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Hannah Rebekah

Evangelical’S Highest Authority Says Mormons Are Christians

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Now, what I want to understand is this: Is it your position that everyone who considers himself or herself to be a follower and disciple of Christ is a "Christian," or that everyone who genuinely is a follower and disciple of Christ is a "Christian"?

The word Christian is applied or used in two ways: to designate one's religious affiliation, or to denote one's innermost religious commitment. For example, if I said that Catholics are Christians, that would be a true statement insofar as the Catholic religion is a Christian religion by definition, and anyone who claims to be a Catholic can rightly be called a Christian. But does that mean that every Catholic has an innermost devotion and commitment to Christ? I am sure not. The same would apply to any religion in fact. If I said that my neighbour is a Muslim, does that mean that he has an innermost commitment to Islam; or does it mean that he is a born and raised (or converted) a Muslim? It most likely means the latter. So your question is more like a trick question. The answer could rightly be yes or no depending on how you want to look at it. We would all be better off if you would cut to the chase, and tell us where you going with this line of questioning.

Edited by zerinus

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DaddyG,

You wrote:

In your view, who has the authority to declare Mormons (or any other professed followers of Christ) "Christian" or followers of Christ.

I cannot answer your question until you answer mine. Is everyone who claims to be a Christian really a Christian, or is there any other criterion or criteria that a person must satisfy in order to be a Christian?

Goodness, I'm inviting you and the other LDS here to define the term any way you like, and simply asking you to do so clearly. I'm not even arguing with your view. I'm simply trying to understand it.

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juliann,

You wrote:

I'm going to ask you again and as many times as necessary. I expect the same direct answer you demand from everyone else. .A yes or no is all it takes.

Are you a judge as to who is "genuinely" a Christian and who is not?

It depends on what the term Christian means--which is the reason for my question, which so far has not been answered with clarity sufficient to move forward, in my humble opinion, to answer your question.

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DaddyG,

You wrote:

I cannot answer your question until you answer mine. Is everyone who claims to be a Christian really a Christian, or is there any other criterion or criteria that a person must satisfy in order to be a Christian?

Goodness, I'm inviting you and the other LDS here to define the term any way you like, and simply asking you to do so clearly. I'm not even arguing with your view. I'm simply trying to understand it.

I'm going to ask you again and as many times as necessary. I expect the same direct answer you demand from everyone else. A yes or no is all it takes.

Are you a judge as to who is "genuinely" a Christian and who is not?

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juliann,

You wrote:

It depends on what the term Christian means--which is the reason for my question, which so far has not been answered with clarity sufficient to move forward, in my humble opinion, to answer your question.

Unresponsive. Answer the question please.

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zerinus,

You wrote:

The word Christian is applied or used in two ways: to designate one's religious affiliation, or to denote one's innermost religious commitment. For example, if I said that Catholics are Christians, that would be a true statement insofar as the Catholic religion is a Christian religion by definition, and anyone who claims to be a Catholic can rightly be called a Christian. But does that mean that every Catholic has an innermost devotion and commitment to Christ? I am sure not. The same would apply to any religion in fact. If I said that my neighbour is a Muslim, does that mean that he has an innermost commitment to Islam; or does it mean that he is a born and raised (or converted) a Muslim? It most likely means the latter. So your question is more like a trick question. The answer could rightly be yes or no depending on how you want to look at it. We would all be better off if you would cut to the chase, and tell us where you going with this line of questioning.

My question is not a trick question, but it may be a tricky question for some people. You say that "the Catholic religion is a Christian religion by definition." I do not dispute your statement, but I ask you: what is that definition? Is any religion that claims to be a Christian religion by definition a Christian religion? If that's your view, fine. I just want to understand clearly what it is that you and others are saying here.

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DaddyG,

You wrote:

I cannot answer your question until you answer mine. Is everyone who claims to be a Christian really a Christian, or is there any other criterion or criteria that a person must satisfy in order to be a Christian?

Goodness, I'm inviting you and the other LDS here to define the term any way you like, and simply asking you to do so clearly. I'm not even arguing with your view. I'm simply trying to understand it.

Groups declaring themselves Christian have every right to do so.

I provided quotes from the Bible and CS Lewis that framed my beliefs. Those who declare Christ is their Savior are Christian, but Christ also taught that those who do His will are His followers.

Since the word Christian is used less frequently than "those who are mine", "Saints" and "Disciples" it becomes problematic to declare a universal definition of Christian that all who claim the title can agree on. However - I am loathe to tell someone who considers Jesus Christ their Savior that they are not "Christian" or a Disciple. Rather it would be more accurate to claim (as CS Lewis pointed out) that someone who does not follow their Saviors admonitions is more likely a "bad Christian" than a non-Christian.

Can you answer my question now. By what authority can someone be judged Christian or non-Christian other than by Christ Himself?

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snotty response removed - Ares

I get it when ones use questions to draw others out and then they pounce. I've seen it too many times. If I'm wrong in my judgement about your tactics then I apologize. If I sounded snarky it's only that others don't take me at my word that I am a Christian because I genuinely confess that Jesus Christ is my Savior, the promised Messiah and the only way back into God's presence. Please take me at my word and others who genuinely confess that they follower Christ.

“Christian” simply means “follower of Christ.”

"Disciple" simply means a learner, a pupil and" are all those who confess Jesus as the Messiah, Christians." (see Lexicon)

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juliann,

You now appear to be badgering me, which Ares has said is unacceptable. But I will use a particular definition, since you refuse to answer my question (which came before yours and must be answered first in order to answer your question), and give you an answer. Yes, I am a judge as to who is a Christian.

Unresponsive. Answer the question please.

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All,

Here's the thing. If one defines Christian as "anyone who professes to follow Christ," then of course Mormons are Christians, and nothing more needs to be said. But it is not clear to me that this is what the Mormons posting here really think the word means. So I am trying to get a clear and unequivocal answer to that question because in my opinion confusion on this point is clouding the issue.

For the record, I do not myself go around saying "Mormons are not Christians." But then, I'm not really into soundbites. I'm much more interested in clarifying what the issues are in this perennial (and usually tiresome) debate.

I believe all that is required to be a Christian is a profession that you are a Christian. One could debate if you are a good Christian or a bad Christian or and other adjectives. But notice they would still be a Christian. That is how I look at it.

Those Christians (West Borough) that protest the funerals of our fallen military are still Christians, they are just not very good ones.

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram

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Original response removed, I missed Mr. Bowman's declaration that he is the judge of who is a genuine Christian. At that point, it really is quite irrelevant as to anyone's definition.

All I can say is, oh my.

Edited by juliann

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juliann,

You now appear to be badgering me, which Ares has said is unacceptable. But I will use a particular definition, since you refuse to answer my question (which came before yours and must be answered first in order to answer your question), and give you an answer. Yes, I am a judge as to who is a Christian.

Asking you to respond in kind is not badgering. Stop insisting others be held to a standard you are not willing to keep.

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Dan,

You wrote:

"Obviously"? I don't understand. Is it your position that anyone who claims to be a Christian and makes that claim sincerely is by definition a Christian?

It is my position that anyone who claims to follow Christ and makes the claim sincerely ought to be considered a Christian. I can a minor extenuating circumstance here or there raising a question mark, but if our fundamental definition goes beyond this it steps outside the description offered in the New Testament of the term and enters the realm of sectarianism, at which point the function of the word has been reduced to a tool of marginalization. Once it reaches that point we're no longer talking about what the word really means.

And what do you mean by "sincerity"? Is it sufficient that the person believes his claim to be a Christian is genuine, or is there more involved?

I mean if the person sincerely tries to follow Christ.

If claiming to be a Christian is "the most important criterion," then are there other criteria (other than "the sincerity of the claim")?

Well, I think "following Christ" ought to entail the basics of the New Testament's presentation of the necessary actions, as far as it is possible. Not judge, not commit adultery, love one another, etc. Obviously if one believes they are following Christ specifically by judging people, committing adultery, and hating everyone, then there's a mitigating circumstance that complicates the self-identification.

You wrote:

Within a certain frame of reference, I agree with you.

You wrote:

Like everyone else here, you're running way ahead of me and assuming certain conclusions as to my own view. I'd really like a simple and straight answer to me question, which so far has not been forthcoming.

I believe I did provide a simple and straight forward answer. You provided two possibilities. My position was a modified take on the first possibility. You appear to be saying that because I modified one of the possibilities my answer is invalid, or at least not simple enough to qualify as an answer. Does this mean you demand an answer that perfectly aligns with one of your two choices and does not elaborate?

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Mola,

You wrote:

I believe all that is required to be a Christian is a profession that you are a Christian. One could debate if you are a good Christian or a bad Christian or and other adjectives. But notice they would still be a Christian. That is how I look at it.

Those Christians that protest the funerals of our fallen military are still Christians, they are just not very good ones.

Thank you for the direct answer to me question. I really appreciate it.

By your definition, of course Mormons are Christians. And in many ways they are much "better" Christians than a lot of other people, including the ones you mentioned.

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Yes, I am a judge as to who is a Christian.

That is quite a claim. Where does your authority to judge who is a Christian come from?

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Ares,

I gave her a direct answer to her question. But the question "Are you a judge as to who is genuinely a Christian or not?" cannot be answered without assuming some definition of the term Christian, which was the point of my question. In pointing this out, I was not holding others to a standard I was unwilling to meet myself.

Asking you to respond in kind is not badgering. Stop insisting others be held to a standard you are not willing to keep.

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DaddyG,

You asked:

That is quite a claim. Where does your authority to judge who is a Christian come from?

God.

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All,

Here's the thing. If one defines Christian as "anyone who professes to follow Christ," then of course Mormons are Christians, and nothing more needs to be said. But it is not clear to me that this is what the Mormons posting here really think the word means. So I am trying to get a clear and unequivocal answer to that question because in my opinion confusion on this point is clouding the issue.

I gave you a clear answer and you appeared to insist that because I elaborated in anticipation of a certain response it was invalid. The comments I made in anticipation hold whether or not you espouse that particular response. I've heard it enough times from others to know it's quite common. Whether or not you intended to go down that route really has no bearing on the validity of my response to your question.

For the record, I do not myself go around saying "Mormons are not Christians." But then, I'm not really into soundbites. I'm much more interested in clarifying what the issues are in this perennial (and usually tiresome) debate.

I have tried to elaborate in the interest of clarification, but you appear to have jumped at the opportunity to put up a wall in defense. If you don't intend to make the argument my elaboration anticipated then just say so and we can move on from there. Declaring that my entire response is invalidated by a superfluous elaboration does not sound like you are prioritizing clarification.

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Now, what I want to understand is this: Is it your position that everyone who considers himself or herself to be a follower and disciple of Christ is a "Christian," or that everyone who genuinely is a follower and disciple of Christ is a "Christian"?

Okay, I am going to give a more direct answer to your question, because I want to see where you are going with this.

In answer to your question I say: everyone who genuinely is a follower and disciple of Christ is a true Christian.

Where do we go from here?

Edited by zerinus

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DaddyG,

You asked:

God.

So God has appointed you [Rob Bowman] the arbitor of who is and is not Christian. I'm I understanding that correctly?

Edited by DaddyG

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zerinus,

You wrote:

Okay, I am going to give a more direct answer to your question, because I want to know where you are going with this.

In answer to your question I say: everyone who genuinely is a follower and disciple of Christ is a true Christian.

Where do we go from here?

Where we go from there is to acknowledge that by that definition we will sincerely disagree as to who is a Christian. I will have to say that by that definition Mormons are not Christians, and you will have to say that by that definition evangelical Protestants are not Christians. Such statements need not have anything to do with prejudice, hate, or animus toward one another; they may simply be sincere (even regretful) statements of our differing understandings of what it means to be genuine followers of Jesus Christ.

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DaddyG,

You asked:

So God has appointed you [Rob Bowman] the arbitor of who is and is not Christian. I'm I understanding that correctly?

No. I did not claim to be "the arbiter"; I claimed to be "a judge."

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Ares,

I gave her a direct answer to her question. But the question "Are you a judge as to who is genuinely a Christian or not?" cannot be answered without assuming some definition of the term Christian, which was the point of my question. In pointing this out, I was not holding others to a standard I was unwilling to meet myself.

As Hannah has pointed out, Christian simply means "follower of Christ."

And since it is a "public domain" word, and since clear communication is the only way any sort of discussion can take place, it follows that we simply have to let people declare for themselves whether or not they are followers of Christ.

We cannot make the definition subject to the purity of someone's heart or the depth of their commitment, because such things are beyond the reach of public discourse.

Neither can we make it subject to arbitrary theological tests, such as the egregiously and spitefully dishonest "counter-cult" crowd attempt to do; such tests are invariably self-serving and always serve to privilege the positions of the speaker.

I don't believe I have ever come across an honest, informed person who argues that Latter-day Saints are not Christians in any meaningful, publicly accessible sense.

Nor do I ever expect to.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Dan,

Your recent post appears to be making the single point that the comments you made in your earlier post were valid even if they were inapplicable to me. Fine. They are inapplicable to me.

Now, please answer this question from my previous response to you: If claiming to be a Christian is "the most important criterion," are there other criteria, and if so, what are they?

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