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blooit

Dear Evangelical Friends: Can A Mormon Be A Christian?

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Coolroc7, this definitely explains the antagonistic behaviour towards the LDS belief system that abounds and explains their reaction to family members that want to join the church.

It's also a hurdle for my running back to full belief. Too bad we have these tricky angels, makes me want to scream because how does one know what is true if the angels can trick like that? And it doesn't help me to believe in a maker that would do that.

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There is a Baptist minister online who claims the Book of Mormon, which teaches explicitly that God is three distinct persons and one eternal God, is as Baptist as the Bible. Seems to me a Mormon who believed in the Book of Mormon would be a Christian.

Edited by Bart Burk

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Tacenda, the "tricky angels" are identified in 1 John 4:1, given as a warning not to believe every spirit but to try them (their message). Compare this with the Biblical record and what it says, not the other way around..

 

I as an Evangelical was asked to answer the thread question. I have no animosity to any individual who identifies as Mormon in their faith. Just to false doctrine warned about by Jesus and His first century apostles in which we are instructed to point out in Ephesians in love (I know my heart as I don't hate Mormons of which I've personally been accused of many times).

 

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Tacenda, the "tricky angels" are identified in 1 John 4:1, given as a warning not to believe every spirit but to try them (their message). Compare this with the Biblical record and what it says, not the other way around..

I as an Evangelical was asked to answer the thread question. I have no animosity to any individual who identifies as Mormon in their faith. Just to false doctrine warned about by Jesus and His first century apostles in which we are instructed to point out in Ephesians in love (I know my heart as I don't hate Mormons of which I've personally been accused of many times).

How could a doctrinal error separate us from Jesus' love if we are doing the best we know how to trust in Him? Of course I'm just a poor Catholic saying, "Jesus, I trust in you." Edited by Bart Burk

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That's kind of what I am getting at.  As a Mormon, what must I do to be a Christian?

 

Are you trying to be a Christian in the eyes of others or in God's eyes?

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How could a doctrinal error separate us from Jesus' love if we are doing the best we know how to trust in Him? Of course I'm just a poor Catholic saying, "Jesus, I trust in you."

That's a good point, are LDS in danger of not being saved if they aren't bornagain or if they believe in a different Jesus according to an Evangelical?

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    I see that our Lutheran LDS critic coolrok7 has returned once more to show us the error of our non Christian cultic ways. reminds me of  N.T scripture that talk about those that shut up the kingdom of Heaven unto others, motes and beams,casting stones, busybodies,pratters. His form/model of Christian is criticized and critiqued by other forms/models of Christianity - Roman Catholic,7 Families of Orthodoxy, other forms/models of Protestantism. Does he answer his front door when they show the error of his faith ?.

 

In His Debt/Grace

      Anakin7 

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    I see that our Lutheran LDS critic coolrok7 has returned once more to show us the error of our non Christian cultic ways. reminds me of  N.T scripture that talk about those that shut up the kingdom of Heaven unto others, motes and beams,casting stones, busybodies,pratters. His form/model of Christian is criticized and critiqued by other forms/models of Christianity - Roman Catholic,7 Families of Orthodoxy, other forms/models of Protestantism. Does he answer his front door when they show the error of his faith ?.

 

In His Debt/Grace

      Anakin7 

 

The question was asked of Evangelicals' views about individual LDS and the reality of being Christian.  We should not chide Cool for his frank answer regardless of how much we may disagree with him or his logic.  I personally could not disagree more with the position he offers and feel the logic is faulty.  It is one of the reasons that I seldom find a great deal of friendly appreciation between the typical Evangelicals and LDS.  

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Does this mean that you can't trust anyone or anything other than (the Modern, American, Protestant, Evangelical interpretation of) Christ?

You seem to be attempting to set up a false dichotomy, but failed.

See above. 

You seem to be attempting to say that no one can be trusted but Jesus, and yet you BLINDLY trust YOUR OWN (or that given to you by a Modern, American, Protestant, Evangelical preacher) understanding of the New Testament.

But we have been over this before.

 

The question is who do you trust? 

 

We both acknowledge that we trust in Christ for our salvation. 

 

So, some of the basics we agree on.

 

Where we disagree are many of the details, which tend to cloud what is true or not. And *who* you trust or not plays into what you believe is true or not. I personally don't believe that Joseph Smith is a reliable source for truth or revelation, so I don't trust what he said or taught. I do trust the Biblical authors though, and I do believe that they are a reliable source for truth and revelation. 

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I am sometimes amused at being told I am not a Christian. Surprise to me because I have tried to follow Christ all my life.

 

No matter how complex coolrock explanation become, I believe in the same Jesus, but I guess us "Mormons" have more conditions placed on us than other Christians.

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Tacenda, the "tricky angels" are identified in 1 John 4:1, given as a warning not to believe every spirit but to try them (their message). Compare this with the Biblical record and what it says, not the other way around..

 

I as an Evangelical was asked to answer the thread question. I have no animosity to any individual who identifies as Mormon in their faith. Just to false doctrine warned about by Jesus and His first century apostles in which we are instructed to point out in Ephesians in love (I know my heart as I don't hate Mormons of which I've personally been accused of many times).

Actually... they warned that we should try that spirit against what they taught... not the Bible.  From a mormon perspective, the changes made to the Bible are the very changes they were warning us about.  We teach the same gospel they taught.  In fact, many of them came back as angels to make sure it was done right.  ;)

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Are you trying to be a Christian in the eyes of others or in God's eyes?

I am trying to be a Christian in God's eyes, but I would like to know what it would take for many of my evangelical friends to consider me so. In fact, to be completely honest, I am trying to understand on what consistent principles my exclusion is based.

Edited by blooit

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The question was asked of Evangelicals' views about individual LDS and the reality of being Christian.  We should not chide Cool for his frank answer regardless of how much we may disagree with him or his logic.  I personally could not disagree more with the position he offers and feel the logic is faulty.  It is one of the reasons that I seldom find a great deal of friendly appreciation between the typical Evangelicals and LDS.  

 

     I agree. Coolrok7 however takes any and all opportunities to point out any and all things LDS that he disagrees with as unchristian,,unbiblical with us wearing  non Christian robes.

 

In His Debt/Grace

        Anakin7

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     I agree. Coolrok7 however takes any and all opportunities to point out any and all things LDS that he disagrees with as unchristian,,unbiblical with us wearing  non Christian robes.

 

In His Debt/Grace

        Anakin7

 

I agree with you, but I also think he is representative of a large segment of the Evangelical community.  Based upon their definition of what it means to be Christian, they necessarily have to declassify all of the first apostles and disciples during the first 100 years of Christianity.  They all fall short of the definition they have created.  

 

Labels are difficult because definitions are not fixed and are changed according to the agenda of the one using a term.  Being "unbiblical" is pretty much a farce description; what is really meant is that there is a different in interpretation, context, and total Biblical scripture.  .  

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It may be difficult for any other christian faith to recognize mormons as christians. Mainly it is because by claiming that mormons are not christian, it may scare the flock away from being in mormonism. For example, on th catholic apologetic site it is routinely claimed by many that mormons are not christian. Likewise for protestant sites. And quite often it is claimed that mormons have a different jesus or god. They usually write 'the mormon god' or 'the mormon jesus' etc. Of course, individual members may claim otherwise and say the mormons are christians but organizationally, the would rather put mormons and mormonism in the non-christian category.  

 

Sad but not very much to do about it except preach the gospel and keep on saying that mormons are christians with good explanations as to why.

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Tacenda, the "tricky angels" are identified in 1 John 4:1, given as a warning not to believe every spirit but to try them (their message). Compare this with the Biblical record and what it says, not the other way around..

 

I as an Evangelical was asked to answer the thread question. I have no animosity to any individual who identifies as Mormon in their faith. Just to false doctrine warned about by Jesus and His first century apostles in which we are instructed to point out in Ephesians in love (I know my heart as I don't hate Mormons of which I've personally been accused of many times).

 

So since you believe that these things reported by in the restoration actually happened (they were just demonic) then we will logically have to believe that when Joseph Smith read James 1:5 (and had his first vision) he was deceived in response to seeking answers! If what you believe is true, then when Joseph was praying for forgiveness of sins and was deceived by the "angel of light" Moroni, he was deceived when praying for forgiveness of his sins! Following this, let's talk about a woman I met on my mission who was praying one day for help because she felt lost in her life, and the next minute missionaries were at her door. Following what you are saying, she was sent false teachers for asking for help (she also read the bible regularly by the way).

 

I will be the first to admit that I don't have a perfect testimony of Mormonism, in fact there is much I admire in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. But based on what you have stated, we would be forced to conclude that God either deliberately lets people be deceived, or doesn't care enough about certain individuals that he allows Satan to make it look like Mormonism is a direct answer to a sincere prayer. While I appreciate you stating your view, the possibility of this being real reflects very poorly on what kind of being your "god" is.  

Edited by boblloyd91

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Actually... they warned that we should try that spirit against what they taught... not the Bible.  From a mormon perspective, the changes made to the Bible are the very changes they were warning us about.  We teach the same gospel they taught.  In fact, many of them came back as angels to make sure it was done right.   ;)

 

 

I am trying to be a Christian in God's eyes, but I would like to know what it would take for many of my evangelical friends to consider me so. In fact, to be completely honest, I am trying to understand on what consistent principles my exclusion is based.

 

The warning to "try every spirit" against what John taught, is very much apart of the biblical text. The question or point of dispute is what changes were allegedly made if any, and what are the evidences? 

 

Maybe another way to understand this, would be to reverse the question. At what point is one no longer a mormon? 

 

If one was to say that the standard works were changed, and needed further revelation to bring back the original message. Would that person still be considered a mormon? 

 

* understand I'm not saying you are or are not a christian, as I really don't see that in my capabilities.

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The answer to this controversy is very simple. If one defines Christianity as a religion that:

 

1) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe the church of Christ needs living Apostles and Prophets and continuous revelation is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

2) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe the canon of scripture is open and that it's God's design and will the cannon be added to from time to time is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

3) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe Book of Mormon is another authentic scriptural testament of Jesus Christ is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

4) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God is a heretical and spurious religion.

 

5) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe the Gospel of Christ is preached to the dead who had no opportunity to hear and embrace the Gospel in this life is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

6) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe it's God's will and design that marriages and families should endure forever is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

7) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe heaven is divided into three degrees of glory, and that God will ultimately save the vast majority of the human race in one of these three mansions of glory is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

8 Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe men and women, as joint heirs with all Christ possesses, can become like their Heavenly Father is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

9) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe they existed as spirit children of Heavenly Parents is a heretical and spurious.

 

10) Teaches its adherents any religion that teaches its members to believe the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, administered by legally authorized priesthood holders, are necessary prerequisites to salvation is a heretical and spurious Christian religion.

 

11) Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

 

Heretical = A departure from accepted beliefs.

Spurious = Fake

 

Therefor the reason why so many non-LDS Christians say the religion of the Latter-day Saints in not Christian is because LDS doctrines and teachings do not conform with their understanding of the accepted standards of orthodox Christian belief. They will acknowledge it's true that the Latter-day Saints may use the name of the Lord in the Church's official title, but to many of these non-LDS Christians that's where the lone similarity ends.

 

Conversely, for the very same partial list of 10 reasons listed above, if we Latter-day Saints wanted to be uncharitable we could justifiably say, in accord with our beliefs, that the non-LDS Christians are Christians in name only. But because we Latter-day Saints tend to be more fair-minded and charitable than our bitter critics, we rightly believe non-LDS Christians are Christians of a different but still positive and edifying stripe. 

Edited by teddyaware

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“… if we Latter-day Saints wanted to be uncharitable we could justifiably say, in accord with our beliefs, that the non-LDS Christians are Christians in name only.”

Once Christ, according to the LDS Church, declared that we were/are Christians in name only, then it became difficult for believers to just blithely accept LDS as part of a Christian community of faith.

 

The foundational principle of the LDS Church wasn’t that the other churches, people, and teachings were of a “different but still positive and edifying stripe” – quite the opposite.  And if one goes to the LDS-provided cross-referenced verses in Isaiah, Matthew, and 2 Timothy that accompany the First Vision, then the inference is made clearer that historical and current mainstream Christianity is on par with the worst of the worst.

 

All of our churches are wrong, all of our creeds are an abomination in the sight of the Lord, our preachers and teachers are all corrupt and we deny the power of God.  I’ve never understood why LDS think it’s a slight to not include them in our general definition of Christianity.  We are of such a lower order that it should be seen as disparaging to do so.

 

Christianity’s response to the LDS Church’s judgment of Christianity has not always been stellar – learning to turn the other cheek is easier said than done.  But it sounds as if some Christians are actually acting Christ-like, based on comments here.  As soon as we lose the capacity to respect the inherent dignity of someone else’s freedom to disagree, stereotypes set in. And stereotypes are the first step toward de-humanization, and eventually violence. 

Edited by Gervin

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The question of the thread, "Can a Mormon Be a Christian?" addressed to "Evangelical" Friends is what I was addressing Vance. The term "evangelical" (for a Christian not a Mormon) is derived from the Greek term for "Gospel" which means "Good News".

Yawn. 

An Evangelical identifies with the preaching/telling of that Good News (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) concerning the Jesus Christ of Biblical Revelation, not Mormon so-called "Scripture", a big distinction to be made in answering the question of the thread.

An Evangelical identifies with A PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION OF the preaching/telling of that Good News (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) concerning the Jesus Christ A PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION of Biblical Revelation, not Mormon so-called "Scripture", a big distinction to be made in answering the question of the thread 

 

You can attempt to change the words around but it doesn't change what I said that is biblically accurate in what I stated.

Again, it is JUST YOUR INTERPRETATION, it has nothing to do with "biblically accurate".

 

The point being made is that a Mormon doesn't believe what a Biblical Christian does, no matter how strenuously they object (in my perspective).

A Mormon doesn't believe A PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION OF the bible that a so called "Biblical" Christian does.

God is the ultimate Judge of what being a Christian is,

On this we can agree.

YOU ARE NOT THE JUDGE. And your particular interpretation of the Bible does NOT change that fact.

. . . already addressed in the Bible and its not a Mormon, Christian Scientist, Jehovah's Witness, Moonie. . .etc., etc. as far as the doctrine goes.

ONLY as far as YOUR PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION is concerned. Which, thank God, has NOTHING to do with God's interpretation.

 

What Anakin7 stated earlier concerning Galatians 1:9 is only a part of th objection in Mormons being able to be considered Christian in their doctrine. In part, along with the "another Gospel" also the "another Jesus" (also spirit/gospel) of 2 Corinthians 11 addressed by Paul.

Again, this is strictly due to YOUR PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION.

The Mormonism of Joseph Smith strikes out on all three as it is the spirit of Mormonism which deceived Joseph Smith and greatly influenced  what he ended up teaching. The "angel from heaven" preaching another gospel identified in Galatians is further described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 11 as Satan as the one who can appear as "an angel of light".

Again, this is simply based upon your own UNAUTHORITATIVE interpretation of the Bible. And nothing to do with what the scripture actually mean.

 

An inadvertent I think but rather telling reference in this statement made by a Mormon Authority concerning Moroni, . . .:

Only to the simple minded.

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The question is who do you trust?

God! 

 

We both acknowledge that we trust in Christ for our salvation. 

 

So, some of the basics we agree on.

 

Where we disagree are many of the details, which tend to cloud what is true or not. And *who* you trust or not plays into what you believe is true or not. I personally don't believe that Joseph Smith is a reliable source for truth or revelation, so I don't trust what he said or taught.

It is not about trusting Joseph Smith. It is not is Joseph Smith that Mormons put their trust. All Mormons look to Jesus Christ for salvation.

I do trust the Biblical authors though,

Actually that is not entirely accurate. What you are trusting is a particular interpretation of those Biblical authors.

and I do believe that they are a reliable source for truth and revelation.

They, indeed are. Mormons DO believe the Bible and what its authors taught. We just don't believe all of how the Modern American Evangelical Protestant interprets them.

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If one was to say that the standard works were changed, and needed further revelation to bring back the original message. Would that person still be considered a mormon?

THANK GOD for a prophet.

Quite frankly, Mormons and the LDS church could and would function just fine if all of the scriptures were suddenly taken away.

* understand I'm not saying you are or are not a christian, as I really don't see that in my capabilities.

I appreciate that. And know that I would never try to exclude you from being called a Christian, even though I disagree with some of your doctrines.

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In looking at my previous post, I want to state that it was insulting to use the term "god" when addressing my perception of Coolrok's idea of God. Regardless of where we are theologically, I do believe in God and describing Him in that manner was rude. However I still stick by my argument that there are real issues with believing that people because they got the wrong answer in their prayers. To illustrate this point, I want to share a story from the ensign https://www.lds.org/liahona/1986/06/a-mothers-dream?lang=eng&query=cantos+family%C2'>

In reading this story, the family, prayed and read their bible and in response they believed God sent them the missionaries. So again, if Mormonism is of the Devil, why would a family that prayed and studied the bible receive a false or demonic manifestation? LDS history is full of experiences like these. 

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All of our churches are wrong, all of our creeds are an abomination in the sight of the Lord, our preachers and teachers are all corrupt and we deny the power of God.  I’ve never understood why LDS think it’s a slight to not include them in our general definition of Christianity.

So, you (speaking generally not specifically) after that, HAD to change your definition of being a Christian to exclude Mormons? And in doing so you inadvertently excluded one or more groups that heretofore were unquestionably considered Christian.

It is so humorous to see.

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