Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Refuting Mormon Teachings

QUESTION: How can these Mormon errors be refuted: (1) Only those who have been baptized will be saved, (2) Baptism for the dead as taught in I Cor. 15:29, (3)  Receiving  the Holy Spirit only through the imposition of hands, (4) Probation after death, I Pet. 3:18, 19, and 4:5, 6, (5) The pre-existence of souls?

ANSWER: (1) That baptism is saving is disproved by those texts which teach that we are saved by faith in Christ (John 3:16, 36; 6:40; 11:25, 26; Acts 16:31). In Mark 16:16 the damnation is not from lack of baptism, but because of unbelief. The penitent thief went to Paradise unbaptized. If baptism is saving, Paul would not have left his converts without this ordinance (I Cor. 1:14-17). Simon Magus was baptized by Peter, who told him shortly afterwards that "his heart was not right before God" and that he and his silver was going to perish (Acts 8:14-24) . (2) In I Cor. 15:29 baptized for the dead (plural) means not for a dead person, but for all the dead. The doctrine of resurrection was so fundamental that faith in it was professed by the candidate for baptism, so that he was baptized into the faith of the resurrection of the dead and thereby he became a sponsor for that tenet. This is the exegesis of Chrysostom. (3) The promise of the Comforter in John 14:16 is conditioned on faith, love and obedience. No mention is made of any human mediation. The Spirit crying Abba, Father, in the heart is the privilege of every son of God, though he may be a thousand miles from any apostolic hands. While Peter was still preaching to General Cornelius and his staff "the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word" (Acts 10:44). "Be ye filled with the Spirit" is a command which can be obeyed by every believer alone by himself without any imposition of hands. (4) We still believe that Wesley's note on I Pet. 3:18, 19 is correct: "Christ through the ministry of Noah preached to the spirits in prison, the unholy men before the flood, who were reserved by the justice of God as in a prison, till he executed sentence upon them all; and are now also reserved to the judgment of the great day. For another instance in this epistle of the activity of the Spirit of Christ before his incarnation he is, in Chapter 1:11, represented. as testifying in the prophets. "Preaching the Gospel to the dead" in 4:5, 6 means to those who in their several generations are now dead. (5) The Mormons say, "No existence is created; all beings are begotten. God himself, once a man, originated in the union of two elementary particles of matter, and that all men coming into being in the same way may become gods, the vastness of their dominions depending on the number of their children. Hence the importance of having a lot of wives to give their godhead a good start by raising an abundance of what President Roosevelt calls "the best crop."

Steele's Answers, pp. 231-233.