Blogalogue

Blogalogue


Mormonism Is Not Christianity

posted by albertmohler

By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Are Mormons “Christians” as defined by traditional Christian orthodoxy? The answer to that question is easy and straightforward, and it is “no.” Nevertheless, even as the question is clear, the answer requires some explanation.
The issue is clearly framed in this case. Christianity is rightly defined in terms of “traditional Christian orthodoxy.” Thus, we have an objective standard by which to define what is and is not Christianity.
We are not talking here about the postmodern conception of Christianity that minimizes truth. We are not talking about Christianity as a mood or as a sociological movement. We are not talking about liberal Christianity that minimizes doctrine nor about sectarian Christianity which defines the faith in terms of eccentric doctrines. We are talking about historic, traditional, Christian orthodoxy.
Once that is made clear, the answer is inevitable. Furthermore, the answer is made easy, not only by the structure of Christian orthodoxy (a structure Mormonism denies) but by the central argument of Mormonism itself – that the true faith was restored through Joseph Smith in the nineteenth century in America and that the entire structure of Christian orthodoxy as affirmed by the post-apostolic church is corrupt and false.
In other words, Mormonism rejects traditional Christian orthodoxy at the onset – this rejection is the very logic of Mormonism’s existence. A contemporary observer of Mormon public relations is not going to hear this logic presented directly, but it is the very logic and message of the Book of Mormon and the structure of Mormon thought. Mormonism rejects Christian orthodoxy as the very argument for its own existence, and it clearly identifies historic Christianity as a false faith.


So, what does Mormonism reject? The orthodox consensus of the Christian church is defined in terms of its historic creeds and doctrinal affirmations. Two great doctrines stand as the central substance of that consensus. Throughout the centuries, the doctrines concerning the Trinity and the nature of Christ have constituted that foundation, and the church has used these definitional doctrines as the standard for identifying true Christianity.
The Mormon doctrine of God does not correspond to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Mormonism rejects the central logic of this doctrine (one God in three eternal persons) and develops its own doctrine of God – a doctrine that bears practically no resemblance to Trinitarian theology. The Mormon doctrine of God includes many gods, not one. Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that we are what God once was and are becoming what He now is. That is in direct conflict with Christian orthodoxy.
Contemporary Mormonism presents the Book of Mormon as “another testament of Jesus Christ,” but the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is not the only begotten Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, or the one through whose death on the cross we can be saved from our sins.
Normative Christianity is defined by the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the other formulas of the doctrinal consensus. These doctrines are understood by Christians to be rooted directly within the Bible and rightly affirmed by all true believers in all places and throughout all time. As one leading figure in the early church explained, the true faith is recognized and affirmed everywhere, always, and by all (Vincent of Lérins defined the orthodox tradition as those truths affirmed “ubique, semper, ab omnibus”).
The major divisions within Christian history (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism) disagree over important issues of doctrine, but all affirm the early church’s consensus concerning the nature of Christ and the Trinitarian faith. These are precisely what Mormonism rejects.
Without doubt, Mormonism borrows Christian themes, personalities, and narratives. Nevertheless, it rejects what orthodox Christianity affirms and it affirms what orthodox Christianity rejects. It is not Christianity in a new form or another branch of the Christian tradition. By its own teachings and claims, it rejects that very tradition.
Richard John Neuhaus, a leading Roman Catholic theologian, helpfully reminds us that “Christian” is a word that “is not honorific but descriptive.” Christians do respect the Mormon affirmation of the family and the zeal of Mormon youth in their own missionary work. Christians must affirm religious liberty and the right of Mormons to practice and share their faith.
Nevertheless, Mormonism is not Christianity by definition or description.



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Wienigma

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:25 pm


And many Christians are not Christians by their “fuits”. Though they tithe faithfully and attend church regularly and follow all sorts of rules and regulations, like Jesus said “I know you not” because it is not of their heart!



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Danny

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:48 pm


i think morman are Christian, even if they do not fully agree with so call tradtional Christian. Jesus is Lord to them and the rest of Christians.



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Joie

posted June 28, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Danny, has any mormon ever told you that Jesus was their Lord? That is totally against their doctrine, I grew up a mormon, and at 32, I found out who Jesus really was and is, but I didn’t learn that in a mormon church, I found that truth in God’s Word. According to everything I was taught by the mormons, Jesus was a great teacher, period, He was not the Son of God, the Savior of Mankind, the One Who reconciled sinful man to the Heavenly Father. Without professing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, one cannot be a Christian. We don’t get to “think” someone is a Christian, we have to go to the Word of God and see what God has to say about who is and who isn’t a Christian, our opinion is not important, only God’s.
I know many mormons, they are devoted to the church and to Joseph Smith, they are good folks, they love family, they take care of their people, but, they fall short of the truth, that Jesus was God, who came to earth to live as a man so that He could reconile manking to Father God, the Bible is clear that Jesus chose to lay aside His deity to do so, but He took that deity back when He ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
In answer to the question “Who Gets to Define “Christian”? The only One Who can do that, is God the Father, and He made it pretty clear in His Word.
My goal in responding to this, is to instruct, not to offend. But God clearly says there is no gray, only black, only white, His way,leads to eternal life, all other ways, … do not.



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Falcon

posted June 28, 2007 at 9:46 pm


All I’ve ever asked is that Mormons demonstrate, by looking at traditional Christian doctrine, how they (Mormons) differ. Mormons claim to be “restored”. Explain clearly, point by point how this restored doctrine differs from traditional Christian doctrine.



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Mike~FairyBear

posted June 28, 2007 at 10:20 pm


Sheesh~ what an interesting collection of comments however I would ask this of Dr. Mohler: the early church councils came up with two creeds which were meant to define just who/what God is. Most people, in the liturgical churches, are familiar with the Nicene Creed. In the days before Vatican 2 the other creed, the Athanasian Creed, was read on Trinity Sunday. Do you really believe what these two creeds profess? Do you even believe what they profess? Can you even begin to explain to me or the average layman what they are teaching?
No, I didn’t think so.
By the way “Joie” how the hell does God “lay aside His deity to do so, but He took that deity back”?



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Drina

posted June 28, 2007 at 10:48 pm


The only One Who can do that, is God the Father, and He made it pretty clear in His Word.
Who decided what is God’s Word?



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Levia

posted June 28, 2007 at 11:11 pm


One either accepts what Yeshua said about Himself or one doesn’t. Yeshua was either telling the truth or He was a liar and/or a madman. So if one reads and studies the bible one will be able to decide for themselves whether a group calling themselves Christian really are Christian. They will be able to decide for themselves based on the Word if a group believes in His word and the foundational principles he laid down for Christianity or not. I read, I study, Mormons (like Jehovah Witness’–who use the name Jehovah in error by the way) are not Christians–they only use the name to legitamatize themselves.
But don’t take my word for it or be offended. Read and study for yourselves so that you are not decieved.
Godspeed to all!



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Drina

posted June 28, 2007 at 11:19 pm


But Levia, who decides what the “Word” is?



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Mia

posted June 28, 2007 at 11:38 pm


Oh my Goodness, First, It is important to note, We need to have FACTS before we go out to teach. So, I suppose most of these opinions online are just that..Opinions..I am a Mormom. Otherwise known as a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jesus Christ is our Saviour, Our Brother, the Son of God. He is the center of our lives. We believe in Him, We honor Him, We worship Him! He is the Saviour!!
I cannot say that enough. I am born, bred, and personally converted to that fact. My family lines run deep in this Gospel. We believe in The Bible, and add our personal Witness of another Testament of Jesus Christ. Read the Book, use the passage in Moroni, truly Pray to Our Heavenly Father, and I know you will find that We BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST! Please, learn. It is important. We believe all Men have the right to worship, how, where and what they may..We love the Saviour.
May you learn about the truth of our Testimonies about Christ.



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Sherri

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:10 am


Like Mia, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Mormons is a nickname that was given to members of the church, because of our belief in the Book of Mormon being the word of God, along with the Bible.
I would just like to add my testimony that we are indeed Christians. Jesus is our Savior and great example. We all strive to live as He did, and show true charity for all mankind. We follow His teachings in all that we do.
If you read this and still don’t agree that we are Christians, I encourage you to learn more about our faith. Go to http://www.lds.org for more information, if you like to learn online. You can also request to have missionaries visit your home to find out even more.



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Danny

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:56 am


Joie I was not raise Mormon, i have read there book and I am tradtional Christian. If they use Holy biblei it state Jesus is Lord and Savior. if they do not then possble they are not christian. I respect there right to different view and harm no one. Mormans have lovely families and one can not mock that. The rest of us come from so strange families sometimes. I know i did and it always be part of me.



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:19 am


I find it amusing that the Baptists, themselves, were once considered heretics, and therefore, not true Christians.
In fact, a mere five centuries ago, to be a Christian, you had to be a Catholic, which is one reason Western Europe invaded Eastern Europe during the Crusades – to destroy the Greek Orthodox Church, which Catholics considered un-Christian.
In the five centuries since Martin Luther risked his life by opposing the Catholicism of his day – which he considered un-Christian – Protestants and Catholics have blooded the streets over who was really a Christian.
It has continued in Northern Ireland.
Much of the early history of America is one of people seeking religious freedom, not from Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims or Jews, but from other Christians who didn’t think their form of Christianity was “Christian enough.”
Which is something the Mormons only know too well. Their kind were driven from state to state, forcing them to leave behind homes and barns, and to bury husbands, wives, sons and daughters on the icy prairie.
It’s a rough and ugly tale, this story of American Christianity. Nor are the Mormons an exception to the lists of brutalities, as evidenced by the horrific hysteria of Mountain Meadows, when Mormons ambushed a wagon train moving through southern Utah – in large part because it contained “apostates” from Missouri.
It’s hard to imagine that Jesus of Nazareth, a figure who gave his life for the sake of peace and reconciliation, could have inspired so many chapters of violence at the hands of people who were so convinced that they were the “true Christians.”
One day, Baptists everywhere will look back at this moment and cringe, the way people today look at those early reactions to human rights – or rock and roll.
Ironically, Christianity suffered a diaspora half a century before the famous Jewish diaspora at the hands of the Romans. What most likely caused it was not so much this affinity for Jesus as the idea that these Christians were letting Gentiles into their synagogue – and on an equal footing with Jews.
Christianity, itself, is built on a willingness to boldly try new things – even if it that would mean putting its headquarters in the city of the very empire that killed Jesus and destroyed the Jewish temple. Every time Christianity redefines itself, somebody ends up screaming, “You people aren’t real Christians!”



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Sam

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:30 am


The name of the religion is “The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints.” Explain to me how that is not Christian?

Have you read the Book of Mormon, which is a confirming witness to the Holy Bible and another testament of Jesus Christ? This is the kind of “non-Christian” material it contains:
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25: 26)
There is not a more Christian organization than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Who is Dr. Albert Mohler that he has the authority to exclude people from taking the name of Jesus Christ and accepting Him as their Savior and Redeemer?



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Hillary

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:23 am


You guys are being pethedic. Who really cares if they’re Christian or not they’re not hurting you. I’ve been to a Mormom church and they talk about Jesus Christ all the time. It seems like in almost every sentence they’re saying it. And their prayers go Dear Heavenly Father…In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen or summin along those lines.
And don’t even start with them using the Christian bible as a crutch to prove their Christianity. Was it not the Christians that took the Torah from the Jews and then claimed that Jesus bleed for our sins which made most of the laws in the Torah null and void. So why the hell would you teach something that you don’t believe in and then Christians don’t even decipher the Torah correctly.
It seems like no one can be happy without trying to make themselves feel superior in their religion.



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Donny

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:48 am


Jesus Himself said that many would come in His name and not be a follower.
There are lots of stories of people that claim to be Christian but when compared to what the Apostles wrote on what it is to be a Christian and what they quoted Jesus as saying, the people in error were proven to be just that.
Mormons are not Christians.
Not according to the Christians that existed before they did. Paul, Peter, John, Jude, James, Luke and the other contributors to the New Testament writings stand irrevoclably against people that present religions as askewed as Mormonism.
Joseph Smith was a bad historian. And what further exacerbates his heresy and problems is that the angels or gods visiting Smith were wrong as well.
Paul mentions angles like that.
Mormons and/or enyone else can use the words” Jesus Christ” and if you’ll notice, Jesus said that many false teachers and prohets would.
God does not live on a planet near a star called Kolob. Smith said he does.
Jesus is not the spiritual brother of Satan. Smith said he was.
In Doctrines and covenats 132 (a Mormon holy book as important as the Bible) Smith says that men must have multiple wives in heaven. Mormonism teaches eternal marriage.
Jesus said we are not married in heaven.
Upon examination; the “Test all things” admonishment of the New Testament, Mormons that follow Joseph Smith teachings are not Christians.
Not according “just” to me, but also the Christians that wrote and compiled the New Testament letters and reports.
It would be far more honest, for those wishing to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith to rename their belief system something else.
I would suggest Moroniism.
That is truly what it is.
Interesting to note is, that Moroni is an angel with another Gospel. No one following Jospeh Smith’s heresy can say they were not warned IN writing.



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Donny

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:51 am


By the way . . .,
Two wrongs can never make a right according to Christ Jesus and those that wrote the New Testament.
Repenting is the only way to start following “The Faith delivered only once to the Saints.”
And the scripture is NOT talking about Mormonism.



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Anonymous

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:00 pm


This is not about Mormons being Christian; its about trying not to step on toes.



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Momma

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:21 pm


It’s amazing how many people know so much about religion but they can’t spell “pathetic” while name-calling. After reading through the mush I think Bill Kilpatrick said it best. Mormons are Christians. Period. They have “discovered” an additional book and believe in an additional savior- so what? Who can prove them wrong? And if they are wrong, will God even care that they are “ultra” devoted christians! Mormon families are some of the most well-educated, welcoming, devotional, and peace-keeping families in this country. Our presidency would be served well by this type of structure and dedication. The prejudiced media is only playing Devil’s advocate (literally) in nit-picking this religion. Gotta start finding something wrong with everyone- stir up that good ‘ol political pot!



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AC

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:32 pm


When considering whether someone is a Christian or not, does it matter which “Christ” the person is following?
For example if I were to say that to me Christ is a 3 foot midget woman who lives in my basement and I follow her with all my heart… would I be considered a “Christian”?
The reason I ask is because the Christ from Mormonism varies greatly from the Christ of historic Christian orthodoxy.
The Christ of the biblical Christianity is not only the Son of God, He is also God the Son. The Bible says that Jesus is the Creator of the universe.
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:3
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Collosians 1:16-17
This means that Christ created everything including the devil and hell.
On the other hand, Mormonism teaches that Christ is the brother of the devil.
Two completely different Christs.
Again I ask, when considering whether someone is a Christian or not, does it matter which “Christ” the person is following?



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Richard

posted June 29, 2007 at 1:30 pm


Mormon baptisms are not recognized as valid by Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, most Lutherans, all (Eastern) Orthodox, United Methodists, and others. The Episcopalian rules (my own tradition) require that Mormons be “baptized,” not “received” nor even “conditionally” baptized. That sort of gives one a clue …..



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Anonymous

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:18 pm


Thank (G-d?) for secularism and irony. With the kind of disrespect and inconsistent behaviors (read: Not very Christlike) comments and judgments one group of so-called Christians hurls at another, do not wonder that people will turn their backs on the likes of that and seek their source of peace and truths through venues other than supposed “Christian” churches. If Christians can’t even agree on their supposed truths, how is a non-Christian to take it as true? How is any of this infighting to be construed other than as completely antethetical to Christ in its unbrotherly, intolerant, unAmerican and unChristian aspects?



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Bubba

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:20 pm


“The Christ of the biblical Christianity is not only the Son of God, He is also God the Son.”
Amen, AC.



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chad

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:41 pm


if you really want true Christianity contrasted with Mormon teachings (which are documented straight out of official LDS Church documents) then go to http://www.aomin.org. This is the website of Alpha and Omega ministries and Dr. James R. White. They have done extensive research on the LDS church and contrasted it with the Bible and traditional Christianity.
You can also do a google search and find James R. White’s book “Letters to a Mormon Elder” for free online.
Mormonism is not Christianity. If you take the definition of Christianity from the Bible then Mormonism is in direct contrast and the only way you can define Mormonism as Christian is by re-defining Christian terms.
Examples would include:
Christian: Jesus is the only begotten son.
Mormon: Jesus is the only begotten son in the flesh.
Christian: There is one true God. Period.
Mormon: There is one true God, of this planet.
When you can only fit your religion into Christianity by adding caveats or redefining terms, then you are not Christian.



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John

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:57 pm


Jude 3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Mormonism is not the faith which was once delivered unto the saints! Paul, Peter, John and all the other saints before Joseph Smith arrived on the scene never preached the gospel of Moroni, I have never heard a Mormon say that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh! John 1:1-14
I hear a lot of Mormons say Jesus is our Saviour, our Brother, the Son of God, our Friend, but do they ever say what Thomas said in John 20:28 “Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”” Another verse I have never heard a Mormon quote is 2 Corinthians 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” What is the word of reconciliation that the Mormons teach? I believe it to be some form of works and not Grace alone which is the faith once delivered.
Folks that think just becuase they are very commited to what they believe doesn’t mean that what they believe is true. Romans 10:2 “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” I know some will not like the scriptures I quoted but it’s the Bible are you going to hate it?



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John

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:00 pm


If you believe what this video teaches then you are a Mormon and not a Christian!



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John

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Jerry Abernathy

posted June 29, 2007 at 5:15 pm


The comments from the evangelicals on this sight would just be silly if it weren’t for the number of people who believe as they do! As a recovering “moderate” southern baptist, I would suggest that true Christianity is to be modeled after the faith of Jesus and not a faith in Jesus. For all who struggle with living the Way – may I suggest a living faith for our time – the UCC. Remember, as Gracie Allen said, “never place a period where God has place a comma”. God is still speaking and cares more for the way we live our lives than how we feel about ancient creeds.



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Mildbanter

posted June 29, 2007 at 5:44 pm


If a Moslem says they are a Christian, it must be so. If an atheist says they are a Christian it must be so. I mean who are were to argue with and judge people. If someone claims the name Christian, let them have it. The word has become meaningless in our current globalization of language. Today words have form, no substance, for substance requires absolute categories, and when it comes to what people claim to be, good Lord, who are we denial someone that they are not what they claim to be.
Personally, if I call for the plumber, and the garbage man shows up claiming to be the plumber, I will not let him in my house to fix the plumbing (if you know what I mean).
Mildbanter



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JrL

posted June 29, 2007 at 6:19 pm


Joie writes: “According to everything I was taught by the mormons, Jesus was a great teacher, period, He was not the Son of God, the Savior of Mankind, the One Who reconciled sinful man to the Heavenly Father.”
Curious. I was born into a Mormon family, and remain a faithful member of that Church. I was taught as a child that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of Mankind, and though I don’t recall use of the term “reconciled,” I was taught that he is our advocate and mediator with the Father, and the only one by whom salvation comes. I was always taught that to say Christ was just “a great teacher” was false. My adult experience in the Church has been entirely consistent with that early teaching. Joie or I seem to have been raised in very different churches….



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POC777

posted June 29, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Mormonism is not Christian and doesn’t follow what Jesus left to the Holy Apostles after His ascension into the Father’s right hand.
One avenue that Mormonism foundation “chips” is Joseph Smith’s first revelation at age 15. If this revelation is correct–it won’t contradict the Bible or the BOM. If this revelation is wrong–it must be rejected as false, for contradicting the Bible or the BOM.
Teaching that Christianity is false, is completely wrong–there’s no foundation to stand upon for the Mormon. Mormonism has or can never prove there was a universal apostasy that occured in early Christianity–and will never. No apostasy, no restoration; no restoration, no Joseph Smith; no Joseph Smith, no LDS, is that simple. The Bible clearly teaches in Galatians chapter 1, that if an angel or man brings another gospel(other than what Jesus Christ has done on the cross) let him be accursed. Joseph claims to have seen an “angel”. Teaching pre-Mormons and post-Mormons, that Joseph Smith in fact received a revelation from two Personages: Jesus and God on 1820, is contrary to many verses in the Bible and misleading. What many Mormons don’t know, is that there were about six different versions of Smith’s revelations which the LDS and FLDS has censored.
Satan changes himself into an angel of light and he deceives the simple minded indiviual–in this case, Mormons have gotten deceived.Practically what Smith seen, was not from God–and if its not from God–its from Satan. Over 100 revelations that Smith had received–contradict the Bible, blasphemy God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Whenever somthing or someone contradicts what God has already said in the Bible, is not from God. This a test to determine whether a prophet is from God or not: If a person claims to be an ordained prophet of God, then what comes forth from the mouth of the prophet will come into agreement with the Word of God–otherwise he is false and not to be followed. Reading from 1820′s revelation of Joseph Smith– he fails this test.



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John

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:30 pm


If a person claims to be an ordained prophet of God, then what comes forth from the mouth of the prophet will come into agreement with the Word of God
And whom is defining this “Word of God” taht a prophets statements must agree with? As an example we’ll randomly pick the Mormons, ergo the thier prophet is correct and POC is now apostate? Is that fare?
Nope. So whom should define this “Word of God” then?
otherwise he is false and not to be followed. Reading from 1820′s revelation of Joseph Smith– he fails this test
From a singular point of view that is true, but only such.
Regardless of Joe Smith, Mormons seem to truely take Jesus as Lord and Savior, are there other “hoops” they must jump through like trained circus animals? They love God and love thier fellow man, if anyone asks more of them then thier we have the beginings of non-chrisitanity…



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Puritanicoal

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:44 pm


Jesus is God.



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Phil

posted June 29, 2007 at 9:04 pm


I too was raised in the Mormon church. I’m staggered by Joie’s claims that Mormonism claims Christ was only a great teacher. I don’t know what Joie was doing during church meetings, but she(?) couldn’t have been paying attention.
For the record, for any practising Mormons, Jesus Christ is the only Saviour and Redeemer (not just of this planet, as someone else claimed Mormons say, but of the universe), the one by whose merits we are saved. We worship Him, depend on Him, strive to live like Him, and weekly show ourselves willing to take His name on ourselves as we renew our baptismal covenants through the sacrament. The Book of Mormon teaches clearly about the Saviour’s atonement, the essential need for it. Repentance and forgiveness come to us through the grace of Jesus Christ.



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TS

posted June 29, 2007 at 9:38 pm


In the real scriptures we were warned of false prophets and the lies that they will try to spread.
I’m sorry that many are lost due to one mans delusional, self serving pseudo-gospel.
It is rather interesting that some would ridicule evangelicals on their firm stance behind the words of Christ. Did he not himself say “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man may go to the father except through me.”
Furthermore, we know, from the old testament that Satan, aka Lucifer, aka Beelzebub was one of the rather more powerful angels who staged a rebellion. I seriously would question anybody who would relate him to God. Smith did just that by linking Christ to Satan.
Heck, Jesus himself said that a saint in heaven would be above the angels, making us greater than Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel, but nowhere near to the level of Christ who sits at the right hand of God.



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Brett

posted June 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm


I appreciate your comments, Dr Mohler. Just because someone calls themselves ‘Christian’ doesn’t mean that they are.
I read Mr. Card’s comments and was disappointed that he didn’t address more of your doctrinal questions. He seemed to spend most of his time appealing to human wisdom and emotion and never addressed doctrine.
The truth of the Bible is very important and we need to continue to defend it whenever it is attacked (even by those who claim to believe.)



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wuz

posted June 29, 2007 at 9:42 pm


Mormons do not believe Jesus Christ is anything more than another human being. He is not God. This is where they differ from Christians.



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ddt2318

posted June 29, 2007 at 10:15 pm


Hi,
Any teaching that Jesus Christ is not the Eternal Son of God is not Christian. The bible, by the Holy Spirit not private interpretation, is God’s Word. Thank you for reading.



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MysticWanderer

posted June 29, 2007 at 10:30 pm


While I am not a Mormon myself my brother converted and his wife is one. With them I have attended many Sunday services and have had many fruitful talks with several other Mormons and missionaries. All of them have affirmed that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God and through His death on the cross the Savior of this world. True they do not agree on the Trinity but then in my discussions with many more Mainstream Christians I have found that they either do not even pretend to comprehend the Trinity and act as if there were three totally separate entities involved while paying lip serevice to the concept or they do not agree with it at all.
Foir what it is worth in my limited experience I would call Mormons Christian though certainly not orthodox but then neither were the Gnostics or the Cathars and their disagreements were silenced by force not reasoned debate or revelation.



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POC777

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:10 pm


If a person claims to be an ordained prophet of God, then what comes forth from the mouth of the prophet will come into agreement with the Word of God
And whom is defining this “Word of God” that a prophets statements must agree with?
*Read Deut 18:22–Joseph Smith is false.
As an example we’ll randomly pick the Mormons, ergo the their prophet is correct and POC is now apostate? Is that fair?
Nope. So whom should define this “Word of God” then?
*The Word of God is the Word of God and not the Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price and the Book of Abraham, as millions of Mormons assume it is. There is not another testament of Jesus Christ–there are only two: The Old Testament and New Testament–there’s no more testaments. God has given mankind the Bible–His final revelation of Himself to mankind–His love letter. This question is: How do Mormons know its from God what LDS has been teaching and not from Satan? By “burning in your bosom”? Jeremiah 17:5 tells us the heart is evil and Proverbs says that if we trust in our own heart we are a fool.
otherwise he is false and not to be followed. Reading from 1820′s revelation of Joseph Smith– he fails this test
From a singular point of view that is true, but only such.
Regardless of Joesph Smith, Mormons seem to truely take Jesus as Lord and Savior, are there other “hoops” they must jump through like trained circus animals?
*I disgree. Mormons rely upon LDS and countless of revelations that come from falliable men inside LDS. They haven’t placed their faith upon Jesus Christ alone for their salvation but upon LDS, Smith, apostles, prophets and the president. Mormons follow the LDS God, Jesus Christ and spirit–not the same ones from the Bible. Mormons are taught to work for their salvation–to attain Godhood–exaltation. Such teaching is wrong. Everyone is saved by grace alone and not by works(Eph 2:8-9). Salvation by works is not taught in the Bible–Jesus has ALREADY finished the work on the cross–crying out “It is finished”.
They love God and love thier fellow man, if anyone asks more of them then their we have the beginings of non-chrisitanity…
*They profess they love God and their fellow men, but that still doesn’t prove anything. Every time a Mormon comes to my door, I tell them my testimony. When I’m done they get a concern look on their faces. I ask them if they’re a Christian. Then if they say yes, I ask them to explain to why they are Christian. They will tell me that they got baptized into Mormonism. I ask them: Are you 100% sure that if you were to die today(God forbid) will God allow you into His pearly gates of Heaven? They’re speechless! And if a Mormon tells me something that denies, opposes and contradicts the Bible; I will know they are lost in their sins and need to receive Jesus Christ into their heart.



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lpforlife

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:11 pm


the definition of christian is anyone who believes in christ as the son of god. mormons are most definantly christians. has anyone even bothered to look at the full name of the mormon church? “the church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints”, lets break that down, the church of JESUS CHRIST (does it get any more clear than that?), so they believe in christ. of latter day saints, essentially those trying to follow the example and teachings of christ in these days. dr Mohler is indeed making an attempt to change the definition of christian. popular belief doesnt make truth. you can convince a class of 30 toddlers that a cat is indeed a dog, but that doesnt make it the true definition. dr mohler can convince X number of people that christian is defined by TRADITIONAL christian orthodoxy, that doesnt make it true. if you want to know if mormons are christians, ASK A MORMON!! you dont ask a catholic to teach you the beliefs of the bhuddist religion, cause he doesnt know!!!



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tom

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:17 pm


“joie” – i dont know what mormon church you attended because i have been mormon all my life and it has been made VERY clear that jesus IS the VERY SON of god and that he did indeed suffer and die for the suns of ALL mankind. you either werent paying attention in church or it wasnt a mormon church. you could ask any 5 yr old member of our church and they would tell you that jesus christ is indeed the son of god and redeemer of the world.



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Maurice

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm


Obama’s United Church of Christ is NOT CHRISTIAN EITHER with their homosexual affirming selves. And listen to the heathen Episcopian telling someone who IS and IS NOT a Christian.
IF Gays are Christian the world is coming to an End!
Good is BAD and BAD IS GOOOOOOODDDDDDD!!!!!!!
I’m not Mormon. But I”M NO FOOL EITHER!
Bash one religion only to kiss the devil still!



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Todd Wood

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:59 pm


Thank you for the discussion, Dr. Mohler.
And Orson. Thank you.
Todd
http://heartissuesforlds.wordpress.com



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Will

posted June 30, 2007 at 1:36 am


Forgive me if this has already been said or if this has nothing to do with the current topic of conversation. I admit I didn’t really read all of them. I just wanted to offer a thought, and I really intend my conclusion for Dr. Mohler and Mr. Card more than anything (even though it seems unlikely they will read all the responses).
The first time that the word ‘Christian’ appears in the Bible is in The Acts of the Apostles. It is stated that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Later in Acts, Agrippa asks Paul if he would have him become a Christian too. The only other instance of the word I found was in Peter’s 1st Epistle where Peter seems to use it as a general reference to believers.
I’ve been told that the word had it’s origin as a pejorative for Christians in the 1st century. Like many such terms, it became accepted as a label. So, for the most part, it seems to me that the term was applied by 1st century Greeks to those who followed Christ. Words evolve in their meaning over time though. Thus, the question, “Are Mormons Christians?” seems poorly stated. Both Dr. Mohler and Orson Card are right because they both give a definition for the word and show why the word applies to them. In the historic, orthodox sense, Mormons are clearly not Christians. But in the sense that a Christian is simply a person who believes in the historic Jesus and tries to do what he taught, than Mormons are Christians, according to that definition (I’ve heard a Muslim state that he is a Christian before).
So I think the question that is being asked doesn’t actually get at the heart of the desired answers and opinions. It seems to me that many protestant/Catholic/orthodox Christians would like to know what Mormons actually believe and if Christians have fellowship with them. What would be more matter-of-fact, perhaps, is to ask if Mormon’s believe the gospel, and if so, what do they say that gospel is. Definitions are needed on both sides. Card criticized the unnamed Anglican theologian for using incomprehensible theological jargon, but he himself makes statements about Christ saving the world and his grace covering the guilt of our sins. What exactly does he mean? Salvation from what? What kinds of sins does Christ’s “grace” cover? How much sin can one commit? What does one have to do/believe/say/etc. in order to receive this ambiguous salvation and grace?
I shouldn’t be one sided simply because I understand most the words that Dr. Mohler will use, though. Definitions are necessary on both sides. Concise, yet precise understandings of meanings because as Card stated, many Christians (using Mohler’s definition) without theological training struggle to find difference in central tenets of belief. I don’t think that this is the result of laymen Christians being closer to Mormonism (proof for Card that it is true?). I think this is the result of ambiguity. Because even a Christian without extensive training, after talking with a Mormon, will likely conclude that something is off, even if he does not know what.
So, with all that said. Concise and precise definitions and explanations please! Don’t simply through around language and jargon.



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Frogman55

posted June 30, 2007 at 2:53 am


Quick question to all the experts here:
My Jesus is Black. Am I still Christian?



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VJ

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:00 am


Joie,
You say that you were mormon at one timet and that mormon doctrine does not teach the Jesus Christ is the one of God and the Savior of the world? You are either lying about once being a mormon or you had your eyes and ears closed and did not understand anything of mormon doctrine.
I have NEVER met a mormon who did not believe that Jesus Christ is the the Savior of the world. Mormon doctrine is clear on that point. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and no one can be saved, go to heaven etc except through him.
You are correct that God is the one who will decide whether we are Christian or not. I believe he will make that judgment based on our efforts to follow Jesus Christ. I think that was part of Mr. Card’s point. People can have very large disagreements about doctrine, in the end, it is silly for people to try and tell someone they aren’t Christian when they are trying to follow Jesus Christ – even if their ideas are incorrect.



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js

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:11 am


bottom line:
How many gods are there in ALL existence, according to orthodox Mormon doctrine?
Countless. Is this not correct?
How many gods are there in ALL existence, according to orthodox Christianity?
One.
For me, this is the end of this debate.



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Andrew

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:48 am


“Joie” (June 28 @ 9.34) is not and never has been a Mormon.



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Julia

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:51 am


Well,all I can say (as Jesus tought): a new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another. That should be the Christian credo. I am the product of Huguenots, who had to flee France in order to escape persecutions(as severe as the holocaust,or almost) It has made our family very tolerant of other belief systems. We still can opt for our truth, which all of us can glean from the bible, and is accessible in most parts of the Western world to all who can read. Why all the hatred and persecutions took place, I do not know. A cousin of mine who had been raised a Mormon, by his formerly Lutheran nother, who received help from the generosity of Mormons to raise her children, asked me, whether I believed he was a Christian, and I told him “yes”. I knew that God was the judge of his heart, and it was not up to me to judge him. There are two sides to Christianity: one is dogma, the other is faith. I like to think that faith overules dogma.



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Russell

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:55 am


“Mormons do not believe Jesus Christ is anything more than another human being. He is not God. This is where they differ from Christians.”
A betrayal of utter ignorance concerning MOrmon belief. Read ANY of our literature, esp. the BOM (the references are abundant–1 Ne. 19, 2 Ne. 2, 2 Ne. 25, Jacob 4, Mosiah 3-5, Mosiah 14-16, Alma 36-38, Hel. 5:12, and the list goes on WELL BEYOND what can be cited here) Hundreds of verses litearlly testify of Christ’s divinity. I challenge you to find a single verse in our texts that say otherwise. Bottom line: you cannot and one of these days, people will need to get educated or get out of town in their dialogues on Mormonism.



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Steve

posted June 30, 2007 at 10:12 am


Will (June 30) made a great point. Definitions are important. We live in an age where language is being torn apart by deconstructionism (read post-modernism). Words no longer mean anything and neither does dialogue if there is no exact definition behind a word. The same is true for confessions (read doctrines). If we do not have clearly laid-out definitions for what we believe, things begin to unravel. Most Christian churches, by any definition, are unraveling precisely because we have shifted away from doctrine and toward something else; namely an enculturated and emotional humanism.
Each person here feels that their opinion matters and is what others SHOULD believe. Why do we feel this way? Dr. Mohler may not have received his doctorate in Mormon Studies or Comparitive Religions, but he is one of the most intelligent and driven people I know. I have never met a person who reads as much or interacts as fairly as he does. He and I do not always end up in agreement on every topic, but he is far more qualified to speak on Mormonism than many Mormons may be.
Nobody here feels that Mormons do not really believe in their version of Christ, and nobody here is really saying that Mitt Romney should not run for or even become President of the United States. That is peripheral. Here we must deal with Mormonism as Christianity. I have interacted with Mormons, both in their church setting and through missionaries. What I have found interesting is there is has been a shift in how Mormons have desired to be seen in the surrounding community. There was a point when Mormons were satisfied with being called just that, Mormon. They did not seek to be identified with mainstream Christianity. Recently (I noticed the shift about 12 years ago), they started to pointedly “prefer” to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and started seeking to be considered mainstream. Now they call themselves Christian. The missionaries I have dealt with seek to minimize differences. They use the Bible and they talk about Greek, until you show evidence of knowledge of the Bible and of Greek, at which point the tactics change to the Book of Mormon. They never speak of the changes their doctrines have undergone. They never bring up comparing the Bible to their other Testament. Rather they stress personal experience and the “burning in the bosom.” I am not trying to be insulting here, but am trying to show that the basis for LDS missionary work is emotional appeal and difference minimization. Doctrines take a back seat.
Let us remove the fog and look at the differences. Others here have accurately, even if not expertly, portrayed Joseph Smith’s revelations as separate from what is “allowable” as presented by Scripture. What has not been revealed was Joseph Smith’s involvement in Occultic practices and religious dabblings which got him arrested before he ever claimed to have received news of the golden plates. He had a suspect history which makes his claims suspect. Beyond that, we have no evidence for his claims (no special reading glasses, no golden plates with Egyptian hieroglyphs). His claims controverted the Biblical Scriptures. The beginnings of Mormonism far more resemble that of Scientology than that of Christianity in Israel/Asia Minor/Rome. Also, while Mormons claim to follow Christ, they deny the trinity, which places them in the same sort of heresy as the Arians and Sabellians. To them, Christ may be Savior, but savior from what, and to what, and why? Very quickly commonality disappears and Mormonism is left naked.
I do not dislike Mormons, but if we are to get anywhere, the whole truth of what they believe must be revealed. Who is Satan and what is his function? Who is God and what makes him “God?” What is his nature and what is his past, present, and future role? What can a faithful Mormon expect upon death? What are the rewards of faithfulness? Where do they go? What was the official stance of the Church of LDS on other races besides whites until recently, and what happened to black people when they died? Paul boldly spoke of his faith and the particulars and practicalities of that faith unashamedly and in public. Let the Mormons do the same. Let their beliefs be seen plainly and then we will talk of commonality.
Laslty, who gets to define what a Christian is? That is a very good question that depends largely on who you ask. We must examine what goal is held in mind by the questioner and what goal is held by the questioned. I would suggest that a definition that preserves traditional understanding is generally the best, and that if another definition is being considered, it should be clearly portrayed and a reason should be given for the shift. I believe this is the method being employed by Dr. Mohler. He stays with traditional understandings of what makes a Christian; that is, doctrinal committment, and personal devotion (read fruit) to those doctines. Mormons claim to have the latter, but if the former is not there, how can the latter be completely correct? If we seek a different definition for Christianity, what definition should we seek and why the change? If we are to follow the suggestions of some of the posters here, and allow any who claim to be or who want to be Christians to be so, without any demands upon them, how far does this stretch? How far does Christianity stretch before it rips apart (although this may be the goal all along). Are Buddhists, Muslims, Marxists, and Pagans Christians? Paul would vehemently say no. Peter, James, Silas, and Barnabus would say no (Peter and James had trouble initially accepting Gentile converts, while Silas and Barnabus accompanied Paul on missionary journeys, signifying a difference of belief). Traditional definitions and understandings must not be thrown away for the sake of “community,” or “updating.” If a definition is changed, it must be with good reason.
Just another opinion to consider.



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TMD

posted June 30, 2007 at 10:32 am


The nature of Mohler’s argument seems to me inconsistent with wider Baptist beliefs about authority and the nature of the church. In a sense, he is stating that creeds devised and accepted by church councils in the 4th and 5th centuries define christianity. This seems inconsistent, to me, with more general Baptist claims of authority, and thus inherently contradictory to their apparent ability to define Baptists as christians. To wit–
(1) Nicea, etc., were approved by a church council called by a Roman emperor and under the authority of an ancient pope and patriarchs. If they accept their authority to speak as such and to define christianity, why do they not accept their successors’ (the popes and patriarchs, obviously) authority to do so? By the fourth century there is transparency in succession, major doctrines of succession had been in place, and central concepts of authority still central to Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy were in order. So it seems to me entirely contradictory to accept the authority of their creed but not their authority on other issues.
(2) The Nicene creed, particularly, is organically rooted in hellenized understandings of God–which go far beyond the biblical statements on the nature of God. Yet, my understanding of Baptist theology is that it was defined solely in terms of Biblical teaching. Thus is it not the case that accepting the nicene creed as an authoritative definition of christianity itself violates this central claim of Baptist teachings?



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Partha Sebastian Baroi

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:18 am


Greetings in Christ to everyone
I am an Indian by origin and had been born and brought up in multiculture and faith. I descend from hindu faith. I appreciate that we all debated, argued in favour or against here about mormonism. Its necessary to judge what we believe and what we not and what we should, depends on the choice we make to believe. But before making any choice we must know that we can make choices and not the consequences eg. ‘Wage of Sin is Death’. This is evident from the (OT)Gospel in the first book, Geneisis. Although God warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of that particular tree “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” but gave freedom to them to choose whether to eat it or not to eat them. And that was the opportunity the Devil was looking for to interfere and deceive with his craftiness to make mankind commit sin in the eyes of God, the loving father.It twisted God’s warning to Eve and convinced her to eat it. She could have reconsidered what God exactly said and judged on God’s powerful words (You will surely die if you eat the fruit of that tree) and fred herself from the Devil’s deceiving words and choose not to eat. She chose to eat it and the consequence of what is the death she faced. As the decendent of the first couple we all face that consequence today. So I believe with the knowledge of God’s word I have been able to clarrify the the ‘choice and consequence. But again Holy scripture says that God is merciful and he loved the world (Us)so much that He gave his only begotten son, Jesus (not anyone else–who is as holy as Jesus and God is) for the salvation and eternal life.
Similarly concerning faith in true God and teachings, I think we must be very careful to choose because when a wrong choice is made the painful and dreadful consequences are inevitable that we are bound face. The Scripture (both Old and The New Testaments)has been always warning us to Be on our guard that there are many false prophets who profess false teaching like Gnostic teachers and Gnosticism during early years of the foundation of Christian churches in the world.
If any one seeks the truth, He/she must pray and seek to God. I am more than sure that He would show a way as He did in my life. I never used to read the Bible before although I was born in a christian family which branched out from hindu origin. The more I read the Bible, more I enrich my wisdom from God’s word. When Some areas I don’t understand, I pray and seek God’s blessings to give me wisdom to open the true interpretation of his words. And I am happy to say that I am not a blind christian rather a christian with the experience of God’s presence in my life.
Concerning the ‘mormonism’, I have experience with them. After I came to UK. Two young people came from Canada and US to my door with a book preaching about christianity. I accepted them and called inside. We had long conversation about their faith. I questioned them as I always judge the true faith against the word of God. These two young gentlemen kept on trying to highlight in their preaching about Joseph Smith, always. No matter how much I tried to focus on Jesus, they always seemed trying subside Jesus and focus on Joseph Smith. They left me after hours of long conversation. Oneday I went to their church in Chorley, near Preston in the UK. I visited their library, sanctuary (but was not allowed to go inside unless I was a mormon. I questioned on many things but always their ushers avoided when I dug deep in our conversation. Ultimately, rather satisfying me with the answers justified in the old and New testament he left by saying “its your faith”. I said to them indeed its my faith. I judge everything on the balance against the word of God because God’s words in the scriptures are the absolute, complete and perfect weights. True Christianity never make you a blind believer. Jesus said He is the light to the world. Therefore, how a true Christian walking in the light can be blind.
Finally, as true truth seeker my opinion regarding all the faith, not only Mormonism, all opinions and philosophies regarding faith in God should be judged before making choice of any faith because consequences are attached to each choice and are sometimes dreadful as I mentioned earlier and there is no return. Scripture says,”seek and you will be given”.
How come someone be greater than God and Jesus. When scripture says regrding Jesus that nothing was created without Him. He was in the begining and the end. As John the Baptist said “He (Jesus)must increase and I must decrease”. He even told his deciples that to follow Jesus because He is the one who will baptise you with fire (Holy Spirit from God)” John was a great prophet which was even declared by Jesus. But John always with absolute humility submitted himself to Jesus. And thus said, “He must increase and I must decrease” and not even worthy to untie his shoe strap. If that is so how come one such as Mormons magnify Joseph Smith more than Jesus in their ministry. This all I am saying from my experience by meeting them. One of the biggest stumble stone for the non-believers and the false preachers is to deny craftily that Jesus is not the only begotten son of God when throughout the scripture God spoke about Jesus through his prophets and prepared His people for the coming of the Christ. Jews, his own people, had this problem to believe him and for that reason they crucified Him. If they were not blind then they accepted him as the promissed messiah from God, His own son. They were blind. So the whole truth is that Jesus is the centre of Christianity, a new covenant of God. Other than this all are false.
I am happy to learn that through many arguments against and in favour of Gods word. ‘Jesus’ the name from above is testified, becoming purer and purer to trust upon and calling doom upon them who deny Him. Some say they believe but put doubts in Him in their hearts or do not read about Him and his words in the scripture but say against Him.
Please! read Bible and seek him. He is stretching arms wide open for you to embrace and give you wisdom. You don’t need anyone to understand his words but only his blessings.
May God Bless you all in Jesus name.
Partha Sebastian



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King Cabreros

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:29 am


You have many good points Dr. Mohler that Mr. Card could not easily debunk, but to debate religion, or in this case Mormonism, is very difficult because it is hard to agree on the core points. And so, as it happened, there is really no debate in the real sense of the word, but only expert opinions or rebuttals. But I salute both of you because your points of view are very interesting, enlightening, and really enjoyable to read. You two people are one of a kind! My congratulations.



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Joy Dawson

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:00 pm


Your opponent is correct—you have not read the Book of Mormon. There is nothing in that book but what Jesus also taught where he was born. However, there are some things that are made more clear in it. I am not a Mormon—I belong to the Community of Christ Church. We do believe that the Book of Mormon was brought forth by the power of God, but we never believed in polygamy, or that we can become gods, or that we will be married in heaven (and none of these things can be found in the Book of Mormon—in fact, it teaches against these things.) I consider myself a Christian who believes in God the Father and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. I also believe that the Book of Mormon is true scripture, brought forth by God for the benefit of the American Indian and other peoples of the Maya and Inca desendents. I am not a Mormon, but I would vote for Romney because I know something of his churches’ teaching on morality.



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Anonymous

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:27 pm


I agree with Albert Mohler on this issue. I think that if we are to say if the Morman faith is really Christian, we have to look at how their doctrin is. To me, when I study all of the beliefs of Mormans I just can not find any real truth behind what they claim as far as them being Christian or not. I think to define a Christian you have to know what beliefs does a Christian need to have in order to really be considered a Christian.
1. Jesus Christ is God incarnate.
2. God has a triune nature.(Not a polytheistic god, but a monotheistic God).
3. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the redemption of man.
4. Can NOT believe that Jesus worked his way to Godhood from starting as man.
You can not have beliefs such as number 4 and still be considered Christian. That is simply not what The Bible teaches. For example, in John 8:58 Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I AM”. This is an interesting quote because Jesus makes a claim to deity even before time began. So I can only conclude that the thought of Jesus acheiving Godhood from being man is totally incorrect. Thanks



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POC777

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:54 pm


Quick question to all the experts here:
My Jesus is Black. Am I still Christian?
*If you have repented of all your sins, believe that Jesus Christ has suffered, crucified, died and resurrect on the third day and have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior. You have been regenerated(made alive) by the Holy Spirit–you have been born again–you are a spiritual child of God(son or daughter of God)–you are a Christian.
*No pariality exists within Christianity everyone has been made in God’s image. I always tezch this important truth “God is color blind”, therefore, we also should accept everyone who is different than we are, the same way God does–God loves both Jew and Gentile(non-Jew)–He loves everyone, just the same. Jesus skin maybe did change color, because He was in the desert for forty days and forty nights. If Jesus was dark-skinned, brown or white 2,000 years ago–it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever–faith upon Him alone for our salvation–that’s what matters “we live by faith not by sight”. We live for Him, not what we see. Now if anyone bows down and worships an image of Jesus Christ, that is considered idoltary–it is a sin against God. If you believe He was black, then that’s your conviction and if a Chinese believes He was Asian, then that’s their conviction and so on. God doesn’t show favortism nor is He a respecter of persons.
Posted by: Frogman55 | June 30, 2007 2:53 AM



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POC777

posted June 30, 2007 at 1:06 pm


Feelings don’t make anyone a Christian–redemption through Jesus death on the cross, will make anyone a Christian if they are willing to accept Him into their heart and life.
Religion reaches up to God; God extends His hand in Christianity.
Mormonism goes by feelings “burning in your bosom” to accept the Book of Mormon and other LDS scriptures. Christians follow the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ to the book of Revelation and don’t go by feelings.
Living on feelings will deceive people!
Jeremiah 17:5 teaches us that we can’t trust in our own hearts–they will deceive us.
That’s another avenue I see Mormonism–not Christian.



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POC777

posted June 30, 2007 at 1:32 pm


Your opponent is correct—you have not read the Book of Mormon. There is nothing in that book but what Jesus also taught where he was born. However, there are some things that are made more clear in it. I am not a Mormon—I belong to the Community of Christ Church. We do believe that the Book of Mormon was brought forth by the power of God, but we never believed in polygamy, or that we can become gods, or that we will be married in heaven (and none of these things can be found in the Book of Mormon—in fact, it teaches against these things.)
*You have to explain to us why do you think the BOM was brought forth from the power of God, otherwise, your assumptions are incorrect.
I consider myself a Christian who believes in God the Father and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. I also believe that the Book of Mormon is true scripture, brought forth by God for the benefit of the American Indian and other peoples of the Maya and Inca desendents. I am not a Mormon, but I would vote for Romney because I know something of his churches’ teaching on morality.
*You are correct that the Book of Mormon does contain doctrines from the Bible–that still doesn’t mean Mormonism is Christian. However, that still won’t vaildate that the BOM is the Word of God. I have the 1830 edition of the BOM and D&C from the 1800′s. I haven’t found one shred of evidience–where are the Nephite plates have been buried, have they ever been found? I ask this question to many Mormons:
The scrolls found in a cave by a shepherd boy on 1947, that put together the Bible, are on displayed in Israel. Why are the Nephite golden plates, not on display on the Hill of Cumroah today? Will there ever be found?
Can you find me archeological and historical proof from non-Mormon sources that prove that the peoples and places named in the Book of Mormon are true?
One elder looks at the other one–I don’t get no response!
God doesn’t contradict Himself!



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POC777

posted June 30, 2007 at 1:41 pm


“Mormons do not believe Jesus Christ is anything more than another human being. He is not God. This is where they differ from Christians.”
A betrayal of utter ignorance concerning Mormon belief. Read ANY of our literature, esp. the BOM (the references are abundant–1 Ne. 19, 2 Ne. 2, 2 Ne. 25, Jacob 4, Mosiah 3-5, Mosiah 14-16, Alma 36-38, Hel. 5:12, and the list goes on WELL BEYOND what can be cited here)
*Could we say that Joseph plagarized many verses from the KJV?
*And don’t tell me he didn’t because that’s how the BOM was made, by him.
Hundreds of verses litearlly testify of Christ’s divinity. I challenge you to find a single verse in our texts that say otherwise. Bottom line: you cannot and one of these days, people will need to get educated or get out of town in their dialogues on Mormonism.
*Right, but why does LDS teach that Jesus was a god from the gods and came from the star Kolob, if the Bible teaches He is the same God FROM the OT, who came into this world, born from Mary’s womb?



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John

posted June 30, 2007 at 2:34 pm


I would ask all my fellow Christians who are posting on this topic and Dr.Mohler himself to consider the following when asking themselves about who is and isn’t Christian and who may or may not be saved.The first is a quote from a Russian Orthodox saint St.Theophan(I myself, am not of the Russian Orthodox faith,I just think like him on this subject),the verses that follow are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
“You ask, will the heterodox be saved.
Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them.
You and I should not be burdened with such a concern.
Study yourself and your own sins.”
St.Theophan
For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth,
nor of him that runneth [struggleth],
but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16)
“For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?
Do not ye judge them that are within?
But them that are without God judgeth” (1 Cor. 5:12-13)
” First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions,
and thanks be offered on behalf of all people,
even for kings and all who are in authority,
that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life
in all godliness and dignity. Such prayer for all
is good and welcomed before God our Savior,
since he wants all people to be saved and to come
to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
While it’s true that none of these verses are the words of Jesus,they are included in the Word Of God,written by some of his first and most inspired followers.
Just a few things to think about.
From a mere sinner,aspiring to live like a saint.



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Patty

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:14 pm


quote: I have interacted with Mormons, both in their church setting and through missionaries. What I have found interesting is there is has been a shift in how Mormons have desired to be seen in the surrounding community. There was a point when Mormons were satisfied with being called just that, Mormon. They did not seek to be identified with mainstream Christianity. Recently (I noticed the shift about 12 years ago), they started to pointedly “prefer” to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and started seeking to be considered mainstream. Now they call themselves Christian.
I have seen this shift. I feel differently about it than those outside my faith do though. As a child and a youth I never thought of calling myself a christen. Not because I didn’t believe Christ was our Lord, Savior, Son of God and God, the Son. I just never felt a reason to label myself as Christian because I always considered myself as one. That’s how most of us have felt I believe.
Then we started hearing lies being spread about us. Outright lies and lies spread by those who just didn’t know better. Lies saying that we believe in Jesus as only a teacher and things such as that. I noticed in the south there was momentum going to be called a Christian by those outside my faith. When others stated we weren’t christen because of the lies we affirmed that yes, we are.
You know if you want to say we are not christen because your definition of a christen is to only believe in a trinitarian God then I am OK with you saying we are not christen.
But if the reasons you say we are not christen because YOU THINK:
1) that we think he is only a teacher
2) that we don’t call him Lord, creator or any other of the names listed in the bible
3) that we don’t believe he is the Son of God
4) you haven’t heard us quote a specific bible scripture
5) that we don’t believe in Him as Savior
6) that we hold Joseph Smith higher than God
then you have been misled. (There were quite a few things that were stated by people here that are not our beliefs, besides the ones I mentioned).
If you want to say we are not christen because we don’t believe in the definition we do then fine. BUT DON”T USE LIES AND UNTRUTHS AS PROOF THAT WE ARE NOT CHRISTEN.
Partha Sebastian – I’m sorry about your experience with the missionaries. It sounds like you could have used missionaries that know how to explain things better.



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Mike~FairyBear

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:27 pm


Isn’t it odd how important defining who is in and who is out has become?
To some Old Order Amish they are the only Christians. The River Brethren I’ve met believe they are the only Christians. The Reformed Presbyterians teach that they are Christians and Roman Catholics cannot be. Roman Catholics reject Protestants (some even still believe that only they will be saved). Over the years Anglicans have hated Puritans who hated Baptists. They all hated Quakers and now hate Mormons, who reject the rest of “Christianity”. When will it ever end?
Many, many folks like myself have left the “Christian Church” in all its various disguises. And while I don’t believe it will ever happen when I am asked by your god and your Jesus why I left. I’ll just have to point to you all and ask “Are you kidding?”
If as Jesus says, in Matthew, you will be judged by how you treated Him (His brethren) how will you answer? “Gee, that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I’m Saved! I claim you as my personal savior.” won’t cut it. Your “faith” is belied by your works and if there is a hell then I guess we’ll both be there.



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Reader John

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:28 pm


I am an Orthodox Christian with a capital “O”. I formerly was baptist (with both small and big “B”) and then Calvinist.
I understand why Mormons claim the title “Christian” in perfectly good conscience. But given their belief that the rest of the “Christian” world went dreadfully wrong from the death of the last Apostle until the supposed revelations to Joseph Smith, there’s something dishonest when they take offense at other Christians denying them the title. If the LDS Church is Christian, the other Churches that claim the title are “Christian” in only the most equivocal sense – and vice-versa. Pin them down, and Mormons will admit that.
But Dr. Mohler, as a Baptist, is indeed treading on the sort of dangerous ground noted by TMD (June 30, 2007 10:32 AM) by how he frames his argument. Pin him down and he should admit it.
Yeah, Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and other garden-variety Protestants agree, sort of, with historic Christianity up through the Council of Chalcedon. That’s better than nothing – and nothing is how much of post-apostolic Christian history Joseph Smith accepted.
So I could, I suppose, say that a “true Christian” is one who believes the Nicene Creed. And in fact I do (perhaps arbitrarily) entertain a relatively lively hope for the salvation of Protestants like my wife and the rest of my family who, through Nicea to Chalcedon, are more or less orthodox.
But Protestants actually mean something different than did the Fathers of Nicea (and than do historic Christians today) when they confess in the Nicene Creed “one holy catholic and apostolic church.” They in effect believe that the gates of hell did prevail against the Church for a spell – ending at or after the Reformation. That puts them, notably, in the same general league with Joseph Smith (who thought the Church went wrong really earlier and that got right again later). Protestants reject or ignore – why? – the 5th through 7th ecumenical councils. Despite “Bible only” claims, they picked up from Anselm of the 12th century some oddball ideas of how the atonement works. The list could go on.
In short, Protestants don’t really believe “quo semper, ubique et ab omnibus,” but in a bit of “bootstrapping,” citing their own denials of Christian history, seek to redefine it.
In that sense, “Mormonism is not Christianity” is necessarily a matter of arbitrary degree when spoken by a Baptist or any other Protestant. Count me with St. Theophan, kindly quoted by John (June 30, 2007 2:34 PM), when it comes to Protestants and Mormons alike: “They have a Savior Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them.”



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Andrew

posted June 30, 2007 at 4:59 pm


“You know if you want to say we are not christen because your definition of a christen is to only believe in a trinitarian God then I am OK with you saying we are not christen.”
I’m active LDS. I do think that the question hinges on your definition of Christianity. If you say that Christians are people who accept Jesus as their Savior, then Mormons are certainly Christians. But that would also make Messianic Jews Christians, and they’d be the first to disagree.
But I’ve noticed that among the mainstream Christian churches, at least, their differences are based on technicalities, not fundamentals. for example, a catholic and a baptist may argue about the appropriate age to baptize someone, but they both agree that baptism is essential ordinance. If you say that Christians are people who agree on a set of fundamental doctrines, then Mormons probably are not christian. Not that sort of Christian anyway.
I’m a Mormon who prefers not to claim to be a Christian. To my mind, Christians do talk an awful lot of airey-fairey nonsense, mingled with vast quantities of hand-holding, hugging, sentimental singing, and other wussey activities that real men avoid like plague. I really don’t want people to associate me with all that.



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Lachoneus

posted June 30, 2007 at 6:27 pm


It is obvious that Dr. Mohler lost the debate in his first sentence. The question proposed, according to the title of the debate, is “Are Mormons Christian?” But rather than address that rather obvious and simple question, Dr. Mohler decided to address the question of whether Mormons are Christians “as defined by traditional Christian orthodoxy,” an entirely different question.
I was not aware that there was any doubt about whether Mormons believe in the identical doctrines espoused by “traditional Christian orthodoxy.” They do not. But, since that was not the question asked, I do not see what Dr. Mohler’s answer to that question has to do with the question asked.
Maybe the question for the debate should have been, does the “traditional Christian orthodoxy” interpretation of the Bible conform to actual Biblical teachings? Put another way, maybe Dr. Mohler should have addressed the question of whether “traditional” Christians are Christian.
All together, I found Dr. Mohler’s entire response entirely unresponsive.



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Brian

posted June 30, 2007 at 7:06 pm


I’m just curious how much money all of you paid your wonderful pastors to teach this inane garbage, oh wait, excuse me, I mean enlightened tidbits of wisdom you spew out about Mormons. There seem to be a lot of experts. Do you really talk about Christ at your church, or do you just talk about Mormons?
Just in case you think this is a mean-spirited comment, have no fear– I’m praying pray for you too.



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Wizard of ID

posted June 30, 2007 at 7:17 pm


A quote from Dr Mohler’s essay: “the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is not the only begotten Son of God … or the one through whose death on the cross we can be saved from our sins.”
To anyone who actually knows something of Mormonism, this is an astonishing statement! Unfortunately, Dr. Mohler doesn’t explain how he arrived at this conclusion, but it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in his understanding of his subject.
The Book of Mormon refers constantly to Jesus as “the only begotten son of God.” It contains hundreds of references to Christ’s atonement to save men from their sins.
The first Article of Faith (sort of like the Mormon version of the Nicene Creed) states: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.” The third Article of Faith states: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved.”
Bruce R. McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine”, considered by Mormons as the definitive treatise, states: “Salvation comes because of the atonement”
Dr. Mohler may have reason to condemn Mormonism in relation to other authodox Christian doctrines. But in stating that Mormons don’t believe in Christ’s atonement, he runs a strong risk that people will simply dismiss him as not knowing what he’s talking about.



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Anonymous

posted June 30, 2007 at 9:00 pm


With hundreds of sects within christianity, why should the Mormons be treated any different then any other sect ?
Do evangelicals have the right to say who is christian and who is not ?
Their leaders can’t even decide if they hate homosexuals or love being one. (Haggard)
I think the debate is sort of lame, and we can thank the likes of Al Sharpton and others for this waste of time.
buckle



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Baileyblue

posted June 30, 2007 at 10:54 pm


I can’t help but imagine God and Christ looking upon his beloved children and being so dismayed at all the arguing, dissention, bitterness, self-righteouness and constant bickering “in His name”. He loves us all, right? Even if we are like children fighting in the sandbox, “I’m right, no— I”m right” and on and on and on it goes.
Why can’t we just accept that everyone thinks he/she is right and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. He knows none of us know His truth. It’s impossible. He’s God–we aren’t. The good news is that He loves us anyway. Just like a child who goes against his parents, those parents never stop loving that child. If a parent’s love is that great, how much greater is God’s love for his fault-filled children?? All we can do is believe the best we can and rest in the knowledge that we are loved not for what we insist is the truth, but because HE is truth.



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Jestyrfyl

posted June 30, 2007 at 10:54 pm


We don’t get to say who is – or is not – on the Ship of Christ. Their very name includes Jesus Christ in it, so I guess our opinion is out of play. That they don’t necessarily define it the way someone else does is of no consequence. Thank goodness (God) for that!



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Frances A Smith

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:09 pm


One of the major foundations of Christianity is The Word of God that was written for instruction and teaching and inspiration for mankind. Christianity has determined that there are 66 “God-Breathed” Books of the Christian Bible. The book of Revelation in Chapter 22 states that woe to someone who would add to or take away from The Words of this Book. Some might say those words are applicable only to the singular book of Revelation; however, I believe and know that because God has protected His Word throughout 6000 years, that it is not a coincident that the last book of the Christian bible was Revelation (because it was written last) and I would maintain that those words are not only applicable to the book of Revelation but applicable to the Christian Bible and its 66 books in entirety! While Catholics are indeed Christians, the additional 5 or 6 books used in the Catholic bible were in existence at the time that it was determined which books met the requirement of “God breathed” and those 5 or 6 were excluded as meeting all of the standards.
The Book of Morman written almot 1800 years later than Revelation clearly states in its introduction that it was written for the peoples of the new continent i.e. North and South America.
To believe this, would be to believe that the Creator of the Universe did not believe the original 66 books of the Bible (last written in I believe 93-97 A.D.?) covered North and South America because he didn’t know it would be discovered. That is ludicrous to think He didn’t know America was in the future of the world! There is no need for the words in The Book of Morman, which is the foundation of the Mormon Church, because the 66 Books in the Christian Bible is sufficient for all mankind on the face of the earth for entirety! The God I serve knew and planned for the existence and eventual discovery of North and South America and knew America would be the Christian light of the world. He even knew that Christopher Columbus, who it is believed to have Jewish roots, would be inspired by God to discover America and we are the Remnant of Israel!
So to believe in Mormonism as a Christian faith and based on The Book of Mormon would be to believe that God’s Original Word (last believed to be written 93A.D.-97A.D.) was not sufficient which would imply He i.e. God is not omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Which He clearly is and even gave warning to anyone that would add to or delete the Word of God.
Mormonism is not a Christian faith because it teaches from The Book of Mormon!



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Dan

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:58 pm


Christianity is not just belief that Jesus was the Son of God, but that he is FULLY God and FULLY Man at the same time. And yes this is a lot in this and other concepts of Christianity that don’t make sense, sorry if it’s too confusing for you. If you want easy answers, Christianity is not the religion for you.
To Mormons- Do you believe that Jesus Christ is both Lord and the one true God, or just a great example, our brother, and our Savior (all of which he definitely is)?
BTW, the concept of marriages and families being sealed forever is a nice happy thought, but is not only not in the Bible, but is in fact against the words of Christ himself.



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Robert Decell

posted June 30, 2007 at 11:59 pm


Jesus called and ordained his apostles giving them the authority to preach, ordain, baptize etc. They did not call themselves nor could they and still be recognized by him.
Mainline christianity has taken the honor upon itself to organize, define, teach etc. It teaches for doctrine the commandments of man. It has a form of godliness but denies Gods power (revelation, miracles, etc.) It worships the hellenized nicene god fashioned from years of debate in 325 AD. This God is not the god of the bible but of Xenophanes and plato. Since eternal life is to know the true god, mainline christianity insists on holding souls back because it will not look and embrace the true god as defined by the LDS faith.



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Brian

posted July 1, 2007 at 12:37 am


Here are a few gems from the Book of Mormon to those who insist that revelation ceased at end of the Bible (2 Nephi 29:6-8,10):
The gentiles will say: “A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.”
Nephi responds: “Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?”
“Wherefore murmur ye because that ye shall receive more of my word?”
“Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.”
It’s fantastic that there are so many passionate believers in the Bible. I appreciate belief and conviction,and I believe the words of the Bible and read it every day, but I fear that most, if not all, derogatory comments about the Book of Mormon are coming from those who have never touched a copy of the book (lest they be smitten with a curse, just as their pastor taught them).
I guess I’m just wondering why some people believe so vehemently that God would not reveal his word to anyone else except those who lived in ancient Israel.



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Roper

posted July 1, 2007 at 1:41 am


A few observations:
Jesus never used the word “Christian.” In fact, the word only appears three times in the New Testament.
- Acts 11:26. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” They were called Christians by outsiders and enemies. In the first century, what made a person a Christian was simply a dedication to Jesus Christ. One cannot expel Mormons by that definition.
- Acts 26:28. Agrippa replies to Paul, “A little more, and your arguments would make a Christian of me.” Is it Paul’s preceding testimony that defines a Christian? Paul testified that Hebrew prophets had foretold of Christ, that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, and that we obtain forgiveness through Jesus Christ. One cannot expel Mormons by that definition.
- 1 Peter 4:16. “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God.” Well, if suffering defines a Christian, then one certainly cannot expel Mormons.
I noticed that Dr. Mohler was careful to use the term “Orthodox Christianity.” That was an appeal to the concept that in order to be called Christian, a religion must accept the councils and creeds in the centuries following the death of Christ. There were 21 ecumenical councils. Most Protestant religions only accept the first seven–should we expel them? How about the Eastern Orthodox Christians who reject all but the first three–should we expel them?
Usually, those who wish to label Mormons as non-Christians appeal to the Nicene creed. However, the scholars of the Nicene council never claimed authority to define “Christianity.” Furthermore, the Nicene Creed is heavily influenced by Hellenistic philosophy in it’s metaphysical concept of God. To the early “Christians” who had listened to Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount, the Nicene Creed would have been a mass of confusion. Additionally, those who were excommunicated for rejecting the Nicene Creed were never labeled “non-Christian.”
The arguments people use to support the claim that “Mormons are not Christians” are all, upon close examination, baseless. They are merely word games cunningly devised to stir up contention and blind the eyes of humble seekers.



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Anonymous

posted July 1, 2007 at 2:56 am


There is only one reason to propigate the deceptive lie that Mormons are not Christian. To scare people from learning what the LDS Church really teaches. Read the Book of Mormon. It’s free. Mormon.org



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Wizard of ID

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:21 am


A quote from Dan: “To Mormons- Do you believe that Jesus Christ is both Lord and the one true God, or just a great example, our brother, and our Savior”
I’m sorry? You’re suggesting we might consider Jesus our Savior but not our god? What exactly do you mean by “Lord” and “one true god”? Give us some definitions to work with, and we might be able to answer you.
This is what I dislike most about Christianity — it always seems just a cobbler of vague concepts so ill-defined I doubt the Christians themselves really understand them.
Don’t call this Mormon a Christian. I don’t want to be thought of as one of those people.



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Alina

posted July 1, 2007 at 5:31 am


As others have pointed out, if a Christian is only Christian when meeting the qualifications of “traditional Christian Orthodoxy” then no protestant group should be included. They simply aren’t orthodox Christians in any sense of the word.



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Michele

posted July 1, 2007 at 6:26 am


I will only add this. As a former Mormon I spent years arguing these same points with Christians, trying desperately to prove to them that I was one too (a Christian that is), but I never stopped to look at it from their perspective. Looking back, I think I was afraid to. I was worried, in the back of mind, that perhaps THEY were right and then where would that leave me?
Long story short, I finally decided that IF the BOM, D&C, PoGP, etc were true then they could stand up to any scrutiny (as the Bible has done). I began to read and study (using multiple Bible translations, original church history documents, etc) some of the books that are on the market that oppose Mormon doctrine. Well thought out, well researched study helps by respected authors.
After two weeks of late nights and tears I came to the realization that I had been serving in a pseudo-Christian organization for years. Once the Truth was made clear to me I repented and asked the Lord to guide me away from these false teachings about Him and to steer me down the straight and narrow path. He’s been faithful to do so ever since and I can’t tell you the freedom I’ve experienced since that time…over 5 years ago.
So, to my brothers and sisters in the Mormon church…while YOU may be a Christian and your heart’s intent IS to serve the One True God, by remaining affiliated with and adhering to the doctrine of the LDS or RLDS or whatever “branch” of the church you are part of, you are missing out on that which you seek most…the FULLNESS of the gospel which can’t be found in the BOM or other church documents, but only in His Holy Word that, by His Grace and Sovereign Will, He has preserved for us this day.
May the Holy Spirit bless you with true understanding and call you out from the veil you don’t even realize your under.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:28 am


That’s too bad, Michelle. I don’t know what you were studying, or how balanced your study was, but I thought the same thing several years ago. In my experience, it does indeed stand up to scrutiny. I don’t have an answer for everything, but I’ve got quite enough to satisfy me.
But that’s an interesting comment about the fullness of God’s holy word. Since we use the Bible as one of our holy texts, why would you consider that we don’t have the fullness of God’s word?



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Matt Evans

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:18 am


Dr. Mohler and others denying that Mormons are Christians:
If accepting the creedal formulations of “traditional Christian orthodoxy” is necessary for salvation, why didn’t Christ teach them? Why didn’t He know that trusting on his name and being born again was insufficient, like you do?
There are many accounts in the New Testament where Christ blesses one who has accepted him as their Lord. In none of these accounts does He say they are not saved until they understand the nature of the Trinity, or until they recant their belief in magic, reincarnation, the tooth fairy, or anything else. Because Christ taught that accepting him and being born again was sufficient for salvation, I don’t understand why you think Mormon belief in a pre-mortal existence, or the Book of Mormon, or anything else, would prevent the Christ of the New Testament from saving them.
Ultimately, it matters only whether Christ considers one Christian, and fortunately for Mormons, we can read the bible and see that the definition you’re using isn’t the definition Christ used to distinguish His followers.



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rev-ed

posted July 1, 2007 at 12:28 pm


It’s interesting in the thought that it is Orthodox Christianity telling Mormons that they are not Christian, when it was Joseph Smith who first made the claim that the Christian Church was absent from the earth from the close of the NT until 1820. By Smith’s definition, Mormon teaching is not Christian teaching, assuming you understand Christianity as what has been historically taught in the Christian Church.



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 1:47 pm


*First of all, you must know where the name Mormon is–Mormons know it came from the supposed angel, Morni. Here is an example on what happened to missionaires in China one day:
A group of Mormons traveled to China to witness about Mormonism. Each time they mentioned the word ‘Mormon’ in the city, the Chinese people will tell them, that the word meant, follower of the devil or Satan. To not blow their cover–each time missionaries go do their ‘mission’, they don’t say they are Mormon, but Christian. This confuses many Christians in China and other parts of the world.
Mormons are not Christian, but a follower of Satan.
A few observations:
Jesus never used the word “Christian.” In fact, the word only appears three times in the New Testament.
*You need to explain what the word ‘Christian’ means? Christian means a follower of Christ, His disciple(student) and little christ.
- Acts 11:26. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” They were called Christians by outsiders and enemies. In the first century, what made a person a Christian was simply a dedication to Jesus Christ. One cannot expel Mormons by that definition.
*They already been, expelled!
- Acts 26:28. Agrippa replies to Paul, “A little more, and your arguments would make a Christian of me.” Is it Paul’s preceding testimony that defines a Christian? Paul testified that Hebrew prophets had foretold of Christ, that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, and that we obtain forgiveness through Jesus Christ. One cannot expel Mormons by that definition.
*And your point is…..?
1 Peter 4:16. “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God.” Well, if suffering defines a Christian, then one certainly cannot expel Mormons.
*Mormons are a cardboard copy of Christians–they are not genuine. This verse is speaking to those who belong to God through Jesus Christ and not Mormons, because they don’t have a relationship with God.
*Pre-Mormons get baptized into Mormonism–doesn’t mean they are Christian in general. I could tell you, that I’m Paul the apostle, but will never become Paul. I don’t become Paul because I want to, I could follow his examples to live for Christ, but I could never be Paul. In the same way, Mormons could proclaim they are Christian but in reality they are not Christian at all, but pseudo-Christians(false Christians and false brethren).
*They are not saved and still dead in their sins, if they don’t repent before death and place their faith and trust upon Jesus Christ alone for their salvation and deny LSD, they are going to Hell.
I noticed that Dr. Mohler was careful to use the term “Orthodox Christianity.” That was an appeal to the concept that in order to be called Christian, a religion must accept the councils and creeds in the centuries following the death of Christ.
There were 21 ecumenical councils. Most Protestant religions only accept the first seven–should we expel them?
*The only creed I will ever accept is the Apostles Creed. Therein, are the teachings of the Holy Apostles–that were taught by Jesus Christ in the Gospels after His ascension to the Father’s right hand.
How about the Eastern Orthodox Christians who reject all but the first three–should we expel them?
*We accept everything that comes from the Bible(sola scriptura)–not from man.
Usually, those who wish to label Mormons as non-Christians appeal to the Nicene creed. However, the scholars of the Nicene council never claimed authority to define “Christianity.” Furthermore, the Nicene Creed is heavily influenced by Hellenistic philosophy in it’s metaphysical concept of God. To the early “Christians” who had listened to Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount, the Nicene Creed would have been a mass of confusion. Additionally, those who were excommunicated for rejecting the Nicene Creed were never labeled “non-Christian.”
The arguments people use to support the claim that “Mormons are not Christians” are all, upon close examination, baseless. They are merely word games cunningly devised to stir up contention and blind the eyes of humble seekers.
*Once again, Mormons can’t be Christian because they don’t follow Jesus Christ—they follow Jospeh Smith, LDS, apostles, prophets and the president.
*Christians are Christian because they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, born again, are Jesus sheep, hear His voice and they follow Him.



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 1:56 pm


There is only one reason to propigate the deceptive lie that Mormons are not Christian. To scare people from learning what the LDS Church really teaches.
*Do you want to see what Mormonism teaches?
You don’t want to read what they “really” teach.
Read the Book of Mormon. It’s free. Mormon.org
*I got the 1830 edition!
*Your foundation is weak!
*Why should I read the BOM, if it wasn’t inspired by the Holy Spirit?
*Where are the golden Nephite plates, that supposely the angel Morni) buried, then told Joesph Smith, to find at the Hill of Cumroah?
*Why are the Dea Sea Scrolls on displayed in Israel, but the Nephite plates are not at Hill of Cumroah?



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ShoemakersChildren2

posted July 1, 2007 at 2:28 pm


What I love is that, when they’re trying to bolster and inflate their numbers so that they can justify statements like “this is a Christian country” and “the founding fathers were all Christian”, it seems EVERYONE is considered a Christian–even people who nominally just call themselves Christian because they’re parents were, even… the Mormons!! (I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them count Jews and Muslims as Christians, too!)
But when it comes to the usual agenda to divide and separate people from each other based on everything starting with the slightest deviation from their idea of “God’s law” on up… suddenly each individual group making declarations about who’s Christian is THE ONLY group who represent
real Christians! LOL!
MC



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Wizard of ID

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Sorry POC, I know you put an awful lot of time and effort into your 1.47 post. But I really doubt anyone has the time to read it.
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “Read the Book of Mormon. It’s free. Mormon.org
*I got the 1830 edition!”
Great! Why don’t you try reading it?
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “*Why should I read the BOM, if it wasn’t inspired by the Holy Spirit?”
Neither is John Grisham, but I still find his books interesting and informative. What’s the point of owning a book if you’re not going to read it?
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “*Do you want to see what Mormonism teaches?
You don’t want to read what they “really” teach.”
How would you know when you’ve never even read the Book of Mormon? If you want a reliable explanation of Mormon teachings, you should try talking to a couple of Mormon missionaries some time. Far better than forming opinions based on hearsay. Do you have a problem with educating yourself?
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “*Why are the Dea Sea Scrolls on displayed in Israel, but the Nephite plates are not at Hill of Cumroah?”
Because we don’t have them, as you well know. And what of it?



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POC888

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:16 pm


*First of all, you must know where the name Mormon is–Mormons know it came from the supposed angel, Morni. Here is an example on what happened to missionaires in China one day:
A group of Mormons traveled to China to witness about Mormonism. Each time they mentioned the word ‘Mormon’ in the city, the Chinese people will tell them, that the word meant, follower of the devil or Satan. To not blow their cover–each time missionaries go do their ‘mission’, they don’t say they are Mormon, but Christian. This confuses many Christians in China and other parts of the world.
Mormons are not Christian, but a follower of Satan.

Uh… what? I am from China, and the word “Mormon” does not sound like anything in any dialect I know that might mean devil or Satan. The overwhelmingly majority of Chinese are not Christians, so they do not even know who/what Satan is. Therefore, why would they think some new word to them sounds like “Satan?”
Also, Mormon missionaries are not allowed inside China, but if they were, they would be speaking in Mandarin and Cantonese to us, not English. They would pronounce “Mormon” in its Chinese phonetic translation, which would not sound the same as a typical English speaker saying it. But that sound still has no relation to Satan or devil or evil or ghost or monster or any other negative word.
And since a Mormon is a Christian, why would Mormons telling people they are Christians cause confusion?
Does a baptist telling people he is a Christian cause confusion?
Does a catholic telling people he is a Christian cause confusion?
Look at this classification chart I made:
Living Things –> Animals –> Rabbits
Religions –> Christians –> Lutherans
Religions —> Christians –> Mormons



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POC888

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:27 pm


“*Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls on displayed in Israel, but the Nephite plates are not at Hill of Cumroah?”
When were the Dead Sea scrolls found? 1947 or so right? So In 1930 I could have said “Why are there no separate, unedited records on display that come from a little after the time that the events in the Bible transpired?” and used it as “proof” and I’m “right” that the Bible is fake.
Where is the second ten commandments tablet? Where is the rod of Aaron? Where is the Ark of the Covenant? Where is Jesus Christ right now? Why won’t he appear to me if he is real? Just because we do not have everything does not mean it did not exist at one point.



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Anon

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:35 pm


But when it comes to the usual agenda to divide and separate people from each other based on everything starting with the slightest deviation from their idea of “God’s law” on up… suddenly each individual group making declarations about who’s Christian is THE ONLY group who represent real Christians! LOL!
Well. Laugh at your own deception. Non-Christians always like to paint Christianity in great extremes, while ignoring the truth. There are more than 30,000 denominations that–although in some disagreement–they acknowledge the Christianity of the others. They carry the essential beliefs.
But as long as you can satisfy yourself by characterizing your interlocutors any way convenient to you–knock yourself out.



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Roper

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:39 pm


In response to POC777:
Christian means a follower of Christ, His disciple(student) and little christ.
* The LDS church teaches, and the LDS saints believe, that Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He is–the Son of the Living God and the Savior of the World. We love Him and Worship him as such.
And your point is…..?
* My point is that LDS doctrine, in embracing the Bible as God’s word, teaches the same truth that Paul did in his witness to Agrippa. If that is the definition of “Christian,” then Mormons qualify.
Mormons are a cardboard copy of Christians–they are not genuine. This verse is speaking to those who belong to God through Jesus Christ and not Mormons, because they don’t have a relationship with God.
* Huh? Again, in embracing the precious truths in the Bible, LDS doctrine affirms our relationship with God. We are His children. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we will return to live eternally with God.
Mormons could proclaim they are Christian but in reality they are not Christian at all, but pseudo-Christians(false Christians and false brethren).
* On what grounds?
They are not saved and still dead in their sins, if they don’t repent before death and place their faith and trust upon Jesus Christ alone for their salvation and deny LSD, they are going to Hell.
* I deny LSD! It is an illegal and addictive drug! Seriously, though, LDS doctrine again affirms the absolute necessity of faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. It is only through the atonement of Jesus Christ that God’s children can be saved. As far as Mormons going to Hell–I won’t pass judgment. Christ is the judge of our souls.
The only creed I will ever accept is the Apostles Creed. Therein, are the teachings of the Holy Apostles–that were taught by Jesus Christ in the Gospels after His ascension to the Father’s right hand.
* Then by the definition of “Orthodox Christianity,” you also, my brother, are not a Christian.
Once again, Mormons can’t be Christian because they don’t follow Jesus Christ—they follow Jospeh Smith, LDS, apostles, prophets and the president.
* Once again, LDS doctrine, and the LDS saints, believe first and foremost in the Gospel–the Good News–of Jesus Christ. We believe Joseph Smith was a prophet who testified of Jesus Christ, just as the prophets of the Old Testament did. We have apostles in our church, just as Jesus Christ did in the New Testament. The defining characteristic of our prophets and apostles are that they stand as special witnesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
Christians are Christian because they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, born again, are Jesus sheep, hear His voice and they follow Him.
* Agreed. The voice of the Good Shepherd is the only one that will lead us to salvation and life eternal. I follow Him with full purpose of heart.



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POC888

posted July 1, 2007 at 3:53 pm


Posted by: Frances A Smith | June 30, 2007 11:09 PM:
“The book of Revelation in Chapter 22 states that woe to someone who would add to or take away from The Words of this Book.”
As far as anyone who is not God can tell, the passage you referenced is only talking about adding words into the Book of Revelations and taking words out. It is not talking about witting additional words that God commands you to write, which are eventually added to the Bible.
The Proof:
Deuteronomy 4:2 says “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
And Proverbs 30:6 states “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
If both passages were strictly speaking to the problem of adding scripture to the Bible, it could be argued that anyone who wrote anything after Moses penned Deuteronomy was a false prophet, as you call Joseph Smith for translating the words God commanded him to translate. In both cases these passages address the temptation for anyone to presumptuously speak for God.
The real issue lies in whether or not Joseph Smith was really acting as a mouthpiece for the Almighty. Did he truly reflect the mind and will of God by his teachings? Or did he inject his own views into what is today referred to as the restored gospel?
That is a whole separate topic…
Posted by: Frances A Smith | June 30, 2007 11:09 PM:
“While Catholics are indeed Christians, the additional 5 or 6 books used in the Catholic bible were in existence at the time that it was determined which books met the requirement of “God breathed” and those 5 or 6 were excluded as meeting all of the standards.”
So were many of the books found in the LDS cannon. If they are true, Joseph did not write them in the 1800′s, he merely translated them by the power of God into a modern language. If the Book of Mormon is true, it’s beginning was 600 BC (before any of the books in the New Testament were written) and it’s end was 400 AD (long after the last books of the New Testament were written).
Posted by: Frances A Smith | June 30, 2007 11:09 PM:
“The Book of Mormon written almost 1800 years later than Revelation clearly states in its introduction that it was written for the peoples of the new continent i.e. North and South America.
To believe this, would be to believe that the Creator of the Universe did not believe the original 66 books of the Bible (last written in I believe 93-97 A.D.?) covered North and South America because he didn’t know it would be discovered.”
How do you come to that conclusion? Why would God not have to know about America for The Book of Mormon to be written? When one says that the Book of Mormon is “for” the North and South Americas, they mean it is a religious history of those two continents. Of course God knew all along what was going to happen and what was happening. He is God. He knows everything. Past, present, and future. If you feel Mormons do not believe this then you do not understand what Mormons believe.
Posted by: Frances A Smith | June 30, 2007 11:09 PM:
“Mormonism is not a Christian faith because it teaches from The Book of Mormon!”
Good logic there(sarcasm). Just like thinking anything after Deuteronomy 4:2 is blasphemy written by false prophets.



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:17 pm


Sorry POC, I know you put an awful lot of time and effort into your 1.47 post. But I really doubt anyone has the time to read it.
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “Read the Book of Mormon. It’s free. Mormon.org
*I got the 1830 edition!”
Great! Why don’t you try reading it?
*I did and didn’t get the “burning of your bosom”. I didn’t get the same emotion you did. I don’t go on feelings! Have you ever even asked yourself this question: “If the heart is evil, why do I follow it?”
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “*Why should I read the BOM, if it wasn’t inspired by the Holy Spirit?”
Neither is John Grisham, but I still find his books interesting and informative.
What’s the point of owning a book if you’re not going to read it?
*The BOM was given by an angel–the Bible was given by inspiration from God written by holy men–led by the Holy Spirit.
An angel gave the Nephite plates to Joseph Smith and translated them with the special glasses–I don’t trust that source.
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “*Do you want to see what Mormonism teaches?
You don’t want to read what they “really” teach.”
How would you know when you’ve never even read the Book of Mormon? If you want a reliable explanation of Mormon teachings, you should try talking to a couple of Mormon missionaries some time. Far better than forming opinions based on hearsay.
Do you have a problem with educating yourself?
My response:
I don’t believe Joesph Smith was a prophet of God
I don’t believe there was a universal apostasy in early Christianity.
I don’t believe Jesus was Lucifer’s brother.
I don’t believe God lives on a planet called Kolob.
I don’t believe God attained Godhood.
I don’t believe in the Gospel of Mormonism.
I don’t believe in the purgatory.
I don’t believe in the “three levels” of heaven.
I don’t believe in exaltation.
I don’t believe in eternal marriage.
I don’t believe in baptism for the dead.
I don’t believe in pre-existence.
I don’t believe salvation by works.
Those doctrines and others are not found either in the Bible or the BOM.
Quote from POC @ 1.56: “*Why are the Dea Sea Scrolls on displayed in Israel, but the Nephite plates are not at Hill of Cumroah?”
Because we don’t have them, as you well know. And what of it?
*Without any evidence, there’s no such thing as truth.I need evidence–proof. Without any evidence the BOM is not vaildated.
Posted by: Wizard of ID | July 1, 2007 3:10 PM



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Joolie

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:26 pm


The below quote is absolutely true in every detail. Dr. Mohler is either lying about having enough knowledge to judge if Mormons are Christians, or is a very confused person.
A quote from Dr Mohler’s essay: “the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is not the only begotten Son of God … or the one through whose death on the cross we can be saved from our sins.”
To anyone who actually knows something of Mormonism, this is an astonishing statement! Unfortunately, Dr. Mohler doesn’t explain how he arrived at this conclusion, but it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in his understanding of his subject.
The Book of Mormon refers constantly to Jesus as “the only begotten son of God.” It contains hundreds of references to Christ’s atonement to save men from their sins.
The first Article of Faith (sort of like the Mormon version of the Nicene Creed) states: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.” The third Article of Faith states: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved.”
Bruce R. McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine”, considered by Mormons as the definitive treatise, states: “Salvation comes because of the atonement”
Dr. Mohler may have reason to condemn Mormonism in relation to other authodox Christian doctrines. But in stating that Mormons don’t believe in Christ’s atonement, he runs a strong risk that people will simply dismiss him as not knowing what he’s talking about.

Another EXCELLENT POINT is this:
To Dr. Mohler and others who say Mormons are not Christians:
“If accepting the creedal formulations of “traditional Christian orthodoxy” (all established hundreds of years after Jesus died) is necessary to be considered a real Christian and partake of salvation, why didn’t Christ teach them? Why didn’t He know that trusting on his name and being born again was insufficient, like you do?
There are many accounts in the New Testament where Christ blesses one who has accepted him as their Lord. In none of these accounts does He say they are not saved until they understand the nature of the Trinity. Because Christ taught that accepting him and being born again was sufficient for salvation, I don’t understand why you think Mormon belief in the Book of Mormon, or anything else, would prevent the Christ of the New Testament from saving them.
Ultimately, it matters only whether Christ considers one Christian, and fortunately for Mormons, we can read the bible and see that the definition you’re using isn’t the definition Christ used to distinguish His followers.
Maybe the question for the debate should have been, does the “traditional Christian orthodoxy” interpretation of the Bible conform to actual Biblical teachings? Put another way, maybe Dr. Mohler should have addressed the question of whether “traditional” Christians are Christian.”

Mormons believe everything in the Bible, both Old and New Testament. What they do not believe in (in terms of deriving spiritual authority from) is the stuff that happened hundreds of years after Christ died and ascended to heaven.
Mormons believe that when verses in the Bible speak of “false prophets deceiving many” and “being careful not to be led away by false doctrines” etc, they feel these verses apply to what became the CATHOLIC church, and the branches that eventually split from it. That is why a restoration needed to occur. That is why God called Joseph Smith to restore Christianity to what it is supposed to be.
And just as the ancient Jews rebelled against Gods words when he told them that he has come to fulfill the old testament and bring in the new law, modern “Christians” rebel against God once again when he sends a prophet to once again cleanse His church.
The result of Jesus’ preaching was the New Testament.
The result of God calling Joseph Smith to be a prophet was The Book of Mormon.
Note: Mormons do NOT think Jesus and Joseph are equals. Jesus is their LORD and SAVIOR. Joseph was merely a prophet…one of many.



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:37 pm


In response to POC777:
Christian means a follower of Christ, His disciple(student) and little christ.
* The LDS church teaches, and the LDS saints believe, that Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He is–the Son of the Living God and the Savior of the World. We love Him and Worship him as such.
**You don’t love Him because you don’t follow His commandments(John 15:10). You keep the “everlasting gospel” of LDS and follow the commandments and ordinances–not what Jesus taught in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
And your point is…..?
* My point is that LDS doctrine, in embracing the Bible as God’s word, teaches the same truth that Paul did in his witness to Agrippa. If that is the definition of “Christian,” then Mormons qualify.
**You still have to explain why are you a Christian.
Mormons are a cardboard copy of Christians–they are not genuine. This verse is speaking to those who belong to God through Jesus Christ and not Mormons, because they don’t have a relationship with God.
* Huh? Again, in embracing the precious truths in the Bible, LDS doctrine affirms our relationship with God. We are His children. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we will return to live eternally with God.
** You are not a spiritual child of God–Christians are.
Mormons could proclaim they are Christian but in reality they are not Christian at all, but pseudo-Christians(false Christians and false brethren).
* On what grounds?
**The Bible is proving you’re not Christian.
They are not saved and still dead in their sins, if they don’t repent before death and place their faith and trust upon Jesus Christ alone for their salvation and deny LDS, they are going to Hell.
* I deny Lds(I made a typo)! It is an illegal and addictive drug! Seriously, though, LDS doctrine again affirms the absolute necessity of faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. It is only through the atonement of Jesus Christ that God’s children can be saved. As far as Mormons going to Hell–I won’t pass judgment. Christ is the judge of our souls.
If you were to get into an accident and die today(God forbid)will God allow you into His Heavenly pearly gates? Why?
The only creed I will ever accept is the Apostles Creed. Therein, are the teachings of the Holy Apostles–that were taught by Jesus Christ in the Gospels after His ascension to the Father’s right hand.
* Then by the definition of “Orthodox Christianity,” you also, my brother, are not a Christian.
*I belong to Jesus Christ, He knows me and I know Him. You my friend don’t belong to Him.
Once again, Mormons can’t be Christian because they don’t follow Jesus Christ—they follow Jospeh Smith, LDS, apostles, prophets and the president.
* Once again, LDS doctrine, and the LDS saints, believe first and foremost in the Gospel–the Good News–of Jesus Christ. We believe Joseph Smith was a prophet who testified of Jesus Christ, just as the prophets of the Old Testament did. We have apostles in our church, just as Jesus Christ did in the New Testament.The defining characteristic of our prophets and apostles are that they stand as special witnesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
**So you believe a prophet who contradicted the Bible, was in the occult and lived in polygamy?
Christians are Christian because they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, born again, are Jesus sheep, hear His voice and they follow Him.
* Agreed. The voice of the Good Shepherd is the only one that will lead us to salvation and life eternal. I follow Him with full purpose of heart.
You are Christian if you have….
1. Recognize that your a sinner and can’t save yourself(Rom 3:23)
2. Realize that Jesus Christ has died in your place(Rom 5:8)
3. Repent of all your sins(Acts 3:19)
4. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior(Rev 3:20)
If you did the four steps, then you are Christian–if not you are not Christian, but Mormon who is lost in his sins and headed for Hell.
Posted by: Roper | July 1, 2007 3:39 PM



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Joolie

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:38 pm


“*Without any evidence, there’s no such thing as truth.I need evidence–proof. Without any evidence the BOM is not vaildated.”
If you really regard that statement as true, how can you belong to ANY religion. They all require faith, do they not? The Bible is no better proof than the Koran, which is no better than the Talmud, which is no better than the Tipitaka, which is no better than the Book of Mormon, which is no better than (insert other major religions holy book here).
BTW, how do you KNOW God does not live on a planet called Kolob? Does the Bible say He does not? Even if Mormonism (the apparent source of that information) is false, God could still live on Kolob. If Mormonism is false, then there is a good chance Satan himself inspired Joseph Smith to make up Mormonism. Satan, while evil and greedy, probably DOES have more historical knowledge than any living person on Earth right now. Could not Satan have told Joseph this trivial fact, that God lives on a planet called Kolob, which is heaven? Satan lies a lot, but he does not always lie.
So why do you so strongly believe that God does not live on Kolob? Does it even matter? Is it central to a Christian’s salvation to believe that God does not live on Kolob? Where in the Bible does it state what heaven is exactly and the name of the planet, if any, heaven is built around?



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Joolie

posted July 1, 2007 at 4:57 pm


You are Christian if you have….
1. Recognize that your a sinner and can’t save yourself(Rom 3:23)
2. Realize that Jesus Christ has died in your place(Rom 5:8)
3. Repent of all your sins(Acts 3:19)
4. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior(Rev 3:20)
If you did the four steps, then you are Christian–if not you are not Christian, but Mormon who is lost in his sins and headed for Hell.
******************
I’m pretty sure all Mormons have done those four things. They believe in those verses just like you do.
Oh wait, you are one of those “FAITH ALONE SAVES US, ALL WE NEED TO DO IS CONFESS JESUS IS OUR SAVIOR AND SAY WE ACCEPT HIM IN OUR HEART AND WE WILL INSTANTLY BE SAVED, PERIOD!!” people, huh?
Well, Mormons also feel that they must, in addition to simply saying “I believe!”, also live a good, Christian life how Jesus taught…but that should be common sense, right?
I mean, if someone did those four steps you mentioned, then murdered 23 people and mutilated and ate their dead corpses, that would disqualify them from salvation, right?
Also, what of James 2:14-17
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
So yeah, Mormons believe that no matter what they do, only Jesus Christ can save them. But they also believe it is possible to confess you love Jesus and accept him as your Saviour, but not live how he told us to, and therefore put yourself in danger of condemnation.
If your mom says “Billy, if you clean your room you can have ice cream!” So you clean your room really good, and then pour gas all over the house and light it, burning the house down and killing your grandfather, do expect to get ice cream?
Common sense, people. Common sense.



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 5:02 pm


To Dr. Mohler and others who say Mormons are not Christians:
“If accepting the creedal formulations of “traditional Christian orthodoxy” (all established hundreds of years after Jesus died) is necessary to be considered a real Christian and partake of salvation, why didn’t Christ teach them? Why didn’t He know that trusting on his name and being born again was insufficient, like you do?
There are many accounts in the New Testament where Christ blesses one who has accepted him as their Lord. In none of these accounts does He say they are not saved until they understand the nature of the Trinity. Because Christ taught that accepting him and being born again was sufficient for salvation, I don’t understand why you think Mormon belief in the Book of Mormon, or anything else, would prevent the Christ of the New Testament from saving them.
*The BOM won’t save you, Jesus Christ will by His precious blood.
Ultimately, it matters only whether Christ considers one Christian, and fortunately for Mormons, we can read the bible and see that the definition you’re using isn’t the definition Christ used to distinguish His followers.
Maybe the question for the debate should have been, does the “traditional Christian orthodoxy” interpretation of the Bible conform to actual Biblical teachings?
*The doctrines are comfirmed “in the Bible”.
Put another way, maybe Dr. Mohler should have addressed the question of whether “traditional” Christians are Christian.”
Mormons believe everything in the Bible, both Old and New Testament. What they do not believe in (in terms of deriving spiritual authority from) is the stuff that happened hundreds of years after Christ died and ascended to heaven.
*We believe and teach in the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ–what He gave to the Holy Apostles, we accept as truth.
Mormons believe that when verses in the Bible speak of “false prophets deceiving many” and “being careful not to be led away by false doctrines” etc, they feel these verses apply to what became the CATHOLIC church, and the branches that eventually split from it. That is why a restoration needed to occur. That is why God called Joseph Smith to restore Christianity to what it is supposed to be.
*The problem is Mormonism claims that Christianity apostasize in history, but this is not true–it is not recorded. Show us one record of evidence and we will believe you. There was no apostasy–nothing had to be restored. And if nothing had to be restored, then Joseph Smith was never commissioned by God, to bring the Mormon Church into existence. LDS is Smith’s creation–that he got from his imagination.
And just as the ancient Jews rebelled against Gods words when he told them that he has come to fulfill the old testament and bring in the new law, modern “Christians” rebel against God once again when he sends a prophet to once again cleanse His church.
*There is always renmant of true Christains.
Jesus said “and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it”. Christians are not apostases and not lost–Jesus said “My church”– millions of Christians–are the Bride of Christ. Mormonism is not from the Bride of Christ, but psuedo-Christianity.
The result of Jesus’ preaching was the New Testament.
*The four Gospels–not when He preached to the Lamanites(Indians) in 33 AD. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Jesus literally went to the Americas.
The result of God calling Joseph Smith to be a prophet was The Book of Mormon.
*Joseph Smith called himself, God didn’t call him.
*This is an imporant true:
“Whenever, something or someone, contradicts, opposes and denies, what God has already said in the Bible, is not from God.
The BOM is not God—it is false, and what is false comes from the ‘father of lies’–Satan. It is false because the peoples and locations and other information from the BOM are only a fable.
Note: Mormons do NOT think Jesus and Joseph are equals. Jesus is their LORD and SAVIOR. Joseph was merely a prophet…one of many.
*Mormons think Joseph Smith is there savior and not Jesus Christ. LDS teaches that without eternal marriage there is salvation–no eternal life. That’s not what the Bible says.
Posted by: Joolie | July 1, 2007 4:26 PM



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 5:24 pm


You are Christian if you have….
1. Recognize that your a sinner and can’t save yourself(Rom 3:23)
2. Realize that Jesus Christ has died in your place(Rom 5:8)
3. Repent of all your sins(Acts 3:19)
4. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior(Rev 3:20)
If you did the four steps, then you are Christian–if not you are not Christian, but Mormon who is lost in his sins and headed for Hell.
******************
I’m pretty sure all Mormons have done those four things. They believe in those verses just like you do.
*It doesn’t look like they have–even Satan knows God’s plan of salvation.
Oh wait, you are one of those “FAITH ALONE SAVES US, ALL WE NEED TO DO IS CONFESS JESUS IS OUR SAVIOR AND SAY WE ACCEPT HIM IN OUR HEART AND WE WILL INSTANTLY BE SAVED, PERIOD!!” people, huh?
*This is the Christians statement of faith: “I am a sinner saved by grace alone, by faith alone, through Christ alone”.
*God does His work through out the Christian’s life not the Christian(Philip 2:12-13)–can’t do nothing without Christ(John 15:5)–this only comes through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit(Gal 5:22-25) when they deny the flesh(Col 3:5-11)–the Holy Spirit completes the work(Philip 1:6).
No Christian can do nothing without God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!
Well, Mormons also feel that they must, in addition to simply saying “I believe!”, also live a good, Christian life how Jesus taught…but that should be common sense, right?
*Jesus says “He who loves Me, will keep my commandments”. His commandments are His teachings. Mormons follow LDS teachings–not Jesus teachings.
I mean, if someone did those four steps you mentioned, then murdered 23 people and mutilated and ate their dead corpses, that would disqualify them from salvation, right?
*Since the love of God has been poured into the heart of the Christian by the Holy Spirit, have God’s law and hatred(except when in the flesh) is no longer governing their life, how could a Christian kill another person?
Also, what of James 2:14-17
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
*Not salvation by works, but faith that works. Faith that is real and genuine. An unbeliever’s faith is dead–they are not saved, in the other hand, the person who has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit–there faith is alive.
So yeah, Mormons believe that no matter what they do, only Jesus Christ can save them. But they also believe it is possible to confess you love Jesus and accept him as your Saviour, but not live how he told us to, and therefore put yourself in danger of condemnation.
*Those who are in Christ are no longer condemned(Rom 8:1-2)
*He didn’t come into this world to condemn anyone(John 3:17)
If your mom says “Billy, if you clean your room you can have ice cream!” So you clean your room really good, and then pour gas all over the house and light it, burning the house down and killing your grandfather, do expect to get ice cream?
*I have no clue, what you’re saying here.
Common sense, people. Common sense.
Posted by: Joolie | July 1, 2007 4:57 PM



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 5:45 pm


“*Without any evidence, there’s no such thing as truth.I need evidence–proof. Without any evidence the BOM is not vaildated.”
If you really regard that statement as true, how can you belong to ANY religion. They all require faith, do they not? The Bible is no better proof than the Koran, which is no better than the Talmud, which is no better than the Tipitaka, which is no better than the Book of Mormon, which is no better than (insert other major religions holy book here).
*If you deny the Bible, you are denying God. The Word of God–is His final revelation to mankind– its the truth, all others ‘sacred books’ are false.
*If no prophecies contain in the BOM as the Bible does, then why accept it as the Word of God?
BTW, how do you KNOW God does not live on a planet called Kolob? Does the Bible say He does not?
*Putting words into God’s mouth– that is wrong. That’s what you’re doing.
Even if Mormonism (the apparent source of that information) is false, God could still live on Kolob.
*The problem is that the Bible does not teach this–it teaches that He lives in “Heaven”(Matthew 6:9). Matthew 6:9, does not say, “Our Father on the planet Kolob” or “Our Father on a far star”, no, it says “Our Father in Heaven. God is in Heaven not on the planet Kolob, as Mormonism assumes.
If Mormonism is false, then there is a good chance Satan himself inspired Joseph Smith to make up Mormonism. Satan, while evil and greedy, probably DOES have more historical knowledge than any living person on Earth right now.
Could not Satan have told Joseph this trivial fact, that God lives on a planet called Kolob, which is heaven? Satan lies a lot, but he does not always lie.
Satan is called the “father of lies” there is no truth in him(John 8:44). Will you read Genesis 3:1-6? Satan questions God’s Word(v.1) Satan deceives(v.4-5). Satan tells Mormons that they will become gods–one of Satan’s lies. That’s not what Jesus taught!
So why do you so strongly believe that God does not live on Kolob? Does it even matter?
*LDS is adding to what God has already said in the Bible–they have the BOM, D&C, Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Abraham and many revelations.God calls them liars for adding to His Word(Proverb 30:5-6). And all “liars” will have their part in the lake of fire(Rev 21:8).
Is it central to a Christian’s salvation to believe that God does not live on Kolob? Where in the Bible does it state what heaven is exactly and the name of the planet, if any, heaven is built around?
*God lives in Heaven(Revelation 4:1-11)



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Wizard of ID

posted July 1, 2007 at 6:36 pm


Boring.
Very, very boring.
So very, very boring, I can think of a thousand things I’d rather do than read your posts, POC. Up to and including watching paint dry.



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Steve

posted July 1, 2007 at 7:26 pm


Let us examine a few of the inconsistencies of Mormonism, shall we?
Mormons here have commented that they use the Bible and believe in it, yet by their Articles of Faith (#8) they affrim that the Bible is mistranslated, resulting in the need for a new translation performed by Smith.
Smith claimed different things about his visitations at various points. He claimed he was visited by “the Lord,” by the angel Nephi, by the angel Moroni, by Christ and God, respectively.
Smith claimed that a temple would be built in Independence, MO by the generation then living. (Doctrines and Covenants 84:4)
Smith claimed Jesus would return in 1891. (Documentary History of the Church 2:182)
Brigham Young taught that Adam was God (Journal of Discourses 1:50-51) and claimed divine revelation of this “fact.” (Deseret News, June 18, 1873)
Brigham Young proclaims doctrine of (continuing) blood atonement was a teaching of Jesus. (Journal of Discourses 4:219,220) This is later overturned by McConkie in Mormon Doctrine, pg. 92)
Joseph Smith introduced polygamy (Doctrines and Covenants 132 (particularly vv. 52-54)) which contradicts the Book of Mormon (Jacob 2:24).
Brigham Young taught that polygamy was necessary for individual godhood (Journal of Discourses 11:269)
Orson Pratt claimed Jesus had multiple wives (as did the Father) (The Seer pg. 172)
God (the Father) had physical, sexual relations with Mary to conceive Jesus. (Mormon Doctrine, 1966 Ed., pg. 547)
It was Jesus’ wedding at Cana (Journal of Discourses 2:210). This also states that Jesus produced children.
Jesus and Satan are brothers (Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 15; Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 33-34)
Men can become gods and excel to the current level of God (Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 107)
Justification by Faith considered a “pernicious doctrine (Articles of Faith, pg. 479)
Bruce McConkie calls salvation by grace the second greatest heresy to the Mormon Church. (Sunstone Review, March 1984, pg. 9)
As we can see, the Mormon Church is not at all doctrinally similar to Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox faith. It denies major tennants of the Christian faith and many portions of Scripture. It not only adds to Scripture, but also takes away from it. It is also disingenuous for Mormons to attempt to be known as a mainline Christian group while minimizing these great differences. They say that they are Christians because of their conviction of Jesus as Savior, but we must again ask who or what is their God, their Jesus, and their natures as humans? The true answers to these questions set them far apart from other Christian groups.



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Roper

posted July 1, 2007 at 8:30 pm


Okay POC777,
One last attempt at reasonable discussion here.
From POC:
You are Christian if you have….
1. Recognize that your a sinner and can’t save yourself(Rom 3:23)
2. Realize that Jesus Christ has died in your place(Rom 5:8)
3. Repent of all your sins(Acts 3:19)
4. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior(Rev 3:20)
If you did the four steps, then you are Christian–if not you are not Christian, but Mormon who is lost in his sins and headed for Hell.
My response:
1. I am a sinner and cannot save myself.
2. I absolutely affirm that Jesus gave His life for me.
3. I repent daily and plead to Him to forgive my sins and strengthen my weakness.
4. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior when I was baptized, and I believe I have continued that relationship throughout my life.
All of these are Articles of Faith–official public declarations of doctrine–of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Do I qualify yet, POC?
From POC:
I belong to Jesus Christ, He knows me and I know Him. You my friend don’t belong to Him.
My response:
You have placed yourself in the position of Jesus Christ to judge whether I (and LDS saints in general) belong to His fold–a decidedly un-Christian position and one expressly forbidden by Jesus himself. Our conversation is over.



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Donny

posted July 1, 2007 at 8:42 pm


Look, according to the individuals that wrote the works compiled in the New Testament . . ., Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, are not Christians.
It does not take theology degree to figure that out.



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Roper

posted July 1, 2007 at 8:56 pm


Then, Donny, why didn’t they ever say that?
Steve, you’ll find scholarly responses to each of your items at
http://www.fairlds.org
http://www.shields-research.org
If you not interested in the actual answers, and are just here to bait someone into sparring with you, then I’m out.



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Brian

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:42 pm


I agree with Roper. Those are very lame talking points you got from your pastor Steve. Or perhaps you picked up a faith-promoting pamphlet at your church today?



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Okay POC777,
One last attempt at reasonable discussion here.
From POC:
You are Christian if you have….
1. Recognize that your a sinner and can’t save yourself(Rom 3:23)
2. Realize that Jesus Christ has died in your place(Rom 5:8)
3. Repent of all your sins(Acts 3:19)
4. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior(Rev 3:20)
If you did the four steps, then you are Christian–if not you are not Christian, but Mormon who is lost in his sins and headed for Hell.
My response:
1. I am a sinner and cannot save myself.
2. I absolutely affirm that Jesus gave His life for me.
3. I repent daily and plead to Him to forgive my sins and strengthen my weakness.
How does He strengthen you?
4. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior when I was baptized, and I believe I have continued that relationship throughout my life.
*Baptism is a sacarment–immersed in a pool of water will never save you–the atonement of Jesus blood will. Baptism has no power to save anyone–the gospel message(in the Bible) saves. It is religious to be baptized without conversion–that is self-righteous–God doesn’t want your religion but your whole heart. He wants you. First, is conversion to Christianity–regeneration, secondly, its idenification in water baptism–the person has spiritual died and resurrected with Jesus Christ–a watery grave–to now live the newness of life for God. Without accepting Jesus Christ into your heart first, means nothing. Even Jehovah’s Witness, get baptized–they are not saved, but lost in their sins.
All of these are Articles of Faith–official public declarations of doctrine–of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
*It doesn’t matter, what matters is “if” have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and life–now if you haven’t you are lost.
Do I qualify yet, POC?
From POC:
I belong to Jesus Christ, He knows me and I know Him. You my friend don’t belong to Him.
My response:
You have placed yourself in the position of Jesus Christ to judge whether I (and LDS saints in general) belong to His fold–a decidedly un-Christian position and one expressly forbidden by Jesus himself. Our conversation is over.
*Right, but you still ain’t a Christian.
Posted by: Roper | July 1, 2007 8:30 PM



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POC777

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:56 pm


Look, according to the individuals that wrote the works compiled in the New Testament . . ., Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, are not Christians.
It does not take theology degree to figure that out.
Exactly—all it takes is the wisdom of God–that comes directly from the Bible–taught by the Holy Spirit—He dwells in every genuine Christian–to “cast down every argument”.
*I don’t have an MA, Ph.D but a B.A–born-again!
Posted by: Donny | July 1, 2007 8:42 PM



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Steve

posted July 1, 2007 at 10:31 pm


Brian and Roper,
What is lame about presenting facts from your own doctrinal history? Instead of only stonewalling, why don’t you present factual evidence for why you believe what you do and how it is supported by Scripture? Brian, I don’t know why you think other Christian groups must be preaching against Mormonism, these things barely, if ever, come up in most churches. I personally think it should come up more so that people will not be deceived. Let us reasonably and rationally talk about your faith and doctrines. Since I have already studied it and rejected it, you won’t convince me of its merits, but at least we can come to common consensus on where exactly we disagree and what the result should be. Roper, I am not trying to “bait” you, but rather trying to engage you in discussion about these areas of concern. If your church denies the virgin birth of Christ, Salvation by Grace, and the uniqueness of God as separate in past, present, and future form, in function, and in ability from humans, you should come out and reveal it unless you are trying to hide something on purpose. It certainly should not be up to me to educate others on this thread about what Mormons really believe. Thank you, however, for including the links.



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Steve

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:04 pm


Roper,
I have read your rather interesting paper on the pre-existing Adam. It leaves me with questions. How is the name “Ancient of Days,” which most biblical scholars (even secular ones) attribute to God, attributed to Adam? And how is Adam considered to be Michael the Archangel in his pre-mortal state when Michael is brought up as still sexisting in his function as defending the dispersed people of Israel in the book of Daniel? Also what is your biblical basis for pre-existence besides Jer. 1:4-5, as Psalm 139:13 may contradict this interpretation of Jer? Also, cannot Jeremiah be taken as referring to a predestination by an all-knowing God, rather than a pre-incarnate state? I also find it interesting that you would mention that the light could be this pre-existing Adam, when John 1:1-4, 8-14 says that Christ was the light (and light in its figurative sense is only used of God and his holiness)? Only Christ, and not any human could be the light. Not only that, but the words used by John in this section must also destroy any notion that a man, pre-existent or otherwise, could make other men holy. Jesus, therefore, could not be only another son of God, but the Christ: fully man and fully God. Otherwise, Adam, Moses, John the Baptist, and others could, theoretically, be light and truth and lead men to holiness. Jesus in the gospels, and John and Paul in their letters could not be clearer that this is an impossibility.



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Steve

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:07 pm


sorry, I meant “still existing…”



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Roper

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:27 pm


Okay, Steve, you seem sincere, so I’ll give it a shot.
Before we jump in to all of the issues you brought up, I’d like to know a little about what you believe.
According to your beliefs, what has to happen in order for a person to be saved? And what does salvation mean according to your faith?



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:31 pm


About half of this essays pounds away at the point that Mormons are Christians, but it’s not until halfway down that we get some specifics:
“The Mormon doctrine of God does not correspond to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Mormonism rejects the central logic of this doctrine (one God in three eternal persons) and develops its own doctrine of God – a doctrine that bears practically no resemblance to Trinitarian theology.”
Whether it bears any resemblance to creeds developed centuries after the life of Christ, the Mormon view is based on the Bible. When Jesus was baptized, he stood in the River Jordan, the Holy Ghost descended like a dove and a voice from Heaven (presumably that of the Father) said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Mormons take Jesus at his word when he said, “Father, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”
“The Mormon doctrine of God includes many gods, not one.”
This statement is misleading. While Mormons do believe Jesus when he said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” Mormons worship the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that we are what God once was and are becoming what He now is. That is in direct conflict with Christian orthodoxy.”
How God got to be God is anybody’s guess but Mormons do believe that, as children of God, we have divine potential. Whether that is in conflict with “Christian orthodoxy” is irrelevant. Read your own Bible:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1 Jn. 3:2-3)
Then he argues that “the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is not the only begotten Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, or the one through whose death on the cross we can be saved from our sins.”
That’s funny because my copy of the Book of Mormon says just the opposite:
“But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son.” (Alma 12:33)
Or here:
“And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” (1 Nephi 11:33)
It’s easy to see why Dr. Mohler excludes Mormons from his definition of Christianity. “Normative Christianity” – as he calls it – is “defined by the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the other formulas of the doctrinal consensus.” Mormons have the audacity to believe that Jesus defined what a Christian is, not some “doctrinal consensus” of European scholars centuries after the events of the Bible.
In rejecting these creeds, Mormons put their faith in scripture and revelation – which they consider more important than the judgments of committees, despite the claim that such creeds are “rightly affirmed by all true believers in all places and throughout all time.”
If Dr. Mohler is going to deny Christian status to Mormons, for their failure to “creed up,” perhaps Dr. Mohler should appeal to have these creeds added to the Bible. Otherwise, this form of exclusion seems a tad arbitrary.



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Victor

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:51 pm


Why is it that the only sin Jesus won’t forgive is having an imperfect view of him?
When people say that Mormons are not Christians what they mean is they aren’t Trinitarians. I can’t seem to find the word trinity in the bible. (At least the 2 KJV’s I’ve read, one of which was the red letter version)
The only one with any right to say who is and who is not a Christian is Christ himself.



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Jestrfyl

posted July 1, 2007 at 11:56 pm


The good professor makes quite a few assumptions that fairly well invalidate his argument. Basically, he seems to assume that everyone who claims to be Christian subscribes to the articles of the Council of Nicea and a bunch of other Creedal material. He ignores the possibility that Smith had a new revelation – but you cannot argu revelation, you only accept or deny it. If the LDS folks wanted to e Orthodox, they would likely not have formed another denomination. So start witht he simplest fact that they are a different organization, and move on from there.
I am not and have no inclination toward LDS theology, but I do not ismiss it out of hand simply because it is not my theology. Sadly, a lot of the arguments in this section seem to have devolved down to a variantion on “You’re not coming to my birthday party”. Thank goodness
Maurice, I read your posting and one word of advice – less caffeine. Second, I have bad news for you – God is a mixed race lesbian mom. Scared? Good – fear and respect are shades of the same color. See them both and you will learn to live more fully and joyfully.
I have long been an admirer of Card’s fiction – especailly the Ender/Bean stories and the Hatrack River saga. I fgure that if he can produce such excellent work, then taking some time to learn about what feeds his spirit is time well spent.
Peace be to you all – back off a bit, look around, and enjoy the varied scenery.



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Mark De La Cruz

posted July 2, 2007 at 12:16 am


Well said, Dr. Mohler,
I am a non-denominational Christian and my faith (if you want to call it that)is not based on someone else’s interpretation of “religion”, or cultural movement. I know, based on the historical evidence (refer to “One Nation Under Gods-John Abanes), that Joseph Smith was a con-man and a swindler. One only has to take a look at his criminal record to know that. Furthermore, the disparity between Joseph Smith as the leader of a religious movement and Jesus Christ is extreme. Joseph Smith was killed trying to escape from jail where he was awaiting trial to be tried for burning down a newspaper building (in a vain attempt to suppress news article publications with regard to his “questionable” past). The point is this-Joseph Smith was shot, killed, and buried. He-No-Mo. So long Joe. Jesus on the other hand, well you know the rest. “He has risen” Mark 16:6



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Mike Bennion

posted July 2, 2007 at 1:36 am


Mark De La Cruz,
If you actually read something balanced and scolarly with decent footnotes about Joseph Smith, like, for example “Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling” by Richard Bushman. You might see how ignorant you are of the facts of the life and death of Joseph Smith.
The same might be said of the majority of postings on this thread by critics of the Mormons.
http://www.lds.org
http://www.mormon.org
http://www.fairlds.org
These links will help to educate those of you who actually care whether you look like fools when speaking about Mormons. The rest of you just keep spouting ignorance, it really helps us Mormons look intelligent when compared to you.
Also, for any who would like to participate in a courteous, reasoned discussion of LDS doctrine you are invited to access our blog at:
truthrestored.townhall.com
Those who think Mormons don’t know their Bible or only use one version had best come prepared to justify those assertions. I personally tend to use the New Inspired Version in most of my Quotes, but we can use various translations.



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Galgart

posted July 2, 2007 at 2:50 am


“Joseph Smith was killed trying to escape from jail…”
A painted mob of hundreds of men brandishing knives, clubs and guns stormed the jail he had peacefully submitted himself to and were in the process of shooting into his jail room. Many people believe Joseph jumped from the window because he knew the mob was after him and it would save the people who wee in the jail room with him. If so, he was right. After his death, the mob let the others live.
To say he was killed while attempting to escape prison is flat out deceptive. He only tried to jump from the window AFTER people were shooting into his room both from the window and from the door way.
And just because Jesus died willingly on a cross and Joseph died while defending himself from his attackers, it does not mean Joseph is some evil guy. Making that comparison is retarded. There is no law saying you should let people murder you when they try. One of the purposes of Jesus life was to submit himself to the evil judgments of men. That was not one of the purposes of Joseph Smiths life, and you can’t fault him for trying to defend himself.
Many Christians have been killed while trying to defend themselves. Are they unchristian as well?



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Galgart

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:48 am


POC you are one fruity person. You seem to be being willingly ignorant. You use bible verses that Mormons believe in to “prove” Mormons are wrong. You just interpret the verses a different way. You reject all verses from the Book of Mormon and don’t even consider “what if it is real, additional revelation given from God?”
No where in the Bible does it say there are 66 books and none more can ever be added. No where did God say he is done talking to His children. There are a few verses that, upon first reading, might lead you to believe this, but those verses correct interpretation has been *proven* from a neutral standpoint using verses directly from the Bible in other posts on this thread.
Nothing Joseph Smith teaches contradicts the Bible. Only if you incorrectly interpret a verse in the Bible will it APPEAR, in a few places, to be a contradiction. Guess what, depending on how you interpret the Bible, the Bible contradicts the Bible. If you find a verse in the Bible that seems to contradict another verse, it means you are interpreting one or both of them incorrectly. So keep studying until you find the correct way to interpret the verse.
I’m sure you do that when you find a verse in the Bible that appears to be out of place, but you do not give the Book of Mormon the same courtesy. In fact, you go OUT OF YOUR WAY to try to find contradictions where none need exist.
Does Joseph teach some things that are either unclear or not present in the Bible? Yes. OF COURSE HE DOES. What would be the point of God talking to us in these modern days if he does not clarify his ancient words or give us additional knowledge?
Also, the people who made the Nicean and other creeds did not do it while even claiming (let alone having) officially authority to write additional scripture. Yet, they produced a wall of text that many people say one MUST BELIEVE in order to be a “true” Christian. If Jesus in the Bible taught us all the basic things we need to know to be a Chritian, why do people insist one must also believe in these additional creeds written hundreds of years after Jesus died?
Look at history to see that what eventually formed after Christs death was not a religion he would approve of. The Catholic church murdered millions of people and allowed all sorts of pegan rituals to enter their religion. They burned “witches” at the stake, tourtured men, women and children, waged wars against Muslims and Jews, taxed people heavily and controlled the Government, allowed people to pay set fees to have their sins cleaned (indulgences) and even the Pope’s thesmelves fought and MURDERED in order to attain Popehood. There is a reason the time after Jesus death until about the time that Joseph restored Christianity was called “THE DARK AGES.” Look it up.
You might at this point be tempted to say that if the creeds these people wrote are not needed, neither is what Joseph Smith brought to light needed. The answer to this is simple. Joseph Smith, if telling the truth about being a prophet, had direct authority from God Himself to teach what he did. God used Joseph Smith to give people clarification and additional instruction, to help them more easily live exactly how Jesus wants all Christians to live.
If Joseph Smith is a true prophet, then what he taught was necessary and is from God, and absolutely does not contradict a single verse in the Bible.
It all boils down to faith.
In the Book of Mormon it says if you want to know the answer to anything, simply pray about it. If you ask with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ, the truth will be made known to you. (Also says that in the Bible).
So ask God if you have ended up in a dead branch of Christianity or not. Ask Him if you should join the LDS church. As long as you have faith, and ask sincerely, He will answer you.
********
Also, it is interesting how Mormons post here they they love Jesus with all their heart and admit that He alone is their Savior, and that they are doing the best they know how to follow His teachings, and you STILL tell them “NO, YOU ARE WRONG, YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!”
How can you say that to people who live decent lives and accept Jesus as their savior?
You really believe that the instant someone confesses that Jesus is their Savior and accept him into their heart, they are automatically “Saved” and therefore can do nothing ever to fall out of good standing with God? Then why do verses in the bible exist say things like “Faith without works is dead, being alone.” Don’t just quote other verses that say “We are saved by faith in Jesus” because Mormons also agree with that. You need to find a way to MAKE THE TWO VERSES NOT CONTRADICT EACHOTHER. Mormons do that by believing that the only way to be saved is to have faith in Jesus Christ sufficient to make you want to obey him and live a good life and be baptized etc.
Mormons DO NOT believe that their works (actions) save them, but they do believe that you must do more than simply say some words to be saved. They believe that if one has faith, they will do good works. But they also believe one can “lose faith” and do evil works that bar them from entering heaven, like murdering tons of people and need seeking forgiveness. And rape etc.
What kind of a God would say “Say 3 lines of text and you are saved, even if you sin like crazy and make no effort to live how Jesus taught.”
To say “Anyone who really accepts Jesus will never do these sins” is silly, because people change their minds ALL THE TIME. Are you saying that once one becomes a Christian they lose all free will? They no longer have the ability to change their mind and become evil?
I can find a person who believes just like you, that he is “already saved and need not do anything more” and then track his life and find that 7 years after “becomming saved” murdered his parents. So does that mean he was never a Christian in the first place? Because this has happened millions of times through out history, and happens every single day.
So how can YOU confidently say that anyone (yourself included) is “saved” and act like your “saved” status will never, ever, ever change? You have free will don’t you? You can change your mind, can’t you? Any wise God would understand that Humans who are told that they are “saved” and therefore can sin a little here and there will abuse their “Saved” status and use it as a shield to feel good about themselves while they sin on purpose, over and over again, because “they are already saved.”
Your “faith alone saves us, good actions mean nothing” belief is not scriptural because it ignores so many verses that say works are required.
Either that, or you are straining at gnats and playing with words. Mormons believe they are not “saved” until they are standing in Heaven in the presence of God Himself. Of course, there is no way they could get there if Jesus had not atoned for them, but there is also no way they could get there if they rejected Jesus, or were an unrepentant serial killer, etc.
Without Jesus, we are all lost. Our faith in Jesus is what allows his atonement to cover our many sins. He must have faith in him and accept him as our Savior. But at the same time, we can’t rape our neighbors children three times a year and then expect to enter heaven. We also cant say the little lines of text you say we need to say, and then sit in a chair watching TV all our life and expect Jesus to be happy with us. If you really believe in Jesus, you will DO GOOD WORKS. But also, if you beleive in Jesus and are doing good works, and then 10 years later somethig happens in your life and you decide to discard the idea of Jesus as your Savior, guess what? You are no longer “saved.”
So to say “I was saved on October 12, 1978!” is just silliness. You are not saved until you are with God in heaven.



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Ralph Clingan

posted July 2, 2007 at 7:14 am


Living in the heart of the LDS faith (Utah) I have come to have a deep love and appreciation for my LDS friends and neighbors. Many of which live very Christian lives. However, one major difference that Dr. Mohler did not address is the the doctrine of Grace is completely absent from the LDS faith. Their reward is based on works, and clearly places it outside of Christianity. What I have told friends is the I have come to know many fine Christian LDS people, however what their church teaches is not Christianity.



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chad

posted July 2, 2007 at 9:24 am


“These links will help to educate those of you who actually care whether you look like fools when speaking about Mormons. The rest of you just keep spouting ignorance, it really helps us Mormons look intelligent when compared to you.”
I’ve gotten all my information about Mormon Doctrine from The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, and The King Follet Funeral Discourse.
I consider it pretty obvious that when you compare these writings with the Bible, I use NASB and ESV, that Mormonism is not Christianity.
“Living in the heart of the LDS faith (Utah) I have come to have a deep love and appreciation for my LDS friends and neighbors. Many of which live very Christian lives. However, one major difference that Dr. Mohler did not address is the the doctrine of Grace is completely absent from the LDS faith. Their reward is based on works, and clearly places it outside of Christianity. What I have told friends is the I have come to know many fine Christian LDS people, however what their church teaches is not Christianity.”
If they don’t practice Christianity, then they aren’t “Christian LDS people”.
“My Jesus is Black. Am I still Christian?”
YOU don’t “have” a Jesus. I don’t “have” a Jesus. There aren’t a bunch of Jesus’ running around for people to pick and choose. There was 1 Jesus (of the Bible) and he was a middle-eastern Jew. You can wish he was white or black all you want. He was Jewish.
And to all those who quote “judge not, lest ye be judged” please do some research on hermeneutics. That verse is simply not the blanket statement that people love to use it as. I’ve heard of a pastor named Paul Washer from Heart Cry Missionary and his response to the generic use of “judge not, lest ye be judged” is “twist not scripture, lest ye be like satan”.



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Kevin Christensen

posted July 2, 2007 at 9:26 am


Mr. Clingan claims that “the doctrine of Grace is completely absent from the LDS faith. Their reward is based on works, and clearly places it outside Christianity.”
Neither statement is correct. Given the claiim that “the doctrine of grace is completely absent,” it would only take one statement from LDS scripture, sermon, hymn, or personal testimony to demonstrate the error of the first claim. Such statements are easy to find, if one is willing to actually look, rather than simply proclaim one’s authority based on where one lives. For example, from the Book of Mormon, a book I have really read:
“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.” (2 Nephi 2:8–9)
For a detailed discussion, see here:
http://www.farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=624
Furthermore, the claim that “a reward based on works” is “outside of Christianity” seems to me at odds with the opinion expressed here (and elsewhere) by one Jesus of Nazareth:
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27)
Kevin Christensen
Pittsburgh, PA



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Mike Bennion

posted July 2, 2007 at 11:39 am


Dear Chad,
You quoted me here: “These links will help to educate those of you who actually care whether you look like fools when speaking about Mormons. The rest of you just keep spouting ignorance, it really helps us Mormons look intelligent when compared to you.”
Then you say:
Chad: I’ve gotten all my information about Mormon Doctrine from The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, and The King Follet Funeral Discourse.
Chad: I consider it pretty obvious that when you compare these writings with the Bible, I use NASB and ESV, that Mormonism is not Christianity.
Mike’s Reply: And I consider it pretty obvious that when I compare the LDS writings with the Bible that Mormonism is Christianity.
Would you like to quote some specific support from the Bible for your assertion?
my e-mail: paisme@hotmail.com
our blog: truthrestored.townhall.com



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chad

posted July 2, 2007 at 11:48 am


Furthermore, the claim that “a reward based on works” is “outside of Christianity” seems to me at odds with the opinion expressed here (and elsewhere) by one Jesus of Nazareth:
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27)
Kevin Christensen
Pittsburgh, PA

You are confusing salvation and rewards after salvation. Mormons believe that salvation is wrapped up in works. Christians believe salvation is a free gift (read the book of Romans).
Mormons will quote James 2:14-17 as their evidence that works are required for faith. What is at issue is the ordering. Works do not produce faith. Works are not required for faith. Faith is given as a free gift and works are simply the outward manifestation of faith. If you have faith the works will follow. The opposite is not true. If works are required for salvation then man may have something to boast about before God. “Look at all the wonderful things I did, God!” This is in direct conflict with Romans.



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chad

posted July 2, 2007 at 12:02 pm


Dear Chad,
You quoted me here: “These links will help to educate those of you who actually care whether you look like fools when speaking about Mormons. The rest of you just keep spouting ignorance, it really helps us Mormons look intelligent when compared to you.”
Then you say:
Chad: I’ve gotten all my information about Mormon Doctrine from The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, and The King Follet Funeral Discourse.
Chad: I consider it pretty obvious that when you compare these writings with the Bible, I use NASB and ESV, that Mormonism is not Christianity.
Mike’s Reply: And I consider it pretty obvious that when I compare the LDS writings with the Bible that Mormonism is Christianity.
Would you like to quote some specific support from the Bible for your assertion?
my e-mail: paisme@hotmail.com
our blog: truthrestored.townhall.com

Entire books have been written on this subject by authors far more eloquent, concise, and knowledgeable than myself. Thus I provide this link : http://www.novus2.com/alphamin/LETTERS/MAINPAGE.htm , which is an entire online book that addresses the differences between biblical Christianity and Mormonism complete with masses of quotations from official LDS scripture, publications, and authors.



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 2, 2007 at 1:07 pm


Ralph Clingan @ 7.14 “the doctrine of Grace is completely absent from the LDS faith”
Bull. The doctrine is that we are saved by grace after all we can do. Why is it that Mormonism’s biggest critics never know anything about it? Don’t you Christians ever bother informing yourselves?
No, of course not. You Christians never bother learning anything about religion, do you. All you can ever do is sing your sappy-clappy songs, rabbit about how God loves evrybody so much, congrtulate yourselves that you’re saved, then go off and persecute somebody.
Christians! No, Mormons are not Christians, because Christians are the biggest morons walking the planet! They should be re-classified as apes, they’re so stupid!
What does a Christian believe, exactly? That for no good reason, God created planet earth for a blink in the eons of time, and peopled it for a mere blip. If we all behave ourselves for that blip’s duration, we all get to sit around in heaven doing jack all eternity.
And no Christian ever asks “What’s the point?” You say Mormon doctrine is stupid? At least Mormons have a reason for why God would be doing all this!
And then there’s the commandments. What Christian church actually teaches people to keep them? What Christian church doesn’t break them whenever it’s convenient? When you’re not abusing your choir boys, you’re appointing homosexuals to be your priests! Of all the tedious, mindless hours I’ve endured in Christian churches, I’ve never heard a priest teach that Christians should follow the commandments! And their followers never do. And now they’re all over this board, lying, misrepresenting, insulting, doing anything other than living the golden rule! You Christians ever heard of the golden rule? No, of course you haven’t. Jesus taught it, so why would you have?
But there’s one thing you really know how to do, isn’t there? Whenever anyone disagrees with you, dares to suggest that you’re wrong, you know exactly how to kill him, don’t you? Not just Mormons, but anybody! The Crusades, the Inquisition, the English Civil War, the Conquistadores — the Christians have slaughtered more people than Hitler!
Catholics murdered Protestants, Protestants murdered Catholics. Protestants murdered other Protestants because they weren’t the right kind of Protestant. And Catholics weren’t against murdering other Catholics, if they weren’t the right kind of Catholic, or just because it was convenient. Then when you couldn’t find anybody else to carve up, you’d all go off and have a Jew-murder party.
And heaven forfend you execute them humanely. You couldn’t ever just shoot or hang them, like you did with ordinary people, could you? No, because they were Christians, you had to murder them in the cruellest ways you could think up. You should read some of those martyrs’ histories you’re all so keen on publishing! Burning them alive, cutting out their vital organs alive, mutilating them alive.
As a religion, you’ve got a lot of blood on your hands.
And you Christians have the effrontery to moralize to us Mormons! You Christians have nothing, NOTHING to lecture us about. Pull the beam from your own eye, you hypocrites! I thank God I’m not one of you, because if I were, I would hang my head in shame.



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chad

posted July 2, 2007 at 1:48 pm


Bull. The doctrine is that we are saved by grace after all we can do. Why is it that Mormonism’s biggest critics never know anything about it? Don’t you Christians ever bother informing yourselves?

“Saved by grace after all we can do” is a Mormon doctrine. The “after all we can do” part is an added caveat used to support works-righteousness. It is the same as the caveat “in the flesh” that is added to Jesus being the only begotten son.

No, of course not. You Christians never bother learning anything about religion, do you. All you can ever do is sing your sappy-clappy songs, rabbit about how God loves evrybody so much, congrtulate yourselves that you’re saved, then go off and persecute somebody.

these would be indications that one is NOT a Christian.

Christians! No, Mormons are not Christians, because Christians are the biggest morons walking the planet! They should be re-classified as apes, they’re so stupid!

this speaks of the Mormon doctrine that all other churches are apostate.

What does a Christian believe, exactly? That for no good reason, God created planet earth for a blink in the eons of time, and peopled it for a mere blip. If we all behave ourselves for that blip’s duration, we all get to sit around in heaven doing jack all eternity.
And no Christian ever asks “What’s the point?” You say Mormon doctrine is stupid? At least Mormons have a reason for why God would be doing all this!

God created the world for His glory. Thats the point. A Christian should know that. He didn’t create the world no reason. It is for His glory.
Mormon doctrine is not stupid. You are confusing someone saying the doctrine is incorrect with someone calling it stupid.

And then there’s the commandments. What Christian church actually teaches people to keep them? What Christian church doesn’t break them whenever it’s convenient? When you’re not abusing your choir boys, you’re appointing homosexuals to be your priests! Of all the tedious, mindless hours I’ve endured in Christian churches, I’ve never heard a priest teach that Christians should follow the commandments! And their followers never do. And now they’re all over this board, lying, misrepresenting, insulting, doing anything other than living the golden rule! You Christians ever heard of the golden rule? No, of course you haven’t. Jesus taught it, so why would you have?

You’ve been listening to bad Christian teaching. The 10 Commandments are very important and Christians should strive always to keep them. I’ve heard plenty of sound preaching that stresses the importance of the 10 Commandments. The Commandments are what let us know about sin. They are a schoolmaster that brings us to Christ.
You are also massively confusing liberal Christian theology with Christianity as a whole. Some of us DON’T have choirboys. Some of us DON’T elect homosexual priests or pastors. Some of us DO have pastors that talk about sin, righteousness, eternal judgement, and the 10 Commandments. Hey, some of us even Do follo the Bible. Imagine that!

But there’s one thing you really know how to do, isn’t there? Whenever anyone disagrees with you, dares to suggest that you’re wrong, you know exactly how to kill him, don’t you? Not just Mormons, but anybody! The Crusades, the Inquisition, the English Civil War, the Conquistadores — the Christians have slaughtered more people than Hitler!
Catholics murdered Protestants, Protestants murdered Catholics. Protestants murdered other Protestants because they weren’t the right kind of Protestant. And Catholics weren’t against murdering other Catholics, if they weren’t the right kind of Catholic, or just because it was convenient. Then when you couldn’t find anybody else to carve up, you’d all go off and have a Jew-murder party.

This is almost word-for-word an argument used by atheists. Its like saying that if a black guy steals my car, then all black people must be car thiefs. If some Christians do bad things, then all Christians must be bad. Flawed logic at best.
And heaven forfend you execute them humanely. You couldn’t ever just shoot or hang them, like you did with ordinary people, could you? No, because they were Christians, you had to murder them in the cruellest ways you could think up. You should read some of those martyrs’ histories you’re all so keen on publishing! Burning them alive, cutting out their vital organs alive, mutilating them alive.
i have no idea whats going on here.

As a religion, you’ve got a lot of blood on your hands.
And you Christians have the effrontery to moralize to us Mormons! You Christians have nothing, NOTHING to lecture us about. Pull the beam from your own eye, you hypocrites! I thank God I’m not one of you, because if I were, I would hang my head in shame.

More flawed logic. Some people who called themselves Christians did bad things so therefore everyone but Mormons who call themselves Christians are bad.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Chad: “Christians believe salvation is a free gift”
Or more accurately, Protestants of Lutheran adherence believe salvation is through grace. Protestants of Calvinist inclinations will uphold the salvation through works.
Chad: “Saved by grace after all we can do is a Mormon doctrine.”
I think Mormon and Angry was responding to the line from another post that “the doctrine of Grace is completely absent from the LDS faith.” That is quite definitely (to use Mormon and Angry’s expression) “Bull”.
While I wouldn’t have expressed it in quite the same way, I largely agree with Mormon and Angry. I despair of Christians! Of course some of them are respectable, sincere people. But as a whole, all I can see is division and dispute, confusion, abdication of responsibility, a disastrous lack of leadership, and a significant amount of overt profiteering.
It’s not an attractive religion.



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 2:42 pm


Protestants of Calvinist inclinations will uphold the salvation through works.

This is 100% incorrect. I am of the Calvinist tradition and every serious Calvinist I have ever heard would be appalled at the thought of salvation through works. Again, salvation through works is in DIRECT conflict with the book of Romans.

While I wouldn’t have expressed it in quite the same way, I largely agree with Mormon and Angry. I despair of Christians! Of course some of them are respectable, sincere people. But as a whole, all I can see is division and dispute, confusion, abdication of responsibility, a disastrous lack of leadership, and a significant amount of overt profiteering.
It’s not an attractive religion.
Christianity is indeed in perilous times. Liberalism and Postmodernity have diluted and divided the Church. These and other problems still have no bearing upon the truth of the Bible and those who follow it. Don’t be religious, don’t follow a church, don’t follow a pastor or a sect or a friend who says he is a Christian. Follow the Bible.
I’m not looking for an “attractive religion” now or before I was saved. I’m simply looking for Truth.



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James Duckett

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:16 pm


I only read the first points and was struck by how untrue this article was at the onset.
Joseph Smith (church founder) was asked once what the church believes in and what he responded to has become known as the thirteen articles of faith. Every Mormon child is encouraged to learn them all word for word. The very first article of faith is:
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.
There it is, we believe in the Holy Trinity. We also believe Jesus Christ to be his ONLY begotten son.
And, though not presented in that article of faith, we believe that Jesus Christ is our redeemer and that no man can return to Heaven without His grace.
Bottom line… We believe in Jesus Christ, we believe he died for our sins, we believe he died so we could live again, we believe he raised from the dead, we believe he will return again (2nd coming), we believe he is the only begotten of the Father (God), we believe we will be saved through his grace, we believe that we should strive to come closer to knowing and understanding him, we believe he is the only one who can save us (no other, not even Joseph Smith by a LOOOONG shot), we believe he started a church, and we believe we are members of that church. So, which part of this faith makes us non-CHRISTian?



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:39 pm


So, which part of this faith makes us non-CHRISTian?

A major part would be the famous quote by an LDS Apostle Lorenzo Snow: “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” Thats not Christian. Neither is the eternal progression of God…the doctrine that God is an exalted man (like we can become). Neither is the idea that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit-brothers.



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Anon

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:58 pm


James Duckett,
I have not been paying much attention to this side of it. Most of my participation has been in the comments unders OSC’s article. So forgive me for jumping in a bit late, here.
You said:
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.
There it is, we believe in the Holy Trinity. We also believe Jesus Christ to be his ONLY begotten son.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity doesn’t just stop there, but let’s test what you have.
1) You say that God is eternal. But I have read (from Mormon sources) that God was once a man, and that he was not eternally God. Is this true, or not true?
2) Do you believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all One God in Three Persons? This is a basic part of the Trinitarian doctrine. In the past, Mormons have denied this. Are you now saying that they are in fact One God in Three Persons? If you do not say this, then you are denying the Trinitarian doctrine of Christianity.
3) Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Word, and the Word was with God, and was God, and the Word became flesh? Do you believe the Jesus Christ was also eternal? If you deny that Christ is eternal, you deny an essential piece of the doctrine of the Trinity.
It is extremely important that you answer these honestly and without evasion. If you reject the essential doctrines of Christianity, you reject Christianity. You may think that Jesus Christ started your Church, but if it is counter to the Christian Church’s that have been around for 2000 years, it clearly isn’t Christianity.
Christianity means something. The things that it means are at odds with Mormonism. If the essentials of Christianity has correct doctrines, then Mormonism has false doctrines. If, on the other hand, Jesus Christ actually did start the Mormon Church, and if the Mormon Church is, in fact, right about all doctrines, then the Mormon Church would be of Christ–but it still wouldn’t be Christian. If the Mormon doctrines are right, Christianity is a false religion. Why they are so determined to be counted among a religion they believe to be false is completely flabbergasting to me. Unless, of course, they are enemies of Truth? And allies of confusion?



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Wizard of ID

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:04 pm


Anon @ 2.42: “I’m simply looking for Truth.
And the truth is Christianity?
It was Jesus Christ who said that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and as Mormon and Angry pointed out rather forcefully, Christianity’s legacy is a long and grotesque one of bickering, bigotry, persecution, repression, power-broking, corruption and greed.
It’s true that Protestantism emerged as a backlash against the corruption of the Roman church. But then the Protestants started behaving just like the Catholics.
Most of America’s largest churches date back to a married king of England with a roving eye, and a ruthless and ambitious woman determined to stop at nothing to become queen. Some foundation for a church!
And from the Church of England has grown the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians. Can an evil tree bring forth good fruit?
I cannot believe that the man who taught “Love one another as I have loved you” will own the institution responsible for so much reprehensible (and decidedly non-Christian) behavior, for so many centuries. Without a doubt, any authority his church may have originally held must have been withdrawn when it started being abused so badly. And without the authority of Jesus Christ, it’s not going to make a jot of difference whether you’re “Christian” or Hari Khrishna.



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Kevin Christensen

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:16 pm


Chad says:
“You are confusing salvation and rewards after salvation. Mormons believe that salvation is wrapped up in works. Christians believe salvation is a free gift (read the book of Romans).”
You are changing the subject, plus presuming to tell me what Mormons believe. Neither tack is productive. I was responding to Mr. Clingan’s claim that “the doctrine of Grace is completely absent from the LDS faith. Their reward is based on works, and clearly places it outside Christianity.””
Such claims misrepresent my faith. The quote and link I offered were sufficient to demonstrate that with respect to Clingan’s claim. In my opinion, your claim here also misrepresents my faith. On the topic of what I believe, I happen to be the pre-eminent authority, having lived with my beliefs for 53 years. I am also well placed to consider LDS belief, I have attended LDS services in three countries, and at least 15 US states. I have read extensively in LDS scripture and scholarship, and I have published a few dozen articles in a variety LDS Journals. Please do me the kindness of letting me explain my own faith. I would not presume to explain yours.
Regarding your “Mormons will quote James 2:14-17 as their evidence that works are required for faith…” etc. you haven’t talked with me, and I would suggest not predicting what I would say or think. You clearly do not know and have demonstrated no interest in finding out. And for that matter, when I see a discussion turning into a “by the numbers” recitation of shallow cliches, rather than a genuine inquiry into the important sources and studies, I see that life is too short to waste further time.
Kevin Christensen
Pittsburgh, PA



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:19 pm


It was Jesus Christ who said that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and as Mormon and Angry pointed out rather forcefully, Christianity’s legacy is a long and grotesque one of bickering, bigotry, persecution, repression, power-broking, corruption and greed.
It’s true that Protestantism emerged as a backlash against the corruption of the Roman church. But then the Protestants started behaving just like the Catholics.
Most of America’s largest churches date back to a married king of England with a roving eye, and a ruthless and ambitious woman determined to stop at nothing to become queen. Some foundation for a church!
And from the Church of England has grown the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians. Can an evil tree bring forth good fruit?
I cannot believe that the man who taught “Love one another as I have loved you” will own the institution responsible for so much reprehensible (and decidedly non-Christian) behavior, for so many centuries. Without a doubt, any authority his church may have originally held must have been withdrawn when it started being abused so badly. And without the authority of Jesus Christ, it’s not going to make a jot of difference whether you’re “Christian” or Hari Khrishna.

I think you are getting mixed up in identifying Christianity with some of its supposed followers.
If I say I’m a Mormon and then kill 12 people, you can’t say Mormonism is bad or its false based on my actions. I may have not even really been a Mormon.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:21 pm


Response to Anon @ 3.58:
1) You say that God is eternal. But I have read (from Mormon sources) that God was once a man, and that he was not eternally God. Is this true, or not true?
Yes. Before men become men, they exist as spirits. And before they become spirits, they exist as intelligences. Intelligences are eternal.
2) Do you believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all One God in Three Persons?
No. They are three separate personages, one in purpose only.
3) Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Word, and the Word was with God, and was God, and the Word became flesh?
I do wish Christians would stop talking jargon, and just call a spade a spade. I know you’re quoting John, but what do you mean by it? Do I believe that Christ existed? Yes. Do I believe that he died to atone for our sins? Yes. Do I believe that through His grace, we will be saved? Yes.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:26 pm


Anon @ 4.19: “I think you are getting mixed up in identifying Christianity with some of its supposed followers. If I say I’m a Mormon and then kill 12 people, you can’t say Mormonism is bad or its false based on my actions.
I could if the murders were fully sanctioned, supported and encouraged by the church. The Crusades and the Inquisition, the foundation of the Church of Englandand with it the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians — these were not the private actions of individuals.



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chad

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:33 pm


On the topic of what I believe, I happen to be the pre-eminent authority, having lived with my beliefs for 53 years. I am also well placed to consider LDS belief, I have attended LDS services in three countries, and at least 15 US states. I have read extensively in LDS scripture and scholarship, and I have published a few dozen articles in a variety LDS Journals. Please do me the kindness of letting me explain my own faith. I would not presume to explain yours.

I would be very glad to let you explain your faith. I am in no way trying to silence you at all. I was simply quoting from your own scripture which, I would hope, is what you would be a pre-eminent authority on.
If you would like to make an attempt at explaining my faith, by all means, go ahead. I would not find this offensive in the least bit. I would simply correct you where you make mistakes.

Regarding your “Mormons will quote James 2:14-17 as their evidence that works are required for faith…” etc. you haven’t talked with me, and I would suggest not predicting what I would say or think.

I wasn’t “predicting what you would say” at all. I was simply providing the scripture that Mormons most commonly cite to defend their doctrine.

You clearly do not know and have demonstrated no interest in finding out. And for that matter, when I see a discussion turning into a “by the numbers” recitation of shallow cliches, rather than a genuine inquiry into the important sources and studies, I see that life is too short to waste further time.
Kevin Christensen
Pittsburgh, PA

For the third time, I provide this link: http://www.novus2.com/alphamin/LETTERS/MAINPAGE.htm
Here is an entire book filled with Mormon doctrine and theology, straight from Mormon scripture, publications, journals, and authors, contrasted with the teachings of the Bible. If you want discussion of important sources and studies and theology, there you go. Again, I’m not going to repost this book in this discussion board as it is too long and it is not my material. If you want to learn, go read it. I can’t read it for you.



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Rob Madsen

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm


I think the following might be a valuable test of who is a follower of Christ.
John 13:35
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.



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Anon

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:41 pm


Wizard of ID quotes: Anon @ 2.42: “I’m simply looking for Truth.”
I would like it to be clear that this was not me. I have been posting under the name “Anon,” but this quote came from someone who did not use any name at all.
Wizard of ID continues: “And the truth is Christianity?”
Why, yes. I believe so. You give us a grossly incomplete understanding of the evils that have occurred in our Church, but you fail to remember that Jesus Christ warned us about such things happening in His Church. The fact that evil men and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” have existed in any given church does not say anything to the truth of that faith. This is just a version of ad hominem on steroids. (After all, Mormons are perfect, aren’t they?)



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:44 pm


I could if the murders were fully sanctioned, supported and encouraged by the church. The Crusades and the Inquisition, the foundation of the Church of England and with it the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians — these were not the private actions of individuals.

Interesting how Mormons often find themselves arguing alongside atheists in things like this. With regards to the Inquisition and Crusades, you might want to talk to a Catholic. I’m a Protestant.
If I’m a pastor of a church, and I tell my church to go kill 12 people, and they do, you still can’t say that Christianity is bad or false based upon this.



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Anon

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:47 pm


Wizard of ID, thank you for the straight forward and honest answers to my questions. The result shows that you do not believe in the essential Christian doctrine of the Trinity, which means that you believe Christianity is wrong. If you believe Christianity is wrong, you certainly aren’t counted among them.
If the True Christ started Mormonism, then Christianity is wrong. If that is the case, I hope someday to be disabused of my error some day. But if I am disabused of it, I will not join in the confusion and deception that would be caused by claiming I was Christian.



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Anon

posted July 2, 2007 at 4:49 pm


Wizard of ID quoted: Anon @ 4.19: “I think you are getting mixed up in identifying Christianity with some of its supposed followers. If I say I’m a Mormon and then kill 12 people, you can’t say Mormonism is bad or its false based on my actions.”
Again – this was not me. Would you please do me the favor of tagging those as “anonymous” instead of just “Anon,” WoID?
Thanks.



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Anon

posted July 2, 2007 at 5:14 pm


Oh. And by the way, Mormonism probably would not even exist if not for the Crusades. We would most likely all be writing in Turkish or Arabic right now if not for the Crusades halting the bloody and ruthless advance of the Muslims.
You’re welcome.
Remember Lepanto!



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Wizard of ID

posted July 2, 2007 at 5:26 pm


4.44: “With regards to the Inquisition and Crusades, you might want to talk to a Catholic. I’m a Protestant
Can an evil tree bring forth good fruit?



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spondee

posted July 2, 2007 at 5:28 pm


Bah. Potay-toe Potah-toe. It’s all mythology anyway. If the Mormons say they’re Christian, then they’re Christian.
Why does it matter in the long run when it’s all invented by people?



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 5:48 pm


Which came first: Trinitarianism or Christianity? The answer to this is the answer to whether Mormons are Christians.



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 6:27 pm


After a thoughtful reply to a previous post, Roper’s reply was “*Right, but you still ain’t a Christian.” Well, that seems to be the trump card in this discussion, which makes it all so pointless. Dr. Mohler and the rest will continue to play that trump card over and over, it doesn’t make a difference. I’m sad to see the level of negativity or even downright slander here when it comes to some of these comments about Mormonism. While some of the descriptions of Mormon belief presented here are fairly done, the great majority are embellishments or pure fabrication. If you know you have the truth, then why invent lies to disprove someone else’s religion?



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James Duckett

posted July 2, 2007 at 6:43 pm


>> 1) You say that God is eternal. But I have read (from Mormon sources) that God was once a man, and that he was not eternally God. Is this true, or not true?
God is and was eternal. That is all that is important. Will you otherwise dictate to me the eternal nature of God?
>> 2) Do you believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all One God in Three Persons?
Exactly!! Three persons. Each an entirely different person. Single and one in purpose and mission (to save our souls).
>> In the past, Mormons have denied this.
I just quoted our first doctrine of faith. We have always believed in three separate beings and intelligences as it is one of the biggest things learned through Joseph Smith’s “first vision” when he saw God and Jesus standing side by side.
>> 3) Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Word, and the Word was with God, and was God, and the Word became flesh?
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not 100% sure about the interpretation of this scripture. So in answering this, I may not be answering your question. The Word being the Word of God? Sure, Jesus did deliver God’s plan to his chosen people (the Jews) who rejected it and then it was delivered to the rest of God’s children on Earth (the Gentiles). the Word (Jesus) was with God and is God. Of course. Jesus is eternal. The Word became flesh? Isn’t that what the first half of the New Testament is all about?
>> Do you believe the Jesus Christ was also eternal?
Whole heartedly.
>> If you reject the essential doctrines of Christianity, you reject Christianity.
Let’s be honest here. Many of the Christian Church’s doctrines are clearly and plainly not followed by many religions openly accepted as being Christian Faith. So why is Mormonism the most heavily judged? The answer is because we believe in modern revelation and the Book of Mormon. But I would challenge you to tell me which church actually follows all of the doctrines outlines by Christ? If so, please name it. OSC’s argument still stands… who has the moral right to dictate who is and is not a Christian. Even CS Lewis argued this in the opening of his book, “Mere Christianity.”
>> You may think that Jesus Christ started your Church, but if it is counter to the Christian Church’s that have been around for 2000 years, it clearly isn’t Christianity.
Oh, I believe with all my heart that Christ started the LDS church. But that is what faith is and I’m not going to debate faith. Faith is something you have to find out for yourself.
>> Christianity means something.
Darn tootin’!!!! It is why the LDS religion is proud to call ourselves a member of it.
>> The things that it means are at odds with Mormonism.
I would disagree with that. I believe our fundamental beliefs are the same and that the anti-Mormon movement is lead by those who are sickened to see tithes come our direction. I mean, have you read much of the anti-Mormon literature out there? It is so mean-spirited and untruthful.
I mean, why would any Christian denomination persecute a church with our values? We believe that Christ should be the center of our lives. We believe the Bible to be the word of God and that the Book of Mormon does nothing but further attest of Christ’s greatness and helps us to understand him better (come on, who doesn’t want that?!?!?). We believe in family and fighting evil on earth. We have sooooo much in common that I am saddened that the leaders of most other churches want nothing to do with us when, together, we could accomplish so much good on this Earth and help others turn to Christ.
>> If, on the other hand, Jesus Christ actually did start the Mormon Church, and if the Mormon Church is, in fact, right about all doctrines, then the Mormon Church would be of Christ–but it still wouldn’t be Christian.
Wow, that made no sense whatsoever. Sorry….
>> If the Mormon doctrines are right, Christianity is a false religion.
Not at all. Not in the least. How could any follower of Christ be false no matter what official religion they follow.
>> Why they are so determined to be counted among a religion they believe to be false is completely flabbergasting to me.
You said it yourself, because being a Christian means something. We pride ourselves (the good pride, of course :D) on being followers of Christ.
>> Unless, of course, they are enemies of Truth? And allies of confusion?
Actually, now I’m confused…. o.O
I’d like to address a few other things I’ve read above (I’ll admit, I haven’t read much):
1) The LDS church does NOT believe that men will be saved by their works. The roots of that belief point towards pride. Sadly, many members believe it. It amazes me how many people of the faith can listen to our twice-yearly held conference and still believe that. It is through the Grace of Christ we are saved. The bible says so, the Book of Mormon says so, the leaders of the LDS church says so. Any LDS member who says otherwise needs to do some research. I’ll admit, I was once a believer of this doctrine. Works and acts is a means of doing God’s work but it isn’t going to be what saves you. It will only save you in the sense that it helps convert you into the person who wants to be saved.
2) There seemed to be a bit of a debate on the truth of the LDS church. People throwing scripture out there backing up and refuting the truth of Mormonism.
Yeah right!
Okay, Mormonism can not be proven or even disproven just as the same with Christianity, Judism, Muslim, and even Athiesm. It all comes down to faith. Why do you believe Christianity to be right and Islam to be false? Faith. Not because you worked some math problem out and it came to Truth = Southern Baptists. Again, this is another thing we have in common. Followers of the LDS faith became followers by hope, prayer and faith. I bet most followers believe the same. I am enthralled by faith and have asked many people (both LDS and non-LDS) how they obtained their faith. Again, the stories are VERY, VERY similar though I will admit I haven’t had the opportunity to ask people outside of Christianity (the Jews I’ve asked mostly answered because they were born into it and tradition… but I haven’t asked many). So debating what is true and false is silly by its very nature. You can’t intellectualize faith.
Let’s stick with the real debate… what and who gets to define a Christian?



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JTornado1

posted July 2, 2007 at 6:57 pm


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not Christian. Read Dr. Walter Martin’s book, Kingdom of the Cults, to read they aren’t. Also check out the Christian Research Institute.



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sid

posted July 2, 2007 at 7:04 pm


This discussion has become painfully complicated.
The Bible states that the disciples of Christ were called Christians. Who cares what the creeds say? (Different denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Mormon or Catholic) certainly don’t adhere to the same creeds. If they did there would be no distinction between the denominations.)
“And the disciples [of Christ] were called Christians” (Acts 11:26)
The Book of Mormon defines “Christian” similarly:
“all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ” (Alma 46:15)
If I am a Christian, let me be known by my fruit. If I take upon myself the name of Christ through baptism and spiritual re-birth it is certainly between me and Him. I’m sorry, but Dr R Albert Mohler and his creeds, philosophy and restrictions have little to do with it.
In the end I believe Christ will judge our “Christianity” with the same judgment and limitations we dish out upon others and their Christianity. God help us if we close the boarders of our sandbox. It just isn’t a Christian principle.



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James Duckett

posted July 2, 2007 at 7:18 pm


> The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not Christian. Read Dr. Walter Martin’s book, Kingdom of the Cults, to read they aren’t. Also check out the Christian Research Institute.
So Dr. Martin is the authoritative figure on who is Christian or not?



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Anonymous

posted July 2, 2007 at 7:54 pm


So Dr. Martin is the authoritative figure on who is Christian or not?

No Jesus and the Bible are the authoritative figures on who is Christian and Mormon doctrines teach things that are opposite Jesus and the Bible. End of story.



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AC

posted July 2, 2007 at 8:37 pm


Who gets to define “Christian”?
Jesus Christ Himself gets to define “Christian”.
According to Jesus Christ for someone to be a Christian it is of utmost importance to know who He is. In John 8 Jesus Christ said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Who does Christ say will die in his sins? He who “does not believe that I am He.”
So the questions is: who is it that we must believe Jesus to be in order to not die in our sins?
Let us take u a look at who the Bible says He is:
John 1:1-3,14,12 clearly states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made… and the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us… as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” ***
Phillipians 3:20 calls Him, “The Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”
These verses tell us clearly that Jesus Christ is not only the Savior of the world but He is also the God and Creator of everything that has ever been made. When it says that “everything was made through Him” it means that EVERYTHING was made through Him. There is nothing that exists (whether spirit-beings, demons, thrones, principilaties etc) that is eternal rather everything was “made” through Christ and for Christ. If anyone believes that their spirit is eternal or that other eternal things exist that were not “made through Him” then that person is contradicting this Scripture.
Lets take a look at what else the Bible says about Him:
Isaiah 45:21 says, “Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.”
Here the Scripture says that there is NO OTHER GOD besides Him. If anyone believes that there are other gods besides the 1 true God of the Bible that person is in grave error for the Scripture makes it abundantly clear that “there is none besides” Him.
In Isaiah 43:10 The LORD says about Himself, “Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.” According to this Scripture not only was there no god formed before Jesus Christ but there will never be one formed after Him. If someone believes that they will one day become a god they are flat wrong according to this Scripture.
Psalm 90:2 declares, “Before the mountains were brought forth,Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” This Scripture declares that God is the Creator of the world and everything in it. It also makes it clear that He is “from everlasting to everlasting” aka eternal.
The point is this: If a person does not believe that Jesus Christ is whom the Bible declares He is… that is… the one true and only eternal Creator (of all things) and Savior God who became flesh, who died on behalf of sinners, and rose on the third day… that person is not a Christian. Rather, unless this person repents, he will die in his sins and perish.
****Of note: Contrary to popular belief (and Mormon teaching, I think) we are not all “children of God”, rather we must be given the right to BECOME children of God through faith in the Word become flesh, Jesus Christ.



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Mark Raleigh Bowen

posted July 2, 2007 at 11:46 pm


Read the beginning about Joesph Smith and how he “found” these tablets in America and started the Mor(m)on religion. You decide for yourself.



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Anonymous

posted July 3, 2007 at 12:52 am


For a biography of Joseph Smith I recommend “Rough Stone Rolling” by Richard Bushman.
I also recommend the Book of Mormon. If you are going to bash one’s religion, at least have read their writings.
I also agree that one posted earlier, Trinitarianism came *after* Christianity, and as such has no authority on this debate.



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 3, 2007 at 12:56 am


There’s an awful lot of bad blood in some of these blogs, both from non-Mormons (who think the Mormons are in error) as well as from some Mormons (who are seeting with resentment).
There’s probably no way to reconcile some of these differences. Good people can differ on subjects of great importance to them.
But good people don’t have to denigrate themselves, or their faith, by taking shots at one another. Mormons consider themselves Christians. Other folks think them in error. Some go so far as to write them out of the list of Christian faiths.
Fine.
But even when we disagree, we should remember the teachings of Jesus, because Jesus – while vocal about his own differences with others – was still a loving, generous, patient, tolerant figure.
Let’s not let go of our humanity in the effort to win an argument that can’t be won. At the end of the day, when the other person persists in disagreeing, maybe it’s time to move on to other issues – like what’s worth sharing.
Mormons and non-Mormons make great neighbors when each as enough respect for the other to let the other be who they are.



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MLJ

posted July 3, 2007 at 2:04 am


Growing up a member of the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS. I was always taught Jesus Christ was my saviour and that he died on the cross for my sin. I accept this and believe this. I was never taught anything different. I was taught that I must repent and be baptized in the name of the Father the Son and Holy Ghost in the name of Jesus Christ. I was confirmed a member of the church in the name of Jesus Christ. I partook of the sacrement every sunday which we(Mormons) commemorate the sacrafice Jesus Christ made for our sins. This sacrament is blessed in the name of Jesus Christ. We opened and closed every meeting with a prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. I remember Christ as being the focal point of my Mormon life. Of course there were other elements to the belief that differ from other faiths. But I do not understand in my wildest imaginings how anyone could not consider LDS people Christian. Although I am no longer a member of the LDS faith. I am grateful for the teachings that taught me a love for my Heavenly Father and my Saviour Jesus Christ. In my opinion you really can not find a more Christ like people than those in the LDS church.
Just take a look at this blog… How Christ like are your remarks?
How Christ like were the LDS remarks? Christ charged us in the Bible “To Love One Another As I Have Loved You” All Christians in my opinion should give this a try. Respect our differences and Love Each Other.
I pray that Heavenly Father Bless You All
In the name of My Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ Amen



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 3, 2007 at 2:13 am


“Read the beginning about Joesph Smith and how he “found” these tablets in America and started the Mor(m)on religion. You decide for yourself.”
As compared to the Wedding at Cana, Feeding the Five Thousand, Healing the Sick, Making the Lame to Walk, Restoring Sight to the Blind, or, gosh darn it, atoning for mankind’s sins, dying on the cross and resurrecting himself.
But then you Christians never were too hot on the faith thing, were you? Much better at just holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” before heading out for a good ol’ persecution and murder session.
I will repeat what I said yesterday:
No, Mormons are not Christians, because Christians are the biggest morons walking the planet! They should be re-classified as apes, they’re so stupid!
What does a Christian believe, exactly? That for no good reason, God created planet earth for a blink in the eons of time, and peopled it for a mere blip. If we all behave ourselves for that blip’s duration, we all get to sit around in heaven doing jack all eternity.
And no Christian ever asks “What’s the point?” You say Mormon doctrine is stupid? At least Mormons have a reason for why God would be doing all this!
And then there’s the commandments. What Christian church actually teaches people to keep them? What Christian church doesn’t break them whenever it’s convenient? When you’re not abusing your choir boys, you’re appointing homosexuals to be your priests! Of all the tedious, mindless hours I’ve endured in Christian churches, I’ve never heard a priest teach that Christians should follow the commandments! And their followers never do. And now they’re all over this board, lying, misrepresenting, insulting, doing anything other than living the golden rule! You Christians ever heard of the golden rule? No, of course you haven’t. Jesus taught it, so why would you have?
But there’s one thing you really know how to do, isn’t there? Whenever anyone disagrees with you, dares to suggest that you’re wrong, you know exactly how to kill him, don’t you? Not just Mormons, but anybody! The Crusades, the Inquisition, the English Civil War, the Conquistadores — the Christians have slaughtered more people than Hitler!
Catholics murdered Protestants, Protestants murdered Catholics. Protestants murdered other Protestants because they weren’t the right kind of Protestant. Then when you couldn’t find anybody else to carve up, you’d all go off and have a Jew-murder party.
And heaven forfend you execute them humanely. You couldn’t ever just shoot or hang them, like you did with ordinary people, could you? No, because they were Christians, you had to murder them in the cruellest ways you could think up. You should read some of those martyrs’ histories you’re all so keen on publishing! Burning them alive, cutting out their vital organs alive, mutilating them alive.
As a religion, you’ve got a lot of blood on your hands.
And you Christians have the effrontery to moralize to us Mormons! You Christians have nothing, NOTHING to lecture us about. Pull the beam from your own eye, you hypocrites! I thank God I’m not one of you, because if I were, I would hang my head in shame.
Posted by: Mormon and Angry | July 2, 2007 1:07 PM



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Becky Smith

posted July 3, 2007 at 2:38 am


Jesus Christ and His Apostles have already defined what a Christian is. Christians were first called Christians in the book of Acts and Christians are defined all through the New Testament of the Bible. Read all about it!



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Fillburt

posted July 3, 2007 at 3:49 am


Mormon and Angry has a few OK points but makes them quite rudely. Mormon and Angry, as a member of the LDS faith, you are embarrassing me. Please try to be more civil.



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Mike Bennion

posted July 3, 2007 at 3:49 am


One of Jesus’ Apostles, Peter, taught what one must do to demonstrate faith in Jesus Christ and to take upon them His name:
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:37-40)



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Anonymous

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:16 am


I still don’t understand why many Mormons in this discussion refuse to interact with the texts of the Bible that are in direct conflict with Mormon scriptures.
All I see are arguments against Christianity, which is ironic since apparently Mormons are offended at not being included in Christianity.
Mormons on this board have been so quick to point out bloodshed and division in Christianity while in the next sentence being outraged that someone says they aren’t Christian.
I personally see many threads of inconsistency like this throughout the entire Mormon religion and I’d like to see a Mormon actually address any of these instead of just using arguments against Christianity.



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RL Craig

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:59 am


*** …we have an objective standard by which to define what is and is not Christianity.
We are not talking here about the postmodern conception of Christianity that minimizes truth. We are not talking about Christianity as a mood or as a sociological movement. We are not talking about liberal Christianity that minimizes doctrine nor about sectarian Christianity which defines the faith in terms of eccentric doctrines. We are talking about historic, traditional, Christian orthodoxy.
-Dr. Albert Mohler ***
It’s oh-so-easy to conclude the LDS Church isn’t Christian when you’re deliberately cherry-picking the definition of “Christian” that provides the most help to your thesis. It’s also intellectually dishonest. Rather than choosing the very narrowest definition he can, let’s see Dr. Mohler write another article using a broader, more inclusive definition of Christianity to de-Christianize the Mormon Church. After all, if we adhere to the strictest interpretation of the definition Dr. Mohler chose – “historic, traditional, Christian orthodoxy” – the only valid organ of Christianity becomes the Roman Catholic Church because all other branches of the faith are, historically and traditionally, heterodox.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 11:34 am


My prayer for everyone else is that you will not go to enemies to ask about any faith but go to that faith and ask them. If you want to know about being a Catholic, go to the Catholics. If you want to know about Judiasm talk to a Rabi. Protestants? Seek out a reverend, pastor, minister, whoever is in a position to tell you the truth. If you want to know about Mormons then go to A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (EVERYONE IS WELCOME), call a mormon friend, talk to our Missionaries, or visit our website.
There are several Mormons responding to things on both Mr. Card’s and Dr. Mohler’s comments. By going directly to Mormons, I have at least three different stories. Some insist that they do not believe in the Trinitarian doctrine of Christianity. Some say they most decidedly do. Some say that God and Jesus were always Gods and eternally so. Others say that they weren’t. The sources from LDS that I’ve seen seem to be clear that they are not Trinitarians, but in some places they seem to claim they are.
There is a distinct postmodern approach in the Mormon arguments. They believe that people determine the nature of things when they use words. But that is wrong. Things have a nature unto themselves, and words refer to that nature. Christianity has had a nature–a very well understood nature–for two thousand years. There are essential qualities and essential things that make up what Christianity *is*. Not what it has been “defined” to be, but what it *is*. The postmodern approach of making words mean what you want them to mean instead of using them to refer to something real makes discussion incoherent, and it reduces words to useless things. It is Orwellian double-speak, and it is deceptive nonsense.
No one “gets to define” Christianity. It is what it is. Even the Pope doesn’t define it. He is subject to it.
I really don’t know what to respond to any more. It seems like a completely futile effort to communicate with the Mormons (at least here.) I am left with the impression that Mormons do not care about Truth or meaning. That it is more important to them that they undermine the meaning of Christianity so that they can get away with saying they are Christians, too, and be better positioned to convert the less studied who are deceived into thinking they are simply becoming another kind of Christian. There is a pernicious quality to this discussion, and I think I have reached the end of my participation in it. (Of all the Mormon interlocutors here, I mostly respect Mormon and Angry–in spite of his disgust for my faith–for admitting he is not Christian. His converts will be *honestly* gained. And if the One True Christ actually did start Mormonism–more power to him.)



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AC

posted July 3, 2007 at 12:48 pm


I pretty much echo the statements above by Anon.
It is nearly impossible to pin down a Mormon’s beliefs. The ones that I have spoken to on these threads simply refuse to give a straight answer. I even tried the “Answer these questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ approach”, to no avail! (An approah I myself will eagerly ascribe to if need be.) Again, if there is a single Mormon out there willing to answer my questions please let me know.
Here are some questions that I would like answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’:
1) Is Jesus Christ God?
2) Is Jesus Chris eternal? (eternal = no beginning and no end, has always existed and will always exist)
3) Did Jesus Christ come into existence after the Father?
4) Was there ever a God before Jesus Christ?
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
6) Was the Father once a man who later became a God?
7) If so, who was God while the Father was a man?
8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
12) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Father?
13) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Holy Spirit?
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
16) Do you believe men can become Gods?
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
Those are just some of the questions. Please answer them with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I would really appreciate.
I take it as a sign that Mormonism is a cult if these questions cannot be answered in a straight forward and honest way. To be fair, I myself, am willing to answer these questions if anyone required me to. Thank you.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 3, 2007 at 12:58 pm


Anon, you’re dealing with several different Mormons, who are not coordinating their arguments, who have varying degrees of skill at making an argument, and who have varying degrees of skill at understanding the points of others. This is probably where the confusion is coming from.
So, to crystalize the answers that you raised:
1) Mormonism does not believe in the three-in-one concept of god, but that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are entirely separate entities.
2) The Father and Jesus Christ are eternal in that have always existed and will always exist. However, they have not always held the god status they now hold. they are also eternal in that they will continue to hold their god status for ever more.
And yes, I realise another entire blog could be devoted to arguing each of those points. I’m not going to try to explain those arguments right now.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 3, 2007 at 1:33 pm


Amid all this fuss about whether or not Mormons are Christians, I wonder whether it’s worth asking to what extent Christians could be defined as Christians.
After all, Christ said, “By their fruits shall ye know them,” and the fruits of Christianity (as Mormon and Angry explained in no uncertain terms) have historically been dreadful: a long and terrible tale of biggotry, persecution, repression, war, pillage, thousands of executions of barbaric cruelty, power struggles, greed, corruption, self-glorification and naked profiteering.
Today, all I see of Christianity is division, strife, clannish cover-ups, a disastrous lack of leadership, and still more naked profiteering.
Is this what Christ wanted? Would he recognise the Christian churches for the institution He founded? I doubt it.
Someone rightly argued on a earlier post that one cannot hold an entire institution responsible for the actions of a few individuals. Yet we’re not talking about a handful of incidents, but ongoing, habitual, willful, action and policy, fully sanctioned, supported, encouraged by church authorities of the highest rank, across tens (or even hundreds) or thousands of occasions stretching over a dozen or more centuries. As Mormon and Angry said “As a religion, there’s a lot of blood on your hands.”
I cannot believe Christ would credit an institution that has so abused His name to countenance the execution of pure evil and overt ambition. Any authority the Christian church may once have had has to have been withdrawn. It’s true that many have, with the best of intentions, attempted to reform the Christian churches, but this is pointless since Christ taught that “an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit.” Christ’s church must, can only be, restored by Jesus Christ Himself.
Mormonism, of course, is the only institution that claims such a restoration.
There can be no doubt that you “Christians” constitute a religion in that you conform to a common set of doctrines. But since those doctrines generally have more to do with Plato and Socrates than Jesus Christ, are those doctrines even Christian?
From that point of view, it can be legitimately claimed that Mormons are indeed Christians, since our doctrines are those revealed directly by Jesus Christ. Christians would perhaps be more honestly called “Platonics.”



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 1:50 pm


Amid all this fuss about whether or not Mormons are Christians, I wonder whether it’s worth asking to what extent Christians could be defined as Christians.
It is, indeed, a question worth asking. There may very well be groups who call themselves “Christian,” who are not.
There is also little doubt that every denomination and every person finds himself not acting in the loving way Christ taught. But we all know that is the case, and we all know that it is one of the reasons we desperately need to be saved. So making issue of it doesn’t make sense to me in a discussion that it trying to understand just what Christianity IS. There is plenty of “unchristian” behavior on all sides to spotlight if we want to play that game. But it is irrelevant. What it is, and how they should act are two different things.
Finally, you can’t have it both ways. Either you are seperate from Christianity, or you are just one voice among the thousands who make claims about their position in Christianity. Your claims of “restoration” are not unique in the slightest, and it is just one more group saying “we’re special, so come to us instead of them.”
Like I’ve said several times now–I would be very introspective and full of concern if I found myself on the side that was playing games with meaning, instead of trying to discern it.



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Tara

posted July 3, 2007 at 1:52 pm


I personally do not believe that a Mormons are christians either.
What they beleive and what the bible says, proves that point.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 1:57 pm


Yet we’re not talking about a handful of incidents,…
No, but you are talking in grossly incomplete and convenient terms. There is much more to the history of things than what you are saying. Mormons have there fair share of murderers and pedophiles, and they are not without violence. They also (conveniently) have a much shorter history from which to highlight.
I will not downplay any of the horrors of the actions of some Christians. However, there are certain circumstances that have been blown way out of proportion, and there is a much larger history of how Christianity brought peace and prosperity to this world. To simply characterize them the way you have is simple-minded, incomplete, and self-condemning.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 2:27 pm


There can be no doubt that you “Christians” constitute a religion in that you conform to a common set of doctrines.
Thank you for saying so. It sounds like you are saying you do not belong in that group. Are you admitting that you are non-Christian, then?
But since those doctrines generally have more to do with Plato and Socrates than Jesus Christ, are those doctrines even Christian?
This is just plain wrong, WoID. Some Orthodox thinking was influenced by the philosophers. They influenced the way they were explained and the way that they were analyzed, but the philosophers had nothing to do with the origin of those doctrines. You don’t seem like the intentionally deceptive type WoID, so I assume you just don’t know what you are talking about. A good study of the early Church Fathers, and the continuity from Christ that they demonstrate would be very beneficial to you, I think.



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Rob Madsen

posted July 3, 2007 at 2:52 pm


Claim of restoration not unique in the slightest?
Anon,
if your statement is true, please reveal another person who claims to have received the direct authority / priesthood from God to re-establish the church of Jesus Christ on the earth along with the authority to perform the saving ordinances of the gospel. Is there someone else who claims to be a prophet like Joseph Smith was? Who was visited by Christ, Elijah, Moses and others? Who received the priesthood of Aaron from John the Baptist, the Melchizidek priesthood by laying on of hands from Peter, James and John? Who received and recorded volumes of revelation regarding the kingdom of God in the latter days?
You are an agent unto yourself and can think that Joseph Smith’s claims are false as is church that he restored / started. That is, you have a right to your own opinion. (But that doesn’t mean your opinion is right.) Your statement though that our claims of “restoration” are not unique in the slightest is nutty, unless you can come up with another religion with claims of restoration as fantastical as the LDS.
And I mean “fantastical” in the full sense of the word: not just hard to believe but if true then wonderfully, terrific happenings.



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Anonymous

posted July 3, 2007 at 3:01 pm


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides a tremendous amount of literature to its people. This body of printed material can hardly be surveyed here. However, we can focus upon those publications that are specifically meant to communicate doctrinal truth to the members of the Mormon Church. Since the vast majority of this material appears in Church published documents, we feel quite confident that we are being fair in allowing it to speak and bear testimony to the LDS position.
Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide
The Melchizedek Priesthood, or the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God, as some Mormons refer to it, is central to the LDS concept of authority. The Church has published a book titled Search These Commandments, which is subtitled, “Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide.”[1] On pages 151 through 158 we have a study, Lesson 21, based upon D&C 132:20. The first section of the lesson is titled, “God Was Once a Man As We Are Now.” The topic of Lorenzo Snow is brought up in these words:

When he was a young man, Lorenzo Snow was promised by the Lord through the Patriarch to the Church that through obedience to the gospel he could become as great as God, and you cannot wish to be greater (Eliza R. Snow Smith, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, pp.9-10).
President Lorenzo Snow recorded this experience that occurred when he was still a young elder: “The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon methe eyes of my understanding were opened, and I saw as clear as the sun at noon-day, with wonder and astonishment, the pathway of God and man.” Elder Snow expressed this new found understanding in these words: “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.” Later the Prophet Joseph Smith assured him: “Brother Snow, that is true gospel doctrine, and it is a revelation from God to you” (quoted by LeRoi C. Snow, in Devotion to Divine Inspiration, Improvement Era, June 1919, pp. 651-56).

I believe the significance of this is clear: the Church has no qualms about promoting Snow’s couplet in modern times, and even citing a very secondary source regarding Joseph Smith’s confirmation of the verity of Snow’s ideas. Not surprisingly, then, the very next citation is very familiar to us:
The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth” (Teachings, pp. 345-46; italics in original).

The continued relevance, and authority, of Smith’s teaching is here plainly demonstrated. So, too, is the authority of a General Authority speaking in Conference, as the next citation provided shows:

President Brigham Young elaborated on this concept: “It must be that God knows something about temporal things, and has had a body and been on an earth; were it not so He would not know how to judge men righteously, according to the temptations and sins they have had to contend with” (as cited by Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Apr. 1969, p.130; or Improvement Era, June 1969, p.104).

Are modern Mormons taught that God was once a man and progressed to godhood? Most definitely. The second section of this lesson is titled, “Our Father Advanced and Progressed Until He Became God.” What sources are provided to the Melchizedek priest to substantiate this claim?

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:47).
President Joseph F. Smith taught: I know that God is a being with body, parts and passions. . . . Man was born of woman; Christ, the Savior, was born of woman; and God, the Father was born of woman (Church News, 19 Sept.1936, p.2).
President Wilford Woodruff explained: [God] has had his endowments a great many years ago. He has ascended to his thrones, principalities and powers in the eternities. We are his children. . . . We are here to fill a probation and receive an education (Deseret News Weekly, 28 Sept. 1881, p.546).

Aside from demonstrating how deeply embedded in LDS thought is the idea of eternal progression, the use of all of these non-canonical sources by the Church to its own members should be noted. The Church is not merely providing private speculation from these leaders to her members. By citing these sources the Church is demonstrating that her truth can be found in a wider body of literature than just the Standard Works.
Next we find that the Church specifically says that the mortal life of God the Father, prior to His exaltation, was basically the same as our life today:

How does it help us to know that the basic elements of God’s life in a mortal world were the same as ours? President Brigham Young explained:
He is our Father–the Father of our spirits–and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are.
. . . There never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. . . .
It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being (Deseret News, 16 Nov. 1859, p.290).

The next section is titled “Through Obedience to the Gospel, Man May Become like God.” To illustrate this, they quote from a devotional speech in which Elder S. Dilworth Young attributes words to the Father in heaven as He revealed His plan to us in our premortal home.

My children all: You see in me
Exalted man, of flesh and bone
And spirit pure. One time, long
Long ago, I was as you, a spirit son
Of an exalted Father. [see HC 6:302-17]
You may become as now I have become
But you must do as I have done.

Take special notice that the Father’s Father is here mentioned. That is, the God of God, the God that the heavenly Father worshipped when He was a man, is here affirmed to exist. Some modern LDS refuse to speculate beyond what pertains to this earth, but the Church, in teaching its own people, is willing to discuss such matters. The centrality of Smith’s King Follett Discourse is seen again: the reference, HC 6:302-17, is to the History of the Church by Joseph Smith, and the King Follett sermon is found in volume 6, pages 302 and following. The lesson returns to the idea that God’s mortal existence was very much like ours by quoting an LDS Prophet:

President Joseph F. Smith said: We are precisely in the same condition and under the same circumstances that God our heavenly Father was when he was passing through this, or a similar ordeal (Gospel Doctrine, p.64).

Following these quotes, the student is asked some questions. Some include, “What can a child grow up to be?” which is immediately followed by “What can a son of God grow up to be?” There is only one answer: a God. The student is then told that God does not jealously guard his position and power.[2] The King Follett discourse is cited again, this time the section that says you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you.
After some more discussion the lesson concludes with a most interesting note: “Be careful in presenting this material that you dont bring God down to man’s level. Our objective is to perfect ourselves and raise our level to his exalted place.”
Here is the LDS Church teaching her own members her theology, and in so doing, being quite open about the ramifications of believing that God was once a man. And even here, one hundred and forty years after Joseph Smith stood to deliver his sermon at Conference on the character of God, the emphasis remains upon the exaltation of man to the position of the divine. It doesn’t seem much has changed.
———-
[1] Search These Commandments, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1984). It carries the copyright of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[2] Compare, however, Isaiah 48:11.
—-taken from blog post on http://www.aomin.org by Dr. James White—-



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Mike Bennion

posted July 3, 2007 at 3:19 pm


AC Go ahead. answer your questions first. then I will. then I suspect we will have to discuss them by saying more than yes or no.
I probably won’t answer until late tonight as I am on the way to work.



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James Duckett

posted July 3, 2007 at 4:18 pm


Anon:
>> It seems like a completely futile effort to communicate with the Mormons (at least here.) I am left with the impression that Mormons do not care about Truth or meaning.
Honestly. Please, be honest. Yes or no. Are you open to the idea that Mormons COULD in fact be Christian? Or are you dead set against it and no matter what we say you will not consider it at all. A bunch of my questions to you were never addressed as well.
It seems that the topic has been nit-picked so much that nobody can even clearly define what a Christian is. It would seem the simplest definition is one who believes in Christ. But now this has turned into silly little arguments over aspects that have nothing to do with Christ.



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AC

posted July 3, 2007 at 5:06 pm


Hey Mike Bension,
These are the answers to my own questions:
1) Is Jesus Christ God?
Yes.
2) Is Jesus Christ eternal? (eternal = no beginning and no end, has always existed and will always exist)
Yes.
3) Did Jesus Christ come into existence after the Father?
No.
4) Was there ever a God before Jesus Christ?
No.
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
No.
6) Was the Father once a man who later became a God?
No.
7) If so, who was God while the Father was a man?
-
8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
Yes.
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
Yes.
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
No.
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
No.
12) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Father?
Yes.
13) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Holy Spirit?
Yes.
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
No.
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
Yes.
16) Do you believe men can become Gods?
No.
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
No.
I hope that now you will answer the questions in the same manner, a simple straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ fashion. Thank you.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 3, 2007 at 5:19 pm


AC, short “yes” and “no” answers are rarely helpful (especially in matters of religion) since one religious persuasion’s interpretation of a given concept will often be entirely different to another’s. How do you expect to understand unless anything unless you understand where they’re coming from?
But, since I suspect that a refusal to answer “yes” and “no” will prompt you to declare our silence as proof of your claims, here goes.
1) Is Jesus Christ God?
Yes
2) Is Jesus Chris eternal? (eternal = no beginning and no end, has always existed and will always exist)
Yes
3) Did Jesus Christ come into existence after the Father?
No
4) Was there ever a God before Jesus Christ?
Erm, no. Not if He’s eternal. (oops, sorry, that was more than one word)
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
Yes (Does that seem incomprehensible? This is the problem with insisting on one-word answers. I could explain it, but I’m not going to. You insisted.)
6) Was the Father once a man who later became a God?
Yes
7) If so, who was God while the Father was a man?
This is an open question. How am I supposed to answer yes / no?
8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
No
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
No
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
Yes
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
Yes
12) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Father?
Yes
13) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Holy Spirit?
Yes
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
Yes
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
No
16) Do you believe men can become Gods?
Yes
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
Yes
And all of the above, I realize, is about as illuminating as mud. But, you insisted on inadequate one word answers, which is what you got.
Given your frame of reference, you will, of course, completely misinterpret my answers.
3.01 You really should learn the art of brevity. I really can’t imagine who’s going to be interested in reading a diatribe that long. I took one look at the length of it and lost the will to live.
Anon @ 2.27Are you admitting that you are non-Christian, then?
Surprise! Not every Mormon agrees on the “Christian” label. If a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ, then yes, I am. If it’s someone who believes in a set of doctrines commonly accepted by non-Mormon churches, then no, I’m not.



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Anonymous

posted July 3, 2007 at 6:06 pm


There should be a couple more questions added. LDS answer is below
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
yes
14a) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit one God?
yes
15) Do you believe that there is only one god?
no
15a) Do you believe that there is only one God with which we have anything to do with, and before Him there is no other?
yes
Note, this is all Biblical (based on interpretation). For example, Genesis says that God says “Let us go down” (plural). It also uses the Hebrew term Eloheim (which is the plural of God), so it should read “The Gods made man” and “the Gods created the Heaven and the Earth”
Now, you may think that LDS have this concept of a plethora of “gods”, bur really, they interpret “the Gods” as “the Godhead” meaning the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Also note: Godhead is in the Bible. “Trinity” is not.
Hmm…



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 6:31 pm


Anon wrote: Claim of restoration not unique in the slightest?
Rob Madsen replied: if your statement is true, please reveal another person who claims to have received the direct authority / priesthood from God to re-establish the church of Jesus Christ on the earth along with the authority to perform the saving ordinances of the gospel.
You didn’t say that Mormonism was unique for all the details. You said specifically that it was the only church that claimed to be restorative. *THAT* was a nutty thing to say, and a church claiming to be restorative is not at all unique. The Mormons, in fact, recycled much of the Protestant assertions about the apostasy, and the restoration of the Church during the Reformation. You also have nutty branches like the World Wide Church of God that claims to be restorative. The details are different, but the claim is the same.
Is there someone else who claims to be a prophet like Joseph Smith was? Who was visited by Christ, Elijah, Moses and others? Who received the priesthood of Aaron from John the Baptist, the Melchizidek priesthood by laying on of hands from Peter, James and John? Who received and recorded volumes of revelation regarding the kingdom of God in the latter days?
There are uncountable kooky claims out there. There are people who base their beliefs on any number of fantastical claims. There are several whose leaders claim to actually *be* Jesus Christ. Fantastical claims do nothing to increase the credibility of your assertions–especially when there are so few witnesses! In the Catholic Church, we have tens of thousands of **eye-witnesses** of the signs of Fatima. If you think fantastical is what makes it–Go check her out! There were many atheists and journalists who attended for the sake of witnessing that the signs did not happen, but they became people who testified that they did. The deeper you go into the Catholic Church, the more you will find that we don’t have a bunch of missing gold tablets. We have the real stuff!
Jesus warned us about false prophets, too. Claiming that Joseph Smith was a prophet does nothing to impress me. Christ himself warned me about him.
One thing you say is spot on.
That is, you have a right to your own opinion. (But that doesn’t mean your opinion is right.)
That is right. The Truth is independent of either of our opinions. Truth is also my friend.
Your statement though that our claims of “restoration” are not unique in the slightest is nutty,…
If Truth is nutty, then Truth is nutty.
… unless you can come up with another religion with claims of restoration as fantastical as the LDS.
Just to be sure I drove this home–fantastical details and nutty claims were not stipulated in your original assertion that you were “restorative.” I’m sure you have your own unique set of nuttiness in which you make your claims. But I don’t think that is the kind of uniqueness you were trying to claim.
By the way, I’m using the word “nutty” because you used the word “nutty.” One good irrational and irrelevant ad hominem deserves another. (Maybe not–but I’m not a Saint.) The rest of the Mormons reading can disregard the ad hominem for what it is. I mean no disrespect to you.
And I mean “fantastical” in the full sense of the word: not just hard to believe but if true then wonderfully, terrific happenings.
Check out Fatima. ;)



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Alan

posted July 3, 2007 at 6:42 pm


There is a lot of confusion ~ as these comments attest ~ in the church, in Christendom, about who is truly Christian and who is not.
We want a nice, easy-to-button-up coat to put on, to say we are the ones. It is the we-they mentality that Satan loves, because it divides the Body.
Mormonism definitely stretches some of the traditional boundaries, but the central tenet of Christianity is not a list of qualifiers, it is simple faith in who Christ is, the savior. That is the chief cornerstone, the foundation of all expressions of Christian religiosity. We build on that foundation with either precious gems or wood, hay, and stubble. Those flammable elements will burn up when we move into that next paradigm: and we all possess some of these things. What we do well will endure and purchase for us a better resurrection.
There is far too much bickering in the Christian world over incidentals, tacked-on doctrines, and supposedly “superior” styles of approaching God. Be thoroughly convinced in your own mind. But extend generosity, not self-righteous patronizing, to those who are working out their salvation with a slightly different motif. Judging this way is “straining at gnats and swallowing camels.”
God is a JUST judge. Sometimes I think many Christians believe that truth the least. They may find that many of their cherished “traditions” wind up on the junk pile in the judgment.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:20 pm


Anon wrote: “It seems like a completely futile effort to communicate with the Mormons (at least here.) I am left with the impression that Mormons do not care about Truth or meaning.”
James Duckett replied: Honestly. Please, be honest. Yes or no. Are you open to the idea that Mormons COULD in fact be Christian? Or are you dead set against it and no matter what we say you will not consider it at all.
Honestly, I thought I was clear about this in earlier posts. I am definitely open to the idea that Mormonism could, in fact, be Christian. Most of what I have seen is contrary to that, though. If it turns out that Mormonism does, in fact, include Orthodox Trinitarian Doctrine, then they would probably be Christian in my book. But you can’t just say that it does. Trinitarian Doctrine means things, and saying that you believe in only Three Gods with One Purpose is not enough. (I believe you think there are more than three, anyway.) Trinitarian Doctrine has been clear that all Three Persons are One God. It is a great mystery, and you may not agree with it. But if you don’t agree with it (and other things known about the doctrine), then you are not Christian.
If this all turns out to be a bunch of confusion, and Mormonism does, in fact, comply with the Christian Trinitarian Doctrine and any other essential attributes of Christianity, then I would accept them as Christian Bretheren. Albeit, a separated Bretheren. (I am not sure there would be any other essential attributes of Christianity. I haven’t given it thought beyond that. I only include that qualification in case there is.)
Even though it looks extremely doubtful to me that Mormonism is Christian, you would still be brethren of another sort. You are (as are Buddhists and Athiests), after all, people made by Christ and of Christ, and you do, after all, get some inspiration from Christ, and some of His teachings are shared by us. That common ground is not insignificant, and we can all be Christ-inspired to be as Christ like as we can. We can also share in good morals and good living.
A bunch of my questions to you were never addressed as well.
I have tried to respond to what I felt was relevant. If I missed something you thought was relevant, please let me know. (If I last much longer in this exercise, I will do my best to respond to them.)
It seems that the topic has been nit-picked so much that nobody can even clearly define what a Christian is.
No. I don’t think that is true at all. There has been a lot of clarity on the subject, although there have been those who lack clarity. The focus on Trinitarian Doctrine has been quite clear, though. Some Mormons disagree with it. Part of the confusion is that some Mormons reject it, and others try to prove they conform to it. I really don’t know what to respond to half the time.
The biggest problem I see, though, is the notion that you make Christianity what it is by defining it. That is a completely false approach. The question you should ask is: Where does Christianity get its meaning? It gets its meaning from two-thousand years of followers of Christ as One Person of the Trinitarian God. Christianity has been overwhelmingly united on that Trinitarian Doctrine, which includes God’s eternal existence as God–not as a man. Jesus became man, but He was also always God. That is *essential* to the meaning that makes up Christianity. If you deny what has given Christianity its meaning, then you deny Christianity. Thinking you can redefine it to mean something it does not is the mistake.
No one “gets to define” Christianity. It is what it is. Even the Pope cannot change what it is through the act of definition. We can only “define” Christianity by describing what we already know about it.
It would seem the simplest definition is one who believes in Christ.
How simple a definition might be has little to do with what something is. If simplicity misses the essential nature of something, it is insufficient.
With your insufficient definition above, you can’t get away from the problem of those who believe in Christ the Cheese Danish. They would have a fair claim at being Christian, too. (As would Atheists who believed in him.) In all of Christianity, believing in Christ has deeper meaning than just a name. For some odd reason, some Mormons think they can use the name for an entirely different Being, and expect that they are of the same belief system. It is irrational, and it is deceptive. (Intentional, or no.)
If you decided to celebrate my mother’s birthday, but claimed she was an alien from Alpha Centauri and that I misunderstood everything she taught me from birth, and that now you are the legitimate heir to her legacy and my family name, I would say you are nuts. You shouldn’t be surprised that I have much the same reaction regarding my mother Church.
But now this has turned into silly little arguments over aspects that have nothing to do with Christ.
I think you are trying to brush off the problems that have been presented to you. These arguments have everything to do with Christ. But the modus operandi here seems to be to pretend that meaning doesn’t matter, so now you want to brush these things off as if they do not matter.
Meaning *does* matter.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:27 pm


Wizard of ID quotes: Anon @ 2.27″Are you admitting that you are non-Christian, then?”
Then replies:
Surprise! Not every Mormon agrees on the “Christian” label. If a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ, then yes, I am. If it’s someone who believes in a set of doctrines commonly accepted by non-Mormon churches, then no, I’m not.
Your affinity for clarity and meaning is an honorable one. You have my respect.



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Dana

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Um, excuse me, but what does Christ say? Anyone who believes in Him. He is the Lord, Savior, Redeemer, King, etc, etc, etc. It does not matter if you are a Baptist, a Mormon, or whatever, if you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he was crucified, resurrected, and arose, and you have asked Him to be Lord of your life, THEN YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN!



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:58 pm


There is a lot of confusion ~ as these comments attest ~ in the church, in Christendom, about who is truly Christian and who is not.
No. The Mormons on this list are sowing confusion. Among Christians–with a few exceptions–there is little confusion. Even those who don’t consider Catholicism part of Christianity will still agree that the Trinitarian Doctrine is essential to Christianity. You simply want to give the impression that there is confusion so that you can slip Mormonism into that confusion. If the only way you can get there is by spreading confusion and doing violence to meaning–you should probably figure out that something is deeply, deeply wrong with what you are doing.
We want a nice, easy-to-button-up coat to put on, to say we are the ones. It is the we-they mentality that Satan loves, because it divides the Body.
Satan loves confusion. Satan loves it when you invite him in the door by destroying the meaning of things. As long as the meaning is confused and uncertain–the devil will find a way into it. Those of you who are being destructive to meaning are inviting Satan into your discussion.
In the Bible Christ said that he would divide us, too. So division is not a sign that can be used by self-righteous Mormons to say we are pleasing the devil. Notice how you are getting farther and farther from the point? Notice how you are bringing in self-righteous judgments in order to distract from the meaning that you are trying to destroy? (There’s more of this below.)
Mormonism definitely stretches some of the traditional boundaries, but the central tenet of Christianity is not a list of qualifiers, it is simple faith in who Christ is, the savior.
You continue to ignore the thing that has been said several times on this forum. “Simple faith in who Christ is” has a different meaning to you than it does to Christianity. “Simple faith in who Christ is” can be spouted freely by anyone who chooses to believe that Christ is anything that they want. Christ could be an animated Teletubby. Christ could be a sentient strawberry shortcake. Christ could be a mass murderer. Christ could be a court jester. All these “beliefs” would be legitimate according to the way you use the statement. You seem to believe that Christ is someone other than Who Christianity believes Him to be. The figure you worship may be inspired by the Christ of Christianity, but it is some other kind of being. Your “simple faith in who Christ is” is *grossly* insufficient for inclusion in the Christian religion.
That is the chief cornerstone, the foundation of all expressions of Christian religiosity.
It might be if it actually had any meaning when you said it. It is the cornerstone *if* you believe in Christ as One of the Persons in the One God. But the way you mean it, it is obvious to any real Christian that it is NOT. You completely disregard the tacit teachings and understanding that Christians have about Christ when *Christians* say: We have faith in Who Christ is.
We build on that foundation with either precious gems or wood, hay, and stubble. Those flammable elements will burn up when we move into that next paradigm: and we all possess some of these things. What we do well will endure and purchase for us a better resurrection.
Without meaning, your materials are very precarious indeed.
There is far too much bickering in the Christian world over incidentals, tacked-on doctrines, and supposedly “superior” styles of approaching God.
When non-Christians try to undermine Christian meaning and Christian teaching, there will be objections. You are only preaching this “let live” attitude because you want the violence you do to the meaning of Christianity to be accepted. Very convenient. (And a distraction from the point at hand.)
Be thoroughly convinced in your own mind. But extend generosity, not self-righteous patronizing, to those who are working out their salvation with a slightly different motif. Judging this way is “straining at gnats and swallowing camels.”
This isn’t about being self-righteous. (This is another of your distractions mentioned above.) Again, you preach generosity because the kind of generosity you want is to be allowed to destroy meaning. You want us to be generous enough to throw away meaning and invite Satan into the Christian door. You want us to be generous by allowing you to do everything you can to destroy Christianity and make it incoherent.
Forgive me if I’m not feeling so generous just now.
God is a JUST judge. Sometimes I think many Christians believe that truth the least. They may find that many of their cherished “traditions” wind up on the junk pile in the judgment.
God is also merciful. I hope His mercy is deep enough for both of us.



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Dana

posted July 3, 2007 at 8:01 pm


You know what? Maybe instead of Christian, a better word would be Believer? Believer in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, aka The Son of God.



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Bryan Cross

posted July 3, 2007 at 8:12 pm


I discuss this debate on my blog at the following link:
http://tinyurl.com/22zz5t



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 8:13 pm


Um, excuse me,…
Um. Excuse me, Dana. But you have to take into consideration what those words *mean*. Christianity believes that believing in *Him* means believing in a particular being with a particular nature. You apparently believe in a figure with a very different nature.
The Sola Scriptura approach of Bible interpretation does not help you. There are a hundred different reasonable interpretations of that Scripture, and you are simply choosing the one that is convenient for you. Without an authority that understands the Traditional intentions of the author, there is no way to tell who’s interpretation is correct.
Also, see my previous post for further edification.



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wally

posted July 3, 2007 at 8:42 pm


As far as mormons are christains I’d say NO. Because if you realy look at it closely it’s foundation is Masonic. Smith and his followers where all masons they took rituals from the masonic lodge and made it into a church. when smith translated the book of momon he had a sheet in between the recorder of the book and himself he was quoteing from the KINg James bible and never had any plates of gold sent by angles. all there rituals are done in the temple where only members are alowd this is not christian for all christain churces welcome all faiths to worship not just a select few. so if you ask me this is not the christain way of worship.
I do not want to offend anyone with this comment but someone has to be truthful and speak the thuth before all our young people get caught up in this trap.



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AC

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:09 pm


Wizard of Id,
I appreciate the fact that you actually responded to the questions in a straightforward fashion. Thank you.
Below I will give you the biblical answers to these questions.
1) Is Jesus Christ God?
Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: Yes
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” John 1:1,14
2) Is Jesus Chris eternal? (eternal = no beginning and no end, has always existed and will always exist)
Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: Yes
“whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2
“In the beginning was the Word” John 1:1
“I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore…” Revelation 1:17b,18a
3) Did Jesus Christ come into existence after the Father?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: No
“Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.” Isaiah 48:16
4) Was there ever a God before Jesus Christ?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: No
“before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
“before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
6) Was the Father once a man who later became a God?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2
This means that the Father never became God, but rather, from “everlasting to everlasting” He has been and will always be God.
7) If so, who was God while the Father was a man?
The Wizard of Id said: This is an open question. How am I supposed to answer yes / no?
AC says: Yes, I guess you are right. It was more of a rhetorical question.
8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. ” Colossians 1:16-17
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. ” Colossians 1:16-17
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
As the above two questions make abundantly clear: God is the Creator of the devil, not his brother.
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
Man is a created being: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it” Isaiah 45:12a
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” Job 38:4
“He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men” Acts 17:25b,26a
12) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Father?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: Yes
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2
13) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Holy Spirit?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: Yes
The Holy Spirit is God:
“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?… thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” Acts 5:3-4b
God is of course eternal:
“The everlasting God” Genesis 21:33
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well” James 2:19a
“For there is one God” 1 Timothy 2:5a
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6
“Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8b
16) Do you believe men can become Gods?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
Th Bible says: No
“before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
“I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” Isaiah 45:5 (How much clearer can He get?)
“there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. ” Isaiah 45:21b-22
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else…” Isaiah 46:9aa
Again, “before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
“I will not give my glory unto another” Isaiah 48:11
It is this ONE true living eternal Creator of everything God who exists ALONE as God with no possibility of there ever being other gods alongside Him whom Jesus claimed to be:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58
And in whom you must believe in order to be saved from the wrath to come:
“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:23-24
My friend, I beg you in the name of Jesus, repent of the false Mormon god and turn to the living God for the forgiveness of your sins! Seriously! The Bible is OH SO CLEAR about who He is! How many times did we just read Him say that He is the only God that exist and there is no other nor will there ever be?! I beg you with all the love in the world, repent! This is your soul at stake! If you do not repent of the false Mormon god and believe that Christ is who the Bible says He is you will surely die in your sins and burn in hell. Please repent and believe!



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Raymond Takashi Swenson

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:23 pm


What is astonishing about Dr. Mohler’s essay, and many of the other criticisms of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (AKA “Mormons”) is the appalling ignorance that lies at the base of the critical comments. Claiming that Jesus Christ is not depicted in the Book of Mormon is a very strange statement. You can go to any bookstore and find hundreds of books written for the Christian market that describe Jesus Christ and try to explain what he did and how he would advise modern people about how to care for their health, their marital relationships, and the environment. At least in the sense that hundreds of Baptists like Dr. Mohler make money writing books about Jesus, the Book of Mormon also talks about the same Jesus–the one who was born to the virgin Mary, taught his gospel, ordained apostles, healed the sick, performed other miracles, sweat blood in Gethsemane, and died on the cross after asking his Father to forgive his executioners–and was resurrected and appeared to not only the apostles but also “above five hundred brethren at once”. There is nothing else in the New Testament that describes that particular appearance of Christ, but anyone who takes Paul seriously has to believe that it really happened, even though we don;t have the names of any of the witnesses or where this happened. What the Book of Mormon says is that Christ, who as the resurrected God could appear to five hundred men who were among the earliest Christians, did the same thing at another location. Does that seem unlikely? Only if you don’t really believe Christ is God. And while visiting those people, he recapitulated the teachings and miracles of his mortal life in Judea and Galilee. Does that offend you? The very idea that Christ, the Son of God, might actaully be able to exercise his powers anyplace on earth (or heaven) He thinks best?
One thing the Book of Mormon says is that those people who really believe the Bible will also believe the words of the Book of Mormon, because they are also the words of Christ. The honest in heart, specifically those who do not reject God and refuse to listen to any more of his words, will recognize the voice of Christ in the Book of Mormon because they know his voice from the Bible.
Let’s say we conduct a poll to see if “Mormons” are Christians. Let’s conduct a poll of three million people. They will be people who met the definition of “orthodox traditional Christian” as used by Dr. Mohler. They were members of various denominations–of every Christian church recognized as “orthodox” with a small “o”. We will ask them to study the tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closely, and consider whether it is Christian or not in light of their experience and education in their own various Christian denominations. Would they be a reliable guide to whether Mormons are Christians or not?
That “poll” has been conducted. Three million Americans who were previously members of various traditional Christian churches did the comparison, and decided that “Mormons” are in fact Christians, too. And they showed that decision by being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ.
Three million Christians, by anyone’s definition, have declared in the most sober way possible that Mormons are Christian, that they were Christians before their baptism, and they continue, as Mormons, to be Christians. They know the other churches inside out–some of them were ministers and priests–and they also know Mormonism inside out, and they declare that Mormons are Christians in every way that is important, specifically in having saving faith in the Christ who is testified of by the evangelists and apostles of the New Testament.
Now some people try to say that these Mormons are stupid, or ignorant, or gullible, or even evil. But the fact is they were regular members of the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, so you have to apply those epithets to your fellow “Christians” as well. And these converts decided that there was nothing in “Mormon” beliefs that would require them to leave behind their faith in Christ.
The notion that Joseph Smith was a charlatan is hogwash. Crooks and confidence men do not voluntarily surrender themselves up to people they know will kill them, especially when there are thousands of people who would die to protect them in their escape. Smith died as a martyr to his testimony of his visions. He was never wealthy, in an era when there were self-made men all over America based solely on the ability to get followers. He was persecuted throughout his life. Smith could have taken the easy path to religious leadership, as so many others did in his day, by sticking with religious orthodoxy. He certainly could have led a church without having to do all the work of producing and publishing the Book of Mormon, a book that never sold well but was more often passed around, not making a profit, being attacked even before it was published. Smith’s boldness in declaring his message, and its unpopularity among most of his contemporaries, were not the marks of a P.T. Barnum or Elmer Gantry, but rather of someone like the prophets Elijah and Jeremiah, who underwent imprisonment and exile because they said what God told them to say.
Christians should remember that critics of Christianity call Jesus of Nazareth the same kind of charlatan and magician that some Christians now call Joseph Smith (e.g. The Passover Plot, or The Da Vinci Code). Yet we now can read his most intimate diaries and letters, and in all of them Joseph is revealed as a sincere believer in the things he taught. And that is how he died.
Baptists like Dr. Mohler should be aware that the most virulent of the anti-Mormons who tell Baptists what to believe about Mormons are in fact charlatans themselves, distorting the most basic things about their own life stories, including fabricating credentials. The entire buy-in by the Southern Baptists of the frauds perpetrated by the professional anti-Mormons is a demonstration of un-Christian behavior by millions of people, who hunger to hear and read bad things about Mormons, a people who never harmed or threatened them, who read the Bible and worship the Father in the name of his Son, and who try to obey Christ’s commandment, to love one another, as He loved us. Indeed, the animosity that streams from the mouths of Southern Baptists toward Mormons is a gross violation of Christ’s command, and a witness that Baptists are indeed NOT the disciples of Christ because their capacity to love is so crippled.
The greatest irony of Baptists criticizing the Mormons as inadequate Christians is that so many Southern Baptists embrace the notion that they can be saved and assured of permanent salvation for eternity by a single act of confession of faith in Christ. They claim that salvation can be obtained through no real effort or obedience of their own. They set the bar very low for themselves, yet they turn around and claim that Mormons cannot be saved by that standard, but must DO and BELIEVE a whole litany of things. Yet where are the people at the Billy Graham crusades who conduct a catechism of everyone coming forward seeking baptism or salvation, questioning whether they correctly understand the Nicene doctrine of the simultaneous unity AND trinity (threeness) of God? Where are the people who check whether people have read the Bible, let alone understood it? The truth is that most Southern Baptists don’t talk about how wonderfgul it is that God has no passions or emotions, that He is totally unlike us. They concentrate on the resurrected Lord, the Son of God who was fully in possession of his glory and powers, yet could be touched and felt and could eat a honeycomb with the apostles. The music that animates Baptist worship is not in praise of how utterly unlike mankind God is, as described in the creeds, but rather on the words of the Bible that describe God as loving us so much he sent his Son to suffer and die for us. Frankly, hardly anybody believes in the “triune God” because they cannot make a coherent statement comprehending how it is possible to be a single entity of one substance, while at the same time being three distinct persons that are not confounded, to be the loving Father who sent his suffering Son, while also being a God without a body or emotions. All that subscription to this aspect of the creeds entails is words without substance, recitation without understanding, form without heart. And there are plenty of Evangelical theologians who agree with this analysis, that they are corrupted by the overlay of Greek philosophy that separates us from the simple truths of the Bible itself about the nature of God’s emotions and the physical reality of his Son. Mormons simply say outright what most sincere Christians really know, that the neoplatonic God borrowed from Aristotle is a false God, a different Father who has no resemblance to the incarnate Son of God who bled on the cross and returned to his physical body. The immaterial, unfeeling God is a Gnostic heresy that implanted itself onto “normative” Christiantiy. That is a sin against God the Father, for it tells his children that they are orphans, that he does not really love them or sorrow with them but simply simulates it, the way a computer might. No wonder He was angry when he denounced the creeds to Joseph Smith.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:23 pm


He is you will surely die in your sins and burn in hell. Please repent and believe!
For the record, according to Orthodoxy, we are forbidden to judge the hearts of men, and we are forbidden to condemn anyone to hell. The Bible does give us stern warning, and we know that those who do not believe are in great peril. But we cannot play judge of another’s soul. Using the Bible is simply claiming your own interpretive authority for being the judge of someone’s soul. This is just one of the dangers of the Sola Scriptura doctrine. (A doctrine that is an innovation of Protestantism, and is not supported by Holy Scripture.)



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AC

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:51 pm


Anon,
It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself that said whoever does not believe that He is (the one true God of the Bible), that person will die in his or her sins. Mormons believe in a false Jesus that cannot save but surely condemns as per the Bible.
Mormons preach “another gospel”. A gospel that condemns as per Scripture. It was the Apostle Paul who said, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that:
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9
You said that I cannot know. Jesus said that I can (to a certain degree of course). It was Jesus who said that we will “KNOW them by their fruits”. We are to inspect “fruit” in order to KNOW who is the true and who is the false. Mormonism’s fruits deny basic biblical teaching and replace them with a false Gospel which means a call to repentance is clearly in place.
You seem like a very nice person and I love how you are defending basic biblical doctrine. With that said, Roman Catholicism also preaches a false works-righteousness idolatrous gospel that anyone whom ascribes to should immediately repent of. We will save that discussion for some other time.



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Dana

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:51 pm


Um, excuse me Anon, but who are you to tell me who or what I believe in? I believe in Christ, that He is the Son of God, my Lord and my savior, and His “nature” is one of Love, Grace, and Forgiveness. I am not going to argue with you or anyone else, but do NOT presume to tell me who or what I believe in. I am not a Mormon, but I feel like anyone has the right to worship as they see fit. However, Christ himself gave us the great commission, and told us to love each other as we love ourselves. He also told us not to judge, do you remember that part? My job as a believer in Christ is to make sure that everyone I come across and is willing to listen knows that Christ did exist, He did die for our sins, and He does love us. And I will pray for you too. Religion is not the answer, Christ is.



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Roper

posted July 3, 2007 at 9:56 pm


For the record.
Our unnamed poster submitted the following:
After a thoughtful reply to a previous post, Roper’s reply was “*Right, but you still ain’t a Christian.” Well, that seems to be the trump card in this discussion, which makes it all so pointless. Dr. Mohler and the rest will continue to play that trump card over and over, it doesn’t make a difference.
Actually, that “Right but you still ain’t a Christian” was POC777′s response to my (Roper’s) post.
Just didn’t want any of my friends from other forums to think I had apostatized from the LDS faith :)



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Roper

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:02 pm


I initially asked this question of Steve, but he hasn’t returned to the discussion yet. So I’ll direct it to anyone here sympathetic to Dr. Mohler’s argument.
According to widely-accepted Christian doctrine, what has to happen in order for a person to be saved? And what does salvation mean?
I know this question seems tangential to the discussion, but I believe it’s germane for reasons that should become apparent.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:33 pm


Interesting point, Dana. Except that you avoided the issue alltogether. Do the words have meaning, or don’t they? If they do have meaning, the Mormon beliefs are either aligned to them or counter to them. If they do not have meaning–we have nothing to say to each other. (Literally.)
Sorry about my incorrect assumption about you. But it’s really beside the point.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:41 pm


Roper, your question and its answer probably won’t be helpful to resolve the “definition” issue at hand, but here are some words from Zippy Catholic that I think are edifying to your question:
The underlying assumption seems to be salvation by knowledge. To understand the Catholic Faith you have to understand that it is not primarily about intellect, or even morals: it is about Christ received through the sacraments, because He commanded it, and because those who love Him will do as He commands because they love Him. And He commands as He does because He loves us. Understanding may follow practice, to a greater or lesser degree. But the Catholic faith is a loving response to our King and Redeemer, not an intellectual response to a text. A Downs Syndrom Catholic who can’t read the Bible is in no way lesser than a theologically giant intellectual.
The Catholic faith doesn’t get snagged on “what exactly is it that saves us” because the thing that saves us isn’t an “it”. The thing that saves us is a Who. Asking what you have to do to be saved is like asking what you have to do to make sure that your wife will still love you tomorrow. There may be things you can do, but it isn’t a mechanical process. It isn’t something that happens at an instant, making anything that follows irrelevant. It is love.
The Catholic view is that if we love Christ we will follow his commands, submit to the Rock of authority He established (including text written by inspired human beings, traditions passed on by human beings, and a magisterium that remains quite fallen and human yet bears the protection of the Holy Spirit in doctrinal and sacramental matters), and wait in joyful hope.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t sincere elements of all of these things in Protestant faiths. But the answer to “what must I do to be saved” can’t be specified in a finite text, any more than “what must I do to make sure my wife still loves me tomorrow”. There are no guarantees, and yet the guarantees transcend any intellectual guarantee because they are rooted in love.
END EXCERPT



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Dixon

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:57 pm


I’ve browesed through the many comments made, and I’ve noted that the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, nick-named the mormon church, matches the new testament church of Christ almost identically in the way it has been persecuted in this blog.



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Dixon

posted July 3, 2007 at 10:59 pm


edit: matches the new testament church of Christ almost identically in the way it has been persecuted in the past and how it is presently persecuted in this blog.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 11:15 pm


Now, take the above excerpt from Zippy and go back to my example about my mother.
I wrote: “If you decided to celebrate my mother’s birthday, but claimed she was an alien from Alpha Centauri and that I misunderstood everything she taught me from birth, and that now you are the legitimate heir to her legacy and my family name, I would say you are nuts. You shouldn’t be surprised that I have much the same reaction regarding my mother Church.”
Now I would still expect my mother to take some pity upon you. You might not have my family name, and you might not really know her for who she is. But your beliefs in her were somehow inspired by her, and she would no doubt wish you well–mercifully swallowing much of her irritation. She might even feed you some cake. In a way you would have a warped relationship with her, and in a way you would have a relationship with a figment of your imagination. But you would still not be my mother’s children, and you would not be legitimate followers of her.
Christ’s love and mercy is boundless. He is a far more loving and merciful Being than my mother. So who am I to say whether Mormons are saved, or not? As an Orthodox Christian–I don’t know. My issues in this discussion have never been whether or not Mormons are saved. My issues have been whether or not they are Christian.
Besides–whether you think He is a space alien, or not. You and the whole world really are His children.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 11:22 pm


I’ve browesed through the many comments made, and I’ve noted that the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, nick-named the mormon church, [Dixon's edit] matches the new testament church of Christ almost identically in the way it has been persecuted in the past and how it is presently persecuted in this blog.
Oh, please. That is just plain silly. To equate this to persecution the likes of the martyrdom of Stephen is the epitome of hyperbole. You obviously have no clue what true persecution is. (Lucky you.)
And why is the pursuit of Truth and clarity a matter of persecution?
This is just one more example of back-handed ad hominem. And ad hominem is a tool for those who are intellectually bankrupt.



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Anon

posted July 3, 2007 at 11:33 pm


(Pssst. Hey, Skippy. You got those lions ready, yet?)



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Eric

posted July 4, 2007 at 12:10 am


Thank you, Dr. Mohler. The Mormon church has made an idol out of Joseph Smith and is darkened in understanding. We who believe should pray that God would open their hearts and minds.



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Eric

posted July 4, 2007 at 12:17 am


Does this sound like someone who bears the fruit of the spirit?
In “Doctrine and Covenants Section 132″ Joseph Smith wrote, “And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.”
Joseph Smith was deluded by lusts.



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Glenn Green

posted July 4, 2007 at 12:20 am


If being a Christian means that I try to understand and live my life according to His words as contained in the Bible. That I read those words, meditate on those words and try in a very deep sense to understand how to try to put His words into practice in my day to day life, I am Christian. If it means I find refuge in Him and peace that surpasses my understanding, I am Christian. If it means that through Him, I am delivered from my sins and my pains and my sadnesses in a way I don’t fully understand, I am Christian.
If being Christian means that I fully accept the philosophical creeds reconciliating Greek thought to the words in the Bible, then I am not Christian. If it means that I accept any preacher’s teaching as authority and definitive interpretation of what God is in my life, I reject that wholeheartedly.
I will leave it up to God to be who He is. I struggle to follow His example, and rest my lot on the judgment seat to say whether or not He knows me. As a minimum, I can say that I have found Peace in this world through Him. I have also found inspiration from many sources of those that try to follow Him and learn from Him from across a variety of Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Baptist, and Evangelical writers. And broader yet from others that seek to understand God and His Will for Us.
Explanations and debates into exactly how and why Jesus does what He does now I don’t find useful. Just as the debates over exactly how old the earth is and what happened to the dinosaurs during the flood. Neither helps me adopt a more loving view towards my neighbor the way Christ’s examples and teachings do.



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Eric

posted July 4, 2007 at 12:37 am


The Mormon at the other side of this argument writes, “at the level of religious practice we believe that we are the only Christians who act and speak with the authority of Christ.”
If you “learn from Him from across a variety of Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Baptist, and Evangelical writers,” then, GOOD! You’re not buying into the Mormons!



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Matt

posted July 4, 2007 at 12:56 am


I think Card hit the nail on the head. I’m not sure where Mohler got a Ph.D., but he begs the question from the outset. Circular reasoning like “I am right; therefore, you are wrong” is not very good scholarship, theology, or worship. Sounds like he’s used to speaking only to people who agree with him.
I think that Mormon theology is just as Christian as evangelical theology. To argue otherwise usually requires a definition of Christian that excludes the Apostles themselves (who didn’t read the Bible, understand the Nicene Creed or its Greek philosophical backdrop). It would be equally misleading for Mormons to say that evangelicals aren’t Christian, though. I think both sides should just say, “you’re also trying to follow Christ, but you don’t understand what [I think] I do about his Gospel.”



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Anon

posted July 4, 2007 at 1:11 am


If being a Christian means…
It does mean some of those things, but it also means some other very essential things. Included in those essential things is the doctrine of the Trinity. Have you read the other posts?
That I read those words, meditate on those words and try in a very deep sense to understand how to try to put His words into practice in my day to day life, I am Christian.
That is problematic. Since you don’t have an authority for interpreting those Scriptures, you really have no way of knowing if you are interpreting them correctly. There are any number of reasonable ways to interpret Scripture. This leads many to simply interpret it they way that they like. But that isn’t reading from scripture–that’s reading *into* it.
If being Christian means that I fully accept the philosophical creeds reconciliating Greek thought to the words in the Bible, then I am not Christian.
The implication that the early Church did this is a distortion. Christian doctrine was not determined by Greek thought at all. (Unless you mean *Christian* Greeks.) Greek philosophy was a study in *method*. The Church borrowed from the *methods* in order to better articulate the doctrines.
I know that is not a convenient truth to those who want to distort the origins of Christian doctrine, but it is true. Hopefully you care about truth. (I get the feeling that you do.)
If it means that I accept any preacher’s teaching as authority and definitive interpretation of what God is in my life, I reject that wholeheartedly.
I don’t think there are very many Christians who would take the teaching of “any” preacher as authoritative and definitive interpretation, either. So I don’t know why you even say this. And, while were at it, are you saying that there is no authority at all in Mormonism?
I will leave it up to God to be who He is.
I hope you do. Keep in mind that, although I am 100% confident that Catholicism is the One True Church, I have not been arguing whether or not Christianity or Mormonism is true or false in this discussion. I respect the faith that you have, but I reject this idea that you can reject the doctrine of the Trinity and still be Christian. If Mormonism is correct in its understanding of Jesus and God the Father, then Christianity is a false religion. If that is true, I hope He will have mercy on me for my ignorance.
On the other hand, I think the case for Catholicism is overwhelming for those who would explore it, so I really hope that He will have mercy on all Mormons.
Explanations and debates into exactly how and why Jesus does what He does now I don’t find useful. Just as the debates over exactly how old the earth is and what happened to the dinosaurs during the flood. Neither helps me adopt a more loving view towards my neighbor the way Christ’s examples and teachings do.
The influence of the True Christ’s teaching is apparent, I think, in the goodness of the Mormons that I have met. I do see some wisdom in what you say. However, there is also something to be said for Truth and meaning. Much of what Jesus taught is in the context of very deep meaning, and I will not stand by to watch that get compromised. I will not stand by while others open the door to let Satan in.



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 4, 2007 at 1:50 am


This is what Christianity has come to: endless disputations about who’s in charge, who speaks for Jesus and who gets in the club.
How unfortunate.
According to the Gospels, Jesus had a solution, a way of turning any community into “the Kingdom of God.” It involved a new way of thinking.
Be gentle, merciful, honest, pure in heart, peacemakers.
Be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Don’t make peace with God until you’ve made peace with your brother.
The best way to avoid adultery is to avoid it in your heart.
You don’t need an oath if your word is true.
Go the extra mile.
Love even your enemies.
Don’t do good just to be seen.
Don’t pray just to be seen.
If you want to be forgiven, learn to forgive.
Don’t set your heart on riches but on doing good.
There’s more to life than food.
There’s more to life than your clothes.
There’s more to life than your house.
Don’t judge.
Pray.
Don’t listen to what men say, watch what they do.
This is Christianity – not endless squabbles over ecclesiastical authority, the mode and manner of baptism, which offices to hold, who gets to run the store and who gets to come in.
There are a lot of different groups with a lot of different ways of approaching the teachings of Jesus, but the most un-Christian approach is to stand in judgment of this group or that and say, “You can’t come in. You’re not a Christian.”
Christianity ought to be about more than that.



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Anon

posted July 4, 2007 at 3:14 am


There are a lot of different groups with a lot of different ways of approaching the teachings of Jesus, but the most un-Christian approach is to stand in judgment of this group or that and say, “You can’t come in. You’re not a Christian.”
When is this nonsense going to stop? This has been dealt with several times now. If you cannot make judgments about meaning, we are completely lost, because we are all dealing with meaninglessness. If anybody who believes anything about who or what Jesus is can claim to be Christians, then we invite any devil in existence who claims his favorite demon is named Jesus Christ to be counted among the Christians. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE THE ALLY OF DEMONS?
That isn’t to say that Mormons are in any way demons themselves. However, to avoid being allies of demons we have to respect meaning and Truth. Christianity *means* very tangible things, and if Mormonism doesn’t fit into what it means, then Mormons should reject becoming an ally to the demons and accept the fact that they are not Christians.
This idea that “Oh, we should all just get along” is a reason to avoid anything meaningful is a pernicious and evil thing. It is reasoning that belongs in hell where it came from.



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Mike Bennion

posted July 4, 2007 at 3:48 am


Hey AC
Thank you. Now I will compare answers with you.
1) Is Jesus Christ God?
AC: Yes.
Mike: Yes
Bible: Yes
2) Is Jesus Christ eternal? (eternal = no beginning and no end, has always existed and will always exist)
AC: Yes.
Mike: Yes
Bible: Yes
3) Did Jesus Christ come into existence after the Father?
AC: No.
Mike: No.
3a. Is Jesus the Son of the Father?
Mike: Yes
Bible: Yes
4) Was there ever a God before Jesus Christ?
AC: No.
Mike: No because Jesus is eternal
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
AC No.
Mike: No Jesus Christ is eternal so there will be God eternally and Jesus is God. And we can be like Him as He is like the Father, can be one with Him as He is one with the Father, Can be joint heirs posessing all that He and the Father have, and can sit with Him as He sits with his Father on the throne.
Bible: See John 17, Romans 8, Revelation 3:22, Ist John 2.
6) Was the Father once a man who later became a God?
AC No.
Mike Yes
Bible: John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. Since Jesus became a man and then died and was resurrected, and since Jesus does nothing but what he sees the Father do, then the Father, according to Jesus became a man, died and was resurrected.
7) If so, who was God while the Father was a man?
AC ?
Mike: Since Jesus was God while he was a man, and since Jesus does nothing but what he sees the Father do, The Father was God while he was a man.
Bible: John 5:19
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8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
AC: Yes.
Mike: No
Bible: Every Thing, not every man or every creature
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
AC Yes.
Mike: No
Bible: The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost are all eternal, so is Satan, and men and all matter. The Bible word for Create in the First verse of Genesis “Baurau” means to organize rather than to create our of nothing.
If God, The Father or Jesus created Satan out of nothing, then they are responsible for evil. If all things are organized form eternal pre-existing matter thay are free agents.
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
AC No.
Mike Yes
See Comments above
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
AC No.
MIke Yes
See Above
12) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Father?
AC: Yes.
Mike: Yes
Bible: Yes
Is all matter co-eteranl with the Father? Bible yes Genesis 1:1
“Baurau”
13) Is Jesus Christ co-eternal with the Holy Spirit?
AC:Yes.
Mike: Yes
Bible: Yes
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
AC No.
Mike: No.
How are they one?
AC: ?
Mke: In Unity, Purpose and Love, in Power and might and Dominion See John 17
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
AC Yes.
Mike: Yes
16) Do you believe men can become Gods?
AC: No.
Mike: No, They can become God. One with the Father and the Son, Joint Heirs with Them, Like Them, one in Unity, purpose and Love, in Power and might and Dominion. See John 17, Romans 8, 1st John 2, Revelation 3:22
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
AC: No.
Mike: No
AC: I hope that now you will answer the questions in the same manner, a simple straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ fashion. Thank you.
Mike: Since when the Widzard of Id did so, you then elaborated, I feel free to do so as well.



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Roper

posted July 4, 2007 at 6:28 am


From Anon:
Christ’s love and mercy is boundless. He is a far more loving and merciful Being than my mother. So who am I to say whether Mormons are saved, or not? As an Orthodox Christian–I don’t know. My issues in this discussion have never been whether or not Mormons are saved. My issues have been whether or not they are Christian.
My reply:
My observation is this: Most Christians will say that salvation comes from accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and a commitment to follow Him in faith. Different denominations may state it differently and add further clarification, but I believe that’s the common core.
My conclusion is this: If Jesus really is Lord and Savior, then only He has authority to determine who belongs to His fold. Not Orson Card. Not Dr. Mohler. Not anyone on this forum. The whole pointlessness of this debate is that people want to use a linguistic distinction (the definition of the word “Christian”) to judge whether others belong to Christ. Only Christ can do that. Only Christ can know that.
So instead of trying to excise a person or group of people who have clearly shown acceptance of and dedication to Jesus Christ, wouldn’t it be far more “Christian” to use the time and talents God has given us to take this Good News to those who haven’t received it?
And with that, I’ve wasted too much of my own time on this issue.



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 4, 2007 at 7:23 am


I made the following comment:
“There are a lot of different groups with a lot of different ways of approaching the teachings of Jesus, but the most un-Christian approach is to stand in judgment of this group or that and say, ‘You can’t come in. You’re not a Christian.’
This evoked a reaction from an anonymous poster, who took me to task. I’d like to respond to specific issues raised by this poster, specifically the following:
NONSENSE
“When is this nonsense going to stop? This has been dealt with several times now. If you cannot make judgments about meaning, we are completely lost, because we are all dealing with meaninglessness.”
It’s not a question of meaning but of authority. Given that Christianity has more flavors than Basken Robins, it’s only fair to ask, “Who gets to decide which group or groups or proper Christians – and which aren’t?”
For about fifteen hundred years, the answer would have been clear – depending on which side of Europe you called home. If you lived under the control of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox were the only true Christians. If you lived west of that line, it was Catholicism or nothing.
Had he lived during this time, Dr. Mohler would have been tortured and executed for being a Baptist. A similar fate awaited other Protestants – who are only now in the clear because northern Europe rose up, through force of arms, to defend its right to set up national churches. Even then, the question of “Who’s a proper Christian?” was decided by the king.
We live in a country where church and state are separated – or at least estranged – in large part because of England’s bloody experience. When the Crown wasn’t locked in a civil war between Protestants and Catholics, it was locked in a civil war between Anglicans and Puritans.
Of all the words uttered by Jesus, or his disciples, there are no nifty little definitions that can be used to decide which followers of Christ get to call themselves Christians. There are, however, lots of admonitions on how to live a Christian life. Jesus, himself, said that not all they cried, “Lord, Lord” would enter into the kingdom, but they who did the will of the Father.
Jesus was very clear that unless a person’s behavior was better than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, they were just kidding themselves – building on a foundation of sand. I think such advice would apply to everyone, regardless of sectarian affiliation.
“If anybody who believes anything about who or what Jesus is can claim to be Christians, then we invite any devil in existence who claims his favorite demon is named Jesus Christ to be counted among the Christians. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE THE ALLY OF DEMONS?”
The problem with this objection is not just that it’s based on a hypothetical – one that has yet to occur in 2,000 years – nor is it simply that the situation you describe is beyond absurd. It’s that even if you saw some group marching down the street with a sign that said, “Praise the Demon Jesus,” you’d still have the same problem you started with: Who gets to decide what the standard is for being a Christian?
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” He didn’t say anything about which creed to adopt. He told his disciples that if their righteousness did not exceed that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, they would in no wise enter into the Kingdom of God.



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Junia7

posted July 4, 2007 at 10:30 am


This debate is sad and is also endless. Mormons are taught to defend their religion,so they will never admit that they may not be right. Those of us who know and believe the truth of God’s Word have been warned through the Holy Bible that there would be a great falling away and that false Christs, prophets and messiahs would be the hallmark of the endtimes. We also know that Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that they cannot see the truth of God’s Word. Born again ones: don’t argue about what you know to be truth, instead pray that through this debate that God the Holy Spirit will convict some and convince others that maybe what they (the Mormons) have accepted as truth may in fact be gross error. Only the Holy Spirit of the God of the Holy Bible can draw the lost to Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of all mankind.



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angela McGlawn

posted July 4, 2007 at 11:59 am


WoW! I am truly chocked! Who are these people who say Mormons are not Christians? Igorance and lack of research seem to be their source of information. In the real sense of all those who claim to be a Christian, Mormons are the most devout, loyal Christians I have ever met or hope to meet. Nothing they ever do excludes Christ’s teachings, sacrifice and total devotion to family, community and country is their way of life. It insults me as a human being, when ignorant people, liars, and deceivers attemps to tarnish peoples reputation or beleifs when they absolutely have no clue of what they are talking about. I am ashamed for those who had their own corrupted agenda in giving false testemonies about what they have been taught in the Mormon religion. I personally have been a student of their teachings for 25 years, I have researched, and whatched very closely how they live, act and behave. I testify to anyone and everyone who desires to know, that they are indeed Christians, and that we are all blessed to have them in our lives. There is not any other religion in the present time that are better representatives of Christ as The Latter Day Saints( more commonly know as mormons). So, people shape up and do not go about creating lies and fantasies about a people you truly do not know. Remenber, there is a commandment that talks about bearing false witness. Please do not condemn yourselves!



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Chris

posted July 4, 2007 at 12:24 pm


http://www.carm.org/lds/lds_christian.htm
Why is Mormonism a non Christian religion? It is not Christian because it denies that there is only one God, denies the true Gospel, adds works to salvation, denies that Jesus is the uncreated creator, distorts the biblical teaching of the atonement, and undermines the authority and reliability of the Bible.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm


AC @ July 3, 2007 9:09 PM
Congratualtions AC. I should probably have seen that one coming, but I confess you successfully blindsided me. Presumably, you prepared your responses before you’d even posted your questions, and your major criterion for whether or not to include a question was whether you could find chapter and verse about it. Is this why you insisted on one-word answers — because you didn’t want to risk someobody explaining our position before you damned us all to hellfire? Your questions were notable for some surprising omissions. Not one about the holy communion and its symbolism, for example; an odd omission in a debate about the Christianity of one’s religious practice, since it is, after all, probably the most fundamental of Christian rituals. It’s tempted to assume that, knowing the answer already, you couldn’t see any possibility of getting in a cheap shot around it.
However, I can quote scripture too, and I doubt you know your Bible quite as well as you think you do. Ignoring the questions that we agreed on takes us to #5:
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No

Psalms 82, 6-7: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”
Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Now, please correct me if I’m wrong here, but last time I read my Bible, the Father in heaven was actually a god. So how are we going to be perfect as He is without being gods?
Romans 8:17 “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 also glorified together.”
8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes

Can you explain to me at what point Jesus created Himself?
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes

Revelations 12: 7-9 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
So if Lucifer was in heaven before the Creation, when exactly did Christ create him?
Do you believe that evil exists in heaven? Do you believe God (or Jesus) would create evil? or make someone evil?
I don’t believe Jesus created the devil. I think Lucifer (meaning “bringer of Light”) became the devil through his own choices and actions.
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No

Having established that Jesus didn’t
create the devil, and Lucifer was in heaven before the Creation, it’s a reasonable assumption, even relying solely on the Bible, that Lucifer is Christ’s spiritual brother.
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No

I said you would misinterpret my yes/no answers without some explanation of where I’m coming from! I wasn’t talking just about humans as bodies of flesh and bone, but as pre-mortal spirit beings.
Job 38:4-7 (Yes, I know you quoted verse 4, but you didn’t read the next three verses, did you!) “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
So did the sons of God shout for joy if they didn’t exist?
Ecclesiastes 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
You can’t return to somewhere you’ve never been.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;”
Romans 9:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son”
Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world”
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No

Matthew 20:23 “he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father
If Christ is the same being as the Father, how is it not His to give?
Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
John 5:19 “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do”
Have you ever been in a positon where you could do nothing except what you’d seen yourself do?
John 8:18 “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.”
John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 20:17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:”
Acts 7:55 “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God”
When was the last time you stood on the right side of yourself?
Questions 15 and 17 are best answered as one:
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image
Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us
Exodus 34:34 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods,
My friend, I beg you in the name of Jesus, repent of the false Mormon god and turn to the living God for the forgiveness of your sins! Seriously! … I beg you with all the love in the world, repent!
Do you know the meaning of the word “disingenuous”? My friends do not set traps to blindside me; and those who love me show respect for my religious beliefs, even if they don’t share them.
This is your soul at stake! If you do not repent of the false Mormon god and believe that Christ is who the Bible says He is you will surely die in your sins and burn in hell.
But I thought we were saved by grace? Hasn’t that been your major argument all along? That if we accept Christ as our Savior, and take His atoning sacrifice upon us, then we are saved. In your questions, the role of Jesus Christ was at least one thing that we agreed upon. Which means, by your own arguments, that we Mormons are saved; and if we persist in an erroneous belief in the Book of Mormon, that is just one more sin for which Jesus Christ atoned; and nobody’s going to burn anywhere; and you really haven’t thought this one all the way through, have you!



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Michael

posted July 4, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Brothers and sisters. Please do not fall into the trap that often happens to those followers of revealed truth. Many of us have forgotten the basic message of the Gospels. The leaders of the Church that Jesus grew up in did not perceive Jesus as a Jew but as of the devil because he was not one of them. “Who is this man?” “Where did he get this knowledge?” “Did we lay hands on him?” “Is he not the carpenters son?” “This man casts out demons by the prince of demons.”
Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me.” The first followers of Jesus called themselves “Followers of the way” not “christians”. Throughout the gospels we see a contrast between those who think the way to the Father is through their religious system, tradition, or way of worship and those who follow “The Way” to the Father by way of practicing it in their everyday life. Todays de-emphasis on works (fruit) by modern day “Christians” has taken away from what it means to be a “true christian” or “follower of the WAY”
The parable of “The Good Samaritan” plays upon the battle between those who think that you have to worship at the Temple and those who do not. Jesus portrays the Samaritan as the one who was the “true” follower of the way because of his works of mercy toward another of God’s children regardless of what his denomination may be. That is why at the last judgement the sheep and the goats are seperated by their fruit and not their religious affilliation. God is the Father of all people that is why a Muslim or a Jew or a Buddhist or any other religion for that matter, may get into the kingdom before one who claims to be a christian. Remember, “To whom much is given, much is expected”
Be well…….Michael



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 4, 2007 at 2:32 pm


People often assume that Mormons aren’t Christians because of things they’ve read or overheard, but it pays to do a little fact checking.
CHARGE #1
“Why is Mormonism a non Christian religion? It is not Christian because it denies that there is only one God …”
THE BOOK OF MORMON SAYS:
“And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is ONE GOD, without end. Amen.” (2 Nephi 21:31)
CHARGE #2
“[Mormonism] denies the true Gospel, adds works to salvation …”
THE BOOK OF MORMON SAYS:
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.” (2 Nephi 10:24)
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)
“Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.” (Jacob 4:7)
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.” (Moroni 10:32-33)
CHARGE #3
“[Mormonism] denies that Jesus is the uncreated creator …”
THE BOOK OF MORMON SAYS:
“Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.” (2 Nephi 9:5)
“And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.” (Mosiah 3:8)
CHARGE #4
“[Mormonism] distorts the biblical teaching of the atonement…”
THE BOOK OF MORMON SAYS:
“And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.” (Alma 34:8-10)
CHARGE #5
“[Mormonism] undermines the authority and reliability of the Bible.”
THE BOOK OF MORMON SAYS:
“And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.
Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.” (2 Nephi 29:3-8)
“And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.
And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the cconvincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.
40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.” (1 Nephi 13:38-40)
“Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.” (2 Nephi 3:12)



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Anon

posted July 4, 2007 at 2:55 pm


If Jesus really is Lord and Savior, then only He has authority to determine who belongs to His fold.
That is correct, Roper.
The whole pointlessness of this debate is that people want to use a linguistic distinction (the definition of the word “Christian”) to judge whether others belong to Christ.
I specifically said in earlier posts that I am NOT determining who belongs to Christ. I am determining what is Christian, and what is not. If Christianity is false, then Christians do not belong to Christ in the way they think they do. If Mormonism is right, they are the Truest of all followers of Christ. But they would still not belong to *Christianity* because Christianity is something different than Mormonism. If Mormons are the Truest of all followers of Christ, it is deceptive and devilish work to equate them with Christians, who would not be.



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Anon

posted July 4, 2007 at 3:08 pm


Bill Kirkpatrick wrote:
It’s not a question of meaning but of authority. Given that Christianity has more flavors than Basken Robins, it’s only fair to ask, “Who gets to decide which group or groups or proper Christians – and which aren’t?”
You are avoiding Truth, and you make me wonder if it isn’t intentional. Christianity is unified in the Doctrine of the Trinity, in spite of the Baskin Robbins effect that has fragmented it. In all it’s fragementation, it still has a Unity in Christ. That’s a pretty amazing thing, and a testament to the power of Christ. You would undermine and destroy that Unity. You would destroy what it means for your own gains. You are an enemy of Truth and meaning. I doubt it is intentional, but you are doing the work of the great deceiver, Satan.
I’ve said it a dozen times, but I’m about through saying it. No one gets to decide what Christianity is. (So no one gets to decide which groups are proper Christians.) Christianity is what it is, and your attempt to destroy what Christianity means does not change what it always has been.
The rest of what you said was a mix of more rehashed stuff I already handled and some ad hominem, so I’ll leave it be.
I don’t think there is much more to accomplish here, either. All we are getting is repetitions of the same tactics without actually facing the destruction to meaning that they are doing.



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 4, 2007 at 3:13 pm


Anon: “If Mormons are the Truest of all followers of Christ, it is deceptive and devilish work to equate them with Christians
You know what I’m getting tired of? It’s all you non-Mormons and your silly false dichotomy that if Mormons aren’t one thing, they must be involved in some sort of conspiracy to deceive. Why can’t you all just accept that we have a different definition of christianity than you do?
Who was it who decreed with such unquestionable authority that Christianity requires conforming to a set of doctrines of Catholic origin?
Newsflash, brainiacs! Mormons aren’t Catholics! So why would we conform to Catholic doctrine?
This is Wikipedia’s definition of Christianity, which sounds pretty good to me:
“Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, and they see the New Testament as the record of the Gospel that was revealed by Jesus.”



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Brian

posted July 4, 2007 at 5:10 pm


There is a simple answer to this debate. The following is what the Bible teaches. There are 5 principles that all must [Christians] believe to have eternal life:
1) Heaven is a free gift, and cannot be earned, or deserved.
2) Man is a sinner, and cannot save himself. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever lusted after another, which Jesus said is committing adultery in your heart? Have you ever disobeyed your parents? Have you always put God first? Well, we have all broken one commandment or another. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
3) God is merciful, but, just as merciful as He is, He is also just. He must punish sin, but does not want to punish us.
The ultimate statistic, 100% of us will die. We will face judgment when we do. Have you broken a commandment? If so, God must punish that sin. Be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. If you fall short, on your own merit, you will go to Hell.
4) However, God provided a way. Jesus was fully man, fully God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1,14
Jesus came to earth to fulfill the Old Testament. We are all guilty, yet, Jesus came to pay the sin debt we all owe. He was horribly beaten, crucified, and separated from the Father. He took this punishment, and died, to first glorify God, and then to pay our sin debt. “It is finished”, this word in Greek is teleo, which means: to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): – accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform. If we attempt to pay more, ie, use our good works to pay for our entrance to Heaven, we are offending God. It’s like spitting in the face of God. No, our good works are obedience, and nothing more. Our payment is already made.
5) How do accept this gift? 2 parts.
a) We repent. We not only tell God from the bottom of our hearts that we are sorry, but, we turn from those sins, doing our best to never again do those evil deeds.
b) If we truly repent, we see God for who He is, and have saving faith. This is not mere head knowledge. This is not temporarily relying on God for different things. This is trusting God with our entire lives, and having Jesus as Lord and Savior.
If Mormons, or, anyone else believes and accepts these 5 premises, I’d say they are Christian and have eternal life. Certain other subjects in the Bible we won’t fully understand until we meet our Maker.



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Jestrfyl

posted July 4, 2007 at 5:15 pm


There is an old saying, “Just ’cause the cat has her kittens in the oven doesn’t mean they are bisquits”
The flip side is you can call yourself anything you want. Overall, Jesus’ message, as proclaimed in the Gospels at least is you can call yourself anything, but a person’s faith is proclaimed by how they acquit themselves. Subscriptions to doctrine, dogma, or creeds just gets you a membership card into one “club house” or another. Lots of the “members” are less “Christian” than folks who have never chosen to join. Personally I prefer neoMarxian dogma – Groucho’s that is — “I would never join a club that would have me as a member”. If they call themselves Christian, so What!?! – Or as the great philiosopher Garfield put it, Big Fat Hairy Deal.
Happy 4th of July – patriots, Chrsistians, and everyone else!



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Brian

posted July 4, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Jestrfyl,
I agree. Matter of fact, I’m believe that true Christ following isn’t a religion anyways. Saving faith isn’t found in a church, and there isn’t anything that makes a church holy. Believers, the church, is the religion. There are plenty in any church that do not have eternal life, which is scary.



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tommienogo

posted July 4, 2007 at 5:30 pm


“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?” “When you did it to the least, you did it to me?” Tell me all you “Heaven is mine, and all those just like me – the rest of you, stay away” types: Does that person KNOW Christ? Yes. Christ says so, even if you don’t. But do they know the “name” of Christ by which they supposedly must be saved? They’re obviously unfamiliar with the Bible – if they had read the book of Matthew during their lives on earth, they wouldn’t have asked the above question. So they don’t know Christ’s name, but Christ says they really did help (feed) him, at which point they definitely got to know him. And so they may enter Heaven.
Hmm. How can that be? Isn’t it by the name of “Jesus” that we’re saved?
Well, Christ’s name isn’t like our name. I might know your name to get your attention, but God’s name isn’t one of those. Rather, God’s “name,” like everything about God, is about his essence – God doesn’t have attributes separate from God himself. God doesn’t just love. God IS love. Moses asked God for his name, and he replied, “I Am Who Am.” That is, “I’m existence itself – all that exists was created through me.” That’s not a name meant to get God’s attention. That a name meant to describe God’s himself, his very essence.
You and I will also get a name like that in heaven. God knows us now better than we know ourselves. But in Heaven, I’ll finally know myself fully, as God does. Does my name “Tom” describe that. I certainly doubt it. Shouldn’t I have a name that describes my essence, created in the mind of God from all time? Of course. And so Revelation 2:17 says, “[To] Everyone who overcomes . . . I will give a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one receiving it.” It will be just between me and God, forever. That is, even in Heaven there’s a bit of privacy. There’s at least one secret between God and me that just we know, and that’s my utter core. And all in Heaven get to spend the rest of eternity discovering each other as we unfold, a process that will never end.
So knowing Christ’s “name” means knowing Jesus himself – not what were suppose to vocalize to get his attention, so we can get to Heaven. Using Jesus’s name the latter way doesn’t get you to Heaven. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the Kindom of Heaven, but they who do the will of my Father who is in Heaven. . . . Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? . . . and I will say to them, ‘I never knew you.’ ” The Bible doesn’t have to specifically point out these distinctions between the two Testaments for us to be expected to make the connection.
You have a personal relationship with Jesus? Good. But so do many others who can’t quite place the name. Or even know what “orthodoxy” means. You notice that it’s all about orthodoxy with Dr. Mohler, never about Jesus, the man himself. Never.



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Anon

posted July 4, 2007 at 5:35 pm


You know what I’m getting tired of? It’s all you non-Mormons and your silly false dichotomy that if Mormons aren’t one thing, they must be involved in some sort of conspiracy to deceive. Why can’t you all just accept that we have a different definition of christianity than you do?
Wait a minute, Mormon and Angry, you are one of the Mormons who said that you were not Christian. You are not involved in this deception. So, you told us earlier that you don’t have a different definition–you claimed you rejected being called a Christian. Because of this, in spite of your vituperative style, you gained my respect.
Have you changed your mind?
Also, I have not said there is a conspiracy. I don’t know where this comes from, I only see that most of the Mormons in this discussion are taking the same approach. It is a huge *error*, whether it is a conspiracy to deceive, or not. It is the work of the Deceiver, whether it is intended to be, or not.
I do apologize if the general use of “Mormons” sometimes seems to include those who have honorably recognized the Truth. At times, I probably should have clarified that I meant “Mormons who claim to be Christians,” but it should have been obvious that is what I meant.
Who was it who decreed with such unquestionable authority that Christianity requires conforming to a set of doctrines of Catholic origin?
The fact that they happen to be of Catholic origin is beside the point. These doctrines are either an essential part of what Christianity is, or they are not. Any honest look at Christianity will show that the doctrine of the Trinity *is* essential.
Newsflash, brainiacs! Mormons aren’t Catholics! So why would we conform to Catholic doctrine?
I’m not asking for your conformity. I’m asking for a proper respect for meaning, and specifically for the meaning of Christianity. I am asking that the participants here not do violence to meaning in cooperation with Satan.
This is Wikipedia’s definition of Christianity, which sounds pretty good to me:
Wikireality is nothing close to anything reliable. If you think it is, maybe I will go into the section on Mormonism and make sure it is edited to say “Mormons are not Christians.”



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Anon

posted July 4, 2007 at 5:38 pm


Brian, you are simply compiling a list that pleases you. You are not examining Christianity for what it actually *is*. People who honor meaning also honor…y’know… reality. If the Nature of God is not a defining thing in a religion–there really isn’t any meaning to the religion at all.
By diminishing meaning, you diminish Mormonism, too.



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Brian

posted July 4, 2007 at 6:02 pm


Anon,
That list which you say is arbitrary is repeated over and over in the Bible.
Which goes back to how the Bible was canonized, and certain other books were left out. The standard they used was that if a new book to be added contradicted any of the foundations of the books that were accepted, then, they were left out.
Using that premise, and my understanding of the book of Mormon, it would’ve been left out of canonization of the Bible if it existed at that time.



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 4, 2007 at 6:40 pm


Anon 5.35 “I’m asking for a proper respect for meaning, and specifically for the meaning of Christianity … Wikireality is nothing close to anything reliable.”
Why do I suspect you’d consider the Library of Congress unreliable if it didn’t support your view? But we could try Oxford University’s definition of Christianity: “the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Or Christian: “a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity. ”
Nothing about the trinity there. So I guess Oxford University is pretty unreliable, huh?
http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/christian
http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/christianity
“Have you changed your mind?”
No. But I have gotten tired of all this nonsense that we’ve got some huge conspiracy of deception! How frickin’ paranoid! If you believe that, you need therapy.
You should really lay off all the “Kumbaya” and clapping. The vibrations are disturbing your mental abilities.



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AC

posted July 4, 2007 at 10:29 pm


Wizard of Id,
I did not blindside you. It does not matter how you justify your wrong answers, they remain wrong answers. For example, you say there is more than one God? That is a wrong heretical answer no matter HOW you justifiy it or explain it. As far as why a topic such as the Lord’s Supper is omitted, honestly, it didnt even cross my mind. I have no clue what Mormons believe regarding it. We can discuss it some other time. I will now attempt to answer some of your rebuttals but after that I am done with this thread.
5) Will there ever be a God after Jesus Christ?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
Psalms 82, 6-7: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”
He called them gods in the sense that He had appointed them rulers and judges over the people.That is all it means.
Has Satan actually bewitched you to believe that you are or will be a God?
Wizard of Id, I am telling you the truth, if this verse applies to you:
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:14
Then so does this one:
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:15
***Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Now, please correct me if I’m wrong here, but last time I read my Bible, the Father in heaven was actually a god. So how are we going to be perfect as He is without being gods?
The Father in heaven is not “actually a god” rather He is the one and only God. How are we to be perfect? By trusting in Jesus Christ (the Jesus of the Bible that is, not the Mormon one). Through faith in Jesus Christ’s atoning work on the cross and resurrection a sinner is declared perfect in God’s sight… through faith.. not of works lest any man should boast.
Romans 8:17 “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 also glorified together.”
This says nothing about Wizard of Id being “God” or ever being formed into a “God” which would obviously contradict Isaiah 43:10. All it says is that we will be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. NOT that we will be heirs of God’s Godhood. Again I tell you that according to the Bible the only one who promises people they will become Gods is the Devil:
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
That is the same thing he is telling you through Mormon teachings: You shall not surely die. You shall be as God.
Oh man. I beg you to repent of this foolishness and turn to the living God. Dont believe the devil. He is a liar and a murderer.
8) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything whether visible or invisible? (including every spirit whether demonic or angelic)
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
***Can you explain to me at what point Jesus created Himself?
Very funny. I thought of putting the clause “not including Himself” but I thought it was a given being the case that the Bible clearly says He is eternal. I’ll clarify it OK?
Is Jesus Christ the Creator of everything (excluding God who is eternal) whether visible or invisible including the devil, angels, demons, heaven, hell, spirits of humans, etc. ? The Bible says He did, yet you deny it.
9) Is Jesus Christ the Creator of the devil?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
Revelations 12: 7-9 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
***So if Lucifer was in heaven before the Creation, when exactly did Christ create him?
If Lucifer was in heaven before the creation of what? The creation of heaven? Or the creation of earth etc? I dont know when exactly it was that this war took place all that I know is that it took place after God created heaven and the angels and before Adam fell. Either way this says nothing of Lucifer being uncreated.
***Do you believe that evil exists in heaven?
No.
The first time evil was found in someone in heaven the being was cast out of heaven as the passage above states.
In Job it says that Satan came before God and in other parts of the Bible it says that Satan is our accuser. But do his accusations take place in the heaven Revelation 12:7-9 so clearly says he was cast out of? No .
***Do you believe God (or Jesus) would create evil?
No. God did not create evil but He allows it for His sovereign purpose.
***or make someone evil?
No. God created man “good” and man then chose to do evil. The same goes for Satan.
***I don’t believe Jesus created the devil. I think Lucifer (meaning “bringer of Light”) became the devil through his own choices and actions.
Very funny. Here we go with the word games again. Did Jesus Christ create Lucifer then? The Bible says Christ did create Lucifer meanwhile you deny it.
10) Is Jesus Christ the brother of the devil?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
***Having established that Jesus didn’t create the devil, and Lucifer was in heaven before the Creation, it’s a reasonable assumption, even relying solely on the Bible, that Lucifer is Christ’s spiritual brother.
This is just straight-up blasphemy. We clearly believe in two different Jesus’. The Apostle Paul, as he was moved by God the Holy Spirit, said:
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him…” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9
It is the biblical position that the Mormon Jesus is “another Jesus” of “another spirit” of “another gospel”. According to the Bible: preachers of and followers of this false Jesus, false spirit, false gospel are “accursed”.
11) Are human beings eternal beings? (Meaning they have no beginning and no end)
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
****I said you would misinterpret my yes/no answers without some explanation of where I’m coming from! I wasn’t talking just about humans as bodies of flesh and bone, but as pre-mortal spirit beings.
I did not misinterpret. I knew exactly what you meant. It is still heresy.
Job 38:4-7 (Yes, I know you quoted verse 4, but you didn’t read the next three verses, did you!) “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
***So did the sons of God shout for joy if they didn’t exist?
All this says is that the morning stars and sons of God (created angels) shouted for joy while God created the earth. In fact, the Bible actually (very clearly) says that God created the angels:
“Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” Nehemiah 9:6
and here:
“Praise ye him, all his angels… Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.” Psalm 128:2a, 5
Ecclesiastes 12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
***You can’t return to somewhere you’ve never been.
This is one is easy. God creates a spirit-flesh being that previously did not exist. The spirit-flesh being dies and the flesh returns to the dust while the spirit returns unto God who gave it.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;”
Romans 9:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son”
Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world”
Yes the Bible teaches that God knew me from before I was born even from before the foundation of the world etc. (He actually knows everything btw, He is omniscient) What it does not teach is that I existed from before the foundation of the world, that would be heresy.
14) Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three different gods?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
Matthew 20:23 “he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father”
Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
John 5:19 “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do”
John 8:18 “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.”
John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 20:17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:”
Acts 7:55 “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God”
***Have you ever been in a positon where you could do nothing except what you’d seen yourself do?
***If Christ is the same being as the Father, how is it not His to give?
***When was the last time you stood on the right side of yourself?
This is best answered by explaining the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
The Father is not the Son neither is He the Holy Spirit. The Father is God.
The Son is not the Father neither is He the Holy Spirit. The Son is God.
The Holy Spirit is not the Father neither is He the Son. The Holy Spirit is God.
The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three Gods. The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are 3 distinct Persons who co-eternally exist as ONE God.
Therefore, yes the Son prayed to the Father and did what the Father told Him etc, even so, they are not 2 Gods, but ONE.
***Questions 15 and 17 are best answered as one:
15) Do you believe that there is only one God?
The Wizard of Id said: No
The Bible says: Yes
17) Do you believe in more than one God?
The Wizard of Id said: Yes
The Bible says: No
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image
Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us.
Yes, the ONE God sometimes refers to Himself as “us” and “we”. That is because He is Tri-Une in nature.
Exodus 34:34 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God
Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods,
To borrow from Anon, if someone made up a god called Bobbo who is a stale crusty donut… The God of the Bible says that He is the God of EVERYTHING including this false god that does not even exist and for that reason He commands you not to worship this false god called Bobbo because the true living God is a jealous God who will punish that.
****My friend, I beg you in the name of Jesus, repent of the false Mormon god and turn to the living God for the forgiveness of your sins! Seriously! … I beg you with all the love in the world, repent!
****Do you know the meaning of the word “disingenuous”? My friends do not set traps to blindside me; and those who love me show respect for my religious beliefs, even if they don’t share them.
I disagree about whether I blindsided you. I asked you straight-forward questions that have a straight-forward correct biblical answers. If they are answered wrong then they must be corrected despite the excuse of why they were answered wrong. Again, like I said above, if you believe in more than One God, no matter how you think you can justifiy it, you are stll wrong and need to repent. I do love you and dont want to see you perish.
****This is your soul at stake! If you do not repent of the false Mormon god and believe that Christ is who the Bible says He is you will surely die in your sins and burn in hell.
****But I thought we were saved by grace? Hasn’t that been your major argument all along? That if we accept Christ as our Savior, and take His atoning sacrifice upon us, then we are saved. In your questions, the role of Jesus Christ was at least one thing that we agreed upon. Which means, by your own arguments, that we Mormons are saved; and if we persist in an erroneous belief in the Book of Mormon, that is just one more sin for which Jesus Christ atoned; and nobody’s going to burn anywhere; and you really haven’t thought this one all the way through, have you!
I have thought it out. The whole point is that it matters *which* Jesus you are believing in. If you are believing in a false Jesus you are not and cannot be saved.Jesus said that if you do not believe that He is He (the God of the Bible, not the Mormon one) then you will die in your sins. The Jesus of the Bible saves. The Mormon Jesus condemns.



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AC

posted July 4, 2007 at 11:03 pm


One correction before I go. I want to clarify what I meant when I said that “If you are believing in a false Jesus you are not and cannot be saved.”
I did not mean that there if you are believing in a false Jesus you cannot be saved as in there is no hope for you. What I did mean is that if you are believing in a false Jesus you are not saved. While you are alive there is hope. This hope is in Jesus Christ of the Bible who is the Second Person of the Trinity.
Repent and believe in Him (the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, the Jesus Christ of the Bible) and you will be saved and pass from death unto life!



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Levia

posted July 4, 2007 at 11:06 pm


Oh come folks! It seems that no matter what biblical proof one gives of the foundation that Yeshua laid for those who would call themselves His disciples many of you ignore them and insist that Mormons are Christians despite their contradictory writngs. We live in an age when many think that whatever you feel or think about a particular subject is right just because you think and feel it’s right. So if a group wants to call themselves Christian you say well they are Christians even though they contradict what the Founder said were the hallmarks of Christianity. I bet if you went to see your favorite team play their game ( a game long established with rules so you’d know what to expect when you showed up)and you got there and your team was playing a different game you’d want your tickets back! Well Christianity is a lot more important than that. What’s the harm someone asked–wellthe harm is that error has infiltrated true (gasp–yes I said true—objective truth) Christianity and many souls are at peril. In the last day Yeshua said He will say to those who said that they did all this in His name and He will say depart from me you evil doers I know you not! Matthew 7:22-23. So there will be those who profess His name yet Yeshua does not say, “ok you meant well and you thought you were doing good, even though you contradicted what I said in my original scriptures written by those who personally knew me or thier associates, and claimed I gave you additional revelations which contradicted everything I said in my previous scriptures, but that’s ok you’re forgiven, enter into my kingdom I have prepared for you”. No Yeshua tells them to leave! And you know what that means.
So if you chose to be decieved so be it! When the handwriting is on the wall, when Yeshua says, narrow is the way that leads to salvation and few that be that find it — I guess He’s talking to you foolish thinking people who chose to believe lies (Matt 7:14/1 Timothy 4:1-2)!
I will continue to pray that some (and some will) believe in His Word as presented in the Bible handed down to us from those who were closest in time to Him. And to Whom the Tenakh (Old Testament) pointed to.
Down through the ages there will be those who will preserve the Truth as best we can until He returns!
Peace and Blessing to All!
Minister Levia!
http://www.communityinyeshuathemessiah.org



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Anonymous

posted July 4, 2007 at 11:20 pm


After reading this last post, I have to give points to the Mormons.
For example, AC claims Mormons are beliving the lie of Satan in the Garden of Eden. He is careful to say Mormons believe that “they will not die”, which 1) wasn’t the point and 2) isn’t true as far as I can see.
The verses in question say:
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3
So Satan makes two promises: 1) they will not die and 2) Their eyes will be opened, making them “as gods”.
But in the next few verses it says:
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God awalking in the garden bin the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
So their eyes were opened, so Satan wasn’t lying about that. But were they “as gods”? Lets read more:
22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
So, God himself acknowledges that they were “as one of us”. In other words gods (but not God). 2 points to the Mormons.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:29 am


Mormon and Angry, you really crack me up. I seriously don’t know what to think of you now. First you say that Mormons are not Christians, then you fight for the right to call yourself Christians, and now you are using secular sources to support your new point of view in a typical postmodern fashion. (Instead of looking at the nature of the thing in question, you are looking for words and glossaries to dictate what that thing is.) Here’s a hint: Dictionary definitions do not ever come close to capturing the full nature–the *essential* nature–of the object it describes. The definitions are always incomplete approximations for the convenience of communication. *And*, they are prone to error and do not always agree with other “authoritative” dictionaries. They *never* pretend to capture the full nature of something as great and vast as Christianity.
I don’t know why you are so angry, but I’m really not out to discredit Mormonism in any way. In fact, I am ultimately fighting to keep Mormonism from being lost in meaninglessness, too. I hope you find yourself on the side of clarity and Truth.
God bless you, man. Whatever it is you believe.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:36 am


That list which you say is arbitrary is repeated over and over in the Bible.
You misunderstand me, Brian. I don’t deny that your list shows elements that can be found in Christianity. I reject the notion that you can make an arbitrary list of attributes and pretend that it covers all *essential* attributes of Christianity.
Mormonism does, indeed, share some attributes and ideas with Christianity. But that doesn’t make it Christian.
You can try to pass off a watch because it has a dial, two hands, and a watchband. But without the insides, it’s not a watch. To pass it off as a watch is chicanery. Forgive me for exposing the swindle.



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POC777

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:12 am


For the record.
Our unnamed poster submitted the following:
After a thoughtful reply to a previous post, Roper’s reply was “*Right, but you still ain’t a Christian.” Well, that seems to be the trump card in this discussion, which makes it all so pointless. Dr. Mohler and the rest will continue to play that trump card over and over, it doesn’t make a difference.
Actually, that “Right but you still ain’t a Christian” was POC777′s response to my (Roper’s) post.
Just didn’t want any of my friends from other forums to think I had apostatized from the LDS faith :)
*But I thought you said “I apostasized” because you confessed:
I have recognized that I am a sinner
I have realize that Jesus Christ has died in my place for my sins and can’t save myself.
I have repented of all my sins
And for the cream topping
I HAVE RECEIVED JESUS CHRIST AS MY LORD AND SAVIOR!
So you are a Christian–and have apostasized from LDS, how odd!
I will find your post and remind you exactly what you said!



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:23 am


AC: “The whole point is that it matters *which* Jesus you are believing in.i>”
Now it’s your turn to give a yes/no answer: There’s two Jesuses?



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Pops

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:24 am


Having slogged through most of the comments here, I have a better understanding of Christ’s frustration with and condemnation of the Pharisees.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting — it has been found difficult and left untried.” (G. K. Chesterton)



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:25 am


AC, you might do well to read Luke 12:47-48.
“The slave who knew his master’s wishes but did not prepare to fulfill them will get a severe beating, whereas the one who did not know them and who nonetheless deserved to be flogged will get off with fewer stripes. When much has been given a man, much will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted.”
This tells me that you and I have to worry far more about our punishment than the Mormons do. Jesus will be easier on them for not knowing the requirements of Christianity.
Additionally, if you are going to take the sola scriptura approach to Scripture, you might want to heed this:
“Thereupon Jesus said to them: “Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not east the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Many of his disciples heard this and objected to it, but Jesus repeated it three times to make it clear he meant what he said. Many disciples abandoned him because it was too difficult for them to take. The Apostles, who were the foundation of the Catholic Church, accepted what he said.
So, if you insist upon the Mormon’s losing their souls because of how you personally interpret Scripture, you have a difficulty above, because Christ doesn’t give you much wiggling room about what he means. And he says that you have no life within you if you do not eat his flesh and drink his blood.
From my point of view, you, like the Mormons, have ignorance of Jesus’s commands to you, so you may not get “striped” for not partaking in the Eucharist. However, from your sola scriptura point of view–your soul is in great peril. Were I in your shoes, I would worry more about the grave peril of your own soul, rather than worry about playing God and informing the Mormons of their damnation.



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POC777

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:31 am


Okay POC777,
One last attempt at reasonable discussion here.
From POC:
You are Christian if you have….
1. Recognize that your a sinner and can’t save yourself(Rom 3:23)
2. Realize that Jesus Christ has died in your place(Rom 5:8)
3. Repent of all your sins(Acts 3:19)
4. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior(Rev 3:20)
If you did the four steps, then you are Christian–if not you are not Christian, but Mormon who is lost in his sins and headed for Hell.
My response:
1. I am a sinner and cannot save myself.
2. I absolutely affirm that Jesus gave His life for me.
3. I repent daily and plead to Him to forgive my sins and strengthen my weakness.
How does He strengthen you?
4. I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior when I was baptized, and “I believe I have continued that relationship throughout my life”.
**Keep in mind: Conversion by your mind and conversion by your heart are different. Conversion in your mind is not true conversion at all–but by the heart is true conversion–that’s real. Once Jesus comes into your “heart” you don’t follow anything else but Him and the Bible. You might’ve walked away from the LORD–Christianity comes from Him. Then you decided to jump into the bandwagon into Mormonism. That’s just an assumption. Not because you “know” much about Christianity, makes you a Christian. You become a Christian after Jesus becomes LORD and SAVIOR–you deny LDS completely–LDS: denies, opposes and contradicts God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, the Bible and Christianity. God doesn’t contradict Himself!
*Baptism is a sacarment–immersed in a pool of water will never save you–the atonement of Jesus blood will. Baptism has no power to save anyone–the gospel message(in the Bible) saves. It is religious to be baptized without conversion–that is self-righteous–God doesn’t want your religion but your whole heart. He wants you. First, is conversion to Christianity–regeneration, secondly, its idenification in water baptism–the person has spiritual died and resurrected with Jesus Christ–a watery grave–to now live the newness of life for God. Without accepting Jesus Christ into your heart first, means nothing. Even Jehovah’s Witness, get baptized–they are not saved, but lost in their sins.
All of these are Articles of Faith–official public declarations of doctrine–of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
*It doesn’t matter, what matters is “if” have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and life–now if you haven’t you are lost.
Do I qualify yet, POC?
From POC:
I belong to Jesus Christ, He knows me and I know Him. You my friend don’t belong to Him.
My response:
You have placed yourself in the position of Jesus Christ to judge whether I (and LDS saints in general) belong to His fold–a decidedly un-Christian position and one expressly forbidden by Jesus himself. Our conversation is over.
**His fold?
**No, I’m only defending the Christian faith from woves in sheep’s clothing–who are trying to separate the flock.
*Right, but you still ain’t a Christian.
Posted by: Roper | July 1, 2007 8:30 PM



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POC777

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:40 am


This question is directed to everyone in this debate and I need an honest response so here I go:
If you were to die today(God forbid) and were standing at the pearly gates of Heaven–and God will tell you. “Why should I open the gates and allow you into Heaven, why?” What will you say to Him?



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Verndigger

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:45 am


And to all those who quote “judge not, lest ye be judged” please do some research on hermeneutics. That verse is simply not the blanket statement that people love to use it as. [posted by Chad]
hmmm, reading the above statement in context, Matthew 7:1-5, or in Luke 6:36-37, where the ideas of mercy and forgiveness are included, I see no problem in taking it to mean just what it says, that it is not our job to either judge or condemn our neighbours, whatever their beliefs may be.
to my sense, a Christian is one who follows Christ, in word and deed; who obeys Jesus’ two great Commandments, as given in Matthew 22:37-39. also a pretty definition of who is ‘of God’ and ‘knows God’ is given in 1 John 4:7.
IMHO, it is time this doctrinal bickering and condemning any who do not believe ‘my way’ should STOP, and we all should pay more attention to living as Christ commanded.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:57 am


I think some others would do well to realize that it is one thing to say that Mormonism is not within Christianity, and another thing entirely to say they do not belong to Christ.
If Mormonism is true, they clearly belong to Christ. Christianity would then be wrong, and Christians might belong to Christ in spite of that.
If Christianity is true, Christians clearly belong to Christ. Mormonism would then be wrong, and the Mormons might belong to Christ in spite of that.
Christ died **for the whole world**. He died for everyone who ever lived with or without the advantage of Christian teaching. He will judge us according to what we are dealt, and we have no business judging anyone else–neither their hearts, nor their eternal destination. Those who make such judgments are clearly disobeying the commands of God. They put their own souls in peril. Using their own personal interpretation of Scripture as their gavel of personal authority is no excuse.
Mormons, I pray that all of you belong to Christ. I pray that the atheists and the Buddhists belong to Christ. I pray that the Animists and the Muslims belong to Christ. I pray that Jesus’s mercy extend to all. I pray that Satan get no claim over any of you.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:02 am


And, while we are at it, there is also a huge difference between judging the hearts of men and condemning them to hell, which is strictly forbidden, and making judgment about meaning and judgments about morality.
So–
Mormons going to hell?



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POC777

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:05 am


Now it’s your turn to give a yes/no answer: There’s two Jesuses?
*Mormonism claims that Jesus preached the Gospel to the Indians in the Americas on 34 AD.
*However, there is absolutely no accounts of Jesus ever visiting the Americas or even preaching to Indians on 34 AD. No evidence has ever been found!
*Christianity claims that Jesus preached the gospel in the four books: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Evidence have been found!
*There is many accounts that Jesus came to this world as God in the flesh to die for mankind on the cross—to save them from Hell.
*So there you have it, the Mormon Jesus supposely preached to the Indians on 34 AD(one year after His resurrection) and the Jesus from the Bible, preached the gospel to those who were lost.
*The Mormon Jesus comes from Joseph Smith’s imagination and the biblical Jesus comes from the Bible. The Christian preaches the Jesus from the Bible; the Mormon preaches a different Jesus, not from the Bible.
*Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it.
So…..
*The Mormon Jesus–is “another Jesus”–he is not same Jesus from the Bible.
*The Mormon has a “different spirit”–that is not the Holy Spirit.
*The Mormon preaches a “different gospel” not the same one Jesus taught in the four gospels.
*So the Mormon Jesus–is not the same Jesus from the Bible, he is different.
*There is only one Jesus Christ– and He comes from the Bible!
Posted by: Mormon and Angry | July 5, 2007 1:23 AM



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:11 am


This question is directed to everyone in this debate and I need an honest response so here I go:
If you were to die today(God forbid) and were standing at the pearly gates of Heaven–and God will tell you. “Why should I open the gates and allow you into Heaven, why?” What will you say to Him?
I really don’t see the relevance here, but if it were me, I would probably say something like the following:
“My dearly beloved Father, I am fully undeserving, and only You can provide the reason why. But Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for my sins, and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
What would you say?



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bornfree

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:17 am


Al Mohler presents is argument as he understands. It is pretty straightforward, but there are sections which gives a shallow discussion of Mormon beliefs. For instance he states that Mormons believe in many gods. This implies that Mormons pray and worship other gods beside the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is not true. But I am afraid if a discussion of Mormon beliefs were discussed more deeply it may undermine his argument.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:22 am


For what it’s worth, I really think a lot of POC777′s arguments are pretty poor. But they are not within the focus I have had in this discussion, and I simply don’t have the energy or patience to deal with them.
POC777, I really think you would do well to deal with what Mormonism actually professes as doctrine as it compares to Christian doctrine, rather than spending so much time twisting away at your interpretations of things. I don’t think they prove what you think they do. So what if they think Jesus was in America teaching the Indians? Whether that is right or wrong has little or nothing to do with Who Jesus Christ is.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:25 am


Actually, POC777, in most of your posts, it is quite difficult to tell just what are your words, and what are the words of others. The discussion is almost completely incoherent to me.



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POC777

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:34 am


And, while we are at it, there is also a huge difference between judging the hearts of men and condemning them to hell, which is strictly forbidden, and making judgment about meaning and judgments about morality.
*All those who are “in Christ” make sound judgments from the Bible–they don’t condemned those who don’t know God–their Master didn’t condemn no one when He was on this earth and neither do they condemn those who are Christian–they pray from them to become Christian.
So–
Mormons going to hell?
If they have repented of all their sins–genuine repentance does not mean “I’m sorry God it will never happen again” and then live as you choose. No, it means to completely turn away from all sin and turn to God–change your heart, change the way you live and change the way you think and accepted Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior, is that simple, yet difficult for most to accept as truth.
Mormons all have evil in their hearts?
*All of us are evil none of of us are good–”there is only One who is good and that is God”. Jesus calls His disciples evil(Matthew 7:11) and in Matthew 15:19 He says that out the heart comes evil things–we live in a corrupted world of sin. We are evil people! Sin is what made our hearts evil–Jesus will remove that evil heart and give anyone who is willing to come to Him–a new heart. Once the person receives a “new heart” Jesus now comes to dwell within the indiviual’s life and will transform the person forever–born again.
Mormons are not Christians?
*Not if they continue to deny what God has instructed the Christian in the Bible.
Using deceptive language is immoral?
*It is not deceptive language, because the Holy Spirit does not lie–He tells the truth everytime. Since He dwells in every Christian–He will now teach them how not to lie anymore(unless it comes from the flesh)–but to always tell the truth.
The Bible verses referred to by others above are clearly of the kind that judges men’s hearts and judge’s their eternal destination. They are clearly not of the kind that makes judgments about morality and meaning.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:30
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”.
Posted by: Anon | July 5, 2007 2:02 AM



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POC777

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:43 am


This question is directed to everyone in this debate and I need an honest response so here I go:
If you were to die today(God forbid) and were standing at the pearly gates of Heaven–and God will tell you. “Why should I open the gates and allow you into Heaven, why?” What will you say to Him?
I really don’t see the relevance here, but if it were me, I would probably say something like the following:
“My dearly beloved Father, I am fully undeserving, and only You can provide the reason why. But Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for my sins, and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
*What would you say?
“Father, I am a sinner who was saved by your undeserved grace and kindness that led to repentance.Thank you Father, for allowing a wicked and vile person as myself to enter your kingdom–to see your beauty. If it wasn’t for your Son, Jesus Christ dying in my place for my sin debt–I will be separated from You for all eternity–in Hell.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:45 am


In one of my posts above, you see the following:
So–
Mormons going to hell? Mormons all have evil in their hearts? Mormons are not Christians? Using deceptive language is immoral?
That is not how it was intended. Here is another attempt:
So–
Saying Mormons are going to hell is *forbidden*.
Saying Mormons all have evil in their hearts is *forbidden*.
Saying Mormons are not Christians is *not forbidden*.
Saying that using deceptive language is immoral is *not forbidden*.
The first two judge the hearts of men and their eternal destination. These are no-nos. The second two make judgments about meaning and morality, which is perfectly fine. (They may or may not contain error, but they are not forbidden.)



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:47 am


Okay. So what have we accomplished, POC777?



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:53 am


Actually, POC777, part of me wants to tell you that it is really none of your business what the conversation between any individual and Christ will be on judgment day. You are not our confessor, and you are not our God. It is not your place to judge the words we will speak to Christ on that day, nor is it your place to put words in God’s mouth for that occasion. So why do you want to scrutinize them? What gives? Stop hiding the ball and just tell us what your point is.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:07 am


POC777, your comments at 2:34AM, you responded to things that did not get properly posted, so they don’t follow with my discussion. (Not your fault.) Please see the correction I made and respond according to that.
I will, however, respond to this comment of yours:
*Not if they continue to deny what God has instructed the Christian in the Bible.
Without any authority, there are many, many possible interpretations that can be made of the Bible by reasonable men. Reasonable men might interpret Scripture in the way the Mormons believe. You don’t realize it, but all sola scriptura Christians *rely upon* Traditional Christian knowledge for their interpretations. For example, the Trinitarian doctrine is *essential* to Christianity. A Christian who reads the Bible, interprets it according to the traditional knowledge they already have regarding the Trinity. But a person without that foreknowledge can reasonably interpret it to have meaning that is not inclusive of the Trinity.
So you can look at Christianity and see that there is this essential doctrine that the Mormons do not share, and therefore conclude that Mormonism is not compatible with Christianity. But you cannot exclude them based on the fact that you like *your* interpretation of Scripture better than *theirs*.



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Leroy Morte

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:30 am


I really, really wish that religious beliefs played absolutely no part in elections at all, period. Because, as you can see from the posts on this thread, it can bring out the worst in people. There are so many people posting here, sincerely convinced of the “rightness” of their own beliefs and interpretations of god and religion. I dare say, each of them also sincerely believes the majority of the others are damned and doomed for all of eternity for not believing as they do. All of them have their prophets and groups of wisemen who have claimed revelations from god and deliberated countless times over their exact meanings. Is Jesus, or Buddha, or Mohammed, or Joseph Smith really any more valid than any other prophet? Is any ones holy book any more credible than any other? So does it really matter if Mormons are really christians or not? The election of the President of the United States of America shouldn’t be about which particlar religious cult you belong to, it needs to be about the best man or woman possible to lead our country in these very trying times. I personally would rather it wasn’t someone who thinks their god talks to them. Or someone who uses their religious beliefs to make decisions about important issues such as birth control, global warming, abortion, war, stem cell research, education, and alot of other things. These issues require brains, not prophets.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:57 am


Leroy Morte, Like I posted on the other side, I have not been arguing about the “rightness” of Christianity or the “wrongness” of Mormonism. I have been discussing the meaning of Christianity and Mormonism, and fighting against the destruction of meaning.
All the same, I think your implication that these things don’t matter is very misguided.



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Steve

posted July 5, 2007 at 8:47 am


Roper,
Sorry, I have been working long hours and have been unable to keep up with blogs. I would like to continue our discussion in another format. If you are willing, you can e-mail me at prayin_4u@hotmail.com. Notice: this invitation is to the poster known as Roper only. Thank you.



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Cat

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:18 am


I believe what is important that we try to live as Christ-like as possible and leave the judgment up to God. We spend so much time trying to disprove everyone else, that we forget to go preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and fulfil that commandment. God knows our hearts, and He reveals Himself and His knowledge to us. Whatever part of His plan we play, work with what knowledge we have and serve Him well. God will take care of the rest.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:47 am


After scanning this entire discussion, its amazing to see the utter lack of scriptural exposition given in defense of Mormonism. It appears from this discussion that Mormon apologetics consist of arguments against orthodox Christianity or arguments for a very broad definition of Christianity. NEITHER of these things address the TRUTH of Mormonism.
It matters whether you are worshipping the right Christ. If Christ is a 10 foot tall purple alien to me, and I worship him, believe he is the Savior, trust in him, believe he is the Son of God, etc., etc., then by the Mormon definition, I am Christian. Whether you like it or not, the Mormon version of Christ is different from the Biblical Christ. You cannot deny this fact without denying either Mormon doctrine, or Christian doctrine.
What little Mormon exposition I have seen on here is a few attempts at Greek and Hebrew. The most egregious error I have seen is an attempt to state that “Elohim” is the plural form of God, meaning “Gods”. This translation was given by Joseph Smith in defense of his doctrine on the plurality of gods (google the “King Follet Funeral Discourse”). The only problem here is that Joseph Smith did not speak Hebrew, nor was he trained in Hebrew. Any native Herbrew speaker who is passed the 4th grade and any Hebrew student who has passed a year of Hebrew studies would never make the mistake of tranlating “Elohim” as “Gods” (plural) in the context which it appears in Genesis. Hebrew grammar rules prevent this from happening.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:44 am


corrections to the above post:
“who is passed” should be “who has passed”
“Herbrew” should be “Hebrew”



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:50 am


I believe what is important that we try to live as Christ-like as possible and leave the judgment up to God.
Cat,
Are you telling us that meaning does not matter, and that we should not care about meaning?



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Dr. Tom

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:53 am


What about Mother/Father God who lives on the planet Kobar? Weird? Not really. In the various Temples, and in the “higher doctrine” a mormon believer will learn that Kobar, wherein God is producing spiritual children to populate the universe, will continue to do so and that is how mormonism will continue to grow. That is why it is so important to know your family’s history to insure that they will follow you to your planet. If your wife isn’t a “good wife”, she will not be “called up” by her husband to his planet after they depart this planet. This is not to mention the various “temple wives” that exist in great numbers today. Think this is insane? Take the time to study the mormon religion in detail and these items, along with others, will shock you. This religion is beyond bizarre.



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Pops

posted July 5, 2007 at 11:13 am


Continuing Cat’s thread: when the judgment day arrives, we will each stand before Jesus of Nazareth to be judged. What will then be important to our Judge? My recollection is that his instructions were:
“Come, follow me.”
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Be ye therefore perfect…”
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
“My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”
“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”



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Jessica

posted July 5, 2007 at 12:31 pm


I became a Christian while being raised by devout mormon parents. My father was a high priest…my mother served as relief society president. And I served as the president of our ward’s youth organization. Dubbed as “special” and “spiritual”, I was often asked to give “talks” during weekly services. Monday nights were reserved for our Family Home Evenings, and we concluded each day on our knees in prayer. At 8 years old, I heard the true gospel for the first time when I attended a neighborhood Christian church with a friend. For the first time, I heard a preacher describe my internal struggle with sin perfectly. For the first time, I heard someone describe the sin nature that accompanies each physical birth, and its need for redemption. For the first time, my eyes recognized the cross as the point of origin, where sin dies and new life begins…not a weapon of destruction (which is the perception of mormons whose confused theology denegrates the cross as a weapon used to kill rather than the instrument of salvation.) And finally, I heard the divinity of Christ exalted as the One and Only Way of salvation… Not one of many gods…nor the created son of one of many gods…but the One true God over the heavens and earth through whom all things were made. At 18, I abandoned mormonism, following the Lord’s lead to a Bible Study. After nine years of intense study, God’s Word succeeded in peeling away the scar tissue of deceit, grafting in the truth found only in the Bible.
Do I hate mormons? No, they are not the enemy. I remember what it felt like to be ostracized and abused by many well-intentioned Christians.
Would I vote for a mormon president, who met the qualifications and was a “good” man? Absolutely not… A man caught in such a gruesome web of spiritual deception could not possibly lead a country-in-crisis with God’s strength and discernment. A man who believes that he will one day become a god of his own world will not lead under the yoke and in submission to the God of this universe. Remember Jesus’ words to those deceived by appearances, “Woe to you… You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean…” Matt. 23:27
Do not lower your defenses against this seemingly harmless, peace-loving cult… Heed the warning…”And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness…” 2 Cor. 11:14-15



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:00 pm


Dr Tom @ 10.53: “Take the time to study the mormon religion in detail and these items, along with others, will shock you. This religion is beyond bizarre
Bizarre? You should look at what those Christians get up to! You know they actually practice cannibalism? Every Sunday, they go through this ritual where they eat human flesh and drink human blood!
And they drown their children. Some like to wait until their children are a bit older before making them get into a big bath and pushing them under. Others like to get new-born babies and pour water all over them! Barbaric!
Why don’t you just go ahead and take one single aspect of our doctrine, sensationalize it as outrageously as you possibly can, and then present it without any sort of context at all, Dr Tom?
Oh, and by the way, it’s a star, and it’s called Kolob. And you don’t need a temple to learn about this — you could just buy a copy of Bruce R. McConkie’s “Mormon Doctrine” (available from all good bookstores throughout Utah, and on Amazon). If you’re going to attack us, you’d be advised to get your facts straight. Otherwise, you’re going to end up looking a tad foolish!



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:08 pm


Anonymous @ 5.47: “After scanning this entire discussion, its amazing to see the utter lack of scriptural exposition given in defense of Mormonism
We’re not discussing the scriptural basis for Mormon doctrine. We’re discussing whether Mormons are Christians or not. What’s to quote?
But you could try scrolling a little further up, to 4th July @ 2.07 and 11.20



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:15 pm


Pops @ 11.13
So what’s your point, Pops?



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 1:18 pm


Anon @ 12.29: “I’m really not out to discredit Mormonism in any way. In fact, I am ultimately fighting to keep Mormonism from being lost in meaninglessness, too. I hope you find yourself on the side of clarity and Truth.
Anon, reading your other posts, I actually believe you. I apologize if I didn’t take you seriously at first and painted you along with the other lunatics. I promise to be more respectful (to you, at least) from now on. :)



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Chris

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:00 pm


Wow,
I feel sorry for so many people on here. I was raised Wesleyan and converted to the LDS church several years ago. I was one that listend to the preacher tell me that Mormons were of a cult and I believed it and went on and was happy in my ignorance. One day I decided to learn for myself after I met some members and saw that they did not seem like weird fanatics drinking poisoned kool aid like I had imagined before. After a loooooong period of devout study, I understood the doctrine and saw that there are no contradictions with what early Christians believed and practiced, so I joined. I’ve never been more fulfilled. I already had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and I certainly did not give that up. I have a much stronger relationship now, and am able to truly feel the Holy Ghost in my everyday life. No the doctrine isn’t easy to understand, and it can seem offensive on some topics at first. But if you so-called Christians (I am speaking to those that view themselves as experts and want want to eliminate the LDS members from the ranks of Christian) would study your scriptures, and not just read them, you would know to look for the occurances that we claim have happened.
We claim an apostasy from Jesus Christ’s church. And we claim to be the restoration of it. Sound weird to you? Read your scriptures . . . That’s right, these things are prophecied to happen. When? Before the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (That’s right, Jesus IS our LORD and SAVIOR, regardless of what some ignorant posters claim on here)
I would think most of Christianity believes we are in the end of times, so why they would not be looking for these prophecies to take place, I haven’t a clue.
You believe I am a member of a mislead cult, well, since you can be so brass as to make this claim, I will be frank as well.
I believe those that think this way, are those that Jesus spoke of that draw near with their mouths but their hearts are far from Him. They seem to me as the Pharisees that “knew” so much of the doctrines and scriptures that they totally missed the Christ. Well, these “Christians” that attack the LDS church are no different. They have fallen into the Devil’s trap. They follow the philosophies of men (I speak of those that took it upon themselves to define the nature of God in Nicea along with all His doctrine).
Think about that and really ponder that I could be right. If you ask in faith and research the LDS church through the proper channels (not the internet or rumors), then I know you’ll find your way.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:12 pm


We’re not discussing the scriptural basis for Mormon doctrine. We’re discussing whether Mormons are Christians or not. What’s to quote?
But you could try scrolling a little further up, to 4th July @ 2.07 and 11.20

Gee, a whole 2 posts out of hundreds. The evidence is overwhelming.
Not to mention both posts are surprisingly eisegetical and cannot withstand hermeneutical examination. Its quite easy to rip scripture out of context and misuse it to say what you’d like it to mean. Its another thing to examine it in context and think about the original writer’s intentions.
And we are discussing whether Mormons are Christians or not. If the beliefs and doctrines of Mormons differ from what Christ taught in the Bible, and Christians are followers of Christ, how in the world do you think discussing Mormon doctrine has nothing to do with the discussion?



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:31 pm


http://www.novus2.com/alphamin/LETTERS/MAINPAGE.htm
Letters To a Mormon Elder by James White



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:36 pm


You may not be aware that Mormons are discouraged from getting involved with people who want to “scripture bash,” that is, endlessly trading chapter and verse. It’s almost always completely pointless, and has nothing to do with a quest for the truth and everything to do with conceit. Plenty of non-Mormons here have attempted to start one. What I see is Mormons refusing to be sucked in.



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PC

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm


Here’s some interesting teachings from Mormon leaders like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young:
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil so that you may see.” (Founder of the LDS Church Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345-347)
“I might with boldness proclaim that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all.” (Founder of the LDS Church Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, 6:7)
“God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! This is the great secret.” (Founder of the LDS Church Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345)
“As man is now God once was; as God now is man may become.” (Lorenzo Snow, 5th President of the LDS Church, The Gospel Through the Ages, 105-106)
“The fact that there is no reference to a Mother in Heaven either in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a Mother did exist there.” (President Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:142)
“When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Arch-Angel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken – He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51)
“The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based on polygamy. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were ‘Mormons.’” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 345-346)
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son has also; but the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit.” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm


5/7 1.23 AC: “The whole point is that it matters *which* Jesus you are believing in.
Mormon and Angry @ 1.23 “Now it’s your turn to give a yes/no answer: There’s two Jesuses?
Thanks, Mormon and Angry. I couldn’t have said it better! :)



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:42 pm


I thought I would always want to vote for a woman, but Hillary changed my mind.
I thought I would never want to vote for a Mormon, but Mitt Romney changed my mind.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm


You may not be aware that Mormons are discouraged from getting involved with people who want to “scripture bash,” that is, endlessly trading chapter and verse. It’s almost always completely pointless, and has nothing to do with a quest for the truth and everything to do with conceit. Plenty of non-Mormons here have attempted to start one. What I see is Mormons refusing to be sucked in.

This is incredibly ridiculous and is akin to saying “I’m going to believe what I want to regardless of evidence for truth, and stick my head in the sand and refuse to listen.”
What amazes me is the ability of Mormons avoid or ignore anything that may even slightly conflict with their faith’s teachings.
Your statements brings to mind a child sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling when anyone tries to say anything to him.
I highly respect Mormons who engage in sincere apologetics and I am more than willing to interact with and/or read materials they put forth in defense of their faith.
but i guess I’m just being “sucked in” to discussing truth.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:54 pm


I don’t believe you’re interested in the truth. I think you’re just interested in trying to prove Mormons wrong. There’s a big difference.
Most Mormons I know enjoy a mutually respectful dialog about peoples’ reasons for their beliefs. But when the closest thing to intelligent comment is along the lines of “Well, Song of Solomon chapter 1 verse 2 proves that you’re evil and perverted and you’re going to burn in hell” — well, that gets really boring really quickly.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:54 pm


I Testify To You…

That there is one true and eternal God, unchangeable, unique, all-powerful.1
That this one true God created all things; there is nothing that exists anywhere that He did not bring into existence.2
That this one true God is spirit, and is not limited to time and space, both of which He himself created.3
That man is the creation of God, and God should not be thought of as an exalted man.4
That Jesus Christ has eternally existed as God.5
That Jesus Christ created all things.6
That the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.7
That man is spiritually dead, enslaved to sin, unable to come to Christ outside of the Father’s enablement.8
That full and complete salvation is the work of God’s grace.9
That the Bible is God’s inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient revelation to man, in need of no supplements.10

This is my testimony, one that I believe is given to me by the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible says the Spirit of God witnesses to our spirits that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16) and that He leads His people into all truth (John 16:13).
I share this testimony with you because I believe the issues mentioned above define the gospel itself. The gospel requires that we know the one true God (John 17:3); a false god cannot save us. The gospel requires that we know the true Jesus Christ, for a false Christ cannot save (John 8:24, 2 Corinthians 11:4). And the true gospel alone can bring salvation, which is why we are warned about those who would preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, denies every single one of the beliefs I shared with you above. Every one.* It is because of this that I share this literature with you. If you are LDS, I sincerely wish to warn you that you have been misled. If you are not LDS, I wish to inform you of the great differences that exist between Christianity and Mormonism at the most fundamental levels. While we often use the same words, we fill those words with very different meanings.
If you are LDS: I have given you my testimony. Doubtless you may say you have your own. The two testimonies contradict each other, however. What can we do now? The difference between us, my friend, is just this: my testimony does not determine truth. My testimony is a wonderful and precious thing, but it is not how I know the truth. My testimony must be subjected to a higher authority: the Bible. No matter how strongly I may “feel” about something, I must submit my feelings to the correction of the Word of God. So while you and I may have testimonies that conflict, I can take my testimony to the Word of God and demonstrate how it is consistent not only with some of the Bible, but with all of the Bible. My beliefs come from the Bible, and I would be glad to demonstrate this to you.
If you are not LDS: Christianity claims to be God’s truth. As such, there is no room, nor reason, for compromising on the essential elements of the faith. Mormonism is a fundamentally different religion, for Mormonism openly proclaims a “plurality of Gods” (see the Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20, 37, Book of Abraham chapters 4-5, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pp. 345ff). Christianity is unalterably monotheistic: we believe in only one true and eternal God. Mormonism presents a different God, a different Christ, and a different gospel. Because we love God, honor His truth, and desire others to know Him, we share this information with you.
(1) Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10, 44:5-8; Psalm 90:2, 96:5; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17. (2) Isa. 40:22, 41:4, 44:24; Jer. 10:10-11; (3) 2 Chron. 6:18; Jer. 23:24; John 4:24. (4) Zech 12:1; Psalm 50:21; Isa 29:16; Hosea 11:9. (5) John 1:1, Phil. 2:5-6; Heb 1:10. (6) John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-3. (7) Col. 1:19-20, 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7. (8) John 6:44, 65; Eph. 2:1-5. (9) Eph. 2:8-10. (10) 2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21.



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Jessica

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:57 pm


I appreciate your devout commitment to what you believe, Chris. It used to deeply offend me to hear the mormon church referred to as a cult, as well. However, a cult defined within the context of Christianity is any religious organization that…
–adds to Scripture (beyond the Bible)
–subtracts from the deity of Christ (believing in many gods ruling over many worlds rather than in the unique deity of Jesus Christ…as man is, Christ once was. as Christ is, man will become.)
–multiplies the ways to get to heaven (ex…faith in Christ plus faith in the church prophets, faith in the one true church, faith in the book of mormon, faith in Joseph Smith, blind faith in modern church leadership…)
–and divides families (polygamy according to Brigham Young)
mormonism on the surface appears harmless… But its beliefs about the deity of Christ are alarming… Was He a created being, brother to Lucifer, or has He always been one of the three divine persons of the Trinity?
Other questions to ponder when determining whether mormonism should be considered a type of Christianity… Why does mormonism refuse to acknowledge the power of the cross, thereby undermining the atoning death of Christ? Do it teach that Gethsemane was the place of atonement rather than Calvary? What about original sin? Was Adam and Eve’s decision in the garden of Eden a sin that brought about the fall of mankind? Or were they bravely choosing knowledge over immortality? And if there was no original sin, why did we need a Savior?
Does mormonism claim to have the unique authority to “seal” families in the temple? Does it teach that only the best mormons will gain entrance in the celestial kingdom, based on works… but that no one will be doomed to an actual hell?
Where in the Bible are these beliefs affirmed?
Rather, Paul says, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-24
Chris, I did not turn away from mormonism to another church. I turned away from a false gospel to the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the object of my passion, my purpose and the source of my abiding peace. And “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” Romans 1:16-17
Focus on the deity of Christ, Chris… Not on your own righteousness nor your ability to defend mormonism. The Church is not the source of your salvation. Christ is…always was and always will be.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:57 pm


PC @ 2.41
I’ll refer you to Mormon and Angry’s response to Dr Tom at 1 o’clock



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:05 pm


2.54: “I have given you my testimony. Doubtless you may say you have your own
No, I’m going to say that I could care less about your testimony. You and the condition of your soul have absolutely no bearing whatever on my salvation.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:06 pm


I don’t believe you’re interested in the truth. I think you’re just interested in trying to prove Mormons wrong. There’s a big difference.
Most Mormons I know enjoy a mutually respectful dialog about peoples’ reasons for their beliefs. But when the closest thing to intelligent comment is along the lines of “Well, Song of Solomon chapter 1 verse 2 proves that you’re evil and perverted and you’re going to burn in hell” — well, that gets really boring really quickly.

I will bow out of this conversation now due to not wanting to continue down rabbit trails such as “arguing about arguing” and arguments that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.
I don’t have to “prove Mormons wrong”. The Bible does that. Take the teachings of the Bible and put them side-to-side with Mormon scripture and its plain to see they are not the same. And if they are not the same, I’m going to go with the Word of God.
I pray the real Holy Spirit will remove the veil over the Mormons and bring them into light. I pray that the Mormon heart and mind will be opened to the truth of the Bible and the falseness of LDS teaching.
I desire nothing but that Mormons know the true Gospel and the true Jesus Christ. If they have to be “proved wrong” to find this truth, then so be it.



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:07 pm


Wizard of ID: “Thanks, Mormon and Angry. I couldn’t have said it better! :)”
You’re welcome, Brother ID! Give me five? *FIVE*



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Michael Horn

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:08 pm


You say that “traditional Christian orthodoxy” are the only true Christians because they follow the Nicean Creed. Have you ever read it? Do you know anything about it?
It is releigion by comittee. It is the purest example of religion dictated by MEN, not by Heavenly Father, or Jesus Christ.
Have you even READ the bible? How can you believe the concept of the TRINITY, when, during the baptism of Jesus, you hear a voice from the heavens “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
Was Jesus a ventrilloquist? Or was there actually another separate, devine being?
When Jesus prayed, WHO DID HE PRAY TO? Himself? No, he prayed to His Father In Heaven. “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name…”
You say that only those who follow the Nicean creed are Christian. I say, Only those who follow Christ are Christians. I’d rather follow a religion given by God, rather than a creed given by Emperor Constantine, a converted Roman, by comittee.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:10 pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE
Here is an interesting Youtube clip on the Book of Abraham.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:12 pm


Sorry 3.06. I realize it must be a terrible disappointment to you.
Ooh, Mormon and Angry — I’m being sarcastic! I must be falling under your influence!



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:16 pm


Michael Horn: “Emperor Constantine, a converted Roman, by comittee.
And it’s questionable whether Constantine was even a Christian himself. It’s pretty well established that his support for christianity was more political than anything else.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:21 pm


You say that “traditional Christian orthodoxy” are the only true Christians because they follow the Nicean Creed. Have you ever read it? Do you know anything about it?
It is releigion by comittee. It is the purest example of religion dictated by MEN, not by Heavenly Father, or Jesus Christ.
Have you even READ the bible? How can you believe the concept of the TRINITY, when, during the baptism of Jesus, you hear a voice from the heavens “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
Was Jesus a ventrilloquist? Or was there actually another separate, devine being?
When Jesus prayed, WHO DID HE PRAY TO? Himself? No, he prayed to His Father In Heaven. “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name…”
You say that only those who follow the Nicean creed are Christian. I say, Only those who follow Christ are Christians. I’d rather follow a religion given by God, rather than a creed given by Emperor Constantine, a converted Roman, by comittee.

This is a completely modalistic interpretation of the trinity. Modalism has been traditionally considered heresy.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:25 pm


What if the heretics were right?
Jesus was considered a heretic.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:29 pm


What if the heretics were right?
Jesus was considered a heretic.

Uhhh…Jesus was the Word of God.



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:33 pm


Not in the Pharisees opinion!



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PC

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:33 pm


Comparing Mormon Teachings vs. Christian Teachings
On Scripture
Mormonism
Book of Mormon
Pearl of Great Price
Doctrine and Covenants
King James Bible
Christianity
The Bible
On God
Mormonism
Polytheistic (many gods)
One god over earth
Not eternally Divine: He was once a man who became a god
Organized the Universe
Progressed to Godhood and is still progressing
Possesses a Physical Body
Heavenly Mother Exists
Christianity
Monotheistic
Trinitarian
Eternally Divine
Spirit
He does not change
Creator of all
On Jesus Christ
Mormonism
Not eternally divine
Literal son of God
His name is Jehovah
Not virgin born by the Holy Ghost
Elohim’s First born spirit-child
Brother of Lucifer
Polygamist
His death atoned for Adam’s sin
He became a god
Christianity
Virgin born by the Holy Spirit
Eternally Divine
God incarnate
His atonement provides the only way for human salvation
On Salvation
Mormon
Immortality is provided through Christ’s atoning death not eternal salvation
Original Sin is denied
Result of grace coupled with works
Exaltation to godhood
Made possible by Jesus and Joseph Smith
No salvation outside LDS Church
Salvation for the Dead
Christian
Not earned by works
No salvation after death
By grace through faith in Christ alone



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:37 pm


PC, did you check out Mormon and Angry’s response to Dr Tom at 1 o’clock?



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Michael Horn

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:37 pm


Re: Eph 2: 8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should aboast.
Define Saved. I believe that in this passage, Saved refers to the GIFT of immortality. Mormons do believe in this GIFT. We all will be ressurrected through the GIFT of Jesus’ atonement and subsequent resurrection. However, we also believe in another concept, Eternal Life, which is to return and live with God the Father as Exalted beings. This Eternal Life IS dependant on works.
James 2: 14, 17-18, 20-22, 24-26
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
• • •
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my afaith by my works.
• • •
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
• • •
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.



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B

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:37 pm


That list is not correct. Do some research and learn what Mormons really believe. Your ministers are lying to you.



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B

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:45 pm


The reason Mormons have not been refuting your Bible verses is because they believe wholeheartidly in them. Grace, faith, the Godhead, the virgin birth, the divinity and eternal nature of Jesus Christ, all agree with Mormon belief. It is the non-Mormons who have been lying and lied to about what Mormons believe, and sadly, most of them believe the crap they are fed.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:46 pm


Not in the Pharisees opinion!

and this matters how?



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Michael Horn

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:49 pm


Re: I testify to you.
You hold fast to your testimony, as do most Mormons, as do I. Where did your testimony come from? Did it come from man? or did it come from the Holy Ghost? One cannot base thier testimony solely on the Bible. The Bible should not be the basis for a testimony for the simple fact that it can be interpreted SO many ways. That is the exact reason we have so many different “Christian” religions.
“My testimony must be subjected to a higher authority: the Bible.”, you say.
I say, “My testimony must be subjected to a higher authority: Heavenly Father Himself (via the promptings of the Holy Ghost).”



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Wizard of ID

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:52 pm


That sometimes, people considered heretics are right.
Would you agree with me if I said you’re a heretic?



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PC

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:52 pm


Wizard of ID,
I did read Mormon and Angry’s absurd response to you.



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PC

posted July 5, 2007 at 3:56 pm


B,
Which part of the list is not correct?
Would you say these statements are true of Mormon teachings:
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil so that you may see.” (Founder of the LDS Church Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345-347)
“I might with boldness proclaim that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all.” (Founder of the LDS Church Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, 6:7)
“God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! This is the great secret.” (Founder of the LDS Church Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345)
“As man is now God once was; as God now is man may become.” (Lorenzo Snow, 5th President of the LDS Church, The Gospel Through the Ages, 105-106)
“The fact that there is no reference to a Mother in Heaven either in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a Mother did exist there.” (President Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:142)
“When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Arch-Angel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken – He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51)
“The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based on polygamy. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were ‘Mormons.’” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 345-346)
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son has also; but the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit.” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:01 pm


A Brief Detour: James 2:20 and Paul’s Teaching on Righteousness
It might be best right here, Steve, to address what seems to be one of the “favorite” passages of Mormon people who attempt to defend the idea that justification is not by faith alone, but by faith and works, that being James 2:17-24. I think it fits well here simply because both Paul and James refer to the same person as their example (Abraham) even to the point of quoting the same passage from the Old Testament (Genesis 15:6). Some have said that James and Paul simply disagreed on this issue and that their teachings are contradictory. But I think that is little more than a cop-out. A close examination of James’ words reveals another story. Here is what he said,

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

I’ve often commented that if the most “memorized” verse among conservative Christians is John 3:16, then the most “memorized” verse among Latter-day Saints is James 2:20, so often have I heard it quoted by missionaries and others. But does the verse teach that God’s grace is insufficient without man’s works to bring about full and complete justification? What is James talking about here?
As always, let’s examine the context. First, James is not discussing how one is made righteous before God, how one finds forgiveness of sins. The whole book is not written to unbelievers, nor is it its purpose to discuss how unbelievers are made believers. Instead, James’ book is primarily moral and ethical in nature. It is an exhortation to Christian living, directed solely to people who already name the name of Christ. We read in 1:18-21,

Of his own will begot he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls .

James is talking to Christians (1:19) and calling them to a holy life. But in the process he “lets it slip” that he, just like Paul, believes that salvation is the work of God. It is God who “begot us with the word of truth” and it is the word of God that “is able to save your souls.”
This is exactly what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13,

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Part and parcel of this recognition of God’s work of salvation is the idea that when God saves someone, they will be changed and will live a life that will demonstrate that they are truly Christians. This, too, is exactly what Paul taught as well. The famous passage in the second chapter of Ephesians that you have probably heard more than once in this debate is often not quoted completely — you may have read Ephesians 2:8-9, but how often did you hear verse 10 quoted along with it?

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are saved by grace through faith. This salvation, and this faith, is not of ourselves, but is the free and undeserved gift of God. Our salvation is not of works, for if it were, then we would have something about which to boast. But Paul doesn’t stop there. God saves us, but does He leave us just as we were? Does not God have a plan and purpose for our life? Indeed He does, for Paul goes on to assert that we are the creation or workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto (not by) good works. God has before ordained that we should walk in good works, bringing glory to God. That is His purpose for us. Those good works do not bring about our salvation, they flow from our salvation. The salvation comes first — first we are justified. Then we do the good works, for only those who are right with God can even do good works! And this is exactly what James will be arguing for in his book as well.
So we see that James is addressing Christians and exhorting them to good works just as Paul did. Note Paul’s words to Titus:

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (3:8)

This is a common theme in all of Paul’s letters. Never will you see the Bible saying “well, since God saved you, you can just go and have a good time.” That kind of thinking is utterly foreign to the Christian, and is directly contradictory to the Word of God. In fact, many LDS people have made that very accusation against the gospel of grace, and I have often replied, “Do you know you just quoted a passage from the Bible?” They are normally taken aback by this, so I go on to quote the passage to them:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2)

A person who has died with Christ Jesus (Galatians 2:20) is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have died to sin, and therefore cannot continue to live under its dominion. The desire of our heart is not to bring grief to God’s heart, but to bring glory to His name. So we see that Paul and James are teaching the exact same thing. No contradiction here.
Next, we see that James does not believe that the law can bring a man into salvationin fact, he is again in complete agreement with Paul. He writes,

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)

James asserts that it is not enough to simply keep most of the law, or to do “all you can” (2 Nephi 25:23). He says that nothing but perfection would do and, since none of us keep the law perfectly, obviously that is not the way of justification, just as Paul taught (Romans 3:20).
And so we come to the second half of chapter 2, and the discussion by James of the relationship of faith and works. In verse 14 he tells us what kind of “faith” he is discussing:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Now please note that the faith James is talking about is a faith that does not produce works. It is a faith that produces no fruit, shows no changed life. Is this the faith that Paul talks about in Romans, a faith that is in Christ Jesus and is the supernatural gift of God? Certainly not! So we see that James is talking about a “head faith,” a faith that is nothing more than an intellectual acknowledgment of certain facts, not a true heart-changing, saving faith that is the work of the Spirit of God. Since Paul asserts that justification is based solely on true, saving faith, and himself denies that this kind of faith can exist without the resultant change in a person’s life, then James’ whole discussion here is directed not against Paul’s teaching but against a completely different kind of belief — a belief that is still around to this day. James will attack the idea that a person can at one point in time simply acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and then go on to live a life of sin and debauchery, even to the point of denying the Lord (yes, believe it or not, some people actually teach that!), and yet still be saved! James denies that this is saving faith and Paul denies this as well! But the important thing to grasp is that James is discussing a totally different concept than that we have seen in Paul. Let’s go on and see how this is borne out by the text.
In verse 17 James asserts that a faith that does not result in works is “dead, being alone.” Dead faith cannot save anyone. Mere intellectual assent to certain facts is not saving faith, and is surely not the work of the Spirit of God. He goes on to show the foolishness of this kind of “head faith” in verse 18, and in doing so gives us another vitally important aspect of his discussion in this chapter. James speaks of “showing” our faith, proving our faith before men. How can one show one’s faith to other men? You certainly can’t do it without works. Faith is a matter of the heart, so it cannot be seen by men other than in the effects it has upon the manner of life of the person. Why is this so important? Because when James will talk about Abraham being “justified” by his works, he does so in the context of demonstrating his faith before other men, not before God! The “justification” of which James speaks, then, is in a completely different context than Paul’s discussion in Romans or Galatians. Paul says that no man shall be justified in the sight of God by works; James says that the only way a man can be justified in the sight of men is by works! Again, we see that the topics under discussion differ from Paul and James, and that in reality they are in perfect harmony with one another.
And so James asserts that while the demons “believe” and tremble, this does them no good, for the “faith” that is theirs is hardly the faith that is the work of the Spirit, but is just a simple recognition of the fact of God’s existence. This kind of faith is of no use to them. As a result, faith without works is dead, and to that I say a hearty “amen” and say, “Paul taught the same thing in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and all his other letters.” But we need to recognize that James is not saying that true, saving faith, which always results in good works and is never “alone,” is insufficient to save. Sadly, that is what most LDS try to say James is teaching, but he is not.
James then gives us an example: Abraham. He asks if Abraham was not justified by works when he offered Isaac upon the altar. Well, was he? We must remember, Steve, that the readers of James’ letter would know the Old Testament story of Abraham by heart. How would they have understood his words? We know that Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” in Genesis 15:6. This was at least twenty years before the offering of Isaac of which James speaks (Genesis 22:1-l4). So James knew, as did his readers, that Abraham’s faith had brought him righteousness before this act of obedience on his part two decades later. But as we have already seen, James is not talking about how one becomes righteous in God’s sight, but how one demonstrates one’s faith. So Abraham’s act of obedience did not initially make him righteous but instead showed the reality of his faith in God. His works “perfected” his faith, showed his faith, and most importantly, sprung from his faith. In each instance faith is prior to, and foundational to, the works. James is saying what Paul said in different words in Romans chapter 12 and in Ephesians 2:10. When he says that a man is “justified” by works and not by faith only, the preceding discussion prohibits us from taking this to be a denial of Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith alone. Rather, he is speaking of a different sense of justification (before men, not before God) and is still keeping before us the truth that real, saving faith will not be without works.
James’ next example bears this out (James 2:25), for when he speaks of Rahab being “justified” by her works, we know that the reason Rahab did what she did was because of her faith. She told the spies in Joshua 2:9-11 that she knew of the true God Jehovah, and in fact said, “for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” Since she really believed that, she acted on her faith and hid the servants of Jehovah. Her actions showed the reality of her faith.
So we see that James and Paul are not contradicting each other. When the context of James and his whole teaching is taken into consideration, we see that he is emphasizing the importance of the demonstration of our faith by our works. He is not teaching us that our works bring about our justification before God, nor does he deny the fact that faith is foundational to, and gives rise to, real works of righteousness. So we see that Paul’s doctrine of justification is not contradicted by James.
—Mormons should understand verses before they believe in them.



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Anonymous

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:06 pm


I say, “My testimony must be subjected to a higher authority: Heavenly Father Himself (via the promptings of the Holy Ghost).”

You have no other evidence for this other than your “feeling” that the Holy Ghost testifies this to you.
If we all rely on our feelings then I could just say I feel like the Holy ghost testifies that my dog is Jesus Christ.
I rely on the Word of God. You rely on your feeling that the Holy Ghost testifies to you. I’d rather rely on the Bible than just a feeling.



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Leroy Morte

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:14 pm


“Leroy Morte, Like I posted on the other side, I have not been arguing about the “rightness” of Christianity or the “wrongness” of Mormonism. I have been discussing the meaning of Christianity and Mormonism, and fighting against the destruction of meaning.
All the same, I think your implication that these things don’t matter is very misguided.
Posted by: Anon | July 5, 2007 3:57 AM”
Misguided in what way? Because I think our leaders should be chosen for their intelligence and not their belief in a deity? Misguided because I don’t take you or anyone else on this threads word for the existence of, interpretation of, or validity of a deity? The “Rightness of Christianity” or the “Wrongness of Mormonism” is really moot in my opinion. It’s like 2 children trying to convince me their imaginary friend is “Cooler” than the others. It still doesn’t prove either one is anything other than a figment of their imagination. And endlessly arguing over it doesn’t get anyone anwhere. People have been arguing, killing, ostracizing each other, depriving each other of liberty and property, and innumerabe other things in the name of gods and religion for all of recorded history. Exactly what has it produced other than more arguments? Is it really all that misguided of me to think that maybe religion in general hasn’t worked so well, and maybe we need something else? Maybe all of the energy used on these arguments should be put toward making the world a better place, instead of worrying about whose imaginary friend is bigger.



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm


4.01 Who exactly do you think cares enough about your opinion to read all that????



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Michael Horn

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm


I say, “My testimony must be subjected to a higher authority: Heavenly Father Himself (via the promptings of the Holy Ghost).”
You have no other evidence for this other than your “feeling” that the Holy Ghost testifies this to you.
If we all rely on our feelings then I could just say I feel like the Holy ghost testifies that my dog is Jesus Christ.
I rely on the Word of God. You rely on your feeling that the Holy Ghost testifies to you. I’d rather rely on the Bible than just a feeling.
I think that is a common misconception. Personal revelation from the Holy Ghost is more than a feeling. It is very hard to describe if you have not felt it.
Also, we rely on the “fruits” of those revelations to know thier truths as well.
How do you know the Word of God (the Bible) to be true? Did you know live in those times? Did you know Jesus Christ? I think not. You MUST rely on faith.
Therefore, if you must rely on faith, what is faith? By definition it is not seen. Faith is believing in things which are not seen, which are true.
How does your faith manifiest itself if not by the power of the Holy Ghost. “by the power of the Holy Ghost you shall KNOW the truth of all things”



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PC

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:28 pm


Leroy Morte,
More people have killed in the name of atheism than in the name of religion. i.e. Communist Russia, Communist China, Communist Korea, Communist Vietnam, etc… So, should we deduce from that that atheism is worse than theism or just that killing is wrong no matter your theology?



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Michael Horn

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:30 pm


Sorry about 4:25, I put quote tags around the quoted stuff.. but apparently it was wrong.



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Stuart

posted July 5, 2007 at 4:49 pm


Hey B…those comments are correct. Tell me how they are wrong?



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Mormon and Angry

posted July 5, 2007 at 5:35 pm


PC @ 3.52: “I did read Mormon and Angry’s absurd response to you.”
Sorry if it wasn’t to your taste. But you see, we have a sense of humor. I’ll try not to let it show so much.



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B

posted July 5, 2007 at 5:55 pm


Stuart, those comments are wrong because you have taken individual quotes out of context. For example, the King Follette discource has often been used to show that God was not God, but in that very same speech, Joseph Smith equates the eternities with a ring and that a ring has no beginning and no end, but if you cut a ring, then it has a beginning and an end, but you cannot have it both ways. In other words, because God has no end, He also has no beginning. You choose to cut-and-paste from an anti-Mormon source without understanding the context or meaning behind Smith’s words. That is why what was posted is false. Same with the virgin birth (which Mormons believe), same with Grace of Christ, same with all of these points you are trying to used to persuade people from learning.



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Scott in Pac NW

posted July 5, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Dr Mohler does not cite any evidence that Mormons are not Christian. He’s a lot of hot air.
I think Bill Kirpatrick said it best: This great nation was founded by Christians evading persecution by other Christians. People like Dr Mohler — a Southern Baptist, a denomination that did not exist until the 1750s — are more than happy to now denounce Mormons as “not Christian” based on glittering generalities.
Mormons tout Jesus all over the place. I’m no theologian, but I’d say that makes them Christian. Just like the Southern Baptists and all the other Protestants and Eastern Orthodoxers (ie non-Catholic Christians) out there.
Other other hand, many who claim to be Christian by virtue of their faith are no such thing in practice: Those who spread division & intolerance; those who hoard wealth; those who scorn the poor, the sick and the weak; those who pray publicly; those of you support needless war & torture; these people disregard the words and acts of Jesus Christ, and are therefore, in fact, un-Christian.
May these people look into their own hearts, feel shame, and repent.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:24 pm


I know you are just yanking chains, but this is an opportunity for understanding.
Bizarre? You should look at what those Christians get up to! You know they actually practice cannibalism? Every Sunday, they go through this ritual where they eat human flesh and drink human blood!
Well, I grant you that the Eucharist is a jolting thing. It is so jolting that when Jesus Christ taught that it was necessary (John 6), many of his disciples left him. Yes, it is a profoundly bewildering thing, but the Apostles accepted the teaching, and through the Eucharist, it is also a profoundly Holy and Glorious thing! I credit the Eucharist for the vast majority of the depth of my Spiritual life and my love for God.
But, it isn’t cannibalism. Yes, we believe its
substance is the real flesh, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but it is in the form of bread and wine. Cannibalism is an act related to eating human flesh in the form of meat.
Also, you should probably know that it is mostly just the Orthodox Church and a very few Protestant churches who believes it is the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. To most of the Protestants it is only symbolic.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:25 pm


And by “the Orthodox Church,” I mean all of Orthodoxy, including Catholicism.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:42 pm


Anon, reading your other posts, I actually believe you.
I’m glad. I’m working very hard to be understood. I’m sure I can be an unreasonable jerk, but I’m trying very hard to avoid that, as well.
I apologize if I didn’t take you seriously at first and painted you along with the other lunatics.
No worries. They probably are sincere and don’t mean you any harm, but it has to be annoying as blazes when the topic is one of meaning, but they keep interjecting: “By the way, you are going to hell.” And I don’t think they realize the affront to God when they say this, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are trodding on forbidden (and excessively uncharitable) ground. Still–I think they deserve pity more than anything. (Actually, I think we all deserve a little pity.)
I promise to be more respectful (to you, at least) from now on. :)
Don’t raise the bar too high. We may want to brawl about something else at another time. ;)



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 9:57 pm


However, a cult defined within the context of Christianity is any religious organization that…
I really don’t think this “cult” stuff is productive, Jessica. “Cult” has many sinister meanings these days, and it is unfair to pin all those connotations on Mormonism. Even if we were in a venue where it wouldn’t be so inflammatory, I would insist on very solid rigor in understanding the technical term as it was being used. I don’t think you’ve done that. Either way, it’s not charitable to make issue of it, when it does not help us with the topic at hand.
Besides that–after looking at your criteria, I realized there were several ways I could interpret and apply them. One way that I noticed would make *all* Christian denominations cults. (And, by the way, in some contexts, “cult” actually is a positive word.)



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:20 pm


It is releigion by comittee. It is the purest example of religion dictated by MEN, not by Heavenly Father, or Jesus Christ.
No. The creeds were articulations of the doctrines contained in the Deposit of the Faith given directly to the Apostles and the Church by Jesus Christ. The Bishops of the Councils, with the protection of the Holy Spirit–the Paraclete that was promised to them by Jesus Himself, and witnessed at Pentacost in the miraculous signs of flame and language, worked through the language and monitored each other to make sure it was accurate and faithful to the doctrine that had been known since it was handed to the Apostles. That is not dictation. That is preservation.
Have you even READ the bible? How can you believe the concept of the TRINITY, when, during the baptism of Jesus, you hear a voice from the heavens “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
That is part of the great mystery of the Trinity. Jesus handed us these truths, and as fantastic as they seem, we believe them because we love Jesus and we trust Him.
Was Jesus a ventrilloquist? Or was there actually another separate, devine being?
This is a materialist argument. I expect materialist arguments from atheists. What is *real* goes far beyond the physical world.
When Jesus prayed, WHO DID HE PRAY TO? Himself? No, he prayed to His Father In Heaven. “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name…”
Yes. You are still just articulating more of the mystery. They are One God in Three Persons. Christ prayed to the Father while being One God with Him. He was also probably trying to teach us things, like how to be unified to Him and to the Father.
You say that only those who follow the Nicean creed are Christian. I say, Only those who follow Christ are Christians.
Well…for the billionth time, you cannot “say” what Christians are. Christianity has a distinct nature with essential attributes. If you reject the essential attributes, you reject Christianity. If you still insist that you are Christian, you do violence to meaning and ultimately do harm to Mormonism.
I’d rather follow a religion given by God, rather than a creed given by Emperor Constantine, a converted Roman, by comittee.
Guys–please do your homework. The doctrines in the Creed are well known and understood by the Early Church Fathers who go back to the time of the Apostles. Constantine did not give them anything. They already had it. I strenuously encourage you to study the early Church Fathers. It will change your perspective of the history of Christianity immensely. And there’s lots to read! Many of these are men who worked directly with the Apostles.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:52 pm


—Mormons should understand verses before they believe in them.
You mean understand *your* interpretation of them? By what authority? If they find another reasonable way to interpret the words, why should they find yours valid? What authority makes your interpretation trump theirs?
*Meaning* always precedes text. I have been fighting for the cause of meaning, and the fact that Christianity has meaning inasmuch it has a common and essential attribute of the Doctrine of the Trinity. But a reasonable man can interpret Scripture without the previous knowledge of the Trinity, and they can reasonably interpret it in a way that excludes the Trinity. *Your* interpretations include the Trinity because the doctrine is solidly embedded in Christian Holy Tradition. Without having the benefit of that foreknowledge, there is no telling what your interpretation would have been.
Jesus provided that authority with the Majesterium of the Catholic Church and Holy Tradition. But the Catholic focus is meaning, and we can use Scripture to teach that meaning, but the words alone are not proof of anything. And if Mormons don’t recognize Catholic authority, it makes no sense to push off Catholic interpretation onto them.
Mormons bring a different set of assumptions to the table. You cannot refute them by text alone.
Oh! And while we’re at it, how about James 2:24-26*:
“Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving messengers, and sending them out another way? For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.”
*This is the only place in Scripture where you find the words “faith alone” (“faith only” in this translation) and as you can read, it *refutes* the idea of faith alone.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 10:58 pm


And it’s questionable whether Constantine was even a Christian himself. It’s pretty well established that his support for christianity was more political than anything else.
I don’t think that is true, and I don’t think it is fair to Constantine. Constantine struggled deeply with reconciling his actions with Christianity. He was so unsure of it, that he didn’t want to profane Christianity by being Baptised while he was warring so much. For this reason, he had a priest with him always, so that if he were to reach the threshold of death, the priest could Baptise him a Christian before he died.
Whatever else you say about it–these are not the actions of a man who isn’t *very* serious about Christianity.



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Anon

posted July 5, 2007 at 11:25 pm


Misguided in what way? Because I think our leaders should be chosen for their intelligence and not their belief in a deity?
I think it is incomplete and oversimplified. But that’s a long discussion, so I’d rather let it go.
And endlessly arguing over it doesn’t get anyone anwhere.
That may be true in a practical sense sometimes. But in a strict sense, you can only say that if you think *meaning* is irrelevant. Is that what you think? If meaning is irrelevant, then any level of intelligence is …well…meaningless.
People have been arguing, killing, ostracizing each other, depriving each other of liberty and property, and innumerabe other things in the name of gods and religion for all of recorded history.
That is an excessively simple-minded and incomplete way of looking at it. Religion is rarely the only reason or even the main reason for violence. And as another poster above mentioned, atheist entities (and I would add secular humanism) are responsible for far more death than religion. Stalin alone settles that bet.
Exactly what has it produced other than more arguments?
Several things, actually. It irons things out and provides some clarity to some people some of the time. That is, in fact, productive, even if you choose to brush them off simply because some other people are still battling it out.
It has also produced respect among men. “Angry and Mormon” and I have found a mutual respect for each other in the heat of our battles. That’s a good thing.
Developing ways of thinking is another thing that we accomplish.
Discrediting and discarding error is another thing that we accomplish–even if some hard cases still cling to them.
There are many things that we accomplish as men with minds. But I have to ask: If you think we accomplish nothing with these arguments–why on earth are you joining it? Your participation comes across as exceptionally self-contradictory and confused to me.
Is it really all that misguided of me to think that maybe religion in general hasn’t worked so well, and maybe we need something else?
You are ignoring all the good that religion has done for the world. The charity it has brought. The evil it has stopped. (Sometimes violence is necessary in the face of evil.) The education it has encouraged. A good study of religion will show that the world is a far better place because of it. But, if it satisfies you to only sift through the excrement and blood for a one-sided judgment, suit yourself.
Maybe all of the energy used on these arguments should be put toward making the world a better place, instead of worrying about whose imaginary friend is bigger.
I guess if you believe that the propagation of error is a healthy thing, this may be a foolish game. And there are almost certainly better things to do. But that still makes me ask: Why are *you* here?



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Leroy Morte

posted July 5, 2007 at 11:35 pm


“Leroy Morte,
More people have killed in the name of atheism than in the name of religion. i.e. Communist Russia, Communist China, Communist Korea, Communist Vietnam, etc… So, should we deduce from that that atheism is worse than theism or just that killing is wrong no matter your theology?”
Do you really think the cult of personality that developed around the charismatic leaders of those communist nations isn’t akin to a religious movement with a deified prophet, scriptures, commandments, and beliefs? But even without that, how many millions of native americans, pagan europeans, black africans, and muslim infidels during the crusades do you think were slaughtered, deprived of their property and rights, and enslaved by christian europeans? How many have been killed by muslim jihadists over the last 1500 yrs? How many ritual human sacrifices performed by Aztec, Mayan and other native americans practicing their religion? How many people presecuted by pagan Rome? How many settlements did Jehovah command his Isrealites to slaughter to the last man, woman, child, and animal in their conquest of the Holy Land? How many Jews killed in europes pogroms, both pre 1930 and Nazi Germany? How many died in the Hundred years war in Europe, between Protestants and Catholic? How many Mormons killed on their way to Utah? How many did they kill when they got there? How many Irish and British over the Northern Ireland situation?



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:19 am


But even without that, how many millions of native americans, pagan europeans, black africans, and muslim infidels during the crusades do you think were slaughtered, deprived of their property and rights, and enslaved by christian europeans?
Okay, I have to laugh, because your ignorance is spread out in front of everybody.
The Crusades have nothing to do with Native Americans, pagan Europeans, or Black Africans. The Crusades were meant to push back the Muslims who had been continuously and brutally conquering the Christian world with their ruthless swords. They suppressed the Christians they conquered in very brutal ways. The eastern Christians begged for help from the western Christians. If it weren’t for the Crusades–in spite of their falure in some ways–you would probably be speaking Turkish or Arabic and enjoying the daily abuse of your woman. The Muslim world was determined to conquer and enslave the Christian world. (Islam means “Peace”–The “Peace” you get when everyone is forcibly converted to Islam or else enslaved.)
Remember Lepanto!
And–by the way–Muslims call *us* infidels.
And if you think your mental regurgitation of crap is a responsible and complete representation of history, you simply are not worth paying attention to.
And I still haven’t gotten an answer to my question. If, as you insist, this exercise is futile and a waste of good time–WHY ARE YOU HERE?



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:23 am


Do you really think the cult of personality that developed around the charismatic leaders of those communist nations isn’t akin to a religious movement with a deified prophet, scriptures, commandments, and beliefs?
And, by the way, as the rest of you can see above, this guy conveniently cries foul and informs us that things are not as simple as all that, while simultaniously expecting us to swallow his simple-minded garbage when it applies to us. One more example of his self-contradictory and confused mind.



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CrossWise

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:30 am


RE: Scott in Pac NW
1. The Southern Baptist Conference was not founded until 1845 in Augusta, Ga.
2. As with every Christian denomination; the Southern Baptists have distinctives on non-essential issues which make them what they are. Yet from their very beginning they have well stood within the ranks of orthodox Christians who can trace their spiritual lineage back to the New Testament Church Christ founded. The same cannot be said of the “Latter day Saints”.
3. The Southern Baptists have a long history of cooperation with Christians of varied denominational backgrounds. This is made possible by the fact that while we may disagree on non-essential issues such as Church polity; we none-the-less are in one accord concerning the essentials of “…the faith once delivered to the Saints”.
Not so with the Mormons; they have a different Christ, a different gospel, and a different spirit.(2 Co 11:4) These are much more than just “glittering generalities” as you call them.
4. Over-generalizations and misconstruing of the facts as you have done have historically caused more hate, intolerance, and division than any straight-forward presentation of the Gospel. And unless one is utterly devoid of reason, you sooner or later will realize that TRUTH always divides from ERROR, and LIARS have very little tolerance for the truth.
It readily becomes apparent that you too have a different Jesus from the one who historically exists in the New Testament. The one I know was no “pacifist” concerning spiritual truth, and forever corrects any attempt to mis-characterize himself otherwise when he stated.. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
(Mat 10:34)
We are in a war for truth Scott, and like it or not, regardless of which side you choose… you’re in it.
CrossWise



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CrossWise

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:40 am


Apologies for the duplicate post. It seems the beliefnet server was having problems.



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David Chiu

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:13 am


I once encountered an elderly fellow in Taipei, Taiwan — he asked this question of me (an ordained ministered of the Lord Jesus Christ):
“How can you claim that ‘God so loved the world’ when you deny everlasting life to those who fail to ‘believeth in Him’”.
He really thought it was a telling point that there seemed to be a contradiction between universal love and conditional salvation!!
God really does love all of us perfectly, and no matter when or where we may have been born, He will grant us a full and fair opportunity to earn salvation as defined by the Lord in John 3:15.
Not matter how much we do, it is ultimately grace that saves — I thank God that He includes all.
Some may doubt God’s omnipotence, thinking that grace will not cover those who (as Mormons) accept Jesus as their personal Savior, the promised Messiah, and Lord.
I’m thankful to trust that He is not so limited.



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Mike Bennion

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:38 am


The following statement was made earlier by a critic of My Church:
“And so James asserts that while the demons “believe” and tremble, this does them no good, for the “faith” that is theirs is hardly the faith that is the work of the Spirit, but is just a simple recognition of the fact of God’s existence. This kind of faith is of no use to them. As a result, faith without works is dead, and to that I say a hearty “amen” and say, “Paul taught the same thing in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and all his other letters.” But we need to recognize that James is not saying that true, saving faith, which always results in good works and is never “alone,” is insufficient to save. Sadly, that is what most LDS try to say James is teaching, but he is not.”
This is an absolute misstatement of LDS Doctrine. You will find nowhere, either in the Bible or in any LDS Scripture, the assertion that anyone is saved by works, exclusive of or outside Faith in Jesus Christ. The first principle of the Gospel, listed in the LDS “Articles of Faith” is “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Without Him any salvation in any form is impossible. Yet the Bible is replete with commandments given by Jesus himself, and we are specifically told how important these commandments are in the New Testament:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21) “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:23-24)
1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:1-4)
5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)
As a Mormon these verses summarize what I believe. If I have no Faith in Christ I am not a branch of the vine. But If I am a branch of the vine I will:
1) Love God
2) Do as Jesus Does
3) keep Jesus Commandments
4) bear much Fruit
The strength to do the works of Faith comes from God the Father, by Faith in Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Please do not tell me what I believe. I know what I believe.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 9:31 am


Oh! And while we’re at it, how about James 2:24-26*:
“Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving messengers, and sending them out another way? For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.”
*This is the only place in Scripture where you find the words “faith alone” (“faith only” in this translation) and as you can read, it *refutes* the idea of faith alone.

So we should go with 2 verses instead of the entire book of Romans? This is what happens when you rip Bible verses out of context both within their chapters and books and within the Bible as a whole.
If a human wrote a book and something in one chapter contradicted something in a another chapter then it would be understandable. However, God is not human and he is not stupid. God can handle putting together the Bible and not making mistakes or contradicting himself all over it.
Theology is not taking 1 or 2 verses that seem to say what you want them to and then proudly proclaiming “see! i told you so!”. Theology is how this verse relates to that verse, how this chapter relates to that chapter, how this book relates to that book, and how these books relate to the Bible as a whole.
The whole of the Bible supports “saved by Grace ALONE”, NOT the Mormon “saved by Grace, after all we can do.
The evidence is there. Don’t take it up with me. I didn’t say it. Talk to God.
James is not at odds with Paul. “They are not antagonists facing each other with crossed swords; they stand back to back, confronting different foes of the gospel.” [Alexander Ross, "The Epistle of James and John," The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1954), 53.] In 1:17-18, James affirmed that salvation is a gift bestowed according to the sovereign will of God. Now he is stressing the importance of faith’s fruit—the righteous behavior that genuine faith always produces. Paul, too, saw righteous works as the necessary proof of faith.
Those who imagine a discrepancy between James and Paul rarely observe that it was Paul who wrote, “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!” (Rom. 6:15); and “Having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (v. 18). Thus Paul condemns the same error James is exposing here. Paul never advocated any concept of dormant faith.
When Paul writes, “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight,” (Rom. 3:20),

he is combatting a Jewish legalism which insisted upon the need for works to be justified; James insists upon the need for works in the lives of those who have been justified by faith. Paul insists that no man can ever win justification through his own efforts … James demands that a man who already claims to stand in right relationship with God through faith must by a life of good works demonstrate that he has become a new creature in Christ. With this Paul thoroughly agreed. Paul was rooting out ‘works’ that excluded and destroyed saving faith; James was stimulating a sluggish faith that minimized the results of saving faith in daily life. [D. Edmond Hiebert, The Epistle of James (Chicago: Moody, 1979), 175.]



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 9:54 am


Achieving a Celestial Marriage
A celestial marriage, i.e., one wherein the couple is sealed in the Mormon Temple, is the key to exaltation according to another publication produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Achieving a Celestial Marriage is another student manual, copyrighted 1992 by the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What it says about God is especially relevant, since it does so in the context of guiding couples into the very relationship that makes exaltation to godhood possible! On pages 129-132 we encounter the plain and clear words of this official publication regarding the means by which men are exalted to the status of a God. As normal, the source begins with the idea of man’s capacity for progress and exaltation, and from this, moves to the idea that God Himself went through a similar process.

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that man is an eternal being, made in the image and likeness of God. It also holds that man is a literal child of God and has the potential, if faithful to divine laws and ordinances, of becoming like his heavenly parent. These truths are generally well understood by Latter-day Saints.

The reader has surely noted the repeated emphasis, throughout the literature surveyed so far, on the absolute necessity of faithfulness to divine laws and ordinances if one is to gain exaltation. Here these concepts are said to be definitional of the gospel of Jesus Christ itself. We cannot emphasize too strongly that in Mormonism this idea of advancement to godhood is the gospel of the Mormon Church! If we fail to understand this, we risk seeing this as a mere side-issue, rather than the defining concept that it is. The necessity of obedience to such laws comes out in the next section as well:

Less well understood, however, is the fact that God is an exalted man who once lived on an earth and underwent experiences of mortality. The Prophet Joseph Smith refers to this as the great secret. (Times and Seasons 5:613 [15 Aug. 1844]. See also Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345.) The progression of our Father in heaven to godhood, or exaltation, was strictly in accordance with eternal principles, for he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. (D&C 88:22.)

One of the concepts that is especially troubling to the Christian reviewer of these beliefs is the idea that part and parcel of the idea of exaltation and the very power of God is the idea of procreation. It is not as if there is something wrong with human sexuality: but the projection of creaturely means of propagation onto the Creator Himself is what causes the orthodox Christian to read the following words with amazement:

By definition, exaltation includes the ability to procreate the family unit throughout eternity. This our Father in heaven has power to do. His marriage partner is our mother in heaven. We are their spirit children, born to them in the bonds of celestial marriage.
The Lord would have all his children attain exaltation, but men must have their agency. Only those who subscribe by ordinance and by faithful adherence to covenant are worthy of a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132:19.)

When making the decision concerning the magnitude of difference between the LDS view of God, and the historic Christian view, the idea that God has a continuation of the seeds forever and ever, and that this is made a part of His deity, should be kept in mind.
This section is followed by one titled God was once a mortal man, and again, we find the LDS Church falling back, not upon her Scriptures to teach her people, but the King Follett Funeral Discourse. Subtitles include “He Lived on an Earth Like Our Own” and “He Experienced Conditions Similar to Our Own and Advanced Step by Step.” This is followed by another section, “God is Now an Exalted Man with Powers of Eternal Increase,” with a subtitle, “Our Father in Heaven Lives in an Exalted Marriage Relationship.” Under this section Melvin J. Ballard is quoted:

No matter to what heights God has attained or may attain, he does not stand alone: for side by side with him, in all her glory, a glory like unto his, stands a companion, the Mother of his children. For as we have a Father in heaven, so also we have a Mother there, a glorified, exalted, ennobled Mother.” (Melvin J. Ballard, as quoted in Bryant S. Hinckley, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, pp. 205-6.)

The repetition of the same theme concerning the heavenly Mother should also play a large role in comparing LDS teaching to historic Christian theology. The literal parent-child relationship of God and humans is then emphasized with subtitles including “We Are Literal Children of God” and “We Lived with our Heavenly Parents Prior to Coming to Earth.”
———-
[1]Doctrines of the Gospel, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1986), pp. 7-8.
[2] The person familiar with LDS theology will find it interesting that in the intervening material there is a citation of Bruce R. McConkie’s Fireside talk at BYU titled, Our Relationship with the Lord. This talk is famous, for in it McConkie counseled against seeking a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The impossible position the LDS are placed in by their theology of God is well illustrated in McConkie’s attempts to explain just who it is that Mormons worship, and how Jesus is not to be worshipped as the Father is. This leads to a direct violation of the commandment to worship Jehovah alone.
—from http://www.aomin.org
I also find it funny that the Mormons in this discussion are constantly screaming “don’t tell me what I believe”. I’m not telling you what you believe, I wouldn’t do that. I’m telling you what the LDS Church believes and I’m getting that information from LDS Church official publications. If you believe something different than the LDS Church, that has nothing to do with me.



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POC777

posted July 6, 2007 at 9:58 am


POC777, your comments at 2:34AM, you responded to things that did not get properly posted, so they don’t follow with my discussion. (Not your fault.) Please see the correction I made and respond according to that.
**I will add “My response” to not confuse others.
I will, however, respond to this comment of yours:
*Not if they continue to deny what God has instructed the Christian in the Bible.
Without any authority, there are many, many possible interpretations that can be made of the Bible by reasonable men.
My response:
Every interpretation has to come directly from the Holy Spirit–if not, it is man’s interpretation and not to be heeded. I don’t accept man’s interpretations from the Bible, but from the Holy Spirit. He is the One who interpretates the Bible and not from man’s intellectual. I will choose any day, a man who is Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, than a man who is a scholor, and yet, doesn’t have the Holy Spirit living in him.
Reasonable men might interpret Scripture in the way the Mormons believe. You don’t realize it, but all sola scriptura Christians *rely upon* Traditional Christian knowledge for their interpretations.
My response:
Chirstians rely upon the Bible as their foundation for truth–they don’t follow man. If Christians follow man–then they are in big trouble and will not get closer to God but futher. Repeatly the Bible teaches every Christian to trust in God and not man. Man is evil; God is not good! Since man is evil why should he be trusted as a reliable source for truth, if God is good and doesn’t lie?
For example, the Trinitarian doctrine is *essential* to Christianity. A Christian who reads the Bible, interprets it according to the traditional knowledge they already have regarding the Trinity. But a person without that foreknowledge can reasonably interpret it to have meaning that is not inclusive of the Trinity.
My response:
Right, but every Christian must be like a Berean and search the Scriptures(the Bible) if what people teach is true. If any teaching from any religion contradicts the Bible, it is false and must be denied immediately. The doctrine of the Trinity as you said is only essential to the Christian–it is not a requirement. It is good to learn about the Trinity–to not get confused on which one is God–The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three in one God, yet function differently. A person who does not know or understand about the Trinity, might think there are three Gods and not one God or more gods.
The Deity of Jesus Christ–every Christian must know to understand the divinity of Jesus Christ, as God coming in the flesh, to this world to save mankind from their sin-debt. If a new Christian, doesn’t know these doctrines and then graduates from his or her body, that Christian is going to Heaven. I will always point to the robber next to Jesus on the cross, who repented of his sins and confessed “LORD”–who did not get baptized or even learned one doctrine–he went to Heaven on that day to be with Jesus Christ.
So you can look at Christianity and see that there is this essential doctrine that the Mormons do not share, and therefore conclude that Mormonism is not compatible with Christianity. But you cannot exclude them based on the fact that you like *your* interpretation of Scripture better than *theirs*.
My response:
Almost every post in this debate, cleary shows that Mormonism is not Christian. For the reason, that the BOM is not “another testament of Jesus Christ” because there are only two testaments: Old Testament and New Testament, which come from the Bible–Mormon doctrine… opposes, denies and contradicts on what God has already said in the Bible.
Mr. Smith’s first vision on 1820, was not from God.
From John Ankerberg: “The issue of Mormons revelations is finally reduced to one simple test. If Joseph Smith’s revelations deny, contradict and oppose the Bible, then whatever their source, they cannot possibly have orginated in God. And if they did not originate in God, they have no divine authority and should not be heeded.”
We have witnesses that Mormonism is not Christian–the evidence are so overwhelming, that no Christian or Mormon could deny.
Dr. Anthony Hoekema states Mormonism–is really anti-Christian. He declares in his book “The Four Major Cults:
“We must at this point assert, in the strongest possible terms, that Mormonism does not deserve to be called a Christian religion. It is basically anti-Christian and anti-biblical”
Gorden Fraser, the author of four books on Mormonism, explains:
“We object to Mormon missionaries posing as Christians, and our objections are based on the differences between what they are taught by the [Mormon] General Authorities and what the Bible teaches”
Dr. Walter Martin correctly asserted:
“In no uncertain terms, the Bible condemns the teachings of the Mormon Church”
Former Mormons and experts on Mormonsim Jerald and Sandra Tanner, also correctly affirm:
“The Mormon Church is certainly not built on the teachings of the Bible”
Posted by: Anon | July 5, 2007 3:07 AM



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POC777

posted July 6, 2007 at 10:09 am


Why does every Mormon have to go through the process of a ceremonial eternal marriage, for their salavtion and to get to Heaven, if God has provided the way: He sent His begotten Son, to die for their sin-debt in full–for their salvation–to receive the free gift of eternal life–and when death comes will to go to Heaven?



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POC777

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:15 am


My response:
Chirstians rely upon the Bible as their foundation for truth–they don’t follow man. If Christians follow man–then they are in big trouble and will not get closer to God but further. Repeatly the Bible teaches every Christian to trust in God and not man. Man is evil; God is not good! Since man is evil why should he be trusted as a reliable source for truth, if God is good and doesn’t lie?
*Forgive me, I did a typo I meant to write “God is good!” not the opposite.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:18 pm


So we should go with 2 verses instead of the entire book of Romans? This is what happens when you rip Bible verses out of context both within their chapters and books and within the Bible as a whole.
And guys like you are what happens when you reject these words and contort them to mean what you want. (More on this below.)
If a human wrote a book and something in one chapter contradicted something in another chapter then it would be understandable. However, God is not human and he is not stupid. God can handle putting together the Bible and not making mistakes or contradicting himself all over it.
I am not saying that there is any contradiction in the intended meaning of the inspired authors of the Bible. I am saying that those words contradict *your* interpretation. I was completely aware that you would find another way to interpret them. But it certainly isn’t readily apparent that they should not be interpreted to contradict your view. In fact, I would go so far as to say the *most likely* interpretation of a reasonable human being would be to contradict your view.
The whole of the Bible supports “saved by Grace ALONE”, NOT the Mormon “saved by Grace, after all we can do.
You are swapping words and playing with them now. The discussion was in regard to “faith alone,” not “Grace ALONE.” I would agree that we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. However, according to your doctrine, faith is a contingency to that grace. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that faith is the *only* contingency. In fact, it specifically says **faith without works is dead**. This would mean that without works, you have not fulfilled your contingency–because its *dead*. It would mean that works are also a contingency for that grace.
Now, I believe it’s a bit more mysterious than that, but what is clear to me is that faith and works are two sides of the same coin that avails us to the grace that saves us.
Nowhere in the Bible does it specifically say that you will be saved by faith alone. It says in places that you are justified by faith, but it never says *alone*. There are other verses, however (and not just the one above), that support the need for works for justification. It takes a certain linguistic acrobatics to discard them.
So the only way you can say with any confidence that the Bible supports the idea of justification by “faith alone,” is by bringing in previous *non-Biblical* knowledge. The reason I am confident in the Catholic interpretation is that it does in fact bring knowledge of Holy Tradition and the Deposit of Faith handed to us by Jesus Christ. So I’m good. But you (I assume) *reject* all foreknowledge that is extra-biblical. You are in a bit of a quandary, because you can do whatever acrobatics you want to support your interpretation, but in the end, it’s just one man’s interpretation that goes against the most straight-forward interpretation of James 2:24-26.
The evidence is there. Don’t take it up with me. I didn’t say it. Talk to God.
No. It’s not. You have satisfied yourself with a way to interpret that tells you what you want. But that isn’t reading evidence from the Bible. That is reading evidence *into* it.
James is not at odds with Paul.
I agree. He’s at odds with you.
“They are not antagonists facing each other with crossed swords; they stand back to back, confronting different foes of the gospel.” [Alexander Ross, "The Epistle of James and John," The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1954), 53.] In 1:17-18, James affirmed that salvation is a gift bestowed according to the sovereign will of God. Now he is stressing the importance of faith’s fruit—the righteous behavior that genuine faith always produces. Paul, too, saw righteous works as the necessary proof of faith.
Notice that they do not say “faith alone.” They are teaching about the importance of faith, but it is not exclusionary. It’s as if you read an essay on the importance of wheels to the bicycle, and based upon that information, you reject the need for the frame. The wheels being important and essential do not negate the critical need for the frame.
I repeat: Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you are saved by faith alone. That is an **innovation** of the Reformationists.
Those who imagine a discrepancy between James and Paul rarely observe that it was Paul who wrote, “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!” (Rom. 6:15); and “Having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (v. 18). Thus Paul condemns the same error James is exposing here. Paul never advocated any concept of dormant faith.
There are dozens of reasonable interpretations of those things. (And weren’t you the one complaining about people “ripping” lines out of context?) I actually interpreted that first line of Paul’s as saying: “Being in grace does not rid you of the obligation not to sin.”
When Paul writes, “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight,” (Rom. 3:20),
This has to do with circumcision, and relates to the Judaic law. There is a grand canyon’s worth of room for interpretation here. But the easiest way to make my point is to point out that Paul says further down in Romans 3:25-26 “Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins, Through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that he may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith of Jesus Christ.”
We know from James that faith without works is dead, so we know that the faith to which the verse refers is a faith achieved *with works*. We also *don’t see* anything like “faith and nothing else” in that chapter.
Additionally, in Romans 3:31, Paul concludes the chapter by saying: “Do we, then, destroy the law through faith? God forbid: but we establish the law.”
No matter how you twist the words, they are still consistent with the Orthodox understanding of faith and works. Your innovations *rely* upon the preconceptions you bring to the interpretation. And, your interpretations go against the most straight forward reading of James 2:24-26 and Romans 3:31. And *nowhere* in the Bible does it say you are saved by faith alone.
You are in a very, very wobbly situation to be telling the Mormons, “—Mormons should understand verses before they believe in them.”
Paul insists that no man can ever win justification through his own efforts … James demands that a man who already claims to stand in right relationship with God through faith must by a life of good works demonstrate that he has become a new creature in Christ.
This analysis of D. Edmond Hiebert seems to support the “faith and works” argument to me. He is saying above that works are essential.
With this Paul thoroughly agreed. Paul was rooting out ‘works’ that excluded and destroyed saving faith;
Right. Paul was “rooting out” specific ways of applying the law that were damaging. He said nothing about abolishing law, and as Romans 3:31 tells us, he explicitly rejects the notion.
James was stimulating a sluggish faith that minimized the results of saving faith in daily life.
So, D. Edmond Hiebert seems to support the idea that faith without works is dead. He’s just emphasizing a middle area where it’s simply “sluggish.”
It never ceases to amaze me the way sola scriptura crowd will play with language in order to impose their extra-biblical innovations upon interpretation of Scripture.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:40 pm


Anon
this discussion is on Mormonism. if you want to discuss the errors of Rome…the most blatant being intetrpreting Peter as “the rock” Jesus was referring to, as well as the Roman misinterpretation of the “keys to the kingdom”, both errors that completely fly in the face of the plain-meaning of scripture as well as the Koine Greek…then it would be best done on another board.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:56 pm


Every interpretation has to come directly from the Holy Spirit–if not, it is man’s interpretation and not to be heeded. I don’t accept man’s interpretations from the Bible, but from the Holy Spirit. He is the One who interpretates the Bible and not from man’s intellectual. I will choose any day, a man who is Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, than a man who is a scholor, and yet, doesn’t have the Holy Spirit living in him.
Oof. You have several problems here. First off, you seem to think that you can command the Holy Spirit to guarantee the correctness of you own personal interpretation of Scripture. That’s just downright scary, and I fear for your soul. Truly. You cannot command the Holy Spirit, my friend.
Second, there are thousands of Christian denominations who have split off from each other because they have called upon the Holy Spirit to interpret their Bible, and they have each come up with mutually exclusive and incompatible doctrines. If the Holy Spirit guaranteed their interpretation as you seem to think, these denominations would not be in disagreement. And the Holy Spirit certainly would not deceive them.
Third–Who are you to say who is filled with the Holy Spirit, and who is not? Who is to say that the Holy Spirit does not also work through Mormons in spite of their error about Him?
The sola scriptura crowd cites the Holy Spirit using Him as their own personal trump card for their interpretation. They place themselves as individual Masters of God, and claim their own personal authority based upon it. May God have mercy on them.
I wrote: Reasonable men might interpret Scripture in the way the Mormons believe. You don’t realize it, but all sola scriptura Christians *rely upon* Traditional Christian knowledge for their interpretations.
POC777 responded:
Chirstians rely upon the Bible as their foundation for truth–they don’t follow man. If Christians follow man–then they are in big trouble and will not get closer to God but futher.
Then I guess we should have ignored the Apostles.
Jesus Christ appointed men as his Church and authority on earth. He said very dramatic words to these men: Whatever they hold bound will be held bound in heaven! He gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom! I don’t follow the Church just because–I follow his Church because he **commanded it**. If Christ appoints men as his Church, I follow–and I will not be turned away from Christ’s Church simply because you do not like the fact that it consists of men. Especially since you offer me an alternative that is obviously bogus, and requires that I have the arrogance to command the Holy Spirit.
Repeatly the Bible teaches every Christian to trust in God and not man. Man is evil; God is not good! Since man is evil why should he be trusted as a reliable source for truth, if God is good and doesn’t lie?
You are reading your own wild interpretation into the Bible. The Bible shows that the Apostles started Churches everywhere and that these *men* were to continue that Church and be faithful to it.
Nowhere does it say that the Church should be ignored, and nowhere does it deny Church authority. The bigger picture of Scripture belies your personal rejection of Christ’s Church.
Right, but every Christian must be like a Berean and search the Scriptures(the Bible) if what people teach is true. If any teaching from any religion contradicts the Bible, it is false and must be denied immediately.
False according to whose interpretation? By what authority?
The doctrine of the Trinity as you said is only essential to the Christian–it is not a requirement.
You are confused. If it is essential, that means it is required.
The Deity of Jesus Christ–every Christian must know to understand the divinity of Jesus Christ, as God coming in the flesh, to this world to save mankind from their sin-debt. If a new Christian, doesn’t know these doctrines and then graduates from his or her body, that Christian is going to Heaven.
This really has nothing to do with the problems you have with interpretation. And it is not your place to say who goes to heaven, and who doesn’t. That is God’s decision. Once more, you are taking your own personal interpretation of Scripture and commanding God to follow your interpretation. And by doing so, you are making judgments that are *forbidden* to us. By what authority? By what authority is your interpretation worth anything?
I will always point to the robber next to Jesus on the cross, who repented of his sins and confessed “LORD”–who did not get baptized or even learned one doctrine–he went to Heaven on that day to be with Jesus Christ.
We have hope for all men. That is why I have rebuked a few for condemning Mormons. But this has nothing to do with the problems you have with interpretation.
I wrote: So you can look at Christianity and see that there is this essential doctrine that the Mormons do not share, and therefore conclude that Mormonism is not compatible with Christianity. But you cannot exclude them based on the fact that you like *your* interpretation of Scripture better than *theirs*.
POC777 responds:
Almost every post in this debate, cleary shows that Mormonism is not Christian. For the reason, that the BOM is not “another testament of Jesus Christ” because there are only two testaments: Old Testament and New Testament, which come from the Bible–Mormon doctrine… opposes, denies and contradicts on what God has already said in the Bible.
By what authority do you say that the BOM is not another testament of Jesus Christ? You reject the authority of Christian Orthodoxy, so you have nothing. Nothing in your Bible unequivocally and unmistakably rejects the possibility of another testament.
I reject their book. But it is impossible to reject the book on the basis of text alone.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 12:57 pm


since you brought it up…
Robert Sungenis and evpi. tau,th|
by James White
The book, Jesus, Peter & the Keys, attempts to provide responses to some of the arguments that have been put forward against the unique, and sometimes very strained, exegetical claims of Rome. In particular, this book often cites Robert Sungenis, a Westminster Seminary graduate, as their primary source of Greek scholar. While we are unaware of any advanced study in the field on the part of Mr. Sungenis beyond a Master’s degree, and have never been informed that he has professional teaching experience, published scholarly works, etc., his opinions on the grammar of the Greek text are presented as the “final word” by Jesus, Peter & the Keys (see our summary review elsewhere on this page)
On page 25 of JP&K, Sungenis is cited in response to an argument that I have presented a number of times. In fact, Sungenis’ comments on pages 24 and 25 are taken directly from those he made in our debate at Boston College in 1995. Beginning on page 24, Sungenis attempts to strengthen the Roman Catholic identification of Peter as the rock of Matthew 16:18 by discussing, briefly, the demonstrative pronoun tau,th|, which is the dative feminine singular form of ou=toj, meaning “this.” He points out that at times this term can be translated “this very” as in “this very night your soul is required of you” (Luke 12:20). While this is quite true, it is also quite irrelevant, for even the translation “and upon this very rock I will build My church” does not shed any light whatsoever upon the identity of the “rock.” In fact, I believe such a translation would argue against the position Sungenis takes, for there would be no reason to use a demonstrative pronoun with such emphasis immediately upon saying su. ei= Pe,troj (You are Peter) if Jesus was identifying Peter and the “rock.” The more tau,th| is emphasized, the less likely the antecedent is Peter. That is, the stronger tau,th| is translated, the stronger the disjunction between Peter and this rock.
The main argument I have presented in the past, and to which Sungenis and Scott Butler are attempting to respond in JP&K, is this: when one reads the text as it stands (i.e., when one does not immediately abandon the Greek and run to a mythical, unverifiable “Aramaic original”), one is struck with how strange it is that Jesus takes the “long way around” to get to making the equation “Peter = rock” if in fact that is His intention. It would have been much simpler to say, “You are Peter, and on you I will build My church.” But He didn’t say that. Instead, here are His words:

kavgw. de, soi le,gw o[ti su. ei= Pe,troj( kai. evpi. tau,th| th/| pe,tra| oivkodomh,sw mou th.n evkklhsi,an
As we simply translate the passage and attempt to ascertain the meaning, we note that Jesus begins with direct personal address to Peter. "And I say to you (soi)" is singular, addressed to Peter and to Peter alone. This is continued in the first part of the main statement, "You (su,) are (singular) Peter." This is known as direct address. Jesus is speaking in the first person, and Peter is in the second person, being directly addressed by the Lord. Up to this point, all is clear and understandable.
Then we run into the phrase at issue. kai. evpi. tau,th| th/| pe,tra is indeed singular; there is only one "rock" in view. The issue is, to what does tau,th| refer? As a pronoun, it has an antecedent, a referent that it is pointing back to. Rome insists the referent is Peter.* But if it is, why use a demonstrative pronoun at all? Jesus has used two personal pronouns of Peter already in this sentence, soi and su,. He could have easily said, "and upon you the rock," (evpi. se, or evpi. soi, th/| pe,tra). But again, He didn’t. Instead, he switches from direct address to the demonstrative "this." I have expressed this, in non-technical language, as going from second person, "you, Peter," to third person, "this rock." "This rock" is referring to something other than the person who was being addressed in the preceding phrase, something that we find in the immediate context. A natural reading of the passage (one that I truly believe would be nigh unto universal if history had not fallen out as it did, with only one "apostolic see" in the West, the continuance of the Empire in the East, etc.) makes it plain what must function as the antecedent of the demonstrative pronoun:

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
The confession that Peter gives of the Messiahship of Jesus is the central thought of the entire passage. It is the reason for the trip to Caesarea Philippi. Jesus indicates that Peter has just been the recipient of divine revelation. God, in His grace, has given to Peter an insight that does not find its origin in the will of man, but in God the Father Himself. The content of that confession is, in fact, divine revelation, immediately impressed upon the soul of Peter. This is the immediate context of verse 18, and to divorce verse 18 from what came before leads to the errant shift of attention from the identity of Christ to the identity of Peter that is found in Roman Catholic exegesis. Certainly we cannot accept the idea, presented in Roman theology, that immediately upon pronouncing the benediction upon Peter’s confession of faith, the focus shifts away from that confession and what it reveals to Peter himself and some office with successors based upon him! Not only does the preceding context argue against this, but the following context likewise picks up seemlessly with what came before: the identity of Jesus as Messiah. Hence, the logical antecedent for tau,th| is Peter’s confession. Such not only commands the most logical grammatical sense, but it also commands the obvious teaching of the rest of the New Testament itself! While Peter falls out of view by Acts 15, the centrality of the Messiahship of Jesus continues in the forefront throughout the recorded history of the primitive Church.
Hence I have suggested that the shift from the direct address of Peter to the use of the demonstrative pronoun, pointing us back to something prior, specifically, the confession of faith, that will function as the foundation of the Church Christ promises to build, is significant and must be explained by the Roman apologist who seeks to present an interpretation that is to be binding upon all Christians. It is this argument that forms the background of what we find in JP&K, p. 25:

A Protestant grammatical argument sometimes made in trying to interpret Matthew 16:18 away from the traditional Christian interpretation centers on the "person" to whom statements are addressed; that is, Peter is addressed in the second person but the rock is referred to in the third person, thereby making for different referents. Robert Sungenis has a response:

"The first thing we must point out is that on strict grammatical grounds nouns do not have person, only pronouns have person. The pronouns, 'I,' 'you,' and 'he' are first, second and third person, respectively. Nouns, on the other hand, have number, gender and case but not person. Hence, it is not correct to say that 'rock,' which MacKenzie and Gerstner have claimed is a 'third person' noun, cannot be matched up with the second person pronoun 'you' from the phrase 'you are Peter' in Matthew 16:18. One cannot claim a disjunction between 'you' and 'rock' based on person since technically speaking no such comparison is grammatically legitimate. Although one could possibly advance the argument that nouns have an inherent third person, this would not prohibit the coupling between 'you' and 'rock.' If MacKenzie's and Gerstner's argument were true, then they would also have to argue that 'I' and 'church' in Jesus' statement, 'I will build my church' could not be linked with one another since the former is in the first person and the latter would be a third person. One can plainly see that this would be a fallacious line of argumentation. In regard to Peter, Jesus could have said either 'you are Peter' or 'you are rock' in which the second person 'you' is directly identified by either of the nouns following." Robert A. Sungenis, letter to authors, 7 November 1995, 2-3.

There is thus strong evidence in the Greek language that Peter is the rock upon which the Church of Christ will be built.

First, we note that the authors of JP&K are quite in error in stating that anyone is wishing to turn someone aside from "the traditional Christian interpretation" of this passage. Unless our authors are wanting to redefine "traditional" to merely "Roman," they need to deal with the conclusions of von D?nger, in his work The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1869), 74:

Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matt 16:18, John 21:17), not a single one applies them to the Roman bishops as Peter’s successors. How many Fathers have busied themselves with these texts, yet not one of them whose commentaries we possess—Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Cyril, Theodoret, and those whose interpretations are collected in catenas—has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Rome is the consequence of the commission and promise to Peter! Not one of them has explained the rock or foundation on which Christ would build His Church of the office given to Peter to be transmitted to his successors, but they understood by it either Christ Himself, or Peter’s confession of faith in Christ; often both together. Or else they thought Peter was the foundation equally with all the other Apostles, the twelve being together the foundation-stones of the church. The Fathers could the less recognize in the power of the keys, and the power of binding and loosing, any special prerogative or lordship of the Roman bishop, inasmuch as—what is obvious to any one at first sight—they did not regard the power first given to Peter, and afterwards conferred on all the Apostles, as any thing peculiar to him, or hereditary in the line of Roman bishops, and they held the symbol of the keys as meaning just the same as the figurative expression of binding and loosing.

And Oscar Cullman in Peter, Disciple, Apostle, and Martyr (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1953), p. 162, rightly concluded regarding Matthew 16:18, "We thus see that the exegesis that the Reformation gave . . . was not first invented for their struggle against the papacy; it rests upon an older patristic tradition."
But this aside, we turn to Sungenis’ comments. First, a small issue: he confuses the late John Gerstner with Norman Geisler, who co-authored Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995) with Ralph MacKenzie. Secondly, he is quite right: on a strict grammatical ground demonstrative pronouns do not have "person" as in "first person, second person, third person." However, I note the date on this letter: November, 1995. This is many months after I had explained, in public debate, his error in understanding this argument the way he does. While he tries to recover some in this attempted rebuttal, he is still in error. He has yet to seriously interact with the comments I have made on this topic in the context in which they have been offered. It’s not like I only recently came up with this argument: we can find me presenting it in my book, Answers to Catholic Claims (Southbridge, MA: Crowne Publications, 1990), p. 105. Note that this is from 1990. Dr. Geisler makes note of this work on page 208 of his work, the page immediately following the one that contains the argument Sungenis cites. Dr. Geisler derived the form of the argument Sungenis cites from my own work. Hence, the original context in which I presented this argument, and have expounded this argument, even personally to Mr. Sungenis in debate, is decisive. I quote from Answers to Catholic Claims:

Next, note that when Christ speaks to Peter, He does so in the second person; that is, direct address. Yet, the term "this rock" is third person (indirect address indicated by the use of tau,th|), making the differentiation between "Peter" and "this rock" complete, even if one accepts the Catholic apologists’ contention of an Aramaic original without differentiation of the genders, masculine and feminine, of "rock." He is speaking to Peter, about the "rock." Hence the text differentiates between Peter and the rock in two ways: the form of the word, and the person of address.

Please note that I have always defined my use of "person" by proper grammatical forms, "direct address" and "indirect address." I am well aware of the fact that pronouns do not have person. I have consistently used the term "person" in its English equivalent, attempting to communicate the fact that Jesus is shifting in His terminology by referring to something other than Peter by using tau,th|. It is a hollow victory indeed that only proves that I do not always use technical terminology when attempting to communicate a point to non-Greek speaking audiences.
Hence, leaving the matter of the term "person" aside and dealing with the argument as I have presented it above, and as I presented it in 1990 in my published works, does Sungenis succeed in responding to the argument itself? No, he does not. In fact, if one removes the terminological issue, Sungenis fails completely to interact with the argument as presented! Why is it invalid to point out the insertion of a demonstrative pronoun when the personal pronouns already used in the prior portion of the sentence would have made things so much clearer, if in fact Jesus was just continuing on in referring to Peter himself? Does Sungenis deny the fact that tau,th| must have an antecedent, and that it is not immediately provable that this antecedent is Peter? Does he deny that the context and flow of the passage must be taken into account to answer this question? None of the real issues are touched upon at all by Sungenis, and this despite the fact that I pointed these things out to him in the Boston College debate earlier the same year! [I should note that it is possible Mr. Sungenis did not hear my rebuttal of his comments: both he and Mr. Butler frequently left the stage for long periods during the debate, and he may well have missed my rebuttal due to such an absence. It is not, however, my recollection that he was gone at this particular juncture.]
We should point out that Sungenis is completely in error to attempt to correlate the argument concerning tau,th| with Jesus’ statement “I will build my church.” The passage is not even remotely similar. You have no demonstrative pronoun, you have no direct address in one clause, followed by an interruption using a demonstrative in the second. You have no question as to what the antecedent of the demonstrative is. In fact, one has to truly wonder how Mr. Sungenis came up with such an argument, unless he is truly thinking that anyone, whether myself or Geisler and MacKenzie, are so na? as to assert that every verb and noun has to agree in every respect in every clause of a sentence (person, number, etc.)! Such has never been anyone’s argument, so why set up and then beat down a straw man?
We can only hope that the authors of JP&K, and Robert Sungenis, will someday take the time to actually interact with the argument that has been presented to them now for nearly seven years. Until they do so, their exegesis of Matthew 16 will continue to be questionable, having failed to respond to a meaningful challenge to its validity.
*We are glad that many Roman exegetes acknowledge that Peter’s confession of faith must be taken into account in this passage. Indeed, the Council of Trent even made reference to this! However, modern Roman dogma, in attempting to elevate the Pope to the height of “Infallible Head of the Church,” has had to rely so strongly on this singular passage, that allowance of other viewpoints or interpretations is difficult for the Roman apologist to accept.
—from http://www.aomin.org



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AC

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:03 pm


The Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
What then is the role of works? Fruit of our salvation:
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
The *we* in “we are His workmanship” are those who have been “created in Christ Jesus*. These new creations were created for: good works.
If someone claims to be a “new creation” and yet produces no good works then that person’s profession of faith is “dead”. Why? Because “new creations” always produce works, some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold, and some hundred-fold. Thus “faith without works” is truly dead. It is counterfeit. True saving faith (the type of faith that those who are *created in Christ Jesus* possess) always produces works. How do we know if someone’s faith is dead or whether it is salvific? Our Lord gives us the answer, “You will know them by their fruits”.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:04 pm


Mr. 12:40. If you would actually read the progression of the posts, you would see that the facts presented have everything to do with Mormonism. I use them to compare authority with the lack of authority that is being used to discredit Mormonism through scripture alone. They are also being used to ridicule those who ridiculed Mormons for interpreting scripture.
I’m all for a fair comparison of Truth and a discussion that supports one religion over another. But I am not for an *unfair* one. I have the same problem with these guys as I do with some of the Mormons. They believe they can impose meaning on things by sheer will, and they wreak distruction on meaning by doing so. They hurt both Mormonism and Christianity by doing so–probably Christianity more so.
But thanks for looking out for me.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:12 pm


Mr. 12:56, I haven’t even read your post because you aren’t having a discussion, you are being lazy and regurgitating a bunch of text of some dude I really don’t care about.
All I have to do to refute whatever it is you are saying with your personal interpretation of the Keys of the Kingdom and other such things is: By what authority do you say my interpretation is wrong? By what authority do you say that your interpretation is right?
Clearly *you* have a problem with providing your interpretation any kind of credibility. No matter how many scholars you cite, these are just men who brought their preconceived notions to the table and made thier interpretations accordingly. But by what authority? Do you command the Holy Spirit?
Obviously, the Catholic interpretation of those Scriptures are *solid*. They are reasonable, and they are harmonious with all of the rest of Scripture. You cannot refute that simply because you don’t like it.
I may or may not read the rest of it when I have time.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:24 pm


“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
AC, there is still a Grand Canyons worth of room for interpretation here.
The funny thing is that we can all come up with lines in Scripture that seem to contradict. And we all are *forced* to realize that there must be some different meaning for them not to contradict. But then *you* AC bring your own preconceived notions to the table to reconcile those apparent contradictions. You read into the Bible, not out of it.
So, when I see the above quote, I ask myself: “What does it mean in the context of what has already been said?” Since we know faith without works is dead, we know that the “faith” mentioned in the quote includes works, and we also know that something mysterious is meant by “works” here. Especially when you consider that an act of faith is a *work*.
Consider the fact that it says it (which is clearly grace) is the gift of God, not works. Well–how do you know that this isn’t talking about the works of faith? In other words, the complete verse is intended to say something like: “You are saved by grace *through* faith, but not because of it, because grace, ultimately, is a gift from God.”
Perfectly reasonable.
We can play this game all day–and that is the nature of my main argument. WE CANNOT RESOLVE THIS BY CITING TEXT ALONE. No matter what I say, you will have a counter interpretation. No matter what you say, I will have a counter interpretation. And all of these interpretations might be perfectly reasonable. But it gets us nowhere, because there is no authority whatsoever behind your intepretations. I have no reason at all to choose your pet ideas–innovations of the Reformation–over the teachings of the Church Christ ordained.
I am not going to play this text exchange game. It is endless and it does violence to *meaning*.



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David Dittmer

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:25 pm


Whether a person is a Christian, boils down to a few key questions.
1) Do they accept the god that is revealed in the Bible, that is a one god in three persons? This doctrine, though never stated outright in the Bible, as many surely will have claimed, is still very clear. In the Old Testament, God is revealed as being “one” and that there was no other before or after Him. In the New Testament, there are three distinct persons identified as God: The Father, The Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. This would sound like there are three distinct gods, except that they are constantly identified as being one (see John 1). Thus we come to the doctrine of a Triune God. Therefore, if a person denies this, they are by definition not a Christian because they reject the God of the very Christ they claim to serve.
2) Do they accept that Jesus was God? Many say that Jesus never claimed that He was God, and to them I would say that they need to read the Bible more closely. Jesus did claim to be God, and quite often. Just one example of this would be where Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” Another would be where He said, “before Abraham was, I am.” This isn’t just some slip of the tongue, Jesus was ascribing to himself the covenant name of God and at the same time also eternality. So, if you reject that Jesus was God, that leaves him to be either a madman or a fool. And neither of these, I believe, would be worth following.
3) Are they saved? Now, I know that there is all kinds of controversy over what this means, but I believe if you take the Bible at face value it is very clear. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), one way or another and stand at enmity with God. Jesus, who was God, came to earth in the form of a man and lived a perfect life then died on the cross. This was to pay the price for our sin, which is death (Romans 6:23), so that we wouldn’t have to to. He was then resurrected from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). So, what does it take to be saved? First we have to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, this means we have to acknowledge that He is God (the Greek word “kurios,” which is translated lord, carries with it the connotation of deity)and the sovereign of our lives. Secondly we have to believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. Now how is all this accomplished, by the Grace of God working through our faith and apart from our good deeds. If we place our trust in Christs atoning sacrifice on the cross, then we are saved.
In conclusion, if any one rejects any of these three, they are definitionally not a Christian. And as far as I know, the Mormon church rejects all three. So, while the Mormon church and the three major branches of Christianity may agree on many things, Mormonism is not just another Christian denomination, it is a heretical off-shoot of Christianity.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:26 pm


Mr. 12:56, I haven’t even read your post because you aren’t having a discussion, you are being lazy and regurgitating a bunch of text of some dude I really don’t care about.

This is a convenient way of avoiding interacting with facts contradict your view. It matters not whether I cite an article or whether you regurgitate what a priest taught you. You can choose to interact with the evidence or you can hide from it by using excuses like this.

All I have to do to refute whatever it is you are saying with your personal interpretation of the Keys of the Kingdom and other such things is: By what authority do you say my interpretation is wrong? By what authority do you say that your interpretation is right?

Umm…how about the rules and uses of the Koine Greek language that the New Testament was written in. Or are those just “my interpratation” as well?

Clearly *you* have a problem with providing your interpretation any kind of credibility. No matter how many scholars you cite, these are just men who brought their preconceived notions to the table and made thier interpretations accordingly. But by what authority? Do you command the Holy Spirit?

see above response. i’m providing scholarly sources based up universal facts (like grammar, or publications of the LDS Church), you, however, have provided no such support other than your own opinions. i never mentioned the Holy Spirit at all so I’m not sure where you’re grasping that from.

Obviously, the Catholic interpretation of those Scriptures are *solid*. They are reasonable, and they are harmonious with all of the rest of Scripture. You cannot refute that simply because you don’t like it.

and the fingers go into the ears and “lalalalalala”. I just provided an article that clearly refutes the Roman interpretation based on grammar. You cannot refute that simply because you don’t like it.



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Travis

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:42 pm


As a Christian (who is not a Mormon), I am primarily concerned with the truth claims of the LDS that are historically, archaeologically, and geographically incompatible with the facts.
I would encourage anyone interested in in learning about the differences between historical Christianity and the claims of the LDS to investigate the facts for themselves.
Here is a good place to start: http://www.lhvm.org/vid_bible_med.htm



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 2:15 pm


This is a convenient way of avoiding interacting with facts contradict your view. It matters not whether I cite an article or whether you regurgitate what a priest taught you. You can choose to interact with the evidence or you can hide from it by using excuses like this.
Oh, please. Get over yourself. First of all, look at the thousands of words in this discussion that I have read and written.
Second, I can dump thousands more words in front of you and claim “you just aren’t willing to face the evidence” if you don’t read them. I have read many, many books on religion, and I have no reason to believe that what you have dumped here isn’t just more of the same tired out old arguments along with the claim that you somehow command the Holy Spirit. If you want to have a discussion–select the actual arguments that you think refutes my position instead of being lazy and dumping that whole thing as if it made the argument for you. (Unless you simply don’t want to be taken seriously.)
Third, I have presented you with an objection. If–somewhere in that mass of text–there is something that deals with that objection (I truly doubt there is) please indicate it so that we can scrutinize it without going through the rest of the tedious stuff.
Fourth, I said I might read it. But without any commentary from your about what its salient points are, there really is no reason for me to do so.
Fifth, making the statement “This is a convenient way of avoiding interacting with facts contradict your view.” in the context of this discussion is a puerile, shoolyard statement to make. Grow up.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 2:28 pm


Umm…how about the rules and uses of the Koine Greek language that the New Testament was written in. Or are those just “my interpratation” as well?
They absolutely do not change the fact that you are interpreting text. Any self-respecting linguist will tell you that. Words–whether Koine Greek or American English–are not absolute. If they were–meaning would have to be relative.
You also state that as if Koine Greek were absolutely understood without error, and that is an obviously silly thing to imply.
I wrote: …Do you command the Holy Spirit?
…see above response.
The above response obviously does nothing for you. It actually demonstrates your disconnect with reality.
i’m providing scholarly sources based up universal facts (like grammar, or publications of the LDS Church), you, however, have provided no such support other than your own opinions.
Wait a minute. You are claiming that you are the master of universal grammar over everyone else? You are under the delusion that grammar is static? You are clearly delusional about the first, and excessively uneducated about the second.
And why should I except for a second the authority that you claim over grammar (chuckle) and the authority of the “scholars” you cite? And why should I reject 2000 years worth of scholarship that was done by the Catholic Church?
i never mentioned the Holy Spirit at all so I’m not sure where you’re grasping that from.
Just a mix of posters. But if you don’t claim the Holy Spirit (which I consider fortunate for your sake), what authority do you claim?
You obviously have none.
I wrote: Obviously, the Catholic interpretation of those Scriptures are *solid*. They are reasonable, and they are harmonious with all of the rest of Scripture. You cannot refute that simply because you don’t like it.
You replied: and the fingers go into the ears and “lalalalalala”. I just provided an article that clearly refutes the Roman interpretation based on grammar. You cannot refute that simply because you don’t like it.
Pish posh. Do you think taunting improves your position? You haven’t proven squat with your document. I know it before I read it. Please tell us what about that article *proves* it. If you cannot articulate it, you don’t understand it yourself, and you are only hoping they prove it because you want to dump someone elses writing into a post and pretend that you have “won.”
And, yet, notice that you have not shown any reason at all why we should accept your authority.
Get over yourself, man.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 2:44 pm


Oh, please. Get over yourself. First of all, look at the thousands of words in this discussion that I have read and written.

You are still avoiding the arguments put forward. I’m not going to be distracted by “arguing about arguing”. Either read and respond or choose not to. I have read almost all of what you have posted and I haven’t seen anything other than your opinion informed by Rome.

Second, I can dump thousands more words in front of you and claim “you just aren’t willing to face the evidence” if you don’t read them. I have read many, many books on religion, and I have no reason to believe that what you have dumped here isn’t just more of the same tired out old arguments along with the claim that you somehow command the Holy Spirit. If you want to have a discussion–select the actual arguments that you think refutes my position instead of being lazy and dumping that whole thing as if it made the argument for you. (Unless you simply don’t want to be taken seriously.)

I could care less how many books you’ve read on religion. If you put forth a source, I will read it and address any arguments in it. You, however, refuse to do the same. Its easy to believe something and gorge yourself on only sources that support what you believe. Its another thing to interact with opposing viewpoints. Truth stands up to cross-examination.

Third, I have presented you with an objection. If–somewhere in that mass of text–there is something that deals with that objection (I truly doubt there is) please indicate it so that we can scrutinize it without going through the rest of the tedious stuff.
Fourth, I said I might read it. But without any commentary from your about what its salient points are, there really is no reason for me to do so.

The whole thing is salient or else i would not have posted the whole thing. I can’t help it if someone might be too lazy to read it. You are quite good at dismissing things without reading them. I’m sorry if its “tedious”. Not everything can be packaged up for you in a nice neat little package. Sometimes we must do some heavy lifting.

Fifth, making the statement “This is a convenient way of avoiding interacting with facts contradict your view.” in the context of this discussion is a puerile, shoolyard statement to make. Grow up.

When someone in a discussion is presented with an opposing viewpoint and they do not respond and try to redirect the conversation, or dismiss the facts without even reading them, that is avoiding interaction with the facts. I’m sorry if that offended you. If I speed and get pulled over and the officer tells me I was speeding, I’m not going to tell him “thats a puerile, shoolyard statement to make. Grow up.” If you’re not willing to read or interact with opposing facts put forth, you are avoiding interacting with them whether you’re offended at that statement or not.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:03 pm


Anon
you, like the Mormons on this board, continually refuse to have a real discussion. When someone places facts before you that are contradictory to your viewpoint, you either refuse to read them (15 minutes of reading is apparently way too much) or you shift focus to something that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
so, you can blow all the hot air you would like. your absence of ability to understand the concept of “grammar rules” is truly amazing, but I’m not going to follow you down this rabbit trail. until you want to have an actual scholarly discussion, I am done responding. i don’t have the time to spend endlessly chasing you down these rabbit trails while you avoid the essential elements of the contradicting facts you have been presented.
i have seen this go on forever from other Mormons and Roman Catholics and I know it is almost always fruitless. have a good day and please know i have no ill will towards you whatsoever and i wish you the best.



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Mike Bennion

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:08 pm


David Dittmer recently made these comments critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
David: Whether a person is a Christian, boils down to a few key questions.
David: 1) Do they accept the god that is revealed in the Bible, that is a one god in three persons? In the New Testament, there are three distinct persons identified as God: The Father, The Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. This would sound like there are three distinct gods, except that they are constantly identified as being one (see John 1). Thus we come to the doctrine of a Triune God. Therefore, if a person denies this, they are by definition not a Christian because they reject the God of the very Christ they claim to serve.
Mike: Mormons accept the God that is revealed in the Bible. We believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct persons. We also believe that they are one God. We believe the account in John 17. It states that believers may also be one with God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, as they are one with each other. This unity as expressed in John 17 is a unity of love, power, understanding and will. there is no verse in the Bible that defines the unity of the Godhead as being physical, or any other way besides that defined in John 17.
David: 2) Do they accept that Jesus was God? Many say that Jesus never claimed that He was God, and to them I would say that they need to read the Bible more closely. Jesus did claim to be God, and quite often. Just one example of this would be where Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” Another would be where He said, “before Abraham was, I am.” This isn’t just some slip of the tongue, Jesus was ascribing to himself the covenant name of God and at the same time also eternality.
Mike: Mormons accept that Jesus was and is God. When Jesus said that he and the Father are one and before Abraham was I am, Mormons believe Him. That oneness again ius expressed in John 17. Mormons believe that Jesus is co-eternal with the Father.
David: 3) Are they saved? Now, I know that there is all kinds of controversy over what this means, but I believe if you take the Bible at face value it is very clear. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), one way or another and stand at enmity with God. Jesus, who was God, came to earth in the form of a man and lived a perfect life then died on the cross. This was to pay the price for our sin, which is death (Romans 6:23), so that we wouldn’t have to to. He was then resurrected from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). So, what does it take to be saved? First we have to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, this means we have to acknowledge that He is God (the Greek word “kurios,” which is translated lord, carries with it the connotation of deity)and the sovereign of our lives. Secondly we have to believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. Now how is all this accomplished, by the Grace of God working through our faith and apart from our good deeds. If we place our trust in Christs atoning sacrifice on the cross, then we are saved.
Mike: Statements David made about salvation:
We are all sinners. Mormons agree.
Jesus, who is God, lived a prefect live and atoned for our sins. Mormons agree.
Jesus paid for our sins so we wouldn’t have to. Mormons agree
Jesus was resurrected and returned to the Father. Mormons Agree
To be saved we must:
a) confess Jesus with our mouth. Mormons would say this is a good first step.
b) believe in our hearts that God raised him form the dead. Mormons believe this,
David says all of this is accomplished by the Grace of God working through faith and apart from our good deeds. Mormons believe that without Grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we could never be saved.
What has Jesus told us we should do so that we may lay hold on this faith and his grace?
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will DO what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
What does Jesus say? “anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing”.
So faith is not just an abstract concept, but a concrete principle demonstrated by doing. “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21) “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:23-24)
26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Let’s recap: We show love and faith for Jesus and his Father by obeying their commandments and teachings. the Holy Ghost will teach or reveal what we should do. If we do those things the Father and Son will come and dwell with us.
Now Jesus teaches how we are saved
1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4)
Jesus says that the branches that are cut off are those that “bear no fruit” that is, they do not do the works Jesus commands. Even those disciples that do his works will be tried and tested to allow them to grow and do even more. Once a branch is cut off from Christ, due to a lack of faith manifested by failing to keep his commandments, it cannot live or bear fruit apart from him.
5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8)
9″As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:9-14)
David concludes by saying: “In conclusion, if any one rejects any of these three, they are definitionally not a Christian. And as far as I know, the Mormon church rejects all three. So, while the Mormon church and the three major branches of Christianity may agree on many things, Mormonism is not just another Christian denomination, it is a heretical off-shoot of Christianity.”
Mike: David hasn’t studied enough about the Mormons to know what he is talking about. Since we reject none of the three conditions David states. and since the bible tells us how to lay hold on Fatih in John 14 and 15, and how to be one as God is one, and since Mormons believe that this Bible teaching is true, we are most definitely Christians.



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David Chiu

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:17 pm


Travis –
That PBS special on the Mormons had a telling quote from some guy who was a real doubter, something like:
“… there is no more archaeological etc. evidence for the Book of Mormon, than there is for the historical verifiability of Jesus.”
What are accepted as “facts” is ever evolving, especially in science, as well as history.
As I said above, contradiction is often in the eye of the beholder.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Mike Bennion,
Either you believe in things that differ from official LDS Church documents or you are using the same Christian terms David used, but they mean different things to you than they do to David.
When Mormons and Christians are forced to define what they mean when they use Christian terms, thats where you find the differences.



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Mike Bennion

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:30 pm


I have been a Mormon for 43 years and have extensively studied LDS and non-LDS doctrine at a graduate University Level. I know what the Mormon church believes and my statements above are consistent with that belief.
I just quoted the Bible to support my assertions. Show me where what I said is wrong.
I invite you to discuss this with me our website is truthrestored.townhall.com



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Mike Bennion

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:32 pm


I’m off to work. I’ll check in on this later.
Mike



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm


To the blog monitor,
If you are going to censor me for issues of courtesy, I think you should be consistent and delete several of the posts above. I am no less courtious than they are to me.
In the meantime, “Message received.”



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:44 pm


Ah!
Here is why you are reviewing my post:
URLS: You may share the URL of a web resource other members may find useful, but you agree not to post URLs repeatedly or for the purpose of promoting a website or service (see “Solicitation” above). You agree not to post a hyperlink to or URL of a site that violates these Rules of Conduct. You will not reproduce chain letters, pyramid schemes, mail fraud schemes, or any other unauthorized advertising.
I was absolutely NOT promoting anything. I was posting links to articles that were *directly* relevant to the discussion. Thanks.
Hopefully you will see the purpose in what I did so that my interlocutors can see it shortly. :)



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:57 pm


I have been a Mormon for 43 years and have extensively studied LDS and non-LDS doctrine at a graduate University Level. I know what the Mormon church believes and my statements above are consistent with that belief.

I understand perfectly the above statement, but it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Mormonism is true. It only serves to illustrate that you are well versed in the Mormon faith. That, I do not doubt.

I just quoted the Bible to support my assertions. Show me where what I said is wrong.

I never said you were wrong anywhere. My point is that when a Mormon says he believes in Jesus, it is different than a Christian saying he believes in Jesus.
To a Mormon, Jesus is a spirit-brother of Lucifer. To a Christian, he isn’t. Mormons and Christians can say the exact same sentence, yet mean completely different things. Thats is my point…that when Mormons and Christians are forced to define the terms they use, then it is plain to see there are fundamental differences.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 3:59 pm


you, like the Mormons on this board, continually refuse to have a real discussion.
It seems to me that *you* are the one who has yet to respond to the issue of authority. You criticize me – taunt me – for not following up, but now you get cranky and run? That is profoundly hypocritical.
When someone places facts before you that are contradictory to your viewpoint, you either refuse to read them (15 minutes of reading is apparently way too much) or you shift focus to something that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
The problem is that you are bent out of shape because we don’t accept your authority regarding “facts.” But your “facts” are wrong. And now that you are exposed as having no authority whatsoever, you are upset. You are upset that you – by force of will – cannot play God and tell us what the facts are.
so, you can blow all the hot air you would like.
It’s my favorite pass-time. Thanks.
your absence of ability to understand the concept of “grammar rules” is truly amazing, but I’m not going to follow you down this rabbit trail.
You mean–my absence of accepting your simple-minded error about the nature of grammar? And my refusal to let you name yourself Master of Grammar over the rest of us?
until you want to have an actual scholarly discussion, I am done responding. i don’t have the time to spend endlessly chasing you down these rabbit trails while you avoid the essential elements of the contradicting facts you have been presented.
Yeah. That’s right. *I’m* running away. (If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be funny.)
i have seen this go on forever from other Mormons and Roman Catholics and I know it is almost always fruitless.
Right. It is fruitless because your sophistry has met a dead end. You have found yourself with no authority and no reasonable way to back up your view. It is fruitless because you are trying to tear down a Church of brick by whipping it with a chewing gum wrapper.
have a good day and please know i have no ill will towards you whatsoever and i wish you the best.
No. There was no ill will in the way you taunted me at all. And there is no ill will in me saying that you are running away and proving the lack of authority behind everything you said above.
While you are running, you might stop somewhere to get a book on linguitstics. A college bookstore would be best.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 4:19 pm


Anon,
excellent scholarly post. your words reveal much truth about yourself.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 4:25 pm


Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18



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Wizard of ID

posted July 6, 2007 at 6:38 pm


Unsigned @ 3.03: You’re the same person who was trying to entice me into a scripture bash yesterday. You failed then, so now you’re going after a moderate Christian instead. Seems you’re getting mad because he’s not interested in being abused and insulted by you either.
Have you considered consulting a therapist about these obsessional issues? You seem to be doing the blog equivalent of stalking. You know what I mean … becoming fixated on a particular person, and finally becoming aggressive when they refuse to react the way you fantasized they would.
15 minutes of reading is apparently way too much
You got that one right! Nobody here owes you that much.
until you want to have an actual scholarly discussion
I love scholarly discussions. But you’re no scholar.



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:03 pm


Every interpretation has to come directly from the Holy Spirit–if not, it is man’s interpretation and not to be heeded. I don’t accept man’s interpretations from the Bible, but from the Holy Spirit. He is the One who interpretates the Bible and not from man’s intellectual. I will choose any day, a man who is Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, than a man who is a scholor, and yet, doesn’t have the Holy Spirit living in him.
Oof. You have several problems here. First off, you seem to think that you can command the Holy Spirit to guarantee the correctness of you own personal interpretation of Scripture. That’s just downright scary, and I fear for your soul. Truly. You cannot command the Holy Spirit, my friend.
Second, there are thousands of Christian denominations who have split off from each other because they have called upon the Holy Spirit to interpret their Bible, and they have each come up with mutually exclusive and incompatible doctrines. If the Holy Spirit guaranteed their interpretation as you seem to think, these denominations would not be in disagreement. And the Holy Spirit certainly would not deceive them.
Third–Who are you to say who is filled with the Holy Spirit, and who is not? Who is to say that the Holy Spirit does not also work through Mormons in spite of their error about Him?
The sola scriptura crowd cites the Holy Spirit using Him as their own personal trump card for their interpretation. They place themselves as individual Masters of God, and claim their own personal authority based upon it. May God have mercy on them.
I wrote: Reasonable men might interpret Scripture in the way the Mormons believe. You don’t realize it, but all sola scriptura Christians *rely upon* Traditional Christian knowledge for their interpretations.
POC777 responded:
Chirstians rely upon the Bible as their foundation for truth–they don’t follow man. If Christians follow man–then they are in big trouble and will not get closer to God but futher.
Then I guess we should have ignored the Apostles.
Jesus Christ appointed men as his Church and authority on earth. He said very dramatic words to these men: Whatever they hold bound will be held bound in heaven! He gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom! I don’t follow the Church just because–I follow his Church because he **commanded it**. If Christ appoints men as his Church, I follow–and I will not be turned away from Christ’s Church simply because you do not like the fact that it consists of men. Especially since you offer me an alternative that is obviously bogus, and requires that I have the arrogance to command the Holy Spirit.
Repeatly the Bible teaches every Christian to trust in God and not man. Man is evil; God is not good! Since man is evil why should he be trusted as a reliable source for truth, if God is good and doesn’t lie?
You are reading your own wild interpretation into the Bible. The Bible shows that the Apostles started Churches everywhere and that these *men* were to continue that Church and be faithful to it.
Nowhere does it say that the Church should be ignored, and nowhere does it deny Church authority. The bigger picture of Scripture beliefs your personal rejection of Christ’s Church.
My response:
That’s not even what I said above–you denied my question.Repeatly the Bible teaches every Christian to trust in God and not man. Man is evil; God is not good! Since man is evil why should he be trusted as a reliable source for truth, if God is good and doesn’t lie?I know that the Holy Apostles planted churches after Jesus ascension to the Father’s right hand. Of course God, is going to use man to fulfill His plan for redemption, He used prophets, prophetesses, kings and priests, Mary and so on, who were normal people.
Today He uses pastors and teachers for the edification of the Body of Christ. I’m not even talking about that, I’m saying that we should examine every man’s interpretation with the “measuring stick” of the Bible: Keep what Jesus, the Apostles and the Epistles taught and deny what contradicts, denies and opposes the Bible. I never mention anything about the Apostles, but about “man”—the natural man–the one without the Holy Spirit—unregenerated who is spiritually dead–you’re putting words in my mouth.
Right, but every Christian must be like a Berean and search the Scriptures(the Bible) if what people teach is true. If any teaching from any religion contradicts the Bible, it is false and must be denied immediately.
False according to whose interpretation? By what authority?
My response:
God’s authority! So you believe all roads lead to Rome and there’s many ways to get to God? Wrong!
The doctrine of the Trinity as you said is only essential to the Christian–it is not a requirement.
You are confused. If it is essential, that means it is required.
My response:
You are wrong! Where did Jesus teach that we needed to keep the doctrine of Tri-unity to be saved? Find me one verse and I will believe you. That is not require for salvation–believing and accepting what Jesus Christ did on the cross, is required.
The Deity of Jesus Christ–every Christian must know to understand the divinity of Jesus Christ, as God coming in the flesh, to this world to save mankind from their sin-debt. If a new Christian, doesn’t know these doctrines and then graduates from his or her body, that Christian is going to Heaven.
This really has nothing to do with the problems you have with interpretation. And it is not your place to say who goes to heaven, and who doesn’t. That is God’s decision. Once more, you are taking your own personal interpretation of Scripture and commanding God to follow your interpretation. And by doing so, you are making judgments that are *forbidden* to us.
My response:
You are wrong. The Bible teaches that all those who have repented of all their sins and receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, are going to Heaven.
Where is it taught that its forbidden to make sound judgments with sound doctrine(the Bible), concerning what you post or others?
How will the Christian know if a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon is true?
I only find in 1 Cor 2:15 that is okay to make judgment what others say. By what you wrote–it contradicts the Bible.
By what authority?
My response:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
*Every Christian has the right and authority to teach, rebuke, correct and instruct–every Christian is allowed to read the Bible and search the Scriptures. It is God’s approvable!
By what authority is your interpretation worth anything?
My response:
Yahweh has given every Christian the authority to weight out what Mormonism teaches or anything else–and reject everything that contradicts, opposes and denies the Bible. He has given me the authority to “cast down every argument”. You are arrogant and proud!
I will always point to the robber next to Jesus on the cross, who repented of his sins and confessed “LORD”–who did not get baptized or even learned one doctrine–he went to Heaven on that day to be with Jesus Christ.
We have hope for all men. That is why I have rebuked a few for condemning Mormons. But this has nothing to do with the problems you have with interpretation.
My response:
1. I ain’t condemning Mormons but rebuking their doctrine
2. You’re the only person in here who has problems with my posts
3. You haven’t proven what I posted is wrong.
I wrote: So you can look at Christianity and see that there is this essential doctrine that the Mormons do not share, and therefore conclude that Mormonism is not compatible with Christianity. But you cannot exclude them based on the fact that you like *your* interpretation of Scripture better than *theirs*.
POC777 responds:
Almost every post in this debate, cleary shows that Mormonism is not Christian. For the reason, that the BOM is not “another testament of Jesus Christ” because there are only two testaments: Old Testament and New Testament, which come from the Bible–Mormon doctrine… opposes, denies and contradicts on what God has already said in the Bible.
By what authority do you say that the BOM is not another testament of Jesus Christ?
My response:
The Bible is the authority–it rejects the BOM. Adding a pseudo-testament of Jesus Christ, is adding to the Word of God. And he who adds to the Word–God calls them a liar(Proverb 30:5-6) and all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.
You reject the authority of Christian Orthodoxy, so you have nothing.
My response:
I never said I rejected Orthodox Christianity, find me a post where I say “I reject Orthodox Christainity” and I will believe you. I believe in the Apostles Creed that comes from Orthodox Christianity–and comes directly from the Bible–because there are the doctrines that make up the Body of Christ–the essentials of the faith.
Nothing in your Bible unequivocally and unmistakably rejects the possibility of another testament.
My response:
Your Bible? I have the NIV, Jewish Bible, KJV 1611 and NKJV–66 books. You are wrong to say that the Bible does not reject another revelation–it rejects it! Jesus, the Apostles nor the Epistles mention, about another testament of Jesus Christ. As I said in my other post–there is absolutely no evidence of Jesus Christ ever preaching to a group of Indians in the Americas on 34 AD. Show the proof! If there’s no proof, then you are wrong.
I reject their book. But it is impossible to reject the book on the basis of text alone.
My response:
You haven’t proven to us “why” you reject the Book of Mormon–myself and other Christian have posted why we deny the BOM and other Mormon doctrine. You make your posts sound Christian, but maybe you’re not and false. You continue to believe the BOM, being only a fable that can’t be proven by anything or the Nephite golden plates were ever found at Hill Cumorah? Where are they?
Posted by: Anon | July 6, 2007 12:56 PM



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Bible_Scholar

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm


Dont Mormons believe that God is an alien that lives on another planet with “his wife”, and that he is just one of many Gods on many planets in the universe. Dont they also believe that humans can become one of these gods by becoming a Mormon? That doesnt sound like Christianity to me. Thats just for starters too. Theres a whole lot of weird stuff that Mormons believe. It seems more like Scientology to me than Christianity.



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POC777

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:19 pm


These questions are directed to every Mormon in this debate, I need your honest answers:
1. Can you find me archeological and historical proof from non-Mormon sources that prove that the peoples and places named in the Book of Mormon are true?
2. Why does the Book of Mormon state that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when history and the Bible state that he was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1)?
3. I’ve read where Joseph Smith said that he translated the golden plates (from which he got the Book of Mormon) letter-by-letter, “by the power of God” and that it was “the most correct of any book on earth.” If that’s true why has the Mormon Church had to make more than 4,000 changes to the Book of Mormon that was originally published in 1830?



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Anonymous

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:24 pm


Unsigned @ 3.03: You’re the same person who was trying to entice me into a scripture bash yesterday. You failed then, so now you’re going after a moderate Christian instead. Seems you’re getting mad because he’s not interested in being abused and insulted by you either.
Have you considered consulting a therapist about these obsessional issues? You seem to be doing the blog equivalent of stalking. You know what I mean … becoming fixated on a particular person, and finally becoming aggressive when they refuse to react the way you fantasized they would.
“15 minutes of reading is apparently way too much”
You got that one right! Nobody here owes you that much.
“until you want to have an actual scholarly discussion”
I love scholarly discussions. But you’re no scholar.

lol. this is just more “lets avoid the issues and toss insults” garbage. the prevalence of this is simply amazing.
your posts don’t indicate that you love discussion. discussion involves interacting with arguments.



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POC777

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:39 pm


Anon
This is the Apostles Creed:
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: *He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe in the *holy catholic[universal] church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
1l. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
My response:
I believe every statement because every single truth comes directly from the Bible.
*That is, the true Christian church–Body of Christ–every believer in Christ!
*Not Hell, where the fire is not quenched but the abode of the dead.



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POC777

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:48 pm


Don’t Mormons believe that God is an alien that lives on another planet with “his wife”?
My response:
Of course, they believe He lives on a planet called Kolob(knowing that His headquarters are in Heaven). And believe He had sex with a Heavenly Mother(godness) who produced billions of spiritual babes. Where is this found in the Bible or BOM?
and that he is just one of many Gods on many planets in the universe.
My response:
The question arises: When did God become God? And did God have a grandfather who was also God?
Don’t they also believe that humans can become one of these gods by becoming a Mormon?
My response:
This echos what Satan told Eve in Genesis 3.
That doesn’t sound like Christianity to me. Thats just for starters too. Theres a whole lot of weird stuff that Mormons believe. It seems more like Scientology to me than Christianity.
My response:
It sure does!
Posted by: Bible_Scholar | July 6, 2007 7:16 PM



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Dale

posted July 6, 2007 at 7:54 pm


Intellectualism is a very troubling thing. The brain squeezes the love right out of the discussion. It seems to me antithema to “debate” Jesus Christ, or discuss the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a hateful and angry environment. The very nature of the “debate” makes of us combative judges while exposing the tremendous beam hanging from our own eye, all the while wielding a hatchet to aid in the removal of the mote in our lost brother’s eye. What I know of Jesus Christ is this … He gave his life (all of it) to mend the broken, heal the sick, and deliver the captive. May we do likewise. The question for us all might be, “Am I more like Jesus or the Pharasee?”



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Well, it appears my post that had some links on it got swallowed up by the honorable blog monitors, so I’ll try it again without the links.
I was shamed into reading the article above regarding the keys to the kingdom. (I sigh with the back of my hand on my forehead.) It actually surprised me. Not because it wasn’t the same old lame arguments, but because it didn’t claim anything close to what the guy who posted it said it would.
To begin with, let’s review the argument here. I have been saying that you cannot prove your point on text alone. I have said that repeatedly while noting that for every interpretation that you guys throw my way, I will return with a counter interpretation that is every bit as reasonable. And for every interpretation I throw your way, you will return with a counter interpretation that may or may not be every bit as reasonable. Therefore, I never expected the Keys to the Kingdom and Peter as the Rock to be “proved” through biblical texts. But I also knew that the article that was copied here would not prove it wrong.
And, guess what? The authors of the article itself don’t make any claims that it refutes the Catholic interpretations. The article concludes by saying this: “…their exegesis of Matthew 16 will continue to be questionable, having failed to respond to a meaningful challenge to its validity.”
Questionable? I laughed out loud. They don’t claim any refutation at all! They simply say that it will “continue to be questionable.” But that means they are making my case for me, because my case has always stated that you cannot resolve these conflicting interpretations by the Bible alone. You must have some other authority to resolve it.
As I suspected, this article that our mystery poster insisted I was shying away from was the weak, insubstantial article I thought it was.
Furthermore, the authors are obviously stating *opinion*. They use words like “less likely” and “I believe such a translation would argue against…” and “one is struck by how strange it is.” Not at all the type of language you expect in any kind of solid and undisputable proof. Obviously, they were more prudent about their claims than the guy who posted it on this forum.
But even taking that stuff into consideration, their arguments were quite poor.
In order for this article to carry weight, you have to go by the assumption that there is no dispute over how to analyze Greek in general. The authors make no such claim, although they may try to “assume the deal.” Anyone who claims to be “scholarly” (chuckle at the expense of the guy who posted the article) would know that there are many opinions and schools of thought regarding how to parse, analyze, and translate Greek. And that goes just for linguists, let alone theologians with an agenda.
The article also relies on the belief that it was completely isolated in its writing, when we know for a fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic and would have actually spoken the words in Aramaic, not Greek. We have evidence in Scripture of this where the Aramaic was preserved in the name they called Peter–Cephas. Cephas means “rock” in Aramaic, and the fact that they called Peter Cephas for long after the time Jesus spoke the words is very dramatic evidence that he indeed meant that *Peter* was the rock. But the article chooses to ignore this scholarship, instead of consider it. (The article specifically conveyed that it considered it unimportant.)
It also makes ridiculous arguments that are critical of Jesus for not using a pronoun when they thought he should. It’s as if they believe that language can only be spoken in one way without variation.
The confession of Peter stuff was *pure* interpretation that has nothing to do with the linguistics.
The commentary about Sungenis only verified that there are multiple opinions and multiple interpretations about the grammar.
The statement that the Church Fathers do not discuss the Chair of Peter is also dead wrong. The Early Church Fathers not only discuss it–they defer to the Bishop of Rome to settle disputes.
The idea that this article would scare me away from facing the arguments is *laughable*. I have read much more challenging opinions in the past. It is more laughable than I predicted, which really puts the puerile remarks of our mystery poster in perspective.
But one good turn deserves another. If, as our interlocutor insists, the fact that someone doesn’t read arguments presented to them and face every argument within means they are avoiding facts that contradict their point of view, then he must act in kind. I have several things for you to read. And–as to your words–if you do not read them all completely, you are avoiding the facts that contradict your personal point of view.
First assignment: Read all three volumes of The Faith of the Early Fathers, by Jurgens.
Second assignment: Go to Catholic Answers on line at www dot catholic dot com. Click on Church & Papacy in the menu under “LIBRARY.” Click on and read all of the following articles:
Apostolic Succession (Fathers*)
The Authority of the Pope Part 1 (Fathers*)
The Authority of the Pope Part 2 (Fathers*)
Origins of Peter as Pope (Fathers*)
Papal Infallibility
Peter and the Papacy
Peter the Rock
Peter’s Primacy (Fathers*)
Peter’s Roman Residency (Fathers*)
Peter’s Successors (Fathers*)
Was Peter in Rome?
Third assignment: The Faith of our Fathers, by Gibbons
Fourth assignment: Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, by Currie
That should be enough for now. These resources have facts and arguments that are 100 times more impressive than your article above.
Again–if your words earlier that **taunted me** have ANY credence at all, you must read all of those things carefully and attempt to dispute them. It would be a very hypocritical thing, if you don’t.
Oh. And, by the way, you *still* have not given us any authority that validates the interpretations that you personally prefer.
The question hangs over your head. “By what authority?”



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 9:44 pm


Dude with no authority wrote: 15 minutes of reading is apparently way too much
WoID responds: You got that one right! Nobody here owes you that much.
My two cents: Right. Especially since he only put about 10 seconds into cutting and pasting, and didn’t show the slightest initiative for making the argument himself.



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 9:50 pm


POC777, you really need to do some formatting or something. You keep pasting in the entire posts of others without distinguishing who says what, and it makes your posts almost completely unreadable. Please just paste in what you are responding to, and format them in italics or something. (To format in italics put “” at the end of what you want in italics and “” at the beginning. The reason I do it backward here is because the right order would make them disappear while formatting the words between.)



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Anon

posted July 6, 2007 at 11:50 pm


If you read nothing else, read the section below about Proverb 30:5-6. It pretty much puts a nail in POC777′s coffin. (Give ‘em enough rope…)
That’s not even what I said above–you denied my question.
Since you quoted my entire post, I haven’t a clue what you are referring to.
Repeatly the Bible teaches every Christian to trust in God and not man. Man is evil; God is not good! Since man is evil why should he be trusted as a reliable source for truth, if God is good and doesn’t lie?
First of all, Jesus Christ can do whatever it is He sees fit. He appointed the Apostles, but He didn’t just entrust the Church to man. The men to whom He entrusted the Church were subject to his commands, and they were given the responsibility of protecting the Faith and they were also given special protection by the Holy Spirit. Yes, we know that these men were fallible, but they were given special gifts by Christ as I have already mentioned in other posts.
But let’s think about this for a minute. If we cannot trust man at all, as you seem to be saying, then how can we trust the book we call the Bible? The Bible was assembled by man long after the Apostles were gone. The Bible only exists because of decisions made by men of Christ’s Church.
Men decided which of the many books circulating were inspired works. The Gospels were not signed, so *men* witnessed to the fact that they were written by the Apostles.
Also, how can you trust the *men* of the Reformation who took books out of the Bible?
Without some trust of some authority with men involved in some way–You’ve got NOTHING.
But your trouble doesn’t stop there, because you *always* have to trust a *man* to interpret Scripture. Scripture does not rid you of the element man.
I know that the Holy Apostles planted churches after Jesus ascension to the Father’s right hand. Of course God, is going to use man to fulfill His plan for redemption, He used prophets, prophetesses, kings and priests, Mary and so on, who were normal people.
You seem utterly confused here. On the one hand, you say that Christ couldn’t have used men, but on the other hand you say that *of course* He uses men. You seem to know the truth and deny it at the same time.
Today He uses pastors and teachers for the edification of the Body of Christ. I’m not even talking about that, I’m saying that we should examine every man’s interpretation with the “measuring stick” of the Bible: Keep what Jesus, the Apostles and the Epistles taught and deny what contradicts, denies and opposes the Bible.
You cannot possibly use the Bible as a measuring stick without interpreting it. How can you *know* what Jesus, the Apostles and the Epistles taught without interpreting the word of the Bible? You are completely circular here. “Use the Bible to validate the accuracy of the Bible as used by another.” It makes no sense, and it *always* involves one man or another interpreting the Bible.
I never mention anything about the Apostles, but about “man”—the natural man–the one without the Holy Spirit—unregenerated who is spiritually dead–you’re putting words in my mouth.
No–I’m pointing to inconvenient Truths.
POC777 wrote: If any teaching from any religion contradicts the Bible, it is false and must be den