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Hannah Rebekah

Evangelical’S Highest Authority Says Mormons Are Christians

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zerinus,

You wrote:

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.

I feel that you are looking beyond the mark....this is what the Pharisees did with Christ. They knew all the scriptures, they knew all the answers yet they never even recognized the promised Savior who was standing right in front of them. When one confesses that they follow the teachings of the Savior and that he is the Messiah that is being on the road to eternal life. I take people at their word, if they say they are a Christian then I am not the one to say they are not even though their views may be contrary to mine. I don't know their hearts. If a person is a follower, a pupil a disciple of Christ then I take them at their word that they are a Christian.

"no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. 12:3

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DaddyG,

You asked:

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

Please explain the difference in terms of the authority you have claimed. It apprers Judge is one of those words that needs to be understood as much as Christian in this sense.

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zerinus,

You wrote:

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.

What is your understanding of what it means to be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ?

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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?

I already addressed this but just for kicks... Faith in Christ as our Savior. Obedience to His laws. (which are not mutually exclusive)

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Pahoran,

You wrote:

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

That is one definition, yes.

If Christ is leading people into the LDS Church today, and if I don't accept the LDS Church, isn't it the case that I am not following Christ? And if a Christian is by definition a follower of Christ, but I am not following Christ, then must we not conclude that I am not a Christian?

You wrote:

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.

I agree. I would reject any such definition.

You wrote:

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 guess I am to be included in your description of "egregiously and spitefully dishonest"; is that right?

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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.

I am absolutely baffled by that reply. I cannot understand why that should be. Why can't we both agree (within the context of the Bible) on a standard or criteria by which we can judge someone's Christian dedication or commitment? If you are going to judge that Mormons are not Christians, then you must apply a standard which is at least biblical; and if we are to say the same thing about Evangelicals, we would have to apply a similar standard. Why can't we all agree what that standard should be? If we both accept the Bible as the legitimate source of that standard, then surely we can come to an agreement as to what that standard should be, and therefore agree on who can legitimately be called a Christian or not. Don't you think so?

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Hannah Rebekah,

In one short post, you compare me to the Pharisees who rejected Christ and yet state that you do not know people's hearts and do not judge whether they are truly following Christ. Can you understand why those two statements seem contradictory to me?

I feel that you are looking beyond the mark....this is what the Pharisees did with Christ. They knew all the scriptures, they knew all the answers yet they never even recognized the promised Savior who was standing right in front of them. When one confesses that they follow the teachings of the Savior and that he is the Messiah that is being on the road to eternal life. I take people at their word, if they say they are a Christian then I am not the one to say they are not even though their views may be contrary to mine. I don't know their hearts. If a person is a follower, a pupil a disciple of Christ then I take them at their word that they are a Christian.

"no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. 12:3

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zerinus,

You wrote:

I am absolutely baffled by that reply. I cannot understand why that should be. Why can't we both agree (within the context of the Bible) on a standard or criteria by which we can judge someone's Christian dedication or commitment? If you are going to judge that Mormons are not Christians, then you must apply a standard which is at least biblical; and if we are to say the same thing about Evangelicals, we would have to apply a similar standard. Why can't we all agree what that standard should be? If we both accept the Bible as the legitimate source of that standard, then surely we can come to an agreement as to what that standard should be, and therefore agree on who can legitimately be called a Christian or not. Don't you think so?

I think that project is doable, but others here don't seem to agree. They take offense at any suggestion that there is a standard by which some people might be deemed not to be Christians.

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DaddyG,

You wrote, as to criteria for being a Christian:

I already addressed this but just for kicks... Faith in Christ as our Savior. Obedience to His laws. (which are not mutually exclusive)

Cool. By this definition, am I a Christian?

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Hannah Rebekah,

You seem like a sweet lady, but you still have not answered my question directly. I take it from your quotation "all those who confess Jesus as the Messiah, [are] Christians" that you believe that anyone who confesses Jesus as the Messiah is a Christian. I would infer, then, that in your view anyone who professes to be a follower of Christ is by definition a Christian. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

I don't see the Bible claiming anything else as a qualification as a Christian.

1 John 4:2

2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

2 John 1:7

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

1 John 4:3

3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

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juliann,

You wrote:

Are you some sort of referee here?

Careful. The wrath of the UMW will be fall you.

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zerinus,

You wrote:

I think that project is doable, but others here don't seem to agree. They take offense at any suggestion that there is a standard by which some people might be deemed not to be Christians.

Not any standard. Just arbitrarily narrow ones that seek to exclude followers of Christ based on their lack of othrodoxy to those who claim God authorizes them to Judge others unChristian.

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Zakuska,

Thanks for chiming in. You wrote:

I don't see the Bible claiming anything else as a qualification as a Christian.

1 John 4:2

2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

2 John 1:7

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

1 John 4:3

3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

These passages appear to require more than an affirmation that Jesus is the Messiah; they also require a doctrinal confession that Jesus Christ has "come in the flesh." That would exclude some religious groups then and now that profess to be Christians.

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DaddyG,

You wrote, as to criteria for being a Christian:

Cool. By this definition, am I a Christian?

Who an I to judge? :acute:

According to your statements I would venture to guess you are. I haen't been an eyewitness to your behavior to make judgements about your adherance to your professed belief. However - Ultimately only Christ can judge the extent of your faith and obedience.

Edited by DaddyG

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I think that project is doable, but others here don't seem to agree. They take offense at any suggestion that there is a standard by which some people might be deemed not to be Christians.

That sounds to me more like a dodge. So what that they don't agree? You are debating with me now, not with them. Why don't you continue this discussion with me, regardless of what other people say?

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Pahoran,

You wrote:

That is one definition, yes.

And I humbly submit that it is the only definition that actually works.

If Christ is leading people into the LDS Church today, and if I don't accept the LDS Church, isn't it the case that I am not following Christ? And if a Christian is by definition a follower of Christ, but I am not following Christ, then must we not conclude that I am not a Christian?

Not at all.

If we are to conclude anything, it would be that you didn't get the memo. Or that you are not yet ready to receive that rather important bit of inspiration. Or that you are, like all other Christians, mortal and hence imperfect in your efforts to follow Him.

Someone above provided a typically insightful quote from C. S. Lewis. It makes no sense, and destroys communication to say that someone is a Christian because he fails in some way to measure up to an ideal. It makes much more sense to say that such a person is an imperfect Christian; and of whom could we not say that?

You wrote:

I agree. I would reject any such definition.

You wrote:

I guess I am to be included in your description of "egregiously and spitefully dishonest"; is that right?

Why? Are you now subcribing to the "Exclusion by definition" tactic? I was actually under the impression that you were better than that. Was I wrong?

Regards,

Pahoran

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DaddyG,

Is baptism by someone holding priesthood authority one of God's commandments?

According to your statements I would venture to guess you are. I haen't been an eyewitness to your behavior to make judgements about your adherance to your professed belief. However - Ultimately only Christ can judge the extent of your faith and obedience.

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Already answered...

impolite remark removed

snotty response removed - Ares

Oh man! I missed the snot fest and poo flinging! <_<

Edited by Zakuska

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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?

Beyond self-definition as a follower of Christ, I would say viewing Christ as one's personal savior and generally trying to follow the behavioral standards described in the New Testament. I'm sure there are circumstances out there that might also require consideration, but they'd have to be approached on a case by case basis.

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"For Luke, salvation itself is “the way” (hē hodos), a pattern of life

revealed by God. This idea of salvation as a “way” leads in time to

calling the Christian community “the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4;

24:14, 22), an early designation or title for the organized community

of disciples, which eventually is known as “the church.” From the

Lukan perspective, disciples must enter into and stride along that Way

in the footsteps of their Master."

Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight and I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of

Jesus and the Gospels, 185 (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press,

1992).

The word Christian is used less than a handful of times in the Bible which makes Mr. Bowman's assertions even more irrelevant to anything but his own sect.

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DaddyG,

Is baptism by someone holding priesthood authority one of God's commandments?

Yes.

Would failure to keep all of God's commandments make one "Unchristian" or simply a Chrsitian in need of knowledge or repentance?

Edited by DaddyG

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These passages appear to require more than an affirmation that Jesus is the Messiah; they also require a doctrinal confession that Jesus Christ has "come in the flesh." That would exclude some religious groups then and now that profess to be Christians.

Correct Rob. But Mormons infactically declare that he has come in the flesh. And that Joseph Smith saw him... in the flesh. Just as the Apostles of Old.

I really am having a hard time thinking of any doctrinal tests or pledge to a creed that would qualify someone as a Christian.

Infact... there is this verse...

1 Cor 11

19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

But the best Chapter I can think of which speaks against a doctrinal test... would be...

Romans 14

1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Here Paul seems to say to me that it really doesn't matter if one beleves one thing and one beleives another. At least in religious practice. What matters is love and togetherness. Instead of Schism After Schism. Burn the Heretics at the stake.

Edited by Zakuska

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DaddyG,

Is baptism by someone holding priesthood authority one of God's commandments?

More irrelevancy as to who can call themselves Christian. You know very well that Mormons consider those who are baptized in other Christian churches Christian.

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Deleted

Edited by DaddyG

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Suppose an Evangelical pastor beat his wife of Friday night, committed adultery on Saturday night, preached a rousing sermon about Jesus suffering for our sins on Sunday, and sent a check to IRR on Monday, would he be a "genuine" Christian?

If not, why not?

If so, why so?

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