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Mormon Or Christian, Does It Really Matter?


treehugger

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The most reasonable definition of "Christian" is anyone who seeks to follow Jesus Christ in the best way they know how, regardless of how they understand Him. By this definition, Mormons are absolutely Christians.

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altersteve and thesometimesaint... does it matter to either of you whether non-LDS group or individual considers you a Christian? If it does matter to you, why does it matter?

It does not matter to me, because I am not concerned what others think of me, except for what God and Christ think of me.

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An interesting article about a member of the LDS Church being "perfectly happy not being a Christian"; I feel the same way. As I read the article I started to wonder why my fellow members of the LDS Church want Catholics, Protestants or anyone else to accept the LDS as Christian. Why is the label of "Christian" an issue and why is having the label important.

It is an issue because it is used as a weapon of exclusion. It critics or anti-Mormons can successfully exclude Mormons from the "christian community" then they have marginalized LDS claims.

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It matters to me that people realize that my religion believes that Jesus is the Son of God, believes in the Atonement, and that members believe Jesus is our Savior. It's important that they know all of those things so that when they have an opportunity to learn about the church, they won't automatically reject it, thinking that it's incompatible with anyone who has a testimony of Christ.

That's why i want people to recognize that mormons are Christians.

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I feel the same as bluebell...

"Christians" use the label of "non-Christian Mormons" in a derogatory manner... as if we are somehow less than normal because we aren't Christian... when in fact we follow the Savior just as surely as any other faith defined as Christian.

I want people to know that we believe and follow Christ....

GG

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I just hope that when I get to the other side, Christ considers me a Christian. What a bunch of theologically messed up Protestants think doesn't keep me up at night.

P.S. Apologies for this and other kind of blunt posts today. I'm feeling kind of in-your-face for some reason.

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A Mormon is a subset of being a Christian. It is similar to being a Californian is a subset of being an American. An Alabama can complain all day long about a Californian not being just like a Alabaman. But at the end of the day we both Americans.

We both Americans who are fluent in Ebonics. ;) Sorry. I had to do it! :D

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Huh? How does being a heretical (perhaps a better word would be nontraditional) Christian square with disclaiming the label of "Christian" altogether?

I also wonder how the author squares his rejection of the designation of "Christian" with Alma 46, Alma 48, Acts 11, and 1 Peter 4, all of which refer to followers of Christ as "Christians."

I agree that the debate over who is Christian and who is not is frequently dumb, but so is ceding the argument altogether.

And herein lies the problem, you are using a definition of Christian, that Christians do not use and the author knows that the non-Mormon Christian world has their own definition of what a Christian is.

Wow. More dumbness. Christianity has done tremendous good in the world. The author seriously distorts and defames Christianity as a whole in this characterization.

And tremedous bad in the world has occurred under the guise of Christianity. So his statement is not incorrect.

Excluding ourselves from the branch of Abrahamic religions which professes, as its central tenet, faith in Jesus Christ is not a good idea.

Once again, here you are using a definition that the Christian world does not use.

We are not traditional Christians. We are not Protestant or Catholic Christians. We are not found within the ambit of "historical" Christianity as that term is generally understood. But does that mean we are not Christian at all? Of course not.

Who gets to define what a Christian is? You admit that we LDS are within the ambit of historical Christian as the term Christianity is generally understood.

Whacked. The author isn't doing us any favors with this crap.

-Smac

The way I see it, the LDS people can not and should not want to be deemed Christian as the term is generally understood in the Christian world. The only way for LDS people to accepted in the Christian world as Christians is for the LDS person to renounce essential tenets of the LDS faith.

Smac, is it important to you that the Christian world consider us LDS as Christians? If so, why is it important to you?

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If I were asked if I were a Christian,I might respond that I accept Christ as my Savior. That excludes me as a Muslim,Buddhist, Taoist,Hindu,and atheist etc. By the process of elimination I suppose the questioner can come to his own conclusion.

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Nah, it doesn't really matter that much personally. It does matter if we are going to control the image others see of us. I think Blakstrap's comment reflects this the best; let them come to their own conclusions with some really obvious statements.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An interesting article about a member of the LDS Church being "perfectly happy not being a Christian"; I feel the same way. As I read the article I started to wonder why my fellow members of the LDS Church want Catholics, Protestants or anyone else to accept the LDS as Christian. Why is the label of "Christian" an issue and why is having the label important.

Roman Catholics assume Mormonism is just a garden variety of Protestantism. Many Protestants, who already disregard Catholics as pagans, refuse to allow that Mormons are Christians at all, and if they are particularly charitable they might call it the fourth Abrahamic religion, akin to Islam. Everyone is assuming the label is a token to buy their way, rather than actually, you know, following Jesus Christ. But Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will attain to the Kingdom, but those who do the will of my Father in Heaven."

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Everyone is assuming the label is a token to buy their way, rather than actually, you know, following Jesus Christ.
And yet LDS I know who insists on the label does so because he not only intends to follow Christ, but believes he has.

After all, we take upon his name as part of our baptism covenant for a reason and it's not to buy our way into anyone's party, either the rest of Christianity or the Lord. We take it upon ourselves as a commandment.

And I know a number of nonLDS Christians who understand just that.....pretty much anyone I've met in face to face who cares enough to make a sincere effort to try and understand us.

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Whoever holds the title has the approval of Jesus Christ.

Actually, whoever is justified by faith in the risen Christ, and does the will of his Father in heaven, has the approval of Jesus Christ. Titles are meaningless, or worse. "All their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."

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It matters to me because it matters to Christ. With the sacrament I covenant to take upon myself the name of Christ, and "Christian" is one who takes on himself that name.

Now, if others also take on that name, I will not let them take away that designation from me.

"I refuse to take upon myself the name of Christian because others are using that name as well" is truly silly and absurd. If Satan himself uses that name, I will still take upon myself the name of Christ.

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It matters to me because it matters to Christ. With the sacrament I covenant to take upon myself the name of Christ, and "Christian" is one who takes on himself that name.

Me, I shall not take upon myself anything, but I hope to overcome, and attain to the second life, at which time (and not before) I shall receive three names upon myself:

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

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Actually, whoever is justified by faith in the risen Christ, and does the will of his Father in heaven, has the approval of Jesus Christ. Titles are meaningless, or worse. "All their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."

If you are going to talk the talk you better be walking the walk

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I think we all agree that the word "Christian" means something very different to a lot of people. The person who was baptized as an infant but has never thought about God or been to Church since may identify as a Christian and then of course there are people all away along the spectrum of living or not living out what their claim to Christianity is. JW'S, EV, Catholics, Sientologists, FLDS, LDS etc all say they are true Christians and often think others who have a different understanding of who Jesus, either as "not true Christians" or "not making the cut".

I think EV's or Catholics who may believe that LDS and other groups are not Christian because of how they view Christ and doctrines such as the Trinity and vice versa. In the same way an LDS may think EV's or Catholics are following the wrong gospel and that their commitments of faith mean nothing unless they recieve ordinances from priesthood athorities. I think if I understand correctly, some traditional Christians view LDS as misrepresenting their personal beliefs. Perhaps to use an analogy, imagine if EV's walk around dressing like a mormon missionaries, with a black badge saying "Elder Smith, Church of Jesus Christ" and claiming they are the ones with the restored gospel. It could get confusing for people who think they are learning about LDS doctrine when in fact they may be presented with an EV's understanding of the gospel. Another example is if a group other than JW's stood on a corner in their Sunday best politely offering a magazine called the "Watch Hour". Anyway, I am certainly not basing this opinion on facts rather perhaps some observations of people's attidudes towards other sects that are followers of Jesus. Maybe I am way off in my assumptions.

LDS seem to be proud to be referred as Mormons or LDS. This seems to be how many people reference believers of this tradition. I can see though where it can be hurtful if you'd rather be seen and understood as simply "Christians". As with everything in life, people get tagged with labels, some we choose and others are chosen for us. It's good to hear people's thoughts on this.

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If you are going to talk the talk you better be walking the walk

Well in the context of Internet interfaith dialogue, talking the talk is walking the walk. (Or maybe it's really typing the type.)

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LDS seem to be proud to be referred as Mormons or LDS. This seems to be how many people reference believers of this tradition. I can see though where it can be hurtful if you'd rather be seen and understood as simply "Christians".

I think most LDS want to be known as both Mormon/LDS and Christian just as Catholics would want to be known as Catholic and Christian. We feel loyalty to our church, that loyalty is actually part of our loyalty to our God.

I think you are likely right in much of your other comments. People have a vision of what Christian means to them and we don't fit that vision for some reason. I personally don't mind someone saying "you are not a Christian" in an interfaith dialogue as long as they include a definition of what they mean by that so I can respond "you are right, I am not a Christian in that way and I am not trying to be, but I think I am a Christian in the way I am trying to follow Christ." As far as faith groups talking among themselves, they can use whatever definitions they want just as we LDS have developed our own definitions for various terms that we may need to specify when talking to those outside of our faith to avoid misunderstanding and misrepresentations.

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