Romans 13: 1-7 and Joseph Smith


Many libertarians, when talking to Christians about the government, feel the need to explain Romans 13: 1-7 to fit their libertarian views. A search on LewRockwell.com using “Romans 13” brings up a slew of articles that do just that. For example, the first article listed in the search is entitled, “Romans Chapter 13” by Chuck Baldwin and his first paragraph states:

“It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, “What about Romans Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone.” Or words to that effect.”

But when approaching Latter-day Saints, such lengthy explanations are unnecessary. If a Latter-day Saint brings up Romans 13: 1-7, all that needs to be said is, “Look at the Joseph Smith Translation.” So, let’s do that, okay?

First, let’s quote Romans 13: 1-7.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher power. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13: 1-7)

Obviously this is talking about government (the state) and its officials (the higher powers that are ordained of God to be his ministers,) the relationship of saints to these government officials (one of submission) and the payment of taxes to the state (that saints must pay their taxes.)

Now let’s look at the Joseph Smith Translation of Romans 13: 1-7.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher power. For there is no power in the church but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For, for this cause pay ye your consecrations also unto them; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. But first, render to all their dues, according to custom, tribute to whom tribute, custom to whom custom, that your consecrations may be done in fear of him to whom fear belongs, and in honor of him to whom honor belongs. (JST Romans 13: 1-7)

This passage is talking about the priesthood leadership of the church (the higher powers that are ordained of God to be his ministers,) the relationship of saints to the priesthood leadership (one of submission) and the payment of consecrations to these authorized priesthood ministers (that saints must obey the law of consecration and consecrate their surpluses to the Lord.)

Next Joseph Smith article: Breaking News: Joseph Smith’s Daguerrotype is scanned and uploaded

Previous Joseph Smith article: Joseph Smith’s Daguerreotype – An Appeal for Help

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Advertisements

13 Comments

  1. Though Paul does not have what we might call religious authority in view, Joseph Smith deems it appropriate to insert the words “in the church”, even though such a phrase is missing in the Greek from which this is supposed to be a translation (see http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%2013;1-7&version=YLT).

    Note “translation”, not “interpretation”. (Inserting extraneous phrases that are not there in the original is not a “translation”. If you did this, you could be rightly accused of corrupting the scriptures.)

    It seems to me that Joseph Smith is attempting to authenticate his own ecclesiastical authority. Maybe civic authority. Maybe both, as he had ambitions to a kind of theocracy with himself as Governor and Chief Executive Prophet. So, no longer is the passage concerned with civic obedience and paying taxes, it’s now a death-threat against churchgoers who don’t pay their tithes to the church.

    Given that Joseph Smith had about 34 wives in contravention of the prevailing civil law and religious culture (and he wasn’t exactly forthcoming about it to his own church), the last thing he was interested in, I think, was submitting to any authority, be it religious or civil. It makes sense then, that he would co-opt (re-write) Romans to his own agenda to get others to submit to him.

    Strange, though, that a blog with “anarchist” in its title should appear to promote the kind of authoritarianism that anarchists are supposed to hate.

  2. “Note “translation”, not “interpretation”. (Inserting extraneous phrases that are not there in the original is not a “translation”. If you did this, you could be rightly accused of corrupting the scriptures.)”

    The LDS call it the Joseph Smith Translation. The RLDS (now Community of Christ) call it the Inspired Version. Obviously, it is not a translation. But the word inspired may fit. And if Joseph wrote this under inspiration, he could be rightly accused of restoring the scriptures (correcting a corrupted text).

    “Strange, though, that a blog with “anarchist” in its title”

    Uh, anarchist is not in the title. Anarchy is in the title.

    “should appear to promote the kind of authoritarianism that anarchists are supposed to hate.”

    In what official, authoritative, anarchist publication is it written that anarchists are supposed to hate religious authority? Please cite the reference with exact section number so that I can conform to the rule. I thought I had all the anarchist rule books, but I must have missed that one.

  3. “And if Joseph wrote this under inspiration, he could be rightly accused of restoring the scriptures (correcting a corrupted text).”

    Who corrupted what, when, where and why? We have access to reliable sources for the original texts, including the Qumran stash. These support our modern translations, and demonstrate that the King James Version (which is commonly used by the LDS Church to proselytize) is actually pretty good.

    This is an argument about the transmission of meaning in the text. If you want to go down that route, you’ll need to jettison the LDS 8th Article of Faith (btw, the Bible has been translated reliably).

    However, there’s a more profound problem here – Mormons need to choose between the Bible and what Joseph Smith taught (particularly his theology during his later years that was modified from an essentially monotheistic and monogamous religion in which Jesus was a significant player to a polytheistic and polygamous religion in which the LDS Church becomes the main force).

    For example, there can be no reconciliation between Isaiah 43:10 (“before me no God was formed”) and the doctrine of eternal progression, as summarized by Lorenzo Snow’s couplet (“as man is, God once was – as God is man may become”).

    Contrary to the claims I have heard Mormons make, the two do not dovetail together – its more like the all-out war between Sarah and Hagar that Paul expounds upon in Galatians 4:21-31. The urban myth, that the whole thing has been so severely vandalized that its meaning has been lost (e.g. James E Talmadge and the Great Apostasy), is not founded on a serious consideration of the history of the Bible, but a convenient “out” for people who don’t like what it says (e.g Joseph Smith and his followers).

    Anarchist – I’m going on the commonly accepted meaning of someone who rejects authoritarianism or a structured society. E.g. Anarchy – a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority (my Mac dictionary).

    If you want to promote structure and civil and/or religious authority, I suggest you get another moniker before you mislead more people like me.

  4. including the Qumran stash
    And I’m sure you found the epistle of Romans out at Qumran — right?

    you’ll need to jettison the LDS 8th Article of Faith
    Why? Should we instead believe the Bible to be the word of God insofar as it is translated incorrectly?

    E.g. Anarchy – a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority
    The key to discerning a ridiculous definition of “anarchy” is the presence of the statist term “disorder” being associated with it.

    Martin — how are the public schools in Brisbane?

  5. Martin, the definition of anarchism is much more varied than your Mac dictionary gives. As you are a professed Christian, it might be best to start with Christian Anarchism and then go from there.

  6. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law,

    (King James Version, Mac Dictionary, etc.)

    do ye not hear the law?

    (Statism)

    which gendereth to bondage,

    (Say “G’Day” to the Queen for me next time she visits your part of the Commonwealth)

    Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

    (Is that really where you wanna be?)

    But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

    (That is what we are working for and waiting on…the promise of the return of Zion)

  7. Thank you all for your responses, including the questionable claims about my personal circumstances. I’ll attempt not to respond in kind.

    I’m actually not that interested in disputing your interpretation of what Anarchy is, or isn’t. From what I’ve read of Joesph Smith and his followers, however, it seems they were interested in establishing and maintaining a rigid form of religous/civil authoritarianism (hence the revision to Romans 13:1), which is at odds with a blog that promotes Anarchy in their name. It seems you’re not posting from Orderville, Utah (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orderville,_Utah).

    More seriously, you need to deal with the conflict between Mormon Doctrine and the Bible. I noted one of the more profound differences above (Isaiah 43:10 and Eternal Progression).

    Why? Call me naive if you will, but when I read the LDS Article of Faith Number 8, I see it setting up the expectation in its audience that the LDS Movement takes the Bible seriously. Calling it “the Word of God” does that. I know there’s the qualifier there (“as far as it is translated correctly”), so why don’t you put some research into finding out what “translated correctly” might yield? If you don’t want to set up this expectation in your audience, then change the AoF.

    Regarding the translations, as I noted earlier, the translations we have are actually reliable, and they are more reliable than the JST (need I mention the “Cherubims”?).

    Personally, I won’t use the term “correct” because (as serious translators know) words are not points of meaning, they encompass a circle of meaning, and very rarely does the circle of meaning in one language fit perfectly onto a circle of meaning in another. For example, the Hebrew root “kfr” covers a range of meaning from righteousness, skull-cap and village. That’s not to say the meaning cannot be understood – a lost son is a lost son in any language (Luke 15:11-32). This is where the context and the narrative need to show the way.

    However, for anyone to claim to have a “correct” (as in mathematically precise) translation, indicates that he doesn’t appreciate what a translation is.

    Consider Joseph Smith’s “translation” of the plates, in which he saw one word while peering at his peep-stone in his hat and it would not make way for the next word until his secretary had written it down correctly. Fortuitously, the fabled Reformed Egyptian followed a 19th Century rendition of 16th Century English – it just used different characters. Further, if the BoM was the “most correct” book on earth, why did later editions include some 4,000 corrections? In short, it cannot have been translated “correctly” to start with.

    The more profound issue is whether LDS are willing to hear what the Bible says without first imposing their own meaning on it. This is nothing new in Mormonism, Joesph Smith said, “There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 310.)

    Maybe that’s why he changed it, so that it would.

    Like I said earlier, the (spurious) claims that the Bible was changed by the Catholics (or whoever) are just lame attempts to dodge the issue and to defend the indefensible – that Joseph Smith had a message from the same God who (apparently) wrote the Bible as his word.

    PS Elder Chantdown, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say to me, though you seem o be deriding me for the form of Government that I currently live under. You may be interested to know that I don’t regard my situation to make me any better or worse than you (because we will both answer to the One who created the heavens and the earth) and I respectfully ask that you adopt the same attitude if you intend to respond to me further.

  8. “There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 310.)

    I’ll have to agree with Joseph on that one. For example, a “voice walking in the garden” doesn’t make too much sense to me. How exactly does a voice walk?

    And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. (KJV Genesis 3: 8 )

    Regarding the translations, as I noted earlier, the translations we have are actually reliable, and they are more reliable than the JST (need I mention the “Cherubims”?)

    So the above KJV translation is more reliable than what Joseph penned?

    And they heard the voice of the Lord God, as they were walking in the garden, in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife went to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

    Lol.

    Martin, you seem to have missed the point of this post. Let me explain it to you. This post is not to convince Christians that the the JST is the word of God. This post is directed to Libertarians and anarchists who wish to explain to statist Mormons that there is no biblical commandment to be a statist. All Christian statists point to Romans 13: 1-7 to show that statism is biblical. So, to convince Christian statists that statism is not biblical, Libertarians must address Romans 13: 1-7 and interpret it in the opposite way that statist Christians interpret it. When dealing with Mormon statists, though, Libetarians and anarchists do not need to interpret these verses as they do for the Christian statists. All they need to do is point to the JST of the verses, which paints a non-statist picture. The Mormons, then, can more easily accept the Libertarian and anarchist views.

    Such an approach, using the JST to remove the statism of the verses, doesn’t work with Christians because they don’t accept the JST. But it does work with Mormons. And that is the point of the post.

    One last thing, you said, “The more profound issue is whether LDS are willing to hear what the Bible says without first imposing their own meaning on it. This is nothing new in Mormonism”. This is also nothing new in Christianity or any other religion. We are all influenced by the culture we have been raised in. Everyone, regardless of religious or non-religious background, imposes his or her own meaning on everything. No two people perceive anything exactly the same. If you think that the Bible or any other scripture is self-evident and that all who look upon it will extract the same view of it as everyone else, the correct view, namely yours, you are either delusional or too young to understand (inexperienced).

  9. LDS_Anarchist,

    Thanks for pointing out the point of the post.

    My concern is that Mormons hold Joseph Smith up as a reliable interpreter of the Word of God, which he is not.

    You seem more concerned about Libertinism verses Statism and you’re using the JST to appeal to Mormons. This issue is something of a non-issue with me because I tend to comprehend the world in terms of human interactions rather than systems (I’m a “system” skeptic – I just don’t believe systems exist in the realm of politics, religion or any other human socio-cultural context).

    I am, however, interested in understanding what the Bible has to say. I actually agree with your last statement (though suggesting that I am “inexperienced” might be a little off the mark). I seriously wonder if my interpretation of scripture is redolent of my own personal circumstances. However I’m not prepared to fully embrace the extremes of post-modernism because it would mean that nobody could say anything to anybody with any chance of them conveying something meaningful, which is clearly not the case. My solution to this is to try to understand what the Biblical texts meant to the people who wrote them and the people who first heard them, and to work from there to understand what they might mean in our context.

    You quoted Gen 3:8, objecting to how a “voice” might walk. Robert Alter’s “The Five Books of Moses, a Translation with Commentary” renders it “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden in the evening breeze…”, which is similar to your rendition. However, ‘seeing’ a voice in Tudor England was an acceptable, if ironic or possibly humorous, way of putting it, as in Bottom’s line in Shakepeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, Scene 1 “I see a voice: now will I to the chink, To spy an I can hear my Thisby’s face. Thisby!” (MSN written in about 1594-96, KJV written in 1611 in the same part of the world, in other words the use of the idiom is near identical).

    The issue with the “Cherubims” is that the KJV mistranslates it (Genesis 3:24 etc). In Hebrew, Cherubim is the plural of Cherub, so pluralizing it with an “s” is superfluous. Despite the Mormon claims to divine inspiration, Joseph Smith missed the opportunity to correct it and carried the mistranslation into his own version. I have already noted the JST insertions to Romans 13:1. The inescapable conclusion is that, unfortunately, Smith was unable to translate the Bible correctly.

    That’s why I say the modern translations are reliable, but not “correct” or “perfect”. Furthermore, responsible translations (like the NIV) will note where they are unable to resolve difficulties in the text, or where the manuscripts differ, which occurs less often than is commonly thought.

    My objection to Mormonism is its schizophrenic attitude to the Bible. On the one hand, we get statements like the 8AoF (“We believe the Bible to be the Word of God…”), then we get Mormon prophets changing it at will to suit their message. They should actually say something like “We believe in ourselves, and in the Bible, but only when it appears to agree with us…”

    If Mormons want to take the Bible and their Prophets seriously, they should start to listen to what they are actually saying, not to what they want them to say. The problem is that when you do that, you find the two are incompatible with each other.

  10. Martin,

    “Hearing a voice walking about,” or “hearing a sound walking about,” assuming this to be an English idiom, is not the same as “seeing a voice.” To make that connection is to grasp at straws. If the former is, indeed, an English idiom, it would show up in other English language texts, would it not? That it doesn’t appear in other texts doesn’t justify trying to force it into another idiom that has one word in common: “voice.” Sometimes we want so badly that the text makes sense, that we are willing to create idioms from it at will. If we accept the text at face value, without forcing it to fit a different idiom, another conclusion might present itself: that the text has become corrupted.

    Concerning cherubims:

    cherub, n. ; pl. CHERUBS; but the Heb. pl. CHERUBIM is also used. In English CHERIBIM, the Hebrew plural, and CHERIBIN, a form appearing in the Vulgate, have both been treated as singular, as plural, and as collective forms. When treated as singulars, a regular English plural in s appears. These uses are now obsolete or erroneous. (Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, 1913.)

    You stated:

    My solution to this is to try to understand what the Biblical texts meant to the people who wrote them and the people who first heard them, and to work from there to understand what they might mean in our context.

    You also need to apply this principle to Joseph Smith’s time. When you do, you will find that cherubims was perfectly fine English usage for his time.

    Regarding reliable translations: The Hebrew has four layers of meaning. Any translation only addresses one or at most two layers. There are many meanings that can be drawn from Biblical Hebrew, so there will never be a correct or perfect translation, except in Hebrew. Joseph didn’t translate the Bible, he interpreted it. Interpretation means to convey the intended meaning of the words, not to give a direct translation.

    There is a story of a king that sent a message by ambassador to a far away kingdom. When he got there, the ambassador spoke everything the king had wanted him to say and finished up in less than five minutes’ time. Then the royal interpreter began to interpret the ambassadors message to his king, taking upwards of 45 minutes. Afterward, the king was pleased, but the ambassador was shocked and asked the interpreter what he had said. The interpreter replied that he began by extolling all the many virtues of the king, from the least to the greatest and finally ended by giving the request of the first king. The ambassador exclaimed, “But I didn’t say all of that!” And the interpreter replied, “Yes, but you should have.”

    In any attempt at interpretation, it is the conveyed meaning that is the most important part, not the actual words used by the original speaker. If a speaker uses the words, “For there is no power but of God” and his implied meaning is that he is talking of the church and not the state, and the interpreter knows that his audience will interpret these words to mean the state and not the church, the interpreter, if he is any good, will say in the audience’s language, “For there is no power in the church but of God.” His main concern will be that the audience understands what the messenger is trying to say, not that he gets the words directly translated into the other language, which in this case would create misunderstanding.

    The JST is an inspired interpretation, not a direct translation. Anyone who knows two or more languages (and I’m one of them) who has dealt with trying to convert from one language to another knows that interpretation is an art form and that just knowing two languages is not enough. What is also needed is to know what the speaker is trying to say. Once you know that, you can convey the correct meaning.

    I will agree with you on one point, though. Hardly anyone believes the Bible, whether it’s Mormons, Christians, etc. “We believe in ourselves, and in the Bible, but only when it appears to agree with us…” applies equally to all Bible-believing religions. Taking just one “controversial” topic, polygamy, we find Christians that claim that the Bible denounces polygamy and we find polygamous Christians that claim the Bible supports it. Or, Christians who say Sunday is the day of rest, while others say it is Saturday. Etc. You also find Mormons differing widely in their interpretations, all using the same Bible. So, given that this is true, where does this leave a person who relies solely on what the Bible says?

    Mormonism should not be judged by how it treats and interprets the Bible. Every Christian denomination interprets the Bible in slightly to vastly different ways from every other denomination. Mormonism is not different in this regard. Where it totally departs from Christianity is in its additional books of scripture: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. If you object to Mormonism, object to it because the Holy Ghost has told you these other books of scriptures are not true, not because these scriptures do not fit your interpretation of the Bible.

    I’m not one of those Mormons that worships Joseph Smith or any other man claiming to be a prophet. If I see something I disagree with, or that conflicts with the revelations I personally have received, I side with what the Holy Ghost has told me. Over several decades now, I have received many revelations from the Holy Ghost and many of them have confirmed that the Mormon scriptures are true. In fact, the very first time the Holy Ghost spoke to me, I learned that God lives, that Jesus is His Son and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Additionally, Joseph Smith, in my view, has proven to be a pretty good interpreter of the word of God, based upon my own understanding of God’s word.

  11. LDS_anarchist,

    I’m not sure if you realize it, but you’re a fully subscribed gnostic and a post-modern.

    You believe the truth is within you. Fair enough, however, it’s not what the first Christians believed. That’s a profound problem for a movement that claims to be a restoration of what the first Christians believed.

    Consider Stephen’s testimony before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7. He did not get up and say “I’ve got this internal feeling that what I believe is true and my personal experiences are what validate my interpretation of scripture”. He gave them a lecture on their shared history and what the scriptures said (with almost no exegesis, surprisingly, though he does finally get to it in Acts 7:51-53).

    I seriously wonder if the pharisees who stoned him to death got upset because he was telling them that they could not find the truth by looking within themselves, but by looking outside themselves to God’s self-revelation in public history. The fact that this public, self-revelation of God did not live up to their private expectations was so confronting, that they decided to shoot the messenger. You’re doing the same.

    Also, please give up the “translations” ruse. It’s a lame attempt to avoid hearing what scripture actually says, and it’s a lamer attempt to justify your belief that Joseph Smith could possibly be a reliable interpreter of the Word of God (or any text, for that matter e.g. the Book of Abraham).

    Should I judge the LDS movement on how it interprets the Bible. Heck, yes! If it is God’s message to humanity, and God has ordained His Church to convey that message to humanity, then interpreting it faithfully must be the first order of the day, every day for the Church. Nothing else should have a higher priority.

    The over-riding message I’m getting from your position is that the Bible is completely irrelevant to you. If that’s the case, you and the rest of the LDS movement is better off without it. Why not just say so and be done with it?

  12. Martin, I can’t say what the first Christians believed. I cannot even say what Mormons believe. Considering there are so many Mormons with so many varied beliefs, it is remarkable that you are able to read a few texts written by a very limited number of people and determine what all the first Christians believed. The only thing I can do is approximate what the writers of those texts believed.

    I never said I had an internal feeling. I said I’ve received many revelations and manifestations of the Holy Ghost, who spoke to me. Now, when someone speaks to you, do you consider their words an internal feeling? If so, well, then, I guess I got “internal feelings”, according to your definition. Have you never received manifestations and revelations from the Holy Ghost? Are you not familiar with this revelatory source?

    Didn’t Stephen get stoned because he claimed to see God?

    So, when I say that Joseph interpreted the Bible and did not translate it, I am wrong in my assessment? And this is a translation ruse? As far as I know, Joseph didn’t take up the original tongues of the Bible and attempt to translate them into English, but he took up the English Bible and expained it by re-wording it. Do you call that translation? I call that interpretation. The JST is a midrash.

    Martin, you are free to judge Mormonism however you want, but that’s treating it as just another Christian sect, which it is not. There are many different kinds of oranges. There are navels, mandarins, etc. Christianity is like different varieties of oranges. You, in your beliefs, believe that, let’s say, the mandarin variety comes closest to the biblical kind, while other Christians believe that navels comes closer, etc. But as long as we are still talking oranges, everything is okay in Christiandom. Mormonism, though, comes along and presents you with an apple. Well obviously that’s not an orange. Mormonism says we are the original biblical fruit, which was lost and now has been restored. (Obviously, if it was lost, it won’t be an orange.) You can’t judge it as a variety of oranges, because that would be absurd. So, you should judge it on its appleness, not on its non-orangeness. But, hey, knock yourself out. To each his own.

    I will try to be clearer in my message. If there are five people in a room (me being one of them) and God speaks to each one of them personally, including to myself, which word spoken is the most important to me? First of all, as it is all the word of God, I want to learn what God said to the other four other people. Wouldn’t you want to know, also? But, what was spoken to me, personally, is directly applicable to me. So, I want to know what God spoke to the ancient Jews of the Old Testament (6000-2400 years ago) and to the Jews and Gentiles of New Testament times (2000 years ago), and to the Nephites (2600-1300 years ago) and to Joseph Smith (170 years ago). But, what is most important to me is what God has told me (going on several decades now).

    Now, how do I judge what was spoken to the other people? Do I judge the words spoken to me directly by what the other fellows said God said to them? Or do I judge what the other fellows said God said to them by what was spoken to me directly? Which is the wisest course of action? In my experience, Martin, the reason why Christians cannot figure this situation out is that they are often the odd man out. They are the sixth man in the other room who comes in. They are the man who never had any revelations, but they are acquainted with one of the men. They trust that man and distrust the others. Their only recourse is to believe one man’s word over the word of the other four. Not because they have received their own revelations, but because they haven’t.

    I am able to accept four standard works of scripture because they harmonize with the revelations I, personally, have received from God. By the same standard, the Lord can send even more books of scripture and I will be fully open to receiving His word. But if I take the Christian approach and judge everything the Lord says in every age by what He said to one group of people thousands of years ago I may end up rejecting His word spoken to another group. (It’s kind of funny that I’m writing about this now because just last night I had a dream that the Lord revealed a new book of scripture, written in Gaelic.)

  13. awesome discussion in the thread


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s