Friday, March 2, 2007

Dialogue With Mormons on the Number of Gods in Existence

CARM just keeps it coming with their informative easily applied apologetics refuting Mormonism.

Please read this exchange and be blessed:

This chat began by "Mormon" contacting me on ICQ. I responded, asked him what he believed. He said he was a Mormon and asked me what I like to do. "Debate," I said. He asked me what I liked to debate. I said theology and we were off. I began with a comment on how Mormonism contradicts the Bible. The conversation progressed and later he enlisted the help of a Mormon missionary.

In my opinion, this dialogue is a good example of how Mormons cannot accept what the Bible plainly teaches. Instead, they must reinterpret the scriptures and change word meanings to get the Bible to agree with their theology.

In this dialogue, I was a bit direct and tried to stay on one subject attempting to get them to really understand the difference between the Bible and Mormonism. Whether or not I accomplished that, I do not know. I tried to remain polite and hope that I was. We pick the conversation up here....

Matt: As I was saying, the Bible teaches that there is only one God in all existence. Therefore, there can be no other god or goddess as Mormonism teaches.
Mormon: You are taking things out of context...another example of what so many other people do. You start at the end, not bothering to know what comes before
Matt: The issue is whether or not Mormonism teaches the true god. It does not. The Bible says there are no gods created after God and none created before him. Therefore, no one can become a god.
Mormon: Give me scripture and verse for this.

Note: I have the advantage of a computer Bible program, so I simply pasted the verses into our conversation.

Matt: Isaiah 44:6 says, "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me." (The New American Standard Bible).
Matt: Also, in Isaiah 44:8, it says, "Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’"
Matt: God says He does not even know of any other god, therefore, there is no goddess wife. He says there is no God besides Him... Period.
Mormon: Okay, what does it say in the KJV Bible? That is what I study by. I find with all the other versions, there is much bias.
Matt: Okay, here it is. Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God."
Matt: Isaiah 44:8 says, "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."
Matt: Also, Isaiah 43:10 says, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Mormon: The thing is, there are so many things that people just don't understand because of the fact that they don't start at the beginning. I mean when you think about it, would you go into a grade one class and teach them grade 12 algebra?
Matt: I understand. But what does the Bible say? Does it say there are no other gods? If so, then there aren't any other gods.
Mormon: There are certain precepts that you have to understand before that...and I get this all the time from people. They just come in and try to start bashing the church, not taking into consideration what the person thinks, of his feelings. It is just unfair to treat a person's beliefs like that.
Matt: You asked and I quoted scripture to you that says there is no other God. So how do you answer the challenge of God's word saying there is no other God?
Mormon: I commend you on the fact that you have studied this out.. I know that I don't have all the answers. I have only been in the church for ten months, and am still learning more everyday. I will get answers, maybe not tonight, but within the next day or so. I am sure of that. May I ask you a question?
Matt: shoot.
Mormon: You told me when I asked you what was up that you were looking for a debate...why do that? Why come in just to debate and try to tear down what others believe?
Matt: I debate both to learn and to teach. If you believe in a false god, then you are in trouble. I am simply trying to help you find the real one.
Mormon: But is it RIGHT to come in and try to tear them down like that?
Matt: Yes. It is right to warn people about the danger they are in.
Mormon: Okay, well, what church do you belong to?
Matt: I go to a non-denominational church.
Matt: By the way, you still haven’t answered my question about there being only one God. Mormonism teaches that there are many many gods, that people can become gods...
Mormon: Can you give me a standard of belief?
Matt: The standard is the Bible.
Mormon: Like I said, could you give me a couple of days to get answers, I haven't studied this topic a lot.
Mormon: Ok, well, how about the method of baptism, how is it done?
Matt: Baptism is really immaterial when it comes to the importance of knowing who is the true God. But I'll answer it. Could you be more specific?
Mormon: What is the method of baptism? Some do it in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, others do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Here is a question: Do you believe baptism is necessary?
Matt: Those who baptize "in Jesus name" are the United Pentecostal and the United Apostolic churches and they are both cults.
Mormon: WHAT!?
Matt: Yes... The proper mode is in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Mormon: Hold on….I am bringing a friend into this chat
Matt: Okay,
[LDS Missionary enters the chat]
Matt: Hi
Mormon: Hi LDS Missionary. Meet Matt.
Mormon: LDS served a mission, and has been in the church longer then I and should therefore be able to help.
Matt: Fine, let's talk then...
Mormon: Ask LDS some questions.
LDS Missionary: Hello Matt. Have you two been talking a while?
Mormon: Yes, for a little while.
Matt: I’ll restate my assertion: The Bible says that there is only one God. Period. Therefore, Mormonism is wrong.
LDS Missionary: Yes there is only one god.
Matt: …in all existence in all places in all time?
LDS Missionary: We believe there is only one God
Matt: LDS, do you believe that there is only one God in all the universe? in all times? in all places?
Mormon: We believe in God the eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, that is the first article of faith.
LDS Missionary: Yes. He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting
Matt: Is Jesus a god?
LDS Missionary: Yes. He is divine. He is the son of God the Eternal Father.
Matt: So then, the Father is a god, and the Son is a god. That is two gods, right?
Mormon: Jesus is a part of the Godhead, they together make up one eternal God.... inseparable so to speak
Matt: I thought you said there was only one?
Matt: Mormon. Your church teaches that the godhead is three separate gods.
Mormon: Okay. He is a member of the Godhead.... TOGETHER they make up "God".
Matt: Your church also teaches that there is a wife to God, a goddess wife.
LDS Missionary: As Mormon said, there's the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. They are one in purpose. We know very little about that doctrine or the goddess mother. But yes we believe there is a heavenly mother.
Matt: LDS, I thought you said there was only one god in all the universe. Now you just admitted there is more than one god. So, you have God the Father, a god the Son, a god the Holy Ghost, and a goddess mother. That’s four gods.
LDS Missionary: Three separate personages, but one in spirit and purpose.
Matt: In Isaiah 43:10, it says, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Matt: Isaiah 44:8 says, "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."
LDS Missionary: As a godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are eternal.
Matt: How do you explain your theology in light of the Bible's teaching that there is only one God, period, none other than God, none before, and none after?
LDS Missionary: I wouldn’t be able to believe the way I did unless I believed in modern revelation. We have modern prophets to reveal God's word to us.
Matt: Was God, whom you call elohim, once a man?
LDS Missionary: Again, a doctrine we know very little about.
Mormon: Amos 3:7 here! "Surely, the Lord God doeth nothing, save it shall be through his servants, his prophets."
Matt: Luke 16:16 says, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."
Matt: Prophets were the Old Testament way. Now we have Jesus and no longer need prophets (Heb. 1:1-3).
Matt: Now please, back to the issue of God.
LDS Missionary: We don't teach these doctrines to everyone.
Matt: The Bible says there are no other gods, that God doesn't even know of any other (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6 - 8). Now, if Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and god's wife are all gods, that’s three others. How do you explain God saying he doesn't even know of any others?
Matt: Don't you see? The Bible contradicts your theology. Which should I trust?
LDS Missionary: Have you ever read the book of Mormon?
Matt: Most of it....
LDS Missionary: What was your intent in reading it?
Matt: To study. Mormonism teaches us to read it and pray about it to get a testimony that it’s true. We’re to pray about it with a sincere heart, etc., But it doesn't matter what I feel. The Bible says there is only one God, not more than one. How do you reconcile your beliefs with that?
Mormon: Like we said, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost make up ONE eternal God!
Matt: Mormon? Can I ask you something?
Mormon: Go ahead
Matt: How many gods are there in all places, all times, etc.?
Mormon: There is only God. We believe that with all our hearts. But what you are not comprehending is that we believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost is ONE eternal God, they are separate personages, but they are one in purpose
Matt: Is the Father a god?
Mormon: It says in the BIBLE, that God is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER,
Matt: Yes I know. Heb. 13:8, yes. Psalm 90:2 is good also.
LDS Missionary: We actually can't answer that for you. You need to start with the basics.
Matt: This is the basics! How many gods are there? This is quite basic.
LDS Missionary: Well, the question is basic. But the understanding of that doctrine is probably beyond what any of us are ready for. Do you really believe that god has finished speaking to us, that the Bible is all there is now? So if he talked to the people then, why wouldn't he do it now?
Matt: Yes, because he said in Heb. 1:1-3 that now He speaks to use through Jesus, not prophets. Heb. 1:1-3 (incidentally), God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Matt: Mormon, is the Father A god?
Mormon: Yes, they are all members of the Godhead. They combine to make up one eternal God
Matt: Is Jesus a god?
Mormon: Okay...let me go through this one more time, they are all members of the Godhead, and the three combined make up one eternal God
Matt: You are stating that God is an office. The Bible states there is one God, only one.
Mormon: What do you mean by that?
Matt: You are stating that the Father is a god, that the Son is a god, and that that Holy Ghost is a god. That is 3 gods.
Matt: Now, how many gods ARE there?
Matt: I've already shown you where the Bible says there is only one, period, that's it.
Matt: Now you have to jump around trying to explain yourselves... it isn't working. There is either more than one god or there isn't.
Mormon: ok...They are all members of the Godhead.... Together they make up one eternal God!!!
Matt: So, three gods, make up one eternal god? How is that possible?
Mormon: No...They are members of the Godhead. They each play a vital role in God. They each have a specific purpose. They together make one eternal God.

Note: The Mormon has redefined the word "god" to mean two different things: god as an individual and god as an office held by three individual gods. So, when I ask how many gods there are, Mormon says 'one.' In this he is using the term 'god' as referring to the office held by three gods. When I ask if the Father is a god, and he says yes, he is using the word 'god' in the individual sense. This is double-talk and he does not see what he is doing. I am repeating this different ways with them both in an attempt to get them to see their inconsistency.

Matt: The three separate gods make one god?
LDS Missionary: You know our beliefs. We've explained them. We believe the Bible coincides with our beliefs perfectly.
Matt: But that's like saying that the 3 person of Frank, Joe, and Mike, make up one person, not three. It doesn't make sense.
Mormon: I not only believe that it does, but I KNOW it does...I have a firm testimony of the truthfulness of this church, and nobody, NOBODY will ever take that away from me!
Matt: But the Bible does not teach that.
Mormon: Okay...let me use an analogy. You have a family, right?
Matt: That is plain and simple. So, how can you state that you can become a god, or that god used to be a man, or that there is a goddess mother in heaven?
Mormon: Will you answer my question. Do you have a family?
Matt: Yes, I have a family
Mormon: Okay, Well, each member of your family is a separate individual right?
Matt: Yes
Mormon: Well...together they make up ONE FAMILY. That is how it is with the Godhead. Matt: I understand. But I'm trying to get YOU to see the problem.
Mormon: What problem!?
Matt: In Mormonism, the Godhead is like an office held by three gods. Each god is not the other god. They are three gods. You say the three separate gods make up on godhead.
Matt: But the Bible doesn't say there is only one Godhead. It says there is only ONE GOD!
Mormon: Ok, I am about to give up here... You aren't willing to start with the basics, you aren't willing to LISTEN so there is nothing that I can do.
LDS Missionary: We may as well give up for now. What church do you go to Matt?
Matt: I go to a non-denominational church.
Matt: Mormon?
Mormon: I am here
Matt: Does the Bible say there is only one God?
Mormon: Yes...and together...the Father, Son and Holy Spirit makeup that one God!
Matt: Amazing.... is the Father a god? Is the Son a god? Is the Holy Ghost a god? How many gods is that?
Mormon: Okay...together they are God!
Matt: One plus one plus one equals three.
Mormon: Key word: TOGETHER!!
Matt: So three separate gods equals one god?
Mormon: TOGETHER they make up ONE ETERNAL GOD!
Matt: So then, the three separate gods is really only one god?
Mormon: This isn't working. You aren't really listening to what we are saying!!!
Matt: Yes I am listening. I am listening carefully.
Matt: You are telling me there are three gods and that the three gods make up one god.
Mormon: With your ears you are, but not with your heart. Right now your heart is too full of contention and the desire to argue... Well, the things of God are holy, and sacred, and I REFUSE to argue about them
Matt: That is not logical. You are playing with words... you should be saying that the 3 separate gods equals one godhead (according to Mormon definitions).
Matt: Don't you see? The Bible says there is only one God, not three gods. Not three gods... just one.... Not one godhead consisting of three gods, but only ONE God.
Matt: Mormonism disagrees with the Bible.
Mormon: No, Mormonism does agree with the Bible. You are making it disagree!
Matt: You mean, that by quoting the Bible plainly, I am making it disagree with Mormonism? Interesting. Want me to quote the verses again, and you please tell me where it is wrong?
Matt: Isaiah 43:10, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Mormon: No, that isn't what I mean. You are coming in with the attitude that we are wrong, that there is no way we could be right, and therefore you are not really listening, or even thinking about what we are saying.
Matt: How could I not be right when I agree with the Bible when it says, "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any" (Isaiah 44:8)?
Matt: If the Father is a god, and the Son is a god, and the Holy Ghost is a god, and there is a goddess mother, then what is God saying here in Isaiah 44:8?
LDS Missionary: These scriptures must be understood in the context they're meant for. The Lord had something to teach at that particular time
Matt: God will not contradict himself later, will he? Will he teach Israel there is only one God when there really is more than one?
Matt: Will he have Mormon prophets tells us later that we can become gods, when so long ago God said there would be no Gods formed after Him?
Mormon: Matt will you be online tomorrow?
Matt: depends... I have a meeting to go to?
Mormon: I will get some answers and will chat again with you soon
Mormon: What time can you make it in.
Matt: Maybe around 9 p.m.
Mormon: I will have tome to study my scriptures and get some answers.
Matt: Okay... Let me help you out with some standard verses the Mormons use: 1 Cor. 8:5-6; John 10:30-34 and Psalm 82:6. Mormons like those But don’t forget to check out Gal. 4:8; Eph. 4:5; Deut. 6:4.
Mormon: Okay...until tomorrow then
Matt: This will help you get your answers... but, context is everything, and I'll be ready....
Matt: I'll try tomorrow at 9. Okay?
Mormon: Okay .bye
Matt: Cya

This was a very interesting dialogue for me because it is so typical of how Mormons redefine words in order to retain their theological views. Because of their testimony of the truth of Mormonism and that God is an exalted man and has a goddess wife, etc., it is absolutely essential that the Bible be reinterpreted and words redefined. It is difficult to get them to see this is happening, especially when they think I am the one who has done the redefining.

Nevertheless, I hope that they come to a full and complete saving and personal relationship with Jesus.