In response to our teaching efforts by means of this electronic medium, we receive a tremendous amount of mail. Most of it is very encouraging. Devout people write to us stating how much they have learned, or have been helped, by reading from the more-than 1500 articles that we now have available. These notes warm our hearts.
Others are sharply critical. One gentleman, an atheist, writes in response to almost every article we publish. If there is such a thing as “screaming” in print, he does it. But at least he’s reading; and, who knows — he may even become a convert to the truth. There is always hope so long as one retains a measure of rationality.
Here is a sample of the sort of irrational criticism that we regularly receive:
“Stop putting your silly ideals over lives you know very little about. Shame on you and shut up. What would jesus [sic] think? Of course you’ll have to decide on which jesus [sic] to consider. There are four different versions of him, or five if you count that freak Paul.”
Such emotional tantrum-throwing is the result of being unable to calmly and logically deal with cogent argumentation. It reflects a certain despair of soul that drives some folks to our articles even though they despise truth.
But let me tell you about a letter I received recently from Sofia, Bulgaria. It was written by a man who has been a member of the Mormon Church for the past decade. He identifies himself as an “elder” in that movement — though “elder,” in “Latter-Day Saint” jargon, has an elasticity beyond recognition.
While he obviously is very dedicated to his beliefs, the gentleman was extremely upset with an article he had read from our web site. The piece is titled: Is the Mormon Church the Restored Church?.
Our irate friend began by telling me how profoundly his life had been changed for the better since joining the Mormon Church. One cannot but congratulate a person who, for the better, changes the moral quality of his life.
On the other hand, it is imperative to note that it is not uncommon for folks to alter the character of their lives — even under the sway of the most delusory religious systems. Converts to Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, or a variety of other equally misdirected ideologies, may boast of life-changing transformations. But moral renovation is not the sole test of truth. Sometimes a falsehood can produce the same emotional effect as the truth (cf. Gen. 37:31-35).
As his protest intensified, our Mormon critic accused me of spreading lies and slander against the “true Church.” He boasted that he could refute the indictments levied against the LDS Church. While he attempted no such effort in his correspondence, he vowed that he would — if I were disposed to dialogue with him.
The fact of the matter is, I did not, in any way, misrepresent the teaching of the Scriptures, nor did I misconstrue the doctrines that take their rise from the uninspired productions of Mormonism. I carefully documented each point that was made, and those who care to do so may check the facts for themselves.
But here is the interesting point upon which I want to focus for the moment. The gentleman stated that in my presentation I had relied on “human wisdom,” rather than “seeking revelations from God” concerning these matters.
His challenge, that I “seek a revelation from God,” amused me, so I replied to my foreign friend in the following way.
“We appreciate your response to our article — even though it expresses strong disagreement. But I must tell you, in all kindness, that there was nothing substantive in your emotional rejoinder. What if I told you that, by means of a revelation from God, I know Mormonism to be false?”
My LDS correspondent responded with blinding speed, charging: “I know that you haven’t received such a revelation.” He further suggested that if I so claimed, it would be a “lie.”
Now here is the puzzlement. Why encourage me to “seek a revelation,” and then, when I suggest that I might have access to one already, vehemently deny such — without even knowing the content? And then, to complicate matters, charge me with falsehood should I so claim! This posture reflects a disposition that is suspect in terms of its candor.
The fact of the matter is — I do have a revelation from God by which Mormonism (and other religious movements) can be measured for credibility. It is the Bible. This sacred volume furnishes me completely, unto every good work (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17). With the completion of the New Testament canon, “the faith” system had been “once for all” time delivered (Jude 3), and thus no supplementary documents were to be forthcoming (cf. J.H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 54).
By default, therefore, the so-called “revelations” of Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Jr., Ellen G. White, and Mary Baker Eddy are meaningless.
No person today can substantiate his or her assertion of having received revelations directly from God. Supernatural “signs” are required to authenticate such claims (Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:3-4), and modern claimants are bereft of such evidentiary signs.
For further study, see our article, What Does the Bible Say About Miracles?.