The True Meaning of Christmas

As we all know, there are four holidays celebrated this time of year: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Xmas and Christmas.

First is Hanukkah, the “Festival of Lights” which celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt. For those of you who do not have the Book of Maccabees in your version of the Bible after the death of Alexander the Great, Israel fell under the rule of Antiochus of the Seleucids, and he adopted a vigorous policies of Hellenization of the Jews, bitterly persecuting their folk ways, rites, and customs, and trying to make them conform to the practices of the Greeks. The Sons of Mattathias led a successful revolt against the Seleucid and for the survival of the Jewish state and faith. Tradition says that when the temple was cleansed and rededicated, only one small jar of oil could be found, enough to light the Menorah for one day, but miraculously the oil was multiplied and lasted eight days. However, in the United States, Hanukkah is celebrated at Christmastime in order to make Jewish children not feel excluded.

Hanukkah -- a Day to Conserve Oil

Second is Kwanzaa, invented by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, a professor of Black Studies at California State University. Those of you are a little unclear about what it stands for, this is deliberate: Kwanzaa stands for a socialist black-supremacist and separatist movement, and it would be politically incorrect to make note of this, so no one does. Even to talk about the topic at all is to risk being branded a racist, which, like being accused of witchcraft by Puritans, is an accusation to which there is no defense. Although said to be a Zulu harvest festival, not only have Zulus never heard of it, it is the wrong time of year for harvest. In the United States, Kwanzaa is celebrated at Christmastime in order to make Jewish children feel excluded.

I'm Confused About It's Meaning, But I Know It When They 'Dis It

Third is Xmas, a holiday celebrated by shopkeepers and consumers everywhere. The Xmas season, or “shopping season” starts in November right after Halloween, and it involves ignoring Thanksgiving, buying presents, decorating houses and trees, and general well-wishing in a nondenominational sort of way. The Xmas season ends precisely on the stroke of midnight December 25th, when the advertising season for New Years or Valentine’s Day begins.

Xmas! Only 365 Shopping Days Left !

The Xmas season is celebrated by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, by “Black Friday” and by “Free Shipping Day.” Many companies and businesses also have “Holiday parties” carefully not noticing what holiday is to be celebrated. The favorite seasonal greetings of Xmas is for Leftists to wish people a “Happy Holiday” and for irate Christians to wish people a “Merry Christmas” whereupon, according to tradition, the Leftists force Christians to remove nativity scenes from public schools and town squares.

The traditional entertainments of Xmas are animated shorts, including ones by Rankin and Bass telling about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus comin’ to town. These stories involve elves becoming dentists and young Santa Claus running and hiding from toy-hating Prussians. Best loved is Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, because there is no mention of Christ at all, and Christmas is some sort of holiday involved with being non-commercial. Oddly enough, the creatures in Who-ville turn out in the sequel to live on a speck of dust on a clover on the nose of an elephant named Horton.

Christmas has something to do with not enjoying store-bought presents. I think.

There is also a Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon, but this is less favored by the Xmasers, since it actually mentions the true meaning of Christmas in a scene where Linus quotes from the Book of Luke.

The fourth and least important holiday for this time of year is Christmas, as celebrated by a small and obscure sect known as “Galileans” named after some horrid criminal punished by the judicial and religious authorities for some sort of hate speech crimes. No one is very clear on the details, but we can all agree the Galileans are totally at fault.

Like everything else in their religion, their practices are pagan survivals from earlier religions, which are more ecologically sensitive and affirming of the Sacred Feminine than Christianity. The details of the Christian religion are basically unknown to the civilized world, but it involves hypocrisy and hate speech. Even their name “Christians” is a pagan survival from the name of the Christmas holiday. They totally ripped off their religion from the Jews.

Christmas celebrates some kid being born in a stable, which was the most crowded barn in the Middle East, since there were praying animals and visionary shepherds there too, magicians and kings from the East, a gigantic star, a Christmas tree, two saints, the Second Person of the Trinity, Caesar Augustus collecting taxes, King Herod seeking the boy’s life, a magical Nutcracker, the Virgin, the Archangel Gabriel, and the little drummer boy.

No one Important is Ever Born in a Stable!

Why they let the drummer boy in their to bang his drum and wake the sleeping baby, I don’t know. Anyway, their holiday has something to do with Hotel Reform, and making sure there is more room in the Inns.

Hey! Stop that Banging! You'll Wake the Baby!

Christians celebrate this overcrowding in the stable by singing carols and also by complaining that Christmas trees are not a pagan survival from an earlier religion.

Traditionally, starting with the fourth Sunday before Christmas, Christians fast during Advent, doing penance or giving up some small pleasure in preparation for the coming of their Lord.

Unlike the civilized world, the Christians start their holidays after Christmas, celebrating twelve feast days named after an old song about the Partridge family or something.

Some of the highlights of the Twelve Days include:

December 26 is the Feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr. This feast dates back to the carol about Good King Wenceslas, a traditional song whose words no one can remember about a Polish saint whose name no one can pronounce, so sing “Deck the Halls” instead, because even I can sing “Fa la la la la.” (Actually, Wenceslas is not Polish, but Czechtslvbohemian, but I cannot spell that either, so he’s a Pole for now.)  I think the Feast of Stephen has to do with giving your leftovers and half-eaten Christmas goose to the poor, which strikes me as unsanitary.

Mark my Footsteps, My Good Page! Tread thou in them Boldly -- Or, nevermind. Just nip back and get your coat.

This is one more example of Christians being total copycats of the more ancient and authentic religion of Xmas, because on this day all the Xmas shoppers get their receipts and turn unwanted Xmas gifts to the store for store credit.

December 27 is the  Feast of St. John the Evangelist, the only apostle who did not die a martyr. According to Christian tradition, the federal authorities are to this day engaged in a manhunt for St. John, because he is the only member of the original “gang” still at large.

Like Fu Manchu, unless you see the body, you cannot be sure he is dead.

On December 28, Christians celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children murdered by King Herod.

By coincidence, this is same day selected to be “Right to Choose Day” by that advocate of women’s equality and freedom, Asmoday, or Asmodai. He is a Great King, Strong, and Powerful. He appeareth with Three Heads, whereof the first is like a Bull, the second like a Man, and the third like a Ram; he hath also the tail of a Serpent, and from his mouth issue Flames of Fire. His Feet are webbed like those of a Goose. He sitteth upon an Infernal Dragon, and beareth in his hand a Lance with a Banner. He giveth the Ring of Virtues; he teacheth the Arts of Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry. He maketh one to pass invisible. He showeth the place where Treasures lie. He ruleth 72 legions of lesser spirits.

Celebrate your Right to Choose!

January 1 is the Feast of Fools which is a celebration of the topsy-turvy and the unruly. A “Lord of Misrule” was often elected at Christmas and ruled the festivities until Epiphany. A schoolboy was traditionally chosen as bishop on December 6 (the Feast of St. Nicholas) and filled all the functions of bishop until Holy Innocents’ Day. This day is also set aside to celebrate the circumcision of the Christ Child, which just goes to show (if any evidence were needed) that Christians are really odd people, and not suited in any way to get along with this world and its leaders and opinion makers (by which I mean Asmoday, mentioned above).

The Feast of Fools. Why were folk in the Middle Ages so Medieval about everything?

We must pause to mention that Christians believe there actually is a real St. Nicholas, who is such a total ripoff from the Santa Claus invented by Clement Clarke Moore and the Coca Cola bottling company, and made popular by the singing cowboy Gene Autry’s song ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

Nicholas of Bari, Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor during the Third Century, secretly threw purses of gold into the window (some say down the chimney) of a poor man whose three daughters would otherwise have been sold into prostitution, which shows that Christians are really hung up about sex and opposed to female equality of opportunity in the workplace as sex workers.

St. Nicholas also performed miracles, but we modern people don’t believe in nonsense like miracles, even though we do believe in Keyesian economics, which says you can get out of debt by going deeper in debt.

He (Nicholas, not Keynes) was imprisoned and tortured during the persecution of Diocletian, led through the streets and beaten until his white robes were stained vermilion with his blood.

St. Nicholas is best known for his stance during the Arian Controversy, which turned out to be a boxer’s stance, because during the General Council of Nicaea, with the Emperor Constantine looking on, he punched out the heresiarch bishop Arius.

The Arian position was the Second Person of the Trinity was a lesser and created being, something like an archangel, or a lesser god, but not co-extant and co-eternal with God: the Nicene Council rejected this doctrine and embodied the same in the wording of the Nicene Creed. “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, Punch Arius in the Face!” The last clause was added by St. Nicholas, but later removed by Pope Joan in the Eleventeenth Century, and most Catholics don’t know about the controversial “face-punching” clause in the Creed, because they are not allowed to read the Bible, which is kept locked up in the Vatican, and it is written in some foreign language anyway.

This type of enmity between theologians is known as ‘Odium Theologicum’ which is a Latin phrase meaning, “Theologians Sure Stink.”  Latin is a lot like English, except their word end with “-um” or “-us.” Your money is written in Latin, as are most legal phrases, and you can impress your friends with your Latin scholarship by telling them that “E Pluribus Unum” means “E is the Most Common Letter in the Alphabet.”  Also, “Arma virumque cano” means, “that man has very big armpits.” NOTA BENE: no real people use Latin these days except pomposterous folk trying to show off, et cetera, and ad nauseam, and even they tend to use Latin in an ad hoc fashion, or make up words that don’t mean anything.

January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany, also called Twelfth Night, which traditionally involved a masquerade or other tomfoolery. The cross-dressing disguise which is central to the plot of the Shakespeare play of that same name is an example of such masquerades. Traditionally, the Epiphany was the celebration of the adoration of the Magi, but also of the Baptism of Christ, and the end of the Christmas Feast Days.

Wait. Is that guy kissing the baby's foot?

Epiphany is also the day when Christians have good ideas and sudden insights, and they walk the snowy streets shouting ‘Eureka!’ and ‘What a Good Idea!’, hence the traditional name of the feast.

At the end of the Twelfth Day Christmas, also called “Beltane”, traditional Christians put away their Yule logs sacred to Bel, burn their old evergreen Trees sacred to Saturnus, take down their wreathes of holly sacred to the Orobouros, bow to statues of St. Mary the “Great Mother.” They put away their nativity scenes with their statues of Isis and baby Horus, they genuflect to the three Zoroastrian Magi, the world’s first monotheists, and use a golden sickle to remove the sacred mistletoe that slew the god Baldir.

Traditional Christians spend the day after Epiphany looking for other pagan ideas to steal and use in their copycat religion while at the same time writing furious articles on the Internet proving that the Christmas tree comes from the Eighth Century mission of St. Boniface, who chopped down the sacred Oak trees where slaves were sacrificed to Odin, and used the evergreen, the tree that never dies during the winter of the world, in its stead as a symbol of everlasting life. However, Islam is completely and totally original and did not steal any ideas whatsoever from the Christians or the Jews. So there.

Fortunately, the Puritans put a stop to all Christmas celebrations during the reign of Cromwell, and pinning scarlet letters to everyone or something and making them wear buckles on their hats, but Charles Dickens made Christmas popular again by writing a ghost story with not a single mention of Christ in it.

That is why modern celebrations mention only the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come and Clarence the comedy relief angel from Frank Capra’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

The angels in the Bible, of course, we so terrifying that anyone glimpsing one thought he was sure to die, so the first words out of their mouth was FEAR NOT. Angels in movies are usually a little more … um … unimpressive.

Old fashioned Bible Angles looked like freaky wheels within wheels or living creatures with eyes on their wings, or earthquakes or something from the cover art of your heavy metal rock album.

Rock On, Angel Dude!

Oh, and, by the way, I think the Christmas Feast has something to do with rescuing the world from sin, despair, death and damnation, and celebrating the first appearance of our King and Messiah and Savior, the one small light in a world of darkness. It is not just a miracle that He is Risen and that our Savior lives, it is also a miracle that He was ever born as man at all.

And the season has something to do with Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.

When I get to Heaven, Can I hold the Baby Jesus?

61 Comments

  1. Comment by bear545:

    A Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, Mr Wright.

  2. Comment by Tom in Arizona:

    One of these days I will write a Christmas special wherein Santa says, “I dropped Arius with one punch and I can do you too,” and at the end, someone says, “It’s the greatest Christmas miracle ever!” to which someone replies, “‘Cept for that whole, y’ know, Supreme Being becoming a little baby, thing.” (Which is of course met with, “Shhh! You can’t mention that in a Christmas special!”)

    Speaking of, the Invader ZIM Christmas special has a line about, essentially, waiting in joyful hope for the coming of their savior, Santa Claus. I doubt Jhonen Vasquez is Christian, certainly he ain’t orthodox, but pretty much everyone knows the way Christmas specials work is stupid.

    PS. St Wenceslas, or Vaclav, is Bohemian (Czech), not Polish. Us Czechs (well, I’m a quarter Czech) sided against the Church so often, Jan Huss and Freemasonry and so on, you gotta give us this one, to show we’re not all bad. Stupid Poles, lording their incredibly high per capita saintliness over the rest of us…

  3. Comment by John Hutchins:

    Yeah, the Arius punching thing is great, because you know Christ was all into punching those that disagree with you, banish or kill those that refuse to believe as you want them to after you have tortured them almost to death. Oh, and he is in favor of confusion and strife and incomprehensible doctrine too. Totally what Christ preached…

    As for the angel thing, Revelation: “I am of your brethren the prophets”. Genesis: “let us create man in our own image”. Genesis: “there came two angels to Sodom at even….Where are the men which came in to thee this night?” Exodus: “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend.” Daniel: “did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?… Lo, I see four men loose and walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt” Daniel: “even the man Gabriel whom I had seen in the vision” Not saying that there aren’t the other kind of creature, just pointing out some of the places where there are angels (and God) said to have the appearance of man.

    Oh, and St. John never did die, still alive today, apparently with the group of the 10 lost tribes of Israel that were not scattered but went to “the land of the north”. Possibly, according to Deuteronomy 30:4 that is in the outmost parts of heaven, as well as non-verified statements of some of the LDS prophets. This is where Battlestar Galatica comes from fyi, Mormon folk belief based loosely on Mormon doctrine, also why the swearing is unique on that show, they stole it from Utah Mormon culture.

    • Comment by shana:

      St Nicholas punched Arius because Nicholas had just spent umpteen years starving in a deep Roman prison, after being beaten for following Christ and preaching the gospel fearlessly, and taking care of the poor. Arius began leading the people astray – the very people Nicholas had been punished for ministering to and leading to Christ.

      Tolerating idiots with differing opinions is one thing.

      Leading people away from the True God to heresy and away from salvation is quite another.

      To everything there is a season.

      • Comment by John Hutchins:

        The Arian controversy did not start with Arius, many of the doctrines that were called heresies at the council were as old as Christianity itself. He did take those doctrines in a new direction that was different then what had previously been understood as well as forcing the controversy to new level.

        I suppose the high priest of Jerusalem who had spent his whole life working hard to keep Judaism from becoming more highly persecuted and preventing false doctrines to creep into the Jewish church was likewise justified in slapping Christ, who was committing blaspheme (if he wasn’t who he said he was) and leading the people away from the one True and Living God.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        Wait, are you making fun of Saint Nicholas just because he slapped a heresiarch? Are you against SANTY CLAUS?!! This will require me to write in all caps to express my outrage.

        • Comment by Maureen:

          Anyway, Arius was a old Boomer-age pop star who wrote heretical hymns that were also incredible earworms, and who kept waving his long hair around in the ladies’ faces even when he was getting old and annoying. A few catchy rounds of “Jesus is just some guy/Jesus is not a God” getting into your head against your will, and you’d also be ready to hand him the beatdown.

          (If it makes you feel better, the legend of St. Nicholas smacking Arius doesn’t seem to have any historical documentation. I suspect it has a lot to do with sailors later on wanting their patron saint to have gone all Popeye the Sailor Man on Bluto Arius. Ar ar ar ar ar.)

          • Comment by Tom in Arizona:

            Except documentary evidence is actually, often, a lot less reliable for that sort of thing than popular tradition—since, especially back then, the written account was the official one, and frequently expurgated.

            Also, though, if it makes anyone happier to think St. Nick didn’t know how to mix it up, then they’re precisely the kind of tongue-clucking Nancy No-bullets of a maiden aunt I, for one, could do with a lot less of.

            • Comment by Karina:

              Well, I’m no expert, but not all saints were anti-violence. St. Olaf of Norway, for example, was a Viking warrior who converted the villages by challenging their idols to combat, and St. Louis de Montfort apparently trashed a tavern next door to the church when the drunks wouldn’t shut up while Mass was going on. (The drunks showed up, perfectly sober, at the next day’s Mass, because he told them to come.)
              Then, of course, we have Mother Teresa, St. Benedict, and St. Catherine of Siena, who comforted a condemned man in prison and accompanied him right up to the point of death.
              We’ve got someone for everyone here. Make yourself at home.

      • Comment by MenTaLguY:

        I should point out that (as the same tradition has it) Nicholas believed he had gone too far in striking Arius, and asked for his own name to be struck from the rolls of the council as penance.

  4. Comment by SFAN:

    Great pic, now that’s what I have in mind when I think of an Angel!
    It’s not as cool as that one, but you may find this one amusing:
    http://idolpundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/stryper-thwtd.jpg

  5. Comment by Jeffrey L Miller:

    I would not give the merchandiser holiday the name of Xmas. Xmas is a perfectly acceptable abbreviation originally since the “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as “Christ”. Certainly people now use the term thinking it negative such as I recently heard on a tech podcast which did not know the history of the term.

    How about $Mas instead for the commercial season or their preferred term “Happy Holidays”, though again Holiday from Holy Day is another of those forgotten terms.

    As for Kwanza – long time blogger Kathy Shaidle penned this poem some years ago.

    ‘Twas the night before Kwanzaa
    And all through the ‘hood,
    Maulana Karenga was up to no good.
    He’d tortured a woman and spent time in jail.
    He needed a new scam that just wouldn’t fail.
    (“So what if I stuck some chick’s toe in a vice?
    Nobody said revolution was nice!”)
    The Sixties were over. Now what would he do?
    Why, he went back to school — so that’s “Dr.” to you!
    He once ordered shootouts at UCLA
    Now he teaches Black Studies just miles away.
    Then to top it all off, the good Doctor’s new plan
    Was to get rid of Christmas and piss off The Man.
    Karenga invented a fake holiday.
    He called the thing Kwanza. “Hey, what’s that you say?
    “You don’t get what’s ‘black’ about Maoist baloney?
    You say that my festival’s totally phony?
    “Who cares if corn isn’t an African crop?
    Who cares if our harvest’s a month or two off?
    Who cares if Swahili’s not our mother tongue?
    A lie for The Cause never hurt anyone!
    “Umoja! Ujima! Kujichagulia, too!
    Collectivist crap never sounded so cool!
    Those guilty white liberals — easy to fool.
    Your kids will now celebrate Kwanzaa in school!”
    And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight:
    “Happy Kwanzaa to all, except if you’re white!”

  6. Comment by John C Wright:

    You see, the real reason why Christmas specials never mention Christ is that people have an allergic reaction to Him. As long as you stick with Santa Claus and innocuous protestations of joy and happy gift giving, fine.

    No one hates Rudolph or Frosty because these figures make no demands, and no one really has opposite opinions, or any strong opinions about them, but if you say anything about Christ, or God, or the Saints, or the Church, then you are talking about the most significant topic in life. Even something as trivial as saying “Cherubim in the Bible totally Kicked Ass and freaked the Bejeezus out of people and did not look like Clarence the comedy-relief angel” it will just so happen to be someone’s else hotly contested and deeply-felt topic of dispute.

    Also, the idea that Christianity is a pacifist or quietist religion, where crusaders and saints never fight for the truth, is an idea that never fails to be a useful stick Christian factions to bash each other as false and heretical in the spirit of factionalism, or for non-Christians to bash Christ in the spirit of hell.

    Like I said above, “Odium Theologicum” means, “Theological Arguments Stink.” Or something like that. My French is not up to translating this gibberish. Or is that Greek? I always get those confused.

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      It could be Portuguese, at least it makes sense in that language. Your translation of “Theological Arguments Stink” is pretty accurate.

      I am fine with fighting for what is right, but not with physical violence unless it is to defend your home or country. Saint Nicholas punching someone wasn’t the real problem. The real problem was that Christianity was being taken over by the Roman state and would eventually be enforced with the sword. Being forced to change your beliefs not because you have been convinced through the spirit or through persuasion or through seeing the Christian goodness is most certainly not what Christ advocated. It is true that God has at times destroyed nations or commanded them to be destroyed for their idolatry or other sins but I think we should leave that up to God to determine when those situations present themselves, not a human emperor demanding agreement on one creed for all the various Christian denominations in existence under pain of banishment or death. Excommunication is a perfectly acceptable way of dealing with heresy, banishment and death, not so much.

      I would debate the difference between cherubim in your second statement and angels in your first, but that would be missing the point and falling for what you are pointing out. Sorry.

      • Comment by deiseach:

        What about Luke 14:23? The Parable of the Great Banquet and “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”? That was often the basis for forcible conversion.

        Or “I come not to bring peace but a sword”? “I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled”?

        There is room for both the warrior saints and the pacifists. St. Michael and St. Raphael are both archangels :-)

    • Comment by Tom in Arizona:

      Mr. Wright, at the risk of being rude to a third party, I must point out the folly of debating Christology with a Mormon—considering that the Church (our Church I mean, yours and mine) has, repeatedly, ruled that their teachings about Jesus (short version: a Pak Protector running an Amway pyramid scheme) are not only not orthodox, they’re not even Christian. That’s why Mormon converts have to be re-baptized (or rather, baptized, for real this time).

      And if Mr. Hutchins objects to that characterization, let me ask: why don’t you have the stones to just say “Great Apostasy”, like a man, instead of these constant simpering insinuations? I bear you no ill will but you were the one who started the denying-the-legitimacy-of-the-other-guy’s-religion thing.

      • Comment by John Hutchins:

        Have already pointed out both things, Thanks though.

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          I figured the term Great Apostasy would not have much meaning by itself so explanations that amounted to the same thing with initial posting on a different thread other than this one that clearly stated that 1) Catholics do not think Mormons are Christian and 2)We essentially say the same thing about all other religions. Also, I personally believe that the Catholic church was a result of the Great Apostasy, not its cause, and that we are indebted to the Catholics for preserving what parts of the truth that they did. Furthermore, the term Great Apostasy appears to have come from the protestants and would imply that there was something different between that particular period of Apostasy and all other periods of Apostasy.

          To reiterate, we believe that the early church fell away from the truth as prophesied by the early apostles. That in particular the early church was “Spoil(ed) through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” Colossians 2:8

          The LDS church does object to the statement that we are not Christian, Christ happens to be part of the name of the church. Christ is most definitely at the center of our faith and our doctrine. Here is a statement of what we believe about Christ: http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=735b862384d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=e1fa5f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

          Totally not sure how you get a pyramid scheme out of what we believe, perhaps you could explain that one. Also, you would be more correct in your insulting of my religion to say that it is God, The Father, not Jesus, that is the Pak Protector. To be more precise we have taken Arianism and run in the other direction from orthodoxy as far as it is possible to go, without even knowing anything of Arianism when we did that. However, I think the burden of proof is on you to show that this is different from what is in the Bible, just like the burden is on you to show that our prophets are not prophets because if they are prophets then we are right and nothing you can say will ever change that for you would be fighting against the Truth of God.

          • Comment by CJ:

            As a member of another weirdo American church founded by a prophet(ess), I think I should point out that apostles outrank prophets (I Cor 12:28). If bishops are indeed successors to the spiritual gift of apostleship, the burden of proof is on us, not them.

            • Comment by John Hutchins:

              LDS faith has Apostles too, so that is covered. I should probably make a distinction between prophet in the sense of the gift of prophecy, which is lower to the Apostleship, and the Prophet, being the presiding Apostle and leader of the church. Miriam was a prophetess, Moses the Prophet. I was using the second meaning of the term which may be unique among the LDS faith. Using the meaning that CJ has, it would be that the Apostles, in particular the president of the church, being the presiding Apostle, are not Apostles. Hope that clears up any confusion.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        But I did not debate Christology with a Mormon. As far as I am concerned, the Mormons are on my side in the culture war. The mansion called civilization is on besieged, the phone lines and the electricity is cut, the snow is falling, the dark is rising, the wolves and werewolves and thin and pallid vampires drenched in human blood are circling the crumbling walls and clawing at the doors.

        Not to mince words, but Mormons are heretics, and their baptism is not a Christian baptism, but by God, they are still human and on the side of humanity against the Great Enemy and his secularist, pervertarian, socialist, brain-dead, abortion-loving, life-hating horde of minions and dupes that is closing in.

        I neither agree nor argue with his Christology, because now is not the hour, and the lamps are going out all over the world.

        Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          From your point of view, and using the definition of Christian as being accepted by the Catholic church, I agree with you and from my point of view using similar meanings think the same thing of Catholics.

          Your use of imagery is very impressive.

          I thought about pointing out in my longer response that you have decidedly not debated Christology with me, and basically said you wouldn’t already, but decided against mentioning that in case I had misunderstood.

        • Comment by Tom in Arizona:

          And then the Soviets we allied with against Hitler loot and rape their way across Europe—and we don’t dare say “boo” to them about it. Sorry, Mr. Wright, but the enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy, nothing more. And I’m fairly sure I’ve noticed a few more enemies around than you.

          I fail to see the distinction between Marxism or Jacobinism and the English Whiggism that, a mere five years after the Terror of 1793, not only murdered twice as many people (the 1798 Irish Rebellion), but instituted the first systematic terror-rape in Western history, in County Wexford. I can map the English Reformation and the Bolshevik Revolution onto each other one-to-one, with a different time-scale (Cromwell is Stalin). America, the only good thing English people ever did since the 14th century, may have repudiated the more evil practices of the Whigs, but we still retain their intensely evil mythology—just as a Soviet space colony might retain Communist myths about the Tsar, or Stalin being the hero of the Great Patriotic War, even after it repudiated Marxist economics.

          I fail to see the distinction between the Saracens, and their prophet-obsessed, ludicrously misogynist, teetotaling religion based on a fanfiction of the Bible, and the Mormons, with theirs. Except the Saracen has the excuse of not coming from a civilized society—oh and he’s allowed coffee, at least.

          Certainly the Saracen and the Marxist (in all his victim-politics flavors) are more urgent fights, but an ally of convenience is not the same thing as a friend—and allies of convenience have a peculiar way of becoming an occupying force, once whatever they were brought in against goes away. That’s how the Turks dominated Islam, how the English dominated Ireland, how the Eastern Bloc fell into Russian hands, and how German auxiliaries came to rule every province of the Western Empire. If there’s one lesson history teaches, it’s “beware of the Barbaroi you bring in against the other Barbaroi.”

          • Comment by John Hutchins:

            “There are save two churches only, the one is the church of the Lamb of God, the other is the church of the devil.” While some may say that is is in reference to the Catholic church it is clear from elsewhere that this is a wrong interpretation of said scripture:

            “Nevertheless, I know that the roots are good, and for mine own purpose I have preserved them; and because of their much strength they have hitherto brought forth, from the wild branches, good fruit. But behold, the wild branches have grown and have overrun the roots thereof; and because the wild branches have overcome the roots thereof it hath brought forth much evil fruit; and because that it hath brought forth so much evil fruit thou beholdest that it beginneth to perish and it will soon become ripened that it may be cast into the fire except we should do something for it to preserve it.” … “Pluck not the wild branches from the trees save it be those which are most bitter; and in them ye shall graft according to that which I have said”…”And this I do that, perhaps the roots thereof may take strength because of their goodness; and because of the change of the branches that the good may over come the evil”.

            By this it is clear that all who stand with Christ and with God against the devil are of the church of the Lamb and when things get dark enough will know where they stand. This is true of all, even the Saracen that you hate, though you have been commanded to love all men, including your enemies. If we are doing the works that Jesus showed us the example for then we, all of us, are following Christ and will eventually come to the truth.

            Your post also assumes that the fight is winnable, that the fight against the doctrines of the devil, the church of devil, and reign of the devil are winnable before Christ comes again and puts an end to such things. Only in the holy city of Zion will this be the case, otherwise the light that is shining in the darkness needs the darkest of nights to be clearly seen. The darkness on the earth will increase, while the righteous must become ever more righteous and seek the rock of Christ and the high ground if they hope to survive the storm and the rising tides that threaten to destroy everything.

            As for me, I do not count you as an enemy, or even as my enemy’s enemy, but as a brother and to be admonished as such. If I have erred then it is to you to prove the error, and if you have erred I will try to do the same, in particularly when my beliefs are being misrepresented.

            Would that ye were all prophets and had the spirit of Christ.

            Teetotaling because of the evils and designs of conspiring men in order to protect the weak and the weakest of all saints who are or can be called saints. This with the promise that we will receive health, and find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, and have the destroying angel pass by us. If you have not seen the evil that one drink can do to some people then you may count yourself as blessed and if you can not see the evil that is caused by many drinks then you may count yourself as blind.

            Misogynist? I can only assume that you are referring to polygamy as Mormons were the first people to have women suffrage, have always delighted in chastity, believe woman to be the greatest of God’s creation, and delight in woman as woman. If you are referring to us wanting woman to be able to be woman and mothers that take care of their children then you are denying the value of all but a select handful of women throughout history.

            As for polygamy, many of the early patriarchs were polygamist and the way that it is being practiced by the breakaway groups is not the correct way of doing it, as it is the first wife that is to choose and approve the others, assuming the man holds the correct priesthood, is approved by the correct authority to practice polygamy, and wishes to practice polygamy or is commanded to, and most importantly the woman being married actually wishes to marry him. Besides which the LDS church does not currently practice polygamy and any member doing so is promptly excommunicated.

            As for the book of Mormon being fan-fiction, you have the testimony of the three witnesses that it is of God and the testimony of eight that it comes from gold plates of ancient date. More then that I can only suggest that you read the Book of Mormon, ponder on whether it could be of God, and pray about it asking if it is true with a sincere heart. I know that if you actually were to do that then by the power of Holy Ghost, God would manifest the truth of it to you.

            • Comment by Mary:

              Actually what gets me about the views of polygamy is the blatant flipflopping. The Book of Mormon condemns it as a abomination. Then it gets permitted. Then it gets condemned again. . . .

              So far from “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

              • Comment by John Hutchins:

                “The Book of Mormon condemns it as a abomination. Then it gets permitted. Then it gets condemned again”

                The Book of Mormon condemns it as it was being practiced at the time, and as it is commonly practiced. In that same scripture it does give reasons why God may allow it, so the condemnation is not for all types of practices of polygamy.

                The permitting it was by a Prophet, that we believe was called of God and given the sealing power.

                The current condemnation of the practice was forced on the Church by the Federal Government under threat of extermination and seizure of all property including our Temples. The doctrine did not change in the slightest, but any practice of polygamy is currently against the law of the land and one of our main points of belief is obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. A large portion of the members of the church don’t actually bother to read the revelation that rescinded the practice of polygamy and so do not understand the reasons it was rescinded and that it will one day return. The church is not actively seeking that and does not allow the practice even in countries where it currently is legal to practice polygamy.

                • Comment by Mary:

                  except that it was condemned without condition.

                  • Comment by John Hutchins:

                    Considering as how there are currently legal ways to practice polygamy within the LDS church I am not sure how you can say that. If couple is married and the wife dies then the husband can remarry for time and all eternity in the temple, so according to the church married to both, thus being polygamous. Also, if a couple does get divorced and the husband desires to remarry he is able to, thus being married according to the church to both woman if the first wife is not also getting remarried, in which case a sealing annulment must be approved by the highest authorities in the church.

                    Or are you referring to Jacob 2 in the book of Mormon, where it has: “For if I will, saith the Lord of hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” As a very clear condition.

                    Quote from Official Declaration 1 (the only place where polygamy is disallowed): “Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hearby declare my intention to submit to those laws”

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              I have read the Book of Mormon. There is no polite way for me to say this, so I will say it bluntly and rudely: the Book of Mormon is a fraud and an obvious fraud, written in faux Shakespearean English that makes grammar errors, so it sounds like Stan Lee writing THOR comics, using “thee” and “thou” without knowing the real difference real Elizabethan English makes between “thee” and “thou.”

              There is a woman named JZ knight who runs the School of Ancient Enlightenment, and claims to be channeling a man named “Ramptha”, who is an ancient sage from Atlantis. When she gets possessed (or puts on her act, take your pick) Knight assumes this phony accent like a British Raj and an undignified person’s idea of dignity. The language, the story, the theology in the Book of Mormon are on the same level as Ramptha in terms of the professionalism of the forgery: I could do better, L Ron Hubbard could run a more convincing fraud, nearly any amateur could do better, and there is no way any one would be fooled by this unless he wanted to be fooled.

              If you follow Christ, then follow Christ. Read the Gospel, read the early Church fathers, read the guys who actually knew and learned from the feet of the people who learned from the feet of Christ. The idea that God would bring the truth to earth and die for it in 33 AD, but let the truth be buried for fifteen thousand and eighteen thousand years, only to be rediscovered by one lone man is mildly absurd. And then when the truth is rediscovered, it is the same tired old heresies that the First Century to the Third debated, discussed, decided upon and anathematized, and for perfectly good and logical reasons. The same old idea that Christ was not God but we men could be like God, the same old lie of the serpent in Eden, the same old Gnostic crap.

              As I said above, I welcome your alliance in the culture war, and I bless the Mormons for the good works that they do. I have not known any good works to have been done by our mutual enemies, the Left. Leftism, statism, the inhuman worship of humanity, that is the enemy. A schismatic church with a heretical Christology is not the enemy, or, at least, not my enemy. Mormons at least know enough about Christ that they could come back into the fold if they wished. Mormons know life is better than death, eternal life is better than life, and that man is made in the image of God.

              The Left is the enemy of Christ, and of Reason, and of Life on Earth, and of Mankind and always shall be until the very last perversion-worshiping partisan of the Left, in the name of toleration and social justice, steals the last coin from the last free man, aborts his last human baby and commits euthanasia on his last struggling widow.

              • Comment by John Hutchins:

                “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness… Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling brethren how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. “

                “Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections that ye may learn to be more wise then we have been”

                “… I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our word. And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness”

                “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God.”

                “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. “

                I would imagine that for the same reason you find the Book of Mormon foolish the learned Church fathers trained in the ways of the Greek philosophies found the true doctrine of Christ to be foolishness, because the things of God are foolishness to the natural man and his logic. How absurd is it that Christ rose from the dead?

                Obviously, you have read the Book of Mormon, and you have pondered it enough to form an opinion on the subject, all that is left is to ask God if your opinion is the right one. If you have done that then there is absolutely nothing more to say on the subject, and we must agree to disagree.

                The serpent lied by saying they would not surely die, the fruit did in fact make them wise and have a knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve did die both spiritually by being cut off from the presence of God and physically.

                • Comment by D. G. D. Davidson:

                  I have not the skill of Elizabethan English myself to detect those problems, but I suppose the poor writing in the Book of Mormon could be chalked up to poor translation. Nonetheless, the anachronistic references in the text make it quite clear that the book is a modern composition in English and not a translation of ancient Hebrew.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            The Church is the one true Church, and we alone have preserved the message of the Apostles. The Orthodox and the Anglicans retain most of the teachings, and our doctrinal differences with them are small enough.

            But in the modern world, the Mormons are not a threat at all, and the Saracens would not be a threat were they not encouraged and aided and abetted by the Left, who are openly and ferociously anti-Christian. So they are the main enemy. It is not the Mormons and (I hate to say it) not the Saracens building abortion mills.

            Luke 11:23 reports that Our Lord says that anyone not against him is for him.

            • Comment by Tom in Arizona:

              Well, yes, but I, for one, remember a few years ago how many, many members of our faction in the culture wars thought of Muslims as a natural ally against the liberals (since they, too, oppose abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc.). And then 9/11 happened. It is, and always has been, the Saracens engaging in open, Stalinist aggression against Christendom. It may not look that way to us; but let’s ask the Serbs, Maronites, or Greeks about it. The left has very little energy left, and what it has got is evenly divided between anti-human environmentalism and victim politics grievance-mongering. That latter is, at the moment, largely devoted to aiding and abetting the Saracen’s goal of world domination; both weaken our culture’s capacity to resist Islam. And the open contempt for reason and truth displayed by the left is also typical of the Saracen, at least since the 9th century—taqiyya is how you say “advancing the narrative” in Arabic.

              Frankly, though, I don’t know anyone who’s been raped by Muslims. I know two people who were raped by Mormons. One was a child at the time, and her own family hushed it up; the other was a teenager, and was ostracized by the whole community, which sprang to the defense of her attacker. Both were themselves Mormons at the time—now both are rather strident atheists.

              The Mormon mother-in-law of a friend of mine (the husband of the first girl, above), while evacuated to his house during a forest fire, told his children, right in front of him, that he’s going to Hell.

              Help like that we don’t need: they are an impetus for defection and a scandal before our enemies. I know lots of perfectly decent Mormons, I’m absolutely certain Mr. Hutchins is one, but I doubt both the efficacy and the legitimacy of such an alliance.

              • Comment by John Hutchins:

                If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

                Judging any religion by those that are not following the religion is not the brightest of ideas. Should I judge the Catholic church by the actions of Mexican drug cartels or the Italian mafia, or by your logic someone like Timothy McVeigh? Being in Arizona it is only natural that you have not seen Muslim rapists but have seen bad Mormons, not many Muslims but plenty of Mormons.

                There are Muslim extremists, but there are also plenty of Muslims that practice Islam as a religion of peace. They most definitely are on the same side as you are in the cultural war and in the fight against extremism.

                • Comment by Tom in Arizona:

                  Shall you judge the Catholic Church by those who are automatically excommunicate, like members of the Mafia or other secret societies and organized crime groups? Shall you judge the Catholic Church by the agnostic apostate Timothy McVeigh? Shall you, in other words, judge the Catholic Church by people who are not her members?

                  The difference is that the perpetrators I named remained members in good standing, and their community banded together to hush up the accusations. Come to think of it, though, I don’t know if they were only hushing it up from outside; they may have been hiding it from their internal religious authorities as well. So it may not be the church, but just a bad community within it. I seem to recall there were some Catholic communities in the Midwest that have done things like that.

                  And fair enough, about meeting more bad Mormons than bad Muslims in Arizona. That wasn’t entirely fair, and on further reflection I must admit that (justifiably) embittered apostates are not the best people to learn about a culture from. So I will amend my position somewhat, to closer to Mr. Wright’s: I shall regard the Mormons as being like those tin-pot dictators we occasionally supported during the Cold War. I must consider them corrupt on at least one level, but the other guy is much worse.

                  PS. Mr. Wright, no, I don’t say the Mormons are misogynist because of polygamy a hundred years ago; I am probably unique in finding their polygamy the most respectable thing about them. Since, after all, they both teach that one is still married in heaven, but allow remarriage after the death of one spouse—QED, polygamy is okay (though on earth they currently hold it better to only have one wife at a time). I say the “church” is misogynist because its doctrine states an unmarried woman cannot get to heaven, though an unmarried man can. Read Twilight: that’s what Mormons think about women. Bella is every Mormon, or indeed ex-Mormon, girl I ever met.

                  • Comment by John Hutchins:

                    Thanks for amending your position, I think we are seeing each other on a closer to similar level.

                    Unmarried men most certainly can not get to heaven by himself, and if fact is the one held responsible for getting married. Actually, let me amend that, everyone is able to get to the celestial kingdom by relying on the merits of Christ, receiving the highest degree of glory requires a temple marriage to at some point take place. The details of when young children that die before eight, women that have never had the opportunity to get married, people suffering from same gender attraction, and other possible exceptions get married is currently unknown.

                    You may be confusing being able to go through the endowment ceremony, which women who are unmarried and over 21 can go through if they are going on a mission or if their ecclesiastical leaders and her decide she is ready to receive them. Or if the woman is a convert, she may be able to get her endowments before being 21 and being unmarried, particularly if she is a single mother. Men receive their endowments when going on a mission or getting married.

                    Otherwise I am not sure where you get that men can get to heaven without the women: “neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.”

                    • Comment by John Hutchins:

                      Oh, and Bella is an idiot, says my wife who also says she would be happy to challenge you to a fencing contest, insults in Klingon, Quenya, or classic Ch’oltian to prove that she is nothing like Bella.

                    • Comment by Tom in Arizona:

                      That business about women not getting to heaven is, now that I think of it, not something I heard from my ex-Mormon friends, but from rather less authoritative sources. So yeah, it may’ve been that. Apart from that, which may be spurious, Mormons seem no more misogynist than the Code Napoleon, or in other words par for the human course.

                      Your wife’s objections are noted, with apologies. But several of the Mormon girls I know, who Bella reminds me of, are also martial artists and fans of things like Dr. Who. I’m not even entirely sure why she reminds me of them; there’s just an indefinable atmosphere in common. And I said, even the ex-Mormons—like the gal whose mother was so rude to her husband, who I mentioned above—are somehow very strangely Bella-esque. No I’ve never mentioned that to her, she’s three belt-ranks higher than me in our karate school. It could just be cultural “tone”, I suppose; come to think of it Michael Medved often gives me a similar feeling to Mel Brooks, despite them being so vastly different, and I think it’s just because they’re both Ashkenazi Jews.

                      I ought to apologize for posting while I was off my anxiety meds; my opinions get much more extreme, and my ordinarily ambivalent posture toward Mormons can become full-blown hostility. Try reading these comment rolls after three days without sleep, to see what I mean—clinical anxiety is caused by a deficiency of the same chemicals.

                    • Comment by Mary:

                      Unmarried men most certainly can not get to heaven by himself,

                      Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Ignore Jesus’s advocacy of the unmarried life as better precisely because it emulates heaven. Ignore Paul’s prescription that the unmarried life is better because it allows you to serve God better and in fact must lay out that marrying is not in fact a sin. . . .

                    • Comment by John Hutchins:

                      It took me a while to figure out what you, Mary, meant by Jesus saying we are unmarried in heaven. You have to mean the question Jesus was asked about the brothers. The point of that is that all discussion of who is married to whom must be taken care of beforehand.

                      Paul was a widower when he wrote that and was advocating that it is perfectly fine for widows and widowers to not remarry. Also, that due to the persecution of the Church, Paul wrote not having received instruction from the Lord on the matter and only his opinion that it would be better for the people he was currently writing to remain unmarried, given the impeding difficulties, so as not to be forced watch ones wife or children or husband be tortured or killed, knowing that they have the power to stop the torture by denying the Christ.

      • Comment by Mary:

        If you went to John the Baptist, you were baptized for real. You just didn’t receive the baptism that Christ instituted. (Which Mormons don’t, since they don’t intend to baptize with the new baptism instituted by Christ.)

        “Re-baptized” might be appropriate.

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          Ah, so that is the way the explanation goes. I have always wondered how baptism is for the remission of sins, babies are innocent and incapable of sins, yet the Catholics baptize them. Apparently the thought is that Christs baptism is strictly for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, which is part of it, and not for the remission of sins.

          That would be from Acts 19:2-6? We take that as being that the person doing the baptism in the first place had not the authority to do so, John had said authority, being of the Levites, but could not give the gift of the Holy Ghost. After baptism we believe in the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost. See Colossians 2:11-12, Hebrews 6:1-4 if you are interested.

          • Comment by Mary:

            There are many references to those who know only the baptism of John. The laying on of hands can not be the difference, because then there would be no need to say “of John.” It would just be “baptism” which does not suffice, which is impossible, because we are repeatedly told that the right thing to do is “believe and be baptized”; it would be “believe, be baptized, and receive the laying on of hands” if that were true.

          • Comment by Tom Simon:

            I have always wondered how baptism is for the remission of sins, babies are innocent and incapable of sins, yet the Catholics baptize them.

            Answer: Babies are not ‘innocent and incapable of sins’; they, like all of us, are subject to original sin, and if they do not commit any constructive sins of their own, it is because they have not yet developed a sufficient capacity for action. Anybody who has dealt with the monstrous selfishness of a toddler who has learnt to take things from other people and hold them in a death-grip, screaming ‘Mine! Mine! Mine!’ if the rightful owner tries to take them back, should be under no illusions about the moral innocence of babies. The best you can say for them is that they are legally innocent, which is not the same thing at all, at all.

  7. Comment by Brad R. Torgersen:

    It’s actually a small miracle that Linus’s touching soliloquy — pardon my minor misuse of that word, but it’s the only word that fits — has not been stripped utterly from the Charlie Brown special. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, as there does seem to be a gradual and persistent drive to secularize Christmas to the point of being an utterly non-Christian, purely commercialized holiday.

  8. Comment by JJ Brannon:

    Since you twice referenced “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, John, I direct your attention to this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_the_Red-Nosed_Reindeer#The_song

    Note the second paragraph.

    JJB

  9. Comment by CJ:

    “Using the meaning that CJ has, it would be that the Apostles, in particular the president of the church, being the presiding Apostle, are not Apostles. Hope that clears up any confusion.”

    I was following you until this last sentence. Lil help?

    • Comment by John Hutchins:

      My statement was that it needs to be proven that our prophets are not actually prophets; Using the different terms that statement becomes it needs to be proven that our Apostles are not actually Apostles.

      • Comment by Tom Simon:

        I should say that the onus was rather on persons claiming to be Apostles to show cause why they should be considered Apostles. The Catholic Church does not claim, and never has claimed, that bishops were Apostles, only that they are in the Apostolic Succession. The Apostles were all contemporaries of Jesus, and with (so far as I can recall) only the single exception of Paul, knew Him in the flesh: a thing that no Mormon is able to claim.

        In short, by the Catholic meaning of the word, there is no such thing as a Mormon Apostle: not merely because the Mormons are heretical, but because nobody living in or after Joseph Smith’s time could possibly meet the definition. When the LDS Church refers to some of its members, past or present, as apostles, it is not speaking the same language as the Catholics.

        • Comment by John Hutchins:

          Then, how was Paul an Apostle?

          See “The Living Christ” linked above.

          We see the evidence of all being contemporaries of Jesus as being evidence that the early church quickly fell away from the truth as Paul said they were doing.

          This would not be the first, or last time I am sure, that terms are understood completely differently by our two Churches.

          You have recursively defined Apostleship so that it is impossible for Christ to ever appoint new Apostles to lead his church once the original ones were rejected (or died).

          Our definition is one that is called of God to be a special witness of Christ. As Christ still lives it is quite easy for him to call new Apostles and have them be His special witnesses. They have published “The Living Christ” as well as giving testimony to the entire church (and world if the world desires to listen) twice a year at what we call General Conference. You are free to look up what they have been saying recently and judge for yourself if they might be Apostles.

          • Comment by Mary:

            St. Paul only said that some Christians were falling away. What Mormons claim, in direct contraction to Scipture, is that all Christians fell away, that Jesus was not with them always, that the Paraclete did not lead them into all truth, that the Church is not the pillar and foundation of the truth, and that the gates of Hell did prevail.

  10. Comment by John Hutchins:

    That is, of course, the whole question, isn’t it?

    If your interpretation of that scripture is correct then the Catholic church must be right and all other churches are wrong. Completely agree with that, if the line of authority is unbroken in the Catholic church then any reformation, restoration, or other interpretation of Christianity is absolutely without authority and must be wrong. If however the line of authority was broken, as we hold, then there would have to be a restoration from God of that authority and so only a restoration movement could be correct.

    We interpret that scripture as being that the priesthood is what the church is built upon and that the gates of hell can never prevail against the sealing authority of the priesthood. Once the Apostles had all been slain or banished so that no new Apostles could be chosen then the church was certain to fall, only able to retain authority up until the last ordained deacon from the last ordained bishop was dead, as a bishop is incapable of ordaining another bishop. The remnants of the Church were of course free to try to follow Christ as best they could but lacked the necessary authority from God to perform the saving ordinances.

    Thus the entire matter depends on whether Joesph Smith did in fact see God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and if they did in fact tell him that none of the Churches on the earth were right. As that can not be independently verified and not having the necessary witnesses that are required the Book of Mormon was given as a proof that he was called of God, with all the documentation that is required as evidence. The invitation is to read it, ponder it, and with a sincere heart ask God if it is right. The promise is that God will manifest the truth of it by the power of the Holy Ghost. That is the primary proof that I can offer, independently verifiable by anyone that is honest in their desire to know the truth. I think that anything else I could say on the subject would be contentious and not work to increase faith upon the earth, which is the primary purpose of God restoring Christs church on the earth.

    • Comment by Mary:

      Except that Jesus promised he would be with us always. To deprive us of anything necessary for salvation is to abandon us.

      • Comment by John Hutchins:

        That is only a problem if anything necessary for salvation was deprived of anyone, as we believe in baptism for the dead and other ordinances for the dead nothing was deprived. All who followed Christ in the flesh will receive all saving ordinances and will be treated as though they had received them in the flesh.

        • Comment by Mary:

          “Baptism for the dead” clearly means that the dead were deprived of something. If someone says he will ensure you will always have an annual income, and then has a hiatus of twenty years at the end of which he pays you an enormous lump sum to cover those years — he was lying.

  11. Comment by John S:

    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
    And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow!

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