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dnlgrow

Are Mormons' Christians?

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How is this even a question? Has the definition of a christian been re-written?

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We doing this again?:P Why do I think this will always be discussed.

If our faith isn't Christ centered, then we really dont have much faith do we?

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This question is important, for political reasons.

If the goal of the Christian Coalition is to create a Christian centered US government, ( prohibiting non-christians from serving in public office) then it becomes very important who Pat Roberts (and his other cohorts) defines as a "Christian". We are not currenlty included in his definition.

Just because we aren't being murdered with the sanction of the government like we were in the early days of the church doesn't mean that kind of persecution won't ever happen again.

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Are Mormons' Christians what? Are they going ice skating? To the movies? To church? Eating tacos?

"How is this even a question?"

It isn't. Accept the above in the spirit of trying to help you turn it into one.

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Sidewinder,

You must be a product of public education to think his question is grammatically flawed. It isn't.

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"If the goal of the Christian Coalition is to create a Christian centered US government,"

"Just because we aren't being murdered with the sanction of the government"

lol. If the Christian Coalition manages to take over the US government, then since they will want to systematically murder non-Christians, the exclusion of Mormons from the definition of the word "Christian" presents a serious problem. Namely, that they will be killed. As opposed to the scenario where the Christian Coalition takes over the US government, rightfully acknowledges Mormons as Christians, and side by side, they work together in systematically executing all non-Christians; Muslims, Jews, Atheists, New Agers, etc.

Just whose side do you want to be on anyway?

I for one would support legislation against Mormons. I would support mandetory curfews and other things that would designate them as second class citizens. But with certain provisions. These rules would only go for Mormons who think being excluded as "Christians" by evangelicals is in any way a big deal. I would do my civic duty to respect the freedom of religion of these Mormons, and persecute them in order to help fulfill their needs as victims.

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Side,

Your sarcasm is noted.

While murder may not be in the Christian Coalitions' crosshairs- violating the rights of non-christians in a multitude of ways is.

Latter-day Saints have been raped and killed before, and I'm not goign to assert it will never happen again. That ugly chapter in american history has been closed for the time being, but we were victems of gross injustice by the state and federal government.

Now- gratefully, we are only victims to people like you who are merely bitter and not homicidal maniacs.

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Many Christians feel that, if they did not have someone to slap up the side of the head with their Bible, there would be no use for their Bible.

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Jipsy,

I am Mormon and have no interest in being included in the modern conception of Christian.

Our theology is different in lots of ways.

Most of all when we argue for Mormons as christians we end up reducing emphasis on really important differences BTW mormon theology and "General Christian" Theology in an attempt to fit in.

Really we are the only Christians and everyone else is heretic - but i think that is more difficult to argue.

Why don't we just say that Christianity does not accept us because they have distorted Christianity beyond the scope of truth.

Lets say we are Judaistic in our faith - or something fun anyway.

I don't want to insult the vastness and perfection of mormon ideals and theology to argue about whether a apostate Christian world will call us Christian. We are arguing to be called by the name of the same apostate organisation and concept the church was supposed to perfect and replace.

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In other words, don't flatter yourself into thinking that we LDS want our Christianity to look like your christianity.

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Many elements of the Mormon faith are mirrored in the Ancient Jewish and Early Christian faiths, elements of which are lost to most other denominations of Mainstream Christianity. That is why I, as a Gnostic Christian and a Jewish Kabbalah Student, feel more at home in the LDS Church than I do in other Christian Churches. That and I love The Book of Mormon and believe Joseph Smith was essentially a Gnostic/Kabbalist Mystic in his own right. Mainstream Christians, especially Protestants, go for more modern interpretations and modern trappings when they interpret Scripture, ignoring the Ancient Jewish/Christian faiths and what the Ancient Jews and Early Christians believed in and taught. Many so-called "Mormon Doctrines" are actually "Ancient Jewish & Early Christian Doctrines". I'd personally want to distance myself with the Mainstream Christian Sects, they are seriously lacking IMHO.

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This question is important, for political reasons.

If the goal of the Christian Coalition is to create a Christian centered US government, ( prohibiting non-christians from serving in public office) then it becomes very important who Pat Roberts (and his other cohorts) defines as a "Christian". We are not currenlty included in his definition.

Just because we aren't being murdered with the sanction of the government like we were in the early days of the church doesn't mean that kind of persecution won't ever happen again.

This has got to be one of the most uninformed---unintelligent----stupid----ignorant-----biased----unfactaul----arrogant---eletist-- post I've ever read on this board!

And that is my nice way of putting it

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I was very much impressed with the post by Bikeemikey. It showed a great deal greater understanding of LDS theology than does the "bid for legitimacy" tactic used by many Mormons (trying to point out as many similarities as possible even when they're not there). Wonderful job Mikey!

However, this doesn't change the fact that I think this is a really stupid question, and I wonder why people argue about it at all. As I have said many times, I can count seven different definitions for the word "Christian" in English. Noe of these is more right than any of the others. By some, Mormons are Christian. By otheres they are not. So what? Arguing about what is the correct definition for a word means nothing. Heck, the word wasn't even around in Jesus' time!

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I love The Book of Mormon and believe Joseph Smith was essentially a Gnostic/Kabbalist Mystic in his own right

Yeah, he was,

but contrary to your statements, the early church was not Gnostic. Paul preached against this all the time. Sorry.

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I love The Book of Mormon and believe Joseph Smith was essentially a Gnostic/Kabbalist Mystic in his own right

Yeah, he was,

but contrary to your statements, the early church was not Gnostic. Paul preached against this all the time. Sorry.

Oh really? I don't think you want to debate me on that. :P

Gnosticism is comprised of the Post-Resurrection teachings of Jesus Christ which He imparted unto His Holy Apostles during the 40 day period following His Resurrection. (As mentioned in Acts 1:3 in the New Testament.) In regards to Christian Gnosticism, there is *strong* scriptural and historical evidence of this secret tradition being passed down from the Apostles via oral tradition:

The New Testament contains indications that the ancient church possessed extra-scriptural teachings that were not made available to the public but were reserved for worthy followers of Christ.

Acts 1:3 in the New Testament states that after His Resurrection, Jesus Christ taught His Apostles in secret for 40 days teaching them the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

The last verses in the Gospel of John indicates that there were many other things that Jesus Christ said and did, that could not be fully contained even if written down in all the books in the world, that which should be written.

Saint Paul's visions don't meet the apostolic criteria stated in Acts 1:21-22. They were essentially Gnostic insights in which he received "secret wisdom" to be shared only with those Christians he considers "mature".

"I have fed you with milk," Paul told the Corinthian saints, "and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye now able" (1 Corinthians 3:2). If Paul ever gave this doctrinal "meat" to the Corinthians, it is not recorded in any extant version of the New Testament. Why not? Moreover, since Paul's first letter to the saints at Corinth discusses everything from the order and glories of the resurrection to the various kinds of spiritual gifts found in the church, what could have been the "meat" that Paul withheld?

The Corinthians were "babes" in Christ; they were still unable to handle the "meat" of the gospel (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). However, Paul told them that "mature" saints were taught a "secret and hidden wisdom" (1 Corinthians 2:6-7). This secret wisdom undoubtedly constituted part of the "meat" that the apostle withheld from the Corinthians.

When Paul was blessed to visit Paradise, he heard "things that must not be divulged" (2 Corinthians 12:4, AB). The Greek here is arreta remata, "unutterable words." The adjective "unutterable" was often used "of things disclosed in Mystery rites which the initiates were charged to keep secret" (Victor Paul Furnish, II Corinthians, The Anchor Bible, Grden City, New York: Dubleday & Company, Inc., 1984, p. 527).

1 Corinthians 2:6-8 We speak gnosis among the mature (teleioi), but not the wisdom of this age or of the archons of this age, who are passing away. But we speak of the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which God ordained before the aeons for our glory. None of the archons of this age knew this; had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 3:1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual (pneumatic) but as worldly (sarkic) --mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

1 Corinthians 4:1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.

Paul is an initiate, a pneumatic, a spiritual, ''I worship in my spirit (pneumati) .. I long .. to share with you a certain spiritual (pneumatic) charisma to establish you'' (Romans 1:9,11). ''We speak the Gnosis among the Teleioi'' (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Paul the Gnostic:

Most interesting indeed is the picture which emerges from the Gnostics - many of whom regard Paul as the founding Gnostic. Indeed, the first book from the Jung Codex is called The Prayer of the Apostle Paul, and Paul is cited often as a key founding Gnostic Father. These Gnostic books are full of Pauline exegesis.

Tertullian and Irenaeus, and the recently revealed Nag Hammadi Library, are the main sources of the Gnostic's viewpoint, which shows:

1. The Valentinians claim their secret tradition is based on Paul's own Gnostic teaching ''they say that Valentinus was a hearer of Theudas... a disciple of Paul'' - noting Paul's key phrase ''we speak gnosis among the telioi''

2. The Naassenes and Valentinians revere Paul as the Apostle who was a Gnostic Initiate.

3. The Gnostic Library of Nag Hammadi contains key works attributed to Paul (e.g. Prayer of the Apostle Paul; Apocalypse of Paul), many citing or alluding to him (The Epistle to Rheginos, Tripartite Tractate, Gospel of Philip, The Interpretation of the Gnosis, etc.)

4. Ptolemy, Heracleon and Theodotus revere Paul as ''the apostle ''

The Gnostics accuse the Anti-Gnostics of being unaware of the secret tradition, and of using the sources un-critically (i.e. not testing as Paul enjoined).

Furthermore the Gnostics claim their opponents read the surface literal meaning of the teachings, without understanding the deeper meaning, which they understand through Paul's Gnosis and their initiation there-in.

And they say they are following Paul's example when they offer "gnosis to the mature".

They also defend their libertarian approach by pointing to Paul's freedom from the law as expressed by 1 Corinthians 6:12.

So, the Gnostics make a clear argument for a Gnostic Paul, and for the literalist Christians having missed the whole point - and the Gnostics were right at the centre of the Christian movement, only later are they seen as outsiders, e.g. Valentinus, (who claimed to have been personally initiated by one Theudas, an initiate of the Apostle Paul), was perhaps considered for Pope - many Christians followed Valentinus in his time.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Gnostics say:

1. Tertullian and Irenaeus admits the Gnostics say they practice the Pauline teaching to ''test all things''

2. Tertullian even admits that some ''unstable and unlearned brothers'' (Pauline Christians) have distorted Paul's teachings.

3. Irenaeus admits that Valentinians teaching is plausible.

4. Tertullian compare the Valentinian initiation to the Eleusinian

5. Origen admits Ambrose became Valentinian Initiate to better understand the ''deeper mysteries of scripture".

i.e. the Anti-Gnostics themselves confirm some of the Gnostic ideas.

COMMENTS ON JOHN:

John's writings borrows from Greek and Jewish Gnosticism in several instances. The Qumran texts anticipate a number of specifically Johannine expressions, eg "sons of light" (12:36), "the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light" (3:21), "the spirit of truth vs the spirit of falsehood" (1 John 4:6) ... the incarnation of opposed principles (good/evil, light/darkness, truth/falsehood) are Qumran concepts (scroll of the war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness). John's paraclete (14:17, 15:26 etc) draws on Qumran theology. In Qumran, it was only the select few who had access to "knowledge" -- ie those initiated into the apocalyptic gnosis by the Teacher of Righteousness.

"His flesh and purifying him from all deeds of wickedness by a Holy Spirit. And he will sprinkle the Spirit of Truth on him like waters, purifying him from all the abominations of the Lie and of contamination" --- Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule (1QS) 4.18-23

Also of note is that both the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation were both *highly* suspected of having Gnostic Origins in Early Christianity, and that they were both almost rejected from the "Officially" compiled mainstream Christian Canon of Scripture of 393AD+. The Gnostic Christians used them both extensively in support of their Theology, in addition to the Pauline Letters, which are also filled with strong Gnostic Exegesis. Also, the earliest recorded usage of both the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation was among Early Gnostic Christians. Some of the Early Mainstream Christian "Canons" rejected the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation, while many of the Early Gnostic Christian "Canons" embraced the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation.

Church father Ignatius (50AD-117AD) told the Trallians that he possessed sacred information that they were not yet ready to receive:

Can I not write heavenly things to you? But I fear that I may do harm to "you who are infants." You must pardon me, lest you be choked by what you cannot swallow. For though I am in bonds and can know heavenly things such as the angelic locations and the archontic conjunctions, visible and invisible, for all that I am not already a disciple. [st. Ignatius of Antioch] (Born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117, Christian tradition holds that he was a disciple of Saint John the Apostle)

These "heavenly things" or "heavenly mysteries" were obviously not recorded in the scriptures, and Ignatius did not think the Trallians were ready to receive them.

Valentinian Christian Gnosticism:

Valentinus (100AD-155AD) was a second century Christian mystic and poet. He is sometimes refered to as a "Gnostic" because of the importance that mystical knowledge (gnosis) plays in his thought. Valentinus was born in Phrebonis in upper Egypt about 100 AD and educated in nearby Alexandria. There he became a disciple of the Christian teacher Theudas who had been a disciple of Saint Paul. He claimed that Theudas taught him secret wisdom that Paul had taught privately to his inner circle.

Like many early Christian mystics, Valentinus claimed that that he had a vision of the risen Christ. Following his vision, he began his career as a Christian teacher at Alexandria around 120AD. His esoteric theology quickly attracted a large following. After Valentinus' death around 155AD, his disciples further developed his ideas and spread them throughout the Roman Empire.

Valentinus was one of the most influential Gnostic Christian teachers of the second century A.D. He founded a movement which spread throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Despite persecution by the Catholic Church, the Valentinian school endured for over 600 years. Valentinus' influence persists even today. The Valentinian Gnostics were also the very first Christians ever to write extensive commentaries on the New Testament.

It appears that the Gnostic Christian Valentinus derived his own Gnostic Teaching from Saint Paul the Apostle through a disciple of Saint Paul named Theudas. Many Early Christians admired him, some joined his ranks. His school lasted up to 600 A.D.

Valentinians taught a type of esoteric or "Gnostic" Christian theology. It stood in much the same relationship to mainstream Christianity as the Kabbalah does to mainstream Judaism. Valentinians made use of a series of elaborate metaphors to describe how human beings have become alienated from God and how they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

Saint Clement of Alexandria, an early Greek theologian and head of the catechetical school of Alexandria who died circa 215 AD, had strong gnostic tendencies. Saint Clement of Alexandria believed in a *secret* oral tradition that was handed down through the apostles. (Stromateis 1:11;2.3) This refers to teachings restricted to a certain number of believers (pneumatics), which basically constitutes the Gnostic side of the religion.

Concerning these secret teachings, Saint Clement of Alexandria stated:

"James the Righteous, John and Peter were entrusted by the Lord after his resurrection with the higher knowledge. They imparted it to the other apostles, to the seventy..." (Outlines Book VI)

Clement of Alexandria acknowledged that the church had secret teachings. He said these teachings had come from Christ through the apostles. I quote from historian Frank N. MaGill's summary of Clement's teachings on this subject:

Clement concedes that the Scriptures open salvation to the many, who experience the "first saving change," when they pass from heathenism to faith, or from law to Gospel. But these are saved only in the first degree. Besides his public teaching, Christ also taught his Apostles the gnosis [hidden sacred knowledge] which leads to perfection. This knowledge, Clement claims, "has descended by transmission to a few, having been imparted unwritten by the apostles." Great preparation and previous training are necessary to receive it. But those who can obey it, achieve here and now a foretaste of eternal bliss, and, in the world to come, will take their places with the Apostles in the highest sphere. (Masterpieces of Christian Literature, New York: Harper & Row, 1963, p. 47)

According to the ancient Christian historian Eusebius, Clement taught that after the resurrection the Savior gave the higher teachings to Peter, James, and John, and they shared them with the rest of the apostles, who in turn relayed them to the Seventy (Douglas M. Parrot, "Gnostic and Orthodox Disciples in the Second and Third Centuries," in Charles Hedrick and Robert Hodgson, editors, Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity, Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1986, p. 214).

Similarly, esteemed church father Origen said the true students of the higher teachings among the apostles were Peter, James, and John (Parrot, Ibid., p. 214)

In the Gnostic text entitled The Secret Gospel of Mark, one of the Christian Gnostic texts discovered in 1945, describes Jesus performing secret initiation rituals.

Before the discovery of this secret gospel, our only knowledge of it came from a letter written by Clement. Clement quotes from this secret gospel and refers to it as, "a more spiritual gospel for the use of those who were being perfected." He also states, "It even yet is most carefully guarded [by the church at Alexandria], being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries." Clement mentions elsewhere that Jesus revealed a secret teaching to those who were "capable of receiving it and being molded by it" He also affirmed that, "The gnosis (secret knowledge) itself is that which has descended by transmission to a few, having been imparted unwritten by the apostles." (Miscell. Book VI, Chapter 7)

According to tradition, after the Roman invasion of Jerusalem, the author of the Gospel of Mark established a church in Alexandria, Egypt. Mark may also have been the author of a "secret gospel" containing more advanced teaching for those being initiated into the Christian mysteries. This secret gospel contains passages portraying Jesus teaching secret doctrines.

The Champion for the secret teachings of Jesus:

As the orthodox church in Rome gained more and more political power the more it viewed secret teachings as a threat to their own public teachings. But the Church leader who made the final and greatest attempt to revive the secret teachings of Jesus within the orthodox teachings was the first Church Father named Origen (183-253 A.D.) of Alexandria in Egypt who was a disciple of Clement of Alexandra. Origen was the first person since Paul to develop a system of theology around the teachings of Jesus. His effort was the first within the orthodox church to systematize a theology on so vast a scale. Although Origen defended orthodoxy, he included in his system the wisdom of the Christian Gnostics. His theology was a perfect synthesis of "orthodox" and "gnostic" teachings and came the closest to reviving the "Lost Christianity" of the original sects, communities and schools, at a time when the Christian Gnosticism was falling into disrepute. Unfortunately, hundreds of years later, the Church declared him a heretic and his teachings as heresy mostly because they affirmed preexistence of the soul.

Origen had this to say about the secret teachings of Jesus:

"[Jesus] conversed with His disciples in private, and especially in their sacred retreats, concerning the Gospel of God; but the words which He uttered have not been preserved, because it appeared to the evangelists that they could not be adequately conveyed to the multitude in writing or in speech... and they saw... what things were to be committed to writing, and how this was to be done, and what was by no means to be written to the multitude, and what was to be expressed in words, and what was not to be so conveyed". (Contra Celsus, Chap. VI. 18)

The above information was posted from various online sources I've read and researched and compiled together.

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Bikeemikey said: "Really we are the only Christians and everyone else is heretic"

I'm sure you don't mean that the way it sounds. While we LDS believe many of the Christian sects' teachings are 'inaccurate', I think there are many aspects of the Lord's nature and mission that some LDS would have a hard time believing. Joseph Smith said that if he told everything he knew the saints would take his life. We criticize other Christians for not receiving our message but we often have the same attitude, differing only by degree.

Parapunte's remarks suggest we're still not in possession of some of the Lord's teachings and doctrines, and I don't expect we'll have them until we become more mature in the faith. The foundamental Christian teachings are love and service. You find them in most Christian denominations, as well as all the religions of the world.

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Any person that proclaims to be a Christian is so.

Any person that rejects such proclamations is a heretic.

Such irony that the mythical Christ was a Jew. cool.gif

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How is this even a question? Has the definition of a christian been re-written?

A better question is, "Is Mormonism Christian?" That way the focus is upon the theological system, and not the people in the system. For there is little doubt that there are some Christians among the LDS. After all, the LDS spend most of their time proselytizing those who are already Christians. On the other hand, is it possible that anyone could ever become a Christian given the theology of Mormonism? An honest appraisal should lead one to a definitive, "No."

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Guest johnny_cat
A better question is, "Is Mormonism Christian?" That way the focus is upon the theological system, and not the people in the system. For there is little doubt that there are some Christians among the LDS. After all, the LDS spend most of their time proselytizing those who are already Christians. On the other hand, is it possible that anyone could ever become a Christian given the theology of Mormonism? An honest appraisal should lead one to a definitive, "No."

This endless debate about who is Christian is pointless. It all depends on how you define the word Christian. Evangelicals tend to use a more restrictive definition based on acceptance of creeds, whereas most people would say those who believe Jesus Christ is their Savior are Christians. Is it possible that anyone could be led to believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior given the theology of Mormonism? An honest appraisal should lead one to a definite "Yes."

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[really evil nitpick]

You must be a product of public education to think his question is grammatically flawed. It isn't.

It's isn't grammatically flawed, but it is punctuationally flawed. "Are Mormons' Christians" implies that the Christians belong to the Mormons. I think that's what he was getting at.

[/really evil nitpick]

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What is even funnier with this thread, is this topic has been discussed a number of times all coming to the same conclusion. That the terminology of being a

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I know plenty of Mormon Christians. I have no trouble with fellowshipping with mormons. The question is, do they feel the same about a Baptist or Catholic, or just a plain ole christian?

What saddens me is there are always bad feelings on the part of the Mormon. LIke everyone who doesnt hold a temple recommend is somehow unworthy.

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Didn't you hear?

We had baptists at our BBQ.

:P

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Thanks for your responses... To name a few- Avatar, Sidewinder, and Bikeemikey.

"Accept the above, in the spirit of trying to help you turn it into one."

Sidewinder

I think I like that

But to say Mormons' are not Christians is to say that Mormons' don't believe that Jesus is the Christ. That is my feeling. In other words, Christians take upon themselves the name of Christ and do always remember Him.

THAT IS A CHRISTIAN... And we know there is only one Christ, even that same Jesus who was born unto the Virgin Mary. To say we believe of some other Jesus is also a point others will argue. But there is only one name under heaven whereby salvation can come. That is the name of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

I get frustrated, angry, and I think even a little sad; but surely I get frustrated and angry...

Here are two great talks- John K. Carmack, On Christianity, 10/02; and

Brent Top, Unrightous Judgement,08/03

In spite our differences, we'ld be surprised of our similarities

I have enough common sense to even take my own words with a grain of salt

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What saddens me is there are always bad feelings on the part of the Mormon. LIke everyone who doesnt hold a temple recommend is somehow unworthy.

Thats is a bunch of bosh and you know it.

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