We continue to study the document sent as an attachment with an email from a Mormon. Click here to read that email and our reply to it.
Now, in the attached document, the Mormon says in the introduction (emphasis mine):
“This work is based on the diligent and open-minded study of Scripture and of the teachings of both these faiths.”
He is talking about the evangelical (or biblical) Faith that he considers as the teachings of some human denominations called “Evangelical Christians”(*), and the Mormon beliefs. So he says that his work is based on the open-minded study of Scripture and of the teachings of evangelicals and Mormons. Notice that evangelical Christians and Mormons are humans, and if you want to be open-minded toward their teachings and at the same time you want to study the Scripture, you will be interpreting the Scripture with human opinions. Indeed, being “open-minded” in the study of Scripture is not something praiseworthy, and yet this Mormon boasts of it…
Let’s first read the definition of “open-minded” in the dictionary:
Open-minded: having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments.
The biggest error in the study of Scripture is to be open-minded towards new ideas or arguments in your study of it, as all new ideas are human ideas, while the Bible is the Word of God and only God can interpret it. If these “new” ideas or arguments are strange to the teachings of the Word of God, then we should be closed-minded towards them, as it is not something praiseworthy to be open-minded towards evil.
Indeed, Eve also was open-minded in her study of God’s Word, and we have seen what was the result. I have explained this in one of my comments on this blog, so I will quote it here with some added clarifications. Let’s see how Eve was open-minded in her study of God’s Word:
From the beginning of this world, Satan wanted to deceive people to turn them from God. From the first time in the garden of Eden, Satan wanted to make Eve turn her ear from the words of God to make her believe Satan’s interpretation of those words. God had planted a garden, the garden of Eden, with every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food. In the midst of that garden, there was the tree of life, and there was also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 2:8-9). God had told man clearly: “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) You see how much the Commandment of God was clear; there is no need for interpretation. God clearly said that man could eat from any tree of the garden freely. And the Word of God is also clear concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: man shall not eat from it, for the day that he eats from it he will what?… he will surely die. The Word of God is very clear. Now, let’s see the interpretation of Satan that he gave to Eve:
“Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
What’s wrong in this sentence? From the first sight, a simple man would say: “Well, yes, that’s what God said!” But in fact, that’s not what God said. God didn’t say that man could not eat from any tree of the garden. We have seen that God said that man could eat freely from any tree of the garden, but he couldn’t eat only from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So you see that the first tactic of Satan was to exaggerate the commandment of the Lord to make it look burdensome. Actually, even questioning the Word of God by saying “Indeed, has God said?” is wrong, and Eve must have told Satan about this error… Eve innocently corrected the error in Satan’s interpretation, but she was already being open-minded towards his interpretations of God’s Word, which is a very big error! Only God can interpret His Word. Who is this Satan to have the right to interpret the Word of God?! Therefore she made another mistake which in fact is the first mistake of humanity which is based on the error of allowing to Satan to interpret the Word of God. Look what she said:
“The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” (Genesis 3:2-3)
Eve was right concerning the fact that they could eat from the trees of the garden, but she must have taken the words of the Lord more precisely, so that she could face the deception of Satan. You see that she was not precise concerning the points that I have put in bold above; she didn’t tell Satan clearly that God has said that they could eat from any tree of the garden freely. Being precise in quoting what God says is very important, and it protects us against the deceptions of Satan, and that’s what Jesus did indeed when He was tempted by Satan. But look at the bigger error of Eve: she said that God had told them not to even touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Please, tell me: Did God say anything like that?? Not at all! But after Eve did the mistake of not quoting the Word of God precisely, she also made an exaggeration by adding to the Word of God, just as Satan did. She followed the example of Satan and chose the way of interpreting the Word of God instead of accepting the interpretation of God for His Word. So here we see the first error of humanity which is adding on the Word of God.
What Eve did here helped in the tactic of Satan. Satan wanted to make Eve feel that she is frustrated and that God is forbidding her from having good things, and she helped him in that by doing an exaggeration on the Word of God and by not quoting His Word precisely. Look what was the next step in the tactic of Satan:
“The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!” (Genesis 3:4)
And he added:
“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)
Misrepresentation of the loving Nature of God!
Eve didn’t quote the Word of God precisely; God said: “in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) God said that they would surely die, and Satan interprets that they surely will not die!!
You see which deceitful way Satan took to lead Eve into sin and disobedience to the Commandment of God. Satan didn’t come and tell Eve: “Look, Eve, I am Satan and I am in rebellion against God who created you, and now I want to lead you in the same rebellion in which I am.” No. Satan came and lied, changing what God’s clear words mean.
After the exaggerations and the wrong quotations from the Word of God, Eve really felt that she was missing something very tasty in the garden, and she forgot all the trees that were under her free access, and she forgot even the tree of life! And look what was her only need now:
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)
This was the rebellion of man against his Creator Lord… What caused it? Open-mindedness towards the interpretations of Satan and towards Eve’s personal interpretations and speculations.
We should be very open-minded towards all what GOD says, and very closed-minded towards evil and lies! We should not listen to carnal and satanic interpretations of the Word of God. God is the person who spoke the words of the Bible through His prophets and Apostles, and it is only God who can interpret what He said. When someone tells you something, and if you don’t understand it, you don’t go and ask someone else to interpret it for you; you ask the person who talked to you. And this is indeed what God says with many warnings:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
It is the Holy Spirit who is the Author of this Scripture, and whatever is written in it cannot have any private interpretation. We can only take it in its general context, the Bible itself, and thus only the Bible can interpret the Bible, as it is the Word of God, i.e. it is what God says and how God interprets His Word.
Again, we read:
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
We should not add anything to the Word of God nor take away from it. If you add your interpretations and opinions to what He is saying, then, as the verse says, you will NOT be able to keep the Commandments of the Lord!! Why? Because you will be keeping your own interpretations’ commandments, and not what He really commands you. What we need to do is not to interpret the Word of God, but to OBEY it. It is very clearly interpreted in the Bible. When we obey Him, the Lord shows us the interpretation in the Bible. The interpretation is there in the Bible, so you should look for it in the Bible, and not somewhere else. If a pastor or preacher doesn’t give you the Bible’s interpretation, then he’s a liar, whoever he is, because he gives you human interpretations!
Again, the Word of God warns:
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)
If you add to the Word of God, God will reprove you and you will be found a liar. Instead of that, you should trust Him! Please note also that after the author says that every word of God is pure, he adds that this means God is a shield to those who put their trust in HIM!! So the Word of God is what God says and it expresses who God is. So when you add to it, you are trying to change the understanding of who He is! And this is what we saw above: with his personal interpretations of God’s Word, Satan misrepresented the loving Nature of God and wanted Eve to think He’s an oppressor despot who is keeping from her some beneficial needs!
Again, the Word of God warns:
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)
The Book of Revelation contains the consummation of everything until the new heaven and the new earth and the Wedding of the Lamb. It gives us the explanation of the fulfillment of all prophecies according to the final revelation of God’s truth in His Son (read about this final revelation in Hebrews 1:1-2). This indeed is explained at the beginning of the Book of Revelation (cf. Revelation 1:1-2). So if you add anything to the prophecy (singular) of this Book, you will be adding to the Word of God, and if you take away from it, you will be taking away from the Word of God. And the verses 18 and 19 above give you a clear warning.
So, in brief, we make it clear from the beginning of our replies to the document of Mormons: our sole authority is the Word of God. We are not open-minded towards human and satanic lies, and we are open-minded to what God says, because He is the Truth. We love the voice of our Shepherd, and we don’t like the voice of strangers:
“Verily, verily, I say to you, He that enters not in by the door to the fold of the sheep, but mounts up elsewhere, he is a thief and a robber; but he that enters in by the door is [the] shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. When he has put forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But they will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.“ (John 10:1-5)
We don’t accept human interpretations and opinions about the Word of God. We only accept what God says and how HE interprets His Word in the Bible.
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ