A 'Spirit of Contention' - 11/16/2005

You seem to be well versed in mormon doctrine, so do you believe that God is a God of contention? You and I would both agree that he is not. he is a God of love, truth, joy, peace, knowledge, infinite mercy, comfort, and justice. Argument, no matter what kind, is a form of contention.

Do you not think that God would provide away for his children to have a way back to him? You and I would both agree that he would. There are so many churches today that one could spend a lifetime exploring the doctrine of each. So how then does one know which church to join? Which one is the way back? That has been the conflict of the last three centuries. Countries have gone to war, men have given their lives, and individuals have spent years searching. would you not agree that the only way is to ask God himself? I have done so, and through the power of the spirit of God I have received a personal testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. he did come to this earth, suffered for our sins, and was crucified so that we might live again. He arose three days later, walked among all the people of the earth, even those in the americas. He ascended into heaven, and will come again. I know that his church has been restored upon the earth today, and I have found it! His Church is here again, and oh the Joy that it brings! I have never felt such joy in all my life, and I want to share it with every person that I see! You have done your best to prove mormon doctrine wrong, but have you presented any doctrine of your own? I believe christians should build on eachother's truths, how have you contributed? I have the fulness of the gospel, and I know that if you will soften your heart, and truly search for truth, that you can find it. It exists. Are you searching for it? because I have found it. It says in the bible that you can tell a false prophet by their fruits. The book of mormon is such a fruit. Have you truly considered it? I know that it is true, because I have felt the spirit of God testify so. yes, false churches grow quickly, but they eventually fall. I solemnly testify to yout that the church of Jesus Christ will never stop growing, until it fills the whole earth. I KNOW IT IS TRUE!!





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi.  Thanks for writing. I'm very familiar with the "spirit of contention" argument by Mormons.  It espouses, as your email said, that any form of argument is contentious and wrong.  However, this argument fails on two points.  First, it is self-defeating.  For example, you have expressed your disagreement with our views and our approach.  This is a form of argument, and is therefore contentious.  You can't express disagreement with us without using a form of argument which, by your reasoning, is wrong to do.  This is what makes the argument self-defeating.
 
Second, this view is unbiblical.  You asked if I believe that God is a God of contention.  I submit that God can indeed be contentious.  The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was pretty contentious.  The destruction of the earth by flood was pretty contentious.  If you think about it, the fact that God judges us all and sends some of us to destruction because we followed the "broad road" (Matthew 7:13) is contentious.  Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers at the temple.  You have to agree that was pretty contentious.  In Matthew 23, Jesus referred to the Pharisees as "hypocrites", "blind guides", "fools", "serpents", "vipers", and "whited sepulchers."  That's pretty contentious language, is it not?  The Apostles engages in similarly contentious language with others and with each other.  We named our ministry for instructions we are given in the Bible, "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord" (Jude 3,4).  Now there is a biblical instruction to avoid foolish and stupid arguments (2 Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:9), but contending for the faith is not a foolish argument.  It is taught explicitly in word and deed throughout the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles.  We strive to treat people with respect and love, but we do not hide the truth of the gospel or how certain religious beliefs are in opposition to the truth of the gospel. 
 
Many prominent Mormons have been very contentious.  Take a look at the following quotes, and see if they don't sound contentious:
  • Brigham Young--"When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was groveling in darkness." (Journal of Discourses 5:73)
  • Brigham Young--"With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world."  (Journal of Discourses 8:99)
  • Brigham Young--"What!  Are Christians ignorant?  Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast."  (Journal of Discourses 6:25)
  • Orson Pratt (Mormon Apostle)--"..all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives baptism of the Lord's supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people" (The Seer, pg 255)
  • Heber C. Kimball (First Counselor to Brigham Young)--"Christians - those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about - some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth..." (Journal of Discourses 5:39)
I think you'll agree that the quotes above are very contentious.  More importantly though, you can see that the "spirit of contention" argument fails biblically.  The spirit of contention admonition was thrust upon the LDS faithful to keep them from questioning the LDS prophet and the rest of the brethren in the LDS hierarchy. 
 
You asked the following, "There are so many churches today that one could spend a lifetime exploring the doctrine of each. So how then does one know which church to join? Which one is the way back?"  Actually, you're mistaken.  Among Christian Churches, there are not nearly as many doctrinal differences as there are different names on the buildings.  Yes, there are various Christian denominations, and many non-denomination Christian Churches.  Some have minor doctrinal differences, but Christians understand that doctrinal differences that do not diminish the key doctrines of the gospel need not be a source of division.  The bulk of Christian denominations stand united under the banner of the key doctrines of salvation and the nature of God.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints denies many of the plain and precious truths of the Bible.  It is a heretical cult, and the Book of Mormon is a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).  You see, you have bought into unbiblical teachings because of a feeling.  Feelings can be deceptive, which is why God left us His Word.  In 2 Corinthians 11:14, we read that Satan can masquerade as an "angel of light".  Paul said that if the Apostles or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than that which had been preached, they should be eternally condemned (Galatians 1:6-9).  Mormonism and the Book of Mormon constitute another gospel - a false gospel.  DNA evidence, archaeology, and history have irrefutably revealed the Book of Mormon to be a work of fiction, not a fruit of truth.  The "testimony" you feel lacks the backing of God's Word.  I have a testimony myself.  It is a testimony of the true Jesus and His true gospel.  My testimony and yours can't both be true - they're mutually exclusive.  However, my testimony is supported by the Word of God.  You have a testimony of a religion that denies biblical truth.  You're in peril as long as you continue to believe the deception of Mormonism.  Fortunately, I've seen a mass movement lately.  Massive amounts of Mormons are being awakened to the deception of the LDS Church.  I have seen so many leave Mormonism to cling to the truth of the Bible.  I pray that you will join them someday soon.  I pray that you will study your Bible and test the doctrines of Mormonism against it.  God loves you and desires you to come to Him.  In the meantime, don't be surprised if He uses "contention" to reach out to you. 
 
In Christ,
 
Ben Rast
Contender Ministries