The Ancient Paths is the television ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah (a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.) The program airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm MST on KTMW-TV20 (a channel that covers all of Utah and parts of the surrounding states).

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Ancient Paths - Episode 11: Discussion with LDS Institute instructor on the doctrine of God

This is the eleventh episode of The Ancient Paths television program, hosted by Pastor Jason Wallace. In this episode Pastor Wallace welcomes back Alma Allred, LDS Institute instructor, to discuss the doctrine of God . The program airs on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm on KTMW-TV20, a station that is available in Utah and parts of surrounding states. The program is hosted by Christ Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. This episode aired on 02/20/08.

1 comment:

Joe said...

I caught part of the March 5th show. I was impressed with the kindness and openness shown by the Pastor. I haven’t often seen persons of other Churches extending good Christian opportunities to speak openly of our LDS faith. (Usually we’re interrupted so they can tell us what we “really believe, because, somehow, we believe it without knowing it.” ) I think only good can come from open conversations, it helps us not give into the prejudices created by persons who make money by stirring hatred against Mormons in the name of love.
Some comments about this episode: As I understand it, the LDS teaching is that we are created and saved only through Christ, and God does in fact know the future, completely. Otherwise, he could not save us. I agree with the Pastor that having God foreknow our actions does not prevent us from doing what we will do, of our own free choice. I know that if I walk out of the kitchen my son will probably, of his own choice, climb up on the table and throw fruit.
However, I can’t see that a loving and all-powerful God would force, or cast, or gently push salvation, or suffering in damnation, on any of His children for no action of theirs. That’s not just, or loving. If so, if we, or Eve, are wholly made, ex nihilo, and become fallen and mean, some with Hitlerish defects in genes or soul, defects which He knew would cause all to choose poorly, if so, or if we can later be made good, for nothing we do, then He is responsible for our actions, even more so than Ford is responsible for their cars, or earthly parents are responsible for their underage children’s crimes. If it is all him, and he loves us, then he would naturally put the good grace upon all of us? If it were possible, as Jesus asked, then he’d make it so the cup of suffering would pass, and we would all be made smart enough to choose to be kinder, as the Pastor has.
Clearly the scriptures teach that we must choose good, receiving Christ’s Grace freely in order to be saved and purified from our sins. Paul and the thief on the cross made choices, they did something, said something, chose to see evil and injustice for what it is (that’s work for me!), etc. And the thief went to Paradise, but still, no unclean thing enters the Kingdom of Heaven. We have to stop sinning at some point before we enter the Kingdom. If the hater and adulterer are there, then we’ll have to watch our backs, and sounds more like Hell I think. And we can’t just get wacked with salvation and keep sinning here and then get changed into non sinners later on. For the Heaven which makes us good is really a random spiritual jail. God won’t make us be good there any more than He will here, because if we lose our ability to choose evil anywhere, then we also will lose the ability to do good.
So what’s to be done? How did it get like this? It is actually the Gospel of Repentance, but it takes time, and we do get help, but we choose it.
Christ will purify our past sins from us, if we receive Him. But we are still free to sin after that, if we wish. And, He will make in us a new heart, but we are still us, just renewed, born again, cleansed, changed by choosing to live in Him. We can’t force goodness when it wasn’t already there, and that is the secret. It was already there.
We are truly saved by Christ, and His Grace, I know and understand this, and everyone is truly rewarded according to their works, as the Bible teaches. And, also, as is clear, faith is action on our part, it’s not God having faith that saves us, but us doing it, us being doers of the word, believing, hearkening, and, as Jesus said, if we don’t keep His commandments, (such as those given during the Sermon on the Mount) then we won’t enter His kingdom. If we do nothing we shall not enter: some say we must simply say the prayer of acceptance, or receive Him (sounds like doing something), He taught that we must show love, have faith, be born again, of water and sprit…again, and we must be crucified with Christ, etc. (all works in a way, even the prayer of acceptance, they don’t save us, He does, but we must do those things he has asked us to do, for He said we must, to be saved, and we do trust Him, in faith…right?).
Now I apologize for the ramble, and I should proof read it, but gotta run, (I know, “thank you, thought he’d never shut it”). Lastly, there is a lot to life, but only one way to understand why our loving, all powerful, and just God allows evil and suffering. (This is called the Problem of Evil, and we mortals have been trying to explain it for thousands of years, and we’ve failed miserably, but God has explained it perfectly, through an imperfect human in imperfect but plain English, and I am confident that no one can explain purposeful life with a loving all powerful God in any better way, if you can, write me.)
Determinism can’t be argued away, it is sound, and even quantum mechanics doesn’t free us, randomness is not freedom of choice, it’s random acts of violence and dice caught in uncaused acts of kindness—but we are truly free. God explains how it is done in D&C 93. We are created by Christ, but our light is timeless, the intelligent part of us is uncreated, it is part of the light of Christ. We were not created from nothing. God therefore is not author of all our evil (again, He would be, if He created everything ex nihilo, but all things created are created by Him, and of Him, just not of nothing), for we have always been—part of us at least, and as individuals, intelligence, separate from God, we are less than God (and I think always will be), and, being less than God we will do what we will do, freely, and we must, by eternal nature, experience both good and evil, in order to choose to become good, as God is good, (not as good as God is, please don’t misquote that one, but God does know good and evil, that is a truth, for He knows all, and we will not be as we are commanded, “even as I am” without also knowing, as He does). There is no other purpose to life but for us to become more good, in Him, through Him, by choosing His grace, by our faith, doing good, as He has, (again not as good as He has, but good, as He has, and thus we will have more joy. He knows who will graduate from college, but we still have to learn, or we will not know the things college graduates know. And no matter how you count it, learning only comes by experience, and without knowing good, as the perfect being knows, we will never be truly happy. That is what we are here for, to be perfect, to know, to learn to reject evil and prize the good, to obtain true happiness, by Christ our Lord. What else would a loving God want for His children?