Mormonism and Christianity - Differences and Similarities

There is a rumor going around that people think Mormons and Christians are the same. This could not be further from reality. I have heard this many times and it usually comes from Mormons and people who overvalue tolerance at the expense of truly understanding. President Hinckley of the Mormon church personally taught this to all of the Mormon church and is it found on their official site.

Let's get a few things straight at the start. I love my Mormon friends. I consider some closer than family. I think they are mistaken about some things, but love certainly triumphs over differences here.

Second, this post is completely unpolitical. I could care less if a Mormon is president. I could really care less about politics at all in this point in my life.

Ok... that being said, there are some huge differences between Orthodox Christianity and Mormonism. Differences that cause each group to be outside of the others tent - if that makes sense. 

The biggest and most consequential difference has to be centered around the theology of God. Mormonism, their scripture, and doctrines teach that God was once man and has now been exalted to be God. This man and his wife have become Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. The official Mormon website, which does not go into all these things, says this about God the Father, "He has a body that looks like ours..." This certainly deviates from Christianity

More so, any idea of the Trinity is completely out the window in the Mormon religion. The heavenly Father is completely different from Jesus Christ who are both completely different from the Holy Spirit. The Mormon church has this to officially say about the Holy Spirit, "The Holy Ghost is one in purpose with the Father and the Son, but is a separate being." Any oneness that exist is in purpose but not in being.

This is all very, very different from Christianity. God is the Trinity. God is both Trinity and Unity. God is one in three and three in one. Most Christian traditions affirm the major church creeds. The Nicene, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian Creeds all affirm the Trinity. With respect to my brothers and sisters in traditions that are non-creedal, they still completely affirm the Trinity. My use of the creeds is to show that the Trinity is an essential belief for the last 1700 years.

Nicene:
  • "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father..."
    • God is one, and yet The Father and Jesus exist. Jesus is God in every way, not in being a deity but in being one in substance with the Father.
    • Jesus is affirmed to be fully God before he is affirmed to be man (Chalcedonian creed).
Athanasian:
  • "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated..."
    • Catholic, here, means universal...
    • This goes on and on describing the Trinity and unity of God.


Though the Trinity is mysterious and hard to explain (if not impossible), it is one of the central tenets of Christianity. The Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit are one and yet 3 at the same time. They are not only one in purpose, the creeds make it absolutely clear that they are one in substance, essence, personhood.

An interesting set of questions usually arises from this: (1) The doctrine of Trinity is absent from most of the first 300 years of Christianity, what about those Christians who lived then? (2) Is the doctrine of Trinity required for salvation?

Yes, it is true that the official doctrine of the Trinity is not formed until about 325, but ideas of the Trinity existed from the beginning. The church quickly came to agreement on this doctrine and spent the next few hundred years defining and defending it.

As to the salvation question, (1) I don't think it is beneficial that we boil everything down to salvation, (2) I am not God, only God judges in these matters, and (3) the point is not about salvation requirements, the point is about the centrality of the Trinity in Christian doctrine. The Trinity encompasses the central tenets of Christianity and as one of my professors has said, it is the most interesting thing about Christianity. No other religion or philosophy has anything like it. 

So, on this point alone, Mormons are not Christians and Christians aren't Mormons. Mormons aren't even monotheists (like Christianity, Judaism, Islam) in that they affirm the Resistance of many gods and that they themselves become gods someday. 

Jeffrey Goldberg, a Jew, totally has this to say about this issue:

Mormons themselves contend that “Christ is at the center of our worship, study, service and faith,” as a statement released by the church after Jeffress’s comment put it.
But theological honesty demands that we recognize that Romney would be the first president to be so far outside the Christian denominational mainstream.
There is much in Mormonism that stands in opposition to Christian doctrine, including the belief that the Book of Mormon completes the Christian Bible. Christianity had an established creed about 1,500 years before Joseph Smith appeared in upstate New York with a new truth, codified in the Book of Mormon, which he said was revealed to him by an angel named Moroni.
“The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed settled the basic ideas of Christianity,” said Michael Cromartie, an evangelical who is vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington. “The canon was closed, and then Joseph Smith comes along and says that there’s a new book, an extra-biblical addition to the agreed-upon canon.”
Nothing in Mormonism is quite as alien to Christian thought as the core assertion that God and man are of the same species.
“This is a canonical belief of Mormons, and it stands in radical opposition to the beliefs of the monotheistic religions,” Richard J. Mouw, the president of the evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary in California, told me. “Your people” -- that is, Jews -- “and my people would say that the fundamental sin here from the biblical point of view is that God is God and we’re not. There’s an ontological gap between creator and creation.”
Mouw, who is a leader in the deepening dialogue between evangelical Christian and Mormon theologians, said he believes that many Mormons are moving toward more Christ-centered modes of worship. The Mormons who, in the Salt Lake City vernacular, tend to “go planetary” -- who embrace some of Mormonism’s more idiosyncratic folk beliefs -- are dwindling in number. But Mouw said he isn’t ready to accept Mormonism as branch of Christianity."
The greater context of this article above is about the political realm, which is not my aim. I show this article to show that even someone of a different faith outside of Christianity or Mormonism can plainly see this fact. The theology of God is completely important and a distinguishing characteristic of each.

So, let us be clear, Christians and Mormons vary wildly about the doctrine of the God we each claim to follow, serve and worship. To me, that seems to be enough to differentiate us. If our Gods our different, then logically the institutions are as well. We can say a lot of things, but let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that these two are one and the same.


Blessings!

Comments

  1. I don't really think there's any reason to combat you on this subject... you've made up your mind on the matter, and I don't think anything I could say or cite would change that. All I want to say is that I do consider myself a Christian even if you don't. My church is centered around Christ and my life is centered around Christ, and to me that is the exact definition of a Christian. There are so many different Christian churches that bend the meaning of how they interpret Christianity and I still consider all members of those different churches to be Christians as well. I know you've stated your "proof" and that's fine, but I still can't agree that that should exclude us from being called Christians. If you'd like to label me as a Mormon only and exclude me from being a Christian, then that's your choice, and that's fine, I certainly can't stop you.

    I feel like my view of religion and your view of religion are very different. To me it seems like your foundation of religion is more from a scholarly angle and done with lots of reading and research - which is not a bad thing, I really need to be more like that, but for me and as a convert with absolutely no knowledge of any sort of religion until I was 14 and went out to seek it on my own... My basis of what is right and true is based more on prayer and what I feel from the spirit. If I ever have a question about something... wether it be in my life or something I don't understand about my own religion or someone elses, I pray to my Heavenly Father seeking an answer, and I get one every time. Anyways, this really has nothing to do with your original topic, just my observation of following your blog. I would love to see a post about your testimony of your faith and why you believe your church to be true. Just so maybe I could understand you better.

    Oh, I also don't believe in many Gods, I believe in one, and I do believe that I will become godlike one day, if I live my life righteously. That doesn't mean I believe I will become a God, just Godlike.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for posting. I didn't advertise this post because I knew it would be controversial. I thank you for the grace you are extending by talking to me about this. I always appreciate other sides - especially one's from the side I am discussing.

    I was converted at 15 with zero religious background as well, so I am definitely in the same boat. I will consider a conversion post in the future. I have really been thinking through a lot of conversion questions in my life, so I am doing preliminary work.

    I know that I come to spiritual things through more of an academic approach. I have to for the foundational part of my training at this point in my life. I am going to be leading a congregation and potentially leadership in a global denomination. I need to have the foundation of theological training. Conversion stories are great. Spiritual practices are great. But they are not enough. Every religion reports spiritual encounters. There has to be more.

    You know all about spiritual training. The LDS church has its children come to church every week day for training very early in the morning almost their whole lives. Christians don't. I am getting mine now.

    I will write a post about LDS Jesus and Christian Jesus soon. I know that the LDS centers around their version of Christ. It is admirable and Christians have a lot to learn from it. Again, I love my Mormon friends. I just want to explore the claim that Mormons and Christians are the same. I have never met a Christian scholar who would say the two are the same but no one ever challenges the assumption. I want to challenge it. See if it is true or not. It matters.

    Also, I am not, yet, claiming my "church to be true" (as you put it). I am mainly claiming that my tradition varies wildly from yours on points that are critical for defining the two. We use the same terms but do not mean the same thing, at all!

    I may be mistaken, but it was my understanding that Mormons believe in multiple gods. There is the heavenly Father, but there is also Jesus and the Holy Spirit, all completely separate entities. Not to mention all the mormons who have achieved exaltation. Joseph Smith said that every father is a son, leaving the possibility that even the heavenly Father has a heavenly father. The Mormon potential for gods is infinite and there seem to be more than one. Christians have always and only ever claimed one (like the Jews), who has no beginning and no end (like the Jews), and who is both 3 and 1 at the same time in substance, essence and person (not like the Jews). This seems to be the exact opposite of the Mormon confession of faith.

    I look forward to hearing more from you. I am not a mormon scholar in any sense. There are so many misconceptions about the Mormon faith in mainstream society that it will be great to keep me honest and on track. I plan to write posts on (1) Jesus and salvation and (2) evangelism, though I might combine the two.

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, well this is how I understand it:

    We believe in The Father, The Son, and the Spirit... so if you want to get really techincal, then yes there are 3 gods, because we believe them to be seperate from each other... but we worship God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. The Godhead consists of three Gods, but we only pray and worship our Heavenly Father. We do believe that some of God's children will be granted his divine power, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev 3:21), but even these exalted people will be under the supreme oversight of God the Father. He will always be Supreme. There may be some out there who believe that exalted children could act independently of god, but I think that that is a pretty small minority, and I'm pretty sure it is not supported by the official teachings of the Church.

    1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

    6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    Paul indicates here that there are others called "gods" but there is only one GOD... for me, that's how I understand our teachings that involve the word "gods" and I understand how this might cause confusion. But the short answer is that we belive God the Father is THE God of the whole universe. I'm probably making everyone even more confused.... I need to have my husband explain it. He went on a mission, so has a much more experience conveying what we believe then I do. Or I could send the missionaries to your house if you want. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you again!

    I totally think you are right. You have given me an accurate representation of what I have always heard.

    Without saying which one is better or worse, right or wrong, you have proved my point: The LDS faith has multiple gods. There may be a main one or one that is most powerful or one that lets there be other ones, but there are more than one. Christian theology is different. There is only one. There is no other God. There are no other things that are called God or get God's power. There is God and not-God.

    Again, my goal here isn't to say that one is better than the other, just that they are different. This may not be the same in the LDS church, but to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, it is absolutely necessary that there be one God - alone in godhood.

    NOW, as to your use of 1 Corinthians 8, you missed a key verse in the context, it is verse 4. 4-6 says this:

    "4Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ 5Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist."

    The context is about eating food with non-believers, pagans. The situation is that you may be served food offered to idols. Paul says in v. 4 that Christians know that idols don't really exist and there really is only one God. V.5, even though people do worship other things as God, and since they worship other things as God, they do become a god, of sorts but (v.6) there really is only one God made up of the Trinity (how else can Jesus and God be the source of all things if they are not the exact same?).

    Vv. 7-8 says that it is totally ok for Christians to eat food sacrificed to other gods... How can Paul say this? We eat with pure intentions because we know that there really are no other gods. They don't really exist. Likewise, Paul says that if people eat food sacrificed to idols that actually believe in other gods are in danger of falling away because they are weak.

    The chapter, to me, says that Christians can eat food sacrificed to idols because other gods and idols don't really exist in the metaphysical sense. They exist because people worship them over the real God but not in any other way.

    I love that you are challenging all of this. I mean that with sincerity. I think it is awesome that we can dialogue about this. I look forward to more.

    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi James, This is Bo (Sarah's husband). Sarah told me about your post and what she tried to explain and I felt like I can add to the conversation. First I have a disclaimer: Like you, I mean no ill will with my sentiments and I pray that I don't offer up any ideas that would be taken as offensive, with that said, these are controversial topics and I appreciate the level of discourse that is being had here. So here goes:

    "Judge not..." my friend, who is anyone on this earth to tell another "you are not a Christian"? Of all of the things I can think of right now, there isn't much more that is as ridiculous as somebody, professing to be a devout Christian, who goes around passing judgement in such a way. Now don't get that last statement confused with the humble disagreement of core doctrine. While you might think that someone is missing a key point or element of Christianity in their religious observance, (and you may be right), you will at no point be able to decide that someone does not know Christ is his heart; and thus not a true Christian. This smacks of the worst kind of Hypocrisy. I'm sorry to say.

    Point #2: Authority to act and speak in Gods name cannot be bought with money (Acts 8:18-20) and as you will be able to attest, not one of the prophets and teachers names in the bible achieved their revered status by becoming a "Doctor of Theology". God has never worked like that. He does however, call prophets to teach his children about him and to clarify doctrine. I have a hard time getting past your premise that "Christianity" is a defined and unified philosophy/religion. Of the hundreds of thousands of "Christian" churches that exist, you will find almost as many varying interpretations of the life and teachings of Christ. Your entire argument as to whether or not Christians and " Mormons" believe in the same Jesus, is solely based on your opinion of who Christ is and how Mormons view that same Christ. While you are perfectly right about your own opinion, I can tell you, You don't know the Doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All Churches that use the Bible and who aren't "Mormons" do not believe in the same Christian doctrine.

    We don't call ourselves Mormons, we call ourselves Saints. How many times does Paul call the members of the Church Saints? I'll let you look into that. "Mormon" is a a nickname and it comes from The Book of Mormon, a set of scripture that was complied not by the Catholic church (like the Bible was) but by a Prophet of God, called for that very purpose. I liked to ask people a question, while I was serving my mission in Honduras, that went something like this: "Is it impossible for God to have done or said anything that wasn't recorded in the Bible? Is Christ and his works limited to that which is written in the Bible? If God wanted to, could he have new Prophets today, and could he command them to write more scripture? You get the point right? "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books written. Amen." (John 21:25) The Book of Mormon is one of these other books. Jesus himself told his disciples that he would visit other parts of the Earth: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16) The Book of Mormon is the word of God, along with the bible, whether people choose to believe it or not. God loves his children and would not hold back his guidance and instruction.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Mormons" believe in one God. While it is hard for most members of the LDS church to explain this point, it is very clear with in the Church that we WORSHIP one God: Our Heavenly Father. There is no room for error on this point. We do not pray to Jesus Christ. We do not pray to the Holy Ghost. We believe that The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are three distinct and separate "beings" and act together for one purpose. This is another topic that is wildly disagreed upon by the innumorous Churches that profess Christianity. Some believe that God the Father came to earth as his own son, and some, like us believe that Christ is the first born spirit child of a Heavenly Father and he (Jehovah) came to earth in the Body of Jesus of Nazareth. What do you believe?

    Again, we pray to one true God in the name of Jesus Christ, and nothing more. We also believe that as spirit children of God, we stand to gain "all that he hath" "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together." Romans 8:16-17 Heir means to inherit property but also "a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another."

    Many people throw the word God around and most have their own definition of a God, you have chosen to use your definition of God to discredit the Mormon belief that "God wants his children to be like him". It seems simple to most of us, we just have a hard time explaining it to people who seem more interesting in finding ways to discredit "Mormonism" Another definition of Mormonism that I like, is "Christianity in its purest form". I thought you'd like that :)

    Well, I rambled and I misspelled I'm sure, but I hope I clarified some things for ya. To end I'll just say that to know God we must seek Jesus the Christ and to know Christ we must study the scriptures and listen to the prophets that God sends us; who really know God. And if we have questions: James 1:5-6.

    ReplyDelete
  7. PART 1: Thanks, Bo, for trying to bring some clarification. I thought your wife was doing a fantastic job.

    I do have some contentions with what you say, why and how you say it.

    First, you are right to show that many Christians are different in many areas. Everyone knows this. But by bringing this up, you have completely misunderstood what I am saying. Yes, there are many things Christians disagree on. BUT there are some things that ALL Christians agree on. These doctrines have been passed to through the church for 1700 years. It is the Orthodox Christian faith. These doctrines must be affirmed to be called a Christian in the Orthodox sense. Mormons do not affirm these doctrines. The elders of the Mormon church have officially and knowingly disavowed these doctrines. At this point in the my posts I am not making a claim as to which one is better or best. ALL I am doing now is demonstrating that Mormons are different than Christians based on the core beliefs that all Orthodox Christians have affirmed for 1700 hundred years from Greek, Catholic and Protestant parts of the world.

    As to judging, you couldn't be further from the truth. Jesus asked us not to condemn human beings in need of God's grace, especially ones we were to be light and salt to. But 1 John is clear, there are those who are in and there are those who are out. The ones that know better and choose to be out are certainly worthy to be judged so. What are the qualifications for who is in and who is out?:

    "We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete."

    Christian fellowship is reserved for those who follow the apostolic witness. Mormons have chosen to leave the umbrella of the Apostolic Witness by (1) rejecting core, historic, universal doctrines of the church and (2) adding another testament to the closed canon of Scripture. So, you may think it is hypocracy, but unfortunately it is scripture. 1 John 2 says:

    "They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. 20But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge.* 21I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?* This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what he has promised us,* eternal life."

    Mormons went out from us and have not abided in the things that were from the beginning. The Book of Mormom is a later testament that changes what was from the beginning. It changed everything. 1 John tells Christians to judge and judge with a sharp eye. The church and eternal life are on the line.

    The "Catholic" church as we know it did not compile scripture. "Catholic" means universal and did when scripture was compiled. The Catholic church that we know did not come on the scene until the split between Eastern and Western Orthodox churches in about 600ad, 300 years after scripture was compiled. You are distorting truth here when you claim this about the bible.

    ReplyDelete
  8. PART 2: As to your questions about what is & isn't possible with God, you are missing the point & setting up straw men. This is not only intellectually lazy, it is dishonest. God can do whatever God wants. We are not here to determine the limits of God's power. We are here to determine what God did, does & is doing. God can stir people to write more scripture. The PROBLEM: scripture is NOT something that 1 person receives inspiration & writes down. Scripture is something the CHURCH decides is from God & useful for discipleship. The church argued for 250 years about what writings should be called scripture. The list we have is the list that the Holy Spirit inspired & the 1 the church canonized.

    I believe you that Mormons worship 1 God. But there are other ones, right? Why do you start the paragraph/argument by saying, "'Mormons' believe in 1 God" & then spend 2 paragraphs trying to convince me that people can achieve god-hood?

    Let me ask you simply: Is the HS a god? Is Christ a god? Is Heavenly Mother a god? Is J. Smith a god?

    Now we are getting to the topic, you say, "We believe that The Father, the Son & the Holy Ghost are three distinct & separate ‘beings’ & act together for 1 purpose. This is another topic that is wildly disagreed upon by the innumorous Churches that profess Christianity. Some believe that God the Father came to earth as his own son, & some, like us believe that Christ is the first born spirit child of a Heavenly Father & he (Jehovah) came to earth in the Body of Jesus of Nazareth. What do you believe?"

    (1)Why is ‘beings’ in quotes? do you mean gods? (2) This is where you display your ignorance, the doctrine of the Trinity is not "wildly disagreed" by Christians. This doctrine is 1 of the only ones we all agree on. It is described in the creeds I mentioned in this post. It is really 1 of the few things that bind us all. It is the very measure of Orthodoxy (I am using orthodox here to describe both as doctrine that is accepted by all & the historic Christian faith accurately handed down). SO, I affirm & confess what every Orthodox Christian has confessed since 450 ad.

    (3)Christian don't believe that the Father came to the Earth as the Son... This is a heresy rejected by the church in the 400s called modalism. Christians believe that there is 1 God who is also 3 persons. The Father is always the Father, the Son is always the son & the Spirit is always the Spirit. They are co-equal, co-eternal & of the same substance. They are 3 who are 1 & 1 who are 3. Though they are also 1 in purpose, they are more than that, they are 1 in being. This is the confession of all Christians everywhere for 1700 years. IF someone doesn't agree with this, they are booted from Christianity by all other forms of Christians. It is that simple. This is 1 of THE defining doctrines. & SO because Mormons don't affirm this doctrine, they are not Christians in any sense of Orthodoxy.

    HERE IS THE ULTIMATE PROOF: "Since the roots of Mormonism are not a break off from the Catholic or Protestant churches, it is seen by some as 'unorthodox.' For example, the LDS definition of the Godhead differs from the Nicene Creed accepted by most Catholic or Protestant churches." This is found on your own church's official website (http://mormon.org/faq/#Church|question=/faq/mormon-church/)

    Your church just said that both Catholics & Protestants have a standard definition for the Godhead that the LDS church disagrees with & so some people say that they are unorthodox. Unfortunately the 'some people' referred to are all other Christian groups.

    So, Bo, I appreciate you keeping me honest & holding me accountable for what I say & why I say it. You have drawn me out to clarify some of the things I said & claimed. I hope that it is intelligible. I hope you take no offense at what was said. Thank you, again, I genuinely appreciate the dialogue.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm sorry, I don't think you have an accurate understanding of the history of Christianity, the Catholic Church, Constantine and the Nicene Council, and the definition of the Holy Trinity. By the sounds of things, you don't have much experience discussing Christian tenets with various members (of the infinite number) of Christian Churches that exist. I've spent a lot of time doing that; and I can tell you there is nothing God like about 100 thousand and more different variations of Christianity. I don't believe that God would work in such a way; disorder is not Godliness. We as "Mormons" believe that Christ RESTORED his church, to this earth, through a prophet (not a god), after centuries of corruption. Mark 2:21-23.

    One thing I have to point out is this: "The Father is always the Father, the Son is always the son & the Spirit is always the Spirit. THEY ARE CO-EQUAL, co-eternal & of the same substance." Co-equal? Are you saying that Jesus and the HG are also Gods and they are Equal to God the Father? I didn't say anything like that, (and you did) and you accuse me of believing in more then one God. (BTW, Sarah mistakenly said that we think of them as such. That is not Church doctrine.) Bottom line, We worship God the Eternal Father, in the name of his son Jesus Christ. One God.

    Here is a great article expressing some of the LDS views of how the Church was corrupted after the Apostles were killed off.: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=a6e40b2e72c1c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

    I apologize for not answering your individual points directly; I just don't see us being able to have a written dialogue when it seems that we both have a different understanding about almost all points of reference. (I still contend that there is no difference between the Catholic Church and the organization of Christianity brought about by the Emperor Constantine and the Nicene council in 325 AD...Constantine ordered the printing of the Bible shortly after that.) I can only say that you have it all wrong. I would ask that you try less to discredit Mormonism (as you understand it) and focus on the irregularities that exist within your own belief structure. If you want to learn more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, you should talk to the church's missionaries. I'll bet they can explain all of the things that you have misunderstood. As I have stated in the past, I wish we could get together and talk, because I think we could have some great discussions; until then...Ephesians 4:3-5. Thank you for your thoughts. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh and one more thing :) How ridiculous is it that you have a Jew, explaining why Mormons aren't Christians? Really? So that is you're proof as to how clear it all it. :) That's funny. Your other proof is from the Church website that says the Catholic and most protestant churches adhere to the Nicene creed, that doesn't not mean ALL Christian groups. You are grasping with that logic. Neither the Nicene Creed, nor the Holy Trinity was mentioned in the Bible, and yet you would base your entire beliefs on the two; that is unbelievable to us Mormons. How do you possibly explain that? Why because there is an idea that some one some where had believed in it? And yet, it's not in the Holy Bible! Don't you see the contradiction? Like I said, I just can't address every inaccuracy that you have labored to express but some of them have got me coming back for just one more comment. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Bo,

    You sure aren't arguing very well. When someone says something is "ridiculous" or "I apologize for not answering your individual points directly... I can only say that you have it all wrong" certainly you have shown your weaknesses. Furthermore, your resort to abrasive words and attacks... makes me wonder!

    I have taken multiple Masters level courses in the History of Christianity, one very pertinent one just last month. As wrong as you want me to be about the "Catholic Church" and Emperor Constantine and the Construction of the Bible, you are building on a foundation of sand. Constantine had less to do with the Canon that is present in current day Scripture than one would think. Church Fathers and Mothers had identical versions of the Canon before Constantine could read.

    Second, as to your versions of "Christianities," you are mistaken again. I won't bring up the numerous Mormon sects that "follow the Book of Mormon" - that might mess up the whole "true church" front. I don't need to. All I have to say is that Protestant denominations aren't different Christianities. They are different ways to live out one Christianity. You are correct about one point, not all Christian churches affirm the creeds, that wasn't my original point, but ALL Christian churches do affirm the Trinity. Yes, All three persons of the Trinity are equal and one. They are one. Tri-unity. I am not asking you to believe it or affirm it, just know that it is one of the most important definitions of what it means to be Christian.

    My biggest problem with this whole ordeal is that I have tried to be civil. I have not tried to say that my tradition was right or true or correct. I have not tried to "discredit Mormonism" in any way. All I have stated is that our concepts of the core doctrines are different and therefore the institutions are different. You start swinging punches and getting defensive.

    Answer me these questions. Most are yes or no:
    Is Jesus a god in any sense?
    Is the Holy Spirit a god in any sense?
    Is heavenly Mother a god in any sense?
    Do Mormons try to proselytize Christians? (why?)
    Did the Heavenly Father have an earthly body?
    Does the heavenly Father have a heavenly Father?
    Do you see any differences in Christians and Mormons? What are they?
    If I stay at my present church and believe my current doctrine, do I get the same reward as you in heaven?
    With so many differences between Christians and Mormons, why should they have the same title of Christians?

    Here is the third difference between our traditions: my tradition has no problem answering any questions about any topic without shifting, side-stepping, or smoke and mirrors.

    I decline both your attempts to send me missionaries - but thank you. I realize that this is your way to try and convert me (even though we are all "Christians"). I am training in a 100 year old orthodox university to receive my Masters in Divinity.

    You may have the last word. I hope you take some time to answer the above questions, that would really settle a lot of the debate and end the nit-picking that is happening.

    I apologize if I have offended you in any way. It was never my intention.

    j

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I hate the word "stewardship"

More isn't Less: August 12, 2014

Jesus Breaks All the Rules