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Is Mormonism The New Arianism ?


samova2133

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In the ealrly Christian Church there was a heresy called Arianism. The emporer Constantine, who made

Christianity the offical religion of the Roman Empire, was an Arian Christian, and so were the Vandals and Visigoths that

sacked Rome and killed many of the orthodox Trinitarian Christians in North Africa led by Saint Augustine.

It is my thesis that Mormonism is the modern day version of this old heresy. Could it be that

Mormonism is nothing more than a recapitulation of this ancient false doctrine?

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Why don't you define how you see the doctrine of Arianism as comparing with LDS doctrine?

The Arians said that Jesus was not God. The Mormons say that Jesus is not God.

They both say that God the Father and the Son were not co-eternal nor of the same substance, seeing the pre-incarnate Jesus (known as Immanuel) as a divine being (though not a god or demi-god but more like an Archangel (Messenger of God)) but nonetheless created by (and consequently inferior to) the Father at some point, before which the Son did not exist.

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In the ealrly Christian Church there was a heresy called Arianism. The emporer Constantine, who made

Christianity the offical religion of the Roman Empire, was an Arian Christian, and so were the Vandals and Visigoths that

sacked Rome and killed many of the orthodox Trinitarian Christians in North Africa led by Saint Augustine.

It is my thesis that Mormonism is the modern day version of this old heresy. Could it be that

Mormonism is nothing more than a recapitulation of this ancient false doctrine?

No, Mormonism is much more than just that -- but you are on to something here.

If you follow the development and progress of the Calvinist Baptists in the northeastern USA, you

will notice that from around 1800 onward, many ministers and laypeople began to abandon strict,

predestinarian Calvinism for a more moderate version, such as was then being preached in

England, by theological innovators like the Rev. Andrew Fuller.

As this new, semi-Arminian form of Baptist religion spread through the USA, its professors were preaching

to the multitudes and making converts, just like the Methodists, "New Lights," and other non-Calvinist

sects. The idea was spreading that converts could be accepted into "liberal" Baptist congregations,

without their having to provide detaoled evidence of a "change of heart" and "regeneration experience."

With the outburst of "Campbellism" in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio in the mid-1820s,

another innovation was added to this semi-Arianism among the Baptists -- and that was the altar call

or "invitation" to baptism. Preachers like Elder Walter Scott, Stone and Finney all began to offer the

"invitation" to interested converts at about the same time.

In Baptist churches, before this new idea, converts were thought to come from the predestined "elect,"

who were given "born again" experiences by the Holy Ghost, followed by baptism and membership in

an accepting congregation.

But, with "Campbellism" a fully Arminian, semi-Arian form of Baptist religion emerged, in which preachers went

about offering the "invitation" to anybody who accepted and believed in the "first principles of the gospel."

In 1827-29, many hundreds of converts were made by traveling Campbellite preachers, such as

Elder Sidney Rigdon in Ohio. These new converts did not have to give proof of a "conversion experience,"

nor did any Baptist congregation have to vote on their being baptized, made Christians, and in many

cases, ordained to serve as new preachers themselves. Belief in Jesus as God was not manditory --

what was required was a belief in Jesus as Messiah. Campbellism was thus Arian in part, or at least

part of its memnership could be so.

It was no coincidence that Mormonism began and flourished in this new, Arminian, semi-Arian religious

environment, for Mormonism, when it first began, was very, very much like Campbellism. It did not stay

that way for long however, and Mormonism quickly became standardized with a very high Christology.

In that way, at least, it was not as "Arian" as its predecessor Campbellism.

Uncle Dale

.

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samova2133,

It is my thesis that Mormonism is the modern day version of this old heresy.

Mormonism is a modern day version of Arianism heresy but with a different twist. Mormons would say:

- Jesus became God.

- Jesus is a second God

Another heresy that Mormonism teaches is that:

- there are three Gods

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BCSpace,

Not early enough. Compared to ECF doctrine, the creedal trinity would have been a heresy of the highest order. Not even Tertullian or Theophilus would have accepted the trinity.

Please back up your words that:

- the creedal trinity would have been a heresy of the highest order

- Not even Tertullian or Theophilus would have accepted the trinity

I believe your words are not supported by ECF doctrine or by scripture.

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BCSpace,

Please back up your words that:

- the creedal trinity would have been a heresy of the highest order

- Not even Tertullian or Theophilus would have accepted the trinity

I believe your words are not supported by ECF doctrine or by scripture.

Tertullian or Theophilus are not the final arbiters of Christian theology. The Early Leaders of the Christian

Church, Holy Fathers or Bishops, assembled at Nicea in 325 A.D. have more intellectual weight than

Tertullian and Theophilus and ten of thier cohorts puit together. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

Saints, while accepting the Christian Scriptures, reject the Nicene Creed as an error or a misinterpretation

and, against some protests from others, identify themselves emphatically as Christians.

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In the ealrly Christian Church there was a heresy called Arianism. The emporer Constantine, who made

Christianity the offical religion of the Roman Empire, was an Arian Christian, and so were the Vandals and Visigoths that

sacked Rome and killed many of the orthodox Trinitarian Christians in North Africa led by Saint Augustine.

It is my thesis that Mormonism is the modern day version of this old heresy. Could it be that

Mormonism is nothing more than a recapitulation of this ancient false doctrine?

The central tenet of Arianism is the Christ was created ex nihilo by God. Since Mormonism denies ex nihilo creation altogether, it is not Arian on a core level, though it shares common ground with Arianism in other aspects.

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Tertullian or Theophilus are not the final arbiters of Christian theology. The Early Leaders of the Christian

Church, Holy Fathers or Bishops, assembled at Nicea in 325 A.D. have more intellectual weight than

Tertullian and Theophilus and ten of thier cohorts puit together. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

Saints, while accepting the Christian Scriptures, reject the Nicene Creed as an error or a misinterpretation

and, against some protests from others, identify themselves emphatically as Christians.

Why do you put so much weight on the fact that the trinity doctrine was devised by "early Christian fathers", yet you exclude Tertullian and Theophilus from that category, who both lived long before the Council at Nicea?

That's right, Tertullian and Theophilus wouldn't care much for the conclusions of the intellectual brain exercises of the later scholars of Nicea.

Sargon

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BCSpace,

Please back up your words that:

- the creedal trinity would have been a heresy of the highest order

- Not even Tertullian or Theophilus would have accepted the trinity

I believe your words are not supported by ECF doctrine or by scripture.

Tertullian was no mormon, but he was no Trinitarian either.

From B. Bickmore's wonderful book:

Specifically, the "cultured" Christians who were influenced by Stoicism believed that there is nothing that is "immaterial." For instance, even though Tertullian did not believe that God has a human form59, he argued strenuously that He must be material. "For who will deny that God is a body, although 'God is a Spirit?' For Spirit has a bodily substance of its own kind, in its own form."60
Tertullian spoke of Christ as "second" to the Father:

This is the perfect nativity of the Word, when He proceeds forth from God--formed by Him first to devise and think out all things under the name of Wisdom--"The Lord created or formed me as the beginning of His ways;" . . . while I recognize the Son, I assert His distinction as second to the Father.134

Notice Tertullian's incorporation of the remnant of the ancient Wisdom traditions.

Interesting.

Sargon

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The Arians have definite parallels, but the differences are pretty important.

As one can say that the language of the "heresies" can be applied to Mormons, when also language of the Early Christian Fathers on other theological matters can equally be applied to Mormons. The label distorts more than it informs.

Arius made several claims.

1. Only God (the Father) was eternal.

2. God because of his infinite nature couldn't appear on earth.

3. God created Jesus out of nothing.

4. God and Jesus are of different natures.

5. Jesus is son by adoption.

6. Jesus was subordinate to God.

The reality is Mormons reject all of them except perhaps (6), and even that one must be heavily qualified.

1. Mormons believe that both the Father and Jesus are eternal, primarily uncreated, and of the same kind. Of course we also add that all people are also eternal. Creation ex nihilo is rejected. No doubt a heresy, but not an Arian heresy.

2. Mormons believe that God the Father is embodied like Jesus and does appear to prophets. That doesn't mean he doesn't have an infinite nature, although there would be disagreements over the meaning of infinite, since embodiement would put some bounds on God simply by virtue that he has a body.

3. Mormons believe Jesus was co-eternal with the Father. However Mormons accept a kind of creation of Jesus but this isn't an ontological creation but more an organization. In the same sense that a potter can create a bowl in the sense of shaping it through their power but not in the sense of creating a bowl out of nothing.

4. Mormons believe that Jesus and God the Father are of the same ontological nature. Infact Mormons push this further than the Trinitarians. Not only do they share the same divine nature, but Mormons believe God the Father is embodied in a perfected resurrected body like Jesus is. Most (but not all) Mormons believe that God the Father at some point even took on both natures much like Jesus did in his mortal sojourn.

5. Mormons believe that Jesus is literally the son of the Father. If anything Mormons push this further by suggesting Jesus' had been spiritually born of the Father rather than having been created.

6. The issue of subordination is complex, Mormons do believe that Jesus is subordinate in some senses, but not in others. Mormons don't believe Jesus is God in a derived sense. Jesus is fully to be identified with the Godhead and has all the properties of full divinity. Further Mormons do believe Jesus and the Father are One in many senses, even if Mormons are unwilling to commit to what senses, cause many take a skeptical view to the metaphysical assumptions of oneness and in the historical heresy debates. Yet in an other sense Mormons believe Jesus is subordinate in the sense that a son is subordinate to father in terms of respect and ultimate authority. The analogy is typically made to Patriarchal orders in the Old Testament. Since the Father and Son are of one mind and heart, because the Son has all power and authority as the Father (though from the Father), it isn't really subordination in the larger sense as Arians.

Mormons are unlike the Arians.

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4. God and Jesus are of different natures.

I believe this is the BIGGEST difference in trying to compare Arianism and Mormonism. Arianism didn't recognize the divinity of Jesus where Mormonism obviously does recognize the divinity of Jesus.

If that is correct, we are comparing apples and oranges at this point, IMO.

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Tertullian or Theophilus are not the final arbiters of Christian theology.

Yet they are oft quoted in support of the trinity.

The Early Leaders of the Christian

Church, Holy Fathers or Bishops, assembled at Nicea in 325 A.D. have more intellectual weight than

Tertullian and Theophilus and ten of thier cohorts puit together.

They have no weight whatsoever. The doctrine they came up with is far different than the one taught by the Bible or the earlier Christians. There is no line upon line development of the Godhead, there is only aboutface and change.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

Saints, while accepting the Christian Scriptures, reject the Nicene Creed as an error or a misinterpretation

and, against some protests from others, identify themselves emphatically as Christians.

Of of the main reasons why is because of said Christian scripture.

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BCSpace,

Please back up your words that:

- the creedal trinity would have been a heresy of the highest order

- Not even Tertullian or Theophilus would have accepted the trinity

I believe your words are not supported by ECF doctrine or by scripture.

Tertullian was no mormon, but he was no Trinitarian either.

Thank you Sargon. I have presented many references on Tertullian and Theophilus before as well as references on the ECF doctrine that God is anthropomorphic, corporeal, and plural which no nonLDS christian has been able to gainsay.

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I believe this is the BIGGEST difference in trying to compare Arianism and Mormonism. Arianism didn't recognize the divinity of Jesus where Mormonism obviously does recognize the divinity of Jesus.

If that is correct, we are comparing apples and oranges at this point, IMO.

mmmmmmmmmmmm Correct! :P

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As noted, one huge difference is that Arians denied that Jesus had a truly divine nature. Mormons believe everyone has a truly divine nature and God and man are of the same species, although some are developed and progressed and others are not.

But one similarity I see is that Arians were relentless with the theme of "we believe that too". Often when orthodox Trinitarians would articulate their view of the Trinity, Arians would come back and say, "you and me both!" It was understandably frustrating and it was the principle cause of Christians seeking terms of philosophical specificity to declare the dividing lines. I believe this was the real need of the First Council of Nicaea---not to collectively determine whether Jesus was God but to determine how to articulate it in a manner that would definitively draw the dividing line. But even this didn't completely work. Arius even came back and said he agreed with the Nicene Creed.

“The assertion that the Word or Son was no more than a creature, no matter how high a creature, provoked angry reactions from many of the bishops: ‘You lie!’ ‘Blasphemy!’ ‘Heresy!” Eusebius was shouted down, and we are told that his speech was snatched from his hand, torn to shreds, and trampled under foot. Whereas earlier they hoped to deal with the issues at stake through negotiation and compromise, without condemning any doctrine, now they were convinced that they had to reject Arianism in the clearest way possible” (Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, Volume I, pp.164-165).
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Hello Soren,

You wrote:

>>The central tenet of Arianism is the Christ was created ex nihilo by God. Since Mormonism denies ex nihilo creation altogether, it is not Arian on a core level, though it shares common ground with Arianism in other aspects.>>

Me: Though the creation of the Son/Logos ex ouk ontōn estin (â??out of non-existenceâ??) was certainly a very important tenant of Arius, I would argue that the â??central tenet of Arianismâ? was Ariusâ?? strict monotheismâ??the belief that only God the Father was the one, absolute God.

[For some recent reflections on Arianism, see my partial review of Dr. Nicholâ??s new book, For Us And For Our Salvation - http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2007/08/...bookthumbs.html .]

Grace and peace,

David

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Hi Sargon you posted:

>>That's right, Tertullian and Theophilus wouldn't care much for the conclusions of the intellectual brain exercises of the later scholars of Nicea.>>

Me: The vast majority of 318 bishops who attended the 325 Council of Nicea were not â??scholarsâ?, I would not even call them theologians; rather, they were simple shepards/overseers.

With that said, I would be very interested in exactly what you think Tertullian would have rejected in the Nicene Creed. [i would also like to suggest that you look over the following thread before answering: http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=13798 .]

Grace and peace,

David

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5. Most Mormons (but once again not all) believe that Jesus is literally the son of the Father. If anything Mormons push this further by suggesting Jesus' had been spiritually born of the Father rather than having been created.

Maybe I am reading this all wrong, but how can any Mormon seriously not consider Jesus to be the literal son of the Father?

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In the ealrly Christian Church there was a heresy called Arianism. The emporer Constantine, who made

Christianity the offical religion of the Roman Empire, was an Arian Christian, and so were the Vandals and Visigoths that

sacked Rome and killed many of the orthodox Trinitarian Christians in North Africa led by Saint Augustine.

It is my thesis that Mormonism is the modern day version of this old heresy. Could it be that

Mormonism is nothing more than a recapitulation of this ancient false doctrine?

One could find isolated parallels between the LDS faith and any other religious system. One could find similarities between EV and LDS on a number of issues. What makes LDS different from Arianism is the differences they have and not the points they might share.

Also who decides what is heresy and what is not? I am sure to those that supported Arianism, they did not consider it a heresy. Use of the word "heresy" simply means that someone believes something that someone else does not agree with. Jesus was a heretic to the Jewish leaders of his day. Jesus and his apostles all taught heresy to the Jews. So even if LDS teach things that are considered heresy to people today, it does not mean its wrong. It is possible for the absolute truth to be called heresy by the masses because the masses dont know the truth.

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Maybe I am reading this all wrong, but how can any Mormon seriously not consider Jesus to be the literal son of the Father?

I have no idea either-and i've never met an LDS person who didn't believe Christ was the literal Son of God-but maybe there are some out there.

:P

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Hi Sargon you posted:

>>That's right, Tertullian and Theophilus wouldn't care much for the conclusions of the intellectual brain exercises of the later scholars of Nicea.>>

Me: The vast majority of 318 bishops who attended the 325 Council of Nicea were not â??scholarsâ?, I would not even call them theologians; rather, they were simple shepards/overseers.

With that said, I would be very interested in exactly what you think Tertullian would have rejected in the Nicene Creed. [i would also like to suggest that you look over the following thread before answering: http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=13798 .]

Grace and peace,

David

I refer you to my previous post Mr. Waltz.

Sargon

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