Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Response to the "17 Points of the True Church"

17 Points of the True Church of Christ:

1. Christ organized the Church (Eph 4:11-14)
2. The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23)
3. The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:19-20)
4. The true church must have the same organization as Christ's Church (Eph 4:11-14)
5. The true church must claim divine authority (Heb 5:4-10)
6. The true church must have no paid ministry (1 Cor 9:16-18; Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)
7. The true church must baptise by immersion (Matt 3:13-16)
8. The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
9. The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
10. The true church must teach that God and Jesus are seperate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)
11. The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:1-3)
12. The officers must be called by God (Heb 4:4; Ex 28:1; 40:13-16)
13. The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)
14. The true church must be a missionary church (Matt 28:19-20)
15. The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)
16. The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1Cor 15:16&29)
17. "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt 7:20)

And my response:

1. Joseph Smith organized the LDS church.
2. While many Christian churches do not bear Christ's name, many others do. Besides, there are numerous references in the Bible where the church is called the "Church of God."
3. This reference is clear that the body of true saints should be organzied with apostles and prophets. However, even a false church could use the Bible to structure themselves in a similar manner. Just because a church claims to have apostles and prophets does not make it a true church.
4. Points 3 and 4 are making the same argument. For my response to #4, please read #3 above.
5. Every Christian church on the planet claims divine authority.
6. This point is actually correct. It's too bad that the top level leaders of the LDS church ARE paid.
7. Again, the LDS church is not the only church that baptizes by immersion. Many others do as well. Does that mean they are true too? There is evidence that the Catholic church used to perform immersion.
8. Many Christian churches practice "laying on of hands".
9. What "divine healing" have you ever witnessed an LDS priesthood holder perform? Common colds and such don't count because they would have gotten better anyway. Show me the healing of a genetic disease and you'll have me convinced.
10. Many Christian churches teach that God and Jesus are separate individuals.
11. The reference to Luke 23:36-39 has absolutely nothing to do with God's body. The reference to Acts 1:9-11 is talking about the ascention of Jesus. He rose into heaven. He will descend from heaven. It's not talking about his body. It's talking about the manner in which he will re-appear. If Hebrews 1:1-3 is talking about God's body, I somehow missed it.
12. Preachers and ministers all over the world claim to be called by god.
13. Since the arguments in #5 and #13 are practically the same, please see my response to #5.
14. Lots of churches are missionary churches. Does that make them all true?
15. Acts 3:19-21 is not specifically talking about a restored church, but it appears to be talking about reversing the effects of the fall of Adam.
16. The reference in 1 Cor:15:16,29 is very vague. Paul does seem to be arguing for the case of baptisms for the dead. However, if baptisms for the dead was such an important detail, wouldn't there be more than one vague reference to it in the Bible? Wouldn't there be much more detail?
17. That's a poor argument. Many non-believers do much more good in this world than believers do. Judging the truth of a religion by the way it's members act is a very stupid thing to do. Even false churches produce good people and do good things.

Even if all 17 points did actually indicate that the LDS church is true, using fiction to prove more fiction is fruitless. Would you actually try to use a childrens book to prove that Humpty Dumpty was real? Just because Humpty Dumpty is in a book, it doesn't make him an actual entity.

Just because presents "show up" on Christmas morning, that doesn't mean that Santa Claus is real. Just because people do things in Jesus' name, it doesn't make Jesus real.

Not only that, but the Bible lists other characteristics as well that the true church should have. Some of them are listed in the previous post. Whoever put together this list of 17 was already a member and was looking only for points that already described the LDS church. If any of the points did not describe it, they left them out. So even if all the 17 points did indicate that the LDS church is true, it actually does not because the list is incomplete. It has been put together for the purpose of proving the LDS church true, not for a genuine search for the true church...

I rest my case.

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