The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion This article helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity's theology relating to baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
• Baptism: .
Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. http://www.imj.org.il/eng/exhibitions/
The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them.
• The Trinity: .
A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration?
The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one."
Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. .
Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”
Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was also part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God." . The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.
• The Deity of Jesus Christ
Mormons hold firmly to the deity of Christ. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS), Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. Evangelical pollster George Barna found in 2001 that while only 33 percent of American Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists (28 percent of Episcopalians) agreed that Jesus was “without sin”, 70 percent of Mormons believe Jesus was sinless. http://www.adherents.com/misc/
• The Cross and Christ’s Atonement: .
The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection , not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming. Furthermore, members of the church believe the major part of Christ’s atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as Christ took upon him the sins of all mankind.
• Definition of “Christian”: .
But Mormons don’t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. They believe Christ’s atonement applies to all mankind. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”: All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They all worship the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and address Him in prayer as prescribed in The Lord’s Prayer.
It’s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. . Early Christians had certain rituals which defined a Christian http://sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/207/
• The Parallel with the “Rise of Christianity”
Rodney Stark in his book “The Rise of Christianity” found parallels with the rise of Mormonism:
A similar growth rate (40 percent for Christianity, and 43 percent for Mormonism) for both nascent religious movements. Conversions proceeded along social networking lines, primarily. While Christianity retained Jews’ belief in the Old Testament, Mormonism retains Creedal Christians’ belief in both the New and Old Testaments. The Romans martyred the Christian leaders, the mobs in Missouri and Illinois martyred the Mormon leaders. In both cases, they expected the fledgling movements to fail without their leaders.
• The Need for a Restoration of the Christian Church:
The founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, just prior to leaving the church he established, said this:
"There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, p. 502.)
Martin Luther had similar thoughts: "Nor can a Christian believer be forced beyond sacred Scriptures,...unless some new and proved revelation should be added; for we are forbidden by divine law to believe except what is proved either through the divine Scriptures or through Manifest revelation."
He also wrote: "I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among
those who should have preserved it."
The Lutheran, Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) churches recognize an apostasy from early Christianity. The Lutheran and Baptist churches have attempted reform, but Mormonism (and Roger Williams, and perhaps Martin Luther) require inspired restoration, so as to re-establish an unbroken line of authority and apostolic succession.
• Christ-Like Lives:
The 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):
1. Attend Religious Services weekly
2. Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life – extremely important
3. Believes in life after death
4. Does NOT believe in psychics or fortune-tellers
5. Has taught religious education classes
6. Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline
7. Sabbath Observance
8. Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith
9. Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily
10. Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen (very supportive)
11. Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality
1. 71% 55%
2. 52 28
3. 76 62
4. 100 95
5. 42 28
6. 68 22
7. 67 40
8. 72 56
9. 50 19
10. 65 26
11. 84 35
So what do you think the motivation is for the Evangelical preachers to denigrate the Mormon Church? You would think Evangelical preachers would be emulating Mormon practices (a creed to believe, a place to belong, a calling to live out, and a hope to hold onto) which were noted by Methodist Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean of the Princeton Theological Seminary, as causing Mormon teenagers to “top the charts” in Christian characteristics. (see http://MormonTeenagers.blogspot.com)) It seems obvious pastors shouldn't be denigrating a church based on First Century Christianity, with high efficacy. The only plausible reason to denigrate Mormons is for Evangelical pastors to protect their flock (and their livelihood).
Most of my mormon friends do not have a choice. Their families make them. That and they are brainwashed. Any religion that decides for you what to believe, think, wear, say, and not to question is bad. Mormonism does all of this. And frankly, Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden of Eden because they ate from the tree of knowledge and gained God's knowledge abilities. Satan was cast from heaven because he wanted God's power and to take his place. Mormons, as they have told me, believe that when they die that they will become a god or goddess like God. First off, this contradicts the first two Christian ideaologies. Second, this is polytheistic. Christianity is monotheistic. Therefore, their idealogy makes them not Christians.
Saying gayness is a sin does not help teens find their sexuality. It only pushes them into denial. I am not gay, but once I was homophobic. But then I realized that is pointless to try and change who people are on the inside. At most I think mormons teach prejudice that is unfounded and deserves to be blamed for hatred towards gays.
And who says faith is necessary to make a good person or good family? Am I a bad person because I am athiest? Who are you to say that I should try to emulate christ? Maybe your God should step off his high throne and explain why you mormons are brainwashing people into hate and intolerance.
It says in several places in the Bible that the Bible should not be added too, and then it goes to another book so how is the Book of Mormon any different from those books that were written after that statement? I do not know who told you that we believe that Christ was not born of a virgin, whoeve told you that was lieing. We do beleive he was born of Virgin Mary.
What do you mean it is what you think about Jesus that makes you Christian. We believe that Christ is our Savior, the only begotton of the Father, just like every other Christian religion. So what exactly makes us not Christian? Our name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for crying out loud? What more could we do you need?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word Christian means, "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." So, if you use that definition then I would say that yes, Mormons are Christians. The full name of their church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so I think it is safe to say they believe in Jesus and their church is based around his teachings.
Merriam-Webster Christian definition (www.merriam-webster.com)
'Joseph Smith's Gospel'? there is no such thing. Joseph Smith was the Prophet who restored the same gospel that Jesus Christ taught when he walked among the Jews. No, we dont worship quite like others...but if you look, we have never changed how or when we worship. we have held by the same standards since the begging, which does not happen in other churches.
Religion needs to accept science. Once it accepts science, life is good. Your use of the word Jew seems to convey hatred and intolerance. As an athiest I see you as no better than any other believer, especially mormons. I have friends who are mormons, but that does not mean I cannot have an opinion about your religion.
Furthermore, your belief in becoming god-like when you die fully contradicts Christian ideaology. Christians believe in paradise, not god's power. The devil was cast out for trying to usurp god, was he not? Now explain how your belief doesn't contradict this core Christian theology.
Yes, we do believe that we have the chance to become like God when we are taken to paridise, or Heaven, to live with him again. The differance between our belief that we might become God's or Goddesses and what Santin did is this. Lucifer wanted ALL power for himself, the glory would never be God's ,but his. This is why he was cast out. He wanted to be all powerful, make God kneel before him and take away everyone's right too choose, make everyone return to God and never make mistakes. But we are here to learn and grow, how would we learn without the choice between good and evil? I know that many people believe that we control our children and take away all agency from our people, but that is not true. Yes there are parents who 'make' their children go to church, my family tried that with my sister, but that is not the true message of our Church. That is parents trying to protect their children and bring them up in what they beleive to be true. We cannot 'make' anyone do anything, in the end it is always their choice and maybe like my sister they will choose to leave or maybe they will stay and truely let the spirit lighten their hearts and teach them. Anyway back to my point, we are different from what the devil did because we followed God's path for us and let him lead us and prepair us to become Gods and Goddesses, we are his children after all, why would we not have the chance to become as he is?
What a lot of people dont realize is that a 'Mormon' is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (i would know i am a member) We believe in the bible and the bible speaks of God and teaches of Jesus Christ. Why wouldn't we be Christians. Especially if we are members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints? The Book of Mormon...which is where the term 'mormons' came from...also talks of God-more than the bible actually. It is what we study most.
Yes Mormons are Christians too.
Dear mormon, you are brainwashed. Your religion is polytheistic, slightly satanic by other christian terms, and from my athiest view, no better than others. Your belief in exultation contradicts the bible, and no archeologist has ever found the "golden plates and magic glasses" in Mexico. You may believe in the divine asshole known as God, and think that you are Christians, but your idealogy differs to a point that you are not Christians in the traditional sense.
We are not polytheistic. We believe in one God and one God only, and his Son Jesus Christ who bought us with his blood throught the atonement. How does our beleif contradict the Bible? show me the verses and I can garentee that I will be able to dispute it. The Golden Plates are not on earth and were not found in Mexico but in Palmira New York and the Urum and Thumum was taken with the Plates by the Angel so that evil men could not corupt it's words (which already happened once before due to a bad judgment by Joseph Smith). What do you mean Christains in the traditional sense, we believe Christ is our Savior and suffered for our sins...how can you get more traditional? That is exactly what defined a Christian when Christian's were first on earth.
I'd say yes, I being a mormon teenager, I believe in Jesus Christ, Heavanly Father, and the holy ghost. We believe that the bible is correct as long as it is translated correctly. I'm not the best example of a mormon, swearing issue, but I hope to break that hapit at my youth confrence
The day I see a real Christian is the day I see Jesus descend from the sky and throw my gay, pagan behind into the lake of fire.
I have never once met a Christian who:
A) Knew anything about the bible they carry.
B) Practice anything the bible teaches (unless it was by complete accident or directly profitable to them).
C) Weren't utter hypocrites about their beliefs, picking and choosing what they liked about the bible and ignoring the rest.
The Mormons are about as "Christian" as any other Christian sect or individual, which generally doesn't mean much.
Most Christians are far more pagan in practice and beliefs than they are followers of Christian gospel. The only thing that separates a Christian from a pagan is the belief in a single god, and in many cases this is a stretch (as the tri-god of the Catholics and Protestants, Father-Son-Holy Ghost is rather iffy in the singular department).
The major holidays are all Pagan, most of the rituals and practices are pagan, and almost all the beliefs that Christians hold dear are held by most other religions or were taught to them by secular philosophers and politicians.
I do not believe mormons are christians. I have several mormon friends, and I have learned of their belief in exultation, or the belief that when they die they will become gods or goddesses equal to God. I believe this contradicts Christian ideology because Christians believe in paradise, not gaining god's power; for according to the bible, was the devil not once an angel, and was he not cast out from heaven because he desired to take God's place? Therefore, this does not match Christian ideology, making them a similar, yet not Christian faith.
Mormons differ from Christians in the same way Muslims do: They consider Jesus very important, but they don't believe he IS God. Mormons believe he is the son of God. They also believe that Lucifer is his son, and that the two are brothers, so he isn't the son of God in the same way at all.
I don't know where you got this information but we do believe Christ is God. We are Christians in ever sense of the word. The first artical of faith in our religion states, "We beleive in God the eternal father and in his Son, Jesus Christ." He is our savior and our God.
Yes, it is a cult in disguise. Not Christians because exultation contradicts Christian ideology. Satan was cast out of heaven because he wanted God's power. Humans were sent from the Garden of Eden because we ate from the tree of knowledge and gained the capacity to know as God knows. Therefore, their beliefs contradict traditional Christian theology.
Are Christians Jews? They took the Jewish religion and added a whole new book to it. Of course not. Well the Mormons took a whole new book and added it to Christianity. It is a whole new document that no Christians believe but all Mormons believe. If Mormons follow a different book of theology than they are not Christian. Even if they label themselves Christian they are not reading Christian Theology therefore they are just delusional in thinking that they are Christian.
At one point in time we did practice poligomy, but we do not anymore. If you were to really look at the bible you would see several instances of when prophets and other men were married to more than one woman. So how is that any different from now? As I said above, we do not alow men to marry more than one woman now and so we do not have, 'millions of wives' to go home to.
I like what is written in the book of James:
Even the demons believe in one God, and shudder.
In Islam, Jesus Christ is a prophet of God. Muslims believe in Jesus Christ but not his divinity. We don't say of Muslims that they are Christians. Though, interestingly, some Muslims claim Christians are Muslims who follow the wrong book. Christians are called, 'people of the book'.
Not true. Have you ever read the Book of Mormon? It is not all about Joseph Smith. Yes he is a beloved Prophet and leader to us, but he is not the cornerstone of our religion. Christ, his teachings, and his example are. If you were to read 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon you would see that his teachings are what guide us.
Scripture is all fairytales. None of us were around when they were written, and none of us have had a heart to heart talk with God. Therefore, it is simply belief. For example, I believe in evolution. God created the universe, and the first humans to evolve He saw and gave them souls because they were the first creatures that could question. That combines scripture with science. Point being, its a point of view
Were you around when the bible was written? No, you weren't. So how can you claim a religous text fact, especially when the god it talks of rarely, and not publically, reveals himself? No proof makes a ground support for skepticism. Maybe its not a fairy tale, but the point is that the stories of the bibles are theory, not proven fact.
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