BY T.F. STERN
I was reading the comment section of a Christian fellowship group and found it interesting, not surprising; but interesting these good people rejected the Book of Mormon as being the word of God on the premise that the Bible was complete and any attempt to include additional scripture was ludicrous. You could feel them bristle at the mention of any additional scripture.
Rather than be confrontational, something I tend to enjoy; but rather than jump into their comfort zone it might be better to wait at least a day (and then jump on them)… and consider how best to introduce them to a marvelous work and wonder, one which they’ve been instructed to avoid as if it were evil in nature.
I’ve always wanted to know who began telling folks to avoid reading the Book of Mormon and for what purpose? Why avoid reading information that might actually be from God, information that wasn’t in the canon scriptures of the Bible? Are you going to let someone tell you what you believe or wouldn’t you rather find out on your own?
Could it have been members of the clergy, individuals who feared they might lose their congregations were they to find the true Church? I ask only because this certainly was the situation in Jerusalem during Christ’s ministry.
The Sanhedrin, those holding religious power, those responsible for teaching the Law of Moses felt more than a little uneasy about this “new guy” going around preaching doctrine “as if he had authority”. They didn’t like having to admit the possibility that all the prophesies they’d learned might actually have come to pass with this individual, Jesus of Nazareth, son of a poor carpenter, a man, nothing more than a man; but whom many considered to be the Messiah. If Jesus was the Messiah the Sanhedrin would then be out of business.
How did the disciples of Jesus determine He was the Messiah? Then take that same test to determine what is scripture and what is poppy-cock; a test that conforms to the standards set forth in the New Testament.
You’ll find the answer on how to determine all things by carefully reading in Matthew 16, starting in verse 13.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (emphasis added)
I return to the original topic being discussed by the fellowship group, those who so quickly dismissed the Book of Mormon as being worthy to be considered scripture.
A long history of the Bible’s compilation was offered as if it were the “be all end all”, the “ace in the hole” that would trump any discussion regarding the Bible already being complete, that nothing could be added.
I was waiting for Ed McMahan of the old Johnny Carson Show to toss in his familiar challenge line, “Everything you always wanted to know about the Bible….” At which time Johnny would look into the camera, pause and put on his boyish grin, followed by, “Not everything, Metamucil breath…”
With only a limited search on Wikipedia anyone could find pages and pages about the Christian biblical canon, “the fifty Bibles of Constantine, the First Council of Nicaea and their determination on the canon, and that by the fifth century the East, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon, at least for the New Testament.”
Perhaps the single most important sentence in all that was offered regarding the Bible as being complete as a canon of scripture, “The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history.” (emphasis added)
What does the Book of Mormon have to say about individuals who are too stiff-necked to read and consider other scripture that God intended for His children to have?
The introduction to the contents found in 2 Nephi 29 of the Book of Mormon reads, “Many Gentiles will reject the Book of Mormon—They will say, We need no more Bible—The Lord speaks to many nations—He will judge the world out of the books which will be written.”
“And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?”
I’ll end with an invitation and a warning. Read the Book of Mormon with the idea that perhaps, just perhaps those who’ve been telling you that God’s words could only be found in the Bible, or that He had nothing more to say to His children; perhaps they were mistaken; or worse, afraid you might find the true church of Jesus Christ.
Self-Educated American, Senior Editor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Houston police officer and, most recently, a retired self-employed locksmith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.