The view of trained Pastors

My investigation of the 'Mormon Church' transpired over a period of six months with more encounters with meaningful Christians who would share their views with me. I willingly accepted meetings with them and it is really from this experience that my knowledge of the Bible increased, or at least how these other churches would use and interpret the Bible.

One example was that with a Sri Lankaan trainee priest at the Geelong Theological College whom I had just met in a social function who invited me to his room one day. He wanted to read with me the Gospel of John in the new testament starting from the first verse, "In the beginning was the Word..." We had started with a word of prayer for the spirit to guide us. He had me read verse by verse for some time until we came to John 10:30 which read,"I and my Father are one." Now this was my first thorough reading the Gospel of St.John and up to this verse, I had been reading accounts of two separate beings of God the Father & his Son, as quoted in the following verses, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me..(John 4:34),The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do..(John 5:19), For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son..(John 5:22), .. I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.(John 5:30), It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.(John 8:18). Yet, my learned Sri Lankaan friend was ready to point out to me that there exists only one person because of the concluding verse of John 10:30. Therefore, Joseph Smith's first vision of the Father & the Son as two separate beings and subsequent teachings were incorrect.

I looked at John 10:30 and I felt I had to understand the context of the words for it seemed inconsistent with the rest of the other verses. So, I had to scan the pages further and suddenly came across John 17:20-22 and here was the answer. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:" The oneness was in the context of unity as clearly expressed by Christ in this great intercessory prayer.

The response from my friend was similar to the others who had tried to help me. He basically could not read things plainly as I would but preferred the interpretations or doctrines that he had been schooled in and so much was left to the influence of more learned scriptorians. At that time I was certainly no scriptorian but my years of education could help me develop an independent position of a researcher just as in my previous science classes. I knew religion would be different but in the outset, there must be some common scientific fundamentals I could use. The Christian religion was new to me but I very quickly began to understand the diversity problems inherent in it due to differing schools of thought and differing interpretations of scripture. I was interested only in truth, and at that time of investigation, I fully used my intellectual capabilities to find it. I took a doctrinal approach and found the Mormon doctrines most consistent not only within the Bible context but also to life itself. It seemed to have most of the answers.

1 comment:

cathy said...

Sun Fu,

Thanks so much for your sharing. It has certainly enlightened me. I've always had problems trying to imagine God the Father, the Son & the Holy Ghost as one entity (as in the Trinity). Being seperate beings but acting as a Godhead is easier to comprehend.