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consiglieri

Why Do Christians Say Mormons Are Not Christian?

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Now, obviously, this does not apply to all Christians; but we have to go no further than the postings on this board to know that a sizeable number of Christians refuse to allow the Mormons to use that sobriquet.

This is specifically NOT a thread about WHETHER Mormons are Christian. (We really have had enough of that, I think.)

This IS a thread about WHY some Christians refuse to allow that Mormonism is Christian.

Any takers?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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It all boils down to a diffrent belief between the person/persons making the claim and the LDS person/persons beliefs.

IOW, because your beliefs are diffrent than mine you cant be a Christian.

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From what I've heard from people making this claim, it is because we believe in a different Christ than them. They believe in the trinity Christ whereas we have him as a seperate individual from the Father and Holy Ghost. Their claim is that since we don't believe in their Christ (which they claim is biblical) we are not true christians because our Christ is a fraud.

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Boundary Maintanance.

Evengelicals are especially concerned with identifying themselves by excluding those not of their ranks.

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It all boils down to a diffrent belief between the person/persons making the claim and the LDS person/persons beliefs.

IOW, because your beliefs are diffrent than mine you cant be a Christian.

Okay, let's start with that as a basis for discussion.

It must appear, then, that there are certain non-negotiable tenets of true Christianity, from which should another religion vary, they put themselves beyond the pale.

This must be how it appears to those Christians who say that Mormons are not.

Usually what I hear is this:

1. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe in the Trinity. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

2. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is perfect. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

3. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is complete, and believe in additional scripture. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

4. Mormons aren't Christian because they believe that individual works play a role in our salvation. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven. Note that here it gets even more interesting, as some evangelicals come across as portraying God as mad that people would actually try to follow the commandments God gave in the first place.)

Has anybody heard anything different than this?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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This IS a thread about WHY some Christians refuse to allow that Mormonism is Christian.

You mean, why don't they agree what Mormonism is Christian?

I believe it's because they have a disagreeable streak in their nature concerning people and things that are in fact Christian.

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Boundary Maintanance.

Evengelicals are especially concerned with identifying themselves by excluding those not of their ranks.

This is of interest, because Professor Ehrman maintains that the Nicene creed should be read as describing God in response to what other Christians (read "heretics") believed God to be.

In other words, the Nicene Creed was drafted in large measure to argue that different views of God were wrong, not orthodox, and therefore heretical.

Unfortunately, I think something of the same has developed in the LDS Church. (See developing thread on Markk's test of faith, which has devolved into a discussion of the Adam-God Theory.)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Has anybody heard anything different than this?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Nope. I havent, until they are pressed. Then I hear that I have to believe in the "right Jesus". What ever that means. And Jesus or Paul for that matter, never claimed I had to beleive in the "right Jesus" Just that if I confess with my mouth that Jesus is the savior I am saved.

Same stuff you just said.

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This IS a thread about WHY some Christians refuse to allow that Mormonism is Christian.

Any takers?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Because they are :P:crazy:;)

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Honestly, i think the majority of non-LDS christians who consider us to be non-Christian believe that solely because they were taught it by someone else.

Most non-LDS Christians have no first hand knowledge of what the mormon church teaches and instead get their info from non-mormons. When confronted, they immediately go to the 'you worship another Jesus' arguement but when asked to explain how we worship another Jesus or to elaborate on the topic, they don't have much else to add to the discussion.

:P

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Okay, let's start with that as a basis for discussion.

It must appear, then, that there are certain non-negotiable tenets of true Christianity, from which should another religion vary, they put themselves beyond the pale.

This must be how it appears to those Christians who say that Mormons are not.

Usually what I hear is this:

1. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe in the Trinity. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

2. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is perfect. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

3. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is complete, and believe in additional scripture. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

4. Mormons aren't Christian because they believe that individual works play a role in our salvation. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven. Note that here it gets even more interesting, as some evangelicals come across as portraying God as mad that people would actually try to follow the commandments God gave in the first place.)

Has anybody heard anything different than this?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Let me state up front that I have no qualms with LDS using any descriptor they choose to describe their faith or beliefs. Also, I can't - and wouldn't - make a judgement about an individual's faith or lack of faith in Christ. At least an individual I didn't know very well.

That said, one issue that gives me pause is that the Christ that I worship - and who the LDS claiims also to worship - has, according to the LDS Church, pronounced a judgement on me and those of my like-minded faith. According to Christ, the Christian churches are all wrong, those members of these churches are an abomination in his sight, the "professors" are all corrupt, and though I may draw near to Christ in my worship and prayer, my heart is far from Christ. Etc. (btw, it would help if these professors had names, but I assume it means the clergy, SS teachers, seminary teachers, etc., but I'm not sure.)

Can I be a Christian yet call Christ a liar? Because that's my basic reaction to the First Vision. If I view that Christ as a liar then am I worshipping the same Christ as the LDS? I can't judge the heart of an LDS individual - but apparently the Christ of the LDS Church has judged me. If I reject the Christ of the First Vision then the LDS Church's use of the word "Christian" is going to mean something different to me. Why would the LDS expect me to consider the LDS Church "Christ-based" when the foundational event of the LDS Church is based on Christ's disassociation with me?

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No true Christian would assert that any LDS person is not Christian. To do so deprives that person of the right to call themself a Christian because they have adopted an attitude of pride, ignorance, and judgment, attributes that are decidedly unChristian.

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If a person believes in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon can they call themselves a â??Mormonâ??

I know this analogy has been done before but how do LDS members feel about members of the FLDS church being called â??Mormonâ?? The LDS Church has tried to teach the media that there is a difference.

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No true Christian would assert that any LDS person is not Christian. To do so deprives that person of the right to call themself a Christian because they have adopted an attitude of pride, ignorance, and judgment, attributes that are decidedly unChristian.

Yes....you should probably just ban them all from Celestial Kingdom so you don't have to deal with those pridefully judgmental ignoramuses in the hereafter.

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According to Christ, the Christian churches are all wrong, those members of these churches are an abomination in his sight,

Your statement is half right and half wrong concerning what Joseph said Christ said.

According to Joseph, Christ did say the sects were all wrong, but Christ didn't say all of the members of those sects were an abomination in his sight.

Here is the actual statement made or approved by Joseph Smith:

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)â??and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them (the sects) for they (the sects) were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their (the sects) creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that â??they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.â?

Joseph Smith History, 1:18-19

And btw, Joseph also said:

He (the Personnage who addressed him who he later identified as Christ) again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. (see verse 20).

Can I be a Christian yet call Christ a liar?

Not a 100% true blue Christian, IMO, so what option(s) do you think you have left?

If I view that Christ as a liar then am I worshipping the same Christ as the LDS?

I will leave you and Christ to figure that out, between the two of you.

I can't judge the heart of an LDS individual - but apparently the Christ of the LDS Church has judged me.

Probably, since He sees the future as well as the present and past and He already knows what He is going to do with you, but you don't know where you are going to end up yet, do you?

Just do what you want to do and you'll see where you come out at this end of this, later.

If I reject the Christ of the First Vision then the LDS Church's use of the word "Christian" is going to mean something different to me.

That makes sense to me, but I think it's possible that you could be worshipping Christ to some extent while simply rejecting some of the things that Christ truly wants to teach you.

Why would the LDS expect me to consider the LDS Church "Christ-based" when the foundational event of the LDS Church is based on Christ's disassociation with me?

It's not necessarily you that He is against, per se. Christ is simply against sects which are all wrong; sects that teach creeds which are an abomination in His sight; professors who are all corrupt that draw near to Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him; people who teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

That's what Christ is against, and if you are one of those people, then, yes, He is against you while His arm is stretched out still.

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Hi Consig,

3. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is complete, and believe in additional scripture. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

Though in comparison to many of my Evangelical compatriots, I have a somewhat enlarged view of how gracious God can be towards those of variant beliefs. I wanted to bring up a point that ties into or perhaps expands on point 3.

If Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. Then all the extra stuff that came along with that, isn't genuine. If that were the case, all the extra doctrine would be built upon the shoulders of a false prophet. Based upon what we can determine from God's word prior to the BoM, etc.. I think it could be fairly easily ascertained that following a false prophet won't lead you closer to God. Could this lead someone far enough away from the truth, so they were basically believing more heavily upon false information than genuine. It has to do with where you faith lies....I suppose.

I think a good question for it might be.

If it was not for the all the doctrines that have emerged from JS via...translation, prophecy, etc... would you still believe in Christ?

I may start a thread on that question...but Im feeling lazy, so probably not.

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Yes....you should probably just ban them all from Celestial Kingdom so you don't have to deal with those pridefully judgmental ignoramuses in the hereafter.

Not my job . . . I leave the banning to the mods. :P

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Reading through this thread I think I may have realized something. I'll throw it out there to see if anybody else might agree.

When LDS use the term "Christian", we generally simply mean anyone who believes in Christ as Lord and Savior. This to us has no connotations of actually belonging to Christ's true church, or that these people will actually be recipients of salvation. We view it as a broad classification, not a statement of judgment of truth claims.

When some others (many EVs?) use the term "Christian", they have a lot more invested. They seem to feel that by agreeing to the use of this term, they are validating at least some foundational truth claims of those to whom it is applied.

Anybody disagree?

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that the LDS church "owns" who is a member, but most EV groups don't have an established organization with a hierarchy that they consider the sum total of all membership in Christ's church.

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Reading through this thread I think I may have realized something. I'll throw it out there to see if anybody else might agree.

When LDS use the term "Christian", we generally simply mean anyone who believes in Christ as Lord and Savior.

... to any extent. Yes, I agree.

This to us has no connotations of actually belonging to Christ's true church, or that these people will actually be recipients of salvation. We view it as a broad classification, not a statement of judgment of truth claims.

That's part right and part wrong, in my perspective.

As we (LDS) know, there will be Christians (people who follow Christ to some extent) who will be recipients of salvation to some extent and sent to either the Terrestrial or Telestial kingdoms, even though they won't be recipents of total salvation in the Celestial kingdom of God.

When some others (many EVs?) use the term "Christian", they have a lot more invested. They seem to feel that by agreeing to the use of this term, they are validating at least some foundational truth claims of those to whom it is applied.

Yes, and we do too, in my perspective, as there needs to be at least some basis for considering a person to be a Christian, to some extent.

It's just that all Christians are not perfect Christians, in every way that we can be Christians.

Anybody disagree?

I hope you have seen that I do agree with you, to some extent.

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that the LDS church "owns" who is a member, but most EV groups don't have an established organization with a hierarchy that they consider the sum total of all membership in Christ's church.

That is very perceptive, and I believe there is a lot of truth to that. :P

;)

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If Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. Then all the extra stuff that came along with that, isn't genuine. If that were the case, all the extra doctrine would be built upon the shoulders of a false prophet. Based upon what we can determine from God's word prior to the BoM, etc.. I think it could be fairly easily ascertained that following a false prophet won't lead you closer to God. Could this lead someone far enough away from the truth, so they were basically believing more heavily upon false information than genuine. It has to do with where you faith lies....I suppose.

This same statement can be applied to a variety of teachers and philosophers who, down through the centuries, developed various doctrines that various factions of Christianity subscribe to.

Whether or not these other individuals described themselves as prophetic in nature (and some did), they did develop doctrines and people based their belief systems on them - just like Mormons do with Joseph Smith. In effect, those who develop doctrines are doing something very prophetic in nature, in reality, and the same question can be posed to followers of those various individuals down through the ages - including Calvin, Luther, etc.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that what you propose is entirely correct, since we all have various levels of incorrect doctrinal understanding - and we still manage to be able to call upon the saving grace of Christ. Joseph Smith is no different in this respect than many others, in that he also emphasized Christ as the center of our salvation. Mormons have no less claim to being followers of Christ on this basis alone than anyone else.

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This IS a thread about WHY some Christians refuse to allow that Mormonism is Christian.

--Consiglieri

As an individual, I'm not going to judge if a person is a Christian or not. MT 7:1 seems pretty straight-forward about judging others and it would seem to apply to if a person is a Christian or not.

For any religious organization to not recognize someone's baptism based on their understanding of beliefs, I have no real issues with this since there is such an importance being placed on the need of baptism. The organizations that go out of their way of recognizing other faiths baptisms wins a few more brownie points with me and trying to be more inclusive. As an individual, I have no problem with this since I believe the priesthood authority has been maintained with my church.

I believe the LDS thought here is the more people they call Christian should give them more brownie points.

Recognized baptisms vs Calling others Christian -----> :P = whatever.

My 2 cents

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Okay, let's start with that as a basis for discussion.

It must appear, then, that there are certain non-negotiable tenets of true Christianity, from which should another religion vary, they put themselves beyond the pale.

This must be how it appears to those Christians who say that Mormons are not.

Usually what I hear is this:

1. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe in the Trinity. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

2. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is perfect. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

3. Mormons aren't Christian because they don't believe the Bible is complete, and believe in additional scripture. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven.)

4. Mormons aren't Christian because they believe that individual works play a role in our salvation. (This seems strange from evangelicals, though, who insist that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven. Note that here it gets even more interesting, as some evangelicals come across as portraying God as mad that people would actually try to follow the commandments God gave in the first place.)

Has anybody heard anything different than this?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

1. Non trinitarians may be christians. Take the Oneness or Unity Pentecostals who are modalists. I.E.: T.D. Jakes of the Potter's House in Dallas, TX

2. Lots of Neo Orthodox christians believe the Bible is imperfect such as Karl Barth. However I'm sure he does now!

3. The Pentecostals get new revelation through alleged prophecy and alleged tongues.

4. Arminian christians do believe that works play a role in salvation, that is you have to keep working to maintain or secure your salvation.

So none of those four reasons necessarily exclude one from being a saved christian. What it boils down to Consig is your Christology.

I believe the Arians in Germany in the fourth century whom Clovis the Riparian (Catholic) beheaded could have been true believers.

At least their Christology said He was the unique Son of God, but not the same substance as the Father.

However your Christology says He was the Spirit brother of Lucifer and 68 other Spirit sons of Elohim.

Even Alva Huffer the great Arian theologian who wrote Systematic Theology, represented by the Hutchinson church of God, may have been a believer.

He did say that Christ had a beginning, but He was still the unique Son of God. In your Christology He is not unique.

Now I realize some EVs would say that 1 and maybe 2 cannot be believers, and that 3 & 4 are woefully confused. They might say that the Arians of Clovis' day were not believers either. I speak for myself.

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However your Christology says He was the Spirit brother of Lucifer and 68 other Spirit sons of Elohim.

I must have missed the fixed number. I presume 68+2=70 sons? Where can this be found in LDS thought?

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consiglieri

It must appear, then, that there are certain non-negotiable tenets of true Christianity, from which should another religion vary, they put themselves beyond the pale.

It appears one the tenets of true Christianity for Mormonism is that God is a being with a form since the Mormon Church teaches that false Christianity believes that God was a being without form or substance.

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He did say that Christ had a beginning, but He was still the unique Son of God. In your Christology He is not unique.
Doesn't being the only begotten in the flesh make Him unique? Doesn't being our Savior make Him unique? Doesn't being One with the Father already make Him unique? As for the spirit brother of Lucifer, that to me isn't a big deal I guess. Either you could say that Heavenly Father/God created something evil, Jesus created something evil or Heavenly Father had a child that turned out to be a bad seed. It all means pretty much the same thing in the end doesn't it? I like the bad seed child the best as it seems that Lucifer used his agency rather than being purposely created to do evil.
It appears one the tenets of true Christianity for Mormonism is that God is a being with a form since the Mormon Church teaches that false Christianity believes that God was a being without form or substance.
But we don't believe that faiths that think He is without form are not Christian, we just think they misunderstand or misinterpret scripture. Everyone misinterprets scripture somewhere it seems.

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