Good Shamans, Atheists, and Mormons

Lindsey Wagstaffe 12/06/12
Category: Faith ; 50 comments

different religionsThe Mormons down the street are lovely people. If you met them and chatted with them in their home, as I have, you'd probably come away thinking that they were a genuine, sweet, close and caring family. The girls are modest, my sisters and I found that we shared some experiences in common through homeschooling, and they talk openly about the Bible. The other day, a couple of Mormon teens washed Mom's car for her, free of charge; she'd mentioned being so busy that she didn't even have time to clean it, and they jumped on the opportunity to serve.

When I went to China this summer to teach English, I lived among some of the most generous people I've ever met. My students, who are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, gave me so many presents that I had to purchase more luggage to take it all back home. The Chinese teachers at our middle school regularly blew me away with their thoughtfulness. They spared no expense or convenience to treat me with the greatest respect and kindness. They are atheists.

A few years ago, a man I know turned his marriage around from the brink of divorce with the help of New Age philosophy. I was a witness to the change that took place in him. I shared the gospel with him, and he hated the gospel.

A few months ago, I met a shaman while I was taking a walk in a park. He works for the county, helping to rehabilitate hundreds of violent, depressed, angry teens that were placed in juvenile detention centers. His success rate is astonishing, and as a result of his "spiritual mentorship" his kids go on to lead peaceful lives. He's been doing this for decades, and the county finds him indispensable. When I met him, he was looking for a rattlesnake; he catches snakes, keeps them in his house, and uses them for demonic "spiritual healing" practices.

Are you starting to feel uncomfortable?

I hope so. These events are not isolated—I could supply more examples easily.

People who do not know or love Jesus are leading moral lives. They are doing good, washing cars for free, and influencing other people to quit their destructive lifestyles. They are devoting themselves to promoting kindness and peace. It isn't a sham. These things are really happening. Change is happening.

First Peter 3:15 exhorts us, "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (emphasis added).

So let's talk about this.

  • What do we have, as disciples of Jesus, to offer the world that is different and separate and more?
  • If a shaman in your county asked you what makes Christianity unique, what would you tell him?
  • You volunteer to help people out in church, and you try to do kind things for your family and friends. What makes your actions distinctly Christ-like rather than merely moral?
  • If other people are getting results from pagan sources and atheist worldviews, why shouldn't we embrace tolerance? Why not say, "I have faith in Jesus, but I support whatever works for you personally"?
  • First Peter 3:15 seems to imply that people ask about the "hope that is in us." Can the moral unbelievers in your life see that you have a hope they do not have? If so, what is the hope that they see?

We're going to return to the four cases I mentioned above in a later post, so stay tuned. I look forward to hearing your brainstorming as we hash this out together in the comments!

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Elaine
    Re
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7:46 am
    This is just what I've been thinking about and our family has been talking about lately!
    Those are hard questions to ask. We've noticed that Mormens are a lot like Christians too.
    The other day I did think of something that I think is in no other religion. Our God gave us something, his son's life. Our God sacrificed for us instead of demanding almost impossible things from us. We still have the responsibility and duty to accept that gift and then with the help of God start walking in his ways, but it's not like we're constantly afraid he'll plague us. He forgives us through the blood of his son. Our God actually came down to earth and lived like us, serveing people. He did not demand a castle to live in, he didn't even have a house! (Matthew 8:20) He gave everything so that we could live with him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) He took away the sin gap between us and God. In other religions they seem to be aways trying to please their god, aways in fear of their god who totally lords over them. Other "gods" are depicted as a easily angered strict "being" if you know what I mean. Our God is slow to anger and abounding in love. (Exodus 34:6)
    As for people asking about my "hope" people ask me a lot about "Why I'm different". They'll say stuff like "You are so patient with your siblings, how do you do that?" and if I have the courage I can point to God because without him I would not have the ability to be this patient!!! Or they'll ask something about the way I dress. Anyway they notice I'm set apart from the world.
    I'm looking forward to the next posts
    Christina
    One Main Difference
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am
    One big difference that seperates us is we have a God and salvation, we get to live eternal lives, and we have the love a man that died to know us!

    Christians need to get out and share the Word to everyone! We have to offer true satisfaction, eternal love, eternal life.

    Christianity is unique because it is different from other religions. Jesus died and rose so that we could get saved and have eternal life, eternal joy, and eternal love!

    Christians when they do stuff have God. They are not just doin it because they want to, but because they have a real love and carin heart in them. They do what they do to serve God and serve others.

    We shouldn't support whatever because it is wrong and immoral, their father is the father of lies. If we do not share the Gospel and they never accept Jesus, then they go to Hell. We should do it because we care and because the Bible tells us to share the Word.

    People, even if they've met me for the first time, notice there is somethin different. I take that opportunity and use it for God. I have true satisfaction and joy because i have God, i have eternal life, and the most perfect love. I have a reason to be happy, and the light that i have on the inside is God, and it is shining through!
    RachelAllison
    You guys are awesome!
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Reading through this reminded me of just why I love this ministry. You guys tackle the stuff that everyone else ignores and you aren't afraid to go deep. Just wanted to say a quck thank you to all y'all for that. Looking forward to the continuation of this post! :)
    AbbyS
    Tolerance.
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:10 am
    This post is so awesome because it's something that I think about a lot. Very, very relevant. Sometimes we slip into this accepting, almost apathetic way of thinking about other religions/practices, and put a cover on it and call it love. Yes, we do have to love those who don't know Christ (considering HE loved US when we were still in our sin!) but that does not entail us to not share the hard-hitting gospel to them, or accept that their beliefs are "true also." Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me." [John 14:6] Except through Me!! Read that again.

    Mormons, atheists, buddhists, catholics, Muslims, Hindus those who believe in science and anyone else for that matter, may be the sweetest, most generous and thoughtful people. True. BUT, unless their trust in placed in Christ ALONE, (not in good deeds, Mary, Joseph Smith, Allah, idols, science, etc) and they have repented and turned away from their sin, they are wrong. There is absolutely no other way except Jesus Christ. Anything, and I mean anything, else that contradicts that is wrong. And that rubs people the wrong way, I know, but I'd take rubbing people the wrong way over the thought of them spending eternity in Hell, any day.
    My church is in a Muslim + Hindu shopping area, and we have made friends with the Hindus next door. They are sooo nice, and they always let their kids come over. The kids even come to our Bible studies! We love them, but we can't forget that a life without knowing Jesus as Lord is one that is lost and in vain. We can't just say that their gentle demeanor is going to cut it.

    The actions we carry out, the words we say, the decisions we make, all reflect our relationship with Christ: an overflow of the love we have experienced. The difference here is that unlike being "moral," we as believers understand what it cost Jesus, and we spend our lives loving Him back because of what He did for us. That affects WHY we help ppl out, or WHY we show love & compassion to others. This is opposite of doing good things or being a great person because you think you have to work your way up to Heaven, or because you just want to live the best life that you can on earth.

    Thanks for posting this!
    Ania
    Re:
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:19 am
    Thank you so much! Exactly what I needed! God bless you, Lindsay!
    Love, Ania.
    C.Jazzy101
    Christians and a Muslim Teacher?
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 11:48 am
    I do have a question, I am taking a Intro to Sociology class, and my professor told me: Doesn't Muslims and Christians persecute other. I was stunned by the question and didn't know what to say at that moment.

    Then I thought, wait a minute as a Born Again believer, no, Christians should not mistreat muslims, we are to show them the love of God and JESUS sent us out to reach out to the nations. We are the ones to be persecuted, not the other way around. And then, I was also wondering, what do you say to a Muslim professor who continually picks on you in class because he knows you are the only Born-Again Believer?

    Thank-you!
    I'm trying to respect his beliefs. GREAT POST! LOVED THIS ONE!
    Rachel
    ???
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm
    *hand/face* Hi. Mormon is a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Mormon church doesn't *just* teach modesty and service. It loudly proclaims Christ's divinity as our Saviour and Redeemer. Joseph Smith isn't worshipped in any way, any more than a Protestant worships Moses, Abraham or Noah (which is to say, not at all, but he considers his message from God and worships God). Mormons aren't just "like" Christians, they ARE Christians. They more closely model the same organization that existed in the primitive church under Jesus Christ than any other organization currently on the planet. What makes a Christian? Is it my personal acceptance of Jesus in my heart and the Redeemer of my sins and my only way, truth, and life? Or is it YOUR pastor, who watched a movie or read a pamphlet who decides that for me and gets to label me something other than Christian? My heart is racing a mile a minute here, but I want to bear my testimony that I AM a Mormon and I KNOW that my Redeemer Jesus Christ the Son of God died to atone for my sins. I know that He lives and loves me. I have been taught all my life that morality is not enough, and we must give our whole selves to be one with Christ. I follow this blog because it aligns and compliments what I learn at my Mormon Church- not despite it. I also believe we have a prophet today and that the priesthood bestowed upon Christ's apostles anciently has been restored, and that the Temple is a holy place. You don't have to agree with me there, but I testify that all the things that separate us from other Christians are a greater witness of Christ's divinity, mortal life and love for all mankind, and not a departure from it.
    Mallery
    Tolerance
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm
    This topic & follow-up questions need to be answered & discussed with discernment and prayer. No matter how good your intentions are every word needs to be carefully considered least it may offend. Mother Teresa said, "If you judge people, you have not time to love them." I feel this topic borders on passing judgement which I believe its God and God alone's job.
    One note I want to make clear to, AbbyS, is that Catholics were the first Christians. Not to get into too much history but until the year 1054 Catholics were the only Christians. History shows how they suffered & died to spread the word of Jesus Christ so that all Christians today can live to glorify his name.
    God Bless you all!
    Tabby
    Re:
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm
    This has been on my mind lately! Thanks for the post and I'll be sure to stay tuned.
    Abigail
    Mormons?
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm
    Like Rachel, I would also like to know why Mormons aren't considered Christians. This is a great post that really digs deep! :) Still, I have Mormon friends who have talked about their faith in Christ and I'd love to know what you have to say.
    Ellie
    ?
    on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm
    I don't understand why Mormons read the book of Mormon?? It's not the Bible, so why do they use it with or instead of the Bible?
    Laura
    Re: C.Jazzy101
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 9:48 am
    Love your professor and treat them the way you would want to be treated. And pray for your professor too. (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:31).

    I'll be praying for you, because it can be rather difficult to love those who mistreat you. But with God, nothing is impossible! (John 15:5; Luke 18:27).
    Christina
    Mormon Beliefs
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am
    They believe that Jesus has not come yet, i had a discussion with some Mormons before.
    Question for RACHAEL
    Mormons
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 10:56 am
    Do Mormons actually believe that not only JESUS is GOD's son; but He is actually GOD.
    Mafe
    JWS
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 11:52 am
    Thanks for the post, i've been trying to witness to a Jehovah's witness and its hard because she is very moral...looking foward to what you have to say next.:D
    Christina
    Book of Mormon
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    Originally the Book of Mormon was a fictional story, but then they turned it into a religion. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit is all one. God split himself into three, to make the Son so He could come to Earth to save us. Jesus is God, just He came down in human form.
    Elaine
    ?4 Rachel
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    My understanding about what the Mormen's believe was that they believe Jesus was not always a part of the God head. He now is but he used to be a man. In that case, according to what I've been taught that would be one of the reasons they would be considered non-Christians. Also, I thought Mormens believed that if men did enough good deeds they could become like God the Son when they died. That would be another problem, because the Bible says "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23) Christ had to redeem so that we could have a relationship with God. Not so that we could become like him. Jesus Christ did not live a sinful life and then do more and more good deeds therefore now he's being rewarded for it. If Christ was like us who redeemed him? And if Christ needed no redemption, then why do we need it?
    Also, I understand that they say that the Bible has mistakes in it. That it was written by man and apparently not inspired by God, (because if it was inspired by God there would be no mistakes in it because God is perfect. That's why he's God). That is why they have a book of Mormen. This would violate the doctrin of the sufficientcy of scripeture. "All scripture is GOD-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16
    I don't mean to be judgemental I just want to figure it out becaus I have friends who are mormen.
    Grace
    A few thoughts...
    on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm
    This is in particular response to what Mafe said: "I've been trying to witness to a Jehovah's witness and its hard because she is very moral". To me, this is just the point. Christians aren't "moral" or "good" people. They are people who realize how immoral and bad they truly are and how greatly they need a Saviour. Someone who truly thinks himself/herself to be a "good" person is most certainly not a Christian. I can say that I myself am thoroughly wicked, but Christ has seen fit to save me and shine His light through me. Why, I do not know, but I am eternally grateful.

    Grace
    Blue
    Re:
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 1:40 am
    I once met a Catholic woman who believes she won her battle against cancer because she prayed to a certain saint who healed her. Now I have nothing against Carholics, and I believe anyone, no matter what denomination, is saved if they believe in Jesua as the way to eternal life. I just don't understand why this woman thinks someone who is dead now can help her.. But what I'm even more confused about is why God would allow her to believe that a saint saved her? Why does He allow that? And even more from those who find peace and love in New Age philosophy.. Why does God allow these people's lives to turn around for the better if they're going to believe its bc of New Age silliness? I just never understood that. Some things I guess we'll never know on this side of our lives.
    Courtney P
    What sets us apart
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 3:51 am
    (I agree with AbbyS ! You go sister!)
    I just spent some time reading in Titus, and I want to share this with you all, in regards to the talk of morality and good deeds in relation to Christianity:
    "3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone." v.3-8

    There is alot of "meat" in here, but I want to say that Christians are not working for their salvation and are not merely trying to be "good" people. It's clear here that the Apostle Paul recognizes that we all are sinful and, for lack of better words, messed up! But because of the grace and mercy extended to us, as demonstrated by the death (and resurrection!!!!) of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to believers, we now have been given everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4) and has enabled to be able to do good works ( 2 Corinthians 9:8). This is a result of trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior, and bringing glory and honor to Him. We do the things we do because of the service and selflessness of our Savior! We no longer live for ourselves, but we live for Him who died for us (2 Corinthians 5:15).

    That's what sets us apart! I'm glad to be in the family of God! Amen
    anonymous
    jehovah's witnesses and seventh-day adventists
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 10:43 am
    Hello, does anyone know the major difference in what seventh-day adventists believe and if they are Christians? I have seen some differences and it makes me question some of their practices but I know of some "good people" who are seventh-day adventists and I some things I actually agree with, but doing my own research on the history of their founders/foundation makes me wonder if what they believe in now, is based off of how they got their beginning. Some of their beliefs are very open like going to church on Saturday, diet, etc. but others are very undisclosed. Just wanted to hear you all's thoughts.
    Em
    @Blue
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 11:15 am
    I just wanted to mention to you that there is a verse in the Bible that says that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. See 2Corinthians 11:14. Just because something looks right and good doesn't mean it is. Just thought I'd point that out. My dad was just telling me that the other day.
    @Laura and Thank-you!
    Thank-you Laura-What Happened
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    Thank-you Laura!

    I truly appreciate it!
    For the first time, I had enough courage to go up to my professor after class and he claimed that all pastors said who to vote for in the last election. I didn't like that. I said very kindly in front of the whole class I said: "Professor, I go to this church, and my pastor did not tell me to go to vote for this person." Then he responded: "I have never heard that before."

    Afterwards, I felt like God wanted me to give him the name of the church and also my pastor's name and website. So, I took up the courage and gave him the information! He then said: "I'll look at it!"
    I was so surprised, and happy, and I don't know if he'll look it up!

    But I felt like God was telling me, there are some that plant the seed. Some who sow, and then those who harvest. Is that the scripture verse? I was just excited!

    Thank-you!
    I was mistreated by some people in my high-school because of what my name means. And that's another story!

    Thank-you Laura!
    Paulina
    Re:
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm
    In all the years I've been coming here (this is one of my all time favorite blogs) I've never feel so uneasy, I don't know why.
    I think the intention of the post was to identify what as Christians make us different from those who are not. I'm 100% sure that IS the intention of the post, and yet I feel like it does put down others who are not Christian, with the quotation marks in "Good", and mentioning Mormons as not Christians (though some may debate this, they call themselves Christians, so I guess is a touchy subject to mention).
    I agree with the intention of the post, I myself have thought about it, and I think all the questions at the end are very good, I just wish the examples were a little different, I mean, at the end a lot of comments are about who is/is not a Christian. The 'war' between all of us who believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the inerrancy of the gospel, and that without the grace of God we can't be saved, needs to end. We must respect our differences and embrace our similarities, Jesus needs to be our strength as Christians.
    Em.C
    Anonymous
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    Hey,
    I am not a Seventh-Day-Adventist, but my school is and some of my closest friends are. Yes, they are Christians. They are very big on Sabbath- the seventh day;Saturday, eating healthy, the second-coming, conditional immortality, and the unconscious state of the dead. These are some of the main things that I know.
    I hope this helps you :)
    rachel
    Answering some questions posed to me
    on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    I'm honored that you would ask me these questions and give me this opportunity to explain them to the best of my ability. I will try to be brief. First-no we don't believe Christ was a man who earned divinity. He has been God from the creation of this world.
    Ellie- we read the Book of Mormon because we believe it is an account from God to ancient prophets. As a Christian, I can't figure out why everybody doesn't read it.
    Christina- If you read the history of the transcribing of the Book of Mormon, you would know it was proclaimed as truth far before its publication. You have been misinformed that it was ever considered fiction by those people who gave up wealth, property, livelihood, and even life (in the case of Joseph Smith's infant son who died of exposure after the angry mob tore Joseph from his home) to get it published.
    Also, Mormon scripture phrases God, Jesus and the holy ghost as one, but yes, the beliefs do differ. Polytheism dominates ancient and modern non-Christian religions. Polytheism says "this god does this, that god does that". Language had to be designed that explained how Christianity could have three Godhead members, but was in no way Polytheistic. They are one, but not singular. They are united- but they are united because Christ chose in his perfect righteousness to unite with his Father. God the Father's sacrifice for our sins is perfect, not because he gave a mortal piece of himself, but because he truly gave us his only begotten son- something I imagine was much more difficult.
    Elaine- I agree, if we believed in salvation based on works, we wouldn't be Christian. Thankfully, we firmly believe that "all men fall short" as the Bible and Book of Mormon both preach. Also Elaine- we don't "have the Book of Mormon because the Bible has mistakes in it". Everything filtered through man is fallible. That's why the Bible has so many versions of it. I REALLY DO believe the people who sought to protect it were inspired by God, but pretending there are no inconsistencies or alternate translations isn't helpful to understanding the truth. The Book of Mormon is also vunerable to these, as it too was anciently abridged and the modern translating had edits (just as the Bible does). I love the Bible and believe it to be the word of God, and would consider it rank wickedness if any man tried to add to it. But God, by giving us one scripture, did not render himself mute. Scripture is sufficient, as you say, and I believe with every fibre of my being, that God spoke to more prophets than just the ones in Israel. Jesus said "I have sheep that are not of this fold". The record of those followers is the Book of Mormon. So, yes, I will study ALL the words my God has given this earth. I think I abandoned brief a long time ago, I apologize. Hope I have answered some questions and been helpful. God bless you.
    anonymous
    Re:
    on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 6:58 am
    Thank you! @Em.C
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Rachel...
    on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm
    We appreciate your interest in our blog. Thank you for taking time to respond. The reality is Christians and Mormons have a different perspective on Jesus. The Christian understanding of Mormonism has been greatly influenced by the history and writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Many of your answers conflict with the dogma, practice and doctrine of Mormon teachings. We want to leave settling those differences between you and your church. We have dealt with our faith and its teachings about Jesus and the Christian life a number of times and don't feel it would be helpful for us to repeat those in a debate here. May God guide you and lead you. We pray for His grace in your life.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @anonymous...
    on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm
    We believe it is important for you to know the differences. Along with other venues of study please check out www.gotquestions.org for trustworthy insights.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Mallery...
    on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm
    There are some discrepancies between our understanding of church history and what you have stated.

    Acts 11:26 says they were "first called Christians at Antioch." Christians in the Book of Acts were also referred to as "people of The Way." (Acts 24:14, 22) But no where in Scripture are Christians referred to as Catholics, nor the church referred to as the Catholic Church.
    Rachel
    @Sarah with the LYWB team
    on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 12:03 am
    Thank you for your prayers for me. This will be the last you hear from me on the subject. I love this blog and I love that I can bear my testimony in the comments. It feels a little strange to be told I'm at odds with what my church teaches by someone who wasn't taught by my church. Actually, the accusation never fails to astonish me. Thank you for not trying to embroil me in an apologistic discussion, because I heartily agree that they are of little use. I ask only that you pray. I believe you have been misinformed. Please just be open to the possibility that it is you, not me, that has been misinformed on the teachings of my doctrine, as I, not you, have undergone the actual teaching. I mean no disrespect, and I would rejoice if you chose not to take my word for it, and sought these truths for yourself. Not through spin doctors or agenda driven third parties, but simply praying and setting far aside your prejudices and being responsive to the truth God sends you on the subject. That is my prayer for you. I, in turn, will continue to enjoy this blog and bask in the Christ-centered community that it is. Because we agree on far more than we disagree (by my count, we only disagree on what we agree on, LOL) and I want to feel welcome here, and not like my religion, or my conformity to that religion, is under scrutiny.
    Allie
    Lovelovelove this!
    on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    I love how you guys delve into the hard questions. It's true: people can be very moral without being Christian. So, in reality, what sets us apart? I feel like we as Christians usually dodge these hard questions, so I'm looking forward to reading these posts.
    Mallery
    @Sarah with the LYWB team
    on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    My original comment was in response to a comment that was intolerant of the Catholic faith. The topic is meant to help others be more tolerant. I love the way that Rachel responded to you Sarah. With all due respect I hope that I can be half as tolerant as she was in my response.

    If LYWB really wants to help by offering a source for answers please reconsider your sources. There are many lies being written as "answers" at the website "got questions". Simple searches at wikipedia, www.religionfacts.com, or www.history-world.org to name a few will provide actual facts.

    At religion facts it states: "For the first thousand years of Christianity there was no "Roman Catholicism" as we know it today, simply because there was no Eastern Orthodoxy or Protestantism to distinguish it. There was only the "one, holy, catholic church" affirmed by the early creeds, which was the body of Christian believers all over the world, united by common traditions, beliefs, church structure and worship (catholic simply means "universal"). Thus, throughout the Middle Ages, if you were a Christian, you belonged to the Catholic Church. Any Christianity other than the Catholic Church was a heresy, not a denomination."

    I hope this helps with the original discrepancy that we had in understanding church history. Many men & women fought for Christianity in its conception. I would suggest looking at the history of Irenaeus and Damasus the First using Wikipedia if you want more facts. They fought against heresies of their time. I only suggest these men because they made great contributions to preserving Christianity and the writings of the New Testament that you quoted for your source of factual history.

    The original topic requires tolerance,yes, but more importantly it requires an understanding of history and an understanding of the bible based on facts. Please be cautious with your teachings here because I agree with Rachel when she stated that "we agree on far more than we disagree." It would be a shame if Christians of varying faiths didn't feel comfortable here because facts were misrepresented.

    God Bless you all!
    Jazz A
    Seventh Day Adventists
    on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm
    I just read the "got questions" article on what/who Seventh Day Adventists are...

    Ummm. What??? As a Seventh Day Adventist (who's Dad is a Pastor) I would have to disclaim a lot of content of the information presented.

    I believe that Jesus Christ is my Saviour and that He died and rose again for me. I believe that the Bible is 100% Gods word. As far as I've experienced, I worship in the same way my Anglican, Presbyterian, Uniting Church, Baptist and Church of Christ Christian friends worship - ONLY with the exception of the day I worship which is Saturday.

    None of the churches workings are "exclusive" or "disclosed" from the world. Like what???

    Yes we also encourage healthy lifestyle - do your research and you'll see that devout Adventists are among the longest living people in the world.

    I'm sorry this post is long but I just wanted to point out that Adventism is NOT an evil sect - or an exclusive weird haven for psychopathic cult leaders to breed. NU-UH. That'd be like saying all Baptists are evil/bad and should be avoided just because the Westboro Baptist Church has the word "baptist" in it and therefore all Baptists are homophobes. Totally NOT true.

    Okay I shall stop rambling on now. Lol.

    Much love,

    Jazz
    Lindy
    anonymous and Seventh day adventists
    on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm
    Hey, I'm a Seventh Day Adventist and a long time reader and fan of this blog. And I'd just like to say, I agree with Jazz A about that article, that site has not done their research. However, i would like to know what you mean Anonymous, if you wouldn't mind clarifying your questions I would be happy to answer you.

    P.S. you can find plenty of accurate information about Seventh Day Adventists on Wikipedia, here's a link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church
    Carrie, with the LYWB team
    @ Blue
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 11:29 am
    God has given mankind a free-will, Blue. That means each of us must choose where we will place our faith and hope. Romans 1:19 tells us that God has made Himself known to all men, but some choose to put their faith in a false god.

    “That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

    Our responsibility as followers of Christ is to faithfully tell the good news of Jesus life, death and resurrection to all who will listen. To be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in us. To graciously give the truth of God’s Word to those who have been deceived by Satan's lies. And to pray that God will open their eyes and grant them a heart of repentance so they might come to the Savior."
    Mallery
    Re:@ Blue and Carrie, with the LYWB team
    on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm
    God is working here in me and in you. God indeed gives us free will. In an earlier response I chose to defend the Catholic view of Mary with history because with a little research you can find that the early Christians who were persecuted by the Romans put their trust in the Mother of God as well as God Himself. Why shouldn’t we today? It was through Scripture (see Luke 1:28 and 42) that these early Christians created the prayer “Hail Mary”. Is it a sin to recite Scripture? The part that isn’t directly from Scripture only asks for Mary to pray for us as sinners. Is that a sin?

    I know that the Catholic Church during its 2000 plus years of history has answered questions of non-Catholics. With a little research you can find real answers not just bible verses that serve a unique purpose to persuade. Anyone who believes that Catholics worship Mary or they think of her in the same way that they regard God or that a person believes that a Saint saved their life without God is not educated on the subject.

    We read in the bible that it was through the Angel Gabriel that God began his conversation with Mary, "Hail Mary, full of grace."  Likewise, with us it is God who begins the conversation and, as with Mary, often in unexpected ways.

    One last thought about Mary. Please allow me to paraphrasing St. Bernard of Clairvaux.  Is it better to honor Mary too much or too little?  If one is a sin - which would be more forgivable in the eyes of God?  St. Bernard thought it better to be guilty of honoring her too much as Christ will forgive a person for honoring His Mother (if it were indeed a sin which it is not).

    God Bless you all!
    anonymous
    @Lindy
    on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 9:42 am
    Hi Lindy,

    What I am trying to figure out is if the doctrinal beliefs of Ellen G. White and Mr. Miller are still practiced in Seventh-Day Adventism today. I've done some research on their philosophies, and I know their beliefs were unbiblical so I guess what i'm trying to figure out is if Adventists go strickly by the Bible, or if Ellen G. White's and Miller's beliefs are still a main focus in the Adventist church.
    Lindy
    @anonymous
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm
    The short answer is both. Because we do go strictly by the Bible. First and foremost above everything, including millers belief's and Ellen G. Whites writings and beliefs, is the bible. However certain beliefs of Ellen Whites are a big part of our church, and most of, if not all, of those are biblical (such as the Sabbath day, the state of the dead, Diet, etc). there are a lot that are not biblical (such as not wearing jewelery, not dancing, not wearing long dresses, etc. which are meant to separate us from the world, because like this post says it's pretty hard to tell who's christian and who's not.) and those came straight from God either through her visions, or his angel who stood beside her, telling her what to write. So yes, their beliefs are still practiced today. I hope this answers your questions.
    Carrie, with the LYWB team
    @Mallery
    on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm
    The Word of God alone is our final authority. In Jesus life, death and resurrection alone is found our hope of salvation. The mother of Jesus is indeed to be honored along with all whose faith is placed in Jesus as Savior.
    Jennifer
    to Mallery
    on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm
    You GO GIRL!!! Way to defend our beautiful faith. :)
    Clarissa
    My Personal Thoughts
    on Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm
    To answer question number one, I would say that as Christians, our faith and the good news of Jesus is something more, different, and separate to the world. It is more because if people choose to believe in Jesus and invite Him into their lives and repent and turn away from their sins and believe that He is the ONLY way to their salvation, than that is more than atheists or non-Christians have. They do not have the promise that one day, when they die, they will see Jesus face to face and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. It is different because the rest of the world apart from Christians is well, worldly. Non-Christians have worldly opinions, desires, beliefs, values, and morals. Christians are different because when we are truly following God, we have Godly opinions, desires, beliefs, values and morals. Our life in all areas should demonstrate Jesus to the people around us, even we don't know the people who are around us well. Lastly, as disciples of Jesus, we are separate from the rest of the world because, as I said before, we have different opinions, morals, desires, beliefs, and values from the rest of the world. For example, the secular world thinks that homosexual relationships or abortions are okay; as Christians, however, we know that those things are not of God because the Bible tells us so.
    If a Shaman in my county asked me what makes Christianity unique, I would tell him that it's unique because it is the only religion whose book, in this case the Bible, is 100% true and accurate. Christianity is also unique because our God is real, He is not built by human hands or a figment of someone else's imagination or anything like that. Also, when Christians die, we will be going to Heaven and spending eternity with God. Other religions think that when they die they will be spending eternity with their god, but they are sadly mistaken.
    When I volunteer at my church and attempt to nice things for my family and friends, it's Christ-like instead of moralistic because I'm doing it to bring glory to God instead of glory to myself. Of course, sometimes I am no better than Non-Christians, when I do kind things just for people to notice me or to feel good about myself. I also think that some Non-Christians do kind things because they feel it's important to give back to their community.
    The next question, the one about not embracing tolerance of other religions or beliefs, is really hard for me to answer. To be honest, I feel like as long as people respect my beliefs, I should do the same thing for them. On the other, more realistic hand, though, I know that when it comes to being tolerant of other's beliefs the correct response would be to say, "This is what I believe and I don't agree with your beliefs. Let me show you what God says about those beliefs...". However, even though I know that this is the correct response, I almost never end up reacting that way and I just tell them that as long as they respect my beliefs, I'll respect theirs.
    I honestly don't know if Non-Believers can see a hope in my life that they don't have in theirs because no one has ever talked to me about anything of that sort.
    Ankhesenbast
    A different opinion
    on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    Em hotep (in peace)!

    A lot of the comments here seem to be coming from different Christian denominations (I do consider Mormons, Catholics, etc. to be Christian).
    I think that it would be interesting for you guys to see it from a point of view you probably don't hear a lot from. I am Kemetic Orthodox (Kemet is the ancient Egyptian word for 'Egypt'). That is to say, I worship the gods and goddesses of their culture, including performing both ancient rites and modern rituals. I have developed a wonderful relationship with my gods and I find myself living a life full of hope, just like Christians do.
    (I'm sure you'll tell me it's not the same, but how can you know for sure?)
    But I know that what I believe is what I believe, and not everyone out there will have the same views. I believe tolerance is the best route in that case. If someone respects my beliefs, I'll respect theirs. I'm not trying to convert anyone, or convince them they're wrong and I'm right. To Kemetics, that upsets Ma'at, or the balance in the world. Everyone has their own beliefs, and that's fine with me.
    And don't get me wrong, just because I'm a type of pagan doesn't mean I worship Satan (as I don't believe that he exists, anyway) or sacrifice animals or mutilate myself for my gods. Blood does not need to be shed in my religion. I'm a pretty normal person, I do normal people things.

    Everyone has the potential to be good. Religion does not make that distinction for you. Overall, I feel that this post was attacking non-Christians and saying that they shouldn't be able to live moral lives, which is obviously not the case.

    I don't mean this to be rude, but I think that Christians have a bad habit of being overly judgmental. "Do as thou willst, but harm ye none." Everyone is different, and we all need to make sure we're tolerant of those differences.

    Senebty (health)!
    --Ankhesenbast (her life is of Bast)
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Ankhesenbast...
    on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    It is our deep desire that you would come to know Jesus as your personal Savior and Jehovah God as the One,True and Living God. As Christians we do believe in the words of Jesus, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, except through Me." (John 14:6) AbbyS said it so well above. May the great grace of God be upon you.
    Ankhesenbast
    @Sarah
    on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm
    Thank you, but I'd rather not. I've been there before, and it's definitely not for me. Trust me, I've read that verse plenty of times.

    It stopped having any meaning to me personally years ago.
    But thank you.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Ankhesenbast...
    on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm
    I'm sorry to hear you were disillusioned in some way, but thank you for responding graciously to my post. If we can ever be of help to you feel free to contact us at info@reviveouehearts.com. Blessings.
    Ankhesenbast
    @Sarah
    on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    I would love to contact you so we can talk. I love finding new opinions and discussing these matters with people who are willing to do so in a civilised manner! I look forward to emailing you.
    Heather
    Mormons are Christian!
    on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm
    I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). We believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God and that He is also a god himself. We believe the Bible to be the word if God, as far as it is translated correctly. We study it in conjunction with the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
    In every sect, race and people, you will find those that are good and those who are not. The only perfect human to ever walk the earth was Jesus Christ. He is the Great I am, Comfortor, the Mighty God, and the Orince of Peace. He is the Savior if the world and atoned for the sins of the world.
    I have known many people of different faiths that are very good. We should always be careful when looking at the "mote" in our neighbor's eye, for often the bigger sin, or "beam," is in our own. (Matt. 7: 2-3. King James Version of Bible referenced). Only God knows where a person is on their walk of salvation.
    The Bible teaches, "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16). If you ever want the official doctrine if the LDS (Mormon) church, go to www.mormon.org . It gives a full account of our church. Plus it will give you the opportunity to see for yourself whether or not we are Christian. I testify that we are!
    bookworm
    Heather
    on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm
    You said that Jesus is "a god". Not the God? (John 1:1-5; 14; 10:30)
    Also, if God preserved The Book of Mormon why don't you think he preserved the Holy Bible in the same way?
    Compare the teachings of the Book of Mormon to the Bible. You'll find that it's quite different.
    Here are some questions to ask yourself: Is your emphasis on Joseph Smith being a true prophet or salvation through Jesus Christ?

    Do you find yourself good enough by your works for salvation?

    Is your church going to save you or is the blood of Jesus?

    Do you depend on The Holy Spirit to teach you or your Prophet?
    zhel
    Born Again
    on Monday, August 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm
    I am a christian and i've read all of the comments here. i admit that i don't agree with others' beliefs. i don't think that mormons and seventh day adventist have the same beliefs as christians. and by the way i have a question to catholics, mormons and seventh day adventists... do you believe in this scripture: Mt 18:3-EXCEPT YOU'LL BE CONVERTED, AND BE BORN AGAIN, YE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
    Some incorrectly think "to be converted" means to convert from (not believing in Jesus) to (believing in Jesus). Many believe in Jesus in their thoughts or mind, but they do not trust in Him or believe and trust in all the Bible. He is in their head but not in their heart. They know "of Him" but they do not personally "know Him." They are at best only lukewarm. They have little or no true commitment to Jesus.
    Some may think it is being converted from something like Hinduism to Christianity. WRONG. Being converted is putting off the old man and putting on the new man. Many people profess that they are Christians, but they have never been converted to the new man. Many will perish at the judgment, perhaps claiming these words, "I am a Christian."

    God bless us all. :)

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