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Radio Free Mormon: 182: Born Again Mormons

Paul and Matt are former Mormons who have gone on to become Born Again Christians.  RFM talks with them about their journey, answers their questions, and poses some questions of his own.  A few of RFM’s questions get somewhat pointed, but Paul and Matt take it in stride and a good time is had by all!


55 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 182: Born Again Mormons”

  1. This is wonderful! While I am not a born again Christian, I do resonate with wanting the idealism, and finding the relentless negativity (e.g. on exmormon reddit) to be draining. Which has its place: we all go through a phase of needing to rage and vent. But I love that some people are trying to follow the dream.

    The best part, however, is the names. I am not surprises that Paul is born again, and I always suspected Matthew would be too. But Michael the Archangel? That came as a surprise. How fitting that he cannot be there in person: he was always a most mysterious figure. The real question of course is this: do we know if James (the brother of Jesus) was born again? Or does he keep the law of Moses? Any chance of finding some Exmormon Ebionites for a future episode?

    1. Great comments, Chris! I love it!

      I think James was probably an Ebionite who did follow the law of Moses.

      And his scripture was probably the Gospel of Matthew, since it appeals to people of that mindset.

      I don’t know about Ex-Mormon Ebionites, though.

      All the modern Ebionites I know are still in the LDS Church. ;^)

    1. It does make it a bit different when you talk about one specific person rather than just an entire class of people who didn’t get to hear the good news, doesn’t it?

      I hope you listened to the rest of the interview after you got the dog washed, though!

      1. Given the context, of Socrates in hell, maybe by “washing the dog” Phil means he is brushing up on his Diogenes, implying that he would return to the podcast armed with a devastating philosophical response?

        I imagine that Socrates in hell is exactly the kind of topic on which Diogenes would have something pithy to say.

          1. Radio Free Mormon

            Is this the same Diogenes who famously went through Athens with a lamp in the daytime looking for one honest dog?

        1. I was pretty sympathetic of these guys until the whole Socrates in hell thing. It seems that they are disavowing Mormonism only to keep the worst of it, being a judgmental douche.

  2. I wish everyone well who finds Biblical literalistic belief useful after losing their Book of Mormon literalistic belief. I cannot, however, keep the former after losing the latter.

    Many members of the LDS church have spiritual experiences, which they interpret to mean that their sacred texts (such as, the Book of Mormon and the Bible) are historical. As a result, their sacred texts become their idols, which they worship with a reverence that is second only to their idolatrous worship of LDS church leaders.

    Later, some of us discover that, despite the various authors in the Book of Mormon text claiming to be writing in the ancient past on metal plates, the Book of Mormon is not an ancient text. These persons face the reality that, regardless of how powerful their spiritual experiences were, their spiritual experiences were not reliable means for discerning truth. Their idols, including their sacred texts and church leaders, crumble to dust.

    Many of us also discover that many of the authors in the Bible claimed to be someone else, such as Paul or Isaiah, or claimed to be writing at a much earlier time than they did. Many of us discover that the four gospels were not first hand accounts and were written anonymously, decades after Jesus’s death, with their attribution to authoritative sources added later by persons wanting each gospel to have more credence.

    The reason why many of us don’t pivot to worshiping the Bible after worshiping the Book of Mormon and the Bible is that the Bible suffers from the same failings that the Book of Mormon does.

    The Bible is a collection of written works, all written by men, many of whom disagreed with each other. And being written by men, the Bible is no more reliable than the Book of Mormon. And spiritual experiences that could not be relied upon to verify the Book of Mormon cannot be relied upon to verify the Bible.

    1. I think the weak point in the fundamentalist Christian position is that the Bible as we have it today is both complete and without error. Or as one of the interviewees put it, I think Matthew, that the Bible is “God-breathed.”

      Hence all parts of the Bible must be harmonized with each other so there is no contradiction.

      My experience has been that such an effort leads to “millions of mischiefs” in practical exegesis.

      But leaving aside the problems I see as associated with such an effort, it means that the fundamental position of Biblical inerrancy is itself not attested in the Bible and must stand as a separate though indispensable faith claim.

      I do not say this to denigrate the claim, but only to recognize it as such, together with the acknowledgement that all religions seem to have such foundational untestable faith claims upon which the rest of the edifice rests.

  3. I know it is a small tangent, but the Rigdon-Spaulding theory is an unnecessary conspiracy.

    The reason why the Campbelites like Rigdon joined the LDS movement was not because Rigdon helped author the Book of Mormon. Rather, it was because the Book of Mormon included ideas that resonated with Campbellites. In other words, Joseph dictated a book that would appeal to Campbellites and SURPRISE … Campbellites wanted to join!

    1. I have to say I have at least one intelligent and knowledgeable friend who subscribes to the theory that Rigdon had something to do with the BOM translation.

      But I also see it as an unnecessary conspiracy.

      My friend sees it as somewhat necessary on the basis he does not believe Joseph Smith could have written (or dictated) it unaided.

      I tend to give Joseph a little more credit. ;^)

  4. I enjoyed where the part near the end where, “You were never a true believer if you leave” came out.

    Does every religion say this? This is how believers justify the cognitive dissonance when someone who is a good person leaves.

    RFM, you were never a “real born again” or “Mormon”.

    1. Steve, you’re right to point that out as problematic. That’s because it’s a Calvinist teaching, and not a generally accepted Christian teaching. The act of needing to “endure to the end” due to the threat of a potential “falling away” was commonly taught to believers. I’ve thought about how best to respond, hopefully helpfully, so bear with me a bit here and maybe I’ll address your post to some level of satisfaction..

      Just so you can see I’m not just saying this about the potential of a believer to “fall away” and expect it to be believed, here are a few scriptures off the top of my head – there are likely more obvious ones I don’t immediately remember – that I feel point towards the concept that you can leave the faith after having been a true believer:

      – 1 Tim 4:1: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (Note: Suggests some accepted into faith can fall away)

      – Heb 3:12-19: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Note: Suggests accepted “brothers” have come to “share in Christ” but need to be vigilant that sin doesn’t make them fall away)

      – 2Pet 2:20-22: “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.” (Note: Suggests believers who have had a “knowledge” of the Savior becoming entangled and falling away)

      Calvinism is its own bucket of problems that they – in some respects like modern Mormons – have added on to the simple Christianity that Christ taught with unnecessary theological layers they pass off as necessary to understand for salvation. Of course, there is a lot of debate in this area amongst those who care a lot about theological debates vs. practical, lived Christianity. (IMO – we should all be wary of any theological system that is named after a human being; it’s a sure indication that, though compelling, it’s ultimately just the attempts of men to make more sense of God’s often inscrutable ways (Isiah 55:8-9).)

      Finally – while Jesus obviously teaches how to recognize good and evil in our own lives, in Matthew 7 he also warns us of judging the ultimate state of another’s soul as it stands with God. We are to leave that to God and let him judge his own servants (Rom 14:4).

      My point here is that I think we all have to be careful in declaring who God has clearly saved and who he hasn’t. Calvinists and Mormons would do well to learn a bit of humility in that area, IMO.

    2. Hi, Steve.

      It was about ten years ago in discussion with a fundamentalist Christian on a message board that I began going into these questions and he, to his credit, was willing to engage with me on them.

      It finally came out that a person who had a born again experience might not be saved after all, on the basis that his subsequent works showed his experience was not genuine. In other words, he wasn’t really born again even though he went through the steps and actually thought he was.

      This led me to understand that when you get deep enough, works ends up playing a part in even a Born Again Christian’s soteriology.

      Only you aren’t being judged at the end of your life whether your works were sufficient to merit heaven.

      You were being judged at the end of your life as to whether your born again conversion experience was legitimate and actual.

      And that determination was made based on the works you produced during the balance of your life.

      It ended up looking more similar to me than I had originally expected.

  5. Boy, I am a little confused…, we are evil because of the fall of Adam, however, the 2nd article of faith? So, it really doesn’t make sense to me. Can someone shed some light on this, for lack of a better term, oxymoron? It’s a “mass of confusion”.

    1. Hi Susan,

      The way I understand it is that God does not hold it to our account for what Adam did, but the consequences of Adam’s action made it so we are all born into a fallen world in which we will inevitably sin and die.

      “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

      But the good news is that God helped us overcome our sin nature when he sent Christ who paid our penalty and overcame death. “Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.” (Rom 5:18). So, Jesus freely gives us “God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness” (v 17).

      I think it’s a beautiful symmetry.

  6. Well that was entertaining but painful. If that is Christianity then I want nothing to do with it. What a horrible god they believe in. It makes no sense to me. RFM, after half an hour or so their attitude changed and it was like they didn’t want to be there. Your questions were met with uncomfortable silence. It was hard to have a real conversation with them because they seemed incapable of critical thinking.

    1. Hi Dave,

      You said “If that is Christianity then I want nothing to do with it.”

      Which parts do you find difficult?

      I definitely think that much – not all – of what you heard here is only the interpretations of one oft-debated theological system called Calvinism. So please don’t judge Christianity by just one school of thought – one that many many Christians, myself included, have major issues with for likely some of the same reasons that cause you to bristle.

      I’d be curious to know what gets to you the most!

      1. Hi Anachron,
        I know you were talking to Dave but maybe he shares some of my concerns 🙂 A main concern of mine in regards to Christianity goes like this:
        1) God is omnipotent
        2) God loves ALL of his children
        3) God allows a place called “hell” to exist where people will be tormented/suffer eternally
        4) Any being who is omnipotent AND allows its own creations/sentient creatures to suffer for eternity is evil.
        The proposition of hell is, by itself, the greatest condemnation of Christianity imaginable, and is frankly irreconcilable with the possibility of a loving God.

    2. Hi, Dave.

      I hear what you are saying, and I have to explain here what I explained to my guests after the interview was over.

      I really had no intention of asking those more difficult questions when I started out the interview.

      They just sort of started coming back to me as they were describing their soteriology and I began firing away.

      I know the questions I asked are common issues relating to the beliefs of Born Again Christians, and these two are so educated and well-versed in their beliefs I was confident (and rightly so) that these were not “gotcha” questions, but issues they had thought about long and hard and come up with answers that are satisfactory to them.

      So I am just saying I did not intend for anything to be painful, but I did realize at some point I might be “getting into it” a little too much, harking back to my days as a Mormon apologist on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, hashing it out with aggressive Evangelical Christians.

      It was at that point I realized it was starting to sound too much like an argument and I eased up.

  7. I didn’t enjoy this episode at all. To me, this episode seems to illustrate a few individuals escaping one flawed belief system only to jump feet first into another flawed belief system. Leaves me feeling somewhat hopeless.

    1. I hear what you are saying, Patrick, but I try to look at it from their point of view as best I can.

      Which is why I spent so much time letting them tell their respective stories and how it was they ended up where they are.

      I think that, from Paul and Matt’s point of view, their former belief system of Mormonism was flawed, but their new belief system is not.

      And they probably think that a jump from Mormonism to atheism or agnosticism is just as flawed as you might think their jump is.

      Just saying. ;^)

      Thanks for listening!


  8. The bible is full of myth, magic and men. It’s ludicrous at best. No record of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses. No exodus. King David was a bandit king with a small “kingdom”. No Solomon. The temple was built in the 7th century, during Jeroboam II. The first written words of the Torah and later the Tanakh were put down in the 5th century BCE. Daniel was written in 168 BCE and back dated to the exile. Satan wasn’t introduced until right before Jesus’ time. A virgin birth was not in the theology until the Hebrew scriptures were translated into greek from 300 to 160 BCE. Isaiah 7:14 was mistranslated in the word almah becoming parthenos. Almah is young woman of vigor (not virginal) to parthenos which means virgin. This idea of one God in the OT is laughable. The NT is not as bad but you can’t escape the synoptic problem. You can’t get around John’s gospel has Jesus doing things at very different times than the synoptics. 97% of Mark is in either Matthew and/ or Luke. Mark was written first in 60 to 80 CE. Matthew and Luke 1 or 2 generations later. The group that wrote John and Revelation didn’t finish up until 150 CE. The Dead Sea scrolls and the Nag Hammadi documents explain how much antiquity was not being used to put a theology together. So much info showing Paul feuds with James the Just and Peter, trying to be important and he let’s us all in on his little man syndrome. Men out there again beating their chests.
    I choose to believe in a Jesus who was porported to say, Love God and Love your Neighbor. Simple but challenging. As soon as someone steps in between you and whomever you relate to as “God”, it is false doctrine. I’ve felt that born again moment and it has left me able to judge less and love more. My family and friends have noticed.
    Knowing the bible is a mess and most of it is made up doesn’t change my belief in Jesus.
    One cool thing is not knowing and not having certainty. Now I can have wonderful discussions with others with drastically different views on life, death , aliens, afterlife, purpose, souls, reincarnation, suffering, joy, dreams, and so on. It’s just marvelous to be free from men beating their chests.

    1. First, a comment to Susan. No we are not born evil because of the fall of Adam. Moroni 8:12 says that little children are alive in Christ. Of course, that works if you believe in the Book of Mormon. I found this episode refreshing and healthy. I enjoyed it. It took three or four days to listen to in bits and pieces. I also drifted for a little while to thinking what a hopeless mass of confusion and then I shifted back to an optimistic viewpoint. I have had thousands of hours of deep depression in my life that haven’t done me any good. I’m not about to put my hope into a tailspin on my salvation through Christ. Moroni chapter 7, my most read chapter, talks about hope in the atonement of Christ. It was good to hear RFM tell of his experiences with this topic. Here’s the great thing! These guys are sincere and bright and they are searching for peace through Christ and in spite of differences in viewpoint they have found something that works. The best I can hope for is an approximation of getting it right but I believe the Lord has a little latitude or maybe a lot of latitude for those who hang on to a hope in Christ in spite of confusing odds and ends. In the mission field I remember listening to a motivational speaker named Bob Richards who had won two Olympic gold medals in the pole vault. He was speaking at BYU but he said, “I’m a Universalist I believe we’re all going to make it.” I don’t know if I can buy that 100 percent but I hope things are more generous than some theories claim. I worked on a construction project and the lead hand for one of the subcontractors was a professional and cheerful woman in her thirties. She told me about the healthy life she and her dog and significant other were living. She said that she was raised Catholic but quit practicing in her late teens. She said, “When your Catholic it doesn’t matter what you do you’re going to hell anyway.” That was an insight for me. There’s a rusty squirrel cage in my head with an energizer bunny squirrel on it if I don’t watch it closely. I’m not going to torture my head over salvation. The Lord says it’s good and I’ll go with that. That’s the encouraging thing about this episode. In the past and even once in awhile out of the blue I think, “Your a hopeless case.” I have processed some stuff listening to this. I feel better now.

    2. Nice post, K!

      You have definitely established your bona fides in Bible scholarship!

      I agree that my coming to a place where I do not think I have all the answers has left me open to learning so much more than I otherwise could have.

      And, for the most part, being far less judgmental about those whose beliefs differ from my own.

  9. Imagine going through a faith crisis, only to keep most of the bad parts of religion by converting to Evangelical Christianity. I cannot think of a worse decision.

    1. At a minimum, Bryan, it does bring into stark relief the practicality of Joseph Smith’s doctrine that all people will get the chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them in order to make their own independent choice as to whether to accept or reject it.

  10. I appreciated rfm taking the time to give another podcast some exposure. I was excited to get into a new podcast, but after hearing this one, I’ll just stick with rfm. They could barely keep the conversation going and it seemed like rfm was doing his best to keep things interesting (although I went looking for my neighbors dog to wash half way through) Rfm has a great way of spitting out only facts with an interesting story. Keep-em coming rfm!

    1. Thanks, Nussell!

      I will do my best!

      I am currently working on an episode detailing my personal experiences with the temple.

      I am having a lot of fun with it!

      1. Too bad you will not have the added perspective of personal experience with the most recent changes in the temple that should not be shared due to their sacredness.

  11. I feel like the guys from outer brightness went into this interview believing it would help their podcast, only to experience RFM singlehandedly destroying them. They (outer brightness) then come off as seriously misled while RFM comes off as a chief debater, but also a bit of a jerk.

      1. No, I have to admit V is right.

        I was worried I might be sounding like a jerk during some parts of the episode.

        If I came off as sounding like only “a bit of a jerk,” then I did better than I thought!

        During the post-interview discussion, I made a point of apologizing to Paul and Matt if I came across as too aggressive with some of my questions.

        They both seemed fine with how the interview went. These were not questions they hadn’t heard before, and they were ready to give their answers.

        I think they both acquitted themselves well.

  12. It looks as if these born again Mormons turned evangelicals, and maybe most Evangelical Christians have developed their own systematic theology of being saved that is not unlike having their calling and election made sure, especially when considering the Calvinist claims of unconditional election . It is not really much different than the narcissistic nonsense of the Mormon Second Anointing is it. Both make a faith claim that they “feel ” assured of being saved or guaranteed their exaltation in an afterlife where they dwell with God , each having received their Election direct from either God or Jesus. Either way it is a silky smooth, come join us, form of narcissism. Of course the Calvinists take it a step further than the Mormons with the claim that their Unconditional Election happened in pre earth life spirits in heaven, and that is a claim John Calvin never made. I guess Joseph Fielding Smith made a similar claim for his father Joseph F. Smith, of course it is purely hearsay as his father the prophet at the time was nearly dead and to sick to make the claim himself.

    1. I’ve also noticed the similarity between the 2nd annointing and being saved in the Biblical sense. The big difference is WHO gets it! In Mormonism, a very small number. In Biblical Christianity it is for all believers. I think that distinction is very important.

  13. RFM if you are interested I would like to discuss with you my Book of Mormon geography map. At this point nobody has been able to poke holes with it. If you are interested please let me know.


    1. Really?

      Have you given John Sorenson a crack at it yet?

      On a more serious note, I did some studies in BOM geography back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but even then I found it pretty boring to me personally.

      Even when I was interested in it, I found it boring!

      But I read the standard books by Sorenson (Ancient American Setting, Mormon’s Codex, Mormon’s Map, etc.) and then there was a really big, nicely printed book by some other fellow who did BOM tours down in Mesoamerica. You probably know the one I am talking about. I can’t remember the fellow’s name, though.

      Just looked it up! It was “Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon” by James L. Allen.

      Has your research been published? If not, have you submitted it for publication?

      The reason I ask is even Sorenson and Allen had to admit that their proposals were not perfect fits; there were problems with them. Which is one of the reasons they did not agree on all the details between them.

      If you have a map that matches perfectly and even Sorenson and Allen could not poke holes in it, you have pulled off something remarkable indeed!

      Is your map in North America, South America or Mesoamerica?

      Or all of the above?

  14. RFM
    Brant Gardner a fairly well know Mesoamerican apologist tried and failed to make a dent in my model. Other Mesoamerican apologist have tried and ALL failed.
    The obvious problem for Mesoamerican apologist is that the Book of Mormon took place in North America. Moroni and Mormon both hid the plates in Hill Cumorah (New York State) Mormon 6:6. A quarter million Nephites died in New York state 2500 miles away from Mesoamerica. They did not migrate from Mesoamerica to New York State just to kill each other.

    The main land marks in the model are.
    River Sidon = Mississippi River
    River that runs from East to West Alma22:27 = Ohio River
    Head of the river Sidon Alma22:27 = Where Ohio River and Mississippi River merge.
    Waters of Ripliancum Ether 15:8 = Niagara Falls
    Manti according to Joseph Smith = Randolph County Missouri
    Missouri a border between Lamanites and Nephites D&C:54:8
    Narrow Neck Alma 63:5 and Ether 10:20 = Land between lake Huron and Lake Erie
    Narrow Pass Alma 50:34 Alma 52:9 and Mormon 3:5 = Land between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie

    East Sea (Lake Erie): Alma 50:8, Alma 50:13, Alma 52:13

    Sea East (Lake Ontario) Alma 22:27, Helaman 3:8, Helaman 11:20

    West Sea (Lake Michigan) Alma 22:32-33, Alma 50:11, Alma 52:11-12, Alma 53:8, Alma 63:5, Helaman 4:17,

    Sea West (Lake Huron) Alma 22:27, Helaman 3:8, Helaman 11:20

    Sea South (Gulf of Mexico) Helaman 3:8

    Sea North (Lake Superior) Helaman 3:8

    One thing to add about the West Sea is that Book of Mormon Apologist place the landing of Lehi in the West Sea because of the remark in Alma 22:28. The section refers only to the Lamanite father’s first inheritance. Notice it does not say OUR father’s first inheritance. The Book of Mormon does not specify which sea Lehi landed in. But base on this model they landed in the South Sea or Gulf of Mexico.
    From there the Lamanites constantly pushed the Nephites north to the Great Lakes.
    28 Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west (West of Mississippi State), in the land of Nephi; (yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla (Iowa Wisconsin Area), in the borders by the seashore(Lake Michigan West Shoreline), and on the west in the land of Nephi(Southern portion Louisiana), in the place OF THEIR fathers’ first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore (Gulf of Mexico shoreline).
    Also in my opinion I believe I found a historical document that also witnesses along with the Book of Mormon Christ visit to the Native Americans.

    I have not published anything yet. Writing and publishing is not my forte.


    1. I appreciate your detailed response, BOM, and I certainly have respect for all the work you have done in coming up with your geography.

      I don’t want to get into a back and forth with you about the subject as I am sure you are much more expert in the matter than I, and I really don’t have the time or interest to pursue it further at present.

      I will say, however, that if a quarter million Nephites perished in a battle on or around the Hill Cumorah in New York State, one would expect there to be some archaeological evidence of that battle.

      By which I do not mean stories about what people say they found, but actual artifacts on display in reputable museums attesting to such a massive battle having been fought.

      Artifacts, of which many would reasonably be expected to be found, that are attested to by experts as coming from the necessary time and location.

      Perhaps you know of such archaeological evidence and I do not. But obviously if such evidence existed, scholars would be agreed that a massive battle occurred at that time and place. I am unaware of any such scholarly consensus.

      I would consider the absence of such archaeological evidence to be a dent in any theory positing so massive a battle on or near the Hill Cumorah in New York State.

      1. RFM
        You do not need to take my word for it. Modern archeology has verified breastplates, head plates, axes, and other warlike artifacts. These artifacts date to Book of Mormon times. Smithsonian researchers of the 19th century documented larges bone pits that they attributed to massive wars in New York State.

        1. Where are these “vasty” bone pits? Where the bones themselves? Where the Carbon-14 dating them to the Fourth Century C.E.? Where the scholarly consensus situating them to the Hill Cumorah?

          Where the breastplates? The headplates?

          Where the museums in which these astonishing finds are displayed?

          Where the scholarly articles attesting to these finds in reputable peer-reviewed publications?

          These are the stories about what people say they found I referred to above, and which I expected to form the basis of your “evidence.”

          Until you can provide answers to these very basic questions, I think your map of Book of Mormon geography suffers from more than a dent.


          1. I too have heard the folk lore of these archeological finds, but have yet to be directed to the evidence. It’s likely because to my sign seeking attitude that the evidence is kept from me trial of faith first, amirite?

  15. Nice podcast, and good insights brought out. I find it disheartening that “Christians” all condemn each other the fact they claim they have false doctrine, but the scriptures says it’s what we do that will condemn us. One thing the Jews have right, but they have other things wrong, is we are judged by our deeds.

  16. In this episode I am reminded that being “born again” requires intellectual gymnastics on a par with being Mormon. I recognized that from my own sojourn at that mirage on my way out of the cave. The stark nature of reality is not meant for the faint of heart and that, sadly, includes almost all of us.

  17. I recently left the LDS church and had a very amazing Christian awakening too. I am not Calvanist. I would love to go over the scriptures with you guys in a friendly discussion.
    Here are a few positions I hold.

    God calls all, not just some, and the call can be resisted.

    You can fall from grace.

    The weight of scriptural evidence on hell is that it obliterates people, not that they burn in eternal conscious torment. There are arguments for other views too.

    works do matter, but not for salvation per se. You were saved to do good works, not because of them.

    We are already living in the millennium.

    Let me know if you guys would be interested in a friendly discussion/debate.

    Also, I think Mormons fall under the category of true Christians in spite of being confused by a false prophet.Calvanist do too I guess:) Read 1st and 2nd John, Mormons seem to meet all the criteria in general.

    I like rfm’s idea on a probationary state. It reminds me of why kids have baby teeth. I am so glad the permanent ones don’t start when they are kids. Hahaa

  18. I have to be honest; I made it to 1 hour and 16 minutes in the podcast, and finally had to turn it off for my own peace of mind.

    I have journeyed through both Mormonism and evangelical Calvinism in my life; and in both systems, I was a devout believer and fancied myself as a bit of an apologist. When pressed on hard and good questions by RFM, the theological pronouncements from these guests were so familiar to me that it felt like I was imbibing an intoxicating substance I realized years ago was no longer good for me; and one that I certainly no longer enjoy.

    As one of the guests was pontificating on Romans about our conscience bearing witness to god, I finally had to stop the podcast and journal a bit to unravel all the knots forming in my brain and heart. I wrote, “How convenient, Mr. Calvinist, that you can proclaim that the entire human race fundamentally knows what you believe is true; and that because of such intrinsic knowledge, preach that doubting it means all humankind is in rebellion and destined to eternal hellfire.”

    This has to rank among one of the most crafty theological positions in world religion, undergirded by a strong dose of confirmation bias. Case in point: the Calvinist can point to my reaction to this podcast and say, “aha, see, he KNOWS it’s true! Otherwise, he woudldn’t react so vehemently: thus is the state of all mankind.”

    Tonight, I just couldn’t take any more of that poison. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow – but probably not.

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