An article published at Beggars Bread appears to be 95 Theses Against the Claims of the Mormon Church and published by the The Elders of Christ Presbyterian Church A Congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Magna, UT. These 95 claims appear to provide a response against the teachings and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Here is their introductory statement:
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 theses or propositions against the Roman Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences – – the claim that for the right amount of money you could buy forgiveness of sins. Indulgences were hostile to the very heart of the Christian faith. Martin Luther challenged this practice from the Scriptures and called men back to the Bible and back to Jesus. In the spirit of that challenge, we present 95 theses against the claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We implore you to search the Scriptures to know what is true (Acts 17:11) and seek the real Jesus while He may be found.
Taking their own request to search the Scriptures to know what is true and to seek the real Jesus while HE may be found is exactly what will occur. Each week, Mormon Apologia will focus on one theses and present a proper scriptural response to these claims.
Let us start with the first theses:
Your god is not the God of the Bible, nor even truly a god. He is not the creator and sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:16-17), but an exalted man or “super-man” who transformed eternal matter. Your god is more akin to the Norse god Thor than the God of the Bible.
Let us look at Colossians 1:16-17 to determine if the Elders of Christ Presbyterian Church in Utah has proper interpreted this passage. Here is what the King James Version says:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
How one interprets this passage of scripture will determine if they are engaging in Eisegesis or Exegesis. To determine this, let us look at the proper context. Here, Paul is writing to the Church in Colosse. We find this in verse 2:
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice that Paul says Grace to be unto you, and peace, from God our FATHER and the LORD Jesus Christ. Paul is distinguishing the distinctness between the Father and the Son as two separate individuals. In verse 3, Paul makes the same statement. As we read the full context of Colossians 1, we find that Paul is discussing redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ. He is also identifying Christ as the creator. These two important teachings are distinguished through the will and power of God.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.Colossians 1: 9-18, KJV
Paul is referring to the infinite atonement offered through Jesus Christ and those who believe on Christ are part of Christ’s Kingdom. Paul goes on to teach us that Christ is the express image of the invisible God. Here, he lays out the simple doctrine of Christ’s crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection. Being the firstborn of the dead. Paul is referring to Christ as the creator of all things. This is known as the Doctrine of Preeminence of Christ or Supremacy of Christ. However, Paul continues this teaching that Christ not only created all things, provided the infinite atonement, and is the express image of the invisible God; Paul also taught that in Christ, the fullness of the Father dwells (see vs. 19).
As we see, Paul distinguishes the difference between the Father and the Son, that the Son (Jesus Christ) holds supremacy over all things, and that through Christ, all things were created. This is consistent with Latter-day Saint (Mormon) teaching:
We affirm, on the authority of Holy Scripture, that the Being who is known among men as Jesus of Nazareth, and by all who acknowledge His Godhood as Jesus the Christ, existed with the Father prior to birth in the flesh; and that in the preexistent state He was chosen and ordained to be the one and only Savior and Redeemer of the human race. Foreordination implies and comprizes preexistence as an essential condition; therefore scriptures bearing upon the one are germane to the other; and consequently in this presentation no segregation of evidence as applying specifically to the preexistence of Christ or to His foreordination will be attempted.Jesus the Christ – Chapter 2 Preexistence and Foreordination of the Christ
And in Chapter Four of Jesus The Christ we read:
We claim scriptural authority for the assertion that Jesus Christ was and is God the Creator, the God who revealed Himself to Adam, Enoch, and all the antediluvial patriarchs and prophets down to Noah; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of Israel as a united people, and the God of Ephraim and Judah after the disruption of the Hebrew nation; the God who made Himself known to the prophets from Moses to Malachi; the God of the Old Testament record; and the God of the Nephites. We affirm that Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the Eternal One.
Even Christ himself responded to the Pharisaic charge in John 8: 56-59 (cf. John 8:12-59)
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Christ attests to his true identity and stated multiple times in John 8 that he was sent by the Father. That the Father bears witness of Christ. He even testified that before Abraham was, he existed. This caused the Pharisee’s to take up stones to throw at him. Christ identified himself as Yeshua (YHWH).
Going back to Colossians 1:16-17, we also understand that Christ rose from the grave with a resurrected body of Flesh and Bone. What modern Christians fail to understand is that they teach that God came down and took on human flesh. Yet, out of the other mouth proclaimed that Mormon’s teaching that God having a resurrected body of flesh and bone is anathema to scripture. In reality, Christ came down and took on mortality. He rose with a resurrected and glorified body. He ascended into Heaven with a resurrected glorified body of flesh and bone.
Luke 24:36-43 records this:
36And as they spake these things, he himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they beheld a spirit. 38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and wherefore do questionings arise in your heart? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me having. 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? 42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish. 43And he took it, and ate before them.
Acts 1:6-11 records the ascension of Christ:
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
And in 1 John 3:2, we read:
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
This is, of course, within the context of the contrast between those who walk in obedience and righteousness (where they exhibit the love of Christ toward one another) – to that of walking in unrighteousness and disobedience because of their lack of compassion toward others. When Christ appears, we will see Him as we are – resurrected, glorified, and exalted. Even Christ himself shared this:
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.Revelation 3:21, KJV
Christ is seated on the throne of Glory with the Father. This is also contained his High Priestly Prayer of John 17:1-5:
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Therefore, based on the first theses the Elders of Christ Presbyterian Church, they fall in error and false teaching once we have examined the scriptures and the actual teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Mormon’s accept and believe the scriptural authority of Jesus Christ as the creator of all things
- Mormon’s accept and believe the scriptural authority that Jesus Christ came to live a mortal life, was crucified, died, was buried, and was resurrected with a glorified physical body of flesh and bones
- Mormon’s accept and believe that Jesus Christ was foreordained and existed with the Father prior to creation.
The Elder’s at Christ Presbyterian have born false witness against the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ.