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Mormon or Christians?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by TheGreaterGame, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. TheGreaterGame

    TheGreaterGame Active Member

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    The LDS is making strides in the public eye that they are in fact Christian. To be a Mormon is to be a Christian. As if Mormon and Christians were interchangable terms. So therefore I open this thread for this debate. It is my humble, but accurate description that Mormonism is infact not Christianity . . . on the grounds . . .

    1. Mormons do not belive in the infallability of the Bible.
    The Bible and the historic Church affirms that the 66 Books of the OT & NT are infact the inspired word of God and are without question "God's Word" in written form. However Mormons declare that the bible is erred.

    2. Mormons do not belive in the diety of Christ.
    The Bible and the historic Church affirms from the teachings of the Bible plainly declare that Jesus is of the same nature and substance of the Eternal God and is equal with God the Father and God the Spirit in Triunity. However Mormons declare that Jesus is just a sub-god . . . who distinctly different from God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

    3. Mormons do not belive in the doctrine of Justifacation By Faith.
    The bible and the Protestant Reformation affirms from the teachings of the Bible that man is made "legally right" in the eyes of God by having faith (implication "trust") in Christ as Lord and Savior. The moment a sinner belives . . . He is counted righteous because Christ has imputed His impecablity to that sinner . . . and so that God can remain "Just" (because it would be unjust to let a sinner get away with sin) the sinners sin is imputed to Christ. However Mormons believe that it takes following "the words of wisdom," temple rights, good works, and adhering to the teachings of Joseph Smith and the Modern Prophets.

    These are just 3 arguments made to disprove the claim of Mormons. That being said, most Mormons I have met are genuine in that they are faithful to their cause (which I respect) and they hold to a similar value system Born again Christians hold to. This thread is not to demonize Mormons, but it is meant to disprove the claims that Mormons have made.
     
  2. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    This thread was moved from Same Debates because the premise of the thread is that there is not the same faith between Christians and Mormans. On a personal note, that attitude portrays a whopping big arrogance and bias.
     
  3. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    First, thank you for putting this where it belongs, in the debate section! I was getting tired of reminding folks in the education section that there was a place for debates.

    You cite no sources for your statements; where are you getting your information? When I state my beliefs, I'll be quoting the very books we use to teach Sunday School.

    You are correct that we believe the Bible has errors. We also believe the Book of Mormon has errors--it even says that it does! Where I disagree is with your statement that such a statement makes us non-Christian, when Christian scholars recognize at least nine different types of Biblical inerrancy. I think we'd fall into category #8, Errant yet authoritative, but I'd have to do a little more research to be sure. Suffice it to say, according to this classification system, one can still believe the Bible has errors and be a Christian.


    From the Book of Mormon:
    Alma 11: 44 (emphasis mine)
    44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

    From Gospel Principles (a Sunday School manual)

    The Atonement Makes It Possible for Those Who Have Faith in Christ to Be Saved from Their Sins
    The Savior’s atonement makes it possible for us to overcome spiritual death. Although all people will be resurrected with a body of flesh and bone, only those who accept the Atonement will be saved from spiritual death.

    We accept Christ’s atonement by placing our faith in him. Through this faith, we repent of our sins, are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and obey his commandments. We become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are forgiven and cleansed from sin and prepared to return and live forever with our Heavenly Father.
     
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Deep Shadow,

    According to the Christians, there are basic differences between Mormonism and Christianity.

    Extracts from:-http://www.christchurchcentral.co.uk/whatdochristiansbelieve/mormonism.html

    "Mormons believe that God was a man on another planet and became a god by following the laws and ordinances of that god on that world. Mormonism also teaches that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones.
    "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's"
    Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22"

    "Mormons believe in many gods and teach that God himself was once a man. Christianity however repeatedly affirms that there is only one true God. Isaiah 43 vs 10 states:
    "'You are my witnesses', declares the Lord, 'and my servants whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.'""

    "In Mormonism there is a general salvation for all mankind and an individual salvation for each person, there is to the Mormon no such thing as hell or everlasting punishment rather the potential of becoming a god. President Lorenzo Snow said, "As god once was, man is. As God is, man may become."
    "In order to reach this exalted state of godhood believing in Jesus Christ is not enough, a person must first become a good Mormon, pay a full ten percent tithe to the Mormon church, follow various laws and ordinances of the church, and be found worthy. At this point, they receive a temple recommend whereupon, the Mormon is allowed to enter their sacred temples in order to go through a set of secret rituals: baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, and various oaths of secrecy and commitment. For those who achieve the highest of heavens, exaltation to godhood awaits them. Then, he or she, will be permitted to have his or her own planet and be the god of his own world and the Mormon system will be expanded to other planets."

    "In complete contrast Salvation according to the Bible is a free gift from Jesus Christ our Lord. Ephesians 2:8-10: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no-one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them"."

    "The Bible teaches that there is no way to earn salvation. We are saved though Christ's sacrifice on the cross, not because of anything we can do ourselves.":)
     
  5. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    TheGreaterGame,

    Whilst I agree with you that there are good reasons to believe that Mormons are not (or dubious at best) Christians, you do realise that your post would have been better off saying that Mormons aren't Protestants don't you? The vast majority of Christians, now and throughout history, i.e. we Orthodox, the RCs and the Oriental Orthodox wouldn't agree to your three points either (well we'd all agree to only the second one).

    The idea of the inerrancy of Scripture is peculiarly Protestqant and sola scripturalist. None of our churches believe any such thing. The Bible was written and collected by fallible men and so, of course can contain errors. We consider the Church as a whole to be led inerrantly by the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean that individual authors or translators could not err. I'd also note that your 66 books is likewise only true for Protestants. The RCs have more, we and most of the OOs have more again than they do and the Ethiopian church (OO) has even more.

    Likewise the idea of justification by faith (I believe you missed out the word alone here) is peculiarly Protestant and you hinted as much. No Christians believed this prior to the Reformation and most still do not. In fact the idea is clearly contra-scriptural so it's strange that it's exclusively found in sola scripturalist churches.

    I hate to say it but, solely on the three points you raised in your opening post, the Mormons are closer to historic Christianity than many Protestants are (though their Christology and Triadology is beyond the pale). I'm not saying, I hope you understand, that Protestants are not Christian but I am saying that your opening post is a poor argument (and coming from a very parochial Protestant viewpoint) for the non-Christianity of the LDS.

    James
     
  6. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    According to some Christians. But these invariably depend upon a narrow definition of Christianity that excludes more than just Mormons.


    Hmmmm...source cited for one half of a multi-part statement, to give an illusion of legitimacy to the other part. Yes, we believe that God has a body of flesh and bones. The rest has no source given, and is, interestingly enough, the more bizarre of the two statements.

    We claim, as did Paul, that, "There are gods many and lords many, but to us there is one Lord and one God." That is, we believe there are many gods, but choose to worship the one who has power to save us.

    Yet another false statement inexplicably married to a true but irrelevant quote. Yes, we believe the statement of Lorenzo Snow. The part just before it has nothing to do with that, though.

    I've already stated above what we believe is necessary for salvation--faith in Jesus Christ. I've also cited a source, for whatever it's worth.

    You know, sometimes I wish we actually taught this stuff. Might make it easier to stay awake in Sacrament Meeting. Needless to say, this is garbage. We do beleive that we can become like our Father, but what exactly that entails has never been spelled out so...directly. We believe that children of God will grow up. Kittens grow up to be cats, ducklings grow up to be ducks, children of God become like He is.

    Good, then we agree! See my above quote regarding salvation through faith in Christ.

    I have yet to see anything that would exclude us from being Christian. Certainly different denominations and sects disagree, or their wouldn't be denominations and sects. But when a Pentecostal accuses a Baptist woman of being non-Christian because she cuts her hair, the Baptists are allowed to fall back on the fact that despite many differences in doctrine and practice, they still share enough of a common belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and in his atonement, to both be considered Christian. Why are we not allowed the same privilege? Why must people be so offended by the doctrinal differences we have that they have to make up more in order to exclude us from Christianity?
     
  7. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Deep Shadow,
    It appears then that there are various meanings and ways of practicing the mormon faith among the LDS as there are for those who, for example, call themselves Baptist. Is this correct?

    I ask because a friend of mine lives in Salt Lake City and is LDS and her understanding of LDS is different than yours. She won't get into the christian or not debate because it isn't important to her, but her explanations are very similar to what Michel posted.

    Do the LDS have the same degree of difference within the faith as do fundamentalist christians from the more traditional/orthodox christians?
     
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  8. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    I also have to say I'm a little disappointed in you, Michel, for your poor choice of sources. In "Mormon Views on Satan?" you demonstrated how simple it was to look up what the LDS actually believe, which would have refuted most of the claims of your chosen source this time. What gives?

    (Normally I'd have sent this via PM, but I'm leaving open the possibility that I've misunderstood what you are doing/saying here. If that's the case, I'd like to clear it up for anyone else who may be feeling the same way.)
     
  9. reyjamiei

    reyjamiei Member

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    All Christians will let you know that the Bible is erred after talking with them awhile. If the Bible says something that goes against what they believe they will say that it was a mistranslation. mistranslation=error.
     
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  10. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    Melody, not knowing your friend, I can't say for sure, but I'll try to answer your question.

    1) There are many breakoffs of the LDS church whse beliefs cover a wide spectrum, including a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'll assume for the moment that your friend was not a member of one of those breakoffs, in which case we need to consider
    2) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a system to ensure that all the churches teach the same doctrine. My sources are all from books that your friend's church ought to be teaching out of, available at www.lds.org. The main reason for such careful scrutiny of what is being taught is because
    3) The LDS, like any other church, has traditions and speculations that reach farther than what is actually taught. Sometimes these traditions and speculations leak into the lessons taught in church, which can cause errors.

    Based on all this, it sounds like your friend was probably engaging in speculation, which is fine. I've speculated quite a bit about what it might be like to be like God...but in church, you have to stick to what's in the book. Likewise, here I stick to the book.

    In summary, I'd say that your first statement, that there are many ways of being LDS, is correct. That's the main reason I stick to the books themselves--to ensure my opinions stay out of the mix.

    If anyone thinks I'm misrepresenting my beliefs, it's certainly possible. Find me a quote from any of the books archived at www.lds.org and we'll talk about it, because that's what the Church is asking people to teach.
     
  11. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. That answers my question.
     
  12. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    I hope so. FWIW, I just edited my post while you were responding. Thanks for asking!
     
  13. TheGreaterGame

    TheGreaterGame Active Member

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    This is a fallacious statement. Their are so-called "Christian Scholars" who have adopted on orthodox views as to biblical ennerancy . . . so if you want to site sources . . . that's fine . . . just name names as to where you get your information and I will quote mine. Sorry for the unprofessionalism. ___________________________
    Thanks for moving this into the debate section on my behalf, but also I would like to let you know that you are entitled to your opinion of me regardless of how wrong you are. Thanks again.
     
  14. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    http://www.christianethicstoday.com/Issue/034/Can%20You%20Believe%20in%20Inerrancy%20AND%20Equality%20By%20Dan%20Gentry%20Kent_034_13_.htm#Varieties%20of%20Inerrancy

    Nine differant degrees of inerrancy defined there - what makes yours so special?
     
  15. TheGreaterGame

    TheGreaterGame Active Member

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    Plenary Verbal Inspiration is the only Real "Christian View" of Biblical Inspiration.
     
  16. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    See! That's a "no true Scotsman" fallacy and proves my point about arrogance and bias. That goes along with Nietzsche's quote.
     
  17. Uncertaindrummer

    Uncertaindrummer Active Member

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    I have observed that a lot of different Mormons I have met believe a lot of different things... So it is often tough to come to the conclusion of whether Mormons are Christian or not because I am not exactly sure what they teach.
     
  18. TheGreaterGame

    TheGreaterGame Active Member

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    I wouldn't have a problem if you said "that's not a real relative arguement" . . . you would just prove my point. The Bible sets before you "Absolute Truth" and it is undeniable. Therefore it causes me to preface who is genunine and who is disgenuine.
     
  19. TheGreaterGame

    TheGreaterGame Active Member

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    Nietzsche Once wrote "God is dead- Nietzche" . . . then Nietzche died then someone wrote . . . "Nietzche is dead- God"
     
  20. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    I did. The underlined words were a link to my source. While I'm giving credit, I'd like to thank pah for the link itself. Very enlightening, and a little encouraging.
     
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