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How Mormonism And Catholicism/orthodoxy Are Similar Yet Totally Different


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Most often the Mormon response is sophistry, as demonstrated here.

 

The so-called great apostasy is always presented as a conspiracy theory.

 

You are reading something into my words that is not there.  I don't see a conspiracy theory, as you say, in the idea of apostasy.  I always appreciate your desire to destory any degree of relationship between Jesus worshiped by LDS and Jesus worshiped by Catholics when there is only one Jesus.  

 

Sophistry?  Oh, puleez. Go wash you mouth out and look in the mirror. 

 

A bit of counsel; when I have looked at my life there is only one, single unifying entity that has been involved in every conflict, every problem, and every argument and that is "me".  Your conflicts with your LDS family?  If you treat them and repeat only 1/10 of the accusations that you do on this Board to them, then the conflict begins and ends with you.  It is the same in my life; it is me that is the problem just as it is you being the problem in your life.  If you would like to actually discuss the topic or something I said, leave your accusations at home and address the ideas discussed without taking offense or giving it.  If something is problematic to your way of thinking, then say so. It does not mean your thinking is wrong, it means it is problematic.  

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Stormrider - the Catholic/Orthodox view, the view of the ECF's, doesn't limit God.  God's nature limits what's possible.  This assumes that nature dictates limits inherently. So is God the God we worship or is his nature what is God and is worshiped?  This bypasses the issue - God, or his nature, is limited in what it can do and that conflicts with our mutual perception of God's ability to do all things.

 

Our belief about the nature of God is very different from the LDS belief and determines how we understand theosis.  In our belief, divinity isn't priesthood power or a title.  I would contend that doctrine is different from opinion and that you have restricted our beliefs and teachings.  God is not limited to his priesthood; he is priesthood.  God is not a simply a title, he is first and last, he is all.  You have excluded the majority of our beliefs and teachings about God to develop the difference, which may not be nearly as different.

 

Divinity is uncreated nature, essence, and being.  This is where LDS become lost in understanding Catholic and Orthodox teachings - this is not scriptural, it is not biblical, but it is philosophical.  That is not to say that philosophy is bad or that it is wrong, but it opens the door to expand the limitations of the teachings of man.  It can still be used, but it creates principles that God has not taught us, but man has created in an attempt to explain God.   

 

...Our transformed status will be ours by grace, not by nature.  It is a gift.  That transformation is what will make us able to dwell in and withstand his presence.  I don't have a lot of disagreement with this teaching; I could teach it in priesthood meeting and receive no complaints.  LDS have talked about this process as progression, but this should not be understood that an individual makes this journey independently.  We are wholly dependent upon the grace of God and the atonement of Jesus Christ.  

 

... This gift will continue to be ours only if God continually maintains us in that state by permeating us with his energies for eternity.  It's not like God will divinize us and we'll be permanently divinized, independent from God.  This is not different from my own beliefs and the teachings as I understand them of the Church.  God will always be our God; he never ceases to be our God and all power and glory come from him.  If he shares his glory with me I remain dependent upon his glory.  There will never be a time that I am independent from God.  Conversely, there is never a time when God will cease to be in order to create the construct of independence you propose.  We simply don't address the concept, which may cause some to poor interpret our teachings and limit understanding.  For example, we are resurrected once in and through Christ's atonement.  Does he take away his Atonement and cause us to be un-resurrected in the future?  Through Christ we are resurrected once and have no need to fear of losing that resurrection.  Our resurrection does not make us separate from his atonement, but his gift is given without threat of him taking it back.  If we go on, this logic begins to reveal some flaws. 

 

In the next world, after we're divinized, if God ceased to exist, not only would we no longer be divine beings, we would cease to exist, along with the entire material creation.  You can see how our beliefs (the ECF's beliefs) about God's nature and ex nihilo creation work together to determine our understanding of theosis, including our belief that God can't make us exactly what he is.  God can't do the intrinsically impossible and nonsensical.  This does not limit God.  Saying God can't make us exactly what he is only restates certain facts about his nature in a different way.  I see the construct to explain your doctrines.  It is a perspective to explain the divine.  We have a different perspective that in some ways may be simpler, but are no less complete.  Both have problematic areas and I do not identify similarities to minimize differences per se; I believe there is some bridge building that can be done in order to promote greater respect and appreciation.  The activity strengthens the whole and teaches all by refining our own understanding.  

 

I answered within your quote in red.  I appreciate your comments. 

Edited by Storm Rider
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Storm Rider, hey.

 

I think Mormons limit God's ability as Catholics do. Think about it. Does Heavenly Father have the ability to make us into the God that Catholics and Orthodox believe in? I think not.

 

The glorious privileges of the adopted children of God, according to the Catholic and Orthodox churches are stupendous. But we could never say of a creature, that they were always so perfected as they are in Heaven. Like your Heavenly Father (according to acceptable if not official LDS thought), creatures of God are making progress in this life, and cannot be worshipped (except that it redound to the glory of the Father) either on earth or heaven, because the life of God that is in them comes from the one source of divinity.

 

The same Almighty Father eternally begot an only Son who has His Nature, and the Holy Ghost proceeding, with the same divine energy from Him "of whom all paternity in Heaven and earth is named". Creatures who partake in the divine nature of God the Father benefit from a generosity they can never reciprocate. Everything creatures have is a gift. Only God the Father received His divinity from none and according to the duties of reciprocal justice owes worship to none. We can be His adopted children! We can be heirs with His only begotten Son! This and so much more is verily and truly fantastic. I find it credible only by the light of faith.

 

In Catholic deification, our potential perfection is so great that because of how high we believe the Mother of God has been raised by God's grace, the rest of Christianity is scandalised. When they hear about what we believe they assume she is worthy of the worship that belongs to God alone. Why? Because He that is Almighty "hath done great things to me" as Our Lady says in the Magnificat (Luke 1:49)! And that is the only reason. Mary cannot make God. God made Mary and she received what she is from Him. If we reverence her in a manner that fulfills the divine law, it is to glorify Him that "hath done great things to (her)" .

 

Like the Blessed Mother of God, every adopted child of God, however exalted they should be in heaven, will never be without a profound and grateful sense of their eternal dependence upon the One God of Heaven and Earth as the sole source of all their own grace and divinity. God the Father could never say of anyone that they had done even the slightest thing for Him. We worship Him who "does great things for us", out of perfect generosity, knowing we cannot do anything for Him who is "omnigenerous" and also "omnisufficient".

 

These beliefs being held, theologians, poets, and mystics have never hesitated along with the Fathers of the Church in affirming how it is God's will that we become like unto Him, "gods". In closing, I would suggest that the deified Catholic/Orthodox is potentially as exalted as the deified Mormon in the celestial kingdom. I am convinced that for different reasons, both Mormons and Catholic/Orthodox are in agreement that there are limits to how great finite man can become. Whoever is right, nobody is going to be deified so as to become the eternal and sole source of all divinity always and everywhere.

 

Another parallel between our faiths for you bob, is that just as you would always be indebted to your Father in Heaven, so would Catholics be with their Father, without putting Him into their debt. 

 

Rory, I think I understand some of your inclination to clarify between "your Heavenly Father" and Catholics with "their Father".  I think I have addressed some of your comments in my response to Spammer.

 

I am confused by your last sentence, "...without putting Him into their debt."  Is that clarification for all discussed: LDS, Catholics, Orthodox or is that limited to the Catholic side?  If so, I don't understand the point.  I am not familiar with an LDS position of God being indebted to us.  

 

Mike

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You are reading something into my words that is not there.  I don't see a conspiracy theory, as you say, in the idea of apostasy.  I always appreciate your desire to destory any degree of relationship between Jesus worshiped by LDS and Jesus worshiped by Catholics when there is only one Jesus.  

 

Sophistry?  Oh, puleez. Go wash you mouth out and look in the mirror. 

 

A bit of counsel; when I have looked at my life there is only one, single unifying entity that has been involved in every conflict, every problem, and every argument and that is "me".  Your conflicts with your LDS family?  If you treat them and repeat only 1/10 of the accusations that you do on this Board to them, then the conflict begins and ends with you.  It is the same in my life; it is me that is the problem just as it is you being the problem in your life.  If you would like to actually discuss the topic or something I said, leave your accusations at home and address the ideas discussed without taking offense or giving it.  If something is problematic to your way of thinking, then say so. It does not mean your thinking is wrong, it means it is problematic.

Thanks for reminding me why to have you on my ignore list.

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Wrong saemo.

Father Kyle Schnippel (Archdiocese of Cincinnati) states a commonly understood fact about the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church:  

“ . . . today’s priests are ordained to ‘the Order of Melchizedek,’ and his appearance in Genesis forms the basis of some of our theology of the priesthood.”  See http://catholicexchange.com/the-order-of-melchizedek  (June 26, 2013).

 

The meal of bread & wine provided by Melchizedek as priest of the most high God (Gen 14:18), is the same as the Eucharist, which is further transformed by Jesus during the Jewish Passover meal eaten by Him and his 12 apostles.  Roman Catholic ordinary priests continue that eucharistic tradition on behalf of Jesus (as His ministerial agents), the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., paragraphs 1544-1545, 1591,

1544, “The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, ‘priest of God Most High,’ as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique ‘high priest after the order of Melchizedek’”; 

1545, “. . . the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ’s priesthood: ‘Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers’,” i.e., in persona Christi.

1591, “The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the ‘common priesthood of the faithful.’ Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.”

 

It could even be argued that the Roman Catholic diaconate functions as a replacement for the Levites among the Jews.  A lesser priesthood, or an assisting priesthood.

You didn't say anything different than what I said. Though I think you are trying to apply Mormon belief to Catholic in teaching, in some way.

Deacons are ministers to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

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I believe a case could be made that what appears to the non-LDS as fickleness on God's part, may be seen as attentive response to different situations throughout history. And when God seems ambivalent, it is because of a restraint on His part from undue "interference" in light of how as any good father, He wants to lead His children to govern themselves.

Which has no consistency.

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Rory, I think I understand some of your inclination to clarify between "your Heavenly Father" and Catholics with "their Father".  I think I have addressed some of your comments in my response to Spammer.

 

I am confused by your last sentence, "...without putting Him into their debt."  Is that clarification for all discussed: LDS, Catholics, Orthodox or is that limited to the Catholic side?  If so, I don't understand the point.  I am not familiar with an LDS position of God being indebted to us.  

 

Mike

 

 

Storm Rider, hi.

 

My comments to you, if I recollect, were aimed entirely at your assertion that LDS are comfortable with what we may call "full deification" while Catholics are not comfortable.

 

The main point I wished to drive home is that the deification in which both of us believes is finite. Neither you nor us believe that God is going to make us infinite and omnipotent. I then suggested the possibility (with admitted lack of clarity about the LDS celestial kingdom), that the deified child of God in a Catholic heaven will be no less exalted than the deified child of God in the LDS celestial kingdom. As proof, I offered as evidence that our deificiation should rise to a level of satisfaction that with regards to the only child of God now currently deified body and soul, the Virgin Mary, is so highly exalted, has such privileges, that most non-Catholics think we must believe she is God too, and accuse us of worshipping her.

 

I am just asking you to consider that for different reasons both of us place limits on deification.

 

I used Heavenly Father to distinguish when I was speaking from the Mormon perspective. It is unimaginable to worship a nature that is not a Person.

 

With regards to the last point, I was attempting to say that with regards to deified children of God, everything we are is a gift from God, including the partaking of the divine nature. God can receive nothing from us that obligates Him in justice to return a benefit. That is why He is worthy of worship, and even if the Virgin Mary is more powerful than the defied children of God in the Celestial Kingdom, she cannot be worshipped because everything Mary is ultimately came from one source, the principle of life, God the Father, to whom belongs all glory and to whom redounds all worship. The Blessed Virgin will always say, "He that is almighty hath done great things to me." All deified children of God will be able to repeat her words. But God the Father will never say this of anyone, and that is why his fatherhood is the pattern for all paternity in heaven and earth according to St. Paul. A good father wants to give without taking from his children.

 

Of course, it happens in family situations that a good father necessarily receives benefits from his children. But the idea is repugnant to a man's fatherhood. A good father does not owe his children anything because he has given all that he can. And the children owe their parents a certain amount of reverence, which is why one of the commandments is to "honour thy father and thy mother." That is what I meant regarding "indebtedness" between God's children and their Father in heaven. There is no commandment to honor your children, and this is according to a hierarchy of justice. There is no obligation on the part of parents to reverence their offspring as there is on the part of the offspring to reverence parents.

 

I have probably confused things even worse! God bless you Mike. Thanks for your reply.

 

Rory   

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OTOH, we allow divorce and Catholics don't (though have cases for annulment).

PS: in cases of annulment does that render any children of that relationship illegitimate in the eyes of the Catholic Church? An acquaintance claimed she could not take communion because she was divorced (her husband left her for another woman) and that if she tried to have it changed to an annulment as the ex-husband wanted, which would allow him to marry his second wife in the Catholic faith as well as allowing the first wife to take communion, that would have her kids seen as illegitimate (she seemed to think that also meant the kids couldn't participate in communion but from what I've seen that is an error).

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My understanding is that Catholic theology makes a distinction between

A •natural" marriage and a "supernatural" marriage. An annulment specifies

That a supernatural marriage has not occured. Natural marriages can be dissolved by secular law. R. Catholics are not permitted to remarry only if it

Is determined a supernatural marriage occured. In practice this is not difficult

If one wishes to go through the actual process of annulment. Under NO circumstances would an annulment render children illegitimate. As i understand it, annulment is very similar to cancelling a temple sealing.

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You didn't say anything different than what I said. Though I think you are trying to apply Mormon belief to Catholic in teaching, in some way.

Deacons are ministers to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Wrong again, saemo.  You said: 

"Priests are not ordained to the Melchezidek priesthood, and there is no such thing as an Aaronic priesthood in mainstream Christianity."

 

I countered by quoting Roman Catholic theology that priests are indeed ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood.

 

As to the deacons "servants," according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, they are ordained ministers of the Catholic Church, and can baptize, preach and teach in the name of the Church, lead the faithful in prayer, conduct wake and funeral services, etc.  In fact, students for the priesthood are ordained deacons prior to their ordination as priests,  http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/diaconate/faqs.cfm .  I believe that this also applies to Anglicanism, and, interestingly, they are vested in an alb with a stole over the left shoulder.

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Wrong again, saemo.  You said: 

"Priests are not ordained to the Melchezidek priesthood, and there is no such thing as an Aaronic priesthood in mainstream Christianity."

 

I countered by quoting Roman Catholic theology that priests are indeed ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood.

 

As to the deacons "servants," according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, they are ordained ministers of the Catholic Church, and can baptize, preach and teach in the name of the Church, lead the faithful in prayer, conduct wake and funeral services, etc.  In fact, students for the priesthood are ordained deacons prior to their ordination as priests,  http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/diaconate/faqs.cfm .  I believe that this also applies to Anglicanism, and, interestingly, they are vested in an alb with a stole over the left shoulder.

Right and then you quoted Catholic teaching, and I said you are applying a Mormon understanding.

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Right and then you quoted Catholic teaching, and I said you are applying a Mormon understanding.

I did not apply a Mormon understanding of the Roman Catholic faith.  In fact, of the two of us, saemo, you seem to lack understanding of your own Roman Catholic faith.

 

I have no problem at all with you being Roman Catholic.  However, you do need to become better informed about that faith.  That would enable you to carry on an informed discussion -- such as Rory provides on a regular basis.  It seems to me that you have consistently attempted to condemn Mormonism and at the same time to distance Roman Catholicism as far as possible from Mormonism.  You may do this because you were formerly a Mormon and are uncomfortable admitting the facts of any given comparison.  Emotion can do that to someone, but that tendency should be resisted.

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I did not apply a Mormon understanding of the Roman Catholic faith. In fact, of the two of us, saemo, you seem to lack understanding of your own Roman Catholic faith.

I have no problem at all with you being Roman Catholic. However, you do need to become better informed about that faith. That would enable you to carry on an informed discussion -- such as Rory provides on a regular basis. It seems to me that you have consistently attempted to condemn Mormonism and at the same time to distance Roman Catholicism as far as possible from Mormonism. You may do this because you were formerly a Mormon and are uncomfortable admitting the facts of any given comparison. Emotion can do that to someone, but that tendency should be resisted.

I'm not Rory. Yes, I am a Catholic. I thought about laying it all out for but don't see the point. You are convinced you can teach Catholic doctrine. I've met Mormons like you before, who present a Mormon idea of Catholic teaching, and spread falsehoods about Catholic belief. I don't know why exactly, but I suspect it is a purposeful undermining of truth. Edited by saemo
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I answered within your quote in red.  I appreciate your comments. 

 

Stormrider, thanks for the thoughtful response.  As stated in the OP and in your response, there's a lot of similarity in our views.  The key difference, though, is critical.  To recap our belief, we Nicene Christians begin with the doctrine that God is uncreated, immaterial, and created all things that aren't God out of nothing. Everything that exists is divine thought made matter.  We humans are part of that same ex nihilo creation: created, contingent, and finite.  IMO, that's the crucial distinction that sets the two traditions apart.  In our view, that ontological, creator/creature gap is absolute.  Taken on those terms, are you saying that an omnipotent God would still be able to transform us through an act of divine will into the same class of being that we believe Jesus is: i.e., an eternally-uncreated and eternally-immaterial divine spiritual essence united with human flesh?  

 

Keep in mind that we Nicene Christians don't believe in the LDS notion of eternal intelligences.  In our belief, there was no pre-mortal existence and everything about us - body, soul, and spirit was created out of nothing.  Only God the Holy Trinity is pre-existent.  To make us exactly the same as Jesus, God would need to change our ontological status from created to uncreated.  In our view, thinking God's omnipotence includes the ability to do this makes no sense - it's literally non-sense.   Only God is uncreated and infinite.  He is the One besides whom there is no other.  Asserting that God cannot act in a nonsensical way (e.g., turning created into uncreated; changing contingent and derivative into necessary and coeternal) does not limit the divine omnipotence. It only states a reality determined by God's self-revealed nature: that God's uncreated, eternal nature and our created, finite nature preclude us from becoming exactly what He is.  Unlike the LDS view, in which humans and God are of the same species, in our view, we will be transformed into the likeness of Christ (divinized, created humans) but not made exactly what Christ is (humanized, uncreated divinity).  In our view of theosis, the absolute created/uncreated distinction must be maintained to avoid contradiction and nonsense.  I realize that LDS think our view of the divine is contradictory and makes no sense, and is unbiblical to boot.  I'm not interested in debating that point, just trying to explain our view and understand better how you think our view (taken on its own terms) limits God.

Edited by Spammer
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I'm not Rory. Yes, I am a Catholic. I thought about laying it all out for but don't see the point. You are convinced you can teach Catholic doctrine. I've met Mormons like you before, who present a Mormon idea of Catholic teaching, and spread falsehoods about Catholic belief. I don't know why exactly, but I suspect it is a purposeful undermining of truth.

 

Settle down, drama queen. I've met evangelicals like you before, oh wait...nevermind, you're Catholic.

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I'm not Rory. Yes, I am a Catholic. I thought about laying it all out for but don't see the point. You are convinced you can teach Catholic doctrine. I've met Mormons like you before, who present a Mormon idea of Catholic teaching, and spread falsehoods about Catholic belief. I don't know why exactly, but I suspect it is a purposeful undermining of truth.

Some paranoia there, huh, saemo.

You are not able to justify your false claims with specific examples.

I cite my sources.  You do not.

You consistently make erroneous statements about both Mormonism and Catholicism.  I do not.

Your "purposeful undermining of truth" is never accompanied by citation of sources.

Some of us actually believe that being honest in heart and deed is important.  You have taken an opposite tack, and it doesn't become you.  Roman Catholicism does not support lying on behalf of God.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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Stormrider, thanks for the thoughtful response.  As stated in the OP and in your response, there's a lot of similarity in our views.  The key difference, though, is critical.  To recap our belief, we Nicene Christians begin with the doctrine that God is uncreated, immaterial, and created all things that aren't God out of nothing. Everything that exists is divine thought made matter.  We humans are part of that same ex nihilo creation: created, contingent, and finite.  IMO, that's the crucial distinction that sets the two traditions apart.  In our view, that ontological, creator/creature gap is absolute.  Taken on those terms, are you saying that an omnipotent God would still be able to transform us through an act of divine will into the same class of being that we believe Jesus is: i.e., an eternally-uncreated and eternally-immaterial divine spiritual essence united with human flesh?  

 

Keep in mind that we Nicene Christians don't believe in the LDS notion of eternal intelligences.  In our belief, there was no pre-mortal existence and everything about us - body, soul, and spirit was created out of nothing.  Only God the Holy Trinity is pre-existent.  To make us exactly the same as Jesus, God would need to change our ontological status from created to uncreated.  In our view, thinking God's omnipotence includes the ability to do this makes no sense - it's literally non-sense.   Only God is uncreated and infinite.  He is the One besides whom there is no other.  Asserting that God cannot act in a nonsensical way (e.g., turning created into uncreated; changing contingent and derivative into necessary and coeternal) does not limit the divine omnipotence. It only states a reality determined by God's self-revealed nature: that God's uncreated, eternal nature and our created, finite nature preclude us from becoming exactly what He is.  Unlike the LDS view, in which humans and God are of the same species, in our view, we will be transformed into the likeness of Christ (divinized, created humans) but not made exactly what Christ is (humanized, uncreated divinity).  In our view of theosis, the absolute created/uncreated distinction must be maintained to avoid contradiction and nonsense.  I realize that LDS think our view of the divine is contradictory and makes no sense, and is unbiblical to boot.  I'm not interested in debating that point, just trying to explain our view and understand better how you think our view (taken on its own terms) limits God.

 A pretty good summary of normative Christian dogma, but which requires that the reader know something about both philosophy and theology.  Unfortunately, most Mormons and mainstream Christians have no idea what you are saying, nor why it might be important.  The distinctions are huge, and are fundamental in deciding whether the problem of evil (theodicy) is determinative of a coherent and successful theology.

 

In view of that normative Christian dogma, many are now abandoning Christianity -- especially in Europe.  Does that worry you?

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Stormrider, thanks for the thoughtful response.  As stated in the OP and in your response, there's a lot of similarity in our views.  The key difference, though, is critical.  To recap our belief, we Nicene Christians begin with the doctrine that God is uncreated, immaterial, and created all things that aren't God out of nothing. Everything that exists is divine thought made matter.  We humans are part of that same ex nihilo creation: created, contingent, and finite.  IMO, that's the crucial distinction that sets the two traditions apart.  In our view, that ontological, creator/creature gap is absolute.  Taken on those terms, are you saying that an omnipotent God would still be able to transform us through an act of divine will into the same class of being that we believe Jesus is: i.e., an eternally-uncreated and eternally-immaterial divine spiritual essence united with human flesh?  

 

Keep in mind that we Nicene Christians don't believe in the LDS notion of eternal intelligences.  In our belief, there was no pre-mortal existence and everything about us - body, soul, and spirit was created out of nothing.  Only God the Holy Trinity is pre-existent.  To make us exactly the same as Jesus, God would need to change our ontological status from created to uncreated.  In our view, thinking God's omnipotence includes the ability to do this makes no sense - it's literally non-sense.   Only God is uncreated and infinite.  He is the One besides whom there is no other.  Asserting that God cannot act in a nonsensical way (e.g., turning created into uncreated; changing contingent and derivative into necessary and coeternal) does not limit the divine omnipotence. It only states a reality determined by God's self-revealed nature: that God's uncreated, eternal nature and our created, finite nature preclude us from becoming exactly what He is.  Unlike the LDS view, in which humans and God are of the same species, in our view, we will be transformed into the likeness of Christ (divinized, created humans) but not made exactly what Christ is (humanized, uncreated divinity).  In our view of theosis, the absolute created/uncreated distinction must be maintained to avoid contradiction and nonsense.  I realize that LDS think our view of the divine is contradictory and makes no sense, and is unbiblical to boot.  I'm not interested in debating that point, just trying to explain our view and understand better how you think our view (taken on its own terms) limits God.

 

God bless you Spammer for your willingness to discuss the topic. God bless you for your kindness.  I cannot explain my abiding respect and admiration of Orthodoxy; it is very close to my heart in appreciation of its teachings and Holy Spirit inspired doctrines.  If truth be told I am closer to Orthodoxy than Catholicism because of the mystical approach to discipleship.  I feel at home there.

 

Created versus the uncreated.  I guess I stumble over the difference.  If Jesus says I will be a joint-heir with him, then I take him at his word.  There is no qualification; there is an invitation to join with him and become a joint-heir.  There is no merit in my own actions or works, but I am wholly dependent upon him for what he has accomplished.  It is only through him that I can merit the ability to become a joint-heir.  

 

Spammer, I may not be an normal LDS, but I know that I am like all LDS; it is through Christ that we seek to return to God.  He is our Savior in every sense of the world; he is our God, our joy, our peace, and our infinite forgiveness.  We are broken, but he heals us; we are the damaged, but he makes us whole; we are nothing without him.  He is the center of our being; the center of our Church and the center of our teaching.  We do not exist without him nor would we want to exist without him.  

 

Please understand that we do not reject your teachings out of turn or easily; but we offer what we believe is a restoration of a pure gospel without any influence of man.  I willingly bow before the great saints that have lived before me.  How I cherish the words of Chrysostom, Origen, and so many others.  There is no competition between us, but we both seek the truth and how best to serve the Savior.  It is in the serving that we can teach one another so much.  

 

Thank you for being patient with us and for your willingness to share your commitment to the Savior.  I hope that you will always know that we join with your commitment to the Savior to serve him and to love him.  

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 A pretty good summary of normative Christian dogma, but which requires that the reader know something about both philosophy and theology.  Unfortunately, most Mormons and mainstream Christians have no idea what you are saying, nor why it might be important.  The distinctions are huge, and are fundamental in deciding whether the problem of evil (theodicy) is determinative of a coherent and successful theology.

 

In view of that normative Christian dogma, many are now abandoning Christianity -- especially in Europe.  Does that worry you?

 

I don't know if this would be the case in Eastern Orthodox strongholds in Russia and Eastern Europe, more of Western Europe thing (I've heard it speculated that Europe will be more Muslim then anything in a generation or two). I don't have the references though, just things I've gleaned from reading articles regarding Orthodoxy.

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Some paranoia there, huh, saemo.

You are not able to justify your false claims with specific examples.

I cite my sources.  You do not.

You consistently make erroneous statements about both Mormonism and Catholicism.  I do not.

Your "purposeful undermining of truth" is never accompanied by citation of sources.

Some of us actually believe that being honest in heart and deed is important.  You have take an opposite tack, and it doesn't become you.  Roman Catholicism does not support lying on behalf of God.

 

Saemo, I am doubtful that you will actually hear me. You have lived a life of pain and have been hurt by other LDS.  I would ask you to forgive those individuals that hurt you and come here to this Board and share your Catholicism without any rancor, but as new fruit for you.  We will respect your position. However, when you mix it with so much rancor against our beliefs you lose your credibility.  Don't threaten so many with a desire to exclude their comments, but listen.  I honestly believe that you will become a better Catholic and we will become better LDS by interacting together.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ; that acknowledgement may annoy you and you may wish to demean it, but I, and so many others, seek to serve him.  We may do so imperfectly, but that does not negate our desire.  I implore you to put aside your pain and approach us as fellow followers of Christ; you may see us as imperfect, weak, and only at the beginning, but you would be so much more impactful if you did not strike out against us so.

 

If you actually feel that we are incapable of following Christ then tell me that.  That is something that I would be happy to engage you upon; I reject that premise wholly and completely.  If that is your position, this Board may not be a viable or productive place of you.  We want you here; we want to hear your comments, but your attacks are not helpful to your cause.  

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Some paranoia there, huh, saemo.

You are not able to justify your false claims with specific examples.

I cite my sources.  You do not.

You consistently make erroneous statements about both Mormonism and Catholicism.  I do not.

Your "purposeful undermining of truth" is never accompanied by citation of sources.

Some of us actually believe that being honest in heart and deed is important.  You have taken an opposite tack, and it doesn't become you.  Roman Catholicism does not support lying on behalf of God.

Well, as I already said , the source and center of our faith is the Eucharist. When I read "throwing pearls before swine", I think of the Eucharist and all that surrounds it as that pearl. As much as you hold sacred all surrounding your temples.

So, I lack patience in general, but more so when it comes to offenses against the Eucharist. But after thinking on it, I also realize you probably are unaware of what you wandered into. So I apologies for my knee jerk reaction.

Scott Hahn has a talk, here https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/euchc4.htm which explains how we see the Order of Melchizedek. Paraphrasing:

The word order signifies to us, the manner of priest that he was. While the Levitical priesthood offered bloody sacrifices, Melchizedek offered a clean sacrifice of bread and wine. We see in Melchizedek a prefiguration of Christ at the last supper.

In the Levitical priesthood we see the Old Covenant, but one that was a broken version the familial priesthood, that of the first born son, when the golden calf was made by these same familial priests and worshipped. The Levitical priesthood replaced the true covenantal priesthood, because of the golden calf incidence.

Melchizedek represent to us a type of the true priesthood, and the true priest. We see in the description of Melchizedek a description of Christ. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah, and in Hebrews the argument is presented, that Jews could view Jesus as not a true priest because he was not a Levite. To which the argument is made (in Hebrews) that he is the only true priest, after the Order of Melchizedek. The true priest is the sole mediator between man and the God. He is a King, of peace and righteousness. He has no parentage, which references him not being a Levite. Jesus made the singular bloody sacrifice that no man could ever make. Only God, Jesus Christ, could restore the priesthood that was broken with the making of the golden calf and the worship of it.

This type of priesthood is only found in our true Priest Jesus Christ. A priesthood that was established by Jesus at the last supper, as the priesthood of the New Covenant. So when a Catholic says, or writes, that a priest is ordained to the a Order of Melchizedek, we are saying, they are priests of the New Covenant, whose covenantal sacrifice is after the manner of Melchizedek, of bread and wine. The singular sacrifice of Jesus Christ made present. I hope you are able to imagine the unimaginable importance that this is to us.

So, if you understand our views there, then when looking at ordination, there is only one True Priest, Jesus Christ. A man is ordained to the image of Christ, as a servant to His priesthood. This image, in regards to priesthood and the priestly function of offering sacrifices, is after the Order of Melchizedek because of Who Christ is. A RC priest shares in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, in a special way, but does not "hold" a priesthood. The priesthood a man is ordained to is the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, who is the only True Priest after the Order of Melchizedek. And so we can also say, a man is ordained to the Order of Melchizedek. Which as I said, references the manner of priestly function, of offering the clean sacrifice of bread and wine, and the image to which he is ordained.

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My brother-in-law just called my attention to this very sensitive and informative LDS Church video on vestments of various types.  Quite revealing also.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsLrVpeodog&feature=youtu.be .

Some discussion going on in another thread, but quite relevant to this one:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/64397-garments-and-temple-robes-on-lds-newsroom/

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I don't know if this would be the case in Eastern Orthodox strongholds in Russia and Eastern Europe, more of Western Europe thing (I've heard it speculated that Europe will be more Muslim then anything in a generation or two). I don't have the references though, just things I've gleaned from reading articles regarding Orthodoxy.

When we were in Russia in the early and mid 90s, faith was what the women did and mainly older women. Men got involved in religion to get involved in politics. Hopefully times have changed. The Russia Orthodox wasn't looked on favourable by the Russians we knew, the only thing it had going for it in their view was it was Russia. They complained the money given the church went to put gold on the roofs and restore the churches to their former glory, it was the foreign faiths (Evangelicals contributed much) that were setting up programs to feed the poor but the Russia Church tried to kick them all out.
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The salient point in Scott Hahn's talk seems to me to be here:

 

He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The word "order" does not mean order like the Dominican Order. It means after the manner of Melchizedek's priesthood. The writer goes on to make a big, sharp contrast between the Levitical priests who continue to offer these animals in sacrifice. They had to offer. They had to kill. They had to sacrifice millions of sheep, millions of goats and millions of cattle with millions of gallons of blood running down through the temple. Why? It was all after and because of the Golden Calf, whereas before all of that, you had a father and a son and a clean priesthood that Melchizedek represents. "After the manner of Melchizedek" suggests that Melchizedek's manner of priestly sacrifice was bread and wine. This is how all the early Fathers understood this, as well.

 

I have a long day today and probably tomorrow...See y'all when I can. I have been reviewing a little already from a book of my own entitled, The Order of Melchisedec, A Defense of the Catholic Priesthood, by Michael Davies. Time permitting and interest remaining, I may try to illustrate why I now think the bolded above is an important distinction. Good job saemo.

 

-------------------

 

On the other hand, to boblloyd's original point, I think we must concede that Mormons and Catholics are probably unique together in that we recognize the need to assimilate the lesson of the Melchisedec Priesthood in the Epistle to the Hebrews into our thinking on the priesthood. I think it is probable that we do not mean the same things. But it is significant that we recognize the importance of the expression when few others seem to do so.

Edited by 3DOP
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