You have family that is LDS so after reading that link you should see the link between the LDS priesthood and biblical tradition, it was written in plain straightforward language. I’ll give you scripture to look up to explain; (D&C 84:6-53) In an address by Elder Bruce R. McConkie delivered at the Regional Representatives seminar, October 3, 1974 will also explain. It’s entitled “Only an Elder.” The link which you read, along with these references do go hand in hand and have a firm footing in the Old Testament. If you do not see the link which is plain and simple then it is because you choose not to, not because it is not there.
For example, Jesus supplanted the Mosaic law of an eye for an eye during the Sermon on the Mount so one could argue as many Jews do that Jesus and therefore Christianity defies what the biblical tradition was all about. But if you trust in Isaiah and in Daniel who gives an exact time frame for when the Messiah will present himself and be “cut off” or killed, then it does support the claim that Jesus is the Messiah and is of God, moreover he is the son of God therefore he has the authority to supplant Mosaic law.
And as for the claim that you cherry pick scripture my specific example is when you wrote about the different terms of God in the Hebrew bible being used such as Yahweh or Elohim and Jehovah as well. You stated correctly that they were simply different terms for God not referencing two Gods, i.e. Jesus and God. But you conveniently failed to mention (John 1:1-3) “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” Understanding that Jesus is the word, as he is referred to as such repeatedly throughout the NT, brings this passage to light in that it demonstrates that Jesus helped to make all things with God and that he existed before creation.
Another of your deeply cherish misrepresentations of LDS theology is the idea of exaltation or progressing toward godhood from manhood. And that Jesus should have had to progress the same way according to LDS teaching. I would point to (John 3: 16) & (John 1:1-3) we teach that as God’s only begotten Jesus was privileged in ways the rest of us were not. And that Jesus is an exalted being not an equal to God. If you choose not to accept or agree with that, that is one thing but the truth is you would rather misrepresent the LDS church teachings and say you understand them better than members do. And having spoken with LDS missionaries along with LDS family you should understand that rather than misrepresent that.
And I never said that black folk were not barred from the priesthood I merely pointed out the exceptions to explain the ban in the first place, an issue that I also took exception to when I first got involved with the LDS church. The exceptions help explain why there was a ban in the first place which you should understand having LDS family but that is something you would rather misrepresent as well.
And finally I would ask why you feel the need to write post after post to attempt to disprove the LDS church as if scripture is forensic evidence rather than an instrument of faith. Jesus, for example, was tempted by Satan and challenged to turn stone to bread. Jesus quoted scripture and said “Man can not live on bread alone.” Meaning that you must subsist on the spirit first and foremost. Likewise you can not gain full understanding by intellect and analytical thought alone, you must have faith as well. And you will never understand the LDS faith if everything you write, if everything you hear, if everything you learn in regards to it only serve to disprove it.
You can not prove that my faith is wrong anymore than I can prove it is right. To have proof is to have knowledge and to have knowledge negates faith and all the lessons of it. All you and I have are our scripture and our faith, proof is not part of the equation. And again why are you so insecure as to your own faith that you must attack another faith? Why is your comfort in your faith not enough? Why the LDS faith stood out as a target to you as opposed to all the other faiths out there? Is it the LDS faith that is flawed or is it you? Or is it the fact that your nephews and possibly your sister are LDS and that you are so insecure that everyone around you especially your family must be like-minded else your fragile worldview come crumbling down all around you? Your posts beg those questions, someone has to ask.
Black Jebus, I have read your link to www.betemunah.org/priests.html and I see nothing there that supports the LDSview of the priesthood. If you’ve read it then you should be able to explain it.
My brother in law was a LDS missionary as are his two sons. I have spoken to all three. In addition I have spoken to five other LDS missionaries. So that is eight LDS missionaries I have spoken to on the topic of the LDS Melchizedeck and Levitical priesthoods. So I don’t think it is an issue of not understanding the LDS priesthood, it is more of an issue of the LDS PH not conforming to what is taught in the Bible.
As for the blacks and the priesthood there was a ban on them until 1978. Whether some were allowed to have it before then does not alter the fact that officially the LDS barred blacks from their PH. Why would then LDS Prez. and prophet Kimball receive a revelation from the Mormon god to lift the ban on barring blacks from the LDS priesthood if they were not barred?
I do see the LDS religion as legit as Islam, and as far from historic and Biblical Christianity as Islam as well.
If you wish to discuss the LDS PH, there is a thread on BNet that outlines how the Mormon doctrine of the priesthood errors from that taught in the Bible.
It can be found at the Welcome Christianity Mormon page on a thread entitled "Response to an Evangelical Believer in Christ" started by WWA
This is site by www.betemunah.org/priests.html will help explain the priesthood as it is contained in the old testament. Because Melchizedeck is mentioned. And I like the cowardice with which you failed to address the key issue of why you haven't asked a missionary about LDS theology which you have such a MIS understanding of! So it is true that you reject those opportunities because you seriously think you know more about LDS theology than actual members. The fact that you have no concept of where the Melchizedeck priesthood originates in terms of LDS theology or biblical tradition as the book of Mormon, the pearl of great price and doctrine and covenants are a companion piece to the bible is my specific example of you rejecting those opportunities. Actually bothering to sit down and read them would help clear up these misunderstandings you have. And again clearing up the ban as to blacks and the priesthood, the fact that you were unaware of the few black men that were ordained shows your unfamiliarity and self imposed ignorance of this issue. Talk to a missionary and they can clear it up with gospel manuals, church texts and simply talking about it. That doesn't mean you'll accept it but it will make sense of it from a theological stand point. I guess that's why your response to me was limited wasn't it Joe? To respond at great length would require the courage to admit that you'd rather be self-righteous that you know more about LDS theology than actual members and would rather hold to your gross Misunderstandings of that church than actually learning what you've gotten wrong! So why is it so hard to just admit that? You and everyone else that reads your posts knows it to be true! You don't have to accept the LDS faith, just understand it as a legitimate religion as Islam is. Which reminds me, was the issue of Ishmeal being Abraham's proper heir and the further issue of faith vs proof too much to handle given you never addressed that either? Why didn't you
respond to the assertion that your dismissive,self-righteous and hyper judgmental attitude are akin to the Pharisee and Sanhedrin? Truth hurt? The fact that you don't know the scripture in the OT, NT or specifically Mormon scripture that demonstrates for the faithful, a link from the time of Melchizedeck to Jesus is your failing, no one Else's.
BlackJebus, it is untrue that I “reject every opportunity to gain a full understanding of [the LDS] faith.” For instance I’ve learned that the LDS think that Jesus was somehow always divine despite teaching that gods progress up from men. If you think I “cherry pick scripture”, you’d have to cite a specific instance.
The LDS understanding of the priesthood is based on a MIS-understanding of what the OT priesthood was all about. And the Mormon understanding of the nature of God – multiple gods vs one God – is at the center of their misunderstanding of all things theological.
Citing one case of a black man holding the LDS priesthood does not explain away the history of the LDS church banning blacks from the priesthood. It is kinda hard to say that blacks were not banned form the priesthood when on June 9, 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball announced the “revelation” that lifted the ban!
I have read the repeated criticisms of the LDS faith you've posted. I see that rather than follow up on the links provided you by LDS members who respond you reject every opportunity to gain a full understanding of our faith and instead hold to your gross misunderstandings of LDS theology. If you want specifics of scripture then go to a Mormon website or better yet call your local LDS church and ask for missionary discussions in order to clear up the misunderstandings you have. I can cherry pick scripture as well as you to prove anything I want. For example God made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would have a promised land and that God would watch over them and would have a special bond with them. But you and I both view Isaac as the descendant who this promise applies to when in fact as was the ancient near east custom and Jewish custom specifically, Ishmael the father of Islam, was the first born and therefore the proper heir to Abraham's legacy. So one could make the argument as Muslims do that Ismael's descendants are the holders of the covenant with God. Now both you and I would point to scripture to bolster our point that the Jewish people down to Jesus were the holders of the special covenant between God and Man. But these issues as well as every one you have with the LDS faith, for whatever reason, are matters of faith you can not prove as you seek to do, any of your criticisms. It flies in the face of faith and negates all the lessons of it. To have proof is to have knowledge, and neither of us do on these matters. We have scripture and we have faith. Again if you want to understand the LDS faith ask for missionary discussions then blog about that. Because to only look for ways to disprove the LDS faith is an exercise in futility. It is a matter of faith not proof. But you would rather be self-righteous and dismissive that correct in your understandings of the LDS church which is more akin to the attitude the Sanhedrin and Pharisees which seek to be dismissive, self-righteous and disprove Jesus rather than to listen and understand his teachings. I'm not trying to convert but to simply explain but though I could explain to you the priesthood, the Mormon understanding of the trinity and prove to you that a black man and all his male descendants from the time of Joseph Smith on were allowed to hold the priesthood as is evidenced in church history in one specific case and explain why this was and if you ask I will but I doubt you will since you seem confident you know more about LDS history than an actual member. You clearly only read criticisms and possibly anti-mormon literature and make no attempt to even balance this with official mormon lit. Ill answer questions but missionaries are your best bet because they can provide links and hard copy text to explain everything you dont seem to understand.