Why do Mormons and Baptists deny the need for historical evidence?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Wittenberger, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Wittenberger

    Wittenberger
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    After multiple discussions with several Baptists and evangelicals on this site I have come to the conclusion that the fact that there is no historical evidence that any Christian living in the first six centuries of Christianity held the Baptist view that Baptism is an act of obedience/public profession of faith ONLY, really does not bother them. Why?

    These Baptists and evangelicals state that there is no need for historical evidence to support their interpretation of the Bible because a true Christian only needs the Holy Spirit to guide them, by an inner voice, to see the real "truth" in Scripture. "The true interpretation of the Bible is so obvious!" they say.

    That's strange! That is exactly what the Mormons say!

    This is the problem with basing your entire belief system on an inner voice that you just know for a fact has to be the Holy Spirit: It may not be! It may just be you and your ego! It may be Satan himself talking to you in that quiet, inner voice!

    Listen to how the Mormons put it in this short clip:

    http://dwhamby1.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/do-mormons-have-any-evidence-of-their-claims/
     
  2. Walter

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    Watched the clip. The speaker mentioned asking a priest (he referred to him as Father) if he had ever read the Book of Mormon. I haven't read the entire Book of Mormon but enough of it to realize that there are many problems with it. The Mormon missionaries that gave it to me to read told me that I would probably experience a 'warm fuzzy feeling' when I spent time reading it. I did not.

    Large portions of the Book of Mormon are very similar to the King James Version of the Bible, which of course was about the only English Bible available to Joseph Smith in the 1820's. The Book of Mormon is written in Elizabethan language which was not spoken at the time it was translated from the 'Golden Talblets'.

    Not only that but there are many internal inconsistencies within the Book of Mormon, which is exactly what you would expect if Joseph Smith invented the text. For example, in 2 Nephi 5, we are told how when Nephi landed in the New World, things like gold, silver, and all manner of precious gems were too be found everywhere in abundance. Only a short time later, they built a temple much like Solomon's except that no gold, silver, or precious gems were used "because they were not to be found upon the land"! Another example: in early editions of the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 21:28 read "King Benjamin", which is an anachronism because he was long since dead by the time of the events that supposedly occurred in that chapter. It has since been changed to "King Mosiah". In two places in the book of Alma, the word "cherubims" in early editions has since been changed to "cherubim". If you don't know why already, saying "cherubims" is like using "mices" as the plural of "mouse."

    As to why Baptists and others don't think the lack of historical evidence (actially, it's total absence) in the early centuries of Christianity is any big deal, I think that HAS to be their only conclusion. They MUST ignore the massive amount of historical evidence that proves the early Christians DID NOT believe as Baptists and some other evangelicals do now. They must find doctrinal error with some of the writings of the Early Church Fathers and say as a result 'they are all a bunck of heretics and so we should ignore anything they have to say.' They will demand you only look at the early church by way of the New Testament and their evangelical interpretation of what THAT Early Church actually looked like regardless of how the Christians that followed the writers of the New Testament believed that it was to be interpreted. I would much rather be conerned with how the people who sat at the Apostles feet and were intructed by them understood the Apostles teachings than to be conerned with theologians writings and the invented doctrines (like 'believers baptism') many years after those Apostles were instructing people.
     
  3. Bro. James

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    You want secular history? The following is from: De Spectaculis, which was written by one called Tertullian, a church father; who lived second/third century.

    Ch. 4. "Lest any one think that we are dealing in mere argumentative subtleties, I shall turn to that highest authority of our "seal" itself. When entering the water, we make profession of the Christian faith in the words of its rule; we bear public testimony that we have renounced the devil, his pomp, and his angels. Well, is it not in connection with idolatry, above all, that you have the devil with his pomp and his angels?..."

    This was addressed to: You servants of God...

    Baptism is a plain teaching of the Word of God. We pervert the efficacy when we make it regenerational. The only thing Joseph Smith Jr. got right about baptism was the mode.

    Peace,

    Bro. James
     
  4. Moriah

    Moriah
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    The apostles from the New Testament received all the truth we need to guide us to eternal life, and they wrote this down in the Scriptures:

    John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

    Acts 20:20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.

    Acts 20:27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.

    Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

    2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

    2 Timothy 3:17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    God’s word is understandable even to a young child.
    How from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, see 2 Timothy 3:15.

    We do not need elected leaders to interpret God’s word, but we should use the word to check out the teachers.

    Mark 7:14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.

    John 20:30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.

    John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

    2 Corinthians 1:13,14. For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
     
  5. Wittenberger

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    Brother James,

    Thank you for your comments. You like many Baptists and evangelicals use Tertullian as your only source of early Christian evidence of your position on baptism. I would encourage you to take the time and read ALL of what Tertullian said when he made the statement above that you have quoted.

    I started a thread today entitled: Why was Tertullian a credo-baptist? On this thread I have a link to the ENTIRE text.

    You will read for yourself that not only did Tertullian believe that infants should not be baptized, but neither should non-married Christians and widows. Why?

    Tertullian was a Montanist. Montanists believed that all sins committed AFTER baptism were unforgiveable by God. Therefore, "Wait until the very last minute to be baptized". Why did baptism matter in Tertullians view?

    Because baptism according to his very words, "washed away sin". Baptism was VERY regenerational to Tertullian.

    I would strongly suggest that Baptists/evangelicals stop using Tertullian as their trump card for early Christian evidence of "believer's baptism as simply an ordinance".

    It is like the "flat-earthers" trying to use Galileo to prove the world is flat!
     
  6. Wittenberger

    Wittenberger
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    Dear Sister Moriah,

    You have no more proof that your interpretation of the Bible is correct than the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Baptists, evangelicals, Mormons and JW's all cling to an "inner guidance" that guides them to interpret the scriptures correctly. All four groups believe that their interpretation is so easy to see if you just let the "spirit" lead you.

    Well, at least three, and in my opinion, all of you, are listening to the wrong "spirit"!

    The Apostle Paul tells Christians not to by swayed by false prophets teaching new doctrines. There is no evidence anywhere, of any Christian in the first six to eight centuries after Christ, believing that baptsim was ONLY an ordinance, an act of obedience, a public profession of faith! No where!

    Even your trump card Tertullian believed baptism was regenerational, that it washed away sins. It was so powerful and regenerational that he wanted people to wait until they were almost ready to die, to have ALL their sins washed away!

    Anyone can make the Bible say whatever they want. That is why there are so many denominations and cults. Everybody's right! Everybody is being guided by the TRUE voice of God!

    If you want to know what the true meaning of the Bible is, first read the Bible, and then compare it with the writings of the Christians in the first three to four centuries after Christ, long before the Roman Pope held power over the Church.

    That is how you will find the truth. Don't believe people who make up unfounded conspiracy theories that the "catholics" erased all evidence of the "true" early Christians. It's not true! If any Christian sect was their arch-enemy it was the Arians. The "catholics" were not able to erase the evidence of Arians and many, many other heretical groups. Why did they just succeed with the "Baptists"?

    Maybe because there WEREN'T any Baptists!
     
  7. Wittenberger

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    Here is Tertullian's full statement on the doctrine of Baptism. Decide for yourself if he believed that baptism was ONLY an ordinance. an act of obedience, a public profession of faith by the believer.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0321.htm
     
  8. webdog

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    So...Christ's blood was not enough to wash away all of our sin...we now have to do something as well? This is the epitome of works salvation that frustrates grace.
     
  9. billwald

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    > I haven't read the entire Book of Mormon but enough of it to realize that there are many problems with it.

    Agree there are many problems with the BoM. There are also problems in the Bible. Prof. Bart Ehrman teaches that there are more variations in the NT text than there are words in the NT text.
     
  10. Moriah

    Moriah
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    I have proven it, but you cannot see.

    The Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses claim to have prophets in their religion. They add things to their teachings. Just like Lutherans and Catholics. You are in a religion more like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses.
    I am no denomination. I read the scriptures; the scriptures are plain and clear.
    You should be more careful in how you speak. I have the Holy Spirit.
    That statement from you does not prove that I do not believe the truth as stated in the Holy Bible.
    I go by what the Bible says. Tertullian is not in the Bible.

    Apostle Paul spoke of people teaching falseness while he was alive, and he warned that after he leaves there will be men from among their number who will distort the truth.

    Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

    30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

    Wittenberger, why do you still have faith in men and their practices that are not in the Bible? Apostle Paul said men from their own number will rise and distort the truth.

    How do you think people here have not done that? The people you want to believe were in error. They are not Apostles with writings in the Holy Bible. You do not trust that God has the Holy Bible just as He wants it.
     
  11. Moriah

    Moriah
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    We displease God when we follow tradition or church laws or any human

    standard as the source of authority for the church.


    Matthew 15:3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for

    the sake of your tradition?


    Matthew 15:7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about

    you: 8"'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from

    me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by

    men.'" 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man,

    both will fall into a pit."


    Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and

    deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic

    principles of this world rather than on Christ.

    Jeremiah 10:13 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for

    man to direct his steps.

    Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to the word, they have no light of dawn.
     
  12. billwald

    billwald
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    Mark and Luke were NOT Apostles. I have doubts about Paul. The "real" apostles call him "Brother Paul."
     
  13. plain_n_simple

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    "It may be Satan himself talking to you in that quiet, inner voice!"


    I guarantee it will be Satan most of the time if you walk like the world.
     
  14. Zenas

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    Why do Mormons and Baptists deny the need for historical evidence? Because if they consider the Church in history, their own beliefs crumble beneath their feet. They get around this by saying the early church fathers, and the Church itself, were part of the false teachers we were warned about in the New Testament. The only problem with this is that it amounts to saying the true Church vanished from the earth soon after the close of the canon and did not reappear until the 16th Century (19th Century for Mormons). Of course this goes against Christ's promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. Therefore they choose to put their heads in the sand and ignore history.
     
  15. Wittenberger

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    You are avoiding the issue, my friend: where is your proof that your interpretation of the Bible has existed since the days of the Apostles? If your answer is:

    "We don't need any historical, archeological, or any other type of proof other than the Bible!"

    Then you are no different than the Mormons.

    Listen and watch the Mormon bishop speak in the clip on the OP of this thread. Someone asks him for proof that the golden leaflets supposedly given to Joseph Smith by the angel Moroni really exist.

    The Mormon bishop has an expression on his face when he repeats this statement that says, "You fool! Don't you know that historical and archeological evidence is not necessary when dealing with matters of the Holy Spirit. Read the doctrines of the Mormons, and the Holy Spirit will show you that the Church of Latter Day Saints is the true Church of Jesus Christ."

    Baptists and evangelicals do the exact same thing when orthodox Christians ask them for proof that anyone in the first six to eight centuries after Christ believed that baptism was simply an act of obedience/public profession of faith.

    "We don't need any historical proof!" say the Baptists and evangelicals. The Holy Spirit tells us in our hearts that our interpretation is correct. You orthodox can't see the truth because you don't have the Holy Spirit guiding you to the truth."

    This is the same blind "faith" that the Mormons use to convert people. We can't prove we are right by the Church Fathers or early Christian writings because they were all apostate. But see how righteous and good we are. See how much we love and speak so much about Jesus. We HAVE to be right!"

    Horse hooey!

    Baptists, evangelicals, and Mormons use the same circular argument to convince themselves that they have the truth. They refuse to look at historical evidence that PROVES that Joseph Smith made up his Book of Mormon and PROVES that the early Christians believed that sins were washed away in Holy Baptism and that the infants of Christians should be baptized.

    Take the blinders away from your eyes, my Baptist and evangelical brothers and sisters! You have no more proof that your interpretation of the Bible is correct than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young!
     
  16. Wittenberger

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    Sister Moriah! Please! You regurgitate the same statements over and over again but refuse to understand that your interpretation of the Bible, which is SO clear and obvious to you, NEVER existed prior to approximately 1,000 years after the death of Christ.

    Your refusal to accept historical evidence is proof that your belief system is based on the exact same authority as the Mormons...YOUR feelings!

    Baptists, evangelicals, and Mormons feel "in their hearts" that they are right. They believe that this warm, fuzzy feeling is given to them by the Holy Spirit. You have no proof whatsoever that the inner voice you hear is God or Satan or YOU!

    Read the Bible, guided by the interpretations of the Bible of the early Christians, who were disciples of the Apostles or disciples of the disciples of the Apostles.

    Don't act like Mormons and depend on your internal feelings and subjective belief that how you read the Bible, "just has to be right because it is so obvious to me!"

    I'm sorry but that is an ignorant way of thinking. I'm not trying to insult you or my other Baptist and evangelical brothers and sisters. I'm not commenting on this Baptist site just to "win" a debate. I am commenting here because I want to rescue all of you from the false teachings and conspiracy theories that have blinded you to the true central doctrine of the faith which has been with the Church since the apostles: Baptism washes away sins! It isn't a good work of man! It is a supernatural and marvelous work of God!

    "Repent and be baptized...for the FORGIVENESS OF SINS!"

    Don't use the same warped thinking of the Mormons. Return to the true, historically verifiable, Christian faith and doctrines!
     
  17. Wittenberger

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    For those of you just joining this thread, please check out the link below. It is a video clip of a Mormon bishop discussing on what "evidence" the doctrines of the Mormon Church are built.

    Baptist and evangelicals use the exact same circular argument to support their belief on baptism. "No historical evidence is necessary. Just listen to your feelings, the voice you hear inside you. It is the Holy Spirit, telling you that we (Baptists or Mormons) are right."


    http://dwhamby1.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/do-mormons-have-any-evidence-of-their-claims/
     
    #17 Wittenberger, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2012
  18. Moriah

    Moriah
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    I have given you many scriptures and explanations for the first time. You are guilty of what you falsely accuse me.

    It is the Catholics and Lutherans who believe like the Mormons, holding men outside the Bible to give special teachings and instruction. When you follow the teachings of men, you nullify God’s word.
    You are the one who follows men who have some kind of feelings or another. You teach things that are not biblical. It does not matter how long you try to go back in time, if it is not in the Bible than it is not the word of God.
    I have given you scripture that tells you those from among those first Christians would have men distorting the truth. Not only that you have Jesus in the Bible telling you the teachings of men nullify God’s word. Why does that not have any effect on you?
    Again, the Mormons do as you do…depending on the teachings of men, teachings that are not in the Bible, teachings that go against the Word of God.
    Jesus’ blood washes away our sins. Faith in Jesus blood does that. Water baptism is a pledge, a pledge to God that you will die to the sins of the world, and rise up to live new, live like Jesus.
    Water baptism is also a symbol of what Jesus does for us.
    It is like a wedding ceremony in a way.
    You are relying on the teachings of men. You feel safe hiding behind those who have gone before, as far back as you can go. You trust men to teach you, when you have the Bible yourself to check on what they teach and if it is true or not, but you are too afraid of punishment to trust God. You have not been perfected in love.
     
  19. Moriah

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    The Catholics and Lutherans are like the Mormons in that they depend on men outside the Bible to direct their lives.
    That is a warning the Apostle Paul gave, that there would be men from their number, who would distort the truth. Looks like you had better check out everything you are taught check it out with the scriptures.
    Think about it long and hard, do you want a religion's truth or do you want God’s Truth?

    The Church is the body of Christ. The Truth is still findable. Even though the false and violent Catholic Church, and for men like John Calvin who tried to suppress the truth, the truth can still be found.

    Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

    The Catholic gate is wide, and its road is broad.

    Matthew 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
     
  20. Walter

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    NAILED IT!! :applause:
     

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